So, few more updates that popped into my head today.
Firstly, I've reworked the combat radii on some of the NCCS combat styles. The thought occurred to me after commenting back and forth with Darksong that I had switched the radii in my personal companions plugin to get rid of an issue similar to one he described; but had forgotten to switch all of the NCCS styles to match.
It's a new issue that's only manifested since the last patch (Obsidian can't patch anything without breaking something else, can they? Incompetent fucks...) and seems to have to do with the combat radius -- that is, how wide an area they're allowed to notice enemies and engage in combat at. Default is 10,000. Prior to patch v1.4, I had been running them with good effects at 40,000. Since the last patch, however, anything over 30,000 seems to get them buggy. I know the limit is somewhere between 30 and 35k; but truth be told I'm too lazy to go ten units at a time trying to find the exact limit.
I realized this after seeing the issue again playing this morning -- a new companion I created for v0.8 is running the new "operator" style I copied direct from my personal companions, with the other two using existing NCCS styles. Two bugged, the new one didn't. Went back through, and sure enough I had left the "high" level Sniper combat style's radius set to 40,000. Checked and changed all the styles where necessary, and am hoping that will clear it up. Haven't had a chance to test yet, though.
Also, I've added compatibility to NCCS companions for players who take the "Ferocious Loyalty" perk -- the perk adds something like 50% damage resistance to companions when you fall below 50% health. Seemed kind of a waste to not have my companions able to use it while the vastly inferior vanillas can... so now NCCS can, too.
I'm also considering adding something I've mentioned before: a "hardcore" mode for lack of a better term. In HC, companions will have their essential flags stripped, and you will be limited to one NCCS companion per two points of Charisma (similar to the FO1 method). HC would also forcibly disable and preclude XP sharing. Vanilla companions and those from other systems will not be affected by this to minimize conflicts. May also add a need for companions to eat and drink in HC much as the player does in game-wide hardcore... but I haven't quite worked out how to keep a reliable running tally of food and drink needs. It should be straightforward enough to code... but we all know how far "should" goes in this game.
Also also: with all the bitching I've received about the equipment randomizers, I'm considering coding the companion scripts so that the companions spawn random gear once, and then the leveled lists are removed; not spawning any more items until/unless their plugin is clean saved and reactivated. This could be made a system option (I think), so I may plow ahead with it regardless of what the three people who actually comment on this blog think of the idea.
Edit: oh, and before I forget again, I've also edited my premade companions again. Their pip-boy plugins dialogue option will now appear on the top level of dialogue rather than in the equipment menu, and will disappear once they've given you the plugin -- rather than the option staying there and eating space uselessly in the already over-cluttered menu.
Edit, the second:
Just got through with some playtesting, and have reached a few conclusions.
1) the scripts failing are indeed the quest scripts. In NCCS, the 'sort all' (the command that doesn't work at the moment) is not in its own quest, but rather lodged into the main quest script. I can tell the entire script is locked, as the new campfire isn't being moved when I leave the cell it's in, and companions are not teleporting except at the end of combat (which is controlled by their individual object scripts).
I still have no idea why this is happening, and have found no method of fixing it except to clean save.
2) The issue with companions' weapons equipping/unequipping/reloading/et cetera seems to be a double-whammy. Even with the combat styles' radii reduced to a max of 25k, the issue was still persisting. I had it down to one cycle before initiating combat, but even that was annoying. I swapped out their ammunition for default types, and the issue went completely away through a couple hours of play (at which point the game locked on me while fast traveling, which is why I'm here typing this). So, the solution seems to be default ammo only and no combat radius over 30k.
Again, I have no idea why this is happening; but demonstrable, repeatable fixes trump "should be" every time.
3) this iteration of the game engine is still a piece of shit, even after four patches.