Friday, February 4, 2011

NCCS - New Developments

It's been a productive morning.

Firstly, I ran up a plugin to make NPCs use ammo. This is probably going to bite me in the ass when complaints about 714 conflicts start rolling in. I'm not willing to go so far as to include it in the master, but the addon plugin is simple and easy to switch on and off.

Of course, it conflicts with every other mod that changes most shooty weapons in any way (including weapon mod expansion, FWE, and FOOK47; doubtless it'll cause problems with the new 'caliberX' package, as well). Still, it should shut at least a couple of the malcontents up.

Second, I launched into work on NCCS v0.5. The new feature? A new orders menu.

One of the things some other malcontents have been whining about is how the wheel is better, because it doesn't require taking ten seconds to navigate dialog and actually deal with a bit of personality from the companion.

The wheel, naturally, is most peoples' solution.

I hate the wheel. I think it's clumsy, poorly implemented, and requires mucking with too many quests and scripts to work worth a shit.

So, say hello to the NCCS quick-orders menu:

The menu is a CM-style. If you speak to your companion normally, you get the normal dialog interface. Speak to them while sneaking, and you get the quick menu. The menu only appears if they're in your party at the time, so I'm afraid you lazy Kiddies will still have to hire and recruit normally.

The options are fairly straightforward.

*Follow: re-applies the follow package and factions. It's your standard 'reset' button for a stuck companion, or one who's had an incorrect package take over.

*Stay: simple stay command. Leaves them in whatever cell they're in, removes from the party, factions, the companion management system, etc. Same effect as the Stay dialog command.

*Go Melee: switches the companion to the melee class and combat style.

*Go Ranged: switches the companion to the general ranged class and combat style.

*Open Inventory: does just that.

*Cancel: closes the menu without any changes.

There is room for four more commands, but I'm not sure what else is really necessary. Perhaps the sniper behavior option.

I'd like the combat style choices to be conditional - that is, ranged only appears if melee is currently active, and so on - but the message conditions won't work except with explicitly named NPCs, so that option is out.

Tested, and all options seem to work.

Unfortunately, this is one of those updates that required adding code to the companion scripts. I have warned you guys that this is a beta, and it may be best to stick with the provided twenty scripts until I get everything lined out. Users of copied scripts who don't want to update will be able to do so; their companions' performance will continue without change. The updates will only be required if you want the quick orders menu.

On that note, ttomwv mentioned the other day that he runs all his companions on one script, with no issues; so the separate scripts thing may really be a relic of FO3. I'm not personally convinced, but I'm going to do some testing.

I also re-enabled the cover behavior in the custom combat style. Played through a few fights, and saw none of the massive screwups that so plagued the style in the unpatched game, so Obsidian may well have screwed up and actually fixed something other than DLC compatibility in their latest patch.

So, you've got a few days while I tinker with the script-overloads and combat style settings. If there's another order that anyone thinks would be really helpful to have on quick-access, let's hear it.


  1. A square wheel? Honestly, I don't know what some of these people are thinking when they're typing PMs to you. Well, if it will make them happy I suppose...

    Where's the alchemist's lab?

    Where are the enchanting and spell-making altars?

    Where are the mannequins for all my armor and the display cases for all my weapons?

    Where are the NPCs to buy my stuff for twice what it's worth and to repair my stuff for free?

    Will you be doing a version for necromancers or vampires or werewolves or the Dark Brotherhood?

    Where are the prostitutes?

  2. "Where are the prostitutes?"

    I keep them hidden at NosCo HQ. You of all people know perfectly well what I'm capable of doing to the companion system...

  3. bwahahahah. Time to do a commando raid on NosCo HQ. Then again, with your mention of your arsenal and gun skills, might be a bad idea. :|

    I like the idea of the new orders menu. Sadly, since I do not like the fact that default NCCS companions steal xp from me for kills due to the whole team thing, and as an npc, they can kill faster than I can - I'm forced to use the addon that gives the wheel. sigh.

    You do good stuff. Even if you keep the best goodies locked away at HQ :P

  4. Assaulting NosCo HQ is a bad idea; for you see, there are many dangerous things roaming about it - and I am not the most overtly scary of them.

    I don't consider it stealing experience. If you get in the majority of the damage, or a one-shot kill outright, you still get the XP. You only don't get it if you fail to do at least 40% or whatever it is. The way I see it, the game just isn't cheating in my favor anymore - since I'm not getting XP for kills they make. No reason I should get it, as far as I'm concerned. If I want more XP, my ass better evolve and get faster on the 'ol trigger to score them kills. (or at least get some hits in first)

    And I keep the best stuff locked away to preserve what little sanity I have left. Seriously, if you guys saw my PM box, you'd be amazed I wasn't... how was it Alistair put it in DAO?

    "I'd become a drooling idiot; slaughter the grand cleric, and run through the streets of Denerim in my small-clothes."

    Total insanity would be what I'd have to look forward to if I ever publicly released the 'NCCS Naughty Mods' plugin.

  5. re: dangerous things in NosCo HQ - I imagine most of them have red hair. :D

    Definitely don't want your PM's. One of my fave pervo modders got himself banned from the nexus cause he lost his temper with the mental midgets leaving stupid comments about issues that would never happen if they would just "RTFM" and did a "personal attack" on one, and the banhammer came down. :|

    So where is this 'NCCS Naughty Mods' plugin? I am interested in your product and would like to be placed on the mailing list for it. ;P

  6. "leaving stupid comments about issues that would never happen if they would just "RTFM" and did a "personal attack" on one, and the banhammer came down."

    And this, my friends, is why it is important to learn how to call someone a motherfucker without using a single cross word. Oh, how I love using the letter of the law to thoroughly subvert its intent.

    Plus, one thing a lot of people don't realize is that there is no Nexus policy that says you have to reply to a PM or comment. When someone gets too annoying, ignore them. As the file uploader, you now have the ability to give any comment you like an instant -100 to rating, getting it hidden. If you're a premium member, you can delete the comment outright.

    I remember back, a few months after AP for FO3 hit, its comment section was forcibly shut down by the staff because people wouldn't stop comparing notes on how to make it work with kids and animals.


    On the naughty plugin: it's not as amazing as I'm sure your imagination is suggesting. It was mostly something I did on a lark one day after re-watching Chobits.

    "What are you doing?!"

    "Sumomo has been programmed to dance whenever she is idle! *dancedance*"

    So I got to thinking, wouldn't it be neat if NCCS companions danced whenever they weren't following you?

    I threw together a plugin that overrode the follow packages' idle animations with the ones the prostitutes on the Strip use. It didn't work as amazingly well as I had hoped. The idles don't stop when you start moving again, you see... so if you continue on while they're dancing, they keep dancing while sliding across the ground after you in a most disconcerting fashion.

    On top of that, I threw in a few new entries in the equipment menu regarding some... costume choices.

    It's more silly than sexy.

    Even more so than the weirdos, I haven't released it because the scripting is incomplete. The dance stuff is not fully integrated; it can't be switched on and off, for example, except by deactivating the plugin.

    It also isn't relegated to adult female companions - it plays for them all. The idles would cause issues for non-humanoid companions, and if I conditionalize it to work only for "playable" races, for example, it wouldn't work with most custom companion races.

    I could make it complete, and selectable as a system option... but then we're back to dealing with the people who'd want it for Shojo - which I really don't want to be a part of, even only as an enabler.

    Herculine's the only one other than me that has a copy. I know she won't spread it around, and I figure there should be some benefit to associating with a sieve-minded, short tempered, unrepentant pervert like me.