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NPCs- Would love to see them all interactable

I would love to see an MMO utilize NPCs as more than quest text spewers or mega elite guards.
Each non-quest/pivotal NPC would have an archetype of sorts, like mercenary, smith, pick pocket, farmer, guard.. Depending what they are, you would have a few standard and unqiue dialogue choices like..
  • Ask the farmer what he has for sale, to open a trading screen
  • Ask a guard about the roads, perhaps a few answers based on open PvP occurrences in the area.
  • Ask a merchant what's fetching high prices, he could show you text based 'ledger' of sorted player transactions
  • Basics like asking when the next season is due, how busy they place is (based on simple player traffic)
  • Ask a wizard/ priest for a buff of some kind but they ask for prayer (simple gesture) or require a rep level or something.
  • Some social things like simply insulting, taunting, joking, simply for the sake of them being people, and you can talk to them.. It would be really neat to see some variations on gestures or reactions you can get based on what you've done in game- tell them you killed whatever dragon, make a special Orcish salute, sillier things that are just for flavour.
All of these could have a reputation factor as well, with some people refusing to answer for conflicting/ poor standings.
You could make the dialogue voiced just so long as they are only really responding to the player with straightforward answers, tid bits and remarks, maybe a few variations to point out something topical like the race, class, gear, or corruption of the player.

All non-vital rando spawn NPC's like the types listed above could be killed without consequence to the game, earning the player some corruption (? depends who/why), appropriate loot and reputation perhaps.. It would be lovely to see a world where guards AREN'T a ridiculous power level (c'mon!! they're guards!!!) but that opens up a little bit of anarchy potential that would need a solution. Or maybe not, enough corruption could do the trick... too many unknowns.
Vital quest givers and such would need an Skyrim style unkillable flag and just take beatings or it would of course be quite exploitable.

Just what I'd like to see.. I think it would really be nice to see an MMO that gives a little life to the towns and wilds I'm a part of.

Comments

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    pyrealpyreal Member, Warrior of Old
    Is it fluff or is it impactful information that everyone would be required to acquire?
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    It's not really either.. an open ended game mechanic. You would never be forced to interact with non-quest NPC's except for the run of the mill stuff- vendor, repair, etc.
    Not dissimilar to single player RPG's, NPCs can be talked to.. the nature of such depends on who they are, who you are, and what you've done.
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Some of these would be fairly simple to do. It wouldn't be that hard to set up a query every 15 minutes to see how much PvP action there is in the nodes ZoI, and have this information impact an NPC's dialogue, or to query something from the nodes market (though I would expect the market to have fairly robust tools for this built in).

    The buff thing I am not a fan of though, it would become necessary, even if it is a minor buff.
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Why such emphasis on NPCs in a multiplayer game?
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Why such emphasis on NPCs in a multiplayer game?

    NPC's that are more than just decoration make a game world seem more alive.

    This may not matter to some (I have no doubt it doesn't matter to you), but it does matter to others.

    If it can be done in an easy and quick way - which most of the suggestions in the OP could - there is no reason not to do it.
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    tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NPCs will treat you differently based on your actions. For example, if you have done a lot of quests for a node, the node NPCs will treat you with more respect.
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    It would be cool to have NPCs provide subtle clues about caves, legends, mysteries, and local legends. Those players that ask around get the advantage of learning about new places to investigate.
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    tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I think that might be in the game already, @CROW3 . Somewhere in the wiki it mentions NPCs in a tavern discussing a cave up in the mountains with loot in it. But it turns out to be an ambush, the NPCs are in league with a robber band trying to lure unsuspecting players to their deaths.
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    DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    NPC interaction would be great in any online RPG - makes the world more alive.
    Storybricks indicates it's still too much of a challenge to program that AI - easier said than done.
    Ashes is not planning to spend much time innovating on NPC interaction.
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