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.