was I better off without the patches?
I finally decided to get the unofficial patches. first I just got the main patch, and the first time I ran the game, I got a few quest updates (1 that it wouldn't let me do was counted as "failed", which is fine coz it was a miscellaneous and that just means it got removed from my journal). I didn't notice anything else different, but that's fine. then I realized that I was also supposed to get patches for the DLC as well, and I did that. didn't notice anything at first, but when I visited my homestead with the armory, one of the mannequins was hovering with his knees bent (as if he started jumping up and froze in time), and about a third of the weapons on the weapons racks were missing. including Mehrune's Razor. then when I went to Lakeview Manor (where my family is), I discovered that my wife has disappeared. now, lore-wise this might make sense, I've recently started a few of the Thieve's Guild quests, and I'm married to Mjoll, so I suppose she could have heard about what I was up to and just took off, but I'm fairly certain that sort of thing doesn't happen in-game. I've checked Riften and every other home I own, she wasn't anywhere. no ransom demand, no explanatory dialogue from my steward or children. ALSO my daughters started bugging me about my "doggy". the only dog I interacted with was Barbas, and I finished that quest last week. he was turned to stone long before the kids "noticed" him. after the fourth time they mentioned it I finally picked the "yes he can stay with you when I'm done with him", and that seems to have fixed that. I'm at level 54, I wanted to see this playthrough to 80 before I started my next game (unarmed wandering mage), but now that my existing game appears to be "broken", I'm considering ditching this game, choosing a handful of "immersion" mods I've been interested in and starting my new game now. I figure there's much less chance of problems if I have the same mods during the entire playthrough as opposed to adding them after starting. but seriously, I feel kind of ripped off that these patches which were supposed to fix things ended up making things worse. even if some things were fixed, it wasn't worth it.