Sunday, June 27, 2010

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...


  1. Nice... The Pitt will never be the same... :)

    It's a good thing you're a genius and do this stuff for us, 'cause I only barely followed the technical bit. However, in lay-terms I understand what you've done and applaud your work. And I promise not to hound you on a daily basis to get it implemented into a released mod... :D

  2. You think this is bad? Should've seen the FOSE code I was originally trying to implement.

    This script at least uses normal functions and not DirectX key-press monitors.