I think you'll be wasting valuable moments of your life by not purchasing on day 1. Even the seconds spent pondering the idea of hesitating on this to-be masterpiece is a critical error and the repercussions will be severe when you approach the gate and seek atonement from whichever God you pray to. I'll save you some time - as this game will have bugs - you will surely enjoy it anyways. Let me know when you've come to grips with the thought that your pre-order or first-day purchase is more than necessary.
Any massively-open-world game like Skyrim, Fallout, etc., is going to have orders of magnitude more bugs than any enclosed shooter or sports game -- the more activities and content they add in brings a greater and greater likelihood of more bugs. That's simply the way it is.
Glitch-hunting is far easier in corridor games than in open-world ones, where a near-infinite number of personal gameplay styles create an exponentially tiny chance of ever identifying every single last potential bug-spawn source. The bigger the game, the greater the glitch-complexity gets.
For that matter, there hasn't been an Elder Scrolls game created yet that wasn't massively buggy by these standards -- Arena, Daggerfall, and Morrowind all boast some major glitches, but again, nobody really cares in the end, due to the other successful gameplay and design factors.
It's a matter of relativity...your own New Vegas game might have sported several bugs, but for each one that manifests itself, you're still forgetting about the dozens and even hundreds that the dev-team actually caught and eliminated. For a closed-world shooter, the QA process is relatively simple and straightforward.
For an enormous Bethesda RPG, however, it isn't -- they have a huge task set in front of them, compared to pretty much all other developers out there, and at the end of the day, some glitches are still liable to slip past as not.
LOL New Vegas didn't have any more or less bugs than Fallout 3, Oblivion, or Morrowind. They were all buggy. Bethesda games have always been buggy. This game might break the mold, but it probably won't. That being said New Vegas is an amazing game. Even with all the annoying freeze ups, it's still an awesome game. I never for once felt that I would stop playing New Vegas because of the bugs. I'm hoping that Skyrim is better than Oblivion, but if it's just as good as Fallout 3 and New Vegas, I'll be a happy camper. Either way, I'm buying this game day one.
Most of the issues with New Vegas were RAM issues with the consoles. Granted the PC versions still have bugs, but rarely do you encounter the type that freeze up your computer like you will with the PS3 and 360. Bethesda wants console players to have the same experience as they do on the PC, so they don't do as much maintenance on trash items and corpses lying around the world that they should. Hopefully they don't make this mistake in Skyrim. While it's cool to find a corpse of a mob I killed at the same location 3 days later, it's really not worth having to restart my console.
Also, one tip. When you're playing a Bethesda game on a console, don't make more than one saved file. I know you'll want to and sometimes you'll regret not doing it, but you'll have about 1/5 of the freeze up issues by deleting the rest of the saved games. I have no idea why it matters, but it does. Run with one saved game and you'll quickly see how much smoother the game becomes.
am i the only person that loved new vegas and only had one real glitch based problem? other than ed-e disappearing in a particular cave, everything worked fine. the only time it got glitchy i cleared the cache of the xbox i was playing on and it was fine. idk, maybe the playstation version was glitchier
On the PS3 it may have been worse I think, aside from the random lockups and missing companions, the final battle was stuttering and constantly locking up. I couldn't go more than 30 mins without a full system freeze that required a reboot. Had I not invested so much time getting to that point, I probably would have taken the game back. Never had a game before (or since) that caused so much havoc, and I've played a lot of games! Fallout 3 was glitchy but not nearly as bad as New Vegas.
I plan to wait for the game-of-the-year edition, which will hopefully bundle expansion(s) and DLC. I'm more patient than I used to be, so I see no need to rush out to spend $60 on Day 1 when I can wait for a GotY edition with much more content for the same or lower price. By then, most of the bugs should be addressed as well.
you mention: While it's cool to find a corpse of a mob I killed at the same location 3 days later, it's really not worth having to restart my console. I think this is why they are making the NPC's pick up items you drop on the ground. By having them pick up items, the items will not have to be saved anywhere. (unless they are saved with that NPC, which I doubt would happen)
"I understand these aren't the same developers, but at the time Bethesda appeared more concerned with DLC releases rather than applying some significant patches to their game."
That sounds ridiculous. If you think an TES game as they are today, made by ANY developer, is going to be bug free at any point? You're deluding yourself; it won't happen. The games are far too open and expansive to be bug less, even narrow dungeon crawlers like Demon Soul's have bugs. Games are complex these days, the developers do the best they can, and they will continue support their game for awhile as bugs are continually reported to them.
Dead bodies or equiptment that doesn't disappear was definitely a problem for Morrowind. The result (which potentially causes the freeze) is the more stuff around the world that is saved in a dynamic position, the larger the save file. They can get enormous and it really caused loading problems deep into a Morrowind game if you played on the Xbox.
In Morrowind they used a feature where the player could select to remove an item from the world manually. In Oblivion they incorporated an automated system that was more or less broken (this has been addressed if you have it on PC because someone created a mod to improve it), and I honestly feel like the system was a smart idea, but they should have left the option to be able to do it manually as well.
" think this is why they are making the NPC's pick up items you drop on the ground."
Good point, I didn't think about that. Instead of stuff magically disappearing they can address it by saying civilians are cleaning up the streets. It would be cool if some "theiving" civilians could steal from you as well. For instance, if you're Skooma drunk to the point of passing out.