I’m wondering how practical it would be to add a few further additions to flesh out NPC behavior, in particular that of recruited NPCs.
Spoiler due to idea dump:
[spoiler]First, getting them to man turrets. You can nudge them onto a turret manually, but as far as I can tell they will never use it. This is compounded by the fact they always prefer to wield whatever weapon they have available. If we can implement allowing NPCs to use vehicle-mounted guns, we need code in place that makes them unwield their weapon to fire the turret.
Second, allowing this behavior to be controlled in the combat commands menu. This would be simple enough, a simple allow/deny option just like with grenades and noisy weapons.
Next, the idea of letting NPCs carry gear for you. Trading for items is a rather awkward way to use NPCs as packmules, but doable. Still, it’d be nice if you had a separate “barter” menu allowing you to give them items and retrieve them without having to actually buy it back.
Obviously this hinges on them actually trusting/liking you. If you piss them off in a way that doesn’t drive them fully hostile, it’d be logical for them to “forget” to return supplies they were holding onto for you.
Next, additional options to allow NPCs to automatically give you back or even use your supplies on you without being prompted. This should ideally be a simple yes/no option. In the case of ammo, it would check for if you’ve run out of ammo that they’re currently carrying, not counting whatever’s loaded in your gun, and should also check whether handing it over would overencumber you.
For medical supplies, they could possibly use bandages or first aid kits on you if a body part’s health reaches a certain threshold, like maybe half. This is assuming you’ve set them to allow using borrowed gear on you. However, because self-aid takes a certain amount of time, medical attention from NPCs should require a yes/no prompt, and likewise take time comparable to some extent to using it on yourself. They should only offer to treat you if they aren’t currently targeting an enemy, and refusing the prompt should prevent the NPC from repeating the request, and generate an additional conversation hook. This option is used so that, after the action’s over, you can request that earlier-refused medical assistance, and allowing it will reset the “NPC’s first aid has been refused” setting.
Finally, there should be a second setting for borrowed items, whether the NPC is allowed to use borrowed supplies for themselves. If enabled they could claim and use medical supplies if injured, or ammo if they run out of personally-claimed ammo, assuming they have a weapon that uses that ammo.[/spoiler]
Any thoughts about these ideas, and what would have to be done to implement them, would be appreciated.