The Wayward Patrol
I have started to work on creatures that players can encounter. This includes creatures that can be spawned via an encounter trigger and those already placed within an area at build time. As soon as I tested my first patrol of goblins, I encountered two problems:
1) The goblins did not drop what I expected them to drop according to their templates.
2) The goblins had their own ideas of where they wanted to patrol, even after I added waypoints!
Talk about creatures having a mind of their own! Unfortunately, this meant what little time I normally spend trying to build was spent sorting out more official campaign script. After some experimenting, I soon discovered that "spawned" creatures act differently to "placed" creatures when it came to identifying items in their loot drops. Eventually, I managed to update my own creature spawn and death scripts to ensure they only dropped what I wanted them to drop and identify (or not) the items accordingly. There is also a trick I learned from the forums that said to place items you want the creature to drop in their inventory (and mark as droppable) and to make sure all equipped items (like weapons and armour they use) are always marked non-drop. (If you want the creature to drop equipped items, you needed to give the creature a droppabel non-equipped version in their equipment as well.) Now, I just need to add a routine that differentiates between which items I may want the creature to be able to use in their inventory, like potions!
The second problem was more annoying, as I could nto see any reason why my goblins would not follow their waypoint path. And neither could I find out anybody else who had the same problems. So, it meant I had to write the script myself to make sure they stuck to their patrol path. This meant also having to change some of the minor functions that WalkWayPoints (the main function) uses, and so also change the way scripted waypoints worked for some of my other creatures. Thankfully, it is a simple enough task when done over a few days, but it is frustrating that it robs me of being able to do more plot writing. I hope to have the amended scripts finished soon.
The funny thing about both of these issues I had, is that I was pointed to NWN2 Legends and the great work of Marshall as an alternative means to solve these issues. And if my own code had not already been written the way it has been, I think I would have delighted in using some of his systems designed as plugins to the toolset. However, as much as I would have liked to do so, I do not believe I can due to the fundamental differences between how our two games work. That said, however, I was so impressed by Marshall's plugins and what they could do, it did spur my own interest to look at plugins for the toolset again. Not just in implementing them, but maybe (if I ever get the time) actually designing some of my own to help me build the module more easily - and make tasks simpler. The problem is, my health limits me as to how much I can do, and if I do spend some time designing a plugin, I have to weigh up if the time spent making it will be rewarded in the time it helps save me in further module development. Thankfully, MS C# is a free downloadable program nowadays, and so the tools are there ... it now depends on its overall benefit.
|The Opening Screen of MS C#|