Thursday, September 29, 2011

NCCS v0.8, Upcoming, Part IV

Otherwise titled: delays.

For those who don't follow the sometimes meandering comments in other posts, an issue has developed with the sorters.

An unresolvable one, as far as I can tell.

I set up some diagnostics and resetter functions. The quest runs, the dialogue command to the quest script works... and then nothing. The script hangs before any actual sorting takes place. The problem is it's not a code issue.

The script worked 100% until just a few hours of play time ago. I'd guess somewhere around the fifty-two hour mark. Since then, it dies every third or fourth use; and the only way to get it back up is to clean save. Annoying at best.

Tried stopping and starting the quest, tried forcibly resetting the sorting variables. No luck. It's in the script itself, and it seems to be corrupting in the savegame. Clean save flushes all this data, so the script is entered anew when you re-add the plugin.

Trouble is, there isn't a whole shit ton I can do about the issue. I'm already not re-using saves -- I create a fresh one each time, and periodically clean out all the old ones for space's sake -- and there's no real way to reset a script from within the game. Quests? Sure. But a script is a script until and unless it's removed and added again.

The other two sorters still work fine. For some reason, the game just hates the reloading sorter. Ironically enough, it's the smallest of the three -- but not surprisingly the one I use most. Just goes to show the universe still hates me.

About all I can do is switch to NCCS; see if that reloading sorter craps out regularly too.

This is another case when more information would be very nice. I know the script is the link of failure in the chain, but beyond that? I may as well be throwing darts at a board and attempting to contact dead relatives for tips. Some debug functions in this game would be nice. Except that they'd... y'know, not work. The debug mode would insta-corrupt saves, or refuse to print logs, or something else to make it totally useless.

Monday, September 26, 2011

NCCS v0.8, Upcoming, Part III

So, Herculine's probably going to be annoyed with me; 'cause she's going to be getting another alpha to test later today/tonight.

I hadn't intended to, but I nonetheless ended up working some more on v0.8 this afternoon.

I finally got around to adding working details to the repairer class and faction -- that some people have noticed, but reported not changing anything as a bug (protip: that's because it didn't do anything -- it was a placeholder for future features). That should now be a drop-in option for companions.

As well, there's a 'reloader' faction that allows the player to access portable reloading equipment.

And, I'm about 25% of the way into the medic class/faction. I've got the healing dialogue done, but still have to do addiction, crippled limbs, and radiation.

As noted before, the Operator class and combat style have also been added; using the combat style I designed and refined for Maeva in my personal companions plugin.

Still no plans to make use of the NCR and Legion placeholders; mainly because I just know someone will try to make one (or more) of each and have them fight, then complain it doesn't work right. I'm thinking at this point I'm just going to pull those placeholders altogether; until and unless I can figure out some way to keep them workable as companions, but still prone to leaving/turning on you/whatever if you alienate their faction sufficiently.

Also made some more changes to the back-end; cleaning up code that was now redundant with the backpacks removed and so forth.

Once that's all done, I'll probably rework a few of the companions in my premade pack to get them using the new features.

Lastly: I hate cleaning carpets. Yeah, I know it has nothing to do with modding; but it's what I spent the morning doing, and I just wanted to drop that in there.


...Or, "Why I hate this fucking game."

So, last night just before packaging up the NCCS 0.8 Alpha for digital-pony-expressing to my partner, I had another idea.

Well, two actually. One was when I saw a script in the base game that alludes to the fact that you don't need NVSE to keep weapon health when adding/removing weapons in NV, which will come in mighty handy for the weapons collection, with all its convertible weaponry...

But the second was the one that is actually pertinent to a companion discussion. My idea was a portable reloading setup. Dialogue accessible. It occurred to me that hell, I have a loading press in the other room that weighs in at a svelte pound; so why in the hell would one not pack such a device, some measuring dippers, and a couple die sets along in any post-society situation. Shit, I can't find ammunition half the time locally now; I hold out little hope of doing so after society implodes.

Anyway. I looked up the pertinent script command, and sure enough, the reloading menu can be brought up via any script or dialogue with little difficulty. So I got that added, and tested it; and it worked.

Then I went to sort my remaining components back into their container... and nothing happened. I had just changed the requirements on the sorting commands, so that they could all be accessed from any companion, so I thought that might have done something. I summoned up Natasha (who the commands were written and originally tagged for) and tried, and still, the script wouldn't run.

Tried switching off NCCS, as despite the fact that they don't openly conflict, sometimes the two systems do cause issues for each other for reasons unknown. Still didn't work.

Finally, just before my last resort of starting a new game, I decided to try cleaning the save; and that did it. For some reason, despite the fact that the dialogue didn't "stick" with the old requirements, it had somehow corrupted itself in the save for the reloading sorter to not function at all.

Strangest dirty save I've ever seen, since normally the issue with saves needing cleaning is that they just stay stuck in the old state and don't reflect updates... but this one just flat didn't work on the back-end. It was like it had shut down or otherwise frozen the quest.

Got that working, but now my newly re-added companions are showing errors in their inventories -- the stimpaks they spawn with aren't there. Since I emptied the contents of the storage containers into my own inventory before switching off their plugin, I have the sneaking suspicion that the inventory bug from Oblivion still exists, it just takes more items to set it off now. Loathe though I am to do it, I may have to institute some sort of weight limit on the containers, just to keep item numbers down. These new containers just let you pack along too much -- especially considering there aren't enough merchants in the wasteland to sell or barter that much stuff at three day reset intervals. I need to either expand their inventories, or increase the reset frequency in my game.

Seems like every step forward in this game results in slamming into a brick wall. I figure out a way around that wall, and promptly meet another...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

NCCS v0.8, Upcoming, Part II

I've said it before, I'll say it again: there are entirely too many items in FNV. Got the last of the updates made to the v0.8 alpha this morning -- I did all the scripting the other day, but hadn't copied the new companion scripts to entries #2 - #20.

Got it fired up, my game didn't implode, and Carrie still drew/holstered/followed.

Exited out to make a few revisions to the sorting scripts, since in testing the sorters (which worked) I noticed a few more items that didn't sort -- various Gecko, Nightstalker, and Radscorpion eggs. That has been rectified.

I based where the eggs sort to on what they're good for -- if anything. Gecko, Fire gecko, Golden Gecko, and Radscorpion eggs go into the general container. Nightstalker eggs go into the survival container, as they're used in crafting... 'Mushroom Cloud'. They others weren't listed as being used in any recipes, so they sorted into general swag for later selling purposes.

That aside, v0.8 looks promising. As I said, the centerpiece of this update -- the sorters -- all work. That's the big one. The case spawning script still needs testing, as does the campfire -- I verified that the campfire wouldn't be set up indoors and Carrie made the correct snarky comeback, but I didn't try it outside to see if the thing will successfully appear and vanish as it's supposed to.

I'm also trying to decide whether an ammo sorter would be worth writing. Now, this one gets a little tricky: even with NVSE, there's no way to determine what ammo types you want to keep, except by checking what weapons are in your inventory -- you'd have to store any weapons you weren't going to use first, and then the script would leave behind only the ammo calibers for the weapons you're carrying. It's straightforward enough to actually implement; the issue is whether it's worth the trouble. There's no way I know to make this one mod-added weapon friendly, and likewise it won't sort mod-added ammo.

Since ammo only has weight in hardcore, I'm not sure it's worth adding to NCCS. Most people don't seem to play in hardcore, and no matter how you slice it, an ammo sorter will not work ideally for everyone -- or probably anyone.

May add a limited version for myself to my personal plugin; because there are some ammo types -- flamer fuel, missiles and such -- that I simply never use. Making them sort as part of the reloading sorter would save me some time in stowing stuff, since I virtually always have more ammo and swag than the lightweight merchants in NV can handle.


Assuming the universe doesn't decide to fuck me on this update, v0.8 should be ready to send to my partner for an internal alpha later today. Once she's played with it a bit and seconded my "doesn't destroy the game" results, I'll get a changelog typed up and the update made to the Nexus.

Edit: nothing ever goes simply in a conversion.

Carrie has been through three combats, to the tune of ninety odd seconds; and has spawned 371 casings.

Clearly, something did not get copied correctly...

Edit, again:

Well, I can tell I've been up since one in the morning.

Could not figure out why the casings were spawning in such huge numbers. Finally, in frustration I compared the blocks of code side-by-side between my personal companions (who "recover casings" correctly) and NCCS.

Since it was such a small block of code and in the middle of the script, I just rewrote the timer code instead of copying it from the other plugin.

In the version that works, every frame it sets Timer to ( Timer + GetSecondsPassed ) -- that is to say, it advances by one per second of real time that the timer is running.

In the malfunctioning block, I wrote it to advance based on ( Timer + 1 ) -- so in effect it was going up by one every frame, instead of every second; times twenty odd frames a second... and we have our inexplicable massive number of casings.

Gods, I feel stupid days like today. We'll just fix that code up...

Friday, September 23, 2011


The trouble with lurking imageboards and such is that sometimes, you come across something wrong.

Very, very wrong.

Oh, man, where'd I leave that bottle of brain bleach...

NCCS v0.8, Upcoming

Have I mentioned lately how much I truly, truly hate working on mods for public sharing?

Putting together the sorting scripts this morning, and I forgot one crucial detail. That being in the companion reloading sorting script -- my personal plugin has three companion slots in its management system; NCCS has ten. The extra seven blocks of code put the script over the character limit.

So, I had to create another quest and script.

On the up side, most of the new stuff is already in. Five containers, four sorting scripts, three turtle doves... No, wait scratch that last one -- I was reading off the wrong paper...

Got the camp fire in, too; though I still haven't managed to get a working bedroll. Then again, with the Home on the Range perk added by Honest Hearts, it's less of an issue.

Still have to write in the actual dialogue to interface between the scripts and you; but the scripting itself was the heavy lifting bit anyway -- all fifteen hundred plus lines of it...

The two new containers I added are for armor and weapons, and will not have sorters attached to them -- since that opens up nightmarish scripting requirements to not take the weapons, armor, and ammo you're using and all. The other three: general, reloading, and survival will operate identically to the ones I created for my own use that I've been rambling about the last few weeks. Containers will be accessible from any companion in the party, and will be identical regardless of which companion you speak to. There are no plans at the moment for a physically accessible form of the containers.

I may take another shot at adding NVSE, to get the case-spawning code to work with mod-added weapons (note to self: remove the NosCo SBH 44 from the code or it won't parse in NCCS), but I didn't have very good luck with that last time, so it may be a "vanilla weapons only" bit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Hair Pack

Happened to pop into the NVNexus a few minutes ago, and before hitting the listing to check for new NCCS comments, I spied an interesting file in the new uploads listing -- a hair pack converted from the Sims.

Seventeen hairs, look fairly high quality. I haven't loaded them into the game yet, so am just going by the uploaded screenshot. The hairs should also work fine for FO3; though of course the test plugin won't.

Anyway, if you're one of those that likes to add custom hair to your companions (or player characters) you might want to give it a lookie-see.

Not sure yet whether they're redistributable or not, as it doesn't seem to be listed in either readme or the permissions box on the file entry.


Got a comment on NCCS today complaining about how the backpacks auto-empty into the player's inventory when you leave the relevant companion behind.

Silly me, not wanting peoples' items to become unrecoverable and whatnot.

Anyway, I was just asking Herculine via PM how evil of me it would be to drop in a comment nonchalantly mentioning that I had forgotten all about the NCCS backpacks, because my own companions have categorized storage containers with automated sorting scripts?

Completely true, by the way -- I had mostly forgotten the backpacks, beyond remembering that I needed to check Bunsaki's readme to see if his pack meshes and textures are still redistributable freely for the purposes of inclusion into NCCS as equippable items.

Truth be told, the packs aren't likely to be kept in v0.8 anyway; since I plan to make the categorized sorting containers communal -- that is, accessible from any companion in your party; so no more worries about which container is connected to who.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NosCo Sitrep, 9-20

Haven't been posting lately. This isn't because I haven't been modding. Have been working on mods in FONV; as well as investigating ways to copy faces from the Fallouts to Oblivion.

However, I saw awhile back which way the wind blows. Several companion-stuff posts have drawn zero comments over the last couple months, but that post on Ling's pulled five in less than twelve hours.

I just assumed I had no readership left. Had I known no one gave a shit about my companion rambling, I just wouldn't have posted it; saved us all time.

So, rather than bore anyone with AI details or combat styles or what I learned in Facegen school; I popped in today to instead announce where I stand with some mods.

The new features are stable, and ready to begin being added to the NCCS v0.8 Alpha when I have time. As it stands, new features will be: categorized, dialogue driven sorting system; dialogue accessible campfire that can be set up in any outdoor cell for survival crafting purposes; additions to the companion scripts will have companions spawn casings and/or spent power cells during combat; expanded dialogue responses for the options that have been proven to work; the addition of one of my personal combat styles for companions that the player wants to be killing machines more-so than learning and growing with the player and yadda yadda.

I've also written a minor overhaul for CaliberX. It fixes some typos that were driving me up the wall, repairs a couple of reloading options that didn't work correctly (namely the 45-70 Hollowpoint breakdown option not working), renames .50MG Match ammo that CaliberX adds so that you can tell it apart from the base game's handloaded match ammo (they were previously named identically), and adds some new ammunition types. Three new loads for the 6.5 Grendel, one for the 44 Magnum, and one for the 45-70. This will be released here, when I've added a couple more ammunition types, and finished overhauling the abysmally unrealistic quantities of powder and lead recovered when you "breakdown" ammunition.

I've also decided to go ahead with the NosCo weapons plugin. Currently slated for inclusion are: the NosCo 44 (which will be reverted to the default mesh and texture until I learn to work with normalmaps); another single-action revolver, that is convertible between 357 and 9mm; a 454 Casull double-action revolver (based on the existing base game 44mag revolver mesh); a new version of the Trail Carbine in 454 to go with the revolver; a 338 Lapua mag "light" version of the AMR; and a "Multi caliber" version of the Marksman Carbine with switchable uppers that will allow you to carry rifles in .22lr, 5.56mm, 6.5G, 9mm, and 458 SOCOM at considerably reduced weight from packing around a full rifle in each. The collection will use CaliberX, of course. At the moment, sales will probably be handled in a widespread method -- one or two roaming caravans to sell in places like Goodsprings, Primm, and Novac; but also a central office nearer Vegas. I've spied a couple of buildings between Gun Runners and the Sharecropper farms that I like the look of; we'll see if either of them work out. The central office merchant will use the 'caps management script' I wrote for Chloe in RR (to allow high levels of caps to be traded without the engine bugging); and will probably include secondary sales personnel for other items as well. Weapon mods yet to be determined.

Okay, that's all for today. I still have stupid, unrealistic PMs to respond to and insane questions to answer, after all.

Edit, Addendum: after several complaints received recently from people who don't understand how leveled lists work, I think I'm going to add a dialogue option to NCCS that will strip the lists from companion inventory to preclude random items spawning and screwing up your carefully tailored postage stamp and dental floss outfits.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ling's Available Again

Got an interesting PM from Herculine this morning.

I've pretty much completely stopped paying attention to the FO3 nexus; let alone the forums, so I wasn't aware of this, but apparently EARACHE42's "Ling's" series of mods have finally been unlocked by the mod-gods...

Sorry, allow me to correct myself: Ling's Finer Things is available again. Ling's Pretty Things is still blocked.

Anyway, I know my readership these days consists of Jack and Shit (and Jack's been talking about leaving town) but I figured I'd accede to the Neko's opinion and post a notice here nonetheless.

If you don't have LFT, now would be a dandy time to grab it; since who knows how long it'll stay live.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Walls and Frustrations

I have to say first off that FNV 1.4 is beginning to annoy the holy living shit out of me.

Since I upgraded, a substantial number of spawn points don't fire when I run across them in the game world; but do fire after I load a save and enter their range again.

This has almost killed me twice now. Once in Gypsum Train Yard: we didn't see nearly enough deathclaws on the way in (no adults), and I made the mistake of saving inside the office. When I started playing again and went outside, all the adult spawns fired; and the engine prevented my companions from loading into the game world. It's like the game is trying to kill me. Fortunately, I recognized the situation for what it was and went back through the load door into the office -- where my quest script took over and force-spawned my girls -- and we proceeded to pick off the deathclaws as they came inside looking for me.

The second was at the cap counterfeiting shack. None of the cazadore spawns fired on approaching the place, but they all did on coming out. Again, the game prevented my companions (my three and ED-E) from spawning to help me; and again I valiantly ran the hell back inside, where my scripting got a chance to subvert the devs' knife in my ribs. The cazadores didn't follow, but the girls reacted as though they did... so while there were no visible enemies, the engine apparently still had its head up its ass again, and was trying to spawn the bugs inside unsuccessfully for whatever reason. Once the initial "fuck you, player!" that's hardcoded into the engine is survived, companions will move with the player again, so it was a simple enough matter to head back outside and stomp some bugs.

This is the sort of thing my 'companion management system' is supposed to preclude... but frankly I'm not sure what more I can do when the engine stops all quest scripts for the duration of trying to fuck me. Maybe if I run redundant code in an enchantment on the player...


I've also hit the wall on my 'long range' combat styles. That limit seems to be 30,000-ish units. The base game styles' combat radius is 10,000 -- so we can get 3x the range, at least.

I tried it at 40,000, and ended up breaking the companions. Whenever combat started, they'd lock into an infinite loop of equipping, drawing, and unequipping their weapon -- several times a second as long as combat was active. I don't know what exactly caused it, but lowering the limit helped. I know it worked at 30; and the issue was less at 35... so I just reset it to 30. Probably another engine bug similar to the merchant caps bug in FO3. The limit may well be more than 30 but less than 35... but I'm not spending the two weeks upping the combat radius by one unit at a time and trying it to see if the issue manifests. 30,000 has them tagging enemies the player can barely see, so it should be good enough.

After completing the Boomers' quests at Nellis, we headed into Vault 34 to strip the place of anything not nailed down. This resulted in a couple of other issues being noted.

Firstly, Obsidian's companions fucking suck. We lost ED-E inside Vault 34; when it was destroyed by some ghouls. The ghouls, I might add, that my companions were ravaging like a GHB'd up beauty queen on prom night. Can't readily resurrect the little shit, either, since his dying ended his quest and shut down most of his companion options in the main followers' quest. So, hell with it. We don't need it. Let it rot in the broken, irradiated vault. Natural selection.

Secondly, my girls had numerous problems in Vault 34. Their combat behavior was too good. They knew that there were ghouls behind that inaccessible door; but couldn't get to them to kill them... so they refused to leave that vicinity. Fortunately on changing cells, they got pulled with me and reset, but it was still annoying with the number of ghouls that IWS put in that place. The riot shotgun became a very good friend of mine.

This has led to a new idea. Indoor and outdoor combat styles. The long range outdoor style; but the indoor one with a shorter radius, to keep them from getting stuck on unreachable enemies as often. I'll need to play with the settings some, no doubt, but as an initial setting I've used the default 10,000 for the indoor setting. Their scripts will assess their locale when combat begins, and set the proper style.

Not sure if/how well it's going to work... but the theory is sound. Not that that's done me a whole shit-tonne of good in ideas passed...

I have to confess I'm torn between leaving them autonomous killing machines, and the idea of paring their indoor combat radii back to 5,000 or so -- so that they stay with the player and only move to attack close threats; rather than clearing entire cells on their own volition. While it's nice to have companions that act on their own, there is something to be said for team-work and massed fire -- especially on opponents like the armored glowing ones in Vault 34. Nothing to do but play and see, I suppose.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Weekly Irrelevant Rambling

So, I won't say I've been playing the hell out of NV lately, but it is still getting a workout.

Since updating to new video drivers that aren't older than the game itself, stability has improved -- but not by a fuck-ton. Still get regular crashes; it still hangs on loading a game about 20% - 30% of the time, and the game's memory leak is still capable of causing the PC to BSOD when combined with some particularly poorly written web sites (I'm looking at you, Firefox 6 and Java in general) as Firefox has its own hellacious memory leak of doom.

Still, the game is playable. Insofar as I've been conditioned to overlook shitty performance by five years of Gamebryo playing and modding, anyway.

The base game continues to be spectacularly underwhelming. I decided to finally do the Black Mountain quest yesterday; since I'd never done it before. I hate super mutants in general, and nightkin even more; and so generally didn't bother with the whole area. Found that muties go down quite readily to a Brush Gun loaded with SWCs. Tried to work with Neil or whoever; but his dialogue was bugged, and both options linked to the "I have something else to do first" reply. Another home run in the game of attention to detail I see, Obsidian. Went up on the peak without him, nosing around a storage building; and happened to find a deactivated robot. I think activating it may net me the keys to those two trunks I can't pick -- or at least provide a distraction to the remaining FEV subjects in the area. Activate it, it follows me outside, and we're greeted by a mutie in a blonde wig, who declares that "she" is so happy to have (robot's name) back yadda yadda how can I ever thank you. Gives me the keys to the trunks, leaves to follow the robot wherever they were going, quest ends, EXP awarded.

That's it?! Shit, the tutorial killing geckos with whatshertits in Goodsprings was longer and less anticlimactic. Now, granted, I wasn't expecting a four hour dungeon crawl of epicness... but come on. Exploring the ruins after the mutant was gone, I saw that had I gone the normal combat route, it wouldn't have lasted much longer. The facilities at Black Mountain only consist of a store room and two rooms in the broadcast building. Disappointing, but hardly surprising.

The quest with Contreras also appears to be bugged. I finished it without killing the SUPAH NUMBAH AY ONE RANGAH GAWD; but didn't result in any expanded inventory or being given the rifle. I'm not sure I care enough about the rifle to dig into the master and try to figure out what the holy hell went wrong this time.

Questing aside, I've picked up another new mod: IWS or Increased Wasteland Spawns. Think MMM without the framerate destroying "improved" creatures.

I had originally intended to bitch about the mod, as the trial play with it active resulted in FPS in about the 3 to 5 range, and a half dozen crashes.

...Turns out I had minimized a Firefox window before starting the game and forgotten about it. The stupid browser was eating half of my system resources, which naturally made FONV unhappy. Once I got that stuff turned off, the game seemed much happier and I haven't noticed a substantial drop in framerate. Just the drop you'd expect from that many extra NPCs being active in a cell at once.

Though I will say that the IWS author needs to bone up on his command of English, since his definition of "low" and mine are wildly different -- the low increase plugin results in a Fiend spawning for about every hundred square feet in west vegas. There are dozens; hundreds. Every five or ten steps another set of spawn points activates. I suppose it's all relative. I can only assume this is another person who is obsessed with turning Fallout into Call of Duty. I don't even want to know how many the high plugin adds.

On the up side, the ridiculous number of raiders made for an interesting time of watching my girls go terminator on their asses.

Been playing with CaliberX awhile now, and I find it continues the XCALIBR tradition of not being playtested enough. Of particular annoyance, is it adds a second type of "match" .50BMG ammo; identical to the base game's except in price. Wouldn't be a huge annoyance except that the two types won't stack, and their entries at the reloading bench are identical -- which means you don't know which you're loading, and when running low of one, it compromises your ability to have a full mag no matter how much of the other stack of match ammo you have.

The mod also nominally adds the ability to break down 45-70 hollowpoints. I say nominally because while the entry is there... it doesn't work. The option refuses to touch "HP" tagged rounds, and won't even light up if they're all you have in inventory. When it does light up/work, what it actually breaks down is standard ammo... which there's already a specific option for.

There are also several misnamed loading entries amongst the new custom ammo types. This is all the sort of minor stuff that is the reason you read through your scripts three or four times and playtest every option at least once before uploading shit.

As for my own mods, I've continued testing the sorters and they seem to work. I still need to edit a bit of code to get the components for a doctor's bag to sort into one container; but aside from that the sorters are essentially good to go.

My combat styles have gotten modified again. I activated the flag that has them leave an area when something's going to explode -- they had previously ignored grenades, flaming cars, et cetera -- and made a few changes that resulted in Natasha's personal combat style being born. I haven't decided which, but I'm going to pick one of the three to be included into the next version of NCCS as a new style for players who don't want their companions to learn and grow and whatnot; they want a killing machine from the get-go. At the moment I'm leaning towards Maeva's style -- she takes cover the least, and is the most generally aggressive. I figure that if I'm going to do the killing machine class and style, I may as well go for the gold.

As well, the girls made a long range kill again -- this time nailing a gecko at seventy-six paces (I took the time to pace it off). I'm pretty sure it was Natasha again -- she was behind me at the time, but I'm sure it was her marksman's carbine I heard barking. That girl's shooting like a member of the Noveske 3-gun team these days...

I've generally been using her in a support role; but after the last couple days, I'm thinking it may be time to load the girl up with something heavier and see how she does.

I'm also heavily tempted to take their combat radius even further. See just how far out I can get them to reliably engage a target...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

PSA: Companion Ammunition

Thought I'd pass this along for those who may not know it (I didn't): I was reading around someplace the other day, and found out that companions and other NPCs can in fact use ammunition types other than normal in FNV.

I'd tried this in the past, and never had it work. The trick, it turns out, is to not put any normal ammunition in their inventory. Even if the handloaded/specialty ammo does more damage, they'll always use the normal ammunition in preference until it's gone.

This is good news for low level characters, since it means you can outfit companions with "specials" for the 357 revolver. Also good for higher levels, too -- I outfitted Maeva today with Magnum buckshot for her riot gun, Natasha got Match ammo for her carbine (CaliberX added ammunition type), and the gunslinger got a mess of SWCs for her .44.

Been through some combat, and they all fired without issue and the ammunition counts decreased, so I can only assume it worked. This should prove excellent for helping companions bust DT; since now I can outfit them with AP ammo if needed. I'm oh so tempted to load the big demoness up with slugs exclusively and see how that goes in her riot gun...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

More Comments

Since they seemed so popular before, I thought I'd share some more of the comments I've set the girls up to make with the new sorters.

But first, I want to brag a little. Natasha set a new record the other day, for longest companion kill.

You can see the ghoul just above my rear sight. Right there in front of me like in the screenshot is where she tagged him from with her marksman's carbine. There were still other things to shoot in the immediate area, so I didn't pace it off; but by a hasty estimation that beats the previous winner (67 paces) set by Mystery-chan in FO3 by a good ten meters, maybe more.

The latest draft of their combat styles have the girls engaging so far out that even I can't see the enemies sometimes until it's over, if the enemy is camouflaged at all.

That out of the way, on to the comments.

A somewhat tsundere two-part response; one of the possibles when asked to use the newest "sort all" function.

A side note: that armor is from a Centurion. We took it from Aurelius of Phoenix or whatever he called himself at Cottonwood Cove.

I went slightly insane this game, and like the Nerd Rage perk says, got tired of being pushed around. As we were heading into Nipton, rather than be preached to by that asshat Vulpis Inculta; I grabbed the AMR and put a very large bullet into his brain stem. Turns out wolf-hats don't stop fifty caliber aspirin at all. Since then, we've just been brutally murdering every legionnaire we come across.

The girls seem to be having fun.

One of these days, I'm going to have to try a hard-mode game, and start slaughtering NCR. Hell, maybe this game. I'm about out of quests to bilk McCarran for to get XP, anyway. Having the Legion and NCR both hate our guts would make for a more interesting play experience, that's for sure...

One of Maeva's bad puns, when asked to open the "General" container. I'd boo and throw popcorn, but she scared a deathclaw into running away the other day... so I'm not fucking with her jokes...

The second part of a two-part reply to the sort all command. The first part is a more simple affirmation, with this intended as being muttered under her breath.

Another of Mystery-chan's sort all responses.

And another...

She was actually picking her nose; but FNV is bad about not screenshotting the first time I hit the button, so I missed the part of the animation I wanted her to show in the shot.

...Although in retrospect the fact that she appears to be inspecting the nose gold comes across as far more unnerving...

One of Natasha's sort all replies.

And lastly, the big demoness breaks the fourth wall in spectacular fashion; obviously frustrated at the couple thousand pounds of stuff I had them sort.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Complexity! It Burns!

Updating my companions' code a bit more tonight. I decided to add a new check, that would have them periodically sort their casings and spent power cells into the reloading container automatically. Ideally, it should be a stable addition, as it's based on the number of times they've loaded into the game world, and not on any sort of timer.

My companion scripts -- that is, the ones that drive my girls -- used to be quite svelte. The new case-spawning code, and now the auto-sorting have bumped that up markedly. The latest draft stands at 454 lines each.

For comparison, the more complex (or at least used to be) companion scripts from NCCS stand at 277 lines. Before the case-code, my girls' scripts stood at around 230. Once added to NCCS, this new stuff will run the scripts up around 500 lines; getting them close to character cap limits.

The sorters are up to 1604 lines total. That seems less than the last time I added it up; despite having added several more items. I must have optimized something somewhere... that or I've forgotten how to use a calculator (I wouldn't put it past me).

Nine separate quests, 125 lines of dialogue, 14 pieces of armor, a weapon, 20 messages, two combat styles, four NPCs, 27 individual scripts, nine world references, a cell, even an enchantment...

And none of that is counting the bsa file containing the goodies for the hair, bodies, skin textures, hairs, eyes.

Not quite the tiny plugin I had originally intended it to be.

That reminds me: Natasha needs her own combat style...