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I made a quest in Creation Kit. Testing it, Quest Log and Quest Marker do not appear. Why is that, and how do I fix this?

I have made a quest object in Creation Kit, including stages, quest log ("diary") and actors (filled in as aliases). When I started the game, I see via "sqv questname" in console (show quest variables myquest) that my quest successfully started. I see a stage, perhaps not the latest I wanted to set. However, NPCs (initially disabled) do not spawn, and / or my quest markers and my quest log do not update /appear at all. What is the problem? My Quest fragments seem logic (in the stages), and I cannot find any issues with my dialogue, scenes, objectives and conditions? (So, no errors in second tab "quest fragments", third tab "objectives", "dialogue tab" and "scene tab").

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Description:

This issue occurs often when you are new to making quests and you want to get it running. However, when you test your quest in-game, it does not start, so it seems. I have seen a few posts online where people asked why their quests would not run in-game, but no specific response to it outside the lengthy tutorials. So here is the fix straightforward.

Fix:

  1. First, make sure that your stages are being set. Type in console (^) "SetStage (YourQuestName) (x)" ;x being the stage number, example: SetStage SAtm_MQ01 0.This should start your quest even if you have issues and for some reason, it does not start.If you did everything perfectly and you check-marked "Start game enabled" it should run automatically, though.
  2. Now, you can check if the log, the quest marker, and the quest objective did update.
  3. If your quest objective did not update, the way you set stages (stage fragment or trigger box or dialogue fragment or custom script or alias script) does not work. So this is the first thing to fix. You want to be able to run from stage to stage and see it, add a Debug.Notification("Stage x+1 was set!") for yourself to confirm this in-game.
  4. Now, since your quest stages are being set correctly, you can tackle the aliases. In fact, if your quest log and quest markers did not update, but your stages run already, you know that the alias had not been filled correctly. Type in console (^) "sqv (YourQuestName)", (show quest variables) and see if your quest is running, which stage it is, and more importantly what aliases are being filled. If you see (youraliasname) -> None then it was not filled. And here, this will help you:
    1. Set ALL your Aliases to optional in your CreationKit / Quest Object / Quest Aliases tab.
    2. Check ALL your actors to have "persistent locations". Click on their reference objects placed in the game in the render window, and under "persist location" choose a nearby location like "WhiterunLocation".

This made all the actors fill the aliases and thereby my quest was now automatically running when starting the game without console commands as it should, and I saw my quest log and got the quest markers. Sometimes, you come back to Creation Kit implementation after months or even years and you oversee an actor and you think "it should still work without this one actor being set up correctly" but I have experienced that it does not, so this minor detail is very important. Best of Luck! :)

Attention01: Do not overdo persistent actors. I would avoid setting NPCs to persistent when it's not necessary. This makes them loaded at all times. Persistence location should be fine for NPCs that are only stationary or only move outside their hometown as part of a quest. I here only used the NPCs during a quest. Thanks, Elscrux, for pointing that out!

Attention02: Story Manager Quests cannot be debugged this way. Thanks, Elscrux, for pointing that out!

Disclaimer:

  1. I do not take any responsibility for missing files or broken games, I just share the approach in best faith, with the goal of helping you to find the solution yourself, at your own risk.
  2. Thank you to everyone working with me on Creation Kit contents, especially Elscrux, Woni, and Tascani. This is mostly a fix for starters, anyone who knows their way around CK is probably aware of this method by logic.
  3. This post was made by me before on reddit here:https://www.reddit.com/r/skyrimmods/comments/rpoh0z/quest_log_and_quest_marker_not_appearing_fix/ I replicated it for documentation and allowing people to find these contents, like my other posts.
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