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About this mod

The Commonwealth is an open world infested with ferals and decay. Clean them out before being over-run.

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Do you enjoy wasteland survival scavenging ?

Are you looking for difficult challenges ?

Could you headshot 1,000 ferals if they moved a bit slower ?

If you said yes, yes, and yes then THIS IS FOR YOU!


Inspired by State-of-Decay NIGHTMARE! mode, the mission is to clear infestations from the Commonwealth workshops before being totally over-run by respawning ferals.


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The Commonwealth is an open world with all areas unlocked and no base game quests.
All ~600 base game human race NPCs replaced with ferals.
~500 additional feral group spawn points.
~500 recruitable robot and human survivors.
6 new feral spawning systems.
Everyone is mortal.
Ferals can't run in daytime, one tap to the head kills them.
Workshop noise and unsuppressed player shooting attracts ferals.
Deadly 12 hour decay infection from feral contact. 
Resources are totally random with no respawn.
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The Commonwealth of Decay game mode uses the core Fallout 4-76 OpenWorld platform to remove all humans and quests from the Commonwealth, adding 10 new switchable game systems and integrating game systems from 4 other mods.  The core gameplay loop is to secure all workshops from feral infestations as fast as possible, building enough defences to not loose them.

The base Fallout 4-76 OpenWorld game mode is still totally available to transform the Commonwealth into an open world with all areas unlocked and no human NPCs for a quest free land of scavenging opportunity. Repopulate with whatever actors you need to create your own narrative for another survive, scavenge and rebuild experience.


Compare the OpenWorld & Commonwealth of Decay features with this EZ to use image:

Spoiler:  
Show





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COD GAME CONFIGURATION

For the full Commonwealth of Decay NIGHTMARE! experience:

(1) Fallout 4 base game 1.10.162.0 or later. 

(2) This mod  *is* the latest version of SKK476OpenWorld.esp. It overwrites older file versions and is NOT backwards compatible with version 040 or earler series. To be clear do not download 476 OpenWorld from the LEGACY page, this is the latest file version.

(3) Load other game systems. These are not absolutely required, but the experience was crafted to use them (no DLC or script extenders are needed):

SKKFeralNights.esp (v004 or later)
SKKDynamicLootReduction.esp (v002 or later)
SKKMultiracialWorkshopActors.esp (v008 or later)
SKKHackProtectronSettlers.esp (v003 or later)
SKKCCStartOnDemand.esp (if running Fallout4.exe 1.10.980 update or later)

(4) SURVIVAL game mode, It will work in any mode, only missing some difficulty mechanics.

(5) Fresh, clean FAST START or VAULT EXIT savegame where the player owns no registered workshops. Owning registered workshops (like CC content) will skew safety calculations and make the game start less engaging, so there is a validation option to disown them.

The basic OpenWorld game mode is far less demanding, it can be installed and activated at any game stage with any or none of the other game systems. If you will be using this mode it would be best to read the original 476 OpenWorld solution page to understand the basics first. Its simply too much words to try and also include here with the COD specific content.



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TO START THE OPEN WORLD GAME MODE

Use the MISC: [ .SKK OpenWorld Holotape ] that is given after Vault 111 exit to switch [ Open World  ] mode and [ ENABLE ]. This can be done from any any time in any game.

World preparation takes 3 to 5 minutes and finishes with a modal messagebox that stops the world, so you can go do other stuff whilst it runs. Infact best to not be doing much in game whilst prep is running as it has a lot to do opening the world up.

All of the holotape settings are unlocked so they can be dynamically switched at any time (except whilst worldprep is running). Be aware that the HOSTILE systems are from the COD game mode where they are all fixed enabled until the challenge is complete. All of the possbile combinations of switching them separately on and off in OpenWorld mode have not been fully tested.


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TO START THE COD GAME MODE

Use the MISC: [ .SKK OpenWorld Holotape ] that is given after Vault 111 exit to switch [ Commonwealth of Decay ] mode and [ ENABLE ]. This can be done from any starting point in the world after clearing Vault 111 new game sequence. 

The solution validates your game configuration to identify any gross issues with a warning message. If you continue with issues Commonwealth of Decay will still run, but your experience will suffer.

World preparation takes 3 to 5 minutes and finishes with a modal messagebox that stops the world, so you can go do other stuff whilst it runs. Infact best to not be doing much in game whilst prep is running as it has a lot to do opening the world up.

All of the OpenWorld holotape settings are available *before* enabling Commonwealth of Decay mode, then most are hidden/locked and the original [ .SKK OpenWorld holotape ] is replaced with a [ Commonwealth of Decay holotape


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HOSTILE GAME SYSTEMS

All spawned hostiles are feral, configured to not sprint during the daytime and die with one hit to the head (unless otherwise noted). 


Replacement Actors

All base game human actors (ActorTypeNPC) that are removed from the game are replaced with spawn markers which spawn 1:1 outside of workshop locations. There are 500 additional point of interest spawn markers which spawn groups of 2 to 8.

The initial spawn chance is ~90% at all markers. The respawn interval is 8 game days after death, respawn chance starts at 90%  reducing with the number of owned workshops.

Spawned replacements are configured to be friends with all other spawned replacements (regardless of the base game faction) so they don't fight each other. Otherwise they would just leave piles of corpses across the Commonwealth and the player with nothing to do which would be pointless. 

Some internal areas have ghouls which have not turned fully feral so can use melee and ranged weapons, their aim may improve with player level. 


Hunters (discount combat stalkers)

Randomly every game day during daytime a pack of 2 to 8 ferals will spawn and chase the player when they are not at a safe owned workshop. These hunter ferals are able to sprint regardles of the sprint supression setting so they can actually catch a running player.


Wandering Horde

After several game days to get setup, a Wandering Horde of 8 to 32 ferals regularly spawns to wander between unowned workshops. It is map marked, best to save ammo and just avoid them.


Workshop Infestations

Unowned workshops are infested by packs of 8 to 32 ferals. The radiating spawn object near the workshop must be destroyed and workshop ownership asserted by activating the workshop menu to stop them regenerating and respawning. If you try and kite hostiles away and the workshop/spawner unloads, the infestation will just respawn when it loads again.

Unregistered/standalone "player home"  (e.g. Homeplate) and interior workshops (e.g. Vault 88) are automatically excluded.

For other exterior WorkshopParent registered settlement workshops that should not be infested, add keyword SKK_476NoInfestation to the red WorkshopWorkbench object (typically LocationNameWorkshopREF) before running COD conversion. This is automatically applied to Scavver faction RedRocket workshops.


Infection Bloaters

Larger glowing ferals randomly spawn with groups, explode on death releasing a cloud of infection gas which is 99% likely to infect with decay so stand well back. Spawn probability and gas range (up to 2048 units) increases with level. To stop the player simply mowing down feral packs in a smashwagon. This is the only new feral actor added.


Workshop Defense Enforcement

There is a minimum workshop safe value which increases with the number of owned registered settlement workshops. A Workshop Safety Scanner (Build:Decay) will show detail local values and a summary of all workshops. It is important to use this to record workshop defense values because the base game design is total ass at recording and reporting workshop values.
 
Missing defence is checked every night at unattended workshops. The missing value is the probability that the player will loose ownership and a new infestation will spawn.  Do not take ownership of a workshop without the turret/population resources to get it to the current safe defense value before nightfall (20:00 to 06:00) as you will probably just loose it again.

Sanctuary is safe until the player owns 3 workshops. Unregistered/standalone "player home" (e.g. Homeplate), interior workshops  (e.g. Vault 88) and SKK_476NoInfestation tagged workshops excluded from this system.

****************************************************************
Minimum safe defense INCREASES as you add workshops.
You must keep upgrading to avoid loosing them.
This *IS* the core gameplay loop for Commonwealth of Decay.
****************************************************************

Workshop Attraction

When the player is on site, the amount of noise generated is regularly checked, the Workshop Safety Scanner (Build:Decay) will show local values.  Excess noise is the probability of attracting an attack of 8 to 32 ferals.

Turret defense makes noise, guard posts do not. If you do not pay attention you will either get attacked in the day because defense noise, or loose the workshop at night due to lack of defense.

Sanctuary is safe until the player owns 3 workshops. Unregistered/standalone "player home" (e.g. Homeplate), interior workshops  (e.g. Vault 88) and SKK_476NoInfestation tagged workshops excluded from this system.


Hostile Alerting

When the player fires an unsuppressed weapon, nearby ferals (~4000 game units) will be attracted to the noise for a while, regardless of game detection settings. Melee avoids this and is totally viable with the PlayerPerk damage modification as long as you have decay cures. Using the Institute elevator and opening up with an unsuppressed weapon will attract 50 to 100 hostiles. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. 


Commonwealth of Decay Infection

Every time the player is hit by a feral unarmed attack there is a chance of infection, which will usually happen after ~ 20 hits. Or a bloater gas cloud. When infected a modal warning pops [ You have contracted Commonwealth Decay ] and have 12 game hours to find a cure.  Actually the warning waits to pop once the player is out of combat by design (no, not script lag). The Pipboy status updates [ Death from decay in NN hours ] plus on screen icon and sound and reminder notification every hour. Each time combat infection triggers whilst ALREADY infected, it intensifies and hour is removed from the death timer.

The cure drops from most workshop takeovers, can be bought from Robodocs on chance (stock up when you see 'em)  or crafted at chemlab from Corpse Fluids which drop from ~5% of feral kills needing INT2 Medic1 perk (so get that early).

******************************************************************************
If you manage to become infected before acquiring cures the player will die.
That risk is the whole point of a hard core survival game.
If you do not like that risk use the RPG oriented Open World mode.
******************************************************************************


Nuke Launches

Randomly every 2 to 4 days a nuke is launched at the player by a feral defense AI, but never in a workshop build area. There are 3 stages of getaway warning over 60 seconds for plenty of reaction time. You are clear of the MiniNuke+ blast zone when you can't hear the warning tone. The nuke generates radiation hazard, boss and loot which cleans up after a day. This function is a carry over from the original 4-76 Fallout 76 emulation for satirical LOLs, so is switchable in holotape/systems for folks who don't appreciate satire (or LOLs). Launching nukes at player CAMPs in Fallout 76 is bad, mmmkay ?


Feral Nights integration

If the player is not at an owned workshop with the minimum safety/defense value during the night (20:00 to 06:00), a pack of 8 to 32 ferals *will* eventually spawn and actively hunt the player sprinting at full speed. Plan to craft, build and sleep at a protected workshop during the nights, venturing out after dark must be punished. This is a remote configuration of  SKKFeralNights.esp, if you use the Feral Nights holotape to change options, the WorkshopSafeDefense value will then be dynamically updated by COD as workshop ownership changes. 


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FRIENDLY GAME SYSTEMS

All frends/allies are mortal, they do not ignore friendly hits.


Survivor Rescue recruitment

This is mostly a signpost to help direct players that need direction to ~100 map objectives. Humans are good for quiet defense but have the usual happiness needs and base game low happiness workshop loss remains, so can be an overhead compared to robots. Since settlers are mortal the significant (-20) workshop happiness kicker for each death is suppressed.

Talk to rescue them. DO NOT USE ANY OTHER 3RD PARTY RECRUITMENT TOOL. When on the road talk to make them "wait here" if you are clearing the path. The (Holotape:Settings) [ Actor Command Menu ]  will trade, check health and heal them. They can be dropped at any workshop, not only the quest marked one just by activating it.

The frequency of recruitment opportunities can be switched in holotape/missions page. If you dont like a particular target use holotape/missions [ Survivor rescue SKIP DESTINATION ]  to permanently avoid or disable that mission target.

Any settlers recruited using systems that are not aware of the SKK_476NoDisable keyword (like the base game beacons) will of course be removed. You should totally not need to use any additional workshop recruiting methods to cheeze the challenge because: 

Spoiler:  
Show

There are 26 base game workshops, so the maximum safe defense needed to complete the base game is 20+26 = 46 per workshop. If you add more workshops, that on you.

Using 4*5 defense base game MG turrets to stay below the noise threshold, each workshop needs an additonal 26 defense from workshop assigned NPCs.

Using 3*2 defense base game guard posts per settler needs 5 settlers at each workshop, a total of 130 before mortal combat losses.

Commonwealth of decay offers over 540 workshop recruitable actors:

260 Survivor rescue spawns (Mapmarker + BOSS Container).
100 Hacakble base game Protectrons placed in the world.
126 MWA Robot Spawn Points (WorkbenchChemistry*).
60 Help mission survivors (20 spawn points * 3 actors each).



Help other Teams

Other teams may call on the radio for assitance dealing with infestations as signposting to help keep you on mission. They can be invited to join the mission as meat-shields (since they are mortal and unlikely to survive), although they can be healed with the [ Actor Command Menu ] and a Stimpak. As they will automatically join the workshop on completion for free defense, it is best to go alone so they survive.
 

Vertibird Fast Travel

After rescuing a couple of survivors there is a mission to unlock vertibird fast travel. The pilot will provide map marks if asked. If the pilot dies in an attack before completing the mission, another will be along after more rescues. Use vertibirds rather than fast travel  as teleporting stresses the actor detection and replacement system. To avoid quest tedium, for instant gratification use Vertibird World Travel for fast 'mursive on map and interworld travel which replaces this vertibird unlock quest. 


POI Robot recruitment

Workshop recruitable robots (Handy, Protectron, Gutsy) are randomly spawned at ~150 Commonwealth points of interest (plus DLC), map marked as MISC objectives. To recruit just talk to them or use the (Holotape:Settings) [ Actor Command Menu ] . DO NOT USE ANY OTHER 3RD PARTY RECRUITMENT TOOL.

They path back to the selected workshop on their own using roads rather than straight line and as they are mortal MAKE SURE THE PATH IS CLEAR. If you run ahead to the target workshop and use a (Build:Decay) Summoning Speaker you can teleport them home to avoid loaded area aggro. These are good for quiet defense. This is a remote configuration of SKKMultiracialWorkshopActors.esp at startup.

If you are already an MWA user you will notice that recruiting radios and beacons can not be constructed. That is by design to make finding and keeping allies alive harder. If you want EZ recruitment, construction can be enabled with the Console Configuration and actor lists 050 onwards article.


Hack Protectrons

Craft a Protectron Hacking transmitter at ChemLab:Utility to recruit any of the ~100 base game Commonwealth (plus DLC) protectrons you find. 

They path back to the selected workshop on their own using roads rather than straight line and as they are mortal MAKE SURE THE PATH IS CLEAR. If you run ahead to the target workshop and use a (Build:Decay) Summoning Speaker  you can teleport them home to avoid loaded area aggro. These are good for quiet defense. This is a remote configuration of SKKHackProtectronSettlers.esp at startup.


Settlement Robots

Codsworth, Deezer, Dr Goodfeel are recruitable if you talk to them (eventually) or using the (Holotape:Settings) [ Actor Command Menu ]. Graygarden robots (including workers) are fully assignable. Use Idle Handy Farmers  to help keep Handys in place and producing rather than floating around the larger sandbox areas and getting killed. 


Connecting Workshops

As provisioners are mortal, using them is not recommended. There is a switchable setting to automatically connect owned workshops to share resources with invisible supply lines (like DLC04 raider outposts do). There is also a switchable workshop menu perk that adds a [ Consolidate ] activation option to workshops which collects all owned workshops inventory (yes everything) to the local workshop (sorta like a manual Global Stash). To include standlone/isolated "player home" workshops (e.g. Homeplate) in the consolidation list, run consolidate ON them to add .


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NEW BUILDING & CRAFTING ITEMS

These are only visible in menus once OpenWorld or Commonwealth of Decay is enabled. 

Build/Decay: Workshop Safety Scanner (will you be attacked or loose any workshops overnight).

Build/Decay: Summoning Speaker (get new recruits or reassigned settlers onsite faster, highlight unassigned actors, cleanup onsite corpses).

Craft/Chemlab/Utility: Protectron Hack Transmitter (recruit more quiet defense). 

Craft/Chemlab/Utility: Feral BOSS Detector (equip if brave and scavving at night). 

Craft/Chemlab/Utility: Turret Dissasembly Tool (transport UNPOWERED turrets between workshops or deploy in the wilderness).

Craft/Chemlab/Utility: Workbench Dissasembly Tool (disassemble and transport workbenches anywhere to deploy).

Craft/Chemlab/Utility: Grenade Molotov mocktail (the cheaper alternative for discount crowd control).


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HOLOTAPE SWITCHABLE SETTINGS 

These can be switched in realtime anytime in a game or set via the console.


Feral Ghoul Sprint: To help land the headshots, stop feral ghouls sprinting [ off | *during the day | 24 hours ]. Default is daytime slowdown to make nights more NIGHTMARE! Note that feral hunters can always sprint, else they can't catch you. This affects all base game ferals that have not been messed with by other mods. 

Headshots DO Kill: To make up for the feral volumes one shot to the head will kill any of them. If that is too easy, just switch it off and burn ammo sponging their health the traditional way. Disable using anther headshot/damage system.  This affects all base game ferals that have not been messed with by other mods. 

Headshots TO Kill: To balance the lack of sprint ferals can only be killed with a headshot. This is switchable in the holotape settings, read KNOWN ISSUES. Disable if using another headshot/damage system. This affects all base game ferals that have not been messed with by other mods. 

Robot Vendors:  Enables Drumlin, Covenant, Diamond, GoodN, Institute and a couple of the wasteland traders. Docbots for healing and meds at Drumlin and Diamond.

Actor death tags:  Cosmetic fluff to collect and count.

Hostile Warnings:  Without any warnings there is no trigger for incipient fear of threat, so best leave it on.

Protect human companions from removal:  Companions are mortal and a total liability, they die instantly in combat. Keep 'em around if you must, but don't get attached. If your first question is "can I protect mah waifus ?" THIS IS NOT A GAME MODE FOR YOU, use the RPG friendly OpenWorld mode. To protect other human actors read article Fallout 4-76 Protect NPC actors from removal.
                  
Player Perk: Switches player damage IN between [ OFF | 100% | *200% | 200% | 400% ] factoring the actual game mode damage. As its a multiply it will stack and work with any other damage modifications. Also increases player jump height by 50% so you can actually jump over and onto things.

Actor Command Menu: Enables an activation option on all friendly actors to Trade, Heal, Recruit, Dismiss. This will conflict with any other mod that uses menu AddActivate on those actors so nothing will be shown. Actors with base game keyword PlayerCanStimpak  (e.g. companions) will conflict, so to disable the command menu on specific actors give them a [ Actor Command Menu STOP Note ] from a Chemlab or Summoning Speaker. Or remove the conflicting keyword/mod.

Workshop Menus: Adds activation option to [ Take Ownership ] of any unowned workshop, switches to a [ Consolidate ] activation option which collects all owned workshops inventory to the local workshop (like a manual Global Stash). This is useful as provisioners are mortal and die.

Link Workshop Resources: automatically connect owned workshops to share building and crafting resources without provisioners, just like DLC04 raider outposts. his is useful as provisioners are mortal and die.

Legendary Chance:  is fixed at 2% as the normal range (5% to 20% based on player level plus survival multiplier) vomits up excessive volumes of legendaries due to the number of actors you will be killing. Can be switched between [ 0%  | 1% | 2% | 5% | Normal ].

Weather Override:  Some radiation generating objects force a weather change to CommonwealthGSRadstorm whilst they are loaded and release when unloaded.  Disable if running a weather overhaul that dynamically manages weather and cant cope with other systems. Or you just dont like radstorms.

Track Workshop Actors: since silent workshop defense depends on recruits and there are a limited number, each npc life matters. Tracking ON will ensure that they never disappear when reassigned/transferred between workshops and the summoning speaker can fast travel them to their destination. Additional option to pop a notification on each death so you are not left wondering WTF happend to them.

Eveyone is mortal: is NOT switchable in COD mode. This only applies to friendly actors created by 476/COD it does not apply to actors you keep with SKK_476NoDisable or add thougm mods. Headshots Kill any Actor will cover them without conflicting.

Find Actors Mode: Defaults to a high performance 10 second timer. If your potat0 PC or Xbox can not cope with the actor conversion rate in busy downtown areas (observed through more fps drops than ususal), try the slower and lower overhead player 4K movement mode.


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DLC Considerations

This was designed to open up the Commonwealth as a blank canvas for new game modes. Whilst it makes DLC spaces accessible, it does not handle their quests, so removing human dependencies WILL affect them. You must choose between a smooth  Commonwealth experience or clunky DLC happenings.

DLC01 Automatron: Robots switch from Stimpaks to Robot repair kits to heal. Construction of the robot workbench is unlocked, although building OP Automatron robots totally spoils the COD game mode. ADA is available as a companion near Watz (if not already killed by ferals). Update 052 enables the first Unknown Device in the Robco sales center to be activated, and unlocks the back garage door, either of which will fully open up the Mechanist Lair for workshop ownership. The interior workshop is ignored by COD  hostile systems.

DLC02 Wasteland Workshop: cages that attact human NPCs will work but their products will be removed.

DLC03 FarHabah: To/from map markers are added to maps and the boat ride is enabled in both directions, but Vertibird World Travel is the better option for access. If protect all companions was enabled Longfellow is available as a companion at his cabin (if not already killed by ferals). You can get there, but with all humans removed quests will have problems so many areas will NOT be unlocked. Use OpenAnything  to over-ride most locks and animations. The exterior workshops are included in COD hostile systems. Some DLC ferals don't know about the no sprinting and headshot options. 

DLC04 Nuka World: To/from map markers are added to maps and the monorail is enabled in both directions bypassing the tedious cutscene and gauntlet, but Vertibird World Travel is the better option for access. If protect all companons was enabled Gage is available as a companion near the park enterance (if not already killed by ferals). You can get there, but with all humans removed quests will have problems so many areas will NOT be unlocked. Use OpenAnything to over-ride most locks and animations. The exterior workshop is included in COD hostile systems.

DLC05 Contraptions: unaffected.

DLC06 Vault 88 Update 052 automatically opens up Vault 88 with workshop ownership on the first visit. The interior workshop is ignored by COD hostile systems. Some DLC ferals don't know about the no sprinting and headshot options. 



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CONSOLE ONLY SETTINGS

Every single game option is switchable in the console, refer to the separate Console Configuration and actor lists 050 onwards article for all of them.

Spoiler:  
Show

(1) Timescale is set to 10 which is IMPORTANT as many GameTime <> Realtime conversion calculations are balanced on that for pacing. It can run at another value, but the experience will suffer. This can be changed AFTER the COD conversion has run with console [ set Timescale to N ]

(2) Dynamic Loot reduction SKKDynamicLootReduction.esp is configured for a RANDOM reduction (LootChance -1) which rerolls every cell. Once running that can be changed using the Dynamic Loot reduction menu item or console [ cqf SKK_DLRQuest "SKK_DLRQuestScript.SwitchLootChance" VALUE ] 



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HARD CODED SETTINGS THAT MAY CONFLICT

The mod has an associated ESL flagged ESP to make hard game setting changes SKK476OpenWorld_CODGameSettings.ESP that can be put anywhere in the load order. Alternatively copy and paste into the console: 

Spoiler:  
Show

Respawn game settings: Since it's a wasteland with no humans driving loot and junk restocking vans around (or however you rationalise base game refreshing) respawning is suppressed to maintain scarcity:

SetGS iHoursToRespawnCell 999999 ;; default 168 * 5 in survival 
SetGS iHoursToRespawnCellCleared 999999 ;;default 480 * 4 in survival

Corpse removal settings: To avoid corpses being removed before they are looted for their vital [ Corpse Fluids ] the corpse despawn counters are increased to account for feral packs. The constructible summoning speaker has a corpse cleanup function for workshop areas to keep things classy.

SetGS iRemoveExcessDeadCount 36 ;; default 15



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KNOWN ISSUES

(1) Headshotsrely on prompt script processing to detect OnHit and switch the deferred kill state on actors. This works fine if you do not have too many HIGH FREQUENCY REAL TIME scripts. If you run HIGH FREQUENCY REAL TIME scripted mods (such as dynamic AI adjusters) during high volume actor combat some headshots may be missed. Just hit 'em again.

(2) If you add workshops that have a local population which the base OpenWorld engine does not remove, add a  SKK_476NoInfestation keyword to the workshop to avoid the feral infestation kiling them. Scavver faction RedRocket workshops  automatically protect themselves.

(3) An ongoing issue with Creation Kit can cause settings holotape to  mix up script fragments preventing settings being switched like the Actor Command Menu. Workaround is to POST THE ISSUE SO IT CAN BE FIXED and  to use console commands, all documented here whilst waiting.

(4) Spawned radiation hazards attached to barrels sometimes persist after the barrel is destroyed. They can be removed using the constructable Summoning Speaker menu and they clear when the cell unloads, so just run away 15K game units then return.


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THINGS YOU WANT TO FIDDLE WITH THAT WILL SPOIL THE EXPERIENCE

This was designed as a complete packaged experience with a fundamental game loop based on a scarce non respawning supply of ammo + friendly actors  + turret crafting components to keep workshops safe. When the world runs out, it's run out.

(1) Any actors you add that are not mortal are therefore invincible, making the experience rather pointless. If you want your persistent good bois, waifus and husbandos best use the basic OpenWorld mode.

(2) Fast Travel to anything other than cleared/owned correctly tagged Workshops will prevent full actor detection / removal / replacement in cells the player teleports into. This game experience SUCKS with fast travel which is why Vertibird fast travel is unlocked early and grenades are cheap to craft. If you must fast travel, Workshop Ownership Utilities and Vertibird World Travel have a "fast travel only to owned workshops" function.

(3)  Too many resources for building workshop safety/defense turrets will make the workshop clear and maintain loop EZ and rather pointless, as will things that mess about with workshop defense/safety ratings of turrets (5) and guard posts (2) or spawning more workshop allies.

(4) Installing too many WorkshopParent registered settlement workshops will make this harder not easier. Do not install Workshops after activating this mod, they will cause all manner of safety and defense accounting issues which are baselined when the game mode is enabled. Of course never REMOVE a registered workshop from a game ever as that corrupts script arrays. Fact.

(5) With extended build borders, building any safety/defense objects further than ~ 5000 game units from the workshop may not be detected by the game to count towards defence, so you will loose your workshops.  It is not this mod that is a problem, it is the Creation Engine based on a limited 3d uGridsToLoad active area around the player in which non persistent objects can be detected. Read this article to understand WHY before casting shade.


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KNOWN CONFLICTS

(1) If you do not get a [ .SKK OpenWorld Holotape ] after installation either (a) the mod is not actually installed or (b) you have used a bad alternative start mod that does not configure the world state properly. Test (a) by trying to craft a holotape in the chemlab, no recipe = mod not installed (fact). Test (b) with console [ SQV MQ102 ] if the CurrentStage value is less then 10 thats your problem, craft at the chemlab.

(3) If your game has issues, check if this mod is the root cause EZ in 5 minutes by: (a) disable all mods, (b) disable cancerous loose files [ bInvalidateOlderFiles=0 ] (c) start a new game with Fast Start New Game and COD only, run the holotape.


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PC MANUAL INSTALLATION

Install this mod at any point in any game as it is 100% new content and makes no changes to any existing content. ALTHOUGH to start the COD game mode it needs to be a fresh vault exit game. 

It is 100% new forms and scripts with zero dependencies on anything at all except Fallout4.exe 1.10.162 (or later) including 1.10.980

As it does not touch any other stuff in your save-game, it has no load order needs.

Copy SKK476OpenWorld.esp and SKK476OpenWorld – Main.BA2 and SKK476OpenWorld - Textures.BA2 to your...\Fallout 4\Data directory, enable in the Bethesda mod menu, Plugins.txt, mod manger or whatever. DO NOT REMOVE THIS MOD FROM A SAVEGAME. For the full Commonwealth of Decay experience, also install the other dependent mods by placing their ESP and BA2 files in the \Data directory. 

Do not rename any SKK ESPs as they use GetFromFromFile lookups on fixed file names.


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EXTENDED ARTICLES

Fallout 476 OpenWorld Protect NPC actors from removal if you need to keep some human actors that are removed. 
 
Commonwealth of Decay console configuration and actor lists 050 onwards to avoid using the holotape and add custom replacement actors. 



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GAMEPLAY TIPS

Spoiler:  
Show

(1) You should be wanting to run away a lot so high AGI is good. 

(2) Do not take a workshop unless you can build/staff the current minimum safe defense before nightfall or you will just loose it again.

(3) Before you acquire more workshops upgrade existing workshops defenses to the increase in minimum safe defense or you will loose them.

(4) Prioritize rescued robots (no noise) or survivors then unpowered turrets (noise) for defense. Powered turrets make a heap of noise which itself attracts attacks. Use the store turret tool to move unpowered turrets between workshops.

(5) After upgrading workshop defense, activate a Workshop Safety Scanner to ensure the defense value is correctly recorded. DO NOT trust the base game Workshop counters, they are ass unreliable.

(6) Do not rescue or recruit any allies unless the local area and path to the assigned workshop is totally clear of hostiles, else they WILL die on the way home. 

(7) Do equip human allies with better weapons and armour and keep their health upgraded (Holotape:Settings) [ Actor Command Menu ], it makes a hUGE difference to mortals.

(8) When you get around half-way through with 15 workshops and find there really is fuck all ammo left in the game, consider adding a simple scrap and craft ammo using base game components solution like Craftable Weapons and Ammo or Ammo-O-Matic or cheese with Corpse Looting 76. They are totally OK to add mid-game (but never remove mmmmkay ?)



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SUGGESTED QOL SOLUTIONS

All development testing has been run using these non dependent QOL solutions:

Fast Start New Game - clean vault exit new game in 2 minutes.  
Open Anything - open/animate anything that the OpenWorld has missed (mostly used to force locked containers open).
Store and Deploy any Workbench - collect workbenches and deploy wherever you want no CHR spend on LocalLeader.
Idle Handy Farmers - keep handys at their assigned guard post/flora resources, not wandering the sandbox to be killed. 
Survival Utilities - a big bag of survival QOL, yes they are totally different to the "Survival Options" configurator.
Craftable Weapons and Ammo or Ammo-O-Matic to scrap and make ammo using base game components.
Corpse Looting 76 - adds player ammo to player kills, corpse highligts and area looting.
Headshots kill any actor - kill any other actor not managed by COD headshots.
Player Undead - different death options (recover to an owned workshop and loose all your gear is the COD way). 
Natick Warehouse Settlement (Combat version) - a "safe"workshop location bottom left of the map.
Vertibird World Travel - direct travel between Commonwealth - NukaWorld and Fah Haba.
Scavver faction RedRocket workshops - adds 4 workshops populated with survivors and patrols.


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FAQ


Q: How long does it take to complete Commonwealth of Decay ?

A: Using only mods and systems in this solution it takes ~ 1 game day per workshop.  The limitation is mostly finding and recruiting actors to keep workshop defense ratings safe. For the 26 base game workshops thats 26 game days, at timescale 10:1 and removing 10 hours of night time sleeping (to avoid Feral Nights) is around 36 real life hours.
 

Q: Why is the mod file still called SKK476OpenWorld.esp ?

A: Because a significant number of other mods use a filename based script function to get and apply the OpenWorld actor removal protection keyword [ SKK_476NoDisable ] which would be a PITA for everyone to update and republish. Also it is likely that this will become the maintained version of SKK476OpenWorld.esp going forward as it contains so may new systems that can be used to create different narratives.


Q: Should I use this instead of Fallout 4-76 v040 for a basic OpenWorld platform ?

A: Yes this is a significant fork / rewrite / update of SKK476OpenWorld v040 and is likely to be the maintained platform going forward. All of the decay game systems can be disabled for the normal OpenWorld experience. This verison is NOT backwards compatible with v040 or earlier for existing save games tho.

Q: Can I use MCM rather than Holotapes and console ? Yes up to v058 thanks to m8r98a4f2 there is Commonwealth of Decay - MCM Settings Menu.


Q: Can I use mods that add other actors ?

A: This automatically removes any actor with [ Keyword: ActorTypeNPC ] (which is all humans) if you add those actors they will be removed unless the safe keyword to stop removal is added by reading this article Protect NPC actors from removal. This is fine for the basic OpenWorld gamemode, but their speed/health/mortality may totally screw the decay game balance.


Q: Does this break precombines ?

A: No. This doesnt change anything in the base world to break display optimisation systems. It does make 168 static objects persistent so they can be found/opened/managed, but thats hardly an issue as the base game has 62,751 static persistent objects and the game engine limit is either 1 or 2 million persistent objects.


Q: How do I get into the Institute.

A: Look around the CIT ruins for something old and blue (not borrowed or new). 


Q: How do I get into DLC areas that this does not open up ?

A: Use Open Anything to open/animate anything that the OpenWorld has missed or excluded.


Q: Why so many Handys and Protectrons ? 

A: Because they dont need food/water/bed management, generate +6 defense and are a good balance of health/durability to keep alive when mortal. Building on demand OP Automatrons just spoils the challenge.


Q: Can this work with something other than ferals ?

A: Yes, like the base OpenWorld all Commonwealth of Decay spawns are based on form list of actors which can be hacked, BUT, the balanced feral numbers / headshot / speed will be lost and spoil the game. Best to use the OpenWorld holotape game mode and read the associated article Commonwealth of Decay console configuration and actor lists 050 onwards to hack in new actors.



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If you have read the comprehensive solution description and articles but still need support,
best to use the SKK Mods Discord channel discord://discord.gg/tgKNT77DC8
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