After playing the game for 28 hours (and enjoying every minute of it), the game suddenly began to stutter and freeze. Every single time I load my save and try to progress at all, I can play for about 30 seconds, but as I move west into the Cista District, it stutters then freezes completely, forcing me to quit the game. I haven't played the game at all for weeks now because nothing I've tried has fixed it (validating installation through Steam, uninstalling and reinstalling, playing in low settings, playing in windowed mode, disabling DLC, playing in DX12, clearing storage space, updating all drivers, detaching all external devices, loading different saves).

The error I get, which I see in the debugger, is as follows:

Unhandled exception at 0x0000000143834BB7 in DXMD.exe: 0xC0000005: Access violation reading location 0x0000000000000000.

This is very frustrating because it's been so long since I've been able to play the game, that I'm actually beginning to forget the story.