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Recently a discussion was brought up about NPC's and how simple or complicated they might/will be in the PU and later iterations within SQ42. Here's a list and documented sources based off the ideas that CR has, and actual plans to be implemented into the game(s) • " Some stuff about the subsumption-AI saying NPCs might have hobbies and a virtual mind, allowing them to remember the player or be influenced in his opinions by the player. To avoid performance issues, they seemingly control the update cycles for NPC AI based on player proximitiy i.e. update cycles go to 1hz instead of 60hz if no one is around. source: http://www.gamespot.com/forums/system-wars-314159282/pc-games-shows-off-star-citizen-procedural-planet-33296495/ • Yes [to] NPCs as crew members. You'll see a guy in the extra seat [in the Constellation], rather than just a computer.” “There are going to be NPCs that are a little smarter than others, just like people. You'll be able to hire better pilots, there are going to be ratings. It will cost you more if you want to have an ace NPC character. Just like us, the reputation system is going to be global. NPCs will be on that, too.” source: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/28241328 @12:15 • the idea is that NPCs will have several character traits that will influence their behavior, so that the decisions each NPC takes during the combat will depend on several elements.Mission specific goals are also going to be very important, so if NPCs must defend an objective, then they will probably try to do it until they die.Normal combat scenarios, instead, will depend on several variables, some of which being the character traits (for example the level of their military training, their discipline, their aggressiveness, ...), the environmental situation (is the character in zero-g, is the character piloting a ship, does the character have access to specific weapon around him, ...)We are planning to build different layer of complexity in both idle and combat scenarios, trying to give personality to the NPCs and create always more believable behaviors.So to recap you can expect to see NPC behaviors growing with time in the direction you have described, the characters will try to survive and not just fight with the enemies, they will try to call reinforcement, they might be in situations in which they panic or escape and so on. • iI always find it a bit confusing when I talk about radio chatter, battle chatter, and in general AI communication with other people because often different games use the same terms to refer to slightly different things.What I can tell you is that our NPCs will communicate between each other (also using radio if they have them equipped in their armor, helmets, etc.) and in general there might also gonna be background radio chatter whenever radio-receivers are present. • F.E.A.R. is one of my favourite games ever, especially because the experience with the AI is so satisfying thanks to the proper communication of the NPCs behavior intentions and the understanding of the player's actions to the player itself.Regarding the communication in general, we are designing the NPCs behaviors to basically have the ability of triggering pertinent information about two main things1) What the NPC behavior is trying to achieve (so that the players can understand and learn how to react to the enemies)2) What the player is doing (so that the NPCs can actually comment on the action the player is performing like using specific items, standing next to specific recognizable elements of the map, and so on) source: https://forums.robertsspaceindustries.com/discussion/324301/ai-bots-npcs-enemies-etc/p2 • As NPCs do a job more, they’ll improve their skillNPCs have hidden background stats, and as they perform more, their stats will increaseThis won’t be as complex as a full-on RPG, but it’ll be enough to give skill levels and allow for skill improvement concerning NPCsA Pioneer is the closest thing to someone who just wants to see what’s out there and go exploring source: http://imperialnews.network/2015/02/pu-townhall-panel-1-transcript/ • On the system design side, we’ve started work on the AI Crew Skills & Stats system which governs how good an AI is at doing a specific job and how players can improve their AI Crew at fulfilling specific tasks. In general, no two AI should be the same. Some will be better at shooting, tactics, or special weapon use while others might be better as an engineer or a tactical officer on your ship. The idea is to get players to carefully choose their crew, train them in order to improve specific qualities and take care of them, making sure they don’t die or get injured during operations. source: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/15444-Monthly-Studio-Report • source: http://imperialnews.network/2016/08/around-the-verse-episode-3-03/ • NPC organizations: merchant's guild, mercenary's guild, Advocacy, UEE militia, etc. They all operate using the same system and set of rules, and we envision a number of scenarios where players will need to join multiple groups. Orgs in the game will be able to set their own rules for membership, including limiting other alliances... but we absolutely need the option for multiple Org memberships in the game. source: https://forums.robertsspaceindustries.com/discussion/comment/1577269/#Comment_1577269 • " We haven't thought much about this yet. In my opinion, player/NPC romance in an MMO is a little... uh, skeevy. It's a little strange having a computer girlfriend. Also, the path to the relationship is always so artificial... if you talk to a lady enough times, she's yours! As for player romance, I'm sure that'll happen and that we'll build systems with that in mind. " source: http://www.partedveil.com/index.php?p=108&dev=Wcloaf • For Squadron 42 or the Persistent Universe? For S42, we're still in the process of working out the mechanics around cultivating relationships and there have been discussions as to whether we could implement romantic avenues to pursue. • There has been talk of letting previous characters 'retire' and then seeing them wandering around your hangar... • The UEE offers governmental recognition for interpersonal unions, ie marriage, for people who want to share property and other certain legal rights. While legal unions are still common, the social expectations varies from planet to planet according to local customs and mores. (Could this also apply to NPC's? Just have to wait and see) • We are not quite ready to talk about Alien relationship structures yet (though we have been thinking about it), but as for inter-species marriage in the UEE, Tevarin and Human interpersonal unions would be fine since Tevarin are part of the Empire, however things become a little hazier when it starts to involve beings who are not governed directly by the UEE and intergovernmental contract and tax law starts coming into play. We still need to work out the details on other species becoming UEE civilians. source: http://www.partedveil.com/index.php?query=romance Thanks @AstroJak: • source: http://imperialnews.network/2015/10/10-designers-episode-06/ • source: http://imperialnews.network/2016/03/10-for-the-chairman-episode-78/ • NPC use needs to be limited. No personal armies.(5:14:17 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: And however NPC’s are implemented, there’s going to be limits to what you can do with them.(5:14:32 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Don’t expect a giant NPC-driven spacefleet per person.(5:15:45 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Private armys would be terrible for the games long term health. source: http://imperialnews.network/2015/08/devchat-august-18th-25th/ Most of this info are ideas and game implementations that we've already known. It will be interesting to see during 3.0 how the AI system is going, where we can see it leading to in the future If there is anymore information or things you would like to add, please do. This topic can be reserved for NPC updates and features later on.
Let's post our ideas for Star Citizen. The galaxy's a huge place, full of curiosities and splendor! Please be polite and have fun, while we discuss in detail the additions we want to see in SC. Constructive criticism is always welcome, keep it friendly... Here are a few ideas I will start us off with: -Planets- Planets should have highly varied biomes and environments. These should include ocean planets, desert worlds, jungle moons, cavernous lands, ice planets, swamps, (and a personal favorite) lava worlds! It would be cool to have various atmospheric conditions, such as excessive heat or cold or toxicity, even radioactivity, which could have specified suits designed for protection from those environments (without which players would perish!). Planets should also definitely have varying levels of gravity, some with no gravity at all, and some with intense gravitational pull and pressure, suit required. Gas giants would be really cool, where traversing the upper atmosphere would be OK. There could be floating outposts, etc. Then moving too close to the core could crush most ships... Also would be cool to see asteroid-based outposts, with subterranean areas. -Weather- Weather should factor in on at least some planets, but not all. Some planets should remain placid, while others could have weather cycles such as: sandstorms, blizzards, high winds, etc. It would also be interesting to have electrical/radiation storms where again, special shielding would be required to survive. Another interesting addition would be meteor showers, perhaps not damaging to the player in most cases... Of course, the most intense weather should be on planets with lesser city-populations. There should also be 'weather' cycles in space the likes of radiation/electrical storms, where ships' shields would be rendered ineffective. Perhaps here or there, a neutronic wave front (Star Trek, Ahem)! Deadly nebula! -Ships- The ships so far are absolutely bad-ass. Can hardly put it into words just how right they look and feel. I do have one minor issue to discuss regarding player immersion: Planetary entry/re-entry seems a bit off... It feels somewhat awkward orienting the ship into a nose-dive and then accelerating toward the planet. While that should still be an option for entry, it seems lacking, if it's the only way. Players should be allowed to let their ships drift slowly downward towards the surface (with a horizontal orientation relative to ground), all the while getting pulled to greater and greater speeds due to gravity. Currently it seems as though there is no gravity, requiring ships to nose-dive and hit the thrusters. The level of gravity should also have effects on how quickly ships take off, and how much fuel is consumed. Also some of the more lightweight craft should be capable of water-landing and flotation, some, not all. -Weaponry- Weapons are also looking pretty nice, and I can't wait to hunt some bounties and pirates with the Scourge Cannon! Turrets on ships are awesome and so are the weapons additions to the ships main systems. Weapons turrets on ships should not be automated. Automation would detract from the challenge of the game, and we never want that! Instead the player should be able to either hire NPCs or other players to man different positions aboard their ship. Also it seems some of the infantry firearms are being slightly 'overdone', so to speak. For example the Devastator shotgun seemingly has way too much level of detail and unnecessary bulk added to it. My suggestion is to lean more on the side of realism. I know it's Sci-Fi. Still I hope devs don't get hung up on making things like fancy-diamond-encrusted-platinum-laser cannons with under-barrel flame throwers..! It would be amazing to see (in rare cases), Orbital Weapons Platforms that could, if accessed, rain supreme firepower down on the planet's surface, destroying small outposts, structures or towns... Of course it would be necessary to make accessing it an extreme challenge. Accessories are nice. But keep away from over-extravagant weapon design. -Exploration- Exploration should be the fundamental, key point of the game. While some may argue that it is space battles, I tend to disagree. With so many space craft, vehicles and weapons, the gameplay will quickly become boring and the equipment redundant if there is not a vast amount of exploration. Here are a few thoughts on aspects of exploration: Artifacts, Flora and Fauna. Scattered throughout the verse there could be a plethora of different types of Artifacts to be found, only through rigorous exploring. There should be ancient ruins with old alien technology, perhaps rare weapons. There should be Obelisks and Pyramids and rare trinkets that could be sold or held as trophies. There could be mysterious devices, like the Orbs in Mass Effect (the first game) with strange properties. There could be alien tech that could be found and then saved for use at a far later date. Regarding Flora and Fauna, there could be a huge variety of harvesting options for certain crafting items. There really ought to be many creatures, perhaps mostly neutral/friendly. However some animals, in rare cases could turn out to be hostile, and highly challenging to face. Perhaps giant worms, or insectoids! Another thing could be infected worlds, or derelict ships (think Dead Space, or The Thing) where your only choice is to fight for survival or run for your life. There should also be intact derelicts. We've seen plenty of demolished ones. Some should be intact, abandoned in space, or even on land. Exploration should not, and I can't stress this enough, should not stem solely or mostly from missions! Let the missions be vast and varying in type by all means, a multitude of missions is always welcome. But please don't conflate missions and side quests, with exploration. -Armor & Apparel- The armor should of course have good variety. Weight should factor in, which I believe it currently does. Also there should definitely be highly specialized suits for specific tasks. Of course there'll be a space suit for EVA in outer space, but adding other specializations for other armor sets/suits would be great too. There should be a set more suited for enduring intense heat, or cold or radiation. There should also mostly be non-EVA capable sets IMO. Body armor should not be conflated with EVA suits, and they should for the most part be separate, with a few exceptions. It would be cool to see a lot of options other than simple armor for combat and space suits for EVA. One thought would be a stealth-suit with either quiet movement or even invisibility. Mostly I'm hoping it will prove an actual challenge to obtain armors, so that everyone isn't immediately buffed just after they begin playing. Let there be lots of varying, quirky outfits to be found. -Miscellaneous- NPCs for hire or available as crew members should use a rating system the likes of the one used in Metal Gear Solid V. They could have a certain class of career like 'linguist' or 'gunner' or 'medic', and within that specialty a certain set of ratings. Players should be able to activate distress beacons (false or genuine). If a player's ship is captured, they should be given the option to fight aboard the enemy ship in order to escape (think Han Solo and co, the capture of Millennium Falcon!). Where are all the AIs? This is the future after all... There should be robots of some kind or another, even perhaps a sentient machine race! There should also be a minimal amount of spawn/respawn actions. I realize this is counter-intuitive, given there's a massive universe to traverse. But it will add to the replay and return-to-game value; if people can easily spawn their ships and/or fast travel around it will make things overly-easy. It's nice that there's a wait-timer for summoning ships (at least destroyed ones). However, if a ship is not at the station at which you are staying, it should take time to arrive near you, and there should be a fuel cost and fee. Having all your ships easily at your fingertips will take away from the immersion and challenge of the game. It should also be more challenging IMO, to acquire cash. Gaining millions of credits should take a very long time. The quicker people progress in the game, the quicker the MMO will die. I don't believe there should be a 'difficulty setting' option. The universe in general should prove pretty damn challenging, with areas of extreme and lesser challenges. Some mini-games would also be cool, so long as they remain within the Persistent Universe. Game modes are a bad idea. It's understandable at this point, given there are players currently in the game who want something working. But later on, when development is (mostly) "complete", having different game-modes will detract from the main MMO. All hoverbikes should remain as hoverbikes, and not be turned into flying-space-hoverbikes! Please remove the flight-function for hoverbikes. Having flight for them is ridiculous and totally misses the point of a hoverbike. While I do agree that they should have some (slight) altitude control and perhaps a jump/boost, they should not be able to simply fly away, especially up into space. A hoverbike is like a speeder from Star Wars, it's not for flight; only for elevated, fast, ground travel! This goes for all ships and vehicles; if they have a specialty let them stick to that specialty, no blurring lines, except perhaps in rare cases.
Between all the ships in single player hands and considering the additional manpower needs of multi-crew ships, one means of addressing the staffing issue presented by multi-crewed ships is buying multiple packages... Another is hiring NPCs in the PU... Which strategy is better and why? What are your thoughts on the topic? How many "ship packages" (NPC's) are people thinking of picking up...? What plans do your have to meet the staffing needs of multi-crewed ships? I am trying to identify the number of packages to pick up. Or whether to just hire NPCs in the PU in order to perform "solo" missions in a multi-crewed ship... (e.g. Me flying my multi-crewed ship that is crewed by NPCs). Granted that a multi-crewed ship manned with NPCs will be less effective and more at risk than one manned by players... I was considering low risk (UEE Space hauling/mining). Thanks in advance for your thoughts... Piece Out