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Thursday, June 22, 2006

What is a good game? Part VIII

Last time we started discussing how our PvE, or player vs. environment, system will work. Specifically we spoke about the AI system our NPCs, or mobs, will be using during combat. We also mentioned our “mob feelings” or fame/infamy system a little; we shall expand upon that more in this article.

Every NPC in Ilyrias will hold feelings towards you whether they like or dislike you. This will be determined by many different things, such as quests and combat. It will also affect many quests, as well as having a large effect on the AI system used for combat.

While fighting an NPC, they will start to dislike you more and more. Something that really upsets them is healing people that they are fighting, and rightly so. This aspect is fairly obvious, and there isn’t too much to it. For those of you that have played World of Warcraft, you should recognize this type of system.

Certain quests can also effect how an NPC feels towards you, obviously handing a man his dead son would not make him like you. Rescuing the princess would probably make most of the people in that kingdom have strong feelings for you. Depending on an NPCs feelings for you, quests could open up (or be cut off) and prices could raise/lower in certain areas. If the majority of a village or city dislike you, you might find yourself branded an enemy and thereby cut off from most activities. In the same light, by doing things to make the people feel better towards you, you could end up an ally and receive discounted prices in their stores.

We mentioned that this plays into PvE combat right? If an NPC REALLY likes you, they will basically ignore you in a room. That is of course unless you start beating on them. If they decide to change their main target, the more they dislike you, the more they will choose to target you. If you’ve made it on to their personal “kill on sight” list, not only will they ALWAYS target you, they will attack you on sight (even if they are not normally aggressive).

We feel these types of systems will help make a more immersive world, and therefore a more enjoyable game. By making your actions have a profound effect on how NPCs react to, and treat, you things should be far more dynamic and interesting. Now NPCs are not mere punching bags, but they are almost living beings. Of course, this fame and infamy system only affects sentient beings.

Persistent Realms LLC Development Team for Ilyrias, the Aegadian Isles.
Contact us via comments or visit our forums.


Anonymous Fearion said...

Will all sentient mobs react that way? A "gnome child" npc might not want to attack you, even if you've beaten their organization for years.

3:50 PM  

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