Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Mojave Aside

Not really pertaining to mods exactly, but I went on a bit of a modding binge this evening.

I've long wanted an increases spawns mod for FNV; but the mods I've tried have uniformly sucked. The latest has recently hit the Nexus' hot files listing, but when I tested it I found out that it was not an increased spawns mod, after all -- in a simple increased spawns mod, you'd see more of whatever normally inhabited an area; just more of them. This one took every spawn type I enabled... and put them wherever I went. When I stepped out of the Estate (NNE of Jacobstown, over the mountain -- normally only inhabited by some Bighorners and a few mantises) to go test spawns, imagine my surprise when I was met by cazadores, super mutants, radscorpions, ghouls, and Legion. Might have been more... but the stupid mod spawned so many enemies (even with a 10% chance of none) that my system slowed to one frame every other second or so.

Just another case of 'if you want something done right, do it your damned self' -- so I did.

Anyway, while I was in the GECK looking around outdoor cells for certain types of spawns to multiply in a non-pantsu-on-head-retarded manner I decided to check on Bonnie Springs. I kind of waffled on this idea because if you play the long way around (like you're a'sposed to) the Vipers in Bonnie Springs are a push-over -- you'll long since have acquired the long range weapons and/or DT busting ammo you need; but the way I play, I generally roll into the park at level four, with nothing more powerful than a .357 revolver or varmint rifle. Without mods or preorder packs, it's really difficult to clear out the Vipers; since one has metal armor and one has combat armor, they're pretty much immune to anything you can loot around Goodsprings save for explosives... and since the Vipers also get to spawn with a grenade rifle and a trail carbine, getting close enough to use dynamite can be a messy proposition, too.

Digression aside, I found that I couldn't practically increase the Viper spawns, since they're scripted. Turns out most of the Vipers in the game are. I don't know why the rest of the enemies in the game didn't get the treatment, but apparently Vipers are scripted to have their corpses replaced with scavenging animals after a certain amount of time passes from their death -- the Vipers around Ranger Station Charlie actually have three levels: the Vipers, the scavengers, and then a third set that moves in when you kill the second off.

While I was trying to decide whether I wanted to edit the scripts to work with more spawns, I found this:

Those of you in the audience who have done much quest scripting in NV will probably recognize Jorge's name -- he left comments and notes in more than a few scripts. This one, I can't help but think was meant to be deleted before the game went live. Basically, it's one of the devs passive-aggressively bitching about having to scale things back to make the game work on consoles. So much for consoles being just as good as the PC, I suppose.

I thought it was funny.


  1. Okay, that is funny :) This wouldn't be the first time I have heard about things in NV that were "scaled down" because of the console crowd. There is a "series" of mods on the FNV Nexus entitled "Cut Content". These mods are basically just the re-implementation of a number of characters, quests and world spaces that were either modified or outright removed from the game, but left in the main file. For example, there was a companion cut from the game, "Betsy the Brahmin". Her thing was to have twice the carrying capacity of the other followers. Also, Freeside was supposed to be one big world space and not broken up like it was. Other than the odd floating car and the LOD needing to be redone, I had no issues with it on my underpowered system. Some of this cut content was removed for a reason though, usually because the devs couldn't get it to work properly. The original opening sequence in which you see Victor digging you out of your grave, for instance.

    I gather that the "spawn mod" you found on the FNV Nexus Hot Files was called "Endless Warfare"? I found that one myself yesterday with my first visit there in weeks. I thought it looked interesting, and if it worked well enough for me, that I might add in or swap out some of the spawns for my own use (Aliens vs Preditor vs Terminator anyone?)

    1. "I gather that the "spawn mod" you found on the FNV Nexus Hot Files was called "Endless Warfare"?"

      Yeah. I apparently grossly misunderstood the sparse documentation and downloaded it under the assumption that "enabling" the spawn options simply spawned more of whatever you enable; rather than spawning everything you enable everywhere you go.

      On further reading, it seems like the mod is actually intended to let you spawn big battles on demand; which is totally useless to me.

      The name should've been a clue to me, I guess.

  2. Thanks for that look behind the scenes of game development; it leads me to wonder if any of my other favorite Bethesda games might have been less sucky on the PC if consoles weren't so important to the marketing department.

    I like your increased spawning idea and I agree that the mod you described obviously ain't that. I actually had to laugh (at myself) as I read your description because it reminded me of complaints I've received on one of my more infamous mods for a much older game.