(Note that the below experience is based on playing the native Chinese version of the game, translation might differ for the English version).
Winning the favour of NPCs is part of strategy in advancing your character in AoW.
The reason for this is will allow certain quests to be unlocked including the rare Miracle encounters which give good rewards - rare items, large quantities of tradable (unbound) silver and fragments of books on esoteric martial skills you can't obtain otherwise in game.
Many of the thousands of NPCs you encounter will form a disposition towards you as your path crosses them.
Initially, their disposition to you is usually "No impression". By interacting with them in the game world, you can cause them to like you more, raising the disposition eventually to "Adoration". Conversely you can get them to dislike you intensely (some Miracle encounters are triggered only if certain NPCs hate you, so being friendly with NPCs are not always an advantage).
How an NPC reacted to you is determined by its personality traits.
In AoW, a generic NPC may have one of 14 personality traits. Each personality type will react to your behaviour in different ways.
- An NPC with the "Hard working" trait is pleased when he sees you engage in a mining activity or even setting up a stall in his sight.
- An NPC with the "Lawful Good" trait is unhappy when he sees you purchase something from a player with the "Evil" alignment who setup a stall in front of him.
However, important NPCs has a more complex response. Also the NPC's traits can be further modified by his profession or even current interactions with other NPCs.
- A player with musical profession playing the Zither around some NPC musicians might make them unhappy because the NPC will view the player as competition.
Sometimes just doing socially unacceptable actions can annoy certain NPCs:
- Mounted on your horse and sticking around them - some NPCs are offended because they feel you are looking down on them (literally) while others are OK with it.
- Deliberately standing in front of NPC spectators watching some entertainment, blocking their view.
Giving appropriate gifts to NPC will usually raise their disposition towards you. The keyword is 'appropriate', the tutorial will show you how to give a gift of wine to an NPC but obviously that is not a good thing for children NPC.
Gifting is effective only 20 times daily.
WINNING FAVOUR WITH ONE NPC CAMP MAY CAUSE FALLEN OUT WITH ANOTHER
Some NPC groups are rivals with one another, so if you gain favour with one group, you may return to find all of previously amicable NPC in an area becoming unhappy with you.
Your relationship with an NPC can progress to a certain point that you become " friends" or even "close friends".
Ultimately players could recruit NPC companions to fight for them if they are friendly with a large number of NPCs of a certain territory power and fulfill other conditions. A player can summon NPC companions for up to one hour each day.
"A game is fun if it is learnable but not trivial" -- Togelius & Schmidhuber