Relationships with NPCs

Discussion in 'Mechanics' started by Corbinsor, Mar 19, 2014.


Would you approve of this mechanic?

  1. Yes.

  2. Maybe.

  3. No, you perv.

  1. Corbinsor

    Corbinsor Void-Bound Voyager

    Yeah, I like this.
  2. smillyderpface

    smillyderpface Aquatic Astronaut

    HELL YES FIVE COFFEES TO YOU GOOD SIR :coffee::coffee::coffee::coffee::coffee:
  3. Derpislav

    Derpislav Big Damn Hero

    ...I'm not sure about the whole "turning starbound into a dating sim" thing (remember the wives in Fable? They were more like merchants. "gibe gems plox, I make you nice armor". Aaaaand that's all you're going to get from that relationship. Like, seriously. Okay, your charater is mute, but can't you talk in sign language or something?), but becoming bros with an Avian's village leader would be nice.
    If you chose the "friendly" path, make the last, highest level of that relationship "bros". And for "respected rival" - "sword-bros". So you can invite that NPC for some hunting while yelling Gimli-and-Legolas-ish stuff at each other.
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  4. Goenitz

    Goenitz Void-Bound Voyager

    well that type of relationship that you mentioned as been not programmed well\right (except some sidequest you really take nothing).
    Like said in some posts up a thing that would nice is that they decorate the room that you assign to them alike their personality (maybe unlocking some furniture that except in mod and stealing from village is absent in this game)
  5. Derpislav

    Derpislav Big Damn Hero

    Yes please.
    Urist McFollower withdraws from society...
    Three days later, you find that room decorated with furniture made of bone. Probably just "harvested". And the NPC approaches you with a wide ^o^ and text bubble saying "Do you like it? It reminds me of home!"

    I just hope if this gets implemented, gifts will not outweight reputation and actions - actions should have the biggest impact, reputation would determine their starting... *level of liking you* and the rate at which actions will change it, and gifts... Gifts will give you just an "oh, thanks" reaction - or at most forgiveness if you accidentally blew up a hole in their house. Again, Fable - you killed an entire town but one person, then you came back some time later and shoved 9001 gems down his/her throat. Best buddies for life!
    ...Or Dwarf Fortress, where I can stop my dwarves from going insane from zombie apocalypse by encrusting their beds with gems. Gems solve everything.

    Oh, and about that camp part, @Stephanie Winther - why not? If NPCs had procedurally generated personalities, they would value different things. I don't think this should be limited to followers. So yes, if you happened to act just like *that*, one of the soldiers might start feeling something towards you. Be it love if you(*), be it "dayum, he's good" if you shoot Cthulhu in the face in front of an NPC that gets impressed by that. Or it might be actually disgust if they are peaceful.

    (*)Please remember there are different personalities, not everyone will treat you like a hero even if you're actually one. Some might like you for freeing the prisoners, some might for the fact you made most of your equipment by yourself, for the way you care for your crops, for looking badass in that spiky armor.. I'm saying that because I want to find myself an NPC that will be a total psycho, that will actually like me for shooting people in the face, and spend the rest of our days gathering SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!
    Goenitz and Stephanie Winther like this.
  6. alphabetsoup

    alphabetsoup Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I have a few reservations about it:
    • I'm not sure how tiers/sectors/difficulty levels are going to work in the final game, but as was mentioned, it's a game that works on travelling. There are villages that I've visited once and never come back to once I've out-tiered that area.
    • Making romance a possible relationship type makes it sound too much like Harvest Moon. Plus, what happens when you have a romance going on with several NPC's? That would just complicate matters in order to work out all the jealousy going on. Best not to have it.
    • Like Derpislav said, it would look totally silly if done poorly. Anybody play SWTOR before? I remember my attempts at romance on my agent consisted of throwing presents at Vector; I had the relationship bar nearly maxed before the final act of vanilla!. Which makes it sort of hilarious in hindsight, considering that he never batted an eye if I flirted shamelessly with other guys in front of him (maybe he's that shallow/oblivious?), but I digress. Yeah gifts could have some impact, but I don't want to see Starbound with the same 'buy their love' system that some other games have.
    That being said, I think the idea has potential. I think, with the quest system that will be put into place, there is potential for some sort of reputation system to be put into place alongside it, enhancing the appeal of questing and doing nice things for others. Do nice things for the merchant and make him like you, and he starts giving you discounts. Heck, I think there is also the potential to get rep with the 'bad guys' too; kill enough Apex rebels, for example, and you'll find yourself being thanked by Big Ape himself. Or sacrifice a whole town of grounded Avians, and the Kluex cult will heap rewards and praises upon you if you're an Avian.
  7. Corbinsor

    Corbinsor Void-Bound Voyager

    Glad you all like my idea :p
  8. wolfboyft

    wolfboyft Big Damn Hero

    I would love it as long is it is not a proper dating sim. AND NOT A SEX SIM...
  9. Gun Junkie

    Gun Junkie Void-Bound Voyager

    Yes to this. I feel like the only current value of NPCs is trading and routinely destroy everything that's not a settlement of peaceful Avians. It leaves my planets feeling bleak and empty (also a spawning issue I think). I want more reason to think before maiming everything in the game.

    More RPG elements are always better in an open game like this and give players a reason to keep coming back. I'm starving for more quests that will give the game meaning... innocents who need rescue (whom I can help or abandon) and rewards for good deeds. So far I feel the game practically pushes you in the direction of conqueror at every turn. I find myself stripping planet surfaces of life and meaning, tearing down every tree at times to fuel my ship, and it feels very hollow for such a bright and vivid game. I think relationships would really add a new dynamic to how I played... Perhaps I would feel more pity for a planet's inhabitants when they needed my help or grew to like me, while on the other hand I would feel justified after stomping a bunch of jerks who didn't like my avatar's race or were too quick to make a confrontation, etc. In this sense creating temperaments for varying NPCs would also add flavor to the game and help shape the outcome of each encounter.

    I'm all for romance, in fact I had wondered if it might already be in the game or planned. I've already picked up on what I took to be some subtle adult humor in the game and I think that's great. I'm really not for marketing games to kids in the first place and adult themes are quite alright in my book. Not sure what the general stance is on this at Chucklefish but I say let the adult themes flourish, at least in a fun, tasteful way... awesome setting for that sort of humor and playful suggestiveness. In fact I demand that avatars retain the ability to be nude. That actually made me giggle. That much I demand. I'm super cereal.
  10. Derpislav

    Derpislav Big Damn Hero

    No. Not only good. 1/5 NPC's should be totally evil, 2/5 would accept some crimes and the last 2/5 would be made of saints. While it doesn't councern me personally, I tend to be the nicest person on earth in every game (even FPSs, I don't shoot enemies, when I can, I punch or disable them), look at these all smugglers and Khorne champions. Smugglers don't do anything that bad, no need to shoot them at sight, murderers should be able to find fellow psychopats and cultists.
    Everything else, yes.

    BTW, if romances are really going to make it (about other relationships? No good reasons to don't implement them. Romances? There allways will be butthurt) bring back the Mechanic from Terraria.
  11. DrakeAR

    DrakeAR Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    I think the idea of having generic relationships with species as a whole should first be implemented. With more than just 2-3 reputation tiers. As they are right now the NPCs are somewhat placeholders. Until combat gets overhauled and likely the NPCs as well they're more expendable then even redshirts on the planets below. The closest you'll come to a long term companion are any stim spawners or such you spawn on your own ship or in a super-secure base. For these I can imagine a specific relationship mechanic coming into play but I don't think that would be easy or even reasonable to implement this early.

    I'd say go with the related topic of having species-wide reputation that can go up or down (like I don't really care if the glitch absolutely hate me, but I do like the Avians and want to be friends with the race as a whole). It seems like it can be be implemented relatively easy, hardest part would be generating the BULK of new dialogue variations for each species for each level.

    Then as the game gets more developed a 'promotion' mechanic can be included to allow a spawned NPC to be set on a different relationship path. For the vanilla game I would not go any further than this.

    If people wish to try for all NPC's to have relationship opportunities, I would save that until after the vanilla game has been polished for combat/survivability, and preferably vanilla support for more unique friendly NPC's. Then attempt such all-inclusive projects as mods that can succeed or fail individual of the vanilla game or people's play preferences.
  12. Gun Junkie

    Gun Junkie Void-Bound Voyager

    Well I agree there should be opportunities for evil in the game. I'm all for better roleplay mechanics all around.

    In response to Drake, I think everyone is pretty much expecting a combat overhaul and we will undoubtedly get it. There's plenty of room to talk about NPC overhaul too since NPCs are currently bland and expendable like you said. Personally right now I'd take NPC improvements over combat. It's the area that is actually more lacking imo... I'm all for basic interactions improving but the game will probably remain a bit bland in that area without some sort of proper companions.
  13. DrakeAR

    DrakeAR Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Fair enough, Gun Junkie.

    What about something like a global reputation system with different factions (with the framework available to people modding in custom races) to start with? It seems like that could actually make a bigger improvement to the feel of the game then it seems and shouldn't be as complex as the more in depth ideas.

    After that I would personally like to see greater variety in NPC generation. Different size and theme settlements/facilities for each species (and I have yet to see Hyotl). Greater complexity of pre-existing things like merchants, being able to customize things with spawners, etc. This might not seem like much but I think it would help provide a better foundation for potential NPC relationships.

    I still think that the full ability to initiate relationships with any NPC anywhere at anytime with different mixes of good, evil, romance or bromance, etc, should be left to the modding community. I think the furthest that the vanilla game should go would be an optional follower system that will allow for both combat and merchant NPCs to follow you around to your ship or planetary bases and improve their services based on how well they get along with you (and/or full spawner 'programming' before you leave it). This seems like a good all around push in a direction that everyone would like, but stops before it starts to branch into everyone's preferences. Mods can then be created to expand upon the system in whichever direction the individual would like.

    P.S. Though, I have to wonder. I think I read something about plans to improve admin capacities so people could create unique, playable stories for their characters. I wonder if a certain improvement in NPC relations will come automatically with that.
  14. Gun Junkie

    Gun Junkie Void-Bound Voyager

    You're right about fleshing out settlements - agree 100% that they're pretty much the most interesting places in the game and we need more variety. However, I'm not sure I like the idea of taking out an entire settlement in Alpha Sector only for the same faction to magically know about it in Beta... The Glitch settlements come to mind... They currently seem completely Medieval with little or no outside contact. For anyone to hear of an attack outside the system, let alone the world or settlement itself would be unusual. In that sense perhaps the focus should be more on settlement relationships and individual ones for that matter, like we've been suggesting. It seems more rational, at least in the current isolated state of every civilization in the game.

    I'll continue to push for individual/settlement relations since it should be only a little more work for better immersion than factions. Compare a game where factions dictate everything to one where you could convince even a single follower of an enemy faction to join your side... It feels too one-sided to kill every member of a race, and it would feel even worse to be forced to kill every member of a race or faction because of one encounter. I think of how I obtained my own home in-game, mistakenly killing a peaceful Avian in the heat of battle (The first peaceful NPC I ever encountered). I was desperate at the time and had only just landed on a new world. Under a faction system that one mistake would still be haunting me and I'd probably be forced to start a new character. (I'm playing as an Avian and do my best to avoid killing them). I don't like the barriers a faction system would set in place between races and I hate to think of becoming a pariah among the NPCs I want to get along with before I ever meet them.

    I think the devs can ultimately do us one better than rigid factions and put some real RPG elements into NPCs without leaving it to mods. I have ze faith.
  15. 8-BIT Gorilla

    8-BIT Gorilla Astral Cartographer

    Hard for it to be implemented, like others have commented, but if this were possible, in vanilla or in a mod, I would be happy. But I would not like the game to become a dating simulator of sorts. So maybe just Friendly -> Enemy would be suitable.
    Nonetheless, you have my support. +1
  16. Corbinsor

    Corbinsor Void-Bound Voyager

    Thank you, kind sir. I need some waking up :zzz:
  17. Locklave

    Locklave Phantasmal Quasar

    I support the creation of a Reputation System for towns/groups/cults/you name it and people in those towns having names and being more or less friendly based on your actions.
  18. Corbinsor

    Corbinsor Void-Bound Voyager

    Looks like it's ALMOST unanimous, everybody wants this implemented. Now, we need the devs' attention. Any ideas?
  19. Commander Benny

    Commander Benny Phantasmal Quasar

    maybe, just maybe, if you've got a good enough relationship with the person, you could ask them to follow you. maybe even hold/fight stuff?
  20. Kiyan

    Kiyan Void-Bound Voyager

    Well, I think it would go something more like this, if it was implemented:

    Positive- Kind Stranger, Helpful (fleshperson, birdman, light being, yada yada), Bleeding Heart, Local Hero, Urban Legend, Hero of Yore.
    Neutral Pos.- Stanger, Smiling stranger, Newcomer, Helpful hand
    True Neutral
    Neutral Neg.- Stranger, Devious thug, Gangster, Convict
    Negative- Hateful (person), Bleeder of Hearts, Cancerous Demon, Cynical Devil, Hell Incarnate

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