Called the Animation bug, or "ABomb" by some, it's a bug that effects all secondary animations, like doors, magic spells, fire, even butterflies etc. It all gets "frozen", or animates EXTREMELY slowly. So in a real sense, unless you can spend 10 minutes equipping, and unequipping items, and flipping the 3rd person camera around to move the animation along, it can pretty much end your game. And who wants to play with spell effects frozen all over your character as you run around?
Video of the "Animation Bug" happening
More frozen fire and spells
Here's the unofficial thread that Bethesda has forwarded people to, when they encounter this bug (Yes, there were 7 versions of this thread).
This is Thread #8 (old one hit near 200 post limit)
Now, what creates this bug? I've brought up earlier that in all cases, the biggest factor is hours played, but it's also framerate. Thats why it occurs much faster on PC's who have the FPS tweaked well beyond the consoles set 30fps.
Well, here's the technical reason, and a workaround fix for PC users from the threads I linked to:
In short, these smart individuals found out that it's a float point number transitioning from 48 to 49 in the savegame. With a hexedit tool (lots of options linked to in the above linked threads), you can decrease this number to continue your game unharmed. This number will incrementally increase again, but just decrease it after a time, and all will be fine.
Hex editing a savegame (Disclaimer: there is no full official understanding, yet, of what the byte in question does, other than that it causes and cures the problem depending on its value).
Quote of The other Felix: "The saved game files contain a four byte sequence that appears to be be continuously incremented during play, triggering the problem when it reaches a certain value (possibly when changing from FFFFFF48 to 00000049), and with values beyond that increasing its severity. The editing consisted of decreasing the value of the last byte in that sequence by using a hex editor on an affected save. I suspect that the problem will reappear once the 'magic' value is reached again, but that can probably be delayed indefinitely by further editing."
Here are 3 programs that will change the value (listed in order of most used fix) :
1. zBobG's program can be used to examine, as well as fix, the byte link
2. RenderFred's program will modify all saves at once if you so choose link
3. For advanced users, Wrye's program, Wrye Bash, has, among its many features, a function for resetting the byte.
zBobG's fix and quick explanation of the Float number transition where the the animation bug occurs:
The 48 to 49 transition is just the quick-and-dirty test for the animation bug. That byte is the first of 4 bytes (that you can see in OAF) and all 4 bytes are the binary representation of a Float (a decimal) number. Testing has found that when that Float number exceeds a certain value then the animation sticks. The 49 is just an indicator that the value has been exceeded. The fix, replacing 49 with 40, is just a quick-and-dirty method of easily reducing the value of that Float number.
Don't worry about messing up your game, only that one byte is changed and nothing else in the game is affected, except the animation being fixed of course. You can also fix your game any number of times with no bad effect.
The reason i'm making this long ass thread is for one reason; I'm on Xbox360, and cannot fix my game this way. The Xbox will auto corrupt save files that have been tampered with, so that's out. Only way is for Bethesda to make an official patch, but they cannot figure it out, and refuse to use "quick and dirty" fixes as a patch.
Here's the official response, which can be found in the above linked threads as well. It's from a Community liaison called GStaff. He responds to a forum members inquiry into whether Beth will ever fix this game killing bug.
Then, soon after Bethesda Tech Support sends this to a forum member.
Originally Posted by GStaff
So here's the deal
Our team is well aware of this issue, but it is one we have not been able to resolve because of the nature of the problem and any fixes related to it. We are continuing to look into it and will let folks know if/when we are able to address it in the future.
BTW, these were from almost 1 year ago, no further response, they just forward people to those threads now :lol. So that's it, they cannot fix it, and won't. Maybe it's a bug in the middleware they use, who knows, but it seriously sucks, and after putting so much time into one character, starting over was not an option for me. The fact that no media outlet picked up on it, or asked them questions about it is pretty poor. If you go their message board, you can clearly see the traffic that thread 7 had before it was locked 2 days ago. Not to mention the fact that there were 6 threads before this. It's not isolated, or a small issue, and to leave it broken is pathetic on their part.
This issue will not be fixed.
There is no official patch or fix to correct this issue from within the
game. We are aware of this issue, but it is one we have not been
able to resolve because of the nature of the problem and any fixes related
to it. We are continuing to look into it and will let folks know
if/when we are able to address it in the future.
For the PC version, there are 3rd-party tools that "fix" saved games
that seems to correct this issue for some users. You can read more here
in our forum:
note that this is an unofficial 3rd-party fix for PC only, and we
cannot guarantee the functionality of this fix nor any side effects this
may have on your game."
Your customer number is
Please refer to case #:: if you have any further questions.
If you need further assistance, you can also reach us online at
http://support.bethsoft.com or our technical support staff at
(410)-568-3685. Please include all previous replies when/if responding to this
James H. at Bethesda Softworks Technical Support
Anyway, wanted to let everyone know about this bug (if they didn't already), before it's forgotten. They use the same tools for Fallout 3, so who knows if that's effected as well :P.