I've just about had a gutful of this game. Really.
I don't understand why I can play for hours one day and then the next play session, when absolutely nothing has changed on my PC from one day to the next, (the PC has been shutdown between sessions in fact) and something like I'm about to describe below occurs. I've played and been able to troubleshoot Morrowind and Oblivion (modded Ob), both Fallout 3 and New Vegas, but I'm starting to agree with other naysayers about this game. At least the ones with intelligent complaints, not people who say "it sucks" just because they have nothing better to say. None of the aforementioned games gave me anywhere near the frustration and problems as Skyrim has, even from the start and I bought them all on their release days. I even upgraded my PC to play this damn game.
The best period of all was after the 1.3 patch where I had very few if any problems for many, many hours. I've persevered through the stages of constant random freezing until that was mostly fixed by the 1.3 patch, then the random occasional CTD's which are tolerable since they were only happening infrequently.
The comes the 1.4 patch. More random CTD's, freezing again, still the Riften issues persist and is in fact even worse and now.... this mess... I've done a few searches on Google and some other people are having similar issues, sometimes mod related and others just vanilla, but no real answers.
Last night I was fighting Spriggan Matrons in a cave during a quest for the beggar who is a war veteran in Solitude. I was retrieving his helmet. There were several Matrons and some normal Spriggans. While in the middle of killing the last Matron the game had a massive CTD, combined freeze where I has to reset the PC. Unlike other total freezes my mouse still worked momentarily, but on a frozen screen so I couldn't actually do anything. Also this time, unlike other crashes the music and sound effects continued. Never had that happen before either. I don't believe it was the actual creatures as I'd already killed several of them, as well as a couple of bears.
The problem isn't so much the CTD, but the after effects of this one which seem to be permanent. Now I CANNOT save my game. If I try to save, whether it's Quicksave, via the console, or ESC to Menu and save, the game just CTD's. I could initially load any previous save without a problem and play as long as I liked (pending the next inevitable CTD of course) but as soon as I go to save....I'm at the Desktop. Now the issue has progressed so all the saves are supposedly corrupt and cannot be loaded. What was different about this CTD that it caused this to happen?
So then I deleted my ini's, removed a couple of mods I installed recently, logged into Steam and verified the game cache which was fine, and disabled mods I'd been using for 100's of hours. I was able to finally load from an Autosave made when I used the Showracemenu to change my character's hair many hours of progress back. Normally all autosaves are off. I could then save normally, BUT only a couple of times and then the CTD's started again on saving and the saves I was able to create were corrupt when trying to load. When saving I get a file with an ess.tmp extension instead of the normal save and it's half the size it should be, obviously because of whatever is causing this. None of my "good" saves are larger than 14mb and that's on the oldest character who is level 57. The other character's saves are 9.5mb at level 40.
Tonight I started a completely new game, deactivated mods that I've been using for 260 plus hours over two characters with no issues, got through the entire tutorial, ran to Riverwood with Ralof, did a couple of things there as well as enlisting Faendal, then went on to Whiterun fighting wolves along the way without a problem.
When I got to where the Companions were fighting a giant near Pelagiad Farm just outside Whiterun...instant CTD. Tried again from a save near Riverwood, as the one I made near Whiterun was corrupt, including my Quicksave, headed back towards Whiterun, and this time I had enough time to release a prisoner being led by Imperials, kill them and head for the Whiterun stables. Instant CTD. Once again I CANNOT save and all of my previous saves are corrupt.
The game even thinks the saves from my other characters (which are all backed up), are also corrupt, even the ones that have never been loaded since this problem started. How the hell does that work? Does the CTD cause a Registry error or something because I don't get it. As I said two characters with over 260 and more hours between them and all their saves are seemingly corrupt as well, and starting a new character ends up the same after a few hours and one CTD. This is utter bull crap.
Tomorrow I'm going to uninstall the game again, remove all traces of it, reinstall and see if anything changes and then I'll be on edge all the time waiting for the next big problem or the same one to reappear. If that doesn't fix it the game will be shelved for six months until it's properly patched, or more likely forgotten about entirely when something better comes along. I enjoy it immensely, love the open world and exploration, the dragons and more, but that's not enough to get me to persevere with this rubbish. It's not worth the aggravation.
I'm waiting for Risen 2 and I hope to goodness Piranha Bytes doesn't rush it like Skyrim was rushed to a set date. I actually haven't been keeping up with Risen 2's progress as I usually would, partly because I don't want to be disappointed and find they've dumbed down their game and also because I almost forgot about it. Piranha Bytes are pretty true to their style and develop for the PC first though, so I'd be very surprised if they veered from it....unlike Jo Wood and the tragedy that was Gothic 4.
I try not to get too caught up in hype, but you know how that goes with newer games. Sadly, we would all love to believe the spin and BS hoping for something half as great as is touted during development.
I've seen a number of people say on forums that they would never buy another Bethesda game after the ongoing Skyrim bug fiasco, and I'd bet some of the same people said it about previous games, yet bought the next one. However, if I am unable to get this game fixed and stable after trying every avenue, and if Bethesda don't patch it properly instead of worrying about the damn Steamworks for mods (ala the latest beta patch info) I will be one who will not look at another of their games.
Out of interest, I wonder how the pirates are doing with their versions. I paid for mine and all I get are headaches.