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Evolution of NPCs in MMOs. Current NPCs needs to go from MMOs.

InterestingInteresting Porto AlegrePosts: 950Member

AI-less Stationary NPCs needs to go from MMOs.

NPCs needs to do their thing. They need to have objective, progression, purpose. Past, Present, Future. They need to be able to die. They need to be able to protect themselves.

They need to be part of the economy, instead of having infinite wealth, printing their own currency.

No more, EVERY NPC needs help with stupid things. If its not logic and reasonable, then they should go do their own stuff.

No more, EVERYONE DOING THE SAME QUESTS FROM THE SAME NPCS.

If you do a quest, its over, nobody else's does it again. Unless the activity itself has sense in being repeated or offered to many people.

AI needs needs. Needs home/place to rest. Needs food. It needs to gather its own food, or buy it.

It needs to do activities when its not sleeping or eating. Participate in the society, politics, drama, economy, whatever work or activity it decides to do, based on current situation, needs, goals.

In short, each NPC has to have its own agenda going on. Autogoverning itself.

It needs to be griefable by players and it needs to be programed deal with it.

 

I just heard of the Elders Scroll Online MMO being made to feature the same stationary quest givers robotic npcs of near decades ago.

 

 

No MMORPG can be considered AAA without a organic, dynamic feeling "alive" world.

I want to see a MMORPG world being built to be fully functional and complex, like a machine. I want to see "actors" actually acting

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Comments

  • Garvon3Garvon3 Worcester, MAPosts: 2,898Member

    They used to, in older MMOs. They used to patrol, move from zone to zone, have a massive amount of dialogue and emotes, and you could even type things to them.

     

    But then developers stopped caring about making virtual worlds. Closest we ever got was Ultima Online.

  • bishbosh2bishbosh2 SydneyPosts: 66Member

    i think friendly NPCs should be minimised. game should be designed so that players take on the role of friendly NPCs allowing for emergent gameplay

  • InterestingInteresting Porto AlegrePosts: 950Member

    Ive seen some measure of AI in MMOs.

     

    Fallen Earth has some carnivorous AI animals attacking each other (not the player).

    Saga of Ryzom had a complex AI for animals, migrating, hunting each other, protecting territory.

     

    But those were for animal/mobs AI. Im looking for HUMANOID/INTELIGENT  races AI.

     

    Ive seen some measure of it in some space games, single player and online.

     

    I would like to see some of the AI from the Gothic 2 (Skyrim comes close), or from the Space Rangers 2 game, if any of you are familiar.

  • DaezAsterDaezAster new york, NYPosts: 803Member

    Besides npc improvement.Text doesnt cut it for me. I would like to speak through my character and it wouldn't be to hard. Animators can use a limited set of mouth shapes to simulate the consonants we use to speak. Transients are the individual shapes that make up waveforms and can be analyzed to trigger the proper mouth animations. If any game developer did this it would be a huge step forward in player immersion.

     

  • Garvon3Garvon3 Worcester, MAPosts: 2,898Member
    Originally posted by DaezAster

    Besides npc improvement.Text doesnt cut it for me. I would like to speak through my character and it wouldn't be to hard. Animators can use a limited set of mouth shapes to simulate the consonants we use to speak. Transients are the individual shapes that make up waveforms and can be analyzed to trigger the proper mouth animations. If any game developer did this it would be a huge step forward in player immersion.

     

    Or instead of spending half the budget on voice and the other half on advertising the voice (SWTOR) we can stick with text :P in my opinion. You can do a LOT more with text. Speech kills most RPGs.

  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Garvon3

    They used to, in older MMOs. They used to patrol, move from zone to zone, have a massive amount of dialogue and emotes, and you could even type things to them.

     

    But then developers stopped caring about making virtual worlds. Closest we ever got was Ultima Online.

    There are VERY few examples of that. Even before WoW. VERY few.

    Yes, there are older games in which NPCs patrol, but everything else he mentioned? Nope, not really.

    Probably the best examples I can think of would be early EQ2 or Vanguard.

     

    - Btw, if the OP is really that interested in NPCs, he may want to check out GW2. They do a lot of that ingame, and most NPCs that I see do their own thing. There are some that are stationary, that sell things, etc. But there are other merchants that need to travel to get supplies, and things of that nature. It really is refreshing to see. Example

  • rounnerrounner CanberraPosts: 603Member Uncommon

    May as well not have quests then.

    If you can kill npc's, there needs to be a mechanism to add new ones that take up the same role so content is not duplicated.

    I'm all for it in a game like Fallen Earth where a town could be ghosted until travellers slowly repopulate.

    Just dont expect a rich story line with dialogue.

  • laokokolaokoko TaipeiPosts: 2,003Member
    Originally posted by rounner

    May as well not have quests then.

    If you can kill npc's, there needs to be a mechanism to add new ones that take up the same role so content is not duplicated.

    I'm all for it in a game like Fallen Earth where a town could be ghosted until travellers slowly repopulate.

    Just dont expect a rich story line with dialogue.

    Ya I was just thinking that.  The NPC need mechanism to mate with each other, or with other players, so they can bread and repopulate.

    You know how players like to kill any NPC that they can kill.

  • Poison_AdelePoison_Adele Seattle, WAPosts: 287Member
    Originally posted by aesperus
    Originally posted by Garvon3

    They used to, in older MMOs. They used to patrol, move from zone to zone, have a massive amount of dialogue and emotes, and you could even type things to them.

     

    But then developers stopped caring about making virtual worlds. Closest we ever got was Ultima Online.

    There are VERY few examples of that. Even before WoW. VERY few.

    Yes, there are older games in which NPCs patrol, but everything else he mentioned? Nope, not really.

    Probably the best examples I can think of would be early EQ2 or Vanguard.

     

    - Btw, if the OP is really that interested in NPCs, he may want to check out GW2. They do a lot of that ingame, and most NPCs that I see do their own thing. There are some that are stationary, that sell things, etc. But there are other merchants that need to travel to get supplies, and things of that nature. It really is refreshing to see. Example

    Here is another video by the same person, it illustrates really well how NPCs can be made to contribute to immersion even with scripting that is both repeatable and dynamic.

    Expecting truly living, breathing worlds is simply unrealistic and quite frankly ignorant. But it's the little touches that can make a place seem like it's more alive, and that's all that matters for now.

    image

  • DaezAsterDaezAster new york, NYPosts: 803Member
    Originally posted by Garvon3
    Originally posted by DaezAster

    Besides npc improvement.Text doesnt cut it for me. I would like to speak through my character and it wouldn't be to hard. Animators can use a limited set of mouth shapes to simulate the consonants we use to speak. Transients are the individual shapes that make up waveforms and can be analyzed to trigger the proper mouth animations. If any game developer did this it would be a huge step forward in player immersion.

     

    Or instead of spending half the budget on voice and the other half on advertising the voice (SWTOR) we can stick with text :P in my opinion. You can do a LOT more with text. Speech kills most RPGs.

    Don't think you undestood what I said there at all. I'm not talking about voice actors I'm talking abou your words being spoken by your character.

  • Poison_AdelePoison_Adele Seattle, WAPosts: 287Member
    Originally posted by DaezAster
    Originally posted by Garvon3
    Originally posted by DaezAster

    Besides npc improvement.Text doesnt cut it for me. I would like to speak through my character and it wouldn't be to hard. Animators can use a limited set of mouth shapes to simulate the consonants we use to speak. Transients are the individual shapes that make up waveforms and can be analyzed to trigger the proper mouth animations. If any game developer did this it would be a huge step forward in player immersion.

     

    Or instead of spending half the budget on voice and the other half on advertising the voice (SWTOR) we can stick with text :P in my opinion. You can do a LOT more with text. Speech kills most RPGs.

    Don't think you undestood what I said there at all. I'm not talking about voice actors I'm talking abou your words being spoken by your character.

    Sure new technology is cool but then you're just playing yourself and the technology. Using more complex technology to essentially do the same thing is not player immersion.

    image

  • DaezAsterDaezAster new york, NYPosts: 803Member
    Originally posted by Poison_Adele
    Originally posted by DaezAster
    Originally posted by Garvon3
    Originally posted by DaezAster

    Besides npc improvement.Text doesnt cut it for me. I would like to speak through my character and it wouldn't be to hard. Animators can use a limited set of mouth shapes to simulate the consonants we use to speak. Transients are the individual shapes that make up waveforms and can be analyzed to trigger the proper mouth animations. If any game developer did this it would be a huge step forward in player immersion.

     

    Or instead of spending half the budget on voice and the other half on advertising the voice (SWTOR) we can stick with text :P in my opinion. You can do a LOT more with text. Speech kills most RPGs.

    Don't think you undestood what I said there at all. I'm not talking about voice actors I'm talking abou your words being spoken by your character.

    Sure new technology is cool but then you're just playing yourself and the technology. Using more complex technology to essentially do the same thing is not player immersion.

    Huh? Chat is more immersive than actual speach? Why do gaming headsets have mic's then? Imagine walking your toon up to someone and saying hello for real. Might be freaky with the barry white voiced dude's playing female toons though but still, would be cool.

  • SiveriaSiveria Saint John, New BrunswickPosts: 1,200Member Uncommon

    Current mmo's in general needs to have their dev teams taken out back and executed, In the last few years I haven't played ONE pay 2 play mmorpg that felt fresh or orignal, every single one has felt like the exact same game in a new skin. Most recent one was the secret world that I wasted money on.. Its just yet another generic wow-like mmo. With pointless endgame, and a boring repetive linear quest grind. These devs wonder why their games cannot hold subscribers as of late, this is why, they rely WAY too much on quests for content and people can go thru it fairly fast without even trying. GW2 will be the next mmo to be fairly worthless and lackluster more than likely. Because honestly? from what I have seen of the game it just looks like world of warcraft cept with so called "dynamic events" insted of the normal quests. I'm in the weekend beta thats coming for gw2 but to be honest I don't expect much out of gw2/mmo's now a days.

    Being a pessimist is a win-win pattern of thinking. If you're a pessimist (I'll admit that I am!) you're either:

    A. Proven right (if something bad happens)

    or

    B. Pleasantly surprised (if something good happens)

    Either way, you can't lose! Try it out sometime!

  • Gaia_HunterGaia_Hunter BristolPosts: 2,817Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Siveria

    Current mmo's in general needs to have their dev teams taken out back and executed, In the last few years I haven't played ONE pay 2 play mmorpg that felt fresh or orignal, every single one has felt like the exact same game in a new skin. Most recent one was the secret world that I wasted money on.. Its just yet another generic wow-like mmo. With pointless endgame, and a boring repetive linear quest grind. These devs wonder why their games cannot hold subscribers as of late, this is why, they rely WAY too much on quests for content and people can go thru it fairly fast without even trying. GW2 will be the next mmo to be fairly worthless and lackluster more than likely. Because honestly? from what I have seen of the game it just looks like world of warcraft cept with so called "dynamic events" insted of the normal quests. I'm in the weekend beta thats coming for gw2 but to be honest I don't expect much out of gw2/mmo's now a days.

    Evaluating games by "seeing them" leaves a lot out.

    Currently playing: GW2
    Going cardboard starter kit: Ticket to ride, Pandemic, Carcassonne, Dominion, 7 Wonders

  • BereKinBereKin SplitPosts: 287Member

    Yea, the way that most devs are using NPC in mmos got to change. They have to be more active, to have some more logical role than to just be stationary objects. Like you said, they are just standing there and everybody is doing the same quests from them. Not very interesting or inspiring.

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member

    And when I finish my quest for the given NPC and he is dead somewhere, killed by some blood thirsty, maniacal PC, what then? Does he respawn at a later time?

    One time quests? Are you serious? Devs cannot think of many good repeatable quests and you want them to think up literally millions of one-time quests?

    How about the players that don't start the game from launch? How do they get into the game with most of the quests done already?

    It will become a race to "take out quests." Those that don't play 24/7 will just lose out to those who do.

    On the plus side, there would not be all this information online about how to do a quest.

    It would be great to see something like this, but in all practicality, it isn't very feasible.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,552Member Uncommon

     

    Everyone keeps mentioning the dynamics of Sims 2.  What I have been saying since I started gaming.  There needs to be an mmorpg that merges with Sims 2.

    Also, everyone keeps talking about the past Ultimate and no one answers my question if Ultima Online is a resurrection of that game?  http://www.uo.com/ageofshadows/viscent.html


  • jeremyjodesjeremyjodes antioch, ORPosts: 679Member

    In SWG beta the creatures would charge at you stalk you even if you got close to a lair or nest. then they would out of nowhere chase you away or go full out attack if you kept bugging them.

    Was pretty cool. of course it never made it to release it got axed for some reason.

    image

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by bishbosh2

    i think friendly NPCs should be minimised. game should be designed so that players take on the role of friendly NPCs allowing for emergent gameplay

    realistically, the problem is, that players arent online 24/7, so players who play at different times of the day will lost out on things which leads to a lost of fun for certain groups over others, which leads to less subs and less support from consumers over time.

     

    see how TIME is linked to everything MMO related?

    image

  • HauvarnHauvarn Walker, LAPosts: 220Member

    I agree with the moving around parts.  It's so damn boring to go to a town then come back a couple hours laters to see the town is EXACTLY as it was before. 

    Yes I played SWTOR.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon

    I kind of disagree with part of that.

    need to die? really?

    So the usual griefers will kill them and then what? I suppose they could auto have a new one with a different name take their place and then the griefers will kill them again and every minute the computer will generate a new one.

    And sure, one person does a quest and that's it. Do you have any idea what it takes to make a quest? it has to be tested, qa'ed, changed, rewritten, etc.

    I suppose the fix there would be to have some sort of system to randomly create quests. but how great are those going to be? And if the only thing that is accomplished is that npc's are being respawned with different names/looks every few minutes with auto generated quests that are essentially the same as the old quests then it seems a lot of work for not much return.

    For certian things, mmo's just don't work. The "massive" nature of them precludes having an immersive unique world unless you have lots of instances.

    Maybe the fix is to have no npc's. Let the players fill the void and leave it at that.

  • wolfmannwolfmann TerraakPosts: 1,159Member
    Originally posted by jeremyjodes

    In SWG beta the creatures would charge at you stalk you even if you got close to a lair or nest. then they would out of nowhere chase you away or go full out attack if you kept bugging them.

    Was pretty cool. of course it never made it to release it got axed for some reason.

    Animals even did it to eachother..

    Big cats would stalk and kill a durni if it came into the cats "sensory" range. Grasseaters would gang up on solo meateaters that got too close to their nest.

    Heck, I had a cat stalk me halfway across a planet, waiting its time, until I was in deep dodo fighting something big.. then the cat sprang to it and charged me from the back. I barely got out of that fight alive. After that, if I noticed something stalking me, I chased it and killed it hehe.

    NPC's also had some of this, "hatred", "like", "friendly" stuff... A "random" imperial patrol walking into a fight between civilian NPC's and Pirate NPC's would come to the rescue of the civilians, etc.

     

    this made early SWG more of a "living" world than a static theatrical piece.. Kinda miss stuff like that in games these days... Sometimes in some single player games you might see a wolf chase a deer or rabbit, but in MMO's, most you see are deer grassing next to the wolves, NPC's never moving an inch from where they were put or, if set to "patrol", never diverge from their set patrol route...

    imageThe last of the Trackers

  • FredomSekerZFredomSekerZ Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,156Member

    The problem is that in a single player this is alot easier because there is only 1 player the world needs to react to. it's like killing any important boss. He stays dead because it's so. In an mmo, this sin't possible with the current structure.

    So, having NPC AI actually be great and unique is a bad move, and it's kind off stupid IMHO. if npc's die, that's a huge waste of resources. Hell, TSW seems to have a plan to permantly change the world and AI, but ti won't do it on a daily or weekly bases, and only in small burst, i bet. On the other hand, the better and more complex the patterns of the NPC's, the more it's a loop.

    See, when an NPC is just standing an 1 place or as a small amount of movement, voice lines, etc it's just enough to create the illsuion of "alive". However, when AI gets better, the only solution is to loop it, which makes it worse.

     

    An organic, immersive and living world should not be created by fake AI and fake NPC's. The 1 thing mmorpgs can do that other genres can't is have thousands of players in 1 permanent location. Therefore, it should be the player actions, decisions and words to breath life into the game world.

    Unfortunatly, in these static, dev driven mmos, it's impossible. Hell, AI is starting to ahve more to say to each other than humans. Sad days.

     

  • BeefMach1neBeefMach1ne Florissant, MOPosts: 32Member

    What you are asking for will make MMO developement take a SWTOR-like budget to get done in a reasonable amount of time or like 10 years of developement. 

     

    What I propose is just make a MMO without any  NPCS. Yea you heard me None at all... 

    Now developers could refcous and spend less time on making quest texts and character dialog and more time on giving players more gameplay features and creating a great world for players to discover.

     

    How will this work? 

    Give players the ablity to make their own quests and have other players do them for whatever reward deemed necessary.  For this to work its going to have to be impossible for one person to do everything.  Players will be able to build their own towns, shops within those towns, pubs with bartenders ( or self servicing pubs if no real players wish to do it at the time). 

    So i'm a black smith in a town created by another player..... I need some rare ore that's only found in such and such dragon's lair... Well i don't have combat skills so I can't go get it...   So I put up a quest and some knight in shining armor takes a crack at it trades me the item and I give him his gold, or a perma discount at my shop... ya know whatever we agree on.

    XP will be gained by just doing stuff.  But the points generated are allowed for free allocation so you can gain xp from smithing and decide to spend it in some combat if you want although this will make you a worse smith over time so the choice is yours. 

     

    Want a real immersive world? Model it more closely to the real world.  Don't waste time trying to make super A.I. that 90% of the time  is doing stuff the player never sees anyway. 

  • InterestingInteresting Porto AlegrePosts: 950Member
    Originally posted by laokoko
    Originally posted by rounner

    May as well not have quests then.

    If you can kill npc's, there needs to be a mechanism to add new ones that take up the same role so content is not duplicated.

    I'm all for it in a game like Fallen Earth where a town could be ghosted until travellers slowly repopulate.

    Just dont expect a rich story line with dialogue.

    Ya I was just thinking that.  The NPC need mechanism to mate with each other, or with other players, so they can bread and repopulate.

    You know how players like to kill any NPC that they can kill.

     

    Depending on the lore/setting.


    NPCs could migrate, imigrate.

    NPCs could be machines (would fit most of the current games NPCs).

    Maybe some sort of soul transfer mechanic like a black box could be used. Along with cloned NPCs. Could be used for players too.

     

    Like in some movies.

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