Controllable NPCs ?!

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Odin, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. Odin

    Odin Carbon Dated and Proud
    Admin

    Apr 2, 2003
    Well it seems JE also wants to change the NPCs and this time he's suggested the following:<blockquote>I'd like to allow Persuasion to give the player the potential to control their CNPCs in combat (single selection at a time). CNPCs who are in good health, are not raving psychotics, and are not facing mortal enemies will typically be controllable within the PC's area of influence. Also, in RT, pausing is a must. I honestly can't fathom what the player gains from not being able to pause and issue new commands.</blockquote>Isn't this just a fancy way of telling us the NPCs isn't actually None Player Controlled characters, but rather a blend between party controlled characters (ala Baldurs Gate) and the NPCs (ala Fallout). It could make the NPCs more useful atleast, care to comment ?
    Link: Thread about CNPCs
     
  2. Dan

    Dan Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    482
    Apr 2, 2003
    Yay!

    I could finally recurit an army of followers, pack them full of equipment, and then take it off before I order them to run through a mine field so I won't get hurt.

    Yay! The interactivity!

    This is the way true CRPGs should be played.
     
  3. Miroslav

    Miroslav Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    919
    Sep 30, 1997
    not bad, but I still would give us total control. And if you like to tell then what to do in combat, you must loose one AP for wasting time giving them these orders... Unless your running, shooting and yelling at the same time :)
     
  4. Odin

    Odin Carbon Dated and Proud
    Admin

    Apr 2, 2003
    That would make the game party based, I'm more for Je's idea..
     
  5. Sammael

    Sammael First time out of the vault

    27
    May 14, 2003
    Pazljivo s tom potpunom kontrolom, mislim da se to nece dopasti odredjenim pojedincima... :wink:
     
  6. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    965
    Apr 6, 2003
    I honestly can't fathom why anybody would not just make the game turn-based, rather than the hectic "quick gotta hit the space bar NOW!" option of RT with pause. I can't see what the player gains.
     
  7. Odin

    Odin Carbon Dated and Proud
    Admin

    Apr 2, 2003
    Agreed, the problem is of course the pr/suits that run the show, they believe that RT is the way to go. A second problem is that the Bis guys don't seem to have the balls enough to stand up to these guys or argument why RT shouldn't be in the game..
     
  8. 4too

    4too Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 30, 2003
    Driving in The Smokies.....

    Driving in The Smokies.....

    All the attention to detail.

    All the time spend on character developement and inventory (U-HauL) and Fed Ex quests. U-Haul: A Bottle Cap versus weight ratio, 20 Mule Team kind'a economics; sort and pack drag and drop. Busy Science Boy bees Fed Ex'ing Thing A to F, to buzzin' about to fabricate the waxy gunk G to O, or Imperial Jelly P to Z.

    Driving in The Smokies.....

    The haze, the fog, the thunder storm of ..... driving in America. Those that have drivin' the Great Smokies in the summer have been here, if you could SEE there to BE there that is...

    Driving in The Smokies.....

    Drivin' down the highway that will be FO3 in 'the-fog', no it's to be THE-HAZE of game play, and we are cruzin' at 90 and we come to the inevitable multi car chain reaction crash that is COMBAT.

    The Slacker Boy brays,"Hey Dude git out of my road!"

    Real time implises real reflexes, hours of player time in jeopardy?

    No way.

    We got BAULDAR'S SPACE BAR the "pause" that 'regresses'......

    It's not turn based by another name, no, it's Real$Time baby!
    BAULDAR"S SPACE BAR: A player actuated game maintenance device!

    Pump it up? No it's anti-lock, no sweat, and if all else fails your Black Isle Edition S=U=V has the Air Bags of "Quick-y Game Save."

    Yes it will be a Happy-Happy, Dust be Diamonds-Water be Wine, Happyhappyhappy all the Time-time! kind'a FO THREE!

    'Soma' for our Brave New Post Apocalyptic World.


    Off to the local parade, ""they also serve who stand and...".. sweat...."


    4too
     
  9. Chairface

    Chairface First time out of the vault

    23
    Jun 30, 2003
    IF and only IF the scripting AI for the NPCs is good will RT work well at all. I used RT in FOT a lot, but that system had some key weaknesses that need to be fixed, mostly in terms of NPC AI.

    My basic problems with the RT in FOT (these would also apply to a real time FO RPG)

    1. NPCs/AI-controlled anyone should pick their weapons/attacks better. Just because I left Brian holding his Rocket Launcher last time I touched him doesn't mean he should use it against a deathclaw already in melee with him. Likewise just because I left John holding his minigun, he might not ought use it in situations where friendly fire will be an issue. How much more AI would it take for these guys to manage to take the 2-3 steps before firing that would turn disaster into victory? And even outside such glaringly obvious situations, if I give you a tommy gun and a sniping rifle, and you can see a hostile too far away for your tommy gun, PULL THE RIFLE AND USE IT. FOT's AI wouldn't even use a weapon in the other slot if it was more appropriate (which is basically what I'm asking for here)

    2. NPCs/AI-controlled anyone should use their frickin' heads about cover. If you are badly hurt and in the open, move to cover and bandage! Fallout systems to date have had badly wounded characters either remain fighting (and thus get killed) or else they pull out the stimpaks in the middle of the firefight, or even better, they'll sometimes try to run from a man with a gun, which would be ok if they moved for cover to block line-of-sight, but no, they literally try to outrun the bullets.

    3. AI should assist each other. If Jumbo the Stupid is badly hurt and hiding behind cover, Roger the Medic should go help him. At the very least we should have a MUCH better interface than Fallout 2 for programming such behaviours.

    4. When the AI runs out of ammo for the current weapon, it should use a different weapon if it has one. In FOT (and both Fallouts) the AI charged and started punching any time they ran outta bullets. Even if they have a loaded gun in their other slot!

    5. Meaningful scripting of a Standard Operating Procedure for the group. I hate having to reload because a team member wasn't doing what I told him to, and thus we all got killed. Don't stop dead in your tracks cuz you see a mine, go around it if possible, or notify everyone of the minefield and call a general halt. Likewise when I tell Lenny the Bomb Tech to open something, he should use his frickin' head and check it for traps first. If I tell him to deal with a mine, he should go disarm it, not try to pick it up. The Formation command in FOT was totally worthless in this regard, formations were totally incapable of making 90-degree turns, and they didn't even stay in formation well in a straight line. Similarly I should be able to set my group to stop and engage hostiles on their way to somewhere I told them to move to. In FOT they'll just jog right past a hostile, getting shot, and won't even try to engage until they get to their destination.

    6. Threat recognition. Though it is comical, I do get highly annoyed when NPCs decide that the cave rat over in the corner should be dispatched with extreme prejudice, so they pull their trusty rocket launcher. NPCs should evaluate threats and act accordingly. Against raiders and such, they should generally fire off a couple volleys before worrying about cover. Cave rats obviously don't call for the most powerful of all available weapons. Against Enclave troopers, perhaps it'd be best to seek cover FIRST, then worry about returning fire.


    In short, if I can't directly control the NPCs, they better damn well behave in a manner befitting a semi-autonomous being, rather than one befitting a child. Sulik's predeliction for blasting friendlies with SMG fire is a great example here. Sulik certainly wasn't the brightest (or sanest) tool in the shed, but he wasn't a moron either. And Marcus was supposedly downright smart, but he'd do idiotic things with heavy weapons any chance he got. And even if we can directly control the NPCs, they better use their heads a bit. Better AI is key to real-time working at all. In Fallout 2, which was turn-based even, you had to very carefully set up your party, else they'd kill each other and probably you the first time they saw a cave rat. And in Fallout Tactics, the real-time mode illustrated clearly that the faults of bad AI are only magnified in real-time; at least when the AI does something mind-bogglingly stupid in turn-based, the survivors (if any) can all move out of the way before the NPC does it a second time. Real-time doesn't even give you that much.
     
  10. 4too

    4too Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 30, 2003
    A Cat Wrangler Perk!

    A Cat Wrangler Perk!


    Are the "suits" excited by Real$Time?

    Yes.

    Are the "suits" excited about a dynamic and effective AI that will not burn a clip into Chairface's Player Character backside? A player programable BUDDY.

    Unknown.

    Said "suits" might evade the issue and throw the fame and the blame in our Brave New JE's hypothetical lap.

    Maybe the AI research would be funded if the "suits" CONCEIVED the marketability of a SQUAD based A.K.A. PARTY based FO.
    They would still dump the baby, and it's bath water, on our Brave New JE, or his evil twin.

    Playing the FO's with a full party was not playing with "a full deck". Too many Joker's; Tandi with a 14mm might do some karmic payback, taking out the back of Ian's skull from time to time. FO did bring the reality of "friendly fire" to the fore of many of our frontal lobes.

    Playing the FO's with a full party was like herding cats.......

    A Cat Wrangler Perk!

    That's the ticket!

    4too
     
  11. Chairface

    Chairface First time out of the vault

    23
    Jun 30, 2003
    Personally I would prefer not to have to program/script my buddy's behaviours, I'd rather they simply did things logically on their own. Knowing this is probably too much to ask though, I'd be willing to take a scripting system that was actually worthwhile.
     
  12. Odin

    Odin Carbon Dated and Proud
    Admin

    Apr 2, 2003
    Well the ability to issue certain orders would be nice, but I don't want to control my NPCs. I'd like them to have their own identity, which would result in they making bad choices or good ones.
     
  13. Chairface

    Chairface First time out of the vault

    23
    Jun 30, 2003
    Sure, as long as ALL their choices aren't bad.
     
  14. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    965
    Apr 6, 2003
    Yes, if they made that FO real-time RPG a combat heavy FOT take-off. :shudder:
     
  15. Miroslav

    Miroslav Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    919
    Sep 30, 1997
    oh crap... I missed one "n't" at the end of would :) I wanted to say the we must not have total control, which the rest of my post prooves. I mean why would I want a total control and the abitlity to loose an AP while giving the orders to NPCs? :)
     
  16. Chairface

    Chairface First time out of the vault

    23
    Jun 30, 2003
    Any real-time Fallout game, RPG or otherwise, is going to have combat. Real-time combat is going to work similarly regardless of how much or how little combat there is. The same problems that show up in FOT battles would show up in FO RPG battles. When IPLY talks about real-time combat for Fallout, FOT is probably the best indication we have of what that'd really be like. Everyone screams "Baldur's Gate! Baldur's Gate! Boo!" any time RT Fallout is brought up, but there IS an existing real time Fallout game. Ok, so it's not an RPG, but it uses the same SPECIAL system, 90% of the perks are recycled from the fallout RPGs, skills were essentially unchanged (I think they ditched Speech to add Pilot) and a lot of the weapons carried over. And I'm sure IPLY isn't going to chunk everything from the FOT RT system out the window when considering an RT combat system for a Fallout RPG. Furthermore, while no subsitute for a genuine Fallout RPG, Fallout Tactics wasn't that horrible as a squad-based strategy game. It wasn't X-Com, but what is?
     
  17. Miroslav

    Miroslav Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    919
    Sep 30, 1997
    ma zajebo sam se :)
     
  18. Montez

    Montez So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 20, 2003
    It sounds like what he's suggesting is just a kind of retooling of the Fallout 2 character interface, which wouldn't be bad. Asking the NPC's to focus on one particular enemy or come over and heal you sounds reasonable too as long he adds in the ability for them to refuse if it doesn't make sense to them, regardless of the PC's speech skill. No one in the middle of combat is going to run over and help someone else out when they're getting stabbed repeatedly by 3 raiders.

    As for pausing and issuing orders...meh. It sounds like RT is going to be an option no matter what, but I'm sure not going to use it.