Friday, August 19, 2011

Updates Needed

So, a player commented on NCCS today, citing an issue with companion scripts not running correctly.

Now, I'm not going to call him stupid, or start ranting; or anything like that. This is a legitimate issue, and one that I've run into myself from time to time.

The fix is usually simple: force the companion to re-load into the game world. The easiest way to do this is to just change cells. Go indoors if you're outside, or outdoors if you're inside. This (generally) forces the 3d object to load anew, which seems to get the script's head out of its ass, and all starts running correctly.

In more severe cases when this doesn't work, a fast travel usually does. Even fast traveling to the map marker that you're nearest to in the same outdoor cell will usually do it. It's just an issue of forcing the companion to "spawn" into the world again. For some reason, once it's done that, the Object Script starts running again, 99% of the time.

Normally, you only run into the issue when a script has been modified without a clean save of the companion's plugin being made -- that is to say, changes are being made while the companion is active in the game full-time. Ideally, clean saves should be made anytime you update a plugin... but let's be honest: most of us are too lazy to do that -- myself included.

Other than that, the issue will very rarely manifest if you activate the companion plugin while you're in the cell where they're placed. Again, this seems to have to do with the 3d state not loading correctly, and the script not functioning for whatever reason.

The issue is easy to recognize: a companion so afflicted will still follow you (following is handled by the AI package, not the script), but will not sneak when you do, nor draw/holster weapons to mirror your ready state. This is the surest sign that the companion script is not functioning correctly.

Now, this whole thing has reminded me yet again how out of date the NCCS readme and companion creation tutorials are. When those were written, we hadn't even had one patch yet, let alone the four we have now; and many of the game issues were different. Several have since been fixed, and a few more added.

The bugs section is woefully out of date, as are the links in the tutorial; and quite a few new companion features are missing outright from both documents.

I have got to get around to that, one of these days.

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