Player relationships with NPCs

Aug 14, 2016
901
1,466
93
#1
I was thinking about this after the talk about different types of A.I. and stuff. And then I remembered about how in some MMOs there was dating sim elements within the game to let you befriend different NPCs. This would unlock different options and stuff in how you interact with them. For example, befriending one shopkeeper NPC might see them give you discounts on things you buy from them because you are friend while befriending a different shopkeeper NPC would open up a hidden list of items that they only sell to people who they trust (be it legal or illegal). In some MMOs I also remember there family trees showing your relationship with other players and even NPCs. As you could adopt other players into your family and even NPCs. Often times giving people special titles showing their relationship to others. For example "Omnires big brother to female sword spirt" or "Omnires, Hitsugi's husband". And there is also teacher and student relationship system that some MMOs have. Where you could take on a lower level player to be your student and both you get buffs for being in a team together and clearing missions. But also some games let you teach and train a NPCs to be your helper.

My question is well we have any kind of relationships with NPCs outside of the storyline? And would getting different NPCs to like me or hate me change how things might work for me. Like if a NPC hates me they might refuse to talk to me and if they are shopkeeper they might refuse to sell things to me or make me pay more for it? Or if a NPC really likes me could they randomly jump into missions and help me out? Like if I befriend the guards at a fort with a long range artillery cannon could I call on their help within a mission by marking targets and cashing in on some favors? Could I adopt some NPCs into my family and make them into my brother(s), sister(s), son(s), and daughter(s)?

Side note: Where I come from adopting people into your family is one of the highest honors. It is one thing to be counted as one of a person's best friends and it is another thing for them to call you a family member. For example the phase "brother from another mother." is male friend who is close to you and whom you know so well that it would you are both family in all but name and blood ties. And in some cases one who they have better relationship with than their own flash and blood brother(s). This also why the kids of some of my friends call me "uncle" despite having no relation to me outside of the close friendship I have their parents.
 
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Likes: Pandagnome

truekillerstar#4280

Ark Liege
Ark Liege
May 8, 2020
10
22
3
Ohio, USA
#2
I think Relationship systems between AI/NPCs can be hard to integrate especially since often times, they are external to the core game loop and don't get the most attention to.

However, on another thread, Pandagnome did bring up a good idea of the AIs being people who were lost on Earth (I made a connection to SOMA) so it would be interesting to have an AIs "affection" level go up the more you use it in-game (kind of like going from a co-worker to a work buddy). And as you reach milestones, you could have text based conversations with the AI to expose more lore about the Earth that Gatestriders ran from. Additionally, the more comfortable they are with you, more voice over lines can be unlocked to give variety over time.

For example:
Base Affection = "Gatestrider, the thumper has landed and is beginning to drill"
Friendly Affection = "The thumper is doing it's thing, go kick some Tsi Hu ass boss!"
 

ChAzZ_NuT

Kaiju Slayer
Kaiju Slayer
Jan 22, 2017
76
172
33
#4
Maybe H.O.M.E can be a dating simulation as well as the main social hub of the game, finally, an MMO that'll let you marry your favourite waifu!
 
Likes: Omnires

Sy

Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2018
315
614
93
sya.li
#5
@Grummz

Maybe the crafting system could be split into three parts:

- solo
- community
- npc

Gear creation would lean heavily on claimstakes. Some players would do everything on their own, some would trade parts or whole items.

Then the npc aspect would be a way for players to "create" gear without using a claimstake. They would stay on Home, develop relationships, and trade with npcs.

This might be a way to both make claimstakes useful and also make them optional.
 
Likes: Omnires
Aug 14, 2016
901
1,466
93
#6
@Grummz

Maybe the crafting system could be split into three parts:

- solo
- community
- npc

Gear creation would lean heavily on claimstakes. Some players would do everything on their own, some would trade parts or whole items.

Then the npc aspect would be a way for players to "create" gear without using a claimstake. They would stay on Home, develop relationships, and trade with npcs.

This might be a way to both make claimstakes useful and also make them optional.
Plus it will give the people who only really like to do one thing in the game a job they can do. Because in every MMO I've ever played there is always that group of people who stay in town all day talking to people while buying and selling everything for profit. Rarely do they do missions or raids as their main goal is to play the player economy game. And there is also some players who only really like fighting and nothing else. They dislike having to craft things and having to buying anything more than health kits and ammo is annoying to them. So being forced to go back to town and make trades just to get some money or to craft the gear they need is a pain to them.

So having NPCs that people could befriend to help them with things like the stock market or the crafting of items (rather than paying money to the NPCs for basic stock weapons and gear, as a favor for their friend and one of their best customers they'll seek to make personalized weapons and gear with specs that you like/ask for on them. Because they both care about your safety as a friend but also helping you also helps their business to grow.). To make sure this system isn't broken the players abilities to do things should always be better than at of the NPCs who could also do those things (outside of story reasons and special unique things that only that NPC can make or get). But often times the people who use these NPCs solely for their abilities to help with such things are not really using them for things like min-maxing, but to cut down on the time and energy they need to spend doing a part of the game they don't like doing. After all, different people have different ideas of what fun is.

P.s.
Also we need to have it so that going by they personality types even if people hate each other they can still be civil with each other most of the time. I don't know how many of you ever had enemies in real life. But I for one have had a few enemies where as despite us trying to destroy each other over our differences, we can still put aside those things be civil with one another until we can find the time and place to fight out proper. And here are some examples in video games of this kind of stuff happening, although some of them are a bit over the top.

 
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