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Does anyone know what affects the dead body cleanup system? I'm getting to a point where if I have a fight with more than a couple of mobs, when I'm finished and go look for corpses to loot, they're all gone! It's incredibly frustrating and also a risk of losing important quest stuff. I found this on reddit. I, too, am convinced that the game is cleaning up bodies in a totally unreasonable way. I was just clearing Dead Man's Respite, an interior area, and when I killed King Olaf all his minions' bodies had despawned. I'm tempted to use the author's fix to bruteforce the game not to clean bodies so obsessively. Would this destabilize the game even more?

I may also suspect of another cause. My good old Sofia seems to be the perfect mule, she doesn't seem to have a carry weight limit at all! So I've been carelessly hauling stuff on her back and she's now carrying over 10000 (awkward, I don't know what Skyrim's units of mass are named). I notice that every time I open either her inventory or my own (pretty heavily loaded as well) I lag for a couple of seconds before getting the list. Is it possible that Skyrim SE's choking on too many objects to be aware of?

Thanks for any help.

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The only time in the vanilla game when corpses are cleaned up almost immediately is during Civil War battles. This is done to help with performance from what I understand. It shouldn't be happening during any other circumstances unless you're using a mod like is mentioned in the reddit thread you linked that forces the game to speed up the cleanup time. The game engine handles the time it takes for corpses to clean up in most cases which is usually whenever a cell resets (generally 10 or 30 days). There may be certain circumstance when NPCs clean up more quickly or more slowly than that if a quest is involved depending on other variables.

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The random encounter quests in SSE are likely flagging all actors they create with a 'temp' flag. With thar flag, they are marked for getting cleaned up as soon as posible if theyare no longer in a quest alias or in a script property. Which usually is true as soon as the quest stops running.

It's probably worth havinga look at those quests' stop conditions. Do they stop running after everything has unloaded (this is fine because it means that no actors will be cleaned up prematurely) or do they top running if everyone is dead (this would be explain your issues) ?

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Random encounter NPCs are indeed cleaned up very fast. Usually they go away as soon as the cell reloads. The only way a corpse of a random encounter spawn will stick around for the full 10 or 30 days depending on the zone is if they are turned into ashes, for some reason the game fails to clean those up directly (maybe because they change name?) and a full  zone reset is required for them to go away.

But you absolutely have some mod that changes the cleanups, or you have more spawns of enemies in dungeons overall, because when I did Dead Man's Respite all the corpses in that last room were still up after Olaf was dead.

Opening a container with LOTS of different items will lag because the whole process is scripted, the same thing happens in Fallout 4 aswell when you got loads of stuff in a workbench and access it. This is normal and I would recommend you to sort your stuff to reduce the script lag when opening containers. And also mainly for your own sanity when looking for stuff. Note that it is the number of different items that matters, 10000 gold ores in 1 stack in a container is no problem. 10000 iron daggers that cannot be stacked in a container is a huge problem though and will probably crash your game when you try to access that container.

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Oh right. Forgot about the random encounter quests. They clean up after the cell unloads which is what was intended. We fixed a whole bunch of those that weren't ever unloading properly several years back due to having the "run once" flag checked.

Ash piles are completely handled by the engine. They will clean up whenever the cell resets which can be as little as 10 days or as long as 30 days. If you visit the area then that 10 or 30 day timer resets. Ash piles that are created from NPCs that are placed dead at the beginning of the game will never clean up due an engine bug.

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Well, ash piles are not actors. If an actor is turned into an ash pile, the actor gets disabled and deleted as soon as the visual effect has been displayed, and an ash pile is created and placed instead. Ash piles are just in-game created objects, and those are cleaned up very slowly (if at all).

Actors are different and always put a higher workload on the engine, because they have an AI (even if they're dead). Creation of new actors may fail in areas that have too many actors. In FO4, for example, the random encounter triggers that are close to settlements will fail to start encounter quests once the population at that workshop goes beyond a certain limit. Most prominent example is the encounter zone below the bridge just southeast of the Starlight Drive-In. If you recompile REScript in debug mode and have papyrus logging enabled, you'll always get a warning message on the log when that area loads.

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Ash piles do clean up when the zone resets, even bugged unlootable ash piles do reset. I'm wondering if dropped weapons and gear cleanup after the zone resets or not? It was fixed on FO4 officially so maybe they snuck that into SSE aswell?

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I am indeed using mods that spawn encounters, as well as mods that change enemy behaviour. I can quickly mention OBIS and Immersive Creatures adding more random spawns, have a few mods that change enemy stats or delevel enemies and a dragon combo that's also spawning more dragons. However, the mobs that got cleaned up in Dead Man's Respite were the same vanilla draugr, not actors added by other mods.

I usually try to sort my stuff, but since I'm playing "hardcore" for the first time, meaning without my usual "Haven Bag", when I figured I could dump as much as I like on Sofia's back and she'll carry it, I got lazy with my trips back to Solitude to dump and sell stuff (I'm using Legacy as well). So I stay out for weeks instead of days and poor Sofia hauls a week's worth of stuff back to Solitude.

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