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.