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About this mod

Yep. You never knew it was even possible, you never wondered if you even needed it, I am not your king.

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  • Mandarin
NPCs use Ammo Variants and Weapon Mods
"That is... I dunno, NAWEMO? Can I get a marketing grad over here?"

...Oh hey there! Didn't see you coming in! I take it you're interested in whatever the hell that title means, so let me try and explain:

As... peculiar as the choice of different ammo types for a weapon can be, the fact is that this feature is pretty much player-exclusive. An NPC could use ammo types other than the default one, only if it's the only choice in his inventory. As in, they only grab the first ammo they can find for their weapon's list of choices, and once selected they never bother to change it until it runs out. So even if you give, for example, AP and HP ammo to a companion, he's only going to expend one first regardless of what he's shooting at. There's pretty much no AI in place for other actors to evaluate their threat and swap their ammo.

And what do we do in such situations? Same thing we always do Pinky, we script the hell out of it until it follows our vision!

This mod implements a VERY comprehensive script for NPCs to choose and change their ammo. When an actor other than the player enters combat, the script is fired, and the actor is marked so that his ammo choice can be reevaluated each time he reloads his weapon, or every few seconds while he's still in combat but not currently in an attack animation, so as to try and not disrupt the flow of combat. There are options in MCM for how likely the actor is going to take the chance to check his ammo types, which can be modified by his Intelligence stat.

The script basically assigns a "bullet score" to each kind of ammo in the actor's inventory that can be loaded in his equipped weapon. This score is pretty much the potential damage that the actor can cause to the target, and as such it crams what should be the game's own damage formula into it: weapon skill & condition, target's DT & DR, ammo effects like HP & AP, even perks (for companions!), you name it, I doubt I left anything out. The ammo with the highest score wins, and the actor shall use it when possible. Again, options in MCM define the "accuracy", up or down, that the actor makes of this score, which can be modified by his Perception stat.

"BUT WAIT!", you scream, "what about specialty ammo types like incendiary and EMP rounds?", well those are handled a bit differently. These ammo types cause scripted effects that cannot be gathered straightforwardly by the scoring system, but they can still be used according to my custom rules.
These ammo types will be used by the NPC ignoring the other ammo types, if the conditions for it are suiting. The mod also defines a few form lists in which these ammo types are to be grouped:

  • migNammoEMPList: this is intended for pulse ammunition, and as such it gathers the collection added by Gun Runner's Arsenal if detected: 12ga, 20ga, 25mm and 40mm pulse rounds. Ammo found here will be given immediate preference when fighting against robots and power armor-clad opponents.
  • migNammoBeanList: this is intended for ammo that can knock out the target, namely, 12ga Bean Bags. They will be given immediate preference if the target is standing, but the attacker will try to swap out of them as soon as that is no longer the case. Give your companions a shotgun and some bean bags, and enjoy the crowd control. IMPORTANT: if you get hit by bean bags, you may get knocked out for several minutes. Use the latest version of this mod and knockdowns should "only" last 30 seconds. Which generally still means you're screwed, but less so, so watch out!
  • migNammoOtherSpecialList: do you have some other ammo that does special/zany stuff, and want it used often enough regardless of its score? Put it in this list, and every time the attacker evaluates his ammo choice, there will be a chance they'll swap to it directly.
  • PerkPyromaniacAmmo: the vanilla form list for incendiary ammo is of course used as well! They can be selected if the target is not fire-proof, and not currently in flames. It works just like the above, so by default, there's a 25% chance that the attacker will use these over the other choices. 50MG, 40mm, 12ga Dragon Breath and Rocket incendiary rounds are supported by default. If the chance doesn't roll, incendiary rounds are still given a slight score bonus in the comparison with the other rounds, because igniting the target can always be useful.
  • migNammoExcludeList: ammo types in this list will be barred from all the mod's system, they'll neither be used nor granted.

All of this is good enough already, and opens up a game feature which was almost barred to NPCs. But it's not the only thing this mod does. This mod also gives NPCs the option to install any weapon mods they have in their inventory, to their weapons. With the latest developments in JIP LN, WEAPON MODS ARE VISIBLE ON NPCs. Finally.
(NOTE: companions excluded from this feature. Take your companion's weapon, install any mods, give it back to them. It just works (better))

But, what good would all of this be, if NPCs don't even have ammo variants or weapon mods in their inventories to begin with? Well, what kind of mod do you think this is, of course I also provide just for that eventuality! The final feature from this mod is to distribute ammo variants and weapon mods, just before all of the above may happen, and only once per NPC:
  • For every weapon in the actor's inventory, the script gathers the amount of its default ammo that the actor has, and rolls a chance to swap each such bullet with a variant from the weapon's list of ammo types, if possible.
  • The script also rolls a chance to grant the actor each of the weapon mods that his weapons may have installed. These will be installed on his weapons as well.

This feature is very similar to, and was actually inspired by, the loot distribution system from the Mojave Arsenal mod, and does in fact acknowledge it to avoid conflicts. Because MA makes the loot changes only when the actor is dead and the player proceeds to check it, this mod can either signal to MA that the actor has already been altered once its assignation of ammo and mods is done, or, by default, use MA's own method to assign the new items to the live actor, if you also have it installed.

Personally I'd advise you to stick to MA's method, since chances are it will distribute more sensible stuff. If you'd prefer to have ammo types and weapon mods from all your mods with little restriction, this mod's distribution method can be tuned in MCM and also factor the NPC's Luck stat in the calculations as well. However, do note that if you use this mod's native script together with MA, that mod now distributes ammo variants directly in leveled lists to NPCs and containers, so this mod will add even more ammo variants on top of that (I'd advise to set this mod's ammo distribution chance to 0% then). You're warned.

Since version 55.50 of the JIP LN plugin, it includes an engine patch to distribute and install weapon mods to NPCs by itself.
This mod will defer to it if you enable the patch in JIP LN's ini.

And well, that's more or less it. Enjoy getting set on fire, and watch out for pulse rounds when you go around in power armor, because you aren't so invulnerable in it now.
This mod pretty much requires MCM to configure. Without it you'll be restricted to default values.
Uninstallation will leave any ammo variants and weapon mods granted by the mod to any altered NPCs, but that's hardly an issue I think.

Credit goes to PushTheWinButton, for Mojave Arsenal's method for loot distribution.