A week ago, I had the pleasure of playing through a horrendously buggy and dull quest line when I joined the Imperial Legion. I’m sure it’s just as bad on the other side (Stormcloaks) but there is the potential to wreck your progress if you fail to take heed ahead of starting each and every quest you do (like most other quests in Skyrim). I’m playing the PS3 version so I don’t know if this is just a bug for this platform.
I’ll save myself the trouble of mentioning cross-linked bugs with this quest line and the one that made me post this as a reference to others as well as myself is the “The Battle for Fort Dunstad” or replace Dunstad with whatever the fort’s name is because there are three occasions where the player is hand-guided into these repetitive tasks. All of them have the following steps:
1) Report to the field commander or Legate Rikke if you chose to side with the Imperials
2) Go and meet fellow soldiers at a specific point indicated by Rikke
3) Raid the fort mentioned in the quest title and kill all waves of enemy soldiers which respawn until you kill enough of them
The problems I faced:
1) I can’t report to Legate Rikke. There is no option despite trying many things until I decided to check the unofficial Skyrim wiki (UESP). I found out that using the ice form shout to turn Rikke to an ice statue worked (I talked to her after she’s defrosted).
2) After getting the quest update, there is no marker on the map to meet the soldiers. If there is, chances are the soldiers won’t be there.
3) If the soldiers are there, follow them to the fort but the chances of finding an empty fort is probably 50/50 thus making you start over. If your game is stuttering really bad here but you manage to get the enemy soldiers to load up, you might freeze due to the high number of character models on-screen. I froze once and had slide-show fights the rest of the time, not fun.
So as you can see, in order to complete one quest, you’re hoping many things go your way. I noticed that saving in-between the steps was a no-no and the best place to save is somewhere other than the area your camp is (before you report to duty). It took me at most on one occasion, roughly forty tries to get it working for the first fort and less on the other forts but I couldn’t really figure out the issue here except that I was lagging really bad in the area around the fort and had temporary freezes while the game was loading up the scenery.
The only fix I know of is go and do the main quest line and skip these petty fort raids but you miss out on the War Hero trophy if you’re after that. I still managed to get the War Hero trophy and that’s all I did it for really as the climax to the end of the war is disappointing and probably not worth the hassle unless you’re trophy hunting or a completionist (not really possible in this game anyway). I can’t wait for the Bards quests, I already know they’re bugged thanks to all the players posting about it on Bethesda’s own forums as well as other sites.