Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hardcore Companions

Okay, so it's serious question time, Kiddies.

I'm in the process of writing in the prototype hunger/thirst code for companions.

What I want to know is what everyone thinks. I know I don't have enough of a readership to build much of a consensus; but I'm also not taking this question onto the Nexii forums.

So, here's what I want to know:

How "hardcore" should it be? Same numbers/rate of increase as the player? More? Less?

Rate of decrease when they do eat/drink; should it be a simple one item resets the counter, or go by points just like the player? If #2, should it tie to their (the individual companion's) survival skill? This could open a new avenue of companion creation -- one that has survival as a tag skill to survive in the wastes longer on less supplies at the expense of a combat skill; but it could also be a colossal pain in the butt to track numbers.

Items valid for bringing down their levels: all foods/drinks? Most commonly encountered? Only a select few?

How many times should you be able to refuse to give a companion supplies before they lose faith in your leadership and walk for greener pastures?

Just how pissed should a companion be when they walk? Just returning to town and be re-hireable after a speech check? Or maybe disabled; and thus gone completely from the game world without cleaning and re-enabling their plugin (thereby taking whatever equipment they had with them into the aether)?

Before anyone asks: sleep will not be making an appearance as a requirement. I'm sorry, it's just too hard to get an NPC to sleep in a specific bed on command; not to mention getting them to sleep a set period of time.


  1. gonna take a pass on this, sorry. never enjoyed playing games in a "hardcore mode", never going to play these games in hardcore mode, so the thoughts of what would be suitable criteria for event X in hardcore mode - I have little enough working brainpower, not going to use what I have for this. However, I do wish you luck on making it work for you.

  2. Granted I do not have the game but have heard about this option from reading, and my brother. (Still need to borrow his 360 copy to try the game out first) But I have somewhat of a question that the answer would revolve around.

    How hard is it to get the supplies needed just for yourself even for a good jaunt off into the dessert? I would say if easy enough to get for you and 2 companions make their numbers the same or similar.
    If getting enough just for you and 1 companion is a minor choir, somewhat less useage for companions.
    Now if getting enough for you is doable but enough for a companion in a short time for that nice hike is a bit of work. I would def say have the companions use a lot less then you, maybe half to 3/4. Granted if you figured out how to add their survival to using less that would help out in all scenarios but not something to focus on first.

    Then again keep in mind this is coming from someone that has not played NV. But hope the insight helps somewhat.

  3. @Calabeth:

    In my current game I'm level 49, and play time on my last save is one hundred hours and forty-one minutes.

    At no point in this game have I ever run out of food or water; or even been in danger of running out. I won't say that the stuff is ridiculously easy to come by, but it certainly isn't scarce if you know where to look.

    Offhand at the current point in the game, I think my companion and I have something like a hundred and thirty bottles of purified water stored in the communal survival container. Have several hundred pounds of food, as well.

    Unlike previous games, you can make a lot of your food and drink in NV -- especially once your survival skill tops fifty or so.

    Of course, I can only speak for the base game -- there are several "overhaul" mods (FWE, FOOK, et cetera) that center around making it as difficult as possible to find food and water. I'm not familiar enough with any of them to say how compatible the idea would be.

  4. Hmm, interesting series of questions. I don't play NV in Hardcore mode, at least not yet. I thought I would give it a play through on regular mode first. That said, I play with Primary Needs (through FWE, please don't through things at me Nos!) in FO3 when it is appropriate with the character concept (read: not an android/terminator). Having the option for companions to require food and drink does appeal to me.

    I think I will have to take a bit of time to mull this over somewhat before giving you my two cents worth on the topic. You have a number of possible things to include here and I don't want to just throw an answer at you without thinking of the possibilities.

  5. I think that the needs of the companions should match the needs of the player. If they are refused necessities to the point that it becomes detrimental to their health, they will part company with the player and their disposition will drop low enough that they cannot be re-hired until you somehow make it up to them.

  6. Also, I intended to check out the forum thread you mentioned, but a check of your Nexus profile says you've posted no topics... ever.

  7. @Herculine:

    "I know I don't have enough of a readership to build much of a consensus; but I'm also not taking this question onto the Nexii forums."

    Unless I need new glasses, I believe that indicates that I shall not be going to the forums.

    And no; no started topics by me. Ever. Universe willing, there never will be.

  8. Perhaps I should have been wearing my glasses?

  9. Hell, I've been so out of it lately that I had to re-read the post to make sure I actually typed what I thought I did.

  10. I think how it is implemented might depend upon whether you can involve the Survival skill or not. If Survival can be involved, then maybe have the companions' need match those of the players at the start, then start to lessen as their Survival skill increases. This would reflect the companion's ability to scrounge for themselves. Without the use of the Survival skill, maybe just keep the requirements the same as the player's, or slightly less.

    Of course, should the player neglect to keep the companion, they should be able to walk away, possibly willing to give the player a second chance. If not, then they could either stick around but be somewhat hostile/verbally abusive towards the player, or leave the game all together.