NMA Decides the fate of the Reaver Elders!

Discussion in 'Fallout Tactics Modding' started by Endocore, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    365
    Mar 14, 2010
    I've looked closely into this matter of the Reaver Elders in the Newton mission not exiting vehicles, and therefore causing a horrible bug that makes them permanently join your team of soldiers after the mission if they are in a vehicle when they reach their destination zone. I tried a number of solutions, but there's just no way around this blasted thing.


    The underlying cause of this problem is an old issue that's been known for years: entities may not be safely switched from player-controlled PIs to computer-controlled PIs under any circumstances. In days of yore when Gareth Davies of MF was trying to give aftermarket support, he confirmed this problem, though this of course raises the question-- why did they use the darn thing in the game? Don't answer-- at this point, it no longer matters.


    Furthermore, a second serious bug is associated with the Elders: whenever one of them joins your team, the portrait of your main character goes blank until you leave the map. There is no way to fix this either.


    Here's the deal: there is no way to solve either of these problems, period. Adding a warning message not to put Reaver Elders in vehicles is helpful enough for most folks, but there are always going to be knucklehead players who pay no attention whatsoever and then complain when not doing what they're told causes a problem, and there are always going to be wiseguy players who deliberately do the opposite of what they're asked just to see what will happen-- and this latter group also likes to complain afterward, that their deliberate effort to break the game succeeded (as if there would be any doubt).


    So we're left with two choices for fixing the Newton mission in a decisive manner:


    A) Each Reaver Elder simply disappears after they are spoken to for the first time. We assume that if the player's soldiers reached the Elder at all, then the way out for that Elder must be fairly clear. This choice has the element of simplicity, and the drawback that some narrative and multimedia content is lost because the "parting speech" for each Elder could no longer be utilized. In particular, the player never gets to see that Glenda Close is a lovelorn lunatic stalker.


    B) Each Reaver Elder will be set to waypoints after they are spoken to for the first time. They will never come under the player's control, but will make their own effort to reach the exit grid. This choice has the virtue of more accurately simulating an escort mission, but has the drawback that the difficulty of the mission will be increased significantly if the Reavers are left to figure out for themselves (so to speak) how to safely get to the exit grid.


    As I say, I've looked at this thing from all angles, and one or the other of these choices seems to me the only way to make this mission work flawlessy. I've fixed all the other bugs (weird skill points and perks for Reaver Elders, Elders can't re-equip their armor if they take it off, failing to find the pulse-rifle ends the game, etc) and it's time to squash this one as well.


    My question for readers is: What do YOU think? Do you like choice A, or choice B? How should the mission work? All opinions are welcome, though I'd like us to stay focused on deciding the matter between choice A or choice B. As this is a gameplay question, no modding expertise at all is required for players to answer-- I'll work out all the technical details of whatever consensus emerges.


    Power to the people! What shall it be, NMA? Will Newton use method A or method B?
     
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  2. FUBAR

    FUBAR First time out of the vault

    62
    Feb 8, 2014
    To avoid any and all bugs/exploits we may have to stick with option A, but, assuming option B doesn't cause more problems, it has my vote. Will refresh my memory on this mission to get a better idea if having the Reavers walking themselves is too hazardous.

    Option C) Disable the Reaver entities upon speech, letting the player assume that they've entered the APC. Have the player bring the APC to a zone just before the actual exit grid; there you activate new entities to simulate the Reavers climbing out for their final goodbyes.
     
  3. xkcon

    xkcon Transcending the Multiverse Modder

    206
    Apr 2, 2003
    Can't you just deactivate the reaver elders before you exit to the world map. In the trigger 'DISPLAY DEBRIEF and END MISSION', just add the action ' Set to deactivate PI 33' (Reaver Elder End) and then have a Blocking wait 1 sec before the exit fires. That way (theoretically) they will dissappear from the map Even while in the tank before the exit to world map fires.

    I Admit though in all my years playing the game , I've never even once considered putting the reavers in tank and driving into the exit grid. So I've never encountered this bug. Maybe in my mind I just felt I never wanted to let that reaver scum near the tank, I always just walked them into the safe zone content to let them sit there and fend for themselves while I finished the mission.

    I don't know I might be wrong, but in my current playtest, I will test this. It might take a while though, right now my squad is only in Quincy.

    Also If you want to 'successfully' transfer a PIndex from computer to Player and back to computer, you can fake it by using a clone. After you return the entity from player to computer, just deactivate the computer PI and activate the clone in close proximity using the move trigger and some Waypoints, then when this new clone is activated he can use all the functions.
     
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  4. xkcon

    xkcon Transcending the Multiverse Modder

    206
    Apr 2, 2003
    If this doesn't work, then it might just be easier to add a tile to block the tank from entering the safe zone thereby forcing you to walk that reavers into the safe zone, then the tank would have to exit on a different part of the exit grid.
     
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  5. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    365
    Mar 14, 2010
    @xkcon

    Thanks, but I'm not looking for technical advice (besides that, none of the things you mentioned work). I'm interested in people's opinions on the two feasible alternatives gameplay I presented. I've been modding this game for fifteen years-- believe me, if there were other options, I would have found them.

    I know what you mean about the issue itself, though. I never put a Reaver in a vehicle either in many playthroughs, until people started talking about this bug and I had to see for myself.

    @FUBAR

    Both alternatives are technically easy; I've already implemented and tried them both. When I spoke of difficulty, I meant difficulty for the player trying to complete the mission. The waypoints work well, but if there are robots anywhere along the way the Reavers will attack, which means there's a good chance they'll get killed unless you have several troops following alongside them. Since it's a major change to the way the mission works, I'd like to hear what folks think and what they'd prefer.
     
  6. xkcon

    xkcon Transcending the Multiverse Modder

    206
    Apr 2, 2003
    I apologize, as I said before I have no experience with the bug. But I cant see why a few barrel tiles in front of the safe zone (blocking the tank) won't work? Unless you are saying that once inside the tank the reavers cant exit under any circumstances (even under player control). How about just remove the tank from the map altogether and never even give them a chance to make that choice ?
     
  7. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    365
    Mar 14, 2010
    Once they enter the vehicle, the first one to enter can never exit and the rest become permanent team members. Furthermore, no entity (item, PI, etc) can ever be deactivated while it is inside something like a vehicle.

    There's no reason to remove the tank, when both of the choices for resolving the bug I presented work just fine. What I'm trying to determine is what sort of gameplay folks prefer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  8. FUBAR

    FUBAR First time out of the vault

    62
    Feb 8, 2014
    If there's no foreseeable bugs, the question is whether or not it's too difficult, or dangerous rather, for the Elders to walk; just as you said. We can all imagine knuckleheads wandering off in another direction, and then complaining because they saved (without mission-start-buck-ups!) five seconds before an Elder catches a plasma bolt to the face. All of us would likely prefer the challenge either way (can't be the only one who kills every breathing enemy and loots every AK-47 and Beretta...), but some players prefer to complete their objectives and be done with it, or are simply playing for stealth; meaning they might have gone around more than one enemy along the way.

    If we decide to have them walk, we should probably have this set up like the Brahmin Wood's Elder, he tells you his route, more or less, and waits for you to initiate dialogue again before making his escape. The first Reaver Elder was in a building I usually accessed via the roof; it would be nice to know if she's planning to run straight downstairs and into some unfriendly machinery.


    Perhaps we should use both, have option B patched directly to Redux, while option A is a ::cough:: optional side-download, for those who no longer find it amusing when an Elder gets melted into green goo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  9. xkcon

    xkcon Transcending the Multiverse Modder

    206
    Apr 2, 2003
    Actually Endocore, the Elders can Exit and Enter the tank as often as they like before you take them to the safe zone.... I just tested it myself.

    I dug up an old pre-Newton save and tested it... But here's the trick, to exit the tank you have to drag the cursor over the tank to highlight the whole squad and then exit. There is no way to select a reaver elder by himself when he's inside the tank... but if you drag over the team (inside the tank) then the reaver elder will exit the tank with the rest of your squad. I just confirmed this. But you are absolutely right when you say "Furthermore, no entity (item, PI, etc) can ever be deactivated while it is inside something like a vehicle."

    So if you just put a few tiles to block the tank, then they will be forced to walk the reavers into the safe zone. problem solved
     
  10. xkcon

    xkcon Transcending the Multiverse Modder

    206
    Apr 2, 2003
    Cool bug though. I took the team back to the bunker, and went to the recruit pool, it was cool to see my main character now in the recruit pool while Glenda Close was now the lead character.
     
  11. Vault Maker

    Vault Maker Vault-Tec Cartographer

    149
    Jun 27, 2006
    I remember long ago, I think in this thread, there was something about the reaver general taking the place of the lead character because his level (or reputation stat maybe) was higher than the player character. Maybe that only becomes relevant when you leave the map. But I wonder if some issues with getting rid of the elders clear up if his level is knocked down.

    First thing, I hate escort missions where the escortee (would that be a john?) is a suicidal idiot who runs into enemy fire. My first instinct is always to shoot the poor dumb bastard. I'd rather let people screw up and botch their game.

    If they are going to run when you talk to them, I like Fubar's suggestion. Have them do their usual spiel, but add a line about how they will run the next time you talk to them.

    I always do missions as a clean sweep with no enemies left alive, so another way would be to have each of them say "I will wait here until all 4 of us are safe", and they only run when all the robots are dead, or maybe a small number are left. I guess some folks might want to free them without killing everything.

    I'm not sure this works, not knowing all the ins and outs, but one idea that occurs to me is:

    * Set up the start of the map so player characters have to be separated from any vehicles they brought with them. There's obstacles the Hummer/buggy/etc can't get through, a zone past the obstacles has to have all characters in it to proceed, then a gate with an unpickable lock closes behind them.
    * Have the tank near the exit grid, but inaccessible, behind another locked gate (maybe the same gate that isolates the player vehicle). Have a zone at the gate where the elders go and wait.
    * The locked gates can be explained as some kind of a trap set by the reavers, or by the robots, or a reaver trap that the robots repurposed.
    * When all 4 elders are in that zone and not in player control, one of them (the scientist maybe) opens the gates, runs in, goes "magic hands" on the tank to "fix" it, and they all run away.
    * The whole squad withdraws in good order (or, Eisenhower-era style, goes to the prom with a full tank of gas).
     
  12. nadeauhugo

    nadeauhugo Author of FOT mod THE SUM Modder

    497
    Mar 9, 2014
    I don't know much about this tread here, but if you want to set a running guy or escortee in your mod, I think you can make him/her run directly, but make an intelligent move. I mean, you put on the map 3 or 4 different spawn points tagged "Flee1, Flee2, etc." and large zones tagged "FleeZone1, FleeZone2, etc.". Then you verify if there are ennemies in the first FleeZone. You only send your guy there if the ennemy has no one alive there. You do that for all the free zones, adding a script to not let the escortee move in a later zone (2,3,4) if they can move in a closer zone (1).

    Very easy to program. It will go like this :

    Ennemy has less than 1 ALIVE at FleeZone1 = Escortee move state priority 10 + Escortee flee at Flee1

    Ennemy has less than 1 ALIVE at FleeZone2
    Ennemy has more than 0 ALIVE at FleeZone1 = Escortee move state priority 10 + Escortee flee at Flee2

    If the mission just started and you didn't kill any ennemy at all, then no trigger will fire and the Escortee will just not move, which is great! You can even set a timer of lets say 10 seconds and if the Escortee stays in his start zone all that time whithout fleeing, and the player of course still can see it, you can add a force speech saying " Oh, finally, I will wait here a little to make sure nobody attacks me while running. ". And another great thing is that the triggers above will still be active (!), so the Escortee will attempt to flee as soon as the ennemies will be wiped out from any zone! The player probably even see the Escortee move by.
     
  13. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    365
    Mar 14, 2010
    Everybody made some good points. In FOT Redux I'm allowing players to take whatever vehicles they want into most missions, and tank aside the first Reaver Elder to enter a hummer or the other vehicle cannot subsequently exit the vehicle. The waypoints method, with some player friendly modifications, seems to have a lot in its favor, including that it is the choice where the most original content (voice-acting, etc) is retained.

    Any additional comments are most welcome. Otherwise, unless I get struck by lighting or hit by a bus there will be a new version of Fallout Tactics Redux out by the end of this month wherein you can see the results. :grin:

    While we're on the subject of the Reaver Elders, has anybody ever been truly disappointed not to find nutty Glenda Close waiting for them back at the bunker? I was toying with adding something for her, even if it's something simple like a comment "Oh yeah, we sent that Close lady to the loony bin, so she won't be keeping her date with you."
     
  14. xkcon

    xkcon Transcending the Multiverse Modder

    206
    Apr 2, 2003
    "In FOT Redux I'm allowing players to take whatever vehicles they want into most missions, and tank aside the first Reaver Elder to enter a hummer or the other vehicle cannot subsequently exit the vehicle."

    This is not true. I've tested it thoroughly. I ticked 'allow vehicles' in the editor and added an APC and Hummer to the newton mission. Then I loaded my save at the Delta bunker and took my APC and drove into the newton mission. The reaver Elders can all move in and out of any vehicle as many times as you as long as they are under player control. Here are a few screen shots.






    In the shots you can see Glenda close entering and exiting the APC and then into the Hummer.
     

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  15. xkcon

    xkcon Transcending the Multiverse Modder

    206
    Apr 2, 2003
    I understand that you want to make the changes anyway, by all means go ahead, my comments are not mean't to hinder you, but rather to shed a more accurate light on the mechanism in question.
     
  16. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    365
    Mar 14, 2010
    I'm not doubting you, xkcon. Clearly you're seeing what you're seeing, but I don't get the same result-- once at least one Elder enters a vehicle, one Elder (usually the first one to enter) will remain in that vehicle forever (even after leaving the map). I'm not sure what the source of the different result is (somewhere there's a difference in the files we're using, but where precisely would be a long process of investigation to little end), but since the permanancy/main character swap problem remains for you as well this means at least some version of the bug exists in all iterations, and thus the proposed fix/changes are necessary. In all the reports of the bug I've read, people report this result because they leave the Reavers in the vehicle, and probably never even try to have them get out.


    **

    While we're on the subject of this map, modders should note that the functionality for vehicles called "requires repair item" is broken, and does not work. This was apparently what was originally in mind for the tank found in this mission. Sure, you can make a repair item that will work on a vehicle flagged as "broken" plus "requires repair item," and will disappear from inventory after use, but all tool kits are internally categorized as repair items as well-- so if you think you're making some special situation by requiring a special repair item, it just doesn't work that way. Also, simple use of the "Repair" skill will remove the "broken" flag from vehicles. Though some players may be fooled into thinking a "repair item" is important if they find the item before they run across the vehicle, the reality is they won't need the item to fix whatever, and if this is an important point in your narrative you'll want to keep this is mind.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  17. xkcon

    xkcon Transcending the Multiverse Modder

    206
    Apr 2, 2003
    "I'm not sure what the source of the different result is (somewhere there's a difference in the files we're using, but where precisely would be a long process of investigation to little end)"

    Yes this is very much true. My file is significantly different than yours, but the bulk of the original triggers are the same. However, I did extensively debug all the original maps over the years and I can't remember all the changes I made, so Let me just ask you this, are you able to take more than one reaver into your squad at once, or can you only evac one at a time? In my version only one reaver can join you at any one time. And remember to exit and enter, that vehicle can never go into the safe zone. once the vehicle is in the safe zone no reaver can exit.


    Something else too, I think most people leave them in the tank, because when in a vehicle, the 7th member of the squad (ie: Reaver Elder) has no character tab visible on the screen, so people can't figure out how to select them to get them out... I'm sure that you are aware that sometimes when you save and reload the order of your squad will get re-shuffled, and if you save and reload with a Reaver Elder in the squad, the same thing can happen, and sometimes upon reloading you will have a reaver elder with a fully functioning character tab visible in the interface, while one of your original squad members has been booted off.
     
  18. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    365
    Mar 14, 2010
    The way the original triggers function is that only one Reaver Elder can be in the squad at a time, but this is only due to variable usage rather than any fundamental constraints. If one Reaver is in the squad and the player talks to another, an "I'm busy, come back later" text is the response. If a Reaver elder is in a vehicle and the vehicle reaches the designated zone, the variable is reset so another can join (based on the assumption in the trigger that the current elder would be deactivated). This then is how, once a vehicle becomes involved in the situation, all the elders can be on the team at the same time. It's been a few days, I'd have to check whether I had the first elder to join exit before or after getting to the deactivation zone. The main point, though, is what happens when exiting the map; as I noted earlier, that's the important situation.

    I've never seen the other problem you describe, a re-arrangement of squad order after reloading. Perhaps you're talking about the more general "main character replacement" bug? I was just looking and can't find documentation online, but from memory this was fixed in the Microforte 1.27 patch. There are some other rare situations along these lines that can happen (a forum search should quickly turn up most of them), but as I said I've never personally seen any of them occur.
     
  19. xkcon

    xkcon Transcending the Multiverse Modder

    206
    Apr 2, 2003
    "If a Reaver elder is in a vehicle and the vehicle reaches the designated zone, the variable is reset so another can join (based on the assumption in the trigger that the current elder would be deactivated). This then is how, once a vehicle becomes involved in the situation, all the elders can be on the team at the same time."

    Yes this is true, the problem arises purely from having a reaver in a vehicle in the safe zone. this is why, simply not allowing the player to take a vehicle into the safe zone stops any potential problems.

    "It's been a few days, I'd have to check whether I had the first elder to join exit before or after getting to the deactivation zone."

    I suspect this is where your problems occurred.
     
  20. xkcon

    xkcon Transcending the Multiverse Modder

    206
    Apr 2, 2003
    "I've never seen the other problem you describe, a re-arrangement of squad order after reloading."

    Here Let me show you what I'm talking about.

    Here is my squad just before asking Glenda to join. *Note the order of the squad members.

    Now I get Glenda to join, then I save the game. Next I immediately reload, and you can see that Glenda has her own functioning character tab, while my remaining squad members have been bumped down one position.

     

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