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UncivillizedFrog

NPC crews for space utilization & immersion.

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When this game is released I would like to build and fly gigantic murder-your-face-off-deadly combat vessels into glorious battle. My concern is that when I tour the many decks of my glorious space vessel, even with a bridge crew of 15 or so human players the endless hallways and devices might seem empty and lifeless if they were not populated by a crew.

 

I propose a noninteractive NPC crew element -- balanced around space utilization within a construct. The NPC crew could be fully clientside, noninteractive, noncombatant -- represented by a fuel-like statistic in ship operations serverside. NPCs as fuel means some devices would require attendance by an NPC to function, where the NPC fuel capacity is determined by the amount of living space on your vessel/ the number of beds, similar to basebuilding in FO4 but possibly without the whole happiness thing. Whether or not you would actually have to pay them is up for debate, but lorewise might want to consider a more optimistic personal economy where people don't need a salary to do the job. 

 

The benefit of having them clientside would be the ability to turn them off, or reduce the amount of them displayed for computers running lower performance. 

 

In terms of gameplay this would also prevent people from building ships which are just massive cubes filled with devices and a chair because you would have to build the space to support the crew to support the devices. In a possibly more detailed scenario this would require crewed devices to only exist in oxygenated environments, and ensuring your crew has a path to access them. 

 

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They wouldn't actually do anything, except their statistical presence fulfilling the requirement for operation of certain devices. These would be more decorative than anything. This wouldn't serve to detract from the involvement of real players in any way.

 

In reality it is an unrealistic goal to fill the game with human players-- though it is a good design goal to support millions of human players there simply aren't enough people who play subscription based space computer games. An entire player built city of skyscapers with only 100 real people to live in it or a ship large enough to hold thousands of people crewed by 20 nerds would have more life if there were NPCs. This is mostly a cosmetic request, any impact on gameplay is up for debate

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What you say is true, but then its just simple and DU will fail, adding fake people is no solution, then NQ could just automate the whole game and they specific said they will not do that. So If the game can create NPC with an AI that is good enough to not see a difference with rreall players, but if its a placeholder or a cardboard figure, No. But i do like the automaton idea to make a cybernetic humanoid with full AI. That way you have to recruit even those or hire them, and if they dont like tour team/approach they just quit :)

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Sure, but that idea isn't grounded in any reality. That level of AI doesn't actually exist and won't for quite some time, and it's not the point  -- this isn't an idea about automation or replacing the role of human players in any way whatsoever. This is about adding a necessary level of immersion to a universe which would be otherwise mostly devoid of human life- it really isn't any different than the concept of pets or creatures... If you thought NMS couldn't have been any worse of a game, imagine what it would be like if you got to the space station and there was nobody there except like 2 dudes and a corpse standing around AFK watching miami vice and one of them doesn't realize he died

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indeed, still thats what is being delivered according to the posts of NQ,  npc will be extremely rare to non-existing in the universe. and well indeed with 30k novians it will not be crowded so life must be centered around a city on land or in space and indeed ships will be relatively empty unless the organizations fill them with people. I dont mind the presence of npc, but seeing them in other games i dont think they will add much, unless as said before they are rather complex and independent and have a free form of programming (The Sims), what then doesnt help you to populate your ship, although i can see why you would like that. but it would only be a graphical fix as you cannot talk to them or have any interaction. again, more complex npc with interaction and a degree of Independence and intelligence, yes, to fill up for graphics or to make life easier on a ship, no (even though that would also help me populate a 8km flying space city i rather have real persons then static npc)

So i do support your point, but i think it will need some extras to make it emerge in the proposed DU-niverse without hindering other players or giving the npc owner an edge.

 

Well this probably in the end will be a shop item :P Now 4 NPC for the price of 3, or Get your NPC breeding permits now for 50% (i do like this idea BTW this could make the planets alive, add breeding npc like the sims, technically thats also all it needs, the same lvl of intelligence as the sims, lets add that) Hmmm this makes me think, Sims you can indeed learn simple tasks by providing them the proper tools, so if you should be able to buy/hire them and provide training manuals for them, lets say in repairs or turret control, they might be able to learn it and independent act on it

 

 

Greetz Aaron

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As for NPCs i will say NO as well.

But from visual perspective it would be nice to have some "life" in the constructs. It could be decorative elements of robots with predefined simple animation. For example robot painting the wall, robot sitting and pressing buttons on the console in front, robot drinking coffee etc. Strait away you can see its a decoration same like hologram of the planet on the desk but gives this nice impression of something happening around.

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I'm sorry to say, but NPC's will not be a thing in this game. You must keep in mind, JC and Novaquark from the beginning have expressed that the end goal of the game they are attempting to create is to be a true MMO. Meaning thousands of real people, interacting with each other, on a single shard open sandbox universe.
So, NPCs even as background props would go against that idea. The intention is to have meaningful gameplay so that not only will you need a crew of real human players, but they would have a good meaningful reason to actually be crew on you're ship, and interact with the overall game.

 

If you had a ship so big that the bridge crew was 15 players, then there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are a few examples.

 

1. Maintenance/repair - when a battle breaks out, you will need players to repair holes in the ship using voxels. An when systems get damaged like engines, shields, power systems, etc... you will need players to run to those areas and use scrap material to do repairs and bring those systems back online.

 

2. Pilots -  If you're ship is a carrier with Squadrons of fighters in the hangar bay. Well you going to need a crew of human pilots onboard the ship waiting to rush into battle at a moments notice.

 

4. Extra crew - You will also need extra people to do some of the grunt work during battle, like people to refuel and resupply ships that land in the hangar, otherwise the pilot will have to get out the fighter/ship and run to get supplies and do it themselves. Also, have people who can make runs to the cargo hold to get supplies for other crews who are to busy to do it, will also be useful and sometimes needed.

 

3. Turret Gunners - There are no automated weapon systems. So if you're ship has 100 cannons, then you'll need 100 players to fire, one for each cannon.

 

5. Security - Having security can't be under stated. You'll need someone patrolling the corridors of this big ship. Not only during battle to fight back against possible boarding, but also against spies who may have stowed away on the ship with plans to commit sabotage. As well as protect you're resurrection nodes because they will be a valuable target.

 

6. Bridge crew - An this doesn't include the bridge crew, and/or many commanders who will be over seeing tactical data and giving orders to the lower crew departments and teams via discord voice chat, or something similar. because the captain won't be able to manage a crew that big on there own.


So, my point is you won't need NPC's standing around pretending to do stuff for immersion. Because you will have tons of real players running around doing real meaningful things aboard you're ship. Thats called emergent gameplay, and its the kind of game that Novaquark are creating.

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While I would welcome human NPCs in Fallout 76 where it makes more sense, in DU what you propose seems weird.

 

I would not mind actual NPCs that have points of origins and do their thing. But if that is ruled out, "fake NPCs" on constructs as decoration seem slightly silly to me for some situations. Full ones or none is my stance.

 

If it's none at all, people have to band together to create activity or fill roles. Sometimes you have to be the guy just patrolling or standing guard at an entrance for hours as a (or no) battle rages on.

 

The realization will set in that not everyone will be Rambo or always engaged in some Frontline activity.

 

And that's fine for that type of game, even if I prefer real NPCs.

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I don't see why crew bots would be a problem given we have LUA and if they were an element then perhaps they could be a commodity sold like an element for a ship or a blueprint. Maybe with a nano core , static or dynamic (really timy core for 2m x  1m wide) and some sort of screen for a Virtual presence device , video of a face of a human and hey presto. Zombie Bot crew, that would be cool emergent gameplay.

 

Alternatively Maybe you could make stick figures out of voxels in the ship and screens with lua for interaction :)

 

 

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5 hours ago, CoreVamore said:

Or, have a smaller ship....

 

Or more useful real life crew.....

 

;)

 

assuming of course that the real crew aren't all arguing about whose driving and whose security :)

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