- Skyrim’s reputation for buggy behavior persists due to its massive scale and complex open-world design, along with the potential for unpredictable interactions with player-created mods.
- A Skyrim player discovered a bug in the game that caused the NPCs in the town of Riverwood to be replaced by a pack of identical brown dogs.
- The appearance of a dog swarm in Riverwood sparked debate among players about whether it was a bug or a feature, with some finding it amusing and others frustrated by the game’s glitches.
A Skyrim player has found an unusual bug that replaced many of the NPCs in Riverwood with a shaggy brown hound. The well-known town in Whiterun Hold has seems to have gone to the dogs – literally.
Despite spending nearly 13 years on the market and receiving numerous patches, add-ons, and updates, Skyrim has never quite shaken its reputation for buggy behavior. This is in part due to the sheer scale and complexity of Bethesda’s premier open-world games, rendering them prone to instability. And that’s not to mention the unpredictable interactions countless player-created mods can have with the game and each other.
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Reddit user AffectionateIce5732 noticed a change in the atmosphere upon visiting Riverwood, a small town in Skyrim’s Whiterun Hold. Riverwood’s cobbled main street is one of the game’s most common sights, as it is the closest village to a new player’s starting point once they leave Skyrim‘s iconic opening sequence. But rather than familiar town residents like Alvor the smith or Faendal, AffectionateIce5732 saw a pack of more than a dozen brown dogs milling about.
AffectionateIce5732 didn’t detail exactly what sort of bug, trick, mod, or other issue caused the appearance of so many identical dogs in the middle of Riverwood. An unexpected interaction with a mod that controls NPC spawning might have done it, or some other bug might have replaced a common object or NPC with a dog. A player messing with Skyrim‘s console commands could’ve also spawned the dogs by accident. When asked if this unusual occurrence constituted a “bug” or a “feature” of the game, one commenter declared the dog swarm to be “the goodest of features.” Another reader dubbed AffectionateIce5732 to be the true ruler of Skyrim, the “Dogahkiin” (a pun based on Skyrim‘s player character, who is revealed to be the “Dovahkiin”).
Bugs, glitches, and technical instability are becoming facts of life for players as video games grow in size and complexity. “AAA” games are hard for even large, well-resourced developers to fully test and scrub clean of major imperfections. Skyrim in particular is notorious for some frustrating glitches, like physics errors that cause a player’s hard-earned Skyrim horse to fly through the air and die just a few minutes after being purchased.
That said, seemingly harmless Skyrim glitches like this dog-multiplication incident also add texture to a game’s reputation, becoming the target of both ire and affection from the game’s fans. To paraphrase one commenter from the Reddit thread, “It’s a bug if it affects your game negatively, and it’s a feature if it affects your game positively.”
- November 11, 2011
- M for Mature: Use of Alcohol, Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes