Saturday, November 20, 2010

NCCS - Overkill?

So... playing a bit this evening, and progress is being made. The Pip-Boy plugins work, the new Equipment, Personal, and Behavior dialog menus all work; along with their contents.

Have had no following stoppages, no hesitation after combat, no wandering off indoors or out.

Random equipment spawns work, and haven't changed at all in two game days of moving in and out of cells.

I... think I may have overdone the combat calls a bit, though.

I wanted them to forcibly attack anyone who started a fight with me - including the NCR GMPCs.

Well, they do. Unfortunately, they now attack anyone who I enter combat with, making it all but impossible to pick enemies off from a distance.

One of these days, I have got to learn to work incrementally, and not drop my H-bomb as soon as war is declared.

Nevertheless, I think I can salvage it. I've got some code in mind that should allow sniping without them charging in.

Also: NCCS will not have the follow distance plugins seen in RR. There's no need - the options are now included in the dialog orders, and are set up to work individually. You can set each companion on their own to a different distance to pull them in or string them out as you see fit. Settings should also be retained through stay, firing, and re-hire; so that they'll maintain the distance you specify until you order otherwise.

I've put in personal stat and skill displays that will let you keep track of your companion's current health and level; as well as guns, explosives, energy weapons, melee weapons, and sneak skills. This way, you can look at hard numbers, to decide what weapon(s) best suit your companions, as well as whether they're sneaky enough to avoid getting your stealth based character caught. You'll also be able to monitor companions' aggression and confidence - this one is unfortunately displayed via a numerical value and not a name (the script wouldn't allow a name to display); I have, however, added notes to the message that will tell you what the numbers mean.

Further, new dialog options will allow for specifying your companion's aggression at a whim. Three of the four levels are implemented - Frenzied is not, since it's pretty useless to a group effort.

Inventory share command has been moved to the equipment menu, along with an option to equip or remove a Pip-boy on command. There is no Pip-Boy light option at the moment - it caused a lot of problems in FO3, and I haven't decided whether it would be worth trying here.

I haven't decided yet whether the armory and wardrobe are worth bringing back. I never used them myself, and I don't think anyone else has ever mentioned a preference one way or the other.


  1. Sounds like a top-of-the-line companion system to me... and I don't just say that because you're the CEO. I'm very discriminating about what companion systems I use. I could have made a bunch of Ainmhi mannequins for Companion Share & Recruit or over a hundred Scouts for the Sharing & Caring system... but I look for something more substantial than that. Once again, thank you for all the hard work you've been putting into this. I know you're probably going to try to tell people that I've helped with it somehow, but really I've just thrown together nine characters and run them around the Wasteland for a while. I'll be the first to admit that NCCS is all you my friend. I just hope that the humanoids who download it give you the credit and thanks that I know you deserve.

  2. Prodding me with a stick and keeping me interested in working on things - and actually sharing them - should entitle you to some credit.

    Even if it didn't, your fix for the Strip guards certainly does.

    Though I will say your continued support is gratifying. I can tell from your lack of SCC or CSR companions that you really don't put up with shoddy work, so your continuing insistence on using my work does speak to me.

    Also: someone resembling me may have just instituted a partial wardrobe. Not the full-bore one, but I added some dialog-equippable decorations: the slave collar, shades, and clear glasses. Figured they might help a bit with the style angle.

    New combat code looks good; I just want to give it a test run before I email out the new copy to you.

  3. (and the menu already being in place will open us up for easy expansion later on to include Ling's stuffs in the equippable jewelry and decorations...)

  4. Very good to hear.

    By any chance could you add a kill count and show it in stats by chance? Yeah I know very random but I always wonder which of your people makes the most kills....

  5. Still looking good so far. The new dialog options are both functional and add a bit of character. Behavior modifications like aggression and follow distances also appear to be working properly. I'll continue to test. I've got about five more levels to earn before I can take the explorer perk that reveals all map markers. After that, it will be time to start figuring out where I want to put about 130 NCCS Scouts...

  6. Oh, if the game had more of a wardrobe choice I would not mind the people switching outfits now and then on a preset of the items you give them yet yeah...

    Oh, anyway to let them gather items for crafting and such overtime?

  7. Oh, Herculine: I forgot to mention it before, but the follow distance thing WILL periodically reset itself to the normal 150. It's not an engine bug; it's in that behavior-fixing-at-the-end-of-combat code. I just forgot to add the checks to keep it set to the proper distance when they're reset.

    It'll be fixed in the next version, don't worry.

  8. @David:

    The kill-count thing has been tried. As I recall, it's not possible under normal circumstances. There's no such stat in the base game, so the only way to track it would be to add a token or script to everyone they kill; which would add one to a global variable...

    With the aid of FOSE it was technically possible, but a massive amount of trouble and begging for conflicts. I don't know if NVSE is even advanced enough yet to pull it off.

    So... probably not going to happen, regrettably.

    As for crafting stuffs: having them actually gather components would involve invoking the dreaded loot packages; and believe me you don't want that.

    I can, however, easily make it look like they're idly collecting junk as you travel. I think. FO3/FONV don't handle leveled spawns quite the same way as Oblivion did; but I'll do some testing and see if it's still a viable method.

    Wardrobe switching by days is possible; but it's not something I've done because it effectively locks the companion into the wardrobe I set; removing the ability for them to wear what the player gives them. As outfit is the most common customization players make to their companions, I wasn't keen on removing the ability.

    Perhaps for a specific, single companion... but not on the scale of the entire system, sorry.

  9. Well, it's Saturday, I have no job and the GF was at work all day. So I can honestly say that I've done nearly a full day of voluntary testing of the latest master.

    I hate to sound like a broken record here, but I just can't find anything wrong with it. Seriously. I've taken them through a number of quests and combat scenarios, and each time they behave just as I would expect my companions to behave. I've got no complaints.

    Cass, on the other hand, requires almost constant babysitting. But let's not get into all of that... Aside from her, the only thing that has been annoying today is how Kaizar's men keep calling me Wally...

  10. You're having better luck than me, then.

    Tried running them all on one script, and had a complete stoppage after the first combat.

    Tried resetting it to individual scripts, and now the scripts don't function at all. No sneaking, no weapon drawing; just the blind following from the active package.

    Have to clean the save every time I modify their scripts.

    I hate this game, so very much.

  11. Considering our two very different results, I'd have to say that the problem isn't your script or companions so much as the stupid game itself. I'm real tempted to e-mail a saved game to you and see what happens with that.

  12. It could be worse.

    In the course of fixing RR, I actually broke more than a dozen games of FO3 - to the point that I had to trash all saves and start a completely new game.

    Cleaning saves comes with modding, I'm afraid. It's annoying... but you get used to it.

    I'm more annoyed by the time my PC takes to unload NV after I turn the game off. Since I have to wait for it to flush the cache to open the GECK or Firefox, it makes quick edits to a script and restarting the game all but impossible.

  13. I have the same problem... in fact the game practically refuses to exit itself. I just Ctl+Alt+Del and open Task Manager and use that to instantly close the program.

  14. Unfortunately, the task manager isn't a solution. Terminating the program that way doesn't run any of the exit code in the execute - the stuff that tells it to unload it's crappy data from your memory.

    So Windows sits and lags, trying to flush the cache itself.

  15. *in the executable, I should say.

    Stupid preoccupation with this clusterfuck of a game's got me unable to even type properly...

  16. I use the task manager to close both the program and its process. And don't even think about bringing up that I have more memory, because I've checked and my OS uses up exactly half of it. Damned 64-bit Windows 7... in order to really take advantage of the ability to utilize more RAM I'd have to buy 2 more gb worth. Anyway, that IObit Game Booster can help quickly clear your RAM if you're having such issues repeatedly.

  17. I've got a cache-flusher-thingamawhacker. It's just the annoyance of having to use the damned thing.

    Which I thankfully don't, very often. One of the few things Vista really has going for it is it seems to manage memory pretty well.