Alright, guys. I'm still at my wit's end over this. I've already posted on Reddit to no avail, and after several exchanges even technical support was at a loss, so I'm going to share this here (by their suggestion, since they believe it to be a bug) in the hopes that it may catch the eye of the developers.
The Problem Summary:
I can no longer play STO on my desktop because of horrendous crashing errors. No, I don't mean the average crashing that we all usually deal with time to time. I've never experienced anything this bad before:
The game will constantly and suddenly crash if I switch tabs to another window (discord, for example), change maps, join TFOs, spend more than three minutes in the tailor shop, or even if I sneeze too loudly. Sometimes it will lull me into a fall sense of security and allow me to play for 10 or fifteen minutes in peace. Other times, it crashes within mere seconds of doing any of those aforementioned things. Finally, after the second or third crash the STO applications will freeze so that even Task Manager can't force it to shut down, and will interfere with my ability to properly shut down or restart my computer - or worse, my entire computer will become frozen. In both cases, I end up having to force-restart my machine and in short, the game is unplayable.
The Computer In Question:
My desktop is a custom-build that was made for the purpose of Architecture software in school (Revit, Autocad, Photoshop, etc). Therefore, it is not a gaming computer per se (intended for designing buildings and not epic pew-pewing), but post-graduation I began using it for that purpose as it was otherwise retired. Though that's not what it was made for, it has performed adequately for my gameplay needs (I only play STO- I'm not really a gamer otherwise) and I have not had any serious issues. I played STO on it for about a year until the motherboard died (it was almost 5 years old). After sitting in storage for about 11 months I finally got it repaired (new motherboard and processor for a price I couldn't refuse, instead of getting a new pc) and works like a dream again... except for STO, which is a disaster. I'd started to have STO issues prior to my computer's demise-which, at the time I attributed to a hardware issue on my end-but it seems that was not the case after all.
Ironically enough, I've mostly had no big problems playing on my inferior laptop these past two years (beyond the normal issues of lag, occasional timeouts, etc.). This is done at medium/low settings across the board, with shadows and dynamic lighting all turned on.
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro for Workstations 64-bit (10.0, Build 17134)
CPU: Intel Core i5
RAM: 16.0GB Dual Channel
Motherboard: Micro-Star Z390-A PRO
Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro K4000
BIOS: BIOS Date: 02/22/19 14:02:23 Ver: V1.50 (type: BIOS)
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-9400F CPU @ 2.90GHz (6 CPUs), ~2.9GHz
Memory: 16384MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 16318MB RAM
DirectX Version: DirectX 12
The Failed Solutions:
These are all things I have investigated/attempted with no success:
- Drivers. All up to date, though I have experimented by rolling back to prior versions that I'd used back when STO still worked.
- Memory diagnostic. One of my first suspicions, but everything checks out.
- CPU Thermal Levels. No problem.
- Power Supply Voltages, also okay.
- Firewall Settings - I've adjusted/allowed every exe file I can think of or find.
- I got a new modem to replace my old one (which I discovered was horrendously out of date). Internet works beautifully.
- Switched to "windowed" vs "fullscreen mode".
- Lowered the graphics settings. As a test, I turned ALL graphic settings to "off" or "Min/Low" where possible. Zero difference.
- Toggled on/off "Patch On Demand", "Force Verify", "Reduced File Streaming", etc.
- Adjusted compatibility modes.
- Uninstalled / Reinstalled Arc + STO a grand total of 4 times.
At this point, I really don't think the problem is on my end. However, I would be very happy to be proven wrong if someone has a genius solution I have not thought of. I am reasonably computer-savvy because of my field (yoohoo, architect here) but I must humble myself and say that I am not a software/hardware guru by any means. If anybody has any other ideas, please feel free to share.
And- please oh please, if there is a kind-hearted developer out there with any potential solutions, please take pity on this poor harassed woman. I throw myself at your mercy!
Data: ". . . So I chose to believe that I was a person, that I had the potential to be more than a collection of circuits and sub-processors. It is a belief which I still hold."
Worf: "How did you come to your decision?"
Data: "I made... a leap of faith."