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Bugs that aren't bugs

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What constitutes a bug?

A bug is defined for our purposes as a defect in the game that can be factually proven to be broken. This can be anything from a quest that won't advance a stage when it should, to a typo in a book, and pretty much everything in between. Some judgment is used for issues that are more cosmetic than functional, such as the lack of heat blurs on smelters and forges. The game will obviously function just fine without those, but they constitute unrealistic visual presentation.

 

Given this definition, why is it that things such as:
 

Isran's gear does not match his skill settings as a Heavy Armor Master. His outfit now uses heavy armor versions of his previous gear. (Bug #21022)

 

DLC1Isran "Isran" [NPC_:0200336A] is equipped with the Dawnguard Light Armor outfit, and yet he's a Master Trainer in Heavy Armor. His TrainerHeavyArmorMaster class also suggests that he should be equipped with the Dawnguard Heavy Armor outfit.

 

are considered bugs?

 

People can be good at one thing (such as heavy armor) and not necessarily be restricted to using only heavy armor.  Maybe Isran is trying to be better at using light armor. The point is we don't know. It is therefore not factually proven to be broken.

 

Can it be considered to be cosmetic(or at least not functional)? I would argue that no it can not. The armor an NPC wears affects gameplay because if you were to attack Isran his armor would affect how well he can take damage.  It is therefore not simply cosmetic

 

Has this been asked before?  Is there more to this than the description would suggest. I like to read the changelogs for this project and see these kinds of "fixes" a lot. The problem is that these things aren't considered bugs by the projects definition of bugs. They cannot be proven to be errors and they have an affect outside of cosmetics.

 

Out of curiosity does anyone have a ballpark of how many of these kinds of changes have been made to the game?(Altering held items simply to match stats)

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Normally they change the stats to match the items, to keep the looks of the game about the same. However with Isran, there is the issue of him being a Master Heavy Armor trainer. So you can kinda factually prove that he is given incorrect gear. Even if you assume he wears the light version to move quickly and not be burdened all the time, his status as a Heavy Armor master indicates that he is inclined to wear Heavy Armor, and do so without straining himself. And since Dawnguard armors have light and heavy versions, the change wasn't as arbitrary as it could be.

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Normally they change the stats to match the items, to keep the looks of the game about the same. However with Isran, there is the issue of him being a Master Heavy Armor trainer. So you can kinda factually prove that he is given incorrect gear. Even if you assume he wears the light version to move quickly and not be burdened all the time, his status as a Heavy Armor master indicates that he is inclined to wear Heavy Armor, and do so without straining himself. And since Dawnguard armors have light and heavy versions, the change wasn't as arbitrary as it could be.

 

"Kinda factually prove" isn't proving.  There is no reason to assume that this is a bug just because he is a Heavy armor master.  People can wear things outside their specialty. That is a fact.  As I said before, it is entirely possible that he is training his light armor skill. Why not? it is plausible.

 

What comes to mind are movies with some old wise master of some martial art(or master of anything really) who does not look the part. You don't have to look the part to be a master at something. 

 

If the argument is that he requires heavy armor to teach heavy armor, then the counter argument would be that the player should be required to have heavy armor to learn from a heavy armor trainer.

 

And changing the actor's skills would be just as bad(subjectively worse in my opinion). It is not proven to be wrong and altering stats is very clearly not cosmetic.  The stats and the armor are not considered bugs by the project's definition of bugs.

 

I will give you the point of his skill suggesting he is inclined to wear heavy armor, but that is not proof that he must be wearing heavy armor.  Do his skills in light armor preclude him from wearing the armor he is given by default? If so, then yes there is a bug. If not, then there is no objective reason to believe this is a bug.

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Isran participates in the battle at Castle Volkihar during "Kindred Judgment" if you've sided with the Dawnguard, and you fight him yourself during "Destroying the Dawnguard" if you've sided with the Volkihar.

 

It is generally accepted that NPCs are intended to wear armor they are proficient in using, more so if they participate in combat during a quest. In this case, Isran shares his class with Farkas, so his class couldn't be changed to match his worn gear, unlike, say, Aela the Huntress, who is the only user of her class.

 

Israel's perks are a mess of dropped concepts and don't correlate with his gear necessarily, but he does have the Tower of Strength perk, which requires him to wear heavy armor. He also has the Custom Fit perk, which would give him a higher armor rating if wearing all light armor, but he doesn't wear a helmet so its effect is null.

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Personally (I've been in the creationkit and am rather familiar with beths practices) this is how I see it;

 

A NPC (Isran in this case) Has perks for heavy armor, trains in heavy armor, is the main tank for the dawnguard. However some yahoo while not paying attention gave him light equipment.

 

No not really a bug per say but definitely a huge inconsistency and oversight. For lore, and consistency sake I would prefer all of this to be fixed in the main game. There are a ton of oversights like this in the game. People with perks that they have zero equipment to take advantage of that perk. Archers that you can get as followers that have ranks and perks in two-handed and heavy armor yet they come with a bow, dagger and leather armor. WTF???? As a patch USLEEP not only fixes bugs but restores continuity and consistency.

 

It's easy enough to make a .esp changing things back for the handful you disagree with.

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In this particular case I think it's a pretty clear situation. Everything about Isran is set up for heavy armor use except his inventory. It certainly isn't game breaking, but that's not the only thing we consider or it would obviously rule out whole categories like placed refs and typos :P

 

Yes, it's a bug, so we fixed it. It's been factually proven, so the conditions are satisfied as far as we're concerned.

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Isran participates in the battle at Castle Volkihar during "Kindred Judgment" if you've sided with the Dawnguard, and you fight him yourself during "Destroying the Dawnguard" if you've sided with the Volkihar.

 

It is generally accepted that NPCs are intended to wear armor they are proficient in using, more so if they participate in combat during a quest. In this case, Isran shares his class with Farkas, so his class couldn't be changed to match his worn gear, unlike, say, Aela the Huntress, who is the only user of her class.

 

Israel's perks are a mess of dropped concepts and don't correlate with his gear necessarily, but he does have the Tower of Strength perk, which requires him to wear heavy armor. He also has the Custom Fit perk, which would give him a higher armor rating if wearing all light armor, but he doesn't wear a helmet so its effect is null.

 

Even though you list some things that could suggest that Isran wearing light armor is not a bug you also make a decent point for his armor choice being a bug.

 

Because Isran is meant to participate in combat and it makes sense to wear your best gear in combat it is likely he does have the wrong gear.  This only holds if it is known that he has time to prepare for the battle.  I never played that part of the game so I can't be sure of how it unfolds, but if the battle is spontaneous and Isran has no time to prepare for the fight(i.e to change his armor) then it is plausible that his light armor is not a bug.  If however the fight he participates in could be prepared for it is possible that his inventory is wrong.

 

The Tower of Strength vs Custom Fit perk issue doesn't support one armor style over the other. In fact it could be used as proof that Isran is not restricted to heavy armor as custom fit requires Light Armor 30 and Agile Defender. The problem then, and you mention it, is that he does not have a helmet. He seems very ill prepared for a battle.

 

Your comment though is, I think, as close to proof that we can get in this game short of a developer of Skyrim commenting.

 

Personally (I've been in the creationkit and am rather familiar with beths practices) this is how I see it;

 

A NPC (Isran in this case) Has perks for heavy armor, trains in heavy armor, is the main tank for the dawnguard. However some yahoo while not paying attention gave him light equipment.

 

No not really a bug per say but definitely a huge inconsistency and oversight. For lore, and consistency sake I would prefer all of this to be fixed in the main game. There are a ton of oversights like this in the game. People with perks that they have zero equipment to take advantage of that perk. Archers that you can get as followers that have ranks and perks in two-handed and heavy armor yet they come with a bow, dagger and leather armor. WTF???? As a patch USLEEP not only fixes bugs but restores continuity and consistency.

 

It's easy enough to make a .esp changing things back for the handful you disagree with.

 

I don't like this as an explanation because you say that having heavy armor perks means he should wear heavy armor. But he also has light armor perks, so he should wear light armor, no? You say he is the main tank for the dawnguard, but that's only a title you gave him, their battle strategy might not include having a tank, you simply designate him as such by your own will. You argue about lore, but you don't say how this is an issue. Is there a book in the game that says Isran participated in the battle and was wearing heavy armor? If not then the lore is untouched.  I love consistency, order, facts, so yes this kind of thing is inconsistent and I am torn which side I support. But people are inconsistent and Islan is a person. He is unpredictable.  If you could tell everything about someone by looking at their armor then the game would be lacking in surprises. Finally, the last line I highlight in your response is not an argument for this being a bug, it is simple an example of similar cases. Who is to say that those NPCs must be forced to wear equipment that matches their skills/perks.

 

In this particular case I think it's a pretty clear situation. Everything about Isran is set up for heavy armor use except his inventory. It certainly isn't game breaking, but that's not the only thing we consider or it would obviously rule out whole categories like placed refs and typos :P

 

Yes, it's a bug, so we fixed it. It's been factually proven, so the conditions are satisfied as far as we're concerned.

 

I also disagree with this as an argument.  Just because someone is proficient in a skill does not lock them into it. Please do not dilute the meaning of "Fact" and "Proof". This is certainly not "a pretty clear situation." You have striped all human aspects of choice from the characters. They have intelligence(Albeit artificial) and can make their own decisions.  And I know it is not game breaking, but it is also not cosmetic(typos count as cosmetic, as would most placed refs). There is a measurable difference in combat proficiency of a character when you change their stats/equipment. That is what makes it not cosmetic.

 

In the end I feel as though I was misinterpreted. Please do not think that I am simply arguing for Isran to maintain his armor. I am trying to understand why this is considered something that needs to be fixed for all cases that are similar. To say that it is simple to make an esp change for the one I disagree with is besides the point. My point is about the objectivity of the project. In what should or should not be included in it.

 

But as I have said as a response to PrinceShroob, He makes the best case for Islan's armor change(As long as the battle can be seen as non-spontaneous) This same level of detail is what is required for all these gray area bugs(things for which were corrected as bugs, but are not strictly defined as such). My suggestion would be to alter the definition of bugs so that this becomes a non issue.  Though I can't think of any verbiage that doesn't sound like "And anything we feel like adding".

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Unless you're alleging that this issue is a microcosm for a larger problem, I don't really understand why you're so hung up on it.

Nevertheless: with regard to the Custom Fit perk, several NPCs have the incorrect full set perk assigned for their armor skill; thus, Isran's case is not indicative of intent, especially since he doesn't wear a full set, anyway. He has perks for several weapon types in which he is not skilled, yet is not a follower and never receives another weapon, so those perks are not indicative of intent, either. He had no armor skills whatsoever before the patch fixed TrainerHeavyArmorMaster for Farkas.

Isran orders the attack on the castle, so, yes, it is premeditated, and furthermore he's so paranoid that he'd want to be protected at all times.

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I also disagree with this as an argument.

Well, see, the problem is, disagreeing with my brief summation of the issue inherently means you disagree with Shroob's more detailed version of the same thing. Neither of us are saying anything contradictory here.

Like him though, I am wondering why this is bothering you enough to have wanted to post about it. It seemed clear cut enough to those of us on the team that it was a bug that this shouldn't even be an issue.

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Unless you're alleging that this issue is a microcosm for a larger problem, I don't really understand why you're so hung up on it.

Nevertheless: with regard to the Custom Fit perk, several NPCs have the incorrect full set perk assigned for their armor skill; thus, Isran's case is not indicative of intent, especially since he doesn't wear a full set, anyway. He has perks for several weapon types in which he is not skilled, yet is not a follower and never receives another weapon, so those perks are not indicative of intent, either. He had no armor skills whatsoever before the patch fixed TrainerHeavyArmorMaster for Farkas.

Isran orders the attack on the castle, so, yes, it is premeditated, and furthermore he's so paranoid that he'd want to be protected at all times.

 

 

What I am alleging is that fixes may or may not exist for Bugs which are beyond the scope of the project as defined by Arthmoor(see definition of Bug).  And yes, this is an example of something that if it were shown to fall outside the scope it would be indicative of a larger number of "Bugs" that were fixed that should not have been.  But ultimately the reason I am so hung up on it is simply because it is in my nature. I see something that is labeled as "Fact" or "Proven" but in reality it has not been proven. That is something that bothers me. Let's not sell this project short. It is a big endeavor and its creator(s) are clearly intelligent. There is a good chance that they(and many of the users too) have taken some course at school where formal proofs are used.  Something is not proven because you can find a single reason that supports your theory. Instead it is proven if you can show that there cannot exist something to disprove your theory.

 

With regards to the perks. I assumed that your original comment was coming from vanilla Skyrim. This new comment is saying that the perks you mentioned are a result of a previous "fix"(quotes here because I haven't looked into the fix to see if it qualifies as a bug as defined for this project).  I think too many people think that Skills and Perks determine the equipment that characters can use when we know that in the skyrim universe that you can get perks in areas that you have never used before.  If you, the player, can spend your perks in areas you have never used, then it stands to reason that this is an ability of all Skyrim inhabitants. So it is possible for a heavy armor master to not have any armor perks at all.

 

As for his declaration of attack, this is enough evidence(assuming the previous patch for TrainerHeavyArmorMaster is justified) for me to be satisfied that his armor is probably a bug.  While not Proof it falls under the category of "Beyond a reasonable doubt".(But seriously, don't call that factually proven, it is not)

 

But don't take my agreement on this matter to mean that there are no issues with unnecessary fixes.(And don't take that to mean that there definitely are unnecessary fixes either)

 

Well, see, the problem is, disagreeing with my brief summation of the issue inherently means you disagree with Shroob's more detailed version of the same thing. Neither of us are saying anything contradictory here.

Like him though, I am wondering why this is bothering you enough to have wanted to post about it. It seemed clear cut enough to those of us on the team that it was a bug that this shouldn't even be an issue.

 

No, I think there is a difference in the two comments.

Contradictory they may not be, but they are not equivalent statements.

You could both be on the same side, but that doesn't mean that both your arguments are valid.

 

Shroobs comment was more objective and yours more subjective.

You dismissed my questions and provided no answers besides it being clear that he is intended to be a certain way(It is not clear at least by the bug report, hence my posts).

You mention it isn't game breaking and point to categories such as typos that would be eliminated if game breaking was all you took into account. But those things, such as typos, are explicitly included in the definition of Bugs as cosmetic. This issue neither falls under game breaking nor does it fall under cosmetic.  This is my issue. This fix falls outside the scope of what is defined as Bugs.  And I firmly disagree with you stating that it has been factually proven to be a bug. If it were to be factually proven then I could provide no argument against it. I have argued against it and there is no definitive proof that has been brought to light yet that truly proves it is a bug.

 

Basically you said: It's a bug because I think it is.

Shroob said: It's a bug because <reasons>, but his perks are sketchy.

(obviously my summarized personal interpretation)

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Well it seems you may have an impossibly high standard of proof then. This isn't a court case or a PHD course. Sometimes you simply need to accept that there are reasons (which have been explained to you) for things being done and it's "good enough" to pass the qualifications of our tests.

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Well it seems you may have an impossibly high standard of proof then. This isn't a court case or a PHD course. Sometimes you simply need to accept that there are reasons (which have been explained to you) for things being done and it's "good enough" to pass the qualifications of our tests.

My original post sought nothing more than an explanation. I wanted to understand the reasoning behind why something that does not fit into the definition of bug was being treated as such. I even looked for your post about what constitutes a bug so that I would not be asking a question that had an answer already.

 

Standards of proof should be unwavering. What should be changed is the definition of what a bug is.  "Good enough" and "Factual proof" are not the same.

 

I do accept reasons(as long as they are logically explained) as is evidenced by my acceptance of PrinceShroobs answers.

 

And of course there will be some instances where "Good enough" is as good as it gets. But please don't say it has been proven. By definition of bug all fixed bugs are proven to be bugs.  If that were the case then there would be no regressions.(assuming the fix itself wasn't bad)

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Eh, I think you missed the point though. You accepted Shroob's explanation. That's the proof right there. Factual proof. Which is also "good enough" to pass our standards test. I have a feeling you may simply be overthinking this :P

 

Either way, nobody's upset with you so hopefully nobody is coming across hostile or anything.

 

As far as regressions, you've pretty much got it. A fix for something goes bad, or turns out to not do at all what logic suggests it should. So they either get backed out and the original bug is simply lived with, or they get modified to make them work correctly.

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Eh, I think you missed the point though. You accepted Shroob's explanation. That's the proof right there. Factual proof. Which is also "good enough" to pass our standards test. I have a feeling you may simply be overthinking this :P

 

Either way, nobody's upset with you so hopefully nobody is coming across hostile or anything.

 

As far as regressions, you've pretty much got it. A fix for something goes bad, or turns out to not do at all what logic suggests it should. So they either get backed out and the original bug is simply lived with, or they get modified to make them work correctly.

I accepted Shroob's explanation(with some caveats) as a within reason argument(I likened it to proving beyond a reasonable doubt, which is not the same as proving it to be absolutely true)

 

He provided evidence for his point. I looked at his evidence and felt it was good enough for me.

 

The problem lies in that a "fact" is true(and always true). And you want factual proof. Factual Proof is something that is unquestionably true.  Unfortunately perks and skills are not unquestionably proof that a person's inventory is wrong.

 

What you say about regressions is true. But could you not also have a fix that didn't itself cause issues, but wasn't the fix to the actual problem? It just looked like it was. Similar to treating symptoms rather than the actual disease.  With these fixes something was considered factually proven to be wrong, the fix should have been factually proven to be a fix. And yet it wasn't a proper fix because the original diagnosis of the problem was wrong. Therefore there was a point where facts weren't facts which should be impossible.

 

I too hold no hostility.

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"Beyond a reasonable doubt" is the standard of evidence for a criminal trial, which may be a life-or-death decision. I don't think such a standard is warranted when talking about a computer game.

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"Beyond a reasonable doubt" is the standard of evidence for a criminal trial, which may be a life-or-death decision. I don't think such a standard is warranted when talking about a computer game.

 

I agree, unless it is stated that that standard is a requirement for what constitutes a bug.

It just so happens that the definition of a bug does say that it "can be factually proven to be broken."

 

Fact:

a thing that is indisputably the case

used in discussing the significance of something that is the case.

the truth about events as opposed to interpretation.

 

Proof:

evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or the truth of a statement

able to withstand something damaging; resistant

the action or process of establishing the truth of a statement.

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Why does it matter so much? The work down here is free, well tested and relatively well thought out.

 

Bethesda doesn't want to fix more and are done with patches. 

 

You don't actually HAVE to use this patch at all and if you don't like a change then it is easy enough to reverse.

 

Seriously arguing over fine print just wastes everyone's time. You made a statement that they are changing things that are not really bugs. YES that's true. BUT hey shit happens. For like 98% of the changes I, and most of the world are happy with it.

 

Your opinion is truly noted and partially agreed with but now your just beating a dead horse into pulp.

 

Sorry but now you are just wasting everyone's time and effort.

 

Fact:

    The work done here is free

    It is well tested

   Fairly well thought out

   Regularly maintained

 

Proof:

   Millions of downloads

   Very little disagreement with fixes and changes

   Super easy to reverse changes you don't like

 

Have you paid a dime for the work done here?

 

You want a patch with a better mission statement then make it. (Essentially put up or shut up is my opinion)

 

Disclaimer - I am not part of the patch team. I also am just a person who freely speaks his mind.

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I agree, unless it is stated that that standard is a requirement for what constitutes a bug.

It just so happens that the definition of a bug does say that it "can be factually proven to be broken."

Which I think we've already demonstrated to be the case.

You're quibbling over semantics, which tends to go nowhere fast.

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I was going to respond in my usual fashion and address these new comments by breaking them into parts. I decided not to do that though as it would take effort on my part that I don't care to expend at this time and obviously your patience has reached its limit.

 

But I will say this to you Kelsenellenelvian, I love USLEEP and would never play skyrim without it, that was never in question. I don't consider it beating a dead horse because I only ever responded to those who responded to me. Those who do not wish a response should not post.

 

And to Arthmoor, words have no intrinsic meaning. Semantics becomes important because there are no intrinsic meanings. To understand each other we must come to an agreement.

 

With this final post I end my involvement with this thread and will not post in here again.

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What constitutes a bug?

A bug is defined for our purposes as a defect in the game that can be factually proven to be broken.

Let's stop right there. A bug is an implementation of some feeping creature of a game that is by general agreement interpreted to have been at odds with the original intention of the production team.

That's why the prioritisation and despatch of patches is best left to the folks who have been doing this kind of stuff for years.

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Hello zigzaggar and welcome to afkmods.

I'll try to paint you a broader picture, so you maybe better understand that what you are trying to achieve has little chance of getting implemented. Understand that i, like you, are a forum visitor of afkmod, but neither are among the core members, nor speak for the team. i'm a frequent visitor and have done several contribution to the project in report and file submissions. Among them were ones that got accepted and ones that were declined. On either side, a handfull went through a bit of a discussion process. So from my standpoint let me tell you a few things about community patch projects.

You'll eventually come to understand, that any community and fan project has their standards and acts on them. These standards and their interpetation are usually defined by a core team, that oversees the progress and future of a project. Having a defined vision and proven core team is the most important aspect for the continued development of a project. It also helps the team focus on working on the project and making fixes rather then getting caught up in endless debates (which is not to say they aren't a welcome distraction from time to time :D). As integrated and important as the unofficial patches are, a speedy and continued develoment has helped them earn and keep the trusted position they are in.

You'll hopefully see, why under this premise, a strong will and mind is likely to be found among the main members of the team.

In any case, with each such community project, there are edge cases, where outsiders are more inclined to disagree with a decision made by the core team.

The unofficial patch core team has decided on a few things, that bring in a discussion thread every once in a while. Matching outfits to skills of an NPC is one of the lesser ones. You should have been here, when the USKP adopted a stance (or carried it out more precisely) to fix loopholes and exploits :D. The resulting outcry was beyond ridiculous.

There isn't really a morale to this story, but a few things to take home.

-There are always cases, where few individuals will disagree with something a big community project did

-There has already been discussion about all mayor decisions both behind the scenes and in front of it (and sometimes recurringly so).

-The team has come to a conclusion on these discussion, is therefore able to act on it and let outside contributors know what they should or could submit. This course of action is what helps the USLEEP fix most bugs in just a few years (as compared to patch projects run just by one or two people requiring easily ten years plus to get a patchlog of the same size, and usually with even more disagreement from the rest of the community)

-Most of these decisions are years old by now and have stood the test of times and uncountable discussion.

-Changing a once made decision usually requires you to make an argument that hasn't been made before. The team is strong willed and has already heard any conceivable argument before making up their minds, so swaying any such decision is unlikely, but not impossible.

So yeah, don't get worked up if you lost that argument. I'd suggest you take up that opportunity to release your (first?) mod to the community. You can do a little patch patch that reverts a small change or implements it with your own twist/interpretation.That's always a great experience, especially knowing you could build it upon a foundation as strong as USLEEP and it would probably find it's audience of a few hundred users.

Once again: Welcome to the forums.

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Hi, bug reporter here. Although Isran wearing the wrong outfit doesn't really have any impact on gameplay, that was clearly an oversight if we know how Beth works. And it just happens that we know it. There are *a lot* of similar oversights in the game, a lot have been fixed and you can bet that more are still there.

Also, this is not just a matter of cosmetics. Keep in mind that a bug that doesn't have any impact on the vanilla game has a chance to break the functionality of a number of mods out there. For instance, all mods that have any effect on NPCs based on armors keywords will have trouble affecting Isran using his vanilla light armor keyword because his light armor skills do not match the outfit. Which is why I have reported the bug in the first place.

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One "fix" in the patch is to disable buying training from a follower, then taking the gold back through the follower trade interface. As far as I know, there's no indication that the ability to do so is a bug, no broken scripting or missing faction membership or other indication of developer intent. It's not a game-breaking exploit, since the limit of five sessions per level is more significant than the gold cost. It's inconsistent with followers letting you take practically everything else they own, even the clothes off their back in some cases. It removes the more legitimate "exploit" of pickpocketing back your gold for the affected NPCs. And relaxing the restriction only for spouses seems rather arbitrary (why won't the Companions refund you when you're their leader, after everything you've done for them), and has the consequence that, if your trainer-spouse is a follower, training is free, but otherwise it's not. I don't really see how it's justified as a fix.

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