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INTRODUCTION

 

This thread is about a very specific issue where heavy mod orders lead to savegames that consistently cause Skyrim to crash when they are loaded.

  • These savegames cannot be salvaged by loading a working savegame first.
  • If you load them into SaveTool, it crashes almost instantly.
  • If you load them into Script Scalpel, it locks up.
  • If you load them into TesV ESS, and look in  "Global data table 3" and then click on "Papyrus", you will get an error message.

If this describes your situation, you are experiencing the "String Table Bug". Basically, it means you have too many mods installed.
 
These savegames can not be recovered by any means.

 

This thread is for discussing this issue, and how to prevent it from happening.

 

 

TECHNICAL DETAILS

 

Papyrus has what's called a "String Table", which stores the names of properties, functions, and variables. Papyrus uses 16bit pointers to index the string table, which means the table has a hard limit of 65536 strings. Skyrim itself only uses 28000, but mods can use them up quickly.
 
When the string table is full, every savegame will be corrupted and unreadable.

 

So where do all these string come from?

 

The vanilla game + DLCs and USLEEP patch require 28,000 strings.

The vanilla game + DLCs and USLEEP and a full S.T.E.P. install requires 32,000 strings.

 

Here is a sample of a few mods that increase the string count substantially:

  • Interesting NPCs (3400)
  • Legacy of the Dragonborn (4000)
  • Campfire and Frostfall (1000)

Sexlab increases the string count enormously:

  • 450 before it's been activated
  • 1400 more to initialize it
  • 500 for creature animations
  • ~12 per additional animation

 

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

This has already been reported to the developers of SKSE and ENB, and on the Bethesda, Nexus forums and STEP forums. Don't hold your breath for a patch, this is a somewhat obscure issue that only affects a minority of players who have particularly heavy load orders. The best thing you can do is watch for people posting about CTDs that match this issue, and referring them to one of the threads about it.

 

EpitomyOfShyness has compiled a structured document which includes links to other threads about this issue. It is a community resource and contains a lot of information that this post does not. Check it out. It's a superb resource if you are struggling with this issue.

 

The TESV ESS tool can show you how many strings are in a working savegame; look in global data table 3, in the papyrus subsection. The string count tends to increase over time. After some discussion, we believe 50000 is probably a safe number for a new savegame. As long as you don't install any more mods, you should be able to play indefinitely without reaching the limit.

 

 

 

SOLUTIONS

 

There are five solutions to consider.

 

    1. Uninstall some mods. Good choices include Interesting NPCs and Legacy of the Dragonborn, due to their high string usage. Not only will this help with your string count, but with stability and game performance in general. Seriously, don't overdo it. Skyrim can only handle so much. My savefile editor -- ReSaver -- can help you determine which mods introduce the most strings by examining a working savefile.

 

    2. Register fewer sexlab animations. Sexlab animations use up the string table very quickly and are one of the main reasons that people run into the string table bug. Use SLAL, pick your favourite animations, and leave the rest unregistered.

 

    2. Restringer -- A tool (that I made) for making mod patches that reduce their string counts. It's still in alpha, but early reports seem to indicate that it does what it's supposed to. Don't do this unless you are supreme level 87 modding expert. USE CRASH FIXES INSTEAD.

 

    3. h38fh2mf's Crash Fixes -- A very good patch that fixes a whole bunch of bugs in Skyrim that can cause crashes, it modifies the way Skyrim loads and saves games so that they can handle larger string tables. It's still in testing and it makes the savegames incompatible with SaveTools and Script Scalpel, but other than that it seems to work perfectly.

 

    5. There is an unofficial/unsupported patch for sexlab that reduces the number of strings used by animations. It requires JContainers 3.3alpha. It is not compatible with existing savegames. Like seriously. If you try to use it with an existing savegame, the savegame will jump out of the screen and slap you to death. Don't try it. Anyway, the link is at the bottom of this post. If you install it, don't go asking for support on the main Sexlab threads because it is completely unofficial and unsupported. Ashal has not sanctioned this patch, so it's definitely a use-at-your-own-risk kind of thing. You can find it HERE.

 

 

 

 

NOTABLE STRING COUNTS

 

All values are approximate. Most were measured in QASmoke and may be higher during actual gameplay. Values reported by myself, Centrophy, and malilieEpitomyOfShyness has additional info available (link).

  • 2000 - Sexlab Framework
  •   550 - Sexlab Creature Animations
  •     12 - Sexlab (per animation)
  •     63 - DynDoLod
  •   330 - Civil War Overhaul
  • 3200 - Interesting NPCs
  • 3900 - Legacy of the Dragonborn
  • 1200 - Frostfall & Campfire
  • 2700 - Ultimate Deadly Encounters (Sands of Time)
  •   170 - Genesis Dynamic Spawns
  •     28 - Revenge of the Enemies
  •       0 - Inconsequential NPCs
  •   830 - SPERG
  •   560 - Skyrim Immersive Creatures
  •   790 - iNeed
  •   170 - Open Cities
  •     93 - Expanded Towns and Cities
  •     00 - OBIS
  •     41 - Moonpath to Elswyr
  •   110 - Real Names
  •   326 - Arissa the Wandering Rogue
  •       0 - When Vampires Attack
  •       0 - Run for Your Lives
  • 1300 - Helgen Reborn
  • 4000 - S.T.E.P. Extended
  • 1800 - Anna NPCs
  •   670 - Dev Aveza
  •   630 - Familiar Faces
  •   670 - Falskaar
  •   930 - Holidays
  •     12 - Ethereal Elven Overhaul
  •     35 - Book Covers of Skyrim
  •     76 - Gildergreen Regrown
  •     79 - Hidden Hideouts
  •   120 - Immersive Patrols
  •   120 - Inns and Taverns
  •   110 - No Snow Under the Roof
  •     84 - SkyFalls + SkyMills
  •     36 - Skyrim Sewers
  •   210 - Skyrim Monster Mod
  •   150 - Sneak Tools
  •   360 - Sofia
  •   110 - The Choice is Yours - Improved Dialogue Options
  •     29 - Travelers of Skyrim
  •     82 - Unlimited Bookshelves
  •   310 - Violens
  •   350 - Wyrmstooth
  •   370 - Moon & Star
  •   130 - Huge bunch of merged hair mods
  •   120 - TK Children
  •     55 - Diverse Guards

 

Thanks for reading.

Sexlab Strings Patch 2016-04-30.7z

Link to post

 

Hmm, I have your old patch which apparently has the same files plus one modified "sslBaseObject.pex" which in not present in this one

 

Is that file no longer necessary?

 

That file has some unintended side effects that can't be easily corrected; it also provided very little improvement in string usage. Therefore it is deprecated.

Link to post

Well does this seem like a likely case?  

http://www.loverslab.com/topic/61302-ctd-only-with-vanilla-complete-saves/

 

I just made that thread but then saw this thread.  Now my issue is slightly different, because it only seems to effect me attempting to load an old save and not starting or playing new games.  But that may have to do with the save being a fully completed all dlc game, and that may add to the string count.

 

I am not sure it is because from what I count from the mods you have listed I should only be hitting 34000 to 40000 at most, that is leaving a 6000 gap for mods you don;t have listed, so unless I have something that blows most mods out of the water with a script count, or 405 super heavy ones, I don't think this could be the case.

 

 

 

Edit:

 

 

And I take that back...

 

I am at 74924 instances in script view on a new game... 

 

And that is only available because I force continue Script Scalpel

 

:P

Link to post

Well does this seem like a likely case?

http://www.loverslab.com/topic/61302-ctd-only-with-vanilla-complete-saves/

 

I just made that thread but then saw this thread. Now my issue is slightly different, because it only seems to effect me attempting to load an old save and not starting or playing new games. But that may have to do with the save being a fully completed all dlc game, and that may add to the string count.

 

I am not sure it is because from what I count from the mods you have listed I should only be hitting 34000 to 40000 at most, that is leaving a 6000 gap for mods you don;t have listed, so unless I have something that blows most mods out of the water with a script count, or 405 super heavy ones, I don't think this could be the case.

 

 

 

Edit:

 

 

And I take that back...

 

I am at 74924 instances in script view on a new game...

 

And that is only available because I force continue Script Scalpel

 

:P

That definitely sounds like the string table big. The string count increases as you play. That's what makes the bug so heartbreaking, it tends to hit you when you're ten or fifty or a hundred hours into the game.
Link to post

Something like DynDOLOD would be nice to able to restring (containing 31K strings), but the restring hangs when asked to perform that amount.

?

DynDoLod only contains 68 strings. It used to contain a little over 90 strings, but Sheson optimized it. Where are you getting this 31000 number?

Link to post

 

Something like DynDOLOD would be nice to able to restring (containing 31K strings), but the restring hangs when asked to perform that amount.

?

DynDoLod only contains 68 strings. It used to contain a little over 90 strings, but Sheson optimized it. Where are you getting this 31000 number?

 

 

The output folder - what DynDOLOD generates its static and dynamic LODs from. I realize the main mod only has 68 though. 31K is just my number. I just now trying to see if it is better to add mods with their own worldspace rather than those that add to Tamriel worldspace (Border of ... mods for instance). In any case trying to start DynDOLOD with that sort of string number causes instant CTD

 

Link to post

 

 

Something like DynDOLOD would be nice to able to restring (containing 31K strings), but the restring hangs when asked to perform that amount.

?

DynDoLod only contains 68 strings. It used to contain a little over 90 strings, but Sheson optimized it. Where are you getting this 31000 number?

 

 

The output folder - what DynDOLOD generates its static and dynamic LODs from. I realize the main mod only has 68 though. 31K is just my number. I just now trying to see if it is better to add mods with their own worldspace rather than those that add to Tamriel worldspace (Border of ... mods for instance). In any case trying to start DynDOLOD with that sort of string number causes instant CTD

 

Does it work if you install Crash Fixes with the string patch?
Link to post

 

 

 

Something like DynDOLOD would be nice to able to restring (containing 31K strings), but the restring hangs when asked to perform that amount.

?

DynDoLod only contains 68 strings. It used to contain a little over 90 strings, but Sheson optimized it. Where are you getting this 31000 number?

 

 

The output folder - what DynDOLOD generates its static and dynamic LODs from. I realize the main mod only has 68 though. 31K is just my number. I just now trying to see if it is better to add mods with their own worldspace rather than those that add to Tamriel worldspace (Border of ... mods for instance). In any case trying to start DynDOLOD with that sort of string number causes instant CTD

 

Does it work if you install Crash Fixes with the string patch?

 

 

Nope. So I'll try removing a few mods and see where that puts it.

Link to post
Guest Momber

The TESVEdit ESS Tool shows I have 41,234 strings in my save that's just under 1.5 years old (save no.8893) with ~700 mods (243 esps) including Sexlab, Creatures, Genesis, SOS, DUEL Combat and other scripted mods.

So I guess I'm fine, aren't I? No need to do anything immediately?

 

Link to post

 

So I guess I'm fine, aren't I? No need to do anything immediately?

 

DEFINITELY don't do anything. You seem to have achieved some state of mystical Skyrim nirvana. Seven hundred hours... you should be teaching classes on that shit. :-)

 

Link to post
Guest Momber

That's 700 mods (including many simple texture- and meshes mods), not hours. wink.png I don't actually know how many hours I've played Skyrim (where can you find this information?).

But thanks for the reassurance.

I do clean my saves when I uninstall a scripted mod, using Papyrus Data Transfer GUI or the sweet little Save Game Cleaner and more so, I think twice before installing a scripted mod to begin with. Nothing mystical about that smile.png

 

tata

S.

Link to post

That's 700 mods (including many simple texture- and meshes mods), not hours. wink.png I don't actually know how many hours I've played Skyrim (where can you find this information?).

But thanks for the reassurance.

I do clean my saves when I uninstall a scripted mod, using Papyrus Data Transfer GUI or the sweet little Save Game Cleaner and more so, I think twice before installing a scripted mod to begin with. Nothing mystical about that smile.png

 

tata

S.

 

Well the Steam listing lists how many hours you've played Skyrim today and total, but it wouldn't list how many hours sunk into that save.

Link to post
Guest Momber

Ah cool, now I know what those numbers mean, lol. Thanks!

Evidently they restart at 0 though, once you get past 999. That puts me at 1,258h on that save. ohmy.png

Link to post

Thank you so much for this thread! Although it almost gave me a heart attack when I first read your information. I thought I'd be three times over the strings count by now. ^^

 

I checked my stringcount ASAP, the screen shows what I got, so I think I'm save. Phew! Not going to mess around with any more mods anyway. (I only got 181, but a lot of them heavy on scripts :P - not counting any texture replacer.) I'm only 21 hours into the game but I hope it's still okay. 

post-1250757-0-50637200-1469414744_thumb.jpg

Link to post

Thank you so much for this thread! Although it almost gave me a heart attack when I first read your information. I thought I'd be three times over the strings count by now. ^^

 

I checked my stringcount ASAP, the screen shows what I got, so I think I'm save. Phew! Not going to mess around with any more mods anyway. (I only got 181, but a lot of them heavy on scripts :P - not counting any texture replacer.) I'm only 21 hours into the game but I hope it's still okay. 

 

44000? You'll be fine, that's tons of headspace.

 

Link to post

Good to know. I always thought that I have already maxed out my string count as savegames would only load after loading a clean save before.

I've noticed that my actual savegame (forgot to load another one before by accident) loaded just fine. Even after trying it again out of curiosity. Seems like I got that used to the loading a clan save first procedure that I didn't realize that crash fixes took care of that issue a while back. :D 

 

Anyway, thanks a bunch!

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