I have the same problem when using NIK-filters during batch processing in Photoshop CC 2018.
Very annoying and time-consuming having to modify the images one-by-one.
I have the same problem. I came up with a workaround that seems to work, but is far from perfect.
I run an action on all of my studio images that copies the background layer, makes it a smart object and adds three adjustments, Color Efex Pro being the last. If I set up the action so that it pauses for manual adjustment on Color Efex Pro, it won't crash. I also slowed the speed of the actions to go step by step. Don't know if that helped or not.
I hate being forced to upgrade the OS. Everything was running fine on Yosemite. Putting out lots of fires the past few days on High Sierra. So much lost productivity.
Thanks Richard for sharing your thoughts. How are you recording the action so that it pauses (therefore not causing it to crash??). I've gone as simple as not batch editing my multiple steps, but creating an action for JUST Color Efex and it still crashes. Do you think it's working because you are duplicating the background later and making it a smart object? I dup my BG layer, but I don't make it a smart object. (Could you test the theory and see it your work around works without creating it as a smart object??). Thank you!
What I'm doing is this -
In the action, there is a place to the left of the "Color Efex Pro" step where you can check a box. Check the box. Then close Photoshop (only this one time) so that step is saved in Photoshop and doesn't go away if you have a crash.
I have it as the last step to a smart object after applying two other adjustments.
I find that if I want to crop the image or do some other steps that Photoshop still crashes when it recalculates the smart object, so this is what I do - I needed to get rid of the smart object after I was done with it, but still keep it's results.
Run the action with the pause in Color Efex Pro to manually tweak. Then point to the last step in the action and you're going to add some additional steps to the action - Press the record Button. Press CMD-Option-Shift-E to copy everything to a merged top layer. Click on the layer name and call it "Merged". Click on the icon on that layer icon to make that layer name take. Go down a layer to the smart object layer and delete it. Now, go back to the actions and stop the recording. Now exit Photoshop so it saves the whole action and you don't have to do it again. Now this merged layer can be turned on or off or the opacity changed or you can paint it in or out with a layer mask.