There's Something Wrong In and Around Riften

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Maigrets
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January 31st, 2012

I have very few functional problems with Skyrim, not even the well known glitches and bugs, but this one is annoying the hell out of me so I'm just having a whinge. :-(

Searching this annoying issue though comes up with a number of results on Google, but no real ideas why. Perhaps when the CK is released something may be found...maybe scripts, meshes or something that is location specific. I remember Anvil and the areas up to Kvatch in Oblivion having the same type of behaviour, which I did experience myself to varying degrees. Some of that, and particularly near Anvil itself, was apparently due to bad mesh optimization particularly at the city entrance. Many times I just avoided the whole Anvil area because of CTD's which was sad because it was my favourite landscape in the whole game. Elsweyr Anequina filled in that gap very nicely though and I spent a lot of gaming time there and with the WAC patch it was ideal.

Anyway, back to Skyrim...I should also mention I'm still using the 1.3 patch as I refuse to Beta test patches no matter that people seem to be having good results so I hope there's something in the general performance fixes that sorts out Riften and surrounds.

I've played over 222 hours with my first character and after getting past the initial teething troubles of the early patches and the constant freezes I was having, my game has been almost faultless.

That is, except for the areas directly surrounding and south of Riften. Now, the above mentioned character (I only have two) was able to complete all quests inside Riften, buy the house and become Thane, complete the Thieves Guild etc and has no trouble fast traveling directly to the inside the town. If I need to go anywhere south of Riften however the likelihood of a complete system freeze is absolutely inevitable....whether it's within a few minutes or an hour, different locations and situations. It also only happened in the exterior and never in caves or dungeons, so far.

Frustratingly, my latest character's first visit to Riften via carriage from Whiterun, didn't go so well. Within seconds of arrival a frost dragon appeared, (as expected since Fast travel or carriage rides practically guarantees a dragon spawn) and then the trouble started. The Khajiit merchants were there as well so they and the guards, plus some citizens (morons) along with myself decided to attack the dragon. Instant CTD. Tried this several times and the same result. Instant CTD. At least it wasn't a freeze so I didn't have to hard reset the PC.

I read in one of those Google results that some people seem to think the appearance of the frost dragon is the culprit here, which I actually think is quite reasonable since I was able to run around the stables to the town entrance preparing to enter, (and refusing to pay off the guard), until the dragon appeared, and before anyone attempted to engage it. It was also mentioned in the Google results that letting the guards kill the dragon may help so I tried that as well and it didn't make any difference. I could replicate the same result over and over...instant CTD when the dragon appears or within 10 seconds of aggro being established IF it was at the town entrance or near the stables.

I ended up riding from Ivarstead to Riften (on a roundabout path) after following a Companions quest and met the dragon on the road just past Goldenglow on the way to Riften, but this time I was able to kill it, a spriggan, several bandits and a bear at the same time, and continue on and into the town.

Another thing to note is that I have since killed two dragons at the Riften Stable area after exiting the town and have had no problems. One was a blood dragon and the other a normal one. Not that I think that frost dragons in particular are relevant as I've also killed several of them in other locations.

What MAY be significant is the initial visit to the town seems to have a scripted dragon encounter no matter whether the player (me in this case) fast travels, walks or takes a carriage to Riften, and that may be the cause of the CTD and possible ongoing corruption of saved games.

I'm fanatical about regular saving in this game in case of freezes, but this time since I've had no CTD's or freezes at all with this character up until level 20 or so, I'd gotten complacent so I lost a couple of hours progress. Wasn't too big a deal, but it reminded me to spam Quick Save again every few minutes (slight exaggeration, but not by much) and I have a TON of hard saves that I have to remove from the Saves folder because the game just hates having too many saves present. I have all autosaves turned off as they've always been a source of save corruption in TES and the Fallout games.

What's annoying me is once again and with this fresh character the game now freezes in Riften, in interiors such as the the Keep, as well as the surrounding areas south of the town. The rest of the ENTIRE game map is CTD and freeze free and I can play for hours without issues, until I go near Riften or south of it.

Last time, with my first character I verified the game cache which did nothing. I read on a Steam forum post that doing a "clean Save" procedure as in Oblivion can help but I haven't done that yet and can't see the point when a character hasn't even been anywhere near the area. But anything is worth a try I guess.
Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it sayingEnd Of The World Switch PLEASE DO NOT TOUCHthe paint wouldn't even have time to dry. Terry Pratchett
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anohosikara
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February 1st, 2012

It was updated to 1.4. When Instant CTD decreases, I am glad.

I will play Skyrim if I make friends with a dragon in MOD. :)
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Maigrets
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February 2nd, 2012

I downloaded the Beta patch last night and haven't had any problems with it so far but haven't been near Riften which is my problem area yet. I wasn't going to get the patch, but the CK is being delayed again.
Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it sayingEnd Of The World Switch PLEASE DO NOT TOUCHthe paint wouldn't even have time to dry. Terry Pratchett
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Maigrets
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February 2nd, 2012

I spoke too soon after the latest patch. In two hours I've had three silent CTD's, one "normal" CTD with the Microsoft message and one weird crash at Falkreath where the game froze for a few seconds, returned to normal and froze again several times until it stopped responding....like a slideshow effect but not stuttering. Never personally seen that effect before in any TES game and it took ages to shut it down via Task Manager. I'd been to Falkreath several times so it's not the area itself and when I went back after the crash it was fine.

Since the 1.4 patch (not the Beta) something about some spell effects seem to be causing CTD's, because they all happen when enemy mages are casting, especially frost spike for some unknown reason. I should have stayed with 1.3 as I had zero problems except for the Riften thing and I could put up with that (at a pinch).

This is getting very wearing and bloody annoying. :( There's a Fallout New Vegas pack coming soon at EBGames with all the DLC's (I already have the main game but it will be worth it) so I may just go back to NV for awhile if this business with Skyrim doesn't get sorted out.
Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it sayingEnd Of The World Switch PLEASE DO NOT TOUCHthe paint wouldn't even have time to dry. Terry Pratchett
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February 2nd, 2012

On the Beth forums i see that quit a lot of people have problems since the 1.4.21 patch. I am waiting for Script Dragon to update so i have not played Skyrim since yesterday, but all those posts about problems and now your post do have me worried.

But i guess i will have to wait and see if i get problems as well, because i also saw posts from people mentioning that they hat no problems so far.
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Maigrets
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February 4th, 2012

I updated to the newest SKSE and that seemed to help a bit. It does say on the SKSE page that previous versions for the 1.4 patch were a cause of instability. The crashes that seemed to be magic related seem to be fixed or was co-incidental as it hasn't happened since.

However, I'm getting strange NPC behaviour which I can put up with as long as the CTD's and freezes stay away. I killed several draugrs and they remain standing in their attack animation, and in some cases still moving while dead and lootable. Same for some bandits and enemy mages.

It all just makes me frustrated because I have a 222 hour character and the newest one with 50 or so hours and until the crash issues are fixed I don't feel like starting over again and doing all the same quests etc to find my saves are corrupted again or the game is still bugged.

BTW I tried the 30 day wait, clean save procedure that's supposed to clear all exterior cells, scripts and spawns back to a stable state as it used to do in Oblivion. Although the respawn rate there was only 3 days.. Guess what...the game froze on the 16th day wait. :angry:

I'm going to have to get up the enthusiasm to reinstall the game entirely and hope this crap doesn't happen again, but going by the Bethsoft forums patch thread that's unlikely. I'd even put up with the default menus if the game was stable, but I had that Riften problem even before I used any mods of any kind and it persisted to my newest character.

On another note the CK is supposed to be released on Tuesday with "a surprise." What that will be is anyone's guess but speculation is a high res texture pack.
Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it sayingEnd Of The World Switch PLEASE DO NOT TOUCHthe paint wouldn't even have time to dry. Terry Pratchett
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February 4th, 2012

I am sorry to hear that the new SKSE did not solve all the problems you have, and even more so that is happening with a character in which you put 222 hours in. As for the staying in attack position, sounds like the crucified position we can get in Oblivion...that is without a mod that tries to solve those. But i get those as well at times.

Hopefully after the CK comes out on Tuesday, some one will go and make a mod that solves those stuck in position moments. Those stuck in position moments already happened to me from time to time with the 1.3.10 patch so it was not introduced by the latest patch, at least not for me. I have to admit that most of the times that i got that moment it happened those witches from Glenmoril Coven when your doing the quest Bloods Honor for Kodlak, and also at times with hagravens. Maybe because they use the same skeleton or something?

As for the problem with the crash when waiting 30 days...maybe this mod is of some help in that?

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Maigrets
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February 4th, 2012

I did all the usual things again tonight like re-install the game, validate files, defrag, generate new ini files etc etc and make sure the mods I'm using are up to date and I was able to play for several hours without a CTD. Didn't bother with the 30 day respawn thing. I did have that mod you linked but never used it and it may well be incompatible now since some of the patch changes and the author hasn't supported it for some time according to comments. It's more for helping with save game bloat and some of that was fixed in the patch, at least with the ash piles.

That's another odd thing. I've never had save files the size some people have. My 222 hour character has done nearly everything and her saves are only 14mb. Some people have saves of 18-20+mb...now that's bloat.

The animation issue seems to be better as I only found one NPC stuck in a weird "dead" position. At least it's not like the problem someone on the official forums was having where their NPC's all slide along the ground and can't be interacted with since the patch.

I haven't played my 200+ hour character since the patch, but with my warrior I am noticing a strange lack of dragons and the ones I do see are all frost dragons. I have most of the shouts and only 2 spare souls atm, but I don't use most of them anyway. That might just be co-incidence though as I don't fast travel much which is guaranteed to spawn a dragon and it may or may not just be due to luck. Plus I have a long way to go to catch up to my other character.

I didn't go near Riften though. I'll try that out later.

I'm glad I have plenty of experience from micro managing Oblivion with FCOm and other complex mods, because it helps with troubleshooting this game.
Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it sayingEnd Of The World Switch PLEASE DO NOT TOUCHthe paint wouldn't even have time to dry. Terry Pratchett
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