A FEW NOTES BEFORE WE BEGIN :
Well, here we are… let’s get you straightened away.
Just remember, no matter how good your system is, it’s often a matter of what Skyrim can handle, not the PC.
An extremely common misconception is that removing a mod from your load-order actually REMOVES the mod. While this is true of mods using no additional scripts, it is NOT true of mods using scripts. Many popular mods use scripts and failure to remove those scripts from your SaveGame can easily contribute to CTDs, create massive SaveGame files and Papyrus logs of over 1GB! Think of it, an over 1GB text file is a LOT of text, no?
Poor load-order and poor resource-use can also contribute to seemingly random CTDs, but for this page we’re going to focus on Polluted Saves and how to try to clean them.
A Polluted Save is a SaveGame that contains a number of Orphaned Scripts from mods you’ve removed improperly – which will, over time, “snowball” and cause decreased performance, unpredictable (and often hilarious) issues in-game and will – eventually – prevent you from saving/playing (because the save game will be huge).
It is also possible that mods with “poor coding” will throw a zillion errors, thereby polluting your save and robbing Papyrus of resource cycles – and it’s generally my opinion that these mods should not be used – even if all appears to be working as planned. Of course, that choice is yours and results may vary. You will be able to spot these by reading your Papyrus log and finding many errors…
…but do bear in mind that some mods (Frostfall, WetNCold, Convenient Horses, etc) have built-in compatibility checks that throw intentional errors when they fail to find compatible mods in your load-order. These are not ‘errors’ so much as they are ‘messages’. These mods add “notes” to your Papyrus Log which will often say “Ignore Errors between these lines”. Those are fine.
Last thing, WARZONES has built in DEBUG MESSAGES that are marked by “WZMSG”. These are also fine.
STEP 1 : REVERT YOUR INIs TO SKYRIM’S DEFAULTS
This is very important so that any bad modifications you may have made can be removed. Make a copy of your preferred INIs as you like, so you may return to them in the future, but for the time being, let’s eliminate bad INI-settings from the equation.
STEP 2 : ENABLING AND LOCATING THE PAPYRUS LOG:
Open Skyrim.ini (My Documents/My Games/Skyrim) and add the following to it – or change the existing settings to match:
Afterward, in that same folder you will see a new folder called Logs.
Inside that: Script.
Inside Script you will (eventually) find 4 logs.
Double click and they should open with notepad or any text editor.
Papyrus.0.log is the most recent.
STEP 3 : CLEANING YOUR POLLUTED SAVE.
I really wish there was a way to force this step before you can install the mod, but there isn’t so I’m going to have to trust y’all. You will be DRAMATICALLY better off if you clean your SaveGame BEFORE you install WARZONES 2015.
If you can look at your Papyrus.0.log and see not one single error, thrown by a current or uninstalled mod, then your problem does NOT lie with a PollutedSave and you will need to consider using other alternatives.
By way of explanation, the goal is to remove any and all references to missing/broken mods in your save-game while making backups along the way. This actually seems to work nicely with other scripted mods as well, so if you’ve got a save with a ton of leftover scripts from mods you’ve uninstalled in the past 3 years, this is a great time to clean those out also. Clues to what may remain in your Save will be in your Papyrus.0.log in the form of either straight up errors or warnings.
2 – Run SAVE GAME CLEANER and OPEN (top right) the cleaned SAVE (remember, it will be titled EDIT_xxx – NOT Save ###)
3 – Once open, if you have ORPHAN SCRIPT INSTANCES, click FIXSCRIPTINSTANCES.
4 – Now, take a look at the left column. Here, using your Papyrus.0.log as a guide, enter something ‘searchable’ from the error report. For example, if you have a number of errors from “SBC”, then enter SBC in that filter box at the top.
1 – A number of “sections” will be displayed and you will see some or all of these : Scripts, Script Instances, Active Scripts, Function Messages, Suspended Stack, WaitOffsets, UpdateOffsets
2 – Select SCRIPTS then click DELETE SELECTED
3 – Select SCRIPT INSTANCES then click DELETE SELECTED
4 – Select ACTIVE SCRIPTS (if shown) then click DELETE SELECTED
5 – Select any other ‘section’ and DELETE SELECTED if able. Clear the filter box, then retype the search-filter (ie: SBC). It should now be empty indicating that all scripts from this mod are now removed. This is a great time to remove any other scripts from any other mods that you no longer have.
6 – Repeat with each missing/error-throwing mod from your Papyrus.0.log
7 – Be sure that the MAKE BACKUP box is checked. This will copy your original SAVE and rename it something like BACKUP_xxxx
8 – Select SAVE or SAVE AS (top right) and name your file as you like.
– If you select SAVE, the program will overwrite your current save with the clean one. Again, be sure MAKE BACKUP is checked.
– If you select SAVE AS, you will be given a chance to name the new copy whatever you’d like and your original save should remain intact.
9 – You now should have a fairly pristine SaveGame as well as a copy of the original one. You may exit SAVE GAME CLEANER – don’t forget to endorse it!
5 – Open SKYRIM
6 – Load your CLEANED SAVE
7 – In game, Wait 31 days to fully clear refs and cells
Note: Waiting in TFC (Toggle Free Camera) mode will significantly reduce realtime wait. remember to undo TFC before saving. To toggle TFC, enter console (~) and type TFC.
15 – Make a new SAVE
16 – Exit Game (ancillary and missing scripts should now be purged from your game)
17 – Install WARZONES 2015 (or, if you’re not on this page because of WARZONES 2015, give some thought to giving it a try. It’s fun!)
You may need to do this a little at a time as it is my understanding that removal of too much may cause problems.
Additionally, if you’re not entirely married to the idea of saving this particular character, you will certainly save yourself some headache by starting a new game with only the mods you want installed. Going forward, should you decide you’d prefer not to use a particular mod, it will be far easier for you to identify and remove its scripts at the time you uninstall.
Note, some mods – including WARZONES 2015 – do have self-terminating scripts (after X period of time). That said, not all mods do and there’s no harm in checking your SaveGame every now and again for pollution.
STEP 4 : INSTALL MEMORY MANAGEMENT AND STABLILITY TOOLS :
Simply put, for maximum stability and best results in-game, you MUST install:
Why do I need SKSE? SKSE (Skyrim Script Extender) is necessary in order to use the next mod, SKYUI which enables the in-game Mod Configuration Menu (MCM). SKSE also enables some advanced memory management and a “script error preventive”.
Locate your SKSE.INI and add the following lines to it (should they not already be there):
These will help clear up some orphaned scripts during your play and will help Skyrim handle memory better. More information on both settings is available by, well, googling it.
Why do I need Stable UGrids to Load? It is necessary for increased stability regardless of whether you change the UGRIDS setting or not. UGrids are how the game determines the distance from the player at which it should display high-resolution vs LOD (Level of Detail). It also determines how far away the game should start the Artificial Intelligence of NPCs and creatures. Stable UGrids to Load has been shown to stabilize the transition between “cells” for a better gaming experience, even if you do not alter your UGRIDS setting. As such, in a mod with as many NPCs as Warzones has, it has been shown to immeasurably reduce problems for users.
You SHOULD install:
ENBOOST (a feature of newer ENB series).
Why do I need ENB? It is necessary for increasing the amount of RAM that Skyrim can utilize. Skyrim is a 32-bit game and can therefore only use about 2GB of RAM on its own. ENB has a feature known as ENBOOST which increases available resources. It is a build in feature of newer ENB Binaries. Should you prefer not to utilize ENB’s graphic enhancements, they may be disabled. Please see this link for more on ENB.
Failure to do so may result in problems – notably decreased performance and random CTDs in heavily modded setups.
Now that you’ve completed all the steps, you should have a more trouble-free Skyrim gaming experience. Enjoy!