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Extra henchmen functionality for the OC - feedback is required

JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 18,717
From yesterday's stream:

We’re torn on the subject of extra henchmen functionality for the OC in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and would like to reach out to the community about their suggestions on better ways to execute it.
http://blog.beamdog.com/2018/02/february-16-livestream-recap.html

Share your feedback here.

During the stream Trent mentioned scripting commands are one of the things he's interested in to hear about.

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Comments

  • ProontProont Member Posts: 116
    edited February 2018
    I would like a way to command henchmen/summons to focus fire one enemy as Proleric said. Also, commands to disengage/retreat from combat and avoid enemies (for stealth).

  • TheBarbarianTheBarbarian Member Posts: 58
    Hm. Possessing henchmen as one does a familiar is a recurring unsolved scripting help request. Maybe the DM ability to possess pretty much anything and anyone could be unlocked for builders?

    ProlericProont
  • NaesakiNaesaki Member Posts: 4
    I would very much like to be able to control the way my henchmen level up,and also being able to organise their gear and if possible be able to direct them to some degree to a specific enemy or even like set it so they won't run a certain distance away from me.

    Proont
  • DerpCityDerpCity Member, Moderator Posts: 278
    I'd like henchmen to be totally reworked in the OC to function like they do in SoU. Let them continue to respawn at the Temple of Tyr, but make them level up and have controllable equipment. I also recommend removing a bunch of their extra feats that they have for seemingly no reason or otherwise just shouldn't have at their level. Lastly, I think everyone's request for more control over them would be great, particularly @Proleric's request for a quick access button to toggle between melee or ranged combat.

    ProontdTd
  • StaranStaran Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 233
    Something needs to be done. Having a main character as a cloth wearing wizard and a henchmen as a fighterthat stands behind you doesn’t make sense.
    There is no amount of ai that can fix this.
    There is no amount of AI that can get you to tell your fight her to walk into that room in front of you and take all of the Agro.

    Neverwinter nights 2 knew this and just allowed you to take control of that character. Sure the AI didn’t make all that much sense, but you can take over the character and fix the mistakes and take the Agro or go invisible and get rid of the Agro.

    If that is not something that is possible in this version of the game then having a command like ‘guard me’ or ‘take Agro from me’ And having confidence that it will work may mitigate this. Not a skill check.

    cherryzeroProontBelgarathMTH
  • DerpCityDerpCity Member, Moderator Posts: 278
    @Staran I would rather add a button in the radial menu that lets you tell a henchmen to go to a specific spot, like some modders did with the Player Tools. NWN2's FPC just made me notice how dumb my companions were (on top of them getting stuck on lamp posts across the docks).

    ProontGrymlorde
  • DrHappyAngryDrHappyAngry Member Posts: 1,173
    Shameless plug for something I want.

    Some of these sound like general requests for improving the henchmen AI, and there's a trello card for it here
    https://trello.com/c/M27Vvlnw/20-provide-customizable-ai-and-clean-up-buggy-behavior So, please, vote for it. There's a thread here for it https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/67617/any-chance-the-henchmen-ai-will-get-an-upgrade

    Anyways, it would be kinda nice to be able to control equipment on henchmen in the OC. Honestly I don't have that strong of an opinion on the OC, since I don't play it much, so it's not a huge deal to me. I suppose, since it'll be most new players' first experience with the game, allowing them to customize their gear might not be a bad idea. It would make things consistent with SoU and HotU, in that regard.

    @Proleric the "focus on one enemy" sounds like a great idea, and should probably be added to the Provide Customizable henchmen AI trello card. Maybe @JuliusBorisov could add that one to the cutomizable henchmen AI card? That card is getting kind of long, but might be worth adding, even if everything in the card doesn't get implemented. I think it probably belongs there, since it'd be a general AI customization, and not exclusive to the OC.

    ProontAtrophiedericGrymlorde
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited February 2018
    Staran said:

    Something needs to be done. Having a main character as a cloth wearing wizard and a henchmen as a fighterthat stands behind you doesn’t make sense.
    There is no amount of ai that can fix this.
    There is no amount of AI that can get you to tell your fight her to walk into that room in front of you and take all of the Agro.

    Neverwinter nights 2 knew this and just allowed you to take control of that character. Sure the AI didn’t make all that much sense, but you can take over the character and fix the mistakes and take the Agro or go invisible and get rid of the Agro.

    If that is not something that is possible in this version of the game then having a command like ‘guard me’ or ‘take Agro from me’ And having confidence that it will work may mitigate this. Not a skill check.

    If you look at the fiction that inspired D&D, rather than conventions inspired by game mechanics, then the leader leads the way, irrespecttive of thier class. Gandalf didn't poke Gimli first with the end of his staff in Moria.

    Post edited by Fardragon on
    ZwerkulesDerpCitydTd
  • SkipBittmanSkipBittman Member Posts: 143
    If you guys can't rework the source code, break a million things, or embrace the Lilurian FPC jihad -- at least a bunch of AI scripts for them would be nice, some more flexibility that doesn't break old modules.

    Atrophiederic
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Is there no way to change the game to allow us to control our henchmen a la Neverwinter Nights 2?

    That is the main reason I prefer the second game to the first. It's annoying having "henchmen" running around aimlessly. Would prefer to have a real party.

    sarevok57
  • FluentFluent Member Posts: 64
    I'd like to see the AI and overall system expanded and build on what's already there. Make the AI better, give modders the ability to script more personality traits behind-the-scenes, AI-related "quirks" and features that module companions can be scripted with or created with to give them more personality in combat. You could get into tying some combat actions more to the Skills, so as an example a Mage who has Knowledge: Undead would be quicker to cast something to exploit the weaknesses of a new type of undead than someone who doesn't have that knowledge, etc.. The idea is to have companions be able to have more personality and do different things based on how they are created. In other words, you want more ways to craft a "combat personality" based on behind-the-scenes scripting, which can be tied more to the stats on the character sheet as well.

    If you wanted to go further, you could check out The Last Remnant, an RPG that has your companions ASK you what they should focus on when they level up, or ask you for a weapon you are carrying that they'd like to use. It should not have the micromanagement of other RPGs where you dictate every precise move. The companions should act on their own volition and ideals, with an "overarching, big picture" input by the player. The main character will be responsible for leading the party and keeping them alive "long-term", and managing the big picture issues, while the AI is responsible and takes their own views on those orders. Just build on the system currently there and give more detailed "bigger picture" tactical decisions to make. Avoid full party control or having to micromanage companions in combat.

    The current system can be a great strength for the game if it is improved as there are no RPGs quite like it currently in that way (one main character + AI companions.)

    So in other words, make it dope! :smiley:

    ProontGrymlorde
  • jonesr65jonesr65 Member Posts: 28
    I would be just be happy if they made the henchmen interface in the OC and SOU the same as HotU. But if would love to see full inventory and leveling/class choices left to the Player. I only play as a single player and I like to have a little more control of my companions/henchmen.

    AtrophiedericProontMirandel
  • DrHappyAngryDrHappyAngry Member Posts: 1,173
    jonesr65 said:

    I would be just be happy if they made the henchmen interface in the OC and SOU the same as HotU. But if would love to see full inventory and leveling/class choices left to the Player. I only play as a single player and I like to have a little more control of my companions/henchmen.

    Weren't all of the companions in the OC single classed, anyways? There doesn't really seem to be much to choose for them when leveling up. I suppose you could add fighter as an option for Sharwyn (and maybe Tomi), but I think they only added levels for those in HotU. For most of them, it doesn't seem like adding other classes fits the characters or helps much.

    It would be nice to have the dialog requests for buffing spells and other stuff they added in the expansions, ie identify my equipment, use bard song, etc.

    Proont
  • BalkothBalkoth Member Posts: 139
    Proleric said:

    If I could only change one thing, it would be an option to tell the whole party to focus on one enemy.

    I've been working on a script that will allow this. You select player tool 1 and then click on something.

    1. Clicking on an enemy creature will command all of your companions to attack target.

    2. Clicking on a neutral/friendly creature or a location will command all of your companions to move to that creature/location.

    3. Clicking on a trap will command any companions flagged to try to disarm traps to deal with the trap.

    4. Clicking on a locked object will command any companions flagged to try to open locks to deal with the lock.

    It'll be available to play around with in the Aielund Saga within the next week or two, and then I'll release a non-Aielund specific version on the vault once I get some feedback and make any necessary changes.
    Staran said:

    There is no amount of AI that can get you to tell your fight her to walk into that room in front of you and take all of the Agro.

    I have some good news for you...

    DoubledimasProont
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,983
    Staran said:

    There is no amount of AI that can get you to tell your fight her to walk into that room in front of you and take all of the Agro.

    Really? In the Infinity Engine games, party formations and the AI Scripts can combine to do this. They aren’t perfect, but they are pretty flexible.

  • StaranStaran Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 233
    tbone1 said:

    Staran said:

    There is no amount of AI that can get you to tell your fight her to walk into that room in front of you and take all of the Agro.

    Really? In the Infinity Engine games, party formations and the AI Scripts can combine to do this. They aren’t perfect, but they are pretty flexible.
    I have played around a lot with hackpack and overrides and I think their is a gap.
    Going to the end of a hallway with two entrances to rooms and “telling” your henchmen to go into the room and get agro and keep himself alive while the Charname fireballs the room until it looks like a piece of glass sounds like a hard thing to program

    A clicky power (like fireball) to get your henchmen to go “over there” is possible. But I would think that you would need to make quite a bit of these powers to be viable in many situations.
    So directly controlling a henchmen would be easier....but may not be possible or the vision of what is desired

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,564

    Is there no way to change the game to allow us to control our henchmen a la Neverwinter Nights 2?

    That is the main reason I prefer the second game to the first. It's annoying having "henchmen" running around aimlessly. Would prefer to have a real party.

    this right here says it all, i 100% agree with booinyoureyes here on all points, if this can't be implemented, then im just going to continue to solo the game anyway, because how henchmen are implemented now is so tedious, its actually more convenient not having one ( which in my opinion completely defeats the purpose of a role playing game with companions doesnt it? )

    booinyoureyescherryzeroProontMirandel
  • mlkent22mlkent22 Member Posts: 25
    I find the need to focus on henchmen a questionable use of time. Simply for the fact that while henchmen were included for the OC, and for classes with familiars and animal companions, The overriding fact is that NWN was designed to be multi-player/ Group under a DM as mentioned on several occasions by Trent. It's D&D in computer, not just a sequel to BG, or BG2, or the IWD. That being said, and ignoring the available henchmen AI community made systems now available on the vault, (https://neverwintervault.org/tags/tonyk-henchman-inventory-battle-ai-companion
    ) which allow for much of what has been asked for in these sorts of threads; (inventory control, familiar behavior, Henchmen guarding, fleeing, stealth, ranged, melee, etc.) There are those who will want to change the NWN's default behavior for these AI creatures. Full control is often stated- however it is important to realize that henchmen are not the hero of the story. They are supporting cast, and if the HotU conversations are to be taken into account, a limited supportive cast. Many will reject that- as there are thousands of ways to play NWN, including a community made system to have every henchman available at the same time, BG party style: https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn1/hakpak/more-1-henchman-oc-override Which I believe will make the OC horribly easy to get through, even on the hardest difficulty. There in lies the rub, Changing the default behavior of henchmen, animal companions, and familiars will, cause balancing problems for the OC.
    What this translates to is this, improving the henchmen system, adding "party style" or even HotU "2 henchmen at once" will cause further time and resources to be spent by Beamdog rather than on, in my opinion, more needed revisions. I do not wish to come across as someone who belittles the idea of better henchmen control. There is obviously a great desire for it by many of the community. I am however more concerned that the predominantly glaring impossible to work around issues faced by PW/multi-player get attention, especially since there will be a great new influx of multi-players when NWN EE goes live, with Steam support/ server hosting. I support this opinion with this, most likely when NWN EE is live, and after playing through the EE OC, the majority of players are going to log in to a server, where there is no henchmen available. These players, even if playing familiar, or animal companion having classes, will have the opportunity to see multi-player party campaigns and probably not need to summon the familiar, or animal companion at all. That does not that mean I do not want an overall AI upgrade. I simply do not see the need for multiple henchmen in a game made for multi-player, especially when the community has already created the systems to allow for that, and those same systems will remain importable to the EE release.

    ProontDerpCity
  • StaranStaran Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 233
    I don’t understand the issue. If you won’t want to use henchmen in the OC, then don’t. Solo it for all I care.

    Tony ai for henchmen is great but it breaks everything.
    If you are having a problem with the game the solution is (much of the time) to disable Tony’s script.

    If BD can make a better solution, isn’t that not better?

    ProlericProontdTdGrymlorde
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 18,717
    Thanks for a lot of suggestions. Keep them up.

    sarevok57ProontDerpCity
  • balmzbalmz Member Posts: 11
    i'd like all the extra features henchman get in non oc campgains to be added to the oc, like i can give rogues thief tools, casters scrolls, give them non potion items

    ProlericProont
  • KaosWarMonkKaosWarMonk Member Posts: 31
    I'm in the 100% party control camp. If that's not doable then my order of preference would be inventory, level ups and lastly tactical control - puppet mode in NWN2 I think it's called. Failing that I could be convinced to accept AI scripts assigned to henchies so they behave in certain ways a la BG.

    On the subject of inventory/level up, and in lieu of controlling your spell casters in combat... Being able to control spell selection would be useful - let me add/remove spells available to a henchman or perhaps define what spells a caster can use in combat. I currently kind of do this via a mod. Essentially what I do is give arcane casters spells that I think the AI can't screw me over with. For example no AOE damage spells, only a limited number of long duration buffs, limited or no short duration summoning spells etc. Basically a selection of spells that "work" with the AI in it's current state in that they a) don't kill me via friendly fire and b) don't burn all the henchies spell slots uselessly in a the first combat after a rest.

    Thinking out loud on the second option above... The ability to flag what spells you want the henchman AI to use autonomously (and maybe an order in which to use them??) would be pretty useful. Then you could leave the rest of their spells in their list to use via dialogue, radial menu, shortcut bar button or whatever. I'm thinking this approach would help address AI spell selection with toons who have access to all their spells at each level, eg divine casters as well as arcane ones.

    ProontMirandel
  • CalvinMCalvinM Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 7
    I think quicker to access commands and more variety is what I personally want. But first and foremost, I want a way to completely stop my familiar/summoned creature from attacking boxes that have failed to be unlocked. I really don't like having to wait for the delay for broken chests' items to spawn on the ground so I'd rather just let my companion (the rogue) unlock it, but having to manually click "Guard Me" for both my pets is tedious.

    I think having a feature to tell everything to "Guard Me" in one click would be fantastic. As well as this, having a quick way to tell your entire party (or just select henchmen, familiars, etc), to attack a certain mob would be fantastic. Either through one click on the radial menu or through a keybinding (and I desperately want customisable keybindings and more action bars).

  • LibertyisbackLibertyisback Member Posts: 49
    i might have posted this somewhere before. i think the ideal of full party control is to just have the same command set as an RTS. So in Command and Conquer or Starcraft or Dungeon Seige:

    group select.
    select target for entire group.
    fire at will.
    defend ground position/hold position
    assign teams (1), (2), (3) etc by group select
    Advance and fight on the way to position.
    Just the basic Starcraft set is enough.

    Regarding individual inventory and spell selection --- this isn't always a simple scripting decision.
    I suggest having two selectable modes: Roleplay AI and Puppet AI.
    Roleplay AI is where the AI does all levelling+inventory choices on its own. It shuold follow the personality assigned to the character in the game.
    Puppet AI is where every item is controlled by the player.
    Maybe players could be given the power to between modes during gameplay.
    However, switching back to roleplay AI may cause the AI is change back their inventory.

  • KaosWarMonkKaosWarMonk Member Posts: 31
    edited March 2018
    CalvinM said:


    I think having a feature to tell everything to "Guard Me" in one click would be fantastic.

    Isn't that what issuing Guard Me from the commands menu on the PC's own radial menu does? I map most of those commands to the quick bar - follow me, stand your ground, attack, guard me - r-click on the quick slot and choose the order from the commands menu. These control the whole party. Can also be done via the voice menu by hitting the V key, then W then F for guard me. Or have I misunderstood??

    ProlericProontCalvinM
  • JFKJFK Member Posts: 178
    The V-key sequences for issuing commands is great, and I think sometimes maybe overlooked by players.

    Also using keyboard to access depths of the Radial Menu can be quick too. A few keystrokes and you're there.

    -JFK

    DerpCitydTd
  • StaranStaran Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 233
    Honestly, this is the 3rd live stream that the hosts have said “we need to talk about it”.
    We? On the forum? At a bd meeting? Who needs to talk about this?

    Anyways, a Baldurs gate style fpc isn’t what is asked. Dm “possession” is what we are asking, I think.

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