Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nos' Companions, Upcoming

I promised Sgt Ovakil a post on this, and I aim to keep my word.

I want to preface this post, however, with the notice that while I do plan to do all this, because of my day-to-day life, some health issues, and the quite frankly stupid number of mods I've gotten myself involved in, I can't make any promises as to when something specific will be done. Take a zen attitude, if you would: it will be when it is.

That out of the way...

In the immediate, near future, you're going to see two changes to the companions pack.

Firstly, it will be getting the same script edits as v5.2 of the RR master, to set the girls as your teammate upon joining your party, and removing when they leave it. This will - I think - stop the option to pickpocket them. Why you people want to adjust inventory while sneaking I will never understand, but whatever. I just work here.

Second, is the reorder of the resource directory. I plan on moving the custom eyes to a new directory, and adding in the hair pack resources directly, to cut down on problems from people who won't RTFM. I have an ulterior motive for this, as well: that being that once the resources are in place, I'll have a unified directory for all custom content for the girls... including the new Type 3 version I've been working on for months. It's actually more or less done, and has been since mid-October. I've just had to spend every second of my modding time working on the RR master (and that little jaunt into 20th Century Weapons territory...), and haven't had time to make the final race changes and line everything out.

Once v5.2 is up, however, that's going to change. v5.2 marks the essential end of the RR Companions Vault for now. The companion system is working, the prisoner system disabled, navmeshing fixed and loudspeakers working. The only issue may still be Chloe and crew, and if worse comes to worst, I know how to fix them - it'll just be drastic, and I don't want to go that far unless I have to. The main master will go onto the back burner while I work on the things I actually enjoy, for awhile.

Which brings us back to the girls.

One of the major things I have in store are stories. Quests, past events, etc. Not all will get the full story treatment, but most will.

I'm not talking about "bring me X item and I'll come with you forever" type of stuff, either.

I mean actual interactions. Multiple ways to convince them to join you, for one. Some may respond to gifts, some money, some a witty line.

I know of two who are going to demand you kill some people.

Item-based interactions... "Hey, I can't help but notice you found a beer there... mind if I take it?"

I'm even thinking of requiring that you pay them. Money will be removed from their inventory and stuck into a safe container where they can access it later but you can't simply take it back from them.

I also want to give them personal menus, where you can ask about their history, see if they have any tips on your current location or quest, even maybe try to get... close. Although obviously I'll use a fade-to-black sorta thing and not tie-in AP or anything if you do manage to get any. Sorry, Kiddies, but I'm not really a pornographer.

One of the biggest things I want to do is integrate the girls into vanilla quests. Have them make comments, offer advice, even block you from completing certain quests if you have certain companions in your party.

I'm planning to have events occur that, depending on how you act or what you say, may have the companion(s) leave you - temporarily or forever - in extreme cases even set to unessential and start a fight with you, resulting in your or their death.

Of course, the stuff I promised before will still be there: varying levels of aggression, bravery, faction interactions that can cause the girls to start trouble in certain places.

It's... an auspicious project, I know. It'll take me quite a while to complete, too. Still, I think it'll be worth it.

One major new thing, is a flash of inspiration I had the other night, while mulling a problem.

You see, adding the girls to the vanilla quests will require changing scripts, dialog, etc. Doing this will cause incompatibilities with other mods that do the same.

Now, I could pull a Project Beauty and say "tough shit, it's my mod or theirs!" but I try not to be that much of a dick.

Didn't say I always succeed... but I do try.

So, the thought occurred. My companions pack is a master file... and dialog doesn't change NPCs, so no body/head texture mismatch problems... just make the stories optional.

That's right, I'm going to release the deeper portions of the mod in add-on form. Each character or pair of characters - for the ones who interact so heavily with another that there's no point in splitting them up - will get their own plugin. If a particular character's story causes conflicts with another mod you run, just turn it off. You can still play with the others; it won't be an all or nothing proposition. Because of this, I'll also be able to release the stories in something akin to episodes, and won't have to have all ten ready before release.

Very good for you guys, as it won't be as dependent on me getting everything done on time.

Also very good because it will allow the same story plugin to work with either the standard body master, or the one that uses the sexy Type 3 custom bodies.

Ellie will probably be the first released. While she isn't my personal favorite, she is the one that I have the most story worked out in my head.

As a teaser, I'll give you a basic outline of how her story will open...

I mentioned in the readme that Ellie ducked into Jocko's to hide from some slavers. Thus far, you haven't seen the slavers, but you will.

On nearing Jocko's Pop and Gas Stop, a band of four or so slavers will come up to you, asking if you've seen a blond teenage girl thereabouts.

You'll have several options, including telling them the truth or lying - depending on whether you've been into Jocko's and know where she is - fighting them off, or even ageeing to bring her in. This last option would, of course, cut the story extremely short... but it'll be there nonetheless.

Obviously, if you've already recruited Ellie before meeting the slavers and they see her with you, attacks will be made on sight.

Provided you survive and help her, Ellie will be grateful, and agree to accompany you on your travels.

Ellie will be the most "normal" of the companions, by far. From my character notes, circa August:

"If it were two hundred years ago, Ellie would be the girl down the block that you had a crush on in highschool. Pretty, witty, and well-grounded, Ellie could have been a prom queen, except that she just isn’t ruthless enough to climb the social ladder. Born and raised as a wastelander on a small Brahmin farm, Ellie has spent her short life learning to hide from raiders, deal with traders, and avoid radiation. Nevertheless, she has managed to reach her teens in the wasteland without becoming jaded and bitter, and is a genuinely caring and decent person. Though leery of combat in any form, she has nonetheless learned to handle some small arms with aptitude, and will stand by your side through all but the more overwhelming situations, should you convince her to join you. Ellie has little in the way of a temper, and never starts the fight."

I don't want to spoil too much, but Ellie will also be one of the possible romantic interests for the player, and I do want to note that I don't discriminate - you won't be precluded from playing the romantic paths in one of my mods just because your character is female.

I'm hesitant to post most of the notes, as they are out of date and don't necessarily apply to the story I have in mind anymore, but I'll give you one more, as Alma is still pretty much the same now as then:

"Alma is an honest-to-goodness modern Paladin. Unlike the Brotherhood of Steel Paladins – who Alma believes tarnish the title – she lives her life to protect the weak and innocent, without allowing herself to be beholden to any political or organizational restrictions. Alma is a trained medic, and is predominantly quiet and gentle. Though, when the innocent are threatened, she becomes fierce and even sometimes brutal in their defense. She desires money only insofar as it allows her to continue her lifelong quest to help people. Gaining Alma’s aid in your own wanderings may be difficult, if you have led a life of evil; as she is surprisingly well connected, and knows much of most of the wasteland’s more prominent and colorful personalities. Alma will not set foot inside Paradise Falls, and will actively attack any known slaver she sees. Though she prefers peace, once the fight has started, Alma will not surrender, nor flee for any reason."

Don't want to give the impression that it's all going to be goody-goody stuff, though. I'll warn you up front that a lot of my writing is pretty dark stuff. Expect some pretty horrible things to happen in most of the stories.

The kicker will be whether you're responding to the evil, or causing it...

I'll also warn you that while I am not, as I already said, a pornographer, the stories will not be suitable for children, and will include much violence, swearing, and probably some explicit speech.

Really wish I had a female voice actress.

Regardless, there you have it. My plans, such as they are, and some previews. I haven't been sitting idle these months, and do have some written, and ideas of where I want it all to go.

The problem is that to make these stories work, I have to write out scripts, almost like a movie, to keep it visually and textually coherent.

This is one of the spots where I envy Sultericdrums. As the maker of the wildly popular Viconia and Saerileth companions for Oblivion, he had a big task to complete... but he also already had the story written, as both characters were ports from Baldur's Gate 2.

I've got to write this stuff myself from the ground up.

Previews will, of course, continue to trickle in as I get things further along.


Alternate title: Foot moving towards mouth.

Before I launch into my plans for the future, I want to clarify something.

This last little outburst of mine has drawn some attention - obviously I have more than a handful of readers around here now.

I just want to note that I do appreciate you guys and gals who say thanks. Who endorse, who offer constructive feedback.

I'm not upset in your general directions.

I've never minded reports of legitimate bugs. By that, I mean things that do or have the potential to break a game, destroy a save, generally mess up your playing experience.

What bugs me are the people who incessantly yammer about how I should re-do this mod or that to make it more like someone else's.

Those people bother me, and believe it or not there are quite a few of them.

I'm not other people. I'm me. My mods and scripts and NPCs follow my own tastes, my own habits, the way my mind works. I realize follow the crowd and blend in is the norm in our post-hippy world, but it's never been me. I'm not good at it, and have no desire to try.

I should also note that while I try to keep my personal life off the blog here, I hate most of it. The people whose blood I ostensibly share, my apartment, the town I live in... it all drags on my nerves every waking moment of every day. Consequently... I frustrate easily, and tend to explode in what I consider to be a "safe" form - this blog, where I can rant and rave and swear and vent and call peoples' lineage into question without getting my ass banned from the Nexus.

So, when you see a rant here, consider it my pressure relief valve in operation, and know that I will feel better and less prone to walking away after some sleep and a meal.

I really appreciate the support and well-wishes, Kiddies. If I still had a heart, I'd be all misty right now.

Maybe Not...

You know, I was going to lay out my plans for the companions pack in the future, express my brilliant idea for adding in the story component... and maybe work on the storylines a bit...

But I've just spent thirty minutes fucking around with teammate setting to see if I can make the companions not pickpocket-able anymore.

I'm not in the damned mood anymore. Gonna go play Sins of a Solar Empire and pretend the Nexus doesn't exist for awhile.

RR Companions Vault... Worth it?

Not planning to up and vanish... but I'm beginning to wonder.

Got the shower packages worked out, and decided to do a little more cleanup on that fucking mess that was the prisoner system.

While I disabled the stuff before, the NPCs, dialog, items and quests were all still there - in case I needed to reactivate it all for whatever reason.

The dialog for the prisoner system is so integrated into the mod that it's going to take me forever to get rid of. It's all throughout the guard system, to the point that it may actually be less trouble to scrap the whole rottin' mess and write a new guard system.

Y'see, Kiddies, this is why I don't like mod teams, or working from someone else's stuff.

If it's my work, it's my mess... but working out around someone else's mess...

I'm losing interest in it. I spend my day to day life cleaning up other peoples' problems. Everything from picking up their garbage to fixing fucked up guns to un-fucking computers that I am amazed will still boot.

My record on the computer thing is something like 1342. Thirteen HUNDRED and forty-fucking-two viruses of various lineage I pulled off a laptop in ONE virus scan.

You don't want to know how many pieces of spyware there were.

I'm getting sick of it. Playing nursemaid to everyone else's fuckups is keeping me from working on my own things.

I am so very tempted to rip the companion system out, rename the references, and build it into a standalone master to run my girls. I had considered doing it more than once in the past, but always decided not to, as I didn't want to leave ttomwv hanging.

Seems he's already left me hanging, though... so I dunno.

So much I want to do. Want to expand the girls and get their stories told, I want to create homes just for them - a separate cell containing their rooms, and maybe a few houses in the wasteland for some of them - I want to at some point update my fucking CALIBR compatible 1911's mod, since I know now how to make vendors sell custom stuff without conflict.

But what do I get stuck doing?

Tracking down faction bugs and occlusion planes and...

Shit like this latest bit. Comment that was posted while I was writing the v5.2 changelog update, from someone who wants me to disable the pickpocket option on all the RR companions, so he can talk to them while sneaking.

I mean... why in the fucking hell do you need to talk to them while sneaking? If it's inventory, here's a thought: PLAN AHEAD MORE THAN TEN SECONDS! There's no reason you should have to re-equip companions in the middle of sneaky-sneaky time.

I dunno. I'm tired, I'm frustrated, my teeth are bugging me, and I haven't gotten to shoot anything in weeks.

Now I get to go digging through someone else's companion mod to see how they did it, to shut up people who can't be bothered to express a thought with the articulation of an autistic twelve year old.

Monday, December 28, 2009

RR Companions Vault, v5.2, Upcoming, Part III

Shower packages work. AI pathing problems in the game engine itself continue to manifest and annoy the holy living shit out of me, however.

Still, I can minimize those with some navmesh adjustment, and the rest simply are, and must be accepted as such.

Just a few more things to tweak...

RR Companions Vault, v5.2, Upcoming, Part II

It took some doing, but I got a package worked out that will passably simulate NPCs showering. Including undressing, showering, occasionally dropping the soap, then redressing when done.

Kicker is, the way I want to do this for best effect, is going to require a separate package for each NPC in the tunnels. That means ten packages I have to run up. This is going to take a little while.

On the up side, once done, v5.2 should be about ready for upload.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

RR Companions Vault, v5.2, Upcoming

Well, we here at NosCo have made it through yet another Christmas without eating a .45 hollowpoint, seeing how many sleeping pills we could swallow, or running amok with my ever-trusty Ka-Bar Kukri machete, so it's time for work to resume on FO3 modding.

v5.2 is already in the works. Thus far, we have:

*Fixed clipping room pieces in Chloe's bedroom.

*Fixed tunnel guard patrol paths, a broken chain of linked references had previously rendered the path dead at point 17. This is fixed now, and patrols should run through point 33 and restart as intended.

*More edits made to Chloe's guards' faction interactions, setting them as "friendly" to Canterbury Commons to hopefully avoid the bloodbath one user reported. Personally? I like the reality of pissed off guards kicking the holy living shit out of townsfolk that don't know when to shut up, but what do I know.

*Preliminary fix made to Chloe's inventory. Caps have been heavily reduced. This is due to a bug in the Fallout 3 engine, explained here:

To whit: There is a cut off in bottle caps where the merchant will display buggy behavior and stop paying the PC for items. The Merchant will take the items but the PC will not receive the bottle caps. If the merchant has 32767 bottle caps they will behave correctly. However, if the merchant has 32768 bottle caps they will take the player's items but no bottle caps will be transferred to the player.

As this is on the page for adding items to an existing vendor, I didn't see it, else I wouldn't have added so many to her inventory to begin with.

Special thanks go to Sgt Ovakil for pointing it out to me.

The new change should fix her from the get-go for new players, but I still have to test to see if it does likewise for people that have had the bug already manifest.

Also: two new plugins are in the works, for the "optional files" category of the file entry.

1) A plugin that removes the Protectrons from Vault 1. Not only have these damned things never worked right, but they constantly get in the way, and refuse to stay in their pods. At a later time, I may remove the protectrons from the base mod itself, and replace the protectron pods with something else.

2) A plugin that will stop the auto-opening and closing doors in Vault 1. Can't vouch for anyone else, but that crap has annoyed me since the first time I ran the mod, way back in v3.7.

Both plugins should be fully compatible with Refurbished - provided the door plugin is loaded AFTER Refubished in your load order.

That's it for this update. I must now return to endlessly bug-testing this mess.

Tune in next time when I'll rant and rave and swear some more, while occasionally actually adding content to my mods.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Used your script...

So, I get this PM to my Nexus account this evening:


I have just completed for myself a functional grenade launcher mod using a LR300 model based on xzax's LR300ModAssaultRifle mod (, but the original script was based on the work made by 1337martyr in his mod "1337martyrs_GrenadeLauncher_functional".
Unfortunatly this script proved unstable to me as it focus on equipping directly the weapon, main bugs for example you NEED at least two types of ammo for the selection message to appear and all this complicate as a "needequip" condition spreads..., not even ONE type of ammo?: no weapon equipped...
BUT i came across your script a few days ago, and i found quite different and ingenious your approach to use an "armor token" to manage the change and allow to run a second script.
So i rewrote the whole shazam based on your scripting to incorporate 4 types of grenades plus semi & auto firing mode for the rifle; I'm planning on adding later different types of firing (standart, high velocity, incendiary ZhuRong style projectiles) and maybe a CALIBR compatability.
This was my first experience in scripting but it worked! some good old reverse-engeneering and few sparkling braincells have paid.
I would like to release this mod on the Nexus , it would be also my first published mod, YOU would have course be given full credits for the scripting inspiration, along with the others inspiring authors."

Well willya lookit that shit.

Granted, the script works... but I never thought it was all that good...

Of course, I said yes. While I try to avoid verbatim copying, Gods know I've been known to 'take inspiration' from other scripters plenty - even if it's just seeing which function works best in a given situation.

So, okay, for all my ranting and raving, most denizens of the Fallout 3 Nexus are decent enough folk. They just don't piss me off to the point that I feel the need to blog about it.

Still, I hate to put across the impression that I think everyone over there is an ass. Hence, I correct myself publicly here. Or, at least as publicly as can be when confessing in front of the odd two dozen of you that read this thing.

Kinda funny. No one wants to use the script that drives the RR Companions' AI that I spent three months working on and tweaking until it acted right - or at least if they are using it, they don't bother to mention it to me - but the weapon-changer system that I banged out the archetype of in an hour one night on a bored whim? Apparently that's the impressive one from my portfolio.

I'd be discouraged in my AI work, if I didn't know how much ridiculously larger 20thCW's userbase is than the RR mods.

Monday, December 21, 2009


With Dark Helmet.

I knew it, I'm surrounded by assholes...

Look at the comment posted on the RR Companions Vault file earlier today:

"My only complaint with RR Companions Vault 5-1-0 is that the new merchant you find in Cantaburry Commons is that she shows up on the second day after talking to her and she and her guards show up in the hall completly static and you walk right through them. and on the third day the kill every NPC they see I would not have inviter her if I knew her plans. on another play through the merchant and guard wiped out half the population of Cantaburry Commons and killed everybody in the Access Tunnels. not sure if it because of an issue with the factions or scripting error."

That's right, not only is it my fault that you have a fucked up game, but I intentionally spent two weeks working on a merchant and her entourage only to have them attempt to kill other NPCs that I knowingly made immortal beforehand. Great gag, eh? Sure, it was a colossal waste of my time, and serves no purpose whatsoever, but you have to suffer for a good joke.

I haven't posted a reply comment yet, because in all honesty I can't come up with one that doesn't end with "...and the horse you rode in on!" I'm thinking that one wouldn't be taken so well by the moderators.

I will mention, however, that there is only one way to kill the residents of the access tunnels, as there are only the six guards, who are set to essential. That way? Edit the mod, and reset the NPC flags. And what else, pray tell, was modified during that little excursion, I wonder?

At this point, I'm damned near ready to just make the blanket declaration that if you fuck with the mod yourself, the warranty is voided and you're on your own.

Oh, wait. That's right: there is no warranty, because you didn't pay anything for the mod in the first place!

The worst part about it isn't even the bitching. It's the complete lack of grammar and spelling ability. Now, I don't expect everyone to be an English major, and have a twenty thousand word vocabulary... but fuck me. I checked his profile; this person is twenty-three years old. That means some highschool graduated his ass, and pronounced his articulation and communication skills acceptable to become a productive member of society...

Can we please hurry up and get to Armageddon? Please? I've been a good sociopath this year, really!

RR Companions Vault v5.1, Vendor Problem?

Had a report of Chloe's inventory "locking up" - for wont of a better term. At some points, she simply stops giving you caps for items you sell. The items just poof into the void.

Managed to replicate it myself, by adding ten million caps to my inventory, and selling some stuff.

Had thought removing the caps from my inventory (putting them into a container) would fix the problem, but it didn't. Letting the cell reset fixes the issue... for about ten or twenty thousand caps.

...And for some reason, whenever you buy something, twice as many caps are removed from your inventory as the price listed.

Goddamn, some days I really wish the programmers of this game could've been bothered to actually do some bugfixing of their own.

Investigating now... but I have no idea what's going on.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

20th Century Weapons Selectors

A project I've been working on the past month or two, is a set of scripts that allow you to select which variation of a weapon you want to equip. That is to say, imagine you have a full-auto, scoped AR-15. For whatever reason, you want to use instead a semi-auto, suppressed rifle.

In real life, this would be easy. Pull the scope, flick the happy switch to semi, and mount the can.

Bethesda, unfortunately, did not see fit to bother coding the possibility to have multiple modes of a single weapon.

My solution was a set of scripts, tokens, and menus, that allow you to choose which weapon from a family you want to equip.

Unfortunately, while the system works, because of other mod obligations, I simply don't have the time to do all four hundred plus weapons in the 20thCW mod. It would take me months to get done.

Einherjrar wanted the basework anyway, though - intending to finish it off himself.

I kept getting sidetracked, and drug ass, but finally got it done yesterday, and uploaded this morning, since I'm suffering from another bout of insomnia.

I ran up a proof of concept plugin containing a dozen weapons. I'd have emailed it to Einherjrar, but he never bothered telling me where to send it, so fuck it - to the Nexus it goes.

The system's been bug free in my testing, but I'm still not happy about uploading it. I hate uploading unfinished work. A modding process is one thing... but upping something that's less than 10% is another entirely.

Still, it seems to work, and I suppose if some people find it useful, all the better, right?

Friday, December 18, 2009

RR Companions Vault Attack System - Upcoming

Anyone who actually read the readme for 5.1 will probably notice that I rewrote the description for the attacks plugin, sighting varied enemies in the tunnels, rather than the standard raiders in the entryway.

I know I haven't uploaded it yet. Meant to, but there were SNAFUs with the scripting, and I didn't want to delay the release of 5.1 while I got them under control.

They SEEM to be under control. The random spawn enabling works, but I'm still testing the reset script. It needs to run to work, and not just have you wait for three days... so I've got to actually play the game again.

Will know soon whether it's working or not.

CALIBR v1.3 Released

Yeah, not one of my mods... but important, nonetheless.

Adds a bunch of neat calibers. Looks like we get .454, .460 & .500 S&W Mags, the 45-70... hell, even 460 Rowland.

...I see another entry in my CALIBR 1911s coming on...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Screenshots

Took some more screenshots, to finish off the v5.1 update.

After getting the mess uploaded over at the file entry, I uploaded the ones that were missing from the Picasa albums.

RR Companions Vault Album

Companions and Guards Album

One of these days, I've got to clean out the old version companions and guards pictures, and take new ones showing how much prettier they are.

RR Companions Vault v5.1

Is here.

Assuming no catastrophic problems that didn't occur in my personal game, this version will mark yet another large step forward in playability, reliability, and sheer coolness of the Vault 1 experience.

Soon, you won't even need to venture into settlements for supplies, anymore.


Update 5.1:

The largest change this time is that the prisoner system is no more. IT HAS CEASED TO BE. IT IS AN EX-SYSTEM... sorry. Too much Monty Python. Anyway. The system as it stood was beyond repair. The alternate system I tried was not viable. Thus, I have simply disabled it, until I decide what to do.

I recommend that you collect up any equipment you may have given to prisoners, before installing this update. Once you load a game with 5.1 running, your prisoners go poof. You may also want to make sure your companions are set to not take prisoners, although this will also be automatically reset by a script, the first time you load the game with 5.1 installed. If, for some amazingly inconvenient reason the script decides not to fire, the order to take no prisoners has been left in place. It will now appear in the top level of dialog, but only if you are currently set to take prisoners.

Of course, the 'Mercy' weapons disappear, as well.

I realize this may bother some of you who liked the idea of taking people captive, but all I can tell you is deal with it. I'm not spending months completely rewriting a system that I don't even like. I hear Enclave Commander lets you play jailer if you're into that sort of thing.

The Access Tunnels have received a hefty overhaul this time, as well. The tunnels now have a group of six roving guards, complete with spiffy new V1 logo'd black combat armor. Three guards are on duty, and three off at any given time. The new guards have their own living space, mess, locker room, and shower facilities. There is an equipment storage room for the guards, near their quarters. It contains weapons, ammo, and armor. There is a crate containing not only the new V1 combat armor, but also the standard V1 security uniforms and hats. The new guards are there to guard, and can NOT be taken as companions.

The new armor has also been added to the security uniform crate in the Vault 1 armory.

There is now a new, recruitable merchant. Chloe is beautiful, articulate, well stocked... and may quite possibly be the anti-christ. Still, her inventory is impressive, and she has caps enough to clean out even the highest level player's stock of loot.

Though I use the term "recruit", one does not recruit Chloe so much as stay out of her way. A message will appear on screen, letting you know where to go looking for her. Once you find Chloe, talk to her. She'll invite herself into the vault in short order.

You can find Chloe's new shop in the access tunnels, just before you reach the Paradise Falls exit tunnel. The two opposing doorways are now blocked off by inaccessible doors, until Chloe is recruited.

Chloe brings her own guards with her. The three guards live on their own rotation, and have a room across the tunnel from the shop.

New loudpseakers have been added to the Vault 1 museum and armory. These are nominally slaved to the Jukebox in the Player's bedroom, and will turn on and off with it. However, as with many other things in this game, they don't always behave properly.

There have been several other, minor updates. Doors moved slightly to line up better, occlusion plane tweaks, and so forth.

Height settings have been adjusted for the five companions that come with RRCompanionVault.esm.

The master file has received some optimizations, that not only decrease the size, but should also help prevent conflicts, and smooth things out all around.

The game setting that controls the number of followers you're allowed to have has been reset, to its maximum of 99. This is not because I endorse so many followers, but simply because I don't want to listen to people whine. The setting has been present in my companions pack for quite awhile now, so you'll only notice the difference if you don't run it; you strange, strange person.

The readme has also been overhauled, to not only reflect the new changes, but to rectify a few omissions I had made previously. Hopefully I got it all, this time.

Because of the new armor, it's VERY important with this update that you unzip the meshes and textures directories, rather than just overwriting the .esm file. Archiveinvalidationinvalidated may need to be removed and reapplied, as well.

RR Companions Vault v5.1 Upcoming, Part V

Yeah, this is stretching out longer than I meant it to.

Nothing ever goes according to plan, you should know this by now.

The prisoner system is fucked. It is fucking fucked. It is fucking fucked by the fucking FO3 engine. I don't see any viable way to fix it, or implement a working alternative; and to be honest, I've got no interest in spending three mind-numbing months trying.

For those of you who like it: either download Enclave Commander, or just shut up. Either way, seek professional help. I'm pretty sure a preoccupation with taking people prisoner alludes to some sort of mental problem.

I've wasted too much modding time, and damn near burned myself out trying already. No more.

I'm seriously considering implementing a solution I had joked to Sgt Ovakill about, and turning the jail into a room where scantily clad women dance on tables.

Or maybe a shooting range for the vault denizens. Either way, no more prisoners.

Moving on.

I'd have been done yesterday, but I needed to make some last minute adjustments to Chloe's inventory.

Which, of course, then had to be tested by waiting long enough for a cell-reset to get her inventory to respawn itself.

The offender in question was power armor. I had forgotten to add it to her inventory, and it occurred to me as I was doing so that I would also like her to carry Enclave stuffs. But not right out of the blue, no.

I set her up a secondary merchant container, that had its enable status slaved to the master Enclave camp reference - the one that the game sets to know when to start spawning soldiers at the Enclave camps, as well as patrols. Because it functions from said master reference, the Enclave inventory will also appear if you run Enclave Enabled (which I do).

I used some of the existing leveled lists to do this, so any level requirements that were normally in place will still be so.

The Enclave inventory doesn't just consist of power armor, but also officer's uniforms, high end energy weapons and ammo, Enclave chems, et al.

Without the Enclave on the scene, Chloe will still carry a smattering of normal and BoS armors scavenged from the wasteland. This stuff will not be in pristine condition, and it's not commonplace.

I'm considering giving her a Power Armor Training Manual, as well, but haven't decided as yet.


Note to self: remember to set up Sabine and Mai to be able to give the player PA training in a later version of the companions pack.


Inventories all tested, and seems to be working. AI problems with the new guards worked out. Even wrote a script that has a random chance to turn the radios in the access tunnels on and off, to simulate the residents changing their minds about their respective radios making noise.

I've still got some alterations to make to the readme, and then will be uploading this monstrosity upon you all.

(insert maniacal cackling here)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

RR Companions Vault v5.1 Upcoming, Part IV

Escaping prisoner idea didn't fly.

The code to flag them as escaping and set them as hostile just will NOT fire.

Rather than spend ten more hours fucking with it, I'm just going to write it off.

On the up side, I think I've got the prisoners to stay the hell in their cells.


I dunno. Loading up for a final test, now. If they won't stay, I can further restrict how far they roam from their Xmarkers. Failing that, I can always tie them to set "patrol" paths within the cells, and not let them sandbox. Not as lifelike, but sometimes ya gotta do whatcha gotta do...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Vault 1 Prisoners, Idea?

Was pondering some life problems. Meditating on them, you could say.

I had an idea. If I can't make the prisoners stay in the cells, I think I might have come up with a way to have them flagged as escaped/escaping prisoners, and have the guards shoot them.

They would then respawn upon the next cell reset.

I don't think I've ever seen a similar system put into use... but I know the basic components of it well enough on their own. I think it could be done.

I dunno. I still have to test the last batch of "fixes" for keeping them in the cells in the first place.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Headaches, Redux

Good news/Bad news situation.

Good news? The AI and dialog problems are resolved, so far as I can tell.

Bad news: for some reason, the game engine is STILL letting the prisoners get out of the cells, even with collision planes in place.

You know, one would think that clipping through solid fucking objects might be something the game programmers would notice and possibly want to fix.

Then again, they don't seem to care about anything but selling DLC.

Regardless, I've got two more tricks to try, and if those don't work, the entire system may have to be scrapped.


Delays, delays, and more fucking delays.

Story of my life.

The new merchant works, her guards work, the occlusion plane is moved, and collision planes set up in the jail.

The problem? Dialog.

The new merchant's guards' dialog is not only working fine for them... it's appearing on half the other NPCs in the game.

So I switched it all around, from an ID based qualifer system (IE: dialog appear only if NPC = A) to a faction based one. The faction system has worked well for me in the past, and I was hoping it would work here.

Trouble is... I forgot to set the new faction as friendly to those in Vault1PartnerFaction.

My two hench-cuties decided they didn't like the guard's looks or something, and had no factional rules to stop them... you can see where this is going.

One distracted her by pulling a knife, and the other shot the guard twice in the back of the head with a scoped M14.

Damned bloodthirsty redheads...

Still, it did make me giggle, and I love seeing the AI manifest teamwork like that...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

RR Companions Vault v5.1 Upcoming, Part III

Okay, so I promised screenshots yesterday morning.

It's now today morning, and I'm just getting around to it.

Not a total slacker - there were a couple hitches in the works. Had a navmeshing error in the new areas, and some AI problems with Chloe's guards. Between fixing them, and venturing into the evil place that uses a smiley face as its mascot, my night was pretty shot to shit.

Still, this morning I got the last of the problems lined out, and the code tested. Believe it or not, setting up a recruitable merchant and her guards is a bit of work. Still some fine-tuning to do... but it's basically done.

And now, for the promised previews:

Here you see three of the new tunnel guards, having their evening meal. Packages are currently set to have the guards remove their hats when going off duty. Also currently set to be three on/three off at any given time. This was easier on me from a package creation standpoint, but it leads to the guards bunching up at patrol points quite a bit. May have to break down and do a third set of packages, to have them go two/two/two; eight on sixteen off. Standard three shift rotation usually works best anyway.

One of the tunnel guards, relaxing with one of Chloe's guards in their smaller-but-still-nice guard room. I've left the sandbox packages fairly loose, resulting in seeing the two sets of guards mingle in amusing ways.

Here we see Chloe, herself, looking very classy. She's easy to find when working, as she stays behind the desk there. Her inventory is... extensive. A level 20 projection from within the GECk placed her inventory value at over 123k caps. She carries a large selection of armor and weapons, a ton of ammunition, bobbypins and scrap metal, some meds, and a full collection of weapon schematics, as well has having over a hundred thousand caps for buying. Best of all, her inventory respawns regularly, resetting the inordinate amount of caps, as well as spawning new random items for the inventory.

You can't see it in the shot, but she also wears and sells a creation of mine from another mod that I never released: a customized scoped .44 magnum revolver. No heavy-duty mods, just upped the accuracy, increased the scope to 6x, and set it to never jam on reload. Think of it like a S&W PC piece. Price has been increased accordingly, and it does NOT replace any vanilla item.

Wider shot of Chloe's shop. You'll see she redecorated quite a bit; throwing down flooring, changing out the lights, and putting in amenities. I haven't cluttered the shop yet, but you have a basic idea of the layout, at least.

Shot I surreptitiously snapped of Chloe while she was asleep. Lighting looked better in-game. Still, it lets you see part of her attached bedroom.

I'm pretty happy with how 5.1 is turning out, I have to say. The two sets of guards mingle when off duty, eat together, and can often be spied chatting when the patrolling guards' path intersects the shop.

Chloe, being the aloof "boss", eats by herself, at a private table in her room.

Still fighting a bit with the shower packages. The game doesn't like forcing an NPC to use an idle marker, and so often has them just standing in the shower room naked. Annoyances.

Thus far, the already-released 20thCW supply system plugin works perfectly with Chloe's inventory, and her guards. Saw one of the guards packing a suppressed P90 from v4 of 20thCW. Her inventory is also set up to sell components for CRAFT reloading, though I'll have to add a separate plugin to get her to sell the ammo schematics.

On the whole, many people will probably consider Chloe a cheat vendor. While her stuff isn't free by any means, she does carry a huge amount of stuff, much of which was previously difficult to acquire. She has enough caps to handle most any stockpile of stuff to sell, too.

But, as Sgt Ovakil pointed out a couple weeks ago, there really isn't a high-level merchant in the game. You might be able to unload twenty grand worth of stuff, if you track down all the caravans, and have them maxed out on investments... but I know I've got more than that just in my "save it for repair parts later" weapons stash. To say nothing of my stock of looted power armors... and my character is only level 18.

Friday, December 11, 2009

RR Companions Vault v5.1 Upcoming, Part II

Back at work now.

PMs and comments answered.

And no, I don't give a shit if you think they're "scary", I'm not redoing my girls in the companions pack. For the record, I think the ones in Project Beauty look like skanks. So there.

Back to V1, though.

Banged out a fair bit of the dialog already, and wrote about half the new packages for the merchant and her crew. Got her inventory tentatively set up, and think I put in the right leveled lists so that if you run the 20th CW plugin for the supply system, it'll put the new weapons and ammo into Chloe's inventory, too.

I think.

Still have to set up the shop, and Chloe's bedroom, and write her guards' guarding packages - something I can't do till the shop is done, since they need markers placed for where to guard.

Can't give a hard estimate for when I'll have it done. Which is pretty irrelevant anyway, seeing as I completely ignored my last two "it'll be done by..." statements.

After I grab a shower and cram some food into myself, I think I'll load 'er up and take some screenshots of the new stuffs. At least hand out a decent little preview of how things look now.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Dad's surgery over.

He survived. Prognosis not stellar, but he ain't gonna up and drop dead, neither.

I, on the other hand, just may. Been up since 0400 Wednesday. Is now 1217 Thursday. That's thirty-two hours, for those of you who went to public highschool.

Spent the night at my Mom's (they're long-since divorced), who owns a cat (I'm allergic), and I went in with what I was wearing, and what I had stuffed into the pockets of my BHI pants - which outside of my daily loadout included only a blow-out kit to stop an arterial bleeder.

Hey, I don't screw around when someone's just had surgery.

Haven't shaved, had a shower, or changed my damned socks in two days now.

I know I've got a mess of PMs awaiting me in the Nexus, and I'll get around to it.

Later, after I feel half assedly alive again.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

RR Companions Vault v5.1 Progress

Progress is slower than I stated it would be.

The new prisoner system is in, and seems to work. The occlusion plane issues have been resolved - or at least the ones I'm aware of. The new guards and their areas and packages are done, and function as well as the FO3 engine will allow. Have finished the area for the new merchant's guards.

Still have to write the merchant's and her guards' packages, the merchant's shop and living quarters, and some dialog. Possibly a quest to get her to come to the tunnels. And, of course, set up her inventory.

All in all, this shouldn't be more than a few hours' work. I could probably have it done by noon today.

But, I find myself... less than motivated.

I'm tired.

Tired of bug fixing.

Tired of re-answering the same six technical questions that were moronic the first time they were asked.

Tired of hearing how I should completely rewrite the mod because someone thinks it would be more fun as a tie-in to RTS, or they have some twisted fantasy about turning FO3 into the fucking sims.

I'm tempted to begin ignoring any question answered in the readme.

This shit is getting in the way of working on the mods I actually enjoy, and at eight hours a day, seven days a week, the RR Companions Vault has become a job I don't get paid for.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Home Again...

Had to step out on short notice Tuesday afternoon due to a medical thing.

I'm home now.

I've also slept less than eight hours out of the last 72.

I dread the PM box and comments awaiting me on the Nexus...

Modding will resume... when I no longer feel like a walk-on from a Romero flick.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Okay, I know this isn't FO3 - or even video game in general - related, but fuck me I just had to post it anyway...

"I thought the Japanese had more shame than this..."

Obviously, he doesn't pay attention to the true depths of pathetic-ness gleefully indulged in by the Otaku.

I'll confess, this is a bad one, even by their standards, though. Not as bad as the Japanese guy who tried to marry a comic book character awhile back... but still pretty bad.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Scripting Woes and Stupidity

...Mine, for once.

Big fan of the 20th Century Weapons mod. Have been for a long time.

Hell, I love any mod that lets me use weapons I actually own. Or, at least similar to. No one's made a MK14 Mod 1 model yet, as far as I know. Slackers.


Awhile back, the author of 20thCW noted in his file comments that he was looking for someone to help him out with a weapon selector script. So that instead of carrying an AR-15, AR-15 with scope, AR-15 Full auto, etc... you carry ONE, and when you equip it, you select the features you want. Scoped, non, semi, full-auto, suppressor or no. Make it like your digital self is adding or removing the accessories, and using the selector switch.

Well, I'd done that type of scripting before, and didn't see any problem, so offered to help.

The script... didn't work right. I got caught up with fixing the stuff you monkeys keep finding wrong with the RR Companions Vault, and never remembered to update him.

He PM'd me tonight, saying that v4 is going up soon, and had I made any progress. Had to report that no, it wasn't ready, and I probably wouldn't be able to devote the time to make it work. Abject apologies, mouth wrote check ass can't cash, and so forth.

After sending my reply, I decided to crack it open in the GECK and give it one last go, to see if I could get it at least partially working, to offer him a framework to create the other files from.

...It seems some moron who looks suspiciously like me left an extra endif command in the selector scripts... causing them to error, and not run.

Remove said leftover code, and they work fine. I mean completely. No issues with players or NPCs or anything


So I PM again, correct myself, and offer him a working base to create the rest for. I still don't have time to do all four HUNDRED plus weapons in the mod... but I oughta be able to knock out a couple extra weapon families before he PM's back.

Must learn to pay more attention, one of these days. My brilliance would be astounding if I wasn't so fucking out of it all the time...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

RR Companions Vault, v5.1 (upcoming)

So much for getting to sleep all night. Was up again before midnight... which is pretty typical for me.

Suppose I can sleep when I'm dead, and sanity is for the weak.


Got the new Guard barracks/rec room, locker room, toilets, and shower room all navmeshed, and tested. New guard packages set up, and they actually work.

Thought you guys might like a little preview of 5.1

Here we have Zoe, one of the new guards, modeling the new V1 combat armor. She's standing in the rec room section of the barracks.

This is the Guards' storage room, chock full 'o weapons, ammo, armor, and medical supplies.

The Guards' rec room/barracks. Couches, radio, pool table in the front; beds in rear, each with a bedside table and dresser.

Two of the guards taking advantage of their down time to hit the rack. Dividers set up to create "rooms" to give the guards at least a little bit of privacy.

These guards won't be like the others, inside the vault proper. They won't be recruitable as companions, and will be scripted to take off their armor when off duty.

No, they won't walk around naked off duty. Pervert.

Six guards total, three on and three off at any given time. Thus far, the guards are already patrolling, relaxing, sleeping, eating, cooking, and bathing.

Some small details to work out yet, adjustments to be made. The important thing is that the packages all work right, and the AI doesn't seem to consider anything crash-worthy.

Still have undressing activators to add for the baths and showers, and some tweaking left to do to the idle animation packages. Mostly tweaking timers and such.

Once that's done, I get to start all freaking over, and begin creating the new areas for the vendor and her staff.

Thankfully, those rooms will be much smaller, and so FAR less time consuming to produce.

Also adding a new weapon to the mod: a custom, scoped .44 Mag. Is a weapon that I've had written for months, but never uploaded. I figure this new vendor will be a perfect place to sell it, without having to mod anyone's inventory.

Nothing game breaking. Six or so power scope, higher accuracy, no jam on reload. Think of it like a Performance Center piece.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Alright, trying to keep the personal whining off the blog, but there's gonna be a bit of a delay in 5.1.


I've been up twenty-eight straight hours, am running on Rockstar and Venom brand energy drinks... and I just got home after leaving at 0750 this morning.

Not a happy Nos right now. Need to pass out and pretend I'm dead for awhile...

On the up side, the Guards' bathroom is effectively done. I've just got to add in the clothes-removing activators for the showers and tubs.

Guards' bunk room/rec room is done and ready to go.

Presuming I don't drop the fuck dead tonight, it should only be another two, three days to have it all done, navmeshed, and ready for you all to destroy with your filthy load orders full of bad, conflicting mods.

Urgh... heavy stimulant doses don't agree with ulcers... have to flee now...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Vault 1 Merchants, Part II

Guards coded, patrol paths set up and appear to be working fine. They look mighty fine in their Vault 1 Combat Armor, too. I figured being out in the tunnels, they'd opt for something a bit better protecting than plain cloth.

Merchant, her guards, and lackeys created. Still haven't decided where I want to put them to start, though. Thinking Canterbury, at the moment.

New guards didn't like going between cells to sleep and eat, so I'm just going to give them quarters and a mini-messhall in the tunnels. Cluttering rooms sucks with all that overhead pipe.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Vault 1 Merchants

So, it's been complained idly that the Vault 1 merchants suck.

I knew this myself, and had toyed with the idea of doing something about it... but we had major navmeshing and companion issues to deal with.

Those are dealt with. Now I'm free to tinker, again.

I've been turning the idea around in my head, the last couple days. I don't want the Vault 1 merchants to just magically get stuff to sell. Being isolated as they are, it occurs that getting new stuff (other than what the player brings in) would be difficult.

What to do, though?

I considered altering the trade caravan routes... but if I do that, I create an instant and fatal incompatibility with every mod that changes the caravans. This includes CCCP, MMM, and Phalanx, just to name a few. That alienates a fair portion of the FO3 playing community right there. Add in FWE and FOOK2 - which I'd both wager modify the caravans, too - and I'd axe a solid half the potential players out there, including in all likelihood a decent portion of the players I already have.

I considered making my own caravan to add to the chain. This would stop immediate conflicts... but it leaves the player having to track them down to do any trading. That part about dealing with the vanilla traders always annoyed the holy living shit out of me.

Well, what about making a trader, but leaving him just stand around in Springvale? Could do that... but who in their right freaking mind would do that? Standing around as Raider-bait in the open, baking in the wasteland sun... not the way to a long and lucrative life.

I was thinking of a small quest. Convince a trader somewhere far off - like, a newcomer to Canterbury Commons, for example - to come help supply the vault. Use enable and disable commands to change one of the burned out houses into an open shop.

This has problems of its own. Because of its proximity to Vault 101, Springvale is a favorite of mods to place things. ttomwv's choice for where to locate Vault 1 is a prime example.

Then, it struck me. Again, I am being a dumbass, and not seeing the forest for the trees.

I just created a cell with a half dozen empty rooms, right next door to Vault 1, and with access points that lead out all over the wastes.

Convince the trader to come set up shop in the access tunnels. You're underground - no rads, some shelter from raiders, out of the sun, can tie into Vault 1's water supply.

Supplier, naturally, sees profit potential and agrees on the condition that either you provide security, or retrofit one of the tunnel rooms to board their security... I haven't decided which, yet. Mercenaries would be more in line with realism, but providing security from the Vault would give me an excuse to get Vault 1 guards out and patrolling the tunnels.

So... a half-dozen roving guards in those spiffy V1 guard uniforms that I loves so very much (yeah, I'm biased, but they DO look mighty good)... and another half dozen of the trader's private goons to be on station in the shop. Say, standard rotation... two on duty at any given time, eight hours on, sixteen off. Add in a few lackeys to have packages setup to run them to various townships to trade, and bring goodies back for the Vault 1 inhabitants...

Maybe even grant the trader and employees permission to R&R inside the Vault, for a few new faces now and again.

It is - as most things that fall into the category - beautiful in its simplicity. NPCs, scripting, packages, cell changes, quests... all well within my not-insubstantial abilities. It opens the door to further my evil schemes for Vault 1 later on, adds more variety, gets more gear to the player - AND a source of caps to sell lewtz - and best of all, it gives me an excuse to create a dozen plus new hotties.

Yeah, I'm a letch. You get used to it.

Problem is: adding a dozen NPCs, packages, and cell-clutter is going to increase system load, too. Would kind of nix that whole relaxing-for-your-PC-buffer-cell thing we've got going on now.

Still, though, it's a fairly simple cell. Even cluttered, it shouldn't be too much of a resource whore... you think?

One way to find out...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

RR Companions Vault v5

Yes, I'm being a slacker and not typing it all up again.

Companion system fixed.

NPCs byoo-tee-fied.

Nos pass out now.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Progress, Part V

Well, most of the upgrades are done.

I've got good news, and bad news.

Let's get the bad out of the way first. I've been testing with some *ahem* "custom" companions, and not the stock ones from the RR master, or even my companions pack.

Consequently, I missed and completely forgot about a small error left over, that occasionally causes a stock companion to default to sandbox, the first time you change cells after hiring them. This problem forcefully reasserted itself while I was collecting up Jill and the gang to do my gauntlet test.

The up side is that it's a small problem, and I know exactly what's causing it, since I dealt with it once before to get my companions pack working right. It'll delay the release of v5, but not for very long.

Now, the good news.

With the companion system "fixed" I decided to stop dicking around, and give it the 'ol trial by fire.

Left three of my special companions behind (keeping two) and went and collected up Jill, Joan, Sandra, Michael, and Rick. Wanted to be SURE the stock companions were working and all.

Went into and explored every square inch of Vault 106 with SEVEN RR Companions in tow.


Number of stoppages?


Fuck me but I'm good, some days.

Ran into numerous other problems, not directly related to the companion system. Those being:

Running seven followers is a not insubstantial strain on the CPU, especially when my squad met four or five enemies, and a fight broke out. That much AI usage is going to take a toll on anything, though, regardless of the follower system used.

CPU issues aside, seven followers is just plain too many. Our group didn't fit into many rooms; when moving, our traveling overwatch line stretched a good twenty meters, even with only 150 distance between each companion. Left at 300, I shudder to think how far away the last one would've been. Congestion hung us up at doorways and choke points, especially after a fight - when everyone wasn't in line anymore. Entering small cells was interesting - the congestion was so bad at one point that it took me almost a solid minute to shove my way out from against the door, and get the group moving again. I can see why Tarrant wrote in a "Make a hole!" command for his system. I may have to borrow that one...

So, even though the system will now take it, I really have to continue my recommendation that you keep it to two to three companions, for practicality's sake.

The new hatches all work correctly.

The Vault 1 Access Tunnel lighting has been dimmed, at the Springvale door. The lighting there is now just about in line with the rest of the tunnels.

That little twerp Ellie swiped an H&K auto-shotgun I had been storing in the Guard House. Kids today! In my day, we had single-shot .22's, and were happy to get them!

Oh, and because someone will ask: the outfits Sandra and Jill are wearing in that screenshot are a replacer for the Merc Charmer outfit, and can be found here:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

RR Companions Vault, v5 (upcoming)

So, I promised you all a list of the improvements coming in v5 last night.

I had intended to deliver, but got drug off to bed instead.

Today's a new day, though, and I'm free to post and GECK again.

As always, modding is very much an evolving process for me. Features tend to change at a moment's notice, I get flashes of inspiration or something decides to stop working without warning and has to be axed. So I can't give you 100% that these will make v5, but here's the tally as it now stands.

First and foremost, we have the improved companion system. This continues to astound me with its performance. Reminds me of Oblivion, where I could play for hours on end without my cadre ever getting lost. Unless I was dumb enough to tell them to loot. Looting didn't work any better in Oblivion than it does FO3.

The improved companion system includes more than just some following fixes. It also removes auto-looting (though the commands to loot will be left intact for the time being), removes much commented-out code in the script that wasn't doing anything but wasting space, resets the follow distance to 150 by default - plugins will be released to allow you to change this, but 150 is working too damned well not to implement fully.

The health system still acts a bit wonky now and again. Unfortunately, anything that's set to run during combat is going to be this way. The AI's hardcoded behavior is to attack nearby enemies. Sometimes the health system overrides this fully, sometimes it don't. Still, with the resets in place, it should be functioning fairly well. I haven't noticed any problems with the severely wounded player function though - thus far the only problem has been the OnCombatEnd check to see who's below 50% health. Companion self-healing appears to be working beautifully.

The Vault 1 Access Tunnels will be modified slightly. No clutter yet, but I'm going to crank the lights in the main entry tunnel back a bit. All lights in the tunnels are the same light... but as Sgt Ovakll pointed out awhile ago, they're a bit bright where I doubled up next to the Springvale exit. Looked okay in the GECK, not so much in-game. Not going to scale them back too far. They're 768 power now, I'm thinking I'll knock them back to 512 and see how it looks.

The wasteland-side of the Vault 1 Access Tunnel hatches will be upgraded to actually work correctly for companions. The problems have been caused by an oversight on my part in the navmeshing. I have tested on the Paradise Falls hatch, and once this oversight is corrected, companions follow out the hatch correctly, even in large groups.

The Vault 1 encounter zone is going to be modified to allow respawns. I realize this may cause some problems for the prisoner system, but the containers and spawn zones NOT resetting is getting on my fucking nerves. This will be a change to the encounter zone itself, and not a resetting of the active zone in the cell options, so no "compatibility fixes" will need to be made to plugins.

Once this is all done, new versions of my companions pack, RRGuards, and my alternate guards plugins will be released to mesh with the altered companion system. The v5 companion system WILL be fully backwards compatible, so if you have your own companions, and don't want to upgrade them, they'll still work. They won't work as well, and will still have the occasional stopping problem, but they will work without change.

Upgrading a companion to the new version of the system will take longer to load the plugin in the GECK than it will to make the changes. Upgrading will consist simply of opening your companion's NPC editing window, and selecting another script from the drop-down box. Full instructions will be included with the update, and I intend to write a new tutorial, once this is all done and released.

Progress, Part IV

Yeah, we're winding into the home stretch.

Made it through Old Olney.

Four of the five got lost coming out of the Vault 1 access tunnels. I have no idea why this happens.

It's a known issue wit the FO3 engine itself, and no one's entirely sure where in the holy fuck the game puts them.

Normally, followers lost in this way reappear the next time you fast travel or change cells.

This in mind, I took the one companion who was left, and soldiered on.

Four, five minutes real-time down the road, my game lagged (like it does, when spawning NPCs, if you play I'm sure you know the particular lag I mean). Glanced around, wondering if the game had opted to spawn a Deathclaw in my back pocket, and I see the four MIAs coming to join us at a dead run.

None the worse for wear, weapons ready, and a'rarin' t'go. Interestingly, their follow package was still dominant, and they didn't need to be issued new orders. That makes the Washington monument the last time I had to issue an order to the girls.

After clearing out the Old Olney sewers and picking up the Prototype Medic armor, we headed to Red Rock Olney, and then on to the Republic of Dave, where I narrowly managed to avoid the urge to kill everything.

From there, we were about out of northern wasteland to ravage. Fast traveled back to the VAPL-58 power station, and made for Vault 106. Took care of some wildlife, cleaned out Kaelyn's, and saved at the entrance to Vault 106.

The computer was acting up again, and it's better for my already beleaguered blood pressure if I keep the game from crashing if at all possible.

Keep telling myself I need more playtesting... to make sure it works. I've "fixed" things too many times now, only to find out that I really didn't.

Still... we're talking about almost ten hours of playtesting here. I think if a problem was going to crop up, it would have.

I've tried to break the companions on more than one occasion, and even after a jaunt through the tenth dimension, they keep right on following.

It seems the only things that will break them are the things that break Jessi and Kelsey, Tarrant's crew, and pretty much ALL followers in the game.

Good as I apparently am, I know I don't have the skills to rewrite portions of the game engine... even if such a thing didn't violate the EULA - which I'd wager it does.

I'm still going to run Vault 106, because hey, I can.

Once that's done, I'll start making the modifications to the master. The exact planned features of which will be listed in the post directly after this one.

Ugh. You know, somewhere I still have to find the time to finalize and release the version of my companions pack with the hefty set of custom textures I've modified from the Type3 set.

Much as I wanted to sign on to the 20thCW project, and help with the new weapon-changing scripting... I just don't think I can. I've got too many irons in the fire as it is, and I don't want to let the RR system suffer because I bore easily.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Progress, Part III

Taking a break here. The PC was starting to complain a bit too much for my taste, and I think we were about to enter Crashville.

I'm just about ready to call it good.

My little retinue has now also been drug through three more Enclave Camps, Canterbury Commons, Corvega Factory, Wheaton Armory, The Raid Shack, and the Bethesda Ruins - along with all the overland territory contained therein.



Don't get me wrong, it's a framerate hit, but it works.

It's really amusing, too - watching the girls sweep a building. They call warnings, taunt the enemy, and then call clear when it's over.

Beats the shit out of those guys I get stuck with in CoD4, let me tell ya.

Still want to run Old Olney, but at this point it looks like it's going to work fine.

I'm sure some monkey will find some way to break it... but if I can't get it to b0rk in my personal game, that's about as good as I can do.

Progress, Part II

Testing some more this mor... shit, it's afternoon already...



Testing this afternoon, and still seeing perfect performance from the cadre.

This time, we fast traveled from GNR to the National Guard Armory, moved north to roll an Enclave Camp (#23, I think it is), and then into the rocks and further north to Vault 108 to pick up the Bobblehead.

There were no scripted follower-fucks from Bethesda this time, so we had not a hitch one. Even a "this doesn't count, cause it does it to every follower system". Nada.

It was... wonderful. I had forgotten how much fun it is, adventuring with a squad instead of a partial fireteam.

and just because I can...

Lessons learned:

1) Giving one of my girls the Firelance results in much hilarity and many ash piles.

2) 'Ol Gary may as well have been a paper target, for as long as his many incarnations survived contact with my girls.

3) It's damned hard to get any kills with five of them around.

Going to test a bit more. I want to run through the Bethesda Ruins, and Old Olney and Vault 106. If they make it through those excursions with the same level of performance they have thus far displayed, I'm calling it good and making it an official change to the master file and my companions pack.


Don't want to jump the gun here, but I think I may have done it.

Just ran the Museum of Technology quest with FIVE companions in tow, and not a single hitch.

No, I didn't cheat, and use others from another system. These were all RR.

Had the one stoppage that always occurs. I don't count it. The game is coded to stop companions from accompanying you into the elevator, and up into the Washington Monument. Forcing them to stop following the player has the predictable side-effect of making them default to whatever else they do. Vanilla followers stop and stand there, RR companions default to a sandbox.

A group order to follow brought the whole merry band back into line, and we continued off.

No hesitations, no stopping, no delays in following me through cell-change doors... I think I may have finally done it...

Vault 1 Companionscript

Learned a few things (I think) from my testing, and am ready to move on and be a bit more... aggressive.

Consequently I'm editing the companionscript in the main master now, and just noticed something interesting.

Original version = 517 lines

Experimental 1.3 = 384 lines

So when I say I cut ten metric fucktonnes of shit from the script, I ain't a'kiddin'.

Will this work?

Hell if I know, but I'm running out of options here, and signs point to yes, as the old Magic 8 Ball used to say.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bug fix?

Had a flash of inspiration earlier, and I think I might know why the limit on RR system followers is so much lower than those from other systems.

Going to do some testing. If it's what I think it is, it's going to partially screw the "make your own companion" schtick, but will allow me to fix the existing companions.

We'll find out.

RR Companions and the Experimenal plugin 1.3

Alright, I admit it. I've sort of been holding out on you all. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sitting on a perfectly working companion system, laughing at you all for falling for my buggy prank.

But there is a new version of the AI improvement plugin that hasn't been uploaded yet. Why? I wanted to get some play time in on it and make sure things are still actually improving.

I think they are.

I played six odd hours yesterday (really last night and this early morning), across two sessions. For the record, you'll see me reference three hour play sessions a lot. This is not a tribute to Gilligan's Island. It's just that three hours of straight play is about what my system can handle before the cache is full, and FO3 starts trying to crash on a regular basis. Which works out fine - after three hours I really need to get up and move my lazy ass around some, anyway.

During this six hours, I saw lots of combat, ran over some of the roughest terrain in the game, and actively tried to lose the companions on more than one occasion.

How many "stops" did I have with my girls?


Compare that to the unmodded companionscript, where you're doing good to make it to Megaton from Vault 1 without a stoppage.

Started in Vault 1, as I so often do. I tend to make my numbered saves after going home and unloading my lewtz.

From Vault 1, we headed north; cleaned out the Springvale School, and moved on north. Hit Enclave camp 19. Here I want to note something amazing. I had left the Enclave camp, and turned east towards the mirelurk spawning grounds. The terrain is very rough, made up largely of chunks of concrete that you can't pass without jumping onto and over the blocks. I figured this move on my part was sure to lose the companions, and I'd have to go back and get them - or that they'd pull their usual move, and swing around the long way to get to me over normal terrain.

I turned to snipe a mirelurk... and heard a call from behind me. Looked back, and they had both somehow crossed the impassable terrain, and were about to begin unloading on the two mirelurks that had noticed me taking pot-shots at their buddy.

I have no idea how the girls managed that, but I wish to hell I had been watching.

From the Mirelurk spawning grounds, we followed the south-side of the Potomac around past the Super Duper Mart, crossed to the north side of the river, and switched back, heading north. Went to Wayland, and explored Gomorrah (an underground town added by the 85 Outfits Recolor mod by BeZen - very recommended).

After checking it out, we went back topside and continued on. Hit the Pop Stop, switched tack again, and headed to Minefield to take care of that part of the Wasteland Survival Guide. From there, we headed on north, hitting locations and killing everything in our path. Before I knew it, we were only about five hundred meters from the Isolated Camp, so I decided to pop in there and pick up Mai and Sabine; since I really needed to check out the custom body texture I've been working on for them.

On leaving the Abandoned Tent, we immediately had stoppage number one.

Not unexpected, as I did violate my "no more than three companions" rule. Mai and Sabine defaulted to sandbox mode as soon as we were outside.

I'll point out here, though, that there was no hesitation in following me outside the tent through the cell-change door, for any of the four.

Tapped wait, and gave them an hour. No go. Went up, and issued an individual follow order to each, and they came on without a hitch.

Fast traveled back to Vault 1, unloaded my loot, and had Mai and Sabine stay. No slowdowns, stops, or erratic behavior whatsoever in traversing the access tunnels, or Vault 1 itself. They stayed without issue, and the new texture looks pretty cool, to boot.

With my usual two followers in tow - and several hundred pounds of loot lighter across the three of us - we left Vault 1, headed for Megaton, and finished off the Minefield part of the Wasteland survival guide.

We fast traveled back to the Abandoned Tent, and spent the night inside (I hadn't found a PA helmet yet, so no night vision - makes wandering the wastes on an overcast night dangerous). Took off the next morning, continuing north and west. Passed the Shady Toolshed, avoided the two satellite relays as I didn't feel like dealing with the Raiders at that time. Walked clear to the Northern edge of the map. I was so wrapped up in keeping an eye on my companions that I didn't pay attention to where exactly we were. Switched direction again, headed southwest. Ended up on the western edge of the Potomac, and followed it south from the northwest corner of the map.

Made it to the third relay station; the one occupied by Enclave scientists. Cleaned it out, and went south, crawling along the rocks awhile.

At this point, I was actively trying to get my companions lost. I was hopping from rock to rock, going through impassable terrain, and just generally picking the shittiest path I could find. They kept up amazingly well, and never stopped following.

Perched on a rock overlooking Bluefish Jetty, I sniped some Raiders, and decided to head down into the valley to collect my spoils.

Had stoppage number two. One of the two companions stopped. She didn't revert to sandbox; just stood there. I had her tracking entry active, and decided what the hell; I'll just go on, and see what happens. Worst that could happen is I'd have to go back and get her.

Made it to the docks, and was midway through collecting loots... two to three minutes real-time, if I had to guess, and the tracking marker on my HUD starts moving. She started following again on her own. Caught up to us, and continued on without incident.

From there we headed on south, and got onto the Rocky Overpass. Took out the Enclave camp there, and continued on the ramp for its entire length past the Abandoned Car Fort without issue.

Went around the MDPL Mass Relay Station, stopped briefly around the VAPL-58 Power Station to clean up some Protectrons, and then continued on to Arefu. Got into Evan King's house... and the game crashed.

I was over the three hour mark here, and the game had been acting buggy and slow for about twenty minutes. It was mostly my fault for pushing on, and not saving, exiting, and taking a break.

Fired the game back up immediately, took care of getting the Repair bobblehead, checked in on the residents of Arefu, and saved and called it a morning.

If you take a look at the map you see I damn near circumnavigated the northern half of the wasteland.

This is one of the best performances I've ever had from the RR system companions.

This leads us to one of the largest problems with bugfixing the mod, and companions especially. That being that many of the problems people are reporting simply don't exist in my game.

If I can't reproduce it, I can't fix it.

Incidentally, if I can't reproduce it, it also usually means that it's either a corruption in your savegame, or another mod interfering. People never like to hear that, though.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

RR Companions Vault v4.99 Released

Yep, that's right. Another new version.

I'm still tinkering, trying to get the navmesh worked out, and some final bugs bitchslapped into behaving.

The biggest thing this time isn't in the file, but comes with the master. I finally got off my dead ass and wrote a real readme for the mod.

The changelog has been stripped out, and made into a separate file.

Hopefully this should cut down on the number of mind-numbingly moronic questions I have to answer...

...probably not, though.

"Update 4.99:

IMPORTANT! Remove all items from the refrigerators in the mess hall, and the wardrobes in the dormitory apartments BEFORE installing this update! If you don't save them beforehand, the items will be lost.

Fixed some (apparently rarely noticed) issues with the occlusion planes clipping into the armory and some dorm rooms.

Replaced the fridges in the mess hall with new ones. One respawns, the other doesn't. This maintains your small, semi-random food source, but allows you to store food in the kitchen like a normal person without fear of it being lost to the respawn gods. Fridges are named appropriately to indicate which they are.

Replaced all thirty wardrobes in the dormitory apartments with new ones, that each bear a special randomized list of clothing, eyewear, and headwear. These do NOT respawn, and are perfectly safe to store things in. This should be a one-time change, as it was necessary to add the item list to the wardrobes without adding it to every wardrobe in the game.

The wardobe change will pave the way for a new plugin I have in mind, that will sexy up the Vault 1 NPCs via the use of Ling's Finer Things. If this sounds like something you'd be into and don't already have it, you might want to get a'downloading on LFT - the master is pretty big.

I want this blog to be a go-to spot, to not only keep track of what I'm working on that isn't being released yet, but as a quick reference for updates.

I'm going to try to update whenever I upload a new version of any one of my mods, and throw out some general comments that might not be what one would call appropriate for the Nexus. Things I couldn't get away with there.


Like that, see? Alright, I'll endeavor to make them more intelligent in the future, but I haven't thrown out a good swear tirade in a couple days now, and I was due.

As always, the RR Companions Vault can be found here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

RR Companions Vault v4.97

Yeah, I updated.

If you're interested, read about it here:

I'm still in the middle of a severe sinus flare-up, slept ALMOST four hours this morning, and am too wiped to be bothered typing it all out again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

State of the Vault

So, I've been "in charge" now for almost a week.

ttomwv never returned my last PM, so I'm guessing when he said he was moving on, he didnae mean eventually...

Already, I'm getting the urge to fucking throttle some players.

I'm apparently now being blamed for problems in MMM. I've already been blamed for FO3 on the whole, FO3Edit's Masterupdate nonsense, and problems with the UP.

Nos may have to choke a bitch.

Large sections of the mod may be going bye-bye anyhow.

The prisoner system is twelve kinds of fucked. It doesn't work with named NPCs at all, and doesn't seem to work right with generics. The last I heard from ttomwv before he took off was not encouraging either, and amounted to: "Oh, yeah... those fixes I made? Turns out they may have broken it worse."

Even if I can fix it - and that's a helluva 'if' - it may well require an almost total rewrite of the system. A system - I might add - that I don't even use, nor like. Don't see the fascination with capturing people.

You want more people in el vaulto? Run one of the damned plugins. Guards, more men, more women... add them in with my companions pack, alternate guards, and drag in all five of the basic companions in the mod, and you'd have something like twenty-five NPCs roaming about Vault 1. I don't care what kind of 1337 h4xx0r system you've got, that's gonna cause a framerate hit.

Refurbished adds another six or so on top of that. Granted, Fry1969's extra NPCs don't do much beyond shower and lounge naked... but they're there, all the same.

Sorters are apparently still bugged, too. Another system I don't use, nor like. Nor have much of an idea how to fix.

The irony, is I do NPCs. Pretty girls with guns who hurt people and look nice in a skimpy outfit. Working over the companion system I can do. Hell, I wrote my own the other day from the ground up. Turned out it didn't work so well as a modular, 'make your own companions!' deal, so I shelved it for now.

I don't mind prettying up interiors - as evidenced by Redecorated - but buildings really aren't my thing.

At the moment, I'm seriously considering pulling a CM. Stripping the companion system out, making it a separate plugin, and let the hole in the ground fall where it may.

I know, I probably won't. I'm exhausted, frustrated, and pissy in general. My apparently-dying Dad isn't helping my frame of mind, nor are the constant stream of people too fucking stupid to read the docs.

It amazes me some of these people can even power on a computer, let alone figure out how to sign on to the intarwebz. I still blame AOL.

AI Progress

Is coming along, albeit slowly.

Since being left in charge, I have effectively been given free reign to do whatever in the holy hell I please with the RR mod.

Consequently, one of the first things I did was strip out about fifty lines of nonsense in the companionscript.

The warp system, death checks, moving dead companions away (they're essential, okay? they don't freaking die) and about six commands that forced a new AI package on the poor companions anywhere from once every few minutes to once every few seconds, depending on what you're doing.

My theory, was that the AI was getting confoosled, as we all do when there are four people yelling in our ear at once.

Solution? Lower the amount of data being shoved down the AI's throat.

'Lo and behold, tell it from the mountaintops! It seems to actually be working. Not perfect yet, but I've gotten in three separate play sessions now, each in excess of three hours apiece, without having to re-issue a follow command. Not once.

Still get an occasional stoppage. The difference now is that the girls sort themselves out, and start following again on their own. The worst I have to do is tap 'wait' and give them an hour.

Usually, all I do is keep right the hell on walkin' - after a few minutes they get their shit together and catch up. Must have separation anxiety.

Health system is apparently a tish buggier than I thought. All is working well, here. The companion occasionally gets interrupted and the behavior overridden, but on the whole it seems to be working. Even when the heal player behavior doesn't fire, the companions still keep themselves uncrippled and healthy, which was the big point of the endeavor.

In an effort to un-fuck the system for the few people having troubleses, I've changed the code slightly; resetting the three separate checks to each fire based on a different variable. That way, if one ends up mis-set, the other two still work. Have tested, and it still seems to work fine, so I really need to upload the new Experimental plugin, and see if it helps people.

Failing that, I can pull the variable checks altogether, but that will result in one companion starting dialog with the player while they're talking to another companion already. Wouldn't break anything... but it could easily get confusing. Plus, only one companion should really break combat to heal the player, while the remainder continues providing cover.

I dunno. All I can do is keep banging away, right?

Monday, November 2, 2009


Updated my companions pack, the alternate guards plugin, and Vault 1 bedroom redecorated this morning.

Companions and guards have gotten a compatibility fix, to stop conflicts with beautification mods, and the redecoration update is just what I've got done at the moment. Decided to upload what I had, since I really need to turn my full modding attention towards the main RR Companions Vault.

Found out last night that apparently there isn't a readme for the mod. Got to looking, to smite someone for asking stupid questions... and found that the file labeled readme is nothing but a changelog stretching back to 1.0.

Joy. This means I've got to write one. On top of that, the companion system still needs work, the prisoner system is buggy as fuck, the sorters don't work right for some folks... and I stupidly signed on to YET ANOTHER mod project this morning.

I will apparently never learn.

...It's a cool project, though. Puts T/C Encores into the wasteland. I ran up versions of the little weapon in everything from .22lr up to 7.92mmJS.

Trying to convince the original author to do a new version of the mod with a can on it, to go through and add suppressed variants of all the pistols.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

On My Own...

"Hi Nos,
I've been thinkink a lot lateley about fo3. While I do love the game. I've decided not to reinstall it. I seem to have my pc working ok, but I think I'll move on and get something new to play. I'm giving you permission to do whatever you like with the rr mod. If you want to keep it moving along.

Fuck. Looks like ttomwv has decided FO3 isn't his bag anymore.

I can't blame him. I fight burnout on a constant basis, and have on more than one occasion had to fight down the urge to delete it all and slink back into the shadows.

Still, it puts me in a bit of a shitty position. There are large sections of the RR Companion Vault that I had nothing to do with. The prisoner system and sorters, especially. I don't know how they work, I don't use them.

I can't debug or improve them at the moment... and being as I don't use or like either system, it's doubtful I'll bother to learn how.

He suggested that I try to pull in help from someone new.

I'm leery. ttomwv and I worked well together. We didn't have a long history by any means, but it was one totally free of drama or personal conflict.

That is an exceedingly rare thing in life; on the internet especially.

I'm going to put the word out, see if anyone else wants to sign on... but if responses in the past to community outreach are any indication, this will be a total flop.

I'm not going to abandon the mod. There are still places I want it to go, companions I want to see.

Horrible attacks I want to enact upon the vault... *cough* Did I say that one out loud...?

Anyway, the worst this means for the moment is a slowdown. I'm not going to abandon my other mods by any stretch, so the RR Companion Vault will just have to queue up with the rest and wait its turn, I suppose.