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No NPCs = No Game; A question for the Devs


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Is NQ planning on adding NPCs to DU?
I'm not here to debate. My friends and I just want a clear answer, in order to decide whether or not we want to keep supporting this game. We no longer want to support a game that's promising 100% player driven world. We fell for it before with other games which promised the exact same thing, and frankly, we're certain that it'll never work. So again, is NQ planning on adding NPCs. 
Note: I'm NOT saying that NQ shouldn't stay true to their original vision, I am just saying that if they are, I personally don't want to give them my money. 

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Well, if you look on the website it seems to suggest that they will sticking to a player-only world for now, but who knows.

I am sorry to hear this game isn't turning out to be what you want it to be. Perhaps Dual may be the first game to pull a player-only world off, though, who knows.

 

personally i'm kinda the opposite, I would prefer if their were no NPC's and just focused on players and player interaction.

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I'd bet that most of NQ's own devs and the new management understands how many problems NPCs would solve for the game. 

 

So my bet is on "yes" because they realize exactly what the OP realizes: it won't work without them. The "vision" JC laid out isn't a real plan, it's a bunch of random thoughts. 

 

That said, it'll probably be either a long time before they are developed...or it'll be a really crap implementation.

 

For NPCs to actually work, they need to somehow touch industry, building, PvP, and organizational dynamics -- it shouldn't just be a bunch of random space pirates that people can go kill for lootz.

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@ShippyLongstalking Space threats are needed but, I agree, it shouldn't end there. 

 

How much more attached would I be to my little factory if I could Hire a couple of grunts who provide a small boost that could improve a bit over time.  Even if they just walked from station to station it would make the place feel alive.  They would also be things enemies could attack and they couldn't be replaced instantly. 

 

Beyond that NPCs could reflect the activity in an area. If an alliance of players has a number of factories and structures full of NPCs, it would make sense to see a number of small personal craft that reflects the population. Again, these could be attacked by enemies, giving the home team a reason to respond to smaller threats. 

 

There is far too much that can be gained from NPCs to ignore them.  

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sure, PVE and NPCs would give people something to do and may be used as a quanta faucet and I would appreciate NQ for implementing this

 

but for me personally, PVE is always boring. once you know how to do it, it's just blitzing through it to maximize quanta/hour

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I think it is inevitable that they add more NPC/PVE content, they never ruled it out, but they still need to add the fundamental mechanics first, I don't see them putting any priority on it any time soon.

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No change to the current plan (or lack thereof) depending on your perspective ;) We currently do not have immediate plans to add NPCs, but we're considering it for post launch options. 

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Keyboard/mouse+Screen+Programming board wrapped up in an "mannequin" (which could be restricted to static&space constructs so you won't see markets overrun) with an API for movement and emotes would allow builds to come "alive" instead of being ghost towns (even with lots of players, who is going to hang around for long in a construct which otherwise has nothing happening).

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Agreed NPCs would be nice to have. Anything at all to make the game fun would be a huge plus. I really wish DU took a page from Space Engineers and have roaming npc ships that you can hunt, capture and salvage. That would be an excellent alternative to the soulcrushing industry grind that is the current system. 

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NPCs are not always the answer.  Sometimes they create more issues than they fix.  While it adds fake life it does not do much other than slow down the server which has to run all of these NPCs.  And if done poorly they cause way more issues.

 

 

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On 4/20/2021 at 8:11 AM, NQ-Naerais said:

No change to the current plan (or lack thereof) depending on your perspective ;) We currently do not have immediate plans to add NPCs, but we're considering it for post launch options. 

 

thank you..  I will cancel my sub until npc's and pve content are installed.  haven't played in months anyway.. NOTHING to do.  a bare shell of a "game" atm anyway.

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2 hours ago, Elusive_Voltis said:

soulcrushing industry grind that is the current system. 

 

Little confused. I think the industry need to be enhanced and have more to it. It’s the mining so I can play with my factory I find soul crushing 

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27 minutes ago, CaptRiker said:

 

thank you..  I will cancel my sub until npc's and pve content are installed.  haven't played in months anyway.. NOTHING to do.  a bare shell of a "game" atm anyway.

This last part...

 

No offense but that is the nature of most true sandbox games.  You are the content.  You create it, your fellow gamers are also part of this experience.  Lack of population means less content.  

 

Adding NPCs and PVE does not fix this.  Sure for a short time players will come back to try out the new PVE content but will quickly leave after they have done it.  Leaving the same issues again of lack of content.  

 

Tl;dr perhaps this is not the game for you.

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3 hours ago, LouHodo said:

This last part...

 

No offense but that is the nature of most true sandbox games.  You are the content.  You create it, your fellow gamers are also part of this experience.  Lack of population means less content.  

 

Adding NPCs and PVE does not fix this.  Sure for a short time players will come back to try out the new PVE content but will quickly leave after they have done it.  Leaving the same issues again of lack of content.  

 

Tl;dr perhaps this is not the game for you.

While I get the point you then need enough players to want to be 'targets' to make some of the game work. Probably not going to happen if you want a game with the diverse characteristics desired. There is nothing wrong or non-sandbox with having NPCs fulfilling the roles that real people playing in a fake universe don't want to do themselves. In the end what you actually want is a vibrant living universe that doesn't get in the way too much for most people most of the time. You want sandbox-ish, in my opinion.

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18 hours ago, Cheith said:

While I get the point you then need enough players to want to be 'targets' to make some of the game work. Probably not going to happen if you want a game with the diverse characteristics desired. There is nothing wrong or non-sandbox with having NPCs fulfilling the roles that real people playing in a fake universe don't want to do themselves. In the end what you actually want is a vibrant living universe that doesn't get in the way too much for most people most of the time. You want sandbox-ish, in my opinion.

So here is an example from two different games that I feel illustrate my point.

 

Star Citizen, has NPCs which wonder around stations and landing zones, there is no NPC ship traffic outside of NPC mission targets.  The NPCs in game often bug out and stand in chairs, t-posing or glitched halfway in the floor or wall.   They don't add to the feeling of life, if anything they make it feel more like you are alone.   Silent idiotic clones that mindlessly roam around.

 

Elite Dangerous.  Has NPC ships and soon NPCs walking around in stations.  They follow pretty scripted routines and are mostly silent.  They are a fair bit easier to figure out than players when online but they are not all that life like.   They are more like borg drones that silently go about their task.  The NPCs in missions are ok definitely better than Star Citizen but they are still pretty easy to tell from an actual person.  

 

I can also tell you both of those games have dedicated years of code work in getting those NPCs working as well as they do now.

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19 hours ago, LouHodo said:

So here is an example from two different games that I feel illustrate my point.

 

Star Citizen, has NPCs which wonder around stations and landing zones, there is no NPC ship traffic outside of NPC mission targets.  The NPCs in game often bug out and stand in chairs, t-posing or glitched halfway in the floor or wall.   They don't add to the feeling of life, if anything they make it feel more like you are alone.   Silent idiotic clones that mindlessly roam around.

 

Elite Dangerous.  Has NPC ships and soon NPCs walking around in stations.  They follow pretty scripted routines and are mostly silent.  They are a fair bit easier to figure out than players when online but they are not all that life like.   They are more like borg drones that silently go about their task.  The NPCs in missions are ok definitely better than Star Citizen but they are still pretty easy to tell from an actual person.  

 

I can also tell you both of those games have dedicated years of code work in getting those NPCs working as well as they do now.

Totally get your point - but that is a development problem rather than an NPC problem is it not? 

 

I wouldn't have said the NPCs are there to make you not feel alone, more to give the game some life and some character. The chances of you having enough players to do that is small - especially in a big universe. Even EVE has NPCs buzzing around - and it is definitely one of the more player content, etc, focused games of any size out there.

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