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thunderclam

Reproducible CTD when exiting Reeking Cave during Diplomatic Immunity

Question

I can't escape the cave. I've even tried COC to get out, but this also crashes to desktop. Anyone have any idea where I can begin trying to figure out what is causing this? I heavily doubt it's memory related.

 

The rest of the quest went fine, but with this issue I can't continue and I suspect rolling back to an old save and doing it over again will lead to the same result. So much time wasted if I try that and it turns out to be the case. Hopefully I can spare myself that. :P
 

Specs:

 

Windows 7 64-bit

AMD Radeon 6950 2GB

(dxdiag says Approx Total Mem is 1768mb, which seems wrong as I remember 2048 last I checked)

8GB RAM

Intel i5-2500k @3.30GHZ (4 cores)

Direct X 11

 

Load Order:

 

 

 

Skyrim.esm
Update.esm
Unofficial Skyrim Patch.esp
Dawnguard.esm
Unofficial Dawnguard Patch.esp
HearthFires.esm
Unofficial Hearthfire Patch.esp
Dragonborn.esm
Unofficial Dragonborn Patch.esp
Skyrim Project Optimization - Full Version.esm
Falskaar.esm
Wyrmstooth.esp
ApachiiHairFemales.esm
ApachiiHairMales.esm
AzarHair.esm
EFFCore.esm
JSwords.esm
Lanterns Of Skyrim - All In One - Main.esm
moonpath.esm
Omegared99-Compilation.esm
ApachiiHair.esm
HighResTexturePack01.esp
HighResTexturePack02.esp
HighResTexturePack03.esp
Cutting Room Floor.esp
DeadlyDragons.esp
Bandanas of Skyrim.esp
fFastTravelSpeedMult_4.esp
DragonShoutVoice.esp
TreaclemanMoonpathPatch.esp
BS-TheHag_WarPaints.esp
Animated Weapon Enchants.esp
GQJ_DG_vampireamuletfix.esp
KatanaCrafting.esp
83Willows_101BUGS_V4_LowRes.esp
Nausicaa's Tweaker.esp
CraftableHoods.esp
LovelyHairstylesCE.esp
ClamsDropPearls.esp
BFSEffects.esp
UIExtensions.esp
Convenient Horses.esp
Differently Ebony.esp
DawnguardRuneWeaponsFXSReplacer.esp
Dual Wield Parrying_SKSE.esp
WyldMenuPlugMale.esp
Duel - Combat Realism.esp
FollowerCompatibility.esp
Paralyze.esp
Footprints.esp
Chesko_LoreBasedLoadingScreens.esp
Bounty Gold.esp
Beards.esp
Hothtrooper44_Armor_Ecksstra.esp
VioLens.esp
Lock Overhaul.esp
Moss Rocks.esp
Moss Rocks_DB.esp
EnhancedLightsandFX.esp
ELFX - Exteriors.esp
ELFX - Dawnguard.esp
3DNPC.esp
FCO - Follower Commentary Overhaul.esp
ELFX - Dragonborn.esp
SMIM-DungeonsCliffsIceSkirts.esp
Appropriately Attired Jarls Redux.esp
WarmongerArmory_Vanilla.esp
Elemental Staves.esp
ORM-Arvak.esp
FreckleMania.esp
Omegared99-WeaponSets.esp
Pauldrons.esp
ShootingStars.esp
RaceMenu.esp
Guard Dialogue Overhaul.esp
RaceMenuOverlays.esp
RaceMenuPlugin.esp
Chesko_WearableLantern.esp
Weapons & Armor Fixes_Remade.esp
Crossbows_Basic_Collection_EN_LL.esp
Bucklers Only.esp
Weapons & Armor_TrueOrcish&DaedricWeapons.esp
ADS.esp
Clothing & Clutter Fixes.esp
ELFXEnhancer.esp
Clothing & Clutter_3DNPC_Patch.esp
Rainbows.esp
Skyrim Particle Patch for ENB - Flame Atronach Fix.esp
JSwords_Load_Screens.esp
Really Radiant Raiment.esp
SkyUI.esp
TradeBarter.esp
Dual Sheath Redux.esp
SkyFalls + SkyMills + DG + DB + FS + WT.esp
RealisticWaterTwo - Waves - Falskaar.esp
SkyrimCoinReplacerRedux.esp
Bring Out Your Dead.esp
NonEssentialChildren.esp
Immersive Weapons.esp
Distant DetailHF.esp
RealisticNeedsandDiseases.esp
LocalizedGuildJobs.esp
3DNPC Don't Call Me Dragonborn.esp
Thieves Guild Requirements.esp
ThievesGuildReq_LocalizedGuildJobs_Patch.esp
Oblivion Gates v3 without Markers - Skyrim + Dawnguard DLC.esp
BirdsHFclean.esp
Inconsequential NPCs.esp
EFFDialogue.esp
Inconsequential NPCs - CRF Compatibility Patch.esp
Radiant and Unique Potions Poisons and Booze.esp
RND_USKP-Patch.esp
SMIM-DragonbornTernFix.esp
SMIM-FurnitureChestSnowFix.esp
Soul Gems Differ - NW.esp
TheChoiceIsYours.esp
SDO Full-LOD - Waterfall Effects.esp
Point The Way.esp
RealisticWaterTwo.esp
RealisticWaterTwo - Falskaar.esp
HearthfireChimneysFalskaar.esp
SMDropLitTorch.esp
VHVP.esp
WarmongerArmory_DLC.esp
Auto Unequip Ammo.esp
WeaponsArmorFixes_ImmersiveWeapons_Patch.esp
Weapons & Armor_TrueWeaponsLvlLists.esp
WetandCold.esp
AOS.esp
DeadlySpellImpacts.esp
Traps Are Dangerous.esp
IHSS.esp
Unique Uniques.esp
WetandCold - Ashes.esp
When Vampires Attack.esp
WyldMenuPlugFemale.esp
aMidianBorn_ContentAddon.esp
Complete Crafting Overhaul_Remade.esp
CCF_RND_Patch.esp
Lore Weapon Expansion.esp
WarmongerArmory_LeveledList.esp
SPTConsistentOlderPeople.esp
ExpandedJewelryCrafting.esp
RealisticWaterTwo - Wyrmstooth.esp
Hothtrooper44_ArmorCompilation.esp
WVExpansion.esp
EMCompViljaSkyrim.esp
EMViljaInSolstheimAddOn.esp
Cloaks.esp
Dead Body Collision.esp
LeftHandRings.esp
PrvtI_HeavyArmory.esp
PrvtI_HeavyArmory_DG_Addon.esp
NightingaleArrows.esp
RealisticWaterTwo - Legendary.esp
RND_Dragonborn-Patch.esp
RND_Dawnguard-Patch.esp
Inigo.esp
Run For Your Lives.esp
SFO - Dragonborn.esp
moonpath_questdata.esp
JSwordsDistributionBalancePlugin.esp
LostLongSwords.esp
ThalmorStandalone.esp
BosmerArmorMATY743.esp
Glass Variants.esp
ELFX - Moonpath.esp
SkyrimImprovedPuddles-DG-HF-DB.esp
SDO Full-LOD - Whiterun Trundra Creeks.esp
Skysan_ELFX_SMIM_Fix.esp
ExplosiveBoltsVisualized.esp
TrissArmorRetextured.esp
SMIM-ShackRoofFixes.esp
SMIM-ShackRoofFixesDragonborn.esp
HearthfireChimneys.esp
Chesko_Frostfall.esp
RND_HearthFires-Patch.esp
RND_AnimalLoot.esp
CCO_Frostfall_Patch.esp
1nivWICCloaks.esp
Inconsequential NPCs - Enhancement.esp
SofiaFollower.esp
RealisticWaterTwo - Waves - Wyrmstooth.esp
3DNPC Alternative Locations.esp
Skyrim Flora Overhaul.esp
Prometheus_BeastSkeletons.esp
Shortcuts.esp
PilgrimsDelight.esp
The Paarthurnax Dilemma.esp
Wulfharth's Dragonbone Weapons.esp
1nivWICSkyCloaksPatch.esp
Cloaks - Dawnguard.esp
aMidianborn_Skyforge_Weapons.esp
dD - Enhanced Blood Main.esp
BlockSparkles.esp
Gildergreen Regrown.esp
SDO Full-LOD - Giant Campfires.esp
TheChoiceIsYours_Dawnguard.esp
Chesko_Step418_SN.esp
TheEyesOfBeauty.esp
Improved Combat Sounds v2.2.esp
dD-Dragonborn-Dawnguard-EBT Patch.esp
skyforgedShields.esp
iHUD.esp
imp_helm_legend.esp
mintylightningmod.esp
randomthunder.esp
skyforgedWeapons.esp
STEP Extended Patch.esp
Alternate Start - Live Another Life.esp
Bashed Patch, 0.esp
Dual Sheath Redux Patch.esp
AOS_Reduced_Reverb_Addon.esp

 

 

 

Other Info:

 

No mod changes in over 60 hours of gameplay except the addition of a patch for Improved Close-faced Helmets to fix the "invisible dragon mask" glitch.

 

Patches all were up to date when this profile's install was completed.

 

DSR was updated as per STEP instructions with every mod change up until I determined the profile was "complete" and ready to play.

 

Mods before 2013: Jswords is just the textures and meshes with Sharlikan's patch and CCOR integration. Omegared does not seem like to cause crashes from transitioning interior/exterior cells. Anything is possible, but someone would have to explain this one to me.

 

I use Mod Organizer. I use SKSE's inbuilt patch, enboost, etc. All as per STEP instructions.

 

I have not tried disabling mods and then moving out of the cave as I worry this will break things worse.

Edited by GrantSP

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13 answers to this question

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Do you remember which mods you installed/removed before this started to happen?
Are your patches up to date with mods?

Were your skyproc patch consistency files overwritten? (Dual Sheath Redux)

Are you running any mods that had files last updated before 2013? (Jswords and Omegared compilation)

What are you using to manage and sort mods?

Are you using appropriate measures to deal with memory related CTD?

Have you tried troubleshooting mods by disabling some by category and trying to get though the cave?

 

There are so many questions here because all we know so far is only the load order and where and when the CTD happens.

 

It's recommended by some people to stop using mods last updated before 2013 because they have varying issues, some weapon/armour mods are excluded.

Edited by EntropyZ

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Do you remember which mods you installed/removed before this started to happen?

Are your patches up to date with mods?

Were your skyproc patch consistency files overwritten? (Dual Sheath Redux)

Are you running any mods that had files last updated before 2013? (Jswords and Omegared compilation)

What are you using to manage and sort mods?

Are you using appropriate measures to deal with memory related CTD?

Have you tried troubleshooting mods by disabling some by category and trying to get though the cave?

 

There are so many questions here because all we know so far is only the load order and where and when the CTD happens.

 

It's recommended by some people to stop using mods last updated before 2013 because they have varying issues, some weapon/armour mods are excluded.

Ah, sorry, check the main post again. I'll update the info.

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Well this is harder to troubleshoot externally, hmm.

 

Disabling mods for a short time to test is fine but only if you have backup save games. This method is used to troubleshoot the possibility of mods that are conflicting. Trying to get through the load screen would be your goal.

 

---

 

I wonder if changing load order of mods differently between save games affect anything or that is just a myth...

 

In the past I have seen more instability when I switched from BOSS to LOOT, the new sorting mechanism changed the load order to be unrecognizable, soon after the crashes brought me to a breaking point so I had to start a new playthrough for the 20th time because of this.

 

There was almost never any other reason to start a new character for me other than the blasted CTD. Possible mod conflicts, new patches, overhaul reworks, you name it. Everytime I try to change or update something during a single playthrough makes it increasingly unstable, you won't notice it until it is too late. Only recently I vowed myself to double check the mods I start an MO profile with and never remove the mods even if it will be biting me in the a** later.

 

In the case that I simply have to remove something or my save game becomes too unstable and I still want to salvage it, well there is some software than can help out when everything is bleak. It is mainly used when mods start to operate slowly or the save game contains left overs from mods.

 

"PapyrusDataTransfer" https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/53045/?

 

If you have really tried and exhausted EVERY other option of troubleshooting the save game I can only suggest the use of this to bring back the save game to slightly more working order. Only use this program as a last resort as itself can break your save games by removing vital parts if you aren't careful or didn't read the instructions. Always have a backup of your save games, you never know when you'll need them.

 

It might not solve your problem, but it is worth a try!

Edited by EntropyZ

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An update:

 

I managed to finally coc to SolitudeExterior01 and this indicates to me that something is wrong with the area around the Embassy, where I will likely now crash anytime I fast travel there. I decided to test this and yes, sure enough, fast traveling to the Thalmor Embassy immediately CTD'd the game. I do not know that going there on foot will have the same effect, but I suspect so because I have seen this kind of problem before where an area in Skyrim just becomes non-traversable due to CTD. Usually this is the result of removing a mod that added or changed something in that cell/worldspace. However, I have not done that in this mod profile. This means it's still a mod doing it, but it may be very difficult to determine which. My next move will be to look at the cell/worldspace data in TESVedit to see if that shakes anything loose. However, I'm not very good with that utility so I doubt I'll learn anything.

 

This doesn't exactly kill my game, after all, but it is annoying. I will also need to figure out whether I can approach the embassy on foot. If not, it may cause serious problems in this playthrough due to InterestingNPCs and other quests nearby.

 

UPDATE 2:

 

A peek in TESVEdit, which as predicted is more info than I know what to do with, does show that ThalmorEmbassyExterior01 has records from ELFX Enhancer being overwritten by Alt Start-Live Another Life. Can this cause a CTD? I really wish I knew what to look for here.

 

UPDATE 3: 

 

Sure enough, I cannot approach Thalmor Embassy on foot w/o CTD. I am going to try to disable a few different mods I think might be responsible: ELFX Enhancer and Alt-Start and see if the game just crashes anyway due to dependencies or something. Sigh.

 

UPDATE 4:

 

Neither of those mods appear to be responsible. Disabling them and approaching the area still crashed the game.

Edited by thunderclam

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UPDATE 2:

 

A peek in TESVEdit, which as predicted is more info than I know what to do with, does show that ThalmorEmbassyExterior01 has records from ELFX Enhancer being overwritten by Alt Start-Live Another Life. Can this cause a CTD? I really wish I knew what to look for here.

 

Very good of you to point out a possible culprit.

 

To be perfectly honest the way automatic sorting programs put lighting mods or actually mods in general is just abysmal at times. If you take a look at the old way that BOSS masterlists work, the lighting mods are placed in order very late in the load order almost just before any rebuildable patches, reason being that lighting mods affect a very large range of changes. Thus most mods that do large changes tend to go later in the load order, so they their changes won't be overwritten by other mods. The only way to stop having that problem is changing what goes after what, or if people have time on their hands, they create a patch which usually keeps the original load order and both mods in question changes so you can get the best of both worlds without changing anything yourself.

 

The way I go about managing load orders is to make my own edits to load order with the userlist that reduces the chances for conflicts or if I simply cannot do anything good with that, I create my own patch. Never assume that the auto sorting makes everything problem free, it doesn't really. But. What could be good for one person, might not be good for the next.

 

ELFX enhancer module is not compatible with many mods in some cases. Try to place EVERYTHING from ELFX after mintylightningmod.esp so it looks like this:

mintylightningmod.esp
EnhancedLightsandFX.espELFX - Exteriors.esp
ELFX - Dawnguard.esp
ELFX - Dragonborn.esp
ELFXEnhancer.esp
ELFX - Moonpath.esp
Skysan_ELFX_SMIM_Fix.esp

Also try disabling ELFXEnhancer and see what happens. Play around with the load order it might help.

 

Personally I have never used enhancer module simply because the mod author does state that it cannot work with some mods. I do not remember if that counts for interiors, exteriors or both. Problem mods seem to count other lighting/weather mods and town overhauls I believe.

 

You seem to be a smart fellow, I'm pretty sure this can be figured out. I don't know if it is easier for you if you have someone to bounce ideas around.

Edited by EntropyZ

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Totally know what you mean about having someone around to bounce ideas off of. I was sort of hoping someone would have seen this before and gone like "A-HA! The culprit is x" but that rarely happens. That said, the Enhancer doesn't appear to be the problem.

 

UPDATE 5 or "How I fixed this super annoying crap through luck and long shots"

 

Had a flash of memory from playing last night and realized that something strange did happen before I tried to exit Reeking Cave and finish the quest. 

 

Upon reaching the Embassy, I fast-traveled away and back again, to make sure just entering the area didn't trigger the CTD bug. So far so good.

 

When I left the main Embassy building to head to Elanwen's Solar, I triggered aggro with the Thalmor guards outside the Solar. I fought and killed them in the open and noticed I'd also drawn aggro from the guards posted at the entrance to the embassy itself. These guards are not easy to get to without turning collision off, so I ignored them and got on with the quest.

 

That is the reason I was getting CTD. I thought it was a LOOOOOONG shot but I loaded up a save from before jumping on the carriage at Katla's Farm. I proceeded through the quest speedily, using TGM to make the fights easier. When I got out into the courtyard again, I turned TCL on and killed ALL of the exterior Thalmor Guards. I then fast-traveled to the STEED stone nearby and fast-traveled again to the embassy just to confirm that the CTD bug had not manifested before this point.

 

After this, I proceeded with the quest as normal, brazenly and God-modingly killing everything in my path. When it came time to exit Reeking Cave, I said a brief prayer to Akatosh and Talos and everybody else and went through. 

 

And it worked! So this confirms that leaving hostile enemies in the exterior area of Thalmor Embassy totally broke the area, causing CTDs within a certain proximity. I've messed around a bit with fast-travel and it appears the bug is no longer manifest.

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Glad you got this sorted out. As is turns out I just remembered that I had this same thing happen in one of my playthroughs and getting aggro from ANY guards in the area is way too easy with Requiem overhaul because it increases detection range and makes NPC's have super senses that can only be negated with having sneaking leveled up quite high.

 

The detection/aggro range is so high that NPC's will get scared of a dragon or any other high level creature that is in a cell way before I see, hear or feel a said thing ever being nearby, which tends to ruin a lot of quest dialogue for me, especially when I am playing with non vanilla quests.

 

Back to the Embassy... The difference is that I would CTD later rather than just after moving out of the cave. But I recovered from the CTD by playing one my last save games which was made hours ago. (Yeah it's not that I don't save because I forget, it's because there's a bunch of papyrus spam and it all ends with VM is freezing which usually leads to a CTD later on.

Edited by EntropyZ

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So. I have encountered this bug again and I am starting to think I've seen it before, with this build, at least twice besides now and the Thalmor Embassy incidence.

 

Now the problem is occurring when doing the Skywatch portion of Helgen Reborn. I have rigorously tested various stages of the quest, including the area around it to see if anything is triggering that might cause CTD in the region affected (same thing... a whole chunk of the world surrounding the problem area cannot be approached without CTD). It seems that at some point in the Helgen Reborn-added part of Skywatch Pass, whatever bug is causing this gets triggered. I believe it's some kind or rogue script so I'll be checking papyrus to find out if it shows there. I believe I had this problem with other characters on this MO profile, though. Once at Driftshade Refuge and once near Halted Streams Camp. It seems that some kind of script gets triggered in wildlife or NPCs in that area and the game will CTD if you get close. I am not sure if some in-game time passing will resolve this, but since the regions affected are pretty large, I'm not eager to find out.

 

I checked my Mem Blocks log and saw these higher than normal values. No idea what could be causing that unless leaving Skywatch Pass is supposed to trigger a Helgen Reborn-related event... couldnt' find any info about this.

 

 

logging of blocks enabled
logging max values only
Timer disabled
Block1 Block2
512MB 256MB
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Edited by thunderclam

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Memory blocks log seems to suggest that increasing both block1 and block2 by another 256mb should be done just to make sure this isn't memory related. I've done so myself when a kind member pointed out a dynamic LOD mod which I wasn't using before. (I am now using DynDOLOD to make up the loss detail when using inferior uGrids or having the full statics disabled)

 

Some areas are more taxing on memory than others. And as soon as the first block fills up the game tends to crash. You're not hitting the limit during the crashes though, but it's better to be safe.

 

The area near Halted Streams Camp has a heavy load on computers because the bandits in the nearby towers. I have crashed there more than once myself and the frame drop is massive for me because I run aMedianBorn 2K textures for armors.

 

I don't remember if I ever crashed near Driftshade Refuge but in the past I have experienced crashes during the Companions' questline for explainable reasons. The papyrus log is 95% useless, sadly.

 

One way of trying to reset cells is to type "pcb" in the console, wait in a vanilla indoor area for 30 or 31 days to make all cells reset completely. save the game. Restart Skyrim, then load up the save game you made. After that every place should have different NPC spawns depending on the area.

 

All of this can't be bad luck.

Edited by EntropyZ

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I've never tried PCB but I may do that if need be. That said, I resolved the Skywatch CTD by simply waiting 24 hours before exiting Skywatch Crypt (Helgen Reborn) and then successfully exited Skywatch Pass without CTD. I never thought waiting just 24 hours would work in a million years, but it did.

 

I will try that again if this problem occurs somewhere else. If it doesn't work, I will try PCB.

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Purging Cell Buffer on it's own doesn't do much. All that does is put the earlier data that isn't used into the scrap heap block so it frees up the normal memory block. Skyrim executable's memory management kicks in from time to time deal with the scrap block later. What I said might not be accurate but as I am not an expert of this but you should get the general idea. Sheson could tell you more.

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I've been thinking on this issues and I seem to recall this same issue in my game. I don't remember how I got past it. I'm playing to restart my game soon so I'll keep an eye out for this.

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Yeah. If we can figure this crap out someday, I think we'll be helping a lot of people. I google stuff like this and only see people who never find an answer and many of whom probably end up uninstalling and reinstalling Skyrim until they eventually quit with frustration. I've done that twice since I found out about STEP. I made a deal with myself to let some things go this time around and it's working out pretty well.

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