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Issue Data
Status: New
Issue Type: Bug Report
Project: Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch
Component: Fallout 4: Vanilla
Category: Quests
Assigned To: Nobody
Platform: Windows PC
Severity: Low
Votes: 0
Watching: N/A
Opened By mruncreated on Dec 7, 2020 8:25 pm
Last Edited By BlackPete on Dec 7, 2020 9:55 pm

Issue #29465: The NPCs Stash, Lexa, and Simon appear in a random encounter and speak as though we have met before

I started a new game a few days ago. The only mods I'm using are The Unofficial Fallout 4 patch, and LooksMenu (so I could make presets and be happy with my face before starting).
I ran into something weird. I had to do some research on this one to figure out what was going on.

This is an issue with a random encounter, regarding a group of 3 NPCs.
Stash, Lexa and Simon are supposed to appear on 3 separate occasions.

The first time you're supposed to meet these NPCs, according to the Fallout 4 Wiki, is at a "Chokepoint Random Encounter" (Example: Gunners demanding a toll, the Mr. Gutsy you can say "Will you comply?" to over and over until he explodes).
The second meeting is during a "Fluid Random Encounter" (Examples: Ness, Smiling Larry, The Scribe).
The third meeting is at a "Campsite Random Encounter" (Examples: Doc Anderson, Ron Staples, Dreth).

The bug/issue is this:
I've met Stash, Lex and Simon on the train tracks between Bedford Station and the 'campfire' spawn point just outside Outpost Zimonja (downhill from Tenpines Bluff). Stash is talking like we have already met. But, I've never seen her before in my life.
The reason this is happening? Well, you're not supposed to see her in this 'fluid' random encounter until you see her in the 'chokepoint' encounter first. The chokepoint random encounter is where you first meet her.
This encounter is supposed to occur in 3 stages, but stage 2 is happening before stage 1.

Maybe not the biggest deal. But this is my first time using the Unofficial Patch, and so far this is really the only issue I've seen in the game (and I've seen A LOT of fixes so far, and I'm very grateful for them).


6 comment(s)
BlackPete said:
Yes, there are definitely some serious problems with the way this group of encounters are set up. I thought we had another ticket open for an issue related to Stash only speaking generic dialogue lines, but I can't seem to locate it now so it could be I never got around to reporting it.

If the encounters are actually occurring out of order like you say that could explain the various issues; it wouldn't completely surprise me if that's the case. Also, sometimes encounters spawn without you knowing it -- in other words the player passes by the area where the game decides to randomly spawn the NPCs and then they unload. There's at least one other random encounter quest in the game with major problems like this that Arthmoor examined a while back and determined was a tangled up mess and would require some major reworking. I would suspect that this one probably falls into the same category.

Comment #1 Dec 8, 2020 2:18 am  Edited by BlackPete on Dec 8, 2020 5:17 am
Sclerocephalus said:
Problem with random encounters is that the script framework that controls them (namely REScript and the templates most RE quests are based on) were utterly broken until we fixed them about two years ago. This resulted in triggers not getting rearmed and encounters drying up quickly (in addition to cleanup problems with workshop attacks because they are using REScript to handle that), so it took several playthroughs to witness all possible encounters. If they never happen in your game, you cannot say whether they are broken, so the bugs with specific quests were simply not discovered (and thus remained unfixed) for a long time.

Comment #2 Dec 8, 2020 1:11 pm  Edited by Sclerocephalus on Dec 8, 2020 1:15 pm
mruncreated said:
I've run into this generic dialogue bug with Dreth before, at least in my un-modded vanilla playthroughs. This only happened to me when I played as a female character, strangely. That could be a coincidence, but my male characters never ran into this issue with her. When I played as a female, Dreth eventually stopped being a vendor and would only reply with "Yeah?" and "Huh?", so when I looked up this bug I saw that many were complaining about this same issue affecting exactly 2 NPCs in the game: Dreth, and Stash.

The weird thing about Stash is, well... I've had this game since launch, but I have only ran into her maybe one time, and that was probably back in 2016. The 'chokepoint' random encounter spots just aren't very common compared to other types, and they do not reset or respawn as far as I can tell.

Here is something I have noticed: In vanilla/un-modded, these 'fluid' random encounters "dry up" after several triggers. In the past 6 months I have started and re-started many times, due to one problem or another in the vanilla game. The final straw for me was when Automatron was causing all the campsite spawns to get stuck, never spawning something else again, forever. Just a bunch of dead junkbots that wouldn't go away, plus a dead caravan trader and their dead guards. It was actually this which led to someone suggesting this unofficial patch to me, and I am very glad I took their advice.

Anyway, here is what I was going to say about 'fluid' spawns: In vanilla they would get stuck and never spawn something again, and now with the unofficial patch this doesn't happen. But in vanilla, Stash absolutely never spawned, not even one time.
Another thing is this: In my current game, after so many encounters Stash spawned, and I realized when I spoke to her that she was speaking as though we knew each other, but I've never met her in this game before.
Not wanting to 'break' something, I did some experiments yesterday and the day before. I tried to reload and avoid her spawn. But here's the thing: I couldn't. No matter how many times I reloaded, even upon deleting my saves to where I saved at Red Rocket 20 minutes earlier, I walked all the way to Bedford Station and followed the tracks towards Outpost Zimonja. But every single time, Stash was the chosen spawn. The game absolutely would not choose something else. Not Smiling Larry, not the mole rat being chased by dogs, or the feral ghouls jumping me, or the pack of mongrels. The game had decided that Stash was who I was going to meet, and no amount of reloading was going to change this.
This had me thinking: is this the reason why the fluid encounters stop in vanilla? Because the game has decided that Stash will spawn, and nothing can change this... but also, Stash's first encounter hasn't happened yet, so the game is 'waiting' for this?
I'm probably wrong, because this is Bethesda we're talking about. But I do find it a bit curious.

I did some experiments by avoiding her, letting her walk by. I wanted to see if she would spawn again in the future, if I avoided to speak to her or the others with her. And yes, she will spawn again.
After avoiding her, I saw all of the spawns again from the first cycle: everything from super mutants vs. raiders, to the Wattz Electronics advertising robot again (I didn't know he would spawn again, either). Even Timothy, who I also avoided to speak to because he is also bugged (he won't stop walking when dialogue is initiated, so dialogue is cut off abruptly each time). Everything spawns again, except Ness who is still waiting for me at the plane crash site. So my advice to anyone starting a new game is to simply avoid Stash when she spawns in these encounters, at least until you meet her in her first encounter. I have yet to find this, but I will keep an eye for it and see how it plays out.

BlackPete said:
Issue #25994 was the other ticket I was thinking of. Obviously, it's related to Dreth and not Stash. The two encounter quests seem to have at least one problem in common: the generic dialogue issue. While I don't have any substantial evidence to point to this being the case, it would be just like Bethesda to make the same mistake(s) when designing them.

Comment #4 Dec 11, 2020 12:30 am  Edited by BlackPete on Dec 11, 2020 12:36 am
Sclerocephalus said:

There are designer notes on all random encounter (RE) quests, so we know much of what was intended and what not. And if intended behaviour does not show up in the game, we can be sure that this is a bug. I recommend that you read through the thread on random encounter issues which I started when I started investigating why REs "dry up" after a while. All RE quests (except for object type encounters that deliberately do not disarm their triggers) have a line in their stop stage fragments that calls a rearm function on RETriggerScript to make the trigger active for spawning anothe RE on reload. For reasons explained in the thread linked below, this rarely worked though:


Lone_Wolf said:
BlackPete the other ticket is, Issue #26734: "Stash's second interaction does not trigger"

Comment #6 Jan 4, 2021 9:38 pm  Edited by BlackPete on Jan 4, 2021 11:12 pm
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