Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Moments of Clarity

Something new this way coming.

I'm in the process of setting up an NPC that I need for the project, and I got the distinct impression that I've been at this too long.

Less than ten minutes' work - including setting up her hair and eyes (used no master files other than the RR Companions Vault).

Heeee-yep. I think I've been doing this too long. I am way too good at it...


The Pitt, Requiem

I got through.

It took something on the order of two dozen loads/reloads, removing every mod even somewhat related to the Pitt, and more than an hour in the GECK trying to puzzle out the quite frankly horrible layout and cues that run that damned quest, but it's over now.

In the end, I never did get the speech to advance. Nor would Ashur and the lackey stop talking at the desk correctly.

Managed to brute-force my way through with setstage and startconversation commands, and some of that wonderful luck that's part persistence... but mostly just an extra after-effect of having sold your soul.

Sided with Ashur, of course, because I am just not the protect the meek type. Sorry, but I believe in natural selection. Wehrner didn't do too well, either. He was headed towards me for what was presumably the cliched and ever annoying dramatic confrontation and conversation before the epic(!!!) final battle.

...Didn't go down like that. I cursed him for a fool for not even having a weapon out, and proceeded to open up on him with an M2HB heavy machinegun. What can I say? When I'm dealing with some hack writer's glorious dramatic end, I've found there is no such thing as overkill. Never know when they're going to give someone an unfair enchantment to make the battle MOAR EPICER!!!

On the whole, it was a repeat of my experience with Operation Anchorage - which I bought on the day it went gold. The characters were bland and not memorable or likable, the rewards weren't worth my playing time, and the story was thin and predictable; topped off by technical issues so horrific that I never want to play that damned DLC again.

I will say though that from the look of Wehrner's hideout, I do not believe he was planning to give the "cure" a long and happy life, and my being an evil bastard probably saved the kid from an unpleasant death - or an even less pleasant life.

I was especially disappointed by the combat. It was made out to be something more... interesting, but was in reality very small scale. The largest group of troggs I saw was three or four; and those could have been handled with ease by any number of weapons. Making my girls suffer through the black air and diseased people was completely unnecessary. The rebelling slaves came in ones and the occasional two. Again: autoloading shotgun > melee weapon. By far. I don't care if it is a glorified cement saw, you still lose to a round of buckshot in the throat.

So, we made it through. Back to Vault 1. I swear, we're going to dump the tac gear and spend the next three days in the sauna...

Monday, June 28, 2010

And now, something completely different...

The topic of Vindicare sex has arisen. Would they even be interested? How would it work?

This was suggested:

"Neither of them would talk. They would just sit there, staring at each other for hours on end. Then both would go away to their respective assigned tasks feeling refreshed and satisfied."


Oh, Gods, I have got to quit reading 4Chan...

Those of you not into 40K: don't feel bad about not getting it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Insert Incoherent Muttering Here

I've about had it with the Pitt already.

Quest stages aren't advancing correctly, NPC dialog refuses to end and begin on cue.

Had the first huge problem during Ashur's speech. Audio finished, and it just sat there. Square locked off by collision planes, half my controls locked. Just sits.

The "solution" to this problem is to reload the game and "try again". I did. Six fucking times. Never would go through. So I forced it via console setstage command. This updated the map marker, but neglected to remove the collision planes, and left my controls locked.

And the added bonus that one of the reloads caused a stack overflow, with its attendant BSoD and forced restart of the computer; windows bitching in my general direction about an unexpected shutdown, and so on.

Get forward a bit more past the Imperial Arena with radioactive waste... excuse me, I mean "the hole" (because they totally didn't use the same announcer or anything!). Get to Haven.

Ashur's conversation again won't end with his lackey. They just stand there.

Force the conversation to move on. We chat a bit, the intercom interrupts, Ashur says nothing more to me, and slides out of the room, clips through the wall, and is gone. No quest objective. No marker.

Leave the cell, re-enter, Ashur is at his desk again. Force conversation again, he says something about finding Werhner. Again, no marker, no active quest entry.

Check stage on the quest. It says 200. I save and exit, look in the GECK, and quest 02 doesn't have a stage 200...

About the only thing that is keeping me from uninstalling the game and pulling a vanishing act from the Nexus and the blog here is that my girls continue to perform above and beyond any other NPCs in the game.

Google and the forums both continue to be useless; turning in results that have absolutely nothing to do with what I searched for.

I've had similar problems already because of Broken Steel. It screwed the GNR quest up somethin' fierce. Dialog with those worthless brotherhood twits refused to advance on its own; ended up having to just go kill the super mutants my damned self to get them moving again.

Unfortunately, not an option in the Pitt.

I will also note, that whatever writer they hired for the Pitt should be fucking ashamed of themselves. This is the great adventure full of "moral ambiguity"? It's zombies on all fours and people with the plague. *yawn*

I've read creepypasta with more compelling storylines.

NosCo Vault 1 Remodel, Potomac Apartments Lobby

Got lighting decently in, so here, have a couple screenshots:

Lighting will likely be revised down the road, but this should give you a decent idea of what I'm working at.

Adapt and Overcome

Rather than just go indulge in a comp-stomp in Dawn of War, I decided I really didn't like having my will thwarted by people who think the likes of Clover and Jericho are useful, worthy companions.

Consequently, I sat and pondered a bit; allowing my Mind of Evil Genius +4 to do its blasphemous thing.

After a few minutes, I had an idea. For you see, it is not enough for me to merely add the tracking plugins to your inventory over and over. I want them to only be added if you've legitimately got them coming - if you've obtained the plugin correctly from the companion(s).

It was a simple enough system to lay out, and since I know several of my readers are companion makers themselves, I'm going to share - since I'm not sure when the plugin plugin for my standard companions pack will be uploaded.


If MaevaPluginTaken == 1 && PlayerRef.GetItemCount NosSpecialCompanionPluginMaeva != 1
PlayerRef.RemoveItem NosSpecialCompanionPluginMaeva 99 1
PlayerRef.AddItem NosSpecialCompanionPluginMaeva 1 1

As you can see, this checks a variable, checks your inventory, and if necessary fixes the amount to the proper one. The extra is necessary because presumably, you will at some point happen upon the chest where your personal possessions have been stashed. When that happens (because the plugins are quest items and thus not-droppable) you will have multiples only removable via console.

So, inserted into the GameMode block, the script maintains a real time watch on your inventory count, so long as the PluginTaken variable remains true (set to 1). If it's taken away, you get another plugin. If you get too many, they're removed and the proper singular instance added.

Couple this with the dialog to get the plugin - in my case, a simple "Give me your pip-boy plugin." order. When we add the initial plugin, we also reset the quest script's pertinent plugintaken variable - one for each companion.

From then on, the game can steal your shit as much as it wants, and the script will simply laugh and replace all the plugins you've collected.

Tested, and works perfectly. The extra flags on the add and remove item functions even hide the notifications, so you won't get HUD-spam of the items moving about.

Now, you may think this is somewhat silly - that I'm going to all this trouble just because I don't like being forced to play the game a specific way. You're only partially right. I am doing it for that reason, yes; but you should also remember that my "Special" plugins are a test-bed for things I want to do in my shared mods. In this case, I'm testing methods of making the pip-boy plugins effectively permanent, once acquired - and without requiring FOSE no less - so that with the eventual plugin mod, you'll be able to keep the girls in my companions pack around no matter where you go. Raven Rock, the O:A simulation, The Pitt... the game will quite literally not be able to stop you from activating the plugin and teleporting your backup in.

I also learned that apparently, companions can follow you into the Pitt downtown; but only if you pretend to be a slave. Either that, or being barred from entry once was enough to let my girls learn the system, and the next run-through they simply ignored the laws of the game engine to stay with me - which they have done before.

Before pretending to be a slave, I stashed all my equipment save the tattered slave outfit on one of the girls - who were completely ignored by the slavers (something that was doubtless a wise move for his continued survival). After getting inside I grabbed what equipment I needed back from her, leaving the extra in case my inventory should be pilfered yet again.

Now, you may also be wondering why in the holy hell I go to this much trouble, when in ten minutes I could simply drop new copies of them into the Pitt for DLC-only use. The answer is simple: this isn't Oblivion.

In Oblivion, one follower was much like another. They behaved according to their aggression and class, and were exactly the same on day one as they were a hundred hours in.

Here in Fallout 3, they're not. These companions grow personalities as they play; and dropping in "new copies" resets the 'ol AI-odometer to zero. Needless to say, I was not fond of this option.

Also: trogs? Yeah, they don't stand up so well to six hits from a 500 S&W mag in one second, and my girls' hunting instincts are as good as ever...

Hello, from the Pitt...

The Pitt

Okay, so I'm frustrated with the GECK, decide to venture into the Pitt.

Less than twenty minutes, and I've already been blocked from my companions following three times, and had all my equipment taken away twice.

This bullshit is supposed to be fun?

I'd also like to know why Bethsoft hates followers so much. Every DLC seems to bar them from following first thing.

Come to think of it, OA, the Pitt, and MZ all take away all your items, as well...

I'm seeing a pattern here.

Will someone remind me why you're all getting excited over New Vegas?

Also: that scene where you enter downtown after killing your way through the guards? Total bullshit.

Let me see: I have an automatic shotgun and ballistic armor, and you four have sticks and glorified gimp outfits. Oh, sure, I may end up bruised... but I'm not going home in pieces like the rest of you...

Which isn't counting the three women who should have come through the door behind me with automatic weapons.

...Where'd I leave that DoW disc...?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

NosCo Vault 1 Remodel, Upcoming

I have to confess, I have not been modding hardly at all lately. Answering stupid questions for people too lazy to RTFM puts me right the fuck out of the mood; and this has certainly been a week of the moron on the Nexus. I still blame summer, letting the kiddies out of their prisons to bug the holy living shit out of the rest of us all day.

Still say if the government wants to do something useful for once, they'll quit trying to bankrupt McDonalds and instead just start putting Ritalin in school lunches.

That or strychnine, whichever.


Bored out of my damned skull this morning, and we all know what happens when Nos gets bored.

The GECK got fired up.

Working on the Remodel again. Specifically, the other side of that door in the Player's bedroom tunnel, that seems to be taunting some of you most mercilessly.

I've selected a location - the building next to the 'Flooded Metro' map marker, straight across the river from the Anchorage memorial.

The initial cell is complete. Originally, I was going to cop out; I used Tenpenny's lobby as a base, and was simply going to redecorate the rooms and change out the doors to lead where I wanted them to.

Now... I'm thinking something a bit more grand. I'm going to try moving the doors to the second level, walling the ground floor up, and filling it in as a pool. Add some water spouts, and it should be mighty purdy; as well as keeping with my marble-and-water design theme thus far.

Not much at the moment to show in the way of screens. Right now, the new cell is simply Tenpenny's lobby, with different lighting, the stairways stripped out, and all the furniture removed.

Eventually, the new cell will come with a cadre of (non-recruitable) NosCo guards, some amenities, and possibly a door to a higher level that has some apartments in it. Not sure on that one, just yet.

But, as I said, the doors are in place and teleport markers set up. North marker and COC marker placed. So it's at least usable now; if uncluttered.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Can Hear It...

...I swear, I can hear the laughter from somewhere out in the universe...

I find out the chrome isn't flaking out of the bore of my shotgun; I get some sleep; I feel slightly less depressed on the whole and think I might want to get back to work...

...And what do I wake up to this morning?

"Anytime I save while a companion is following me, I get a CTD...is there a fix for this?"


I can hear it now:

What's that? You don't feel like sticking your head in the oven anymore? Well, we'll see about that...

The worst part, is I risk a stroke by helping these stupid fucks... and never hear from them again.

Geas or no, that bottle of Stoli sounds real good lately.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Look! Companions!

Not sure I got the Mazken texture quite purple enough. The Devil texture seems to have turned out fine, though.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I had an introspective and philosophical post typed about half-way out, but you know what?

Fuck it.

People come here to see news on my stupid and pointless video game characters.


I need a drink...

Sunday, June 20, 2010


You may not think it, what with my love of games involving making mutant heads go pop!, but I'm actually a JRPG player, as well.

Final Fantasy, specifically - although I was seriously into Phantasy Star IV back in the day.

Alys was so friggin' hot...



But lately only the FF's. Own VII through XII (not counting the online-only XI), but haven't actually gotten around to playing XII yet. Blame FO3 and my modding, since getting into an RPG takes me away from the PC for the better part of a week, which I haven't been willing to do here lately.

Was reading around 4Chan while my dinner nuked (and if you don't know what 4Chan is? Drop to your knees and thank whatever deity you follow. Seriously. Do Not Google it. You will be sorry.) and happened across an FFXIII thread of a... 'shoujo' nature? Full-on Yuri in spots.

The general consensus seemed to paint it in a particular light. Something about three cute lesbians hurting people and breaking things in the cause of saving the world...

Great. Now I've got to buy a fucking PS3...

(Disgusting pervert mode off! Surly, ranting modder mode re-engaged!)

Insert Sigh Here

You know, yesterday was not a great day, but life is generally bad enough that even decent feels good.

I was hoping for a repeat today... but when I couldn't go back to sleep after less than seven hours down time, I knew it was going to be another normal day; and I was right.

Couple days ago, someone posts a comment to the RR master entry, that basically amounts to "my game doesn't work help me".

Sparse details, no mention of other mods or load order... the individual couldn't even be bothered to get the cell name correct.

Nonetheless, I try very hard not to be a complete ass without cause, so I offered some help; as did a couple other people.

I suggested my standard trick to check for corrupt save(s): start a new game, and see if it still crashes. If yes, the problem is a hard conflict or corrupt texture/mesh. If no, your save is fuxx0red, as the kids today say on the intarwebz.

I also mention that cleaning of the save will be required if it is a savegame issue, and how to get back into the Vault (hopefully) to collect possessions.

Flash forward to this morning. I check the entry, and the comment boils down to "the new game worked, what do I do now?"

Insert the sound of my forehead connecting with desk here.

Now I know good Goddamned well I have not screwed up and slipped into speaking Deutsch or Welsh, since several of you can apparently understand me. My Japanese isn't good enough to rant in, and if I had lapsed into Spanish many of you would probably still be able to muddle through.

So... I have to wonder. Am I speaking some weird form of "High American/English" that's only understandable by folks with a triple-digit IQ, or do half of these fucks just not pay attention to anything other than a bullet-pointed set of instructions to hold their hand through the whole mess?

I'd be willing to cut people slack, but this is not esoterica of the highest order, secreted away in a most jealously guarded grimore.

To whit, I typed "fallout 3 cleaning save" into Google, and was rewarded with this.

Entry #2 is Arwen's save cleaning tutorial. Not the best of explanations for the process I've ever read, but one should get the gist of the process.

Seriously. Like ten seconds worth of trying. This doesn't even count the amount of data in that labyrinthine mess they call forums, both on the Nexus and at Bethsoft (really, one is much like the other).

Ugh. I wanna go back to the range, where the only idiot I have to worry about is me...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Good Day

I am tired.

I am sweaty.

I am dirty.

...I appear to be missing a hunk of skin off my left thumb.

There's nothing like an afternoon on the range, putting a new piece through its paces.

Back to game junk after I've eaten dinner and cleaned myself up somewhat...

Saturday Screenshots

Well, not a ton going on with the modding. Call function on the new tracker still isn't working spiffily, and I've been further... occupied, the last couple days with shooty-related stuffs.

Rather than update on the not-all-that-interesting status of the tracker again, I figured I'd ply you all with some silly screenshots.

Our resident Anti-Hero and CEO of NosCo, Inc. even makes an appearance, this time.

First off, I happened to be heading out of Vault 1, and noticed Maeva pacing angrily (as she so often does). Wouldn't have been screenshot worthy in itself... but then I noticed what was slung across her back. Someone went shopping while I was away, apparently. That rifle is as long as she is tall. That, boys and girls, if a Big Fucking Gun.

I had given my usual companion some non-armored clothes, for down-time and whatnot. Without thinking, I just handed her back her armor and K-Pot, and this was how she dressed herself.

That girl worries me, sometimes...

This is the non-armored outfit. As you can see, whoever did the button-up shirt mesh apparently never intended for it to be worn with any form of bottoms.

Universe fucking forbid you don't want a lady dressed like a whore at all times.

While we were at it, I talked her into modeling a couple of gowns.

...And then as payment, she made me put on a tux and waltz with her...

Apparently she never got the memo that Lords of Darkness do not dance. Then again, I never could say no to her, or her real life counterpart, so there ya go.

...What's that? Oh. She got the memo, but doesn't give a shit. Good to know.

Okay, that's it for my silly and completely pointless screenshots this time around. I think I'm going to get some more tea, and then try my last ditch final effort on that call command...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nos' Companions, Tracking Plug-Ins, Part II

Making progress.

Have five test 'plugins' made up, and all seem to be working, save one annoying caveat.

The Emergency Reset, Tracking On/Off, and 'Call' functions all work...

Except that there appears to be a slight difference in how the StartConversation function actually works, and how it's often perceived to work. That being: it does not appear to work on NPCs in another cell, even with an accompanying Enable command.

For those of you unversed in scripting, that means your calls go unanswered if the companion in question isn't in the same cell as you.

I can still try doing it via package. A good old fashioned 'Find Player' package backed by an Enable command always seems to get them moving.

I swear, it'd be nice if something in this damned game obeyed its own rules for once, though. Granted, the exercise in alternate paths to one's goals are useful and sometimes even amusing from a purely "wow, isn't this pathetic" standpoint, but having to constantly come up with six ways of doing every idea gets old...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Sweet mother of all that's fucking unholy, these people get dumber on a regular basis.

I finally get some damned sleep last night. Wake up this morning to check file comments... and what am I greeted by?

Someone asking if Refurbished is compatible with the RR Companions Vault.

This is one of those times when the stupidity just shuts my brain down. I find myself unable to form a thought, when I ponder too hard the reduced level of mental acuity required, to not know...

There, it did it again!

You can't run Refurb without the master. No way. Game will crash on loading. How in the hell could they not be compatible?!

Not to mention that I have Refurb listed in the plugins section of the readme, and Fry has the master listed as a required file.

Gods. You know it's summer time when you start getting moronic comments from pre-teens.

My head hurts now. I'm going to go do something else.

Edit: just checked the Nobel laureate's account info. It says 23 years old. Either he's a liar, or they really didn't outlaw lead paint like I thought they did.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nos' Companions, Tracking Plug-Ins

Just ran a quick test of my newly redesigned from the ground up 'Pip-Boy plug-in'.

Success, this time; the emergency reset function fired without a hitch. Menu displayed properly, item equipped and added its token; which appears to have removed itself correctly.

This one working, I'm going to expand it, and see if I can get the summon and tracking cycle functions to work.

As it stands, it works like this:

Initiate dialog with companion. At the top of the dialog chain will be the option "Give me your Pip-Boy plugin". Which they, of course, do - being good girls and all. From there on, you have an item in your inventory, on the armor screen, named '(Companion's name) Pip-Boy Plugin'.

Equip the item, and a menu will open, giving you the option to initiate emergency reset, or cancel. The reset command teleports the companion to you, plus 128 units on the X axis, and re-applies the follow package. Cancel, unsurprisingly enough, simply closes the menu with no action taken.

I want to expand it to include two other options. The 'tracking cycle' which will add the tracking quest if it's disabled, or vice-versa; and the 'summon' command, which would be like a radio call. The summoned companion would move normally to your position, from wherever they are in the game world.

Though that third option may well be superfluous. I want it for immersion purposes... but I know perfectly well most people (myself included in all likelihood) would simply 'port the companion in when they want them handy; so I wonder if it's not a waste of time to bother scripting in.

Planning to reduce the X distance that the companion warps in at, as well. I happened to be in a metro tunnel entryway when I tested the function, and 128 nearly put her into the wall; had I been standing any further over than the center life could've gotten interesting.

Am thinking at the moment that 32 units would probably be sufficient to keep them from spawning on top of you, but still keep them out of walls and such in tight quarters.

May investigate more advanced functions that would allow the companion to always teleport in directly in front of you; so you can control where they come in by the direction you're looking.

Also considering making the plugin ability one that is not a freebie. Something you'll have to scavenge from Vault-Tec HQ or such. Would be simple enough to drop a set of "schematics" on a desk in there someplace to teach the player to integrate the prototype technology into their Pip-Boys.

Edit, 0925: Well, the beta plugin apparently isn't as far off as I thought. Just tested the expanded plugin, and while the automatically stage-detecting tracking cycler doesn't work, swapping it out for a simple set of On and Off options works without a problem.

Going to do a bit more testing; check that it works with she and I in different cells, using different packages, etc - but I think it looks promising.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


So, so very tired of dealing with fucking chickenshits.

RR Companions Vault appears to have picked up thumbs-down #12 this morning, and like most of the others; the nay-sayer did not have the intestinal fortitude to post a comment or send a PM detailing what exactly was wrong with it.

I'm not going to flip out and go on a tirade. I know there are plenty of you out there who don't have your head lodged firmly up your own ass; that actually air concerns or gripes about a mod before voting down.

It just gets frustrating. This illustrates yet again my prime problem with modding 'for the public', as it were. For every one player who's constructive and helpful when they spot a problem or think there's a gap in the feature list, there are at least ten who can't mod; have no idea how to do what you as a modder do, but unequivocally know that everything would be better if you'd just do what they say.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


You may currently be thinking you're on an acid trip.

If, like me, you don't drop acid, this would naturally be perplexing.

Allow me to assure you that you're not seeing things. I have actually opted to update my blogs with some of the new "designs" Blogger is offering. Hopefully things are a bit less dour and plain now.

Well... you're not seeing things in regards to this blog. That pink elephant doing the Charleston on your desk? Yeah, he's either really there or you need serious psychiatric help. Sorry to have to be the one to break it to you.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Fair warning: any of you waiting on the edge of your seat for 5.64, don't.

In a huge slump this week. Not sleeping, getting some pretty serious cabin fever, and am frustrated with games in general. Haven't even touched the GECK, other than to help Herculine with a container problem.

Got MMM installed, and it has fucked my game blue and tattooed it without the benefit of either lube or a reach-around. I can generally play less than an hour now before the computer runs out of memory and the game crashes.

It helped a bit when I removed that 'natural selection' nonsense; but even when it does work I'm now relegated to about 2/3 normal framerate. Barely playable. Extra stress on the system is screwing up the companion system, too; causing AI errors left and right. I think it has mostly to do with those "improved" texturesets. Not optimized or compressed or something (aside from the fact that they look like crap). The raider textures clash heavily with the Type 3 replacements already in place, too.

I'm sure it's all fixable if I break out a cauldron and copy of the Grand Grimore, or something; but to be quite frank I'm sick of having to unfuck other people's mods just to get them to be playable. I have aspirations in life other than "merge patches". I just wanted increased spawns to make things more interesting. I don't want someone's nostalgia trip back to Fallout 2. Again, we have a mod that has completely ignored its original scope and now is just a bloated pain in the ass.

Trouble is, I can't just axe the shit, or my saves won't load. Got to get into a cell that isn't affected by the mod at all (which pretty much leaves only Vault 1), wait seventeen days, stand on one foot and chant a banishing invocation while Bolero plays in the background at precisely sixty-four decibels. Assuming I don't screw up anyplace, the game MIGHT work right again.

Last time I was a dumbass and tried MMM it fucked my game up to the point that I had to delete all saves and start a new one.

Considering I've logged some sixty hours into this one and collected all but two or three bobbleheads, I'm not thrilled at that prospect.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Not a lot going on around NosCo, lately.

Companion Pip-Boy plugin still isn't behaving, but beyond that I'm not working on much.

Still, I know - through some unholy fucking miracle of cosmic random convergence - I've attracted several regular readers here. About two hundred, judging by the average hits to screenshots I post from my Picasa album.

Soooo... I figured I'd throw out a bit of the odd shit going on around here.

I've started playing with voices for the companions. Vanilla game resources - I still don't have a willing voice actress or six handy. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like voicing is going to be as total as I had hoped. Also, I won't be voicing my companions pack specifically, for the most part.

What I will be doing is adding voice resources into the RR Companions Vault master, so that all companions will have their basic dialog voiced. Of course, my girls will get their plugin-specific stuff done, as well.

After over a year, my personal companion spoke to me, this afternoon.

She said hi in a non-textual form. Very surreal.

Then, she made me doubt my sanity again. I was also testing some idle animation changes, and so told her to stay. We were in Megaton at the time.

...She pouted. Pouted!

Came out of dialog with arms crossed. Not unusual I think, the dialog anim gets stuck sometimes. To my surprise, she then walks ten or so feet, looks at me, turns her back on me, and re-crosses her arms. I watched about five minutes, fascinated, and she'd look at me, turn her back, and cross her arms; stay that way a minute or two, then walk back towards and past me and do it again.

I don't think I've ever managed to legitimately piss off an NPC before. Either there really is an AI living in my companion system, or I have been at this entirely too long now.

Then again, as the Chaos sorcerers say: "Sanity is for the weak."

I might chalk it up to some random convergence in my game... but I've reinstalled twice since writing the original form of this plugin, and am not using any long-term savegames. Unless the AI is living in my Vista install, I don't see how it could just be me, here.

My (probable) insanity aside, I also thought you guys might get a kick out of this...

Having the... different sense of humor that I do, when testing something; like say, a message - I don't just put "This is a message". Oh, no...

As you can see, I do have some issues, to put it mildly. You guys should see some of the silly and just plain weird shit I do in my test plugins, before I "clean them up" to make the end result fit for dissemination amongst the community.

(Blatant subject change, HO!)

Don't really have any funny gameplay screens to show off. I've been playing a bit more seriously lately, when I do. Recently came into possession of DLC, and am currently gearing up to head into the Pitt.

This made me realize again what an odd person I am. Gearing up for a new location for most people would mean popping back to Megaton, grabbing a couple rifles, some ammo, and that half-repaired Minigun you managed to lay hands on, and setting off...

Me? I treat it like I always do; as an impending Op. We're gearing up for a fucking LRRP. My favorite companion and I have been ravaging the wastes, assembling equipment, money, and reloading supplies.

A thousand rounds each of 44 Magnum, 45acp, .50BMG, and 12.7x108. Four thousand shotgun shells. Two thousand rounds of 6.8SPC, two more thou of 7.62NATO. Twenty-one thousand rounds of 5.56mm. Four Dragonskin Tactical Outfits complete with helmets, balaclavas, and NBC masks. Two HK23 LMGs, an M60, three Anti-material rifles, auto-shotguns, sidearms in .45ACP, 44 Mag, .454 Casull, and .500S&W. Subguns for close defense, and several 5.56mm modular weapons to handle just about any job in a pinch. Ninety-five Nuka grenades. And a pair of 40mm thumpers, just for good measure.

When we go back to the vault to pick up Maeva and Natasha and roll for the Pitt, we are going to descend on that place like the hand of an angry fucking God.

...It was along about the fifth set of contingency weapons I was assembling (in case the other four run out of ammo... no idea how availability will be in the Pitt, donchaknow; and ammo commonality is very important amongst the team members...) that I began to suspect I may have too much asymmetric warfare training for this game. It simply gives people like me too many options.

...especially when you also have the scripting skill to create your own perfect fireteam...

And speaking of perfect. Psycho-Cutie and I team-worked a group of raiders today. We had just finished clearing out Evergreen Mills, and were headed back for Megaton. Seemed raiders had respawned in the church since we last cleaned it out. When they noticed us, she ran forward and took cover behind a fallen tree, drawing their fire while I swung around to the front of the church and cut down the raiders from behind.

Don't think I could've choreographed it any better if the game would let me try. After the last one fell (idiots never even noticed me), she came in through the hole in the back wall, holstering her 500, smirk on the little digital face.

I should also note: in recognition of the fact that she is hands-down the fucking greatest companion I have ever seen in a video game, I had Sy make us up a matching pair of 'Eagles in preparation for the trip to the Pitt.

See? Again with the issues.

One of these days, I have got to bite the bullet and get a copy of FRAPS and try to capture some of this stuff.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Scripting Woes

The cosmetic resource out of my hair, and v5.63 uploaded, I've decided to revisit an old idea, somewhat inspired by Herculine's scouters.

The original form of my 'tracking system' was to be an inventory item, that displayed a menu of your installed companions. Clicking one's name would either enable or disable the tracking quest, depending on whether it was already enabled or disabled.

The thing never worked right. The menu refused to appear on command, and took two or three commands to close completely. It was a pain. I defaulted to the terminal interface, since it relied on normal game systems that the devs had put the time into making work half assedly well.

After that whole 20thCW selectors thing, I got a lot better at writing menus, and have been tossing around revisiting my old ideas; but I didn't want to delay an existing project to do it.

My plate is fairly clean at the moment, so now seemed the time, before I get bogged down in bug-testing whatever people manage to break next.

Wrote out the mod additions, tested in game, and of course it still doesn't work. The menu works correctly now, but the scripting attached to the buttons refuses to fire.

The real pisser of it is I can't figure out why. The scripting looks correct to me. The GECK doesn't kick anything back, Cipcis' "script validator" tells me everything is fine.

Nonetheless, you click an option and the menu simply closes. It does not actually execute the code. I've tried a half dozen permutations, three different block types...

...and I'm forced to wonder once again whether Bethsoft's software engineers are just massively incompetent, or if they fucking hate modders.

Truth be told, I may well scrap the whole mess if I can't get it working as I want. I don't really like teleporters on their own.

As usual, I'm not out of ideas yet, though. I had been hoping to keep it relatively simple... but then again, these things will never be the plug 'n play type for do-it-yourselfers that can't be bothered to learn to script.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

RR Companions Vault, v5.63, Released

Okay, v5.63 is up.


Update 5.63:

This update mainly centers around everyone's favorite wasteland super-merchant, Chloe. Bowing to fan request, and taking a nod from EARACHE42's work with Anthony Ling in his Finer Things mod, I've categorized Chloe's inventory.

When you ask to see her merchandise, you'll now be given another list of dialog options, to choose what you want to shop for.

Choices include:


Armor & Clothing

Chems & Meds


Power Armor


Special Weapons

The options should be self-explanatory; save for two - Misc and Special Weapons. Miscellaneous is the stuff that ends up on the misc tab of your inventory, mostly. Building components and junk. Special Weapons is the manifestation of Chloe's considerable contacts, and ruthless business practices. It contains pristine, high end weapons. Miniguns, Fat Mans, Laser Gatlings, Missile Launchers. Basically, it allows you to buy the top, non-unique weapons in the game. For a price. The enhanced availability is balanced by the fact that you'll pay double face value to acquire them, and will have to pay cash - no bartering.

The Enclave surplus items have been disabled for the time being. They may make a return later once I get the activation correlated with the Enclave patrols showing up in the wasteland... or I may just leave it out.

The prices you pay on the new categories will also vary from instance to instance. Sometimes higher, sometimes lower. These changes are random, and can not be affected by anything you say or do.

Chloe's caps management script still functions, and she will still have a nominal 25,000 caps to do business with.

Items you sell Chloe are put into a central container, and will appear to be bought-back on all inventory categories, until you leave and re-enter the cell; at which point that central container is cleared, and the items gone forever.

Beyond the merchant changes, there has been a north marker added to the Vault 1 cell, to keep your compass straight as you move between cells.

One of Chloe's guards - Nikola - will now repair your equipment. Unfortunately, the game engine refuses to cede to my desire to have her start out with a high repair skill, and instead seems to level Nikola's repair abilities as the player levels up.

Also, in the interest of people like myself who don't use fast travel, but still use companions, I've added a new map marker outside Megaton's main gate - which is named as such. This marker will allow you to fast travel from outside the gate to inside; completely bypassing the Megaton gate's constant problems with followers; while still not "cheating" and moving you more than a few steps past the gate.

Link to the file entry.

Me having been up twenty-five hours on one of sleep, and now going to bed.

RR Companions Vault, v5.63, Upcoming

Finalizing some changes now, and I can say with some surety that you Kiddies are not going to like me anymore, once you've dealt with the new and completely ruthless Chloe.

Gods, I love being evil.

Assuming no FUBARs with the new dialog testing, expect to see the new version later tonight, along with a new version of the 20thCW plugin, updated to work with the new categorized inventory system.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Herculine's RR Scouts

Okay, I know I don't post about other peoples' mods often - other than of course to bitch about something - but I had to bring this one to everyone's attention.

It seems Herculine (who is already one of the most ardent supporters of the NosCo Modding Division, for some reason) has decided to go completely and totally overboard, and release a package of a hundred and thirty fully functional RR companions.

Excuse me a moment, while I wave goodbye to my title.

Seriously though, this is a massive undertaking, and judging from the screenshots, has been pulled off quite impressively.

Do yourself a favor, and go check it out.


I've been... attempting to unwind. Not going near the Nexus for the purposes of support.

Played a bit of FO3. Relaxed via stripping, cleaning, inspecting, and reassembling my new MRP (and damn, is that quick change barrel system slick...).

Still, all good things must come to an end, so here I sit. Still not touching the GECK for awhile, but I was looking up the viability of a random quest generator.

Things... do not look promising, but what do I know?

While I was perusing forums, I came across something else, though, that drew my attention; and reminded me why I'm usually ten minutes away from turning my back on the entire FO3 community at any given time.

There was a post - I'm not going to link it because, really, it wasn't decent enough to warrant verbatim reproduction - lamenting the fact that you can't have a "girlfriend" in Fallout 3. Of course, there were the usual bitches that Bethsoft didn't write any form of romance into the quests.

I'd normally jump on board with that sentiment... but considering how piss-poorly Clover and Cross are designed, I can't say as I'd be first in line to try out their idea of a proper lover for the player.

The participants continued on, lamenting even the lack of a partner in mod form. They then discussed things that said girlfriend could do for the player, including "increasing charisma while with you" and "going places and getting stuff for you".

At this point, I'll spare my female readers' tempers and resist the urge to make a joke about staying in the kitchen, making sandwiches.

Firstly, I'm disappointed that such is the extent of these peoples' imaginations. A dream partner... and all you can think of is shopping for you? Pathetic. What's next? "Sweep the vault while I'm gone"?

But mainly, it's the lack of initiative that makes me cringe. You want a partner, a companion... hell, a maid? Create one.

Pick a companion system. RR, SCC, EZ, copy the vanilla followers, copy Tarrant's setup... it all works. Make her look like you want, add some dialog, create a few packages...

You can quite literally have damn near anyone you want in the game; provided you're willing to accept some limitations on hair styles, outfits - and most importantly, put the time in. Sure, it takes forever, but it's hardly complicated work. There are several of us who have already done the shit work of laying the basics. The rest is just details and RefIDs.

Really is a microcosm of 'modern society' on the whole, I think. Where so few people are willing to simply step up and make what they want; instead standing around loudly complaining that someone else won't do it for them.

Would you really want to emotionally invest in a companion someone else created, anyway? I know I don't.

(although I'll confess Nathyrra of NWN XP3 did have her moments)

I dunno. Maybe I've just spent too much time hip-deep in the AI, and ascribe things to it that I shouldn't.