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Skyrim Special Edition: A few questions for those in the know


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Before I launch my first serious play-through of SSE (I've just been messing around near Riverwood so far, getting a feel for the game and its various mechanics), I thought I'd check a few things with the expert community here:

1. Despite the fact that I specified an English-language installation for the game, I noticed when checking the Data folder that the installer included every single Skyrim - Voices_xx0.bsa file in the directory. I'm fairly certain I only need the Skyrim - Voices_en0.bsa file and can safely delete the other seven language files and reclaim ~14Meg of disk space, correct?

2. I was hoping to avoid using SKSE, at least for time being since I'm running with minimal mods (only USSEP, SkyUI and SkyHUD for now), but SkyUI requires it (and just works so much better than the vanilla interface). Given SkyUI is the only SKSE mod I'm using, are there any issues, stability problems, bugs, etc. when using SKSE that I should know about?

3. Are there any known issues with using the console to change the timescale during the game? I usually like to set the timescale lower (~8 - 12) when in towns and cities and exploring dungeons, and set it higher when travelling along roads or through the wilderness to give a feeling of greater distance between locations.

4. Are there any known issues with using the console "save" command to create named save games versus using the in-game "save" option on the system menu?

Any and all guidance / thoughts / comments are appreciated, thanks!

Edited by Wolfborn
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1. You are correct.

2. If your game executable version is explicitly supported by SKSE (I think the GOG version is supported) you have nothing to fear. Just make sure you are launching the game with skse_loader.exe and that all the scripts coming along with SKSE are extracted at their right place in your data folder.

3. High values will mess various NPC AI packages for sure, and thus may also harm/damage various events triggering. I would strongly discourage you to touch such an apparently 'innocent' setting, unless it's properly handled by a dedicated and heavily proofed mod (if it ever exists).

4. I'd say it sounds safe (while I see absolutly no benefit doing this) BUT you have to keep in mind that SKSE creates a co-save along with each 'regular' save. I don't know if any naming rule or convention applies here in order to keep things running fine. So, in the end, I would once again discourage you from doing this.

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1. Deleted, thanks.

2. Yes, the GOG version is explicitly supported and I made sure to download the current GOG build from skse.silverlock.org. All the SKSE scripts have been installed in the Data\Scripts folder. I've been running with SKSE for a few hours while trying things out and haven't encountered any issues. Thanks for the confirmation.

3. To clarify, by "set [timescale] higher when travelling" I meant "return it to the default value" (which I know is 20 in Skyrim; it was 30 in Morrowind and Oblivion). I didn't mean "crank it to unrealistically high values." So I guess what I'm basically asking is, are there any known issues with setting timescale lower in cities/dungeons, and leaving it at default value elsewhere?

4. The reason I was asking about the console "save" vs. in-game menu "save" is that I wanted to know (if anyone knows) if the save file produced by the console "save" function is a full save like the ones from the menu "save" function. I know that Quick Saves use a different save format (at least they do in Oblivion, I assume it's the same in Skyrim) which can cause problems and corrupted save files if they're used too often (which is why I never use Quick Save, or Autosave for that matter, and only use full saves). As far as SKSE goes, it appears that it simply takes the name of the save file created by the game and creates its own so-save using the same name, substituting .skse for .ess. As for why I want to create named save files, that's an explanation which will have to wait since I've run out of time at the moment and have to go to work. :wave:

Thanks for help!

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3. Messing with the timescale during gameplay is generally not a good idea. As Nico said, timescale is often tied to AI processing, animation timings, trigger events, and other related things. So setting this value too low or too high will harm the integrity of the game, especially in cases where you've set it too high and the engine can no longer keep up. The game is generally designed around leaving the timescale set to 20. Anything lower than 12 and you'll definitely break stuff, higher than 30 and you'll end up with the same. Ludicrously high and you'll probably even corrupt your save.

4. The method you choose to save the game makes no difference in the outcome. ALL saves are "full" saves. None use a different format, and they never have. That's purely urban myth. The issue isn't with saving the game. It's when you attempt to reload a save while you're still in the same cell the save was made in. The engine doesn't always properly reset state, and in some cases never will. The safe bet is to drop to the desktop if you need to reload, but you're equally fine as long as the save you're reloading isn't in the same cell you're occupying. Do not rely on simply backing out to the main menu either because not even that completely resets the state of things.

If you find that SAVING the game is generating corrupted saves that don't load properly, you have a hardware issue to address with your HDD or SSD and should probably be thinking about replacing it.

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3. Perfect, thanks; that's what I needed to know. I wasn't planning on going crazy with the timescale (8 - 20 was pretty much my target range), but if anything lower than 12 causes problems I'll just leave it at 20 since that tight a range isn't worth messing with (and 20 isn't that fast compared to the 30 of Morrowind and Oblivion).

4. Thanks for the clarification. I haven't personally had any problems with corrupted saves, and I always exit to desktop before reloading in any game I play anyway. The reason I like named saves is because I archive some of my save files so I that I have something to fall back on should any issues occur later during the game. I don't name every file; while playing I save the game frequently using the regular menu "save" option so I always have a recent save in case of character death / game crash / glitches / etc. When I'm finished for the day, I create one final save which is used to continue the next time I play. The gameplay saves get deleted once I'm sure I no longer need them; the final save gets archived as a backup. The reason I like names is because down the road, "Bran_Day2_Riverwood" is going to be a lot more informative and meaningful to me if I ever need to restore an older save than "Save5_6F6E35A2_0_4272616E207468652057616E6465726572_Tamriel_000259_20231126073535_1_1", which is what the game spits out. Hence my reason for wanting to use the console to create that final save file for the day. From what Arthmoor says, it should be safe to do so (as long as it doesn't cause any problems with SKSE).

One additional question occurred to me today:

5. I haven't heard/read about anything like this, but are there any show-stopping, game-breaking issues/bugs/etc. known to exist with high-playtime saves (like the Abomb bug was in Oblivion)? My personal playstyle is very roleplay- and immersion-oriented; I like to take my time, walk between destinations (I virtually never use fast-travel), explore places thoroughly, head off the beaten track, etc. I can easily rack up hundreds of hours of gameplay on a single character (my main character in Oblivion has ~1,500 hours on the clock at the moment); I'm not saying I'd necessarily go that high in Skyrim, but I don't want to invest a huge amount of time in a character only to find I can't continue because the game breaks after x hours of play.

Thanks for all the help so far!

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I literally have over 1300 hours on my primary character.  Like you, he walks everywhere, unless he takes a wagon or boat.  He meanders, wanders or stumbles about the country side; exploring every nook and cranny, cove and cave, cabin and shack, castle and dungeon.  Quite frequently, my character gets deliberately lost following his nose to some obscure and undiscovered map marker far off in the boonies. 

Further, this character has survived from the early release of SE to the Anniversary Package and beyond.  Now, truth in advertising dictates that I tell you that I play with precious few mods (a couple dozen) and most of those are of my own creation.  I do use SKSE, but only for  SKYUI.  I have both the Unofficial Patch and the CC Unofficial patch and a couple of Arthmoor's mods (Parthuunax Dilemma, Run for your Lives, and Gildergreen Regrown).  I also have a mod which moves the quest locked word walls outside (I loath having things locked behind quests). 

So, to the answer to #5 is a qualified "NO".  The qualifier is based on your mods and your mod load.  I cannot predict whether that arrow in the knee is from some far off ne'er-do-well, or self inflicted. 

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So far as I'm aware there's nothing equivalent to the ABomb issue from Oblivion. As long as you leave your timescale alone you should be fine for stuff like that.

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@Arthmoor: Perfect, thanks!

@Scythe Bearer: Sounds like you could be my long-lost twin as far as playstyles go. I'm not planning on using a lot of mods; so far it's just USSEP, SkyUI, and SkyHUD (the esp-less version). And, like you, even when I do add mods to a game they tend to be few in number. Sounds like I shouldn't have any issues.

Thanks to all who replied here for your input! :)

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I'm in the middle of a survival run starting 2021-12-12, currently level 37, and 8139 saves. Over 3 characters, it's been 2089.2 hours for SE total, but I don't know how many were on this run.

Keep a separate folder with older saves, having the most recent 10-20 in the Saves folder. The loader menu gets annoyed with too many entries.

I'll travel place to place with Touring Carriages, and do many of the activities there, with horses used locally for nearby locations, then move on. A lot of delayed gratification. Thieves Guild wants me to do something in Solitude? I'll do that after I've traveled town to town to town on the way. Only rarely urgently going across the map.

Keeping a lot of saves has saved me much grief. I've just had to go back to October, after finding a bug in Fishing that caused the target NPC to wander away far across the map.

Also, I'm mostly using only the plugins recommended on:

However, instead of the Achievements Enabler and the Flora Respawn Fix, I'm using the SKSE64 extensions SSE Engine Fixes, Bug Fixes SSE, and Scrambled Bugs. Fixes a lot of known engine issues, plus those specific issues as well.

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