The Elder Scrolls

Strange combination of the dark face bug and an eye glow mesh that isn’t being applied properly

Content of the article: "Strange combination of the dark face bug and an eye glow mesh that isn’t being applied properly"

A short while ago I revived my SSE installation, only to find that I was now running into the well-known dark face bug. I followed the usual steps of finding out which mods edit NPC records and exporting facegen data for them from the CK, and for the most part this fixed the problem. Sadly, however, for some reason a large number of vampire NPCs remain affected by the bug.

Additionally, I am using a vampire eye mod, giving them red and glowing eyes. While the texture is applied just fine, the NPC I was testing on, Hert at Half-Moon Mill, didn't seem to have glowing eyes at all. I then edited the mesh in NifSkope, cranking the emissive value up to 200 (the highest level the mod offers is 10). No changes, so I coc-ed into qasmoke and spawned in 20 vampires with AI processing turned off, and that's when I noticed that vampires suffering from the dark face bug all had the proper eye glow, while the ones who had a normal face also lacked any kind of glow in their eyes.

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I used the console to find out which mod was editing these vampires, and found that it was a combination of Better Vampire NPCs and High Level Enemies. Strangely, while most vampires suffered from the dark face bug, not all of them did, and I was unable to find a pattern as to when the bug did or did not occur (e.g. it's not tied to actor race, for one thing). I have re-exported facegen data for both mods several times to no avail, but the real mystery to me is that the eye glow only works on vampires with bugged faces, and that's where I finally arrive at my question: does anyone here have any idea what can cause this particular issue?

Vortex reports no conflicts with any of the three mods involved in this, the aforementioned Better Vampire NPCs and High Level Enemies, and the eye mod Ruby Red Vampire Eyes SSE, the only esp of which concerns the beast races and is only meshes and textures beyond that.

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These images show the issue, screenshots taken in qasmoke:

My load order can be found in this pastebin:

EDIT: Skyrim.ini is here:

SkyrimPrefs.ini is here:

On a side note, I have no idea why all the vampires spawned here are female. For some reason I don't seem to get any male vampire spawns anymore, but that's a different bug altogether and not one I particularly care about.


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