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Yet Another -- Having consistent CTD's at Old Attius Farm just outside Raven Rock


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I recently re-visited the Oldrim and had an issue of location ctds. particularly at Old Attius Farm. I ran some tests and were able to dig out the following:

 

  1. According to this reddit post, it seems that consistent location CTDs were due to certain navmeshes lost from the game file, in this case, Dragonborn.esm. Meanwhile I have another consistent CTD location that is at Wreck of The Winter War, where I used to visit at a lower level before applying some more mods. I immediately started a new save to visit those places and found that there were no more CTDs, so it seems that my game save is somehow corrupted (while the rest of the game is still playable).
  2. I later ran into another issue where the floor went missing during a mission because I used TES5Edit to auto clean it, so I had to download the original file of Dragonborn.esm (so-called dirty file) to fix the issue. After beating Miraak I tried to visit Old Attius Farm with my "corrupted save", and no CTD this time! But later I ran LOOT to sort my mod list and revisit the same place and CTDs were back. 
  3. I noticed the game saves take longer overtime, I looked it up, and it seems that the saves will record a lot of scripts as the character levels up and interacts more with the game, like perks, powers, or certain quest triggers. A save for a lvl 1 will take only half second while for a lvl 120 will take almost a good 20 seconds. 

 

So my conclusion, without further digging into the modding part or fixing some cells of the game file is this: 

 

  1. The game saves record a large number of scripts involving character's interaction with the game.
  2. Installation and use of new mods generate more scripts with the save.
  3. Installation of mods as well as "cleaning" the mods sometimes results in missing navmesh files. 
  4. Players' character saves with those scripts enabled will scan for the missing navmesh at those location.
  5. Boom

 

Guess that's the amount of contribution I could make with my limitation of knowledge for now. Peace.

 

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To add to this, some general reccomendations that I have seen and try to follow as much as possible:

 

- adding / removing mods in an existing save tends to cause problems.  There are times when it's possible to do this and not cause a problem, for example upgrading mods per the authors advice, but in general it's a good idea to lock in your load order and stick with it unless starting a new character.

 

- Cleaning mods should only be done if the mod author advises to do so.  even removing dirty edits can be a bad idea.  The only time I've cleaned mods was to clean the Skyrim master files

 

- Fallrim Tools can help with removing dangling orphaned scripts but I would heavily advise making a backup of the save first and thoroughly research how to use it.

 

I had a similar experience recently with location CTD's and here's what I did to resolve it.  A few weeks ago I ran into a nasty one every time I came up the dirt path near Ivarstead, near where that little Troll area is, it would crash as soon as I got a certain distance from the bridge.  I tried several things including waiting, approaching from different angles etc.  I ended up doing some experimenting and I went back a few saves and used mist flight spell to zoom over to Ivarstead, and no crashing.  Then I pinpointed which save file would let me go there without crashing and deleted all the saves after that.  I still have no idea what was causing it.  If it was a bad mesh in my case it was likely an NPC wearing a clothing item that was wonky.

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