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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
04-03-2011, 04:22 PM
The NPC contacts aren't actually active for combat, only the NPC groups will fight. And the only NPC groups that are allied with you are the Federation ships. So, what you need to do is reskin a Federation group to look like Cardassians. It will still actually be a Federation ship, and it will have that weapons load out, but it will look like a Cardassian ship (this actually works really well with Cardassians since they use phasers just like the Federation. It's kind of weird with other ships because it will be obvious they are using the wrong energy weapons.)

What you need to do is remove the Cardassian NPC and put in a Federation Cruiser group instead (not Mirror Federation!), or maybe a Federation Science group if you're using Galors. Then expand the group and select each actor.

Under the actors there will be an entry called Costume. Hit that, then select a Cardassian Keldon/Galor/etc. Under the Contact entry, you also need to set the name to be whatever ship you selected, otherwise it will still list as the default (ie: Federation Cruiser) even though it looks like a Cardassian.

Now, as far as the ship talking to you when combat is over, you can do it one of several ways:

1) First of all, you can make it a mission objective in your storyline to help the vessel. Which really means you set an objective that triggers off of killing the attacking group. Then you'd put a dialogue as your next storyline entry, which would cause it to pop up automatically.

2) If you want the player to actually have to interact with the vessel, then you can do the same as above, but place an invisible object or small asteroid in the same place as the friendly group. Select that object and choose States. Then select objective complete and then hit the entry area underneath and select the objective to kill the attacking group. Now add another objective to your storyline and select the invisible object. Change the interact text to be "Hail Cardassian Ship". Then place your dialogue as the next storyline entry after that.

You can also do roughly the same thing but use Component Complete triggers instead (component complete means that the individual item is interacted with, the specific enemy groups are destroyed, etc, even if they're not part of your storyline objectives). In that case you'd need to select the State tab on the dialogue and interact object and set them to not appear until the proper conditions have been met. With this method you can essentially put in secondary objectives outside of the main story. In your case since this is part of your main storyline, using that method would probably be easiest.

There is one possible flaw in this setup. That is if the Cardassian NPC ships (reskinned Federation ships) are killed, you'll still be able to hail them afterward. To avoid that, you could place an NPC Cardassian Contact to spawn after the battle is complete. You could even select to have it be damaged using either the FX Damaged or the FX Leaking under Behavior>Idle A animations. To do that you'd place the NPC Cardassian and then select States and select either Objective Complete and select the Objective that triggers off of killing the enemy group, or select Component Complete and simply select the enemy group as the trigger. However, by doing that you'll spawn an extra vessel which could look weird if the other ship(s) survive. So it's kind of a "pick your poison" situation.