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Non-Player Characters

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

Non-Player Characters, NPCs for short, are the canonically intelligent (and ai-controlled) beings players interact with in Elyria, mostly comprised of the Children of Mann.

Types of NPCs[edit | edit source]

Not all types of NPCs have necessarily been disclosed yet, but the following four make up most NPCs by a large margin:

NPC AI[edit | edit source]

Ref.:[1]
CoE's NPC AI system is not Artificial Intelligence as it is commonly known. The NPC won't learn from your patterns and adjust accordingly. However, they are adjusted to behave in a more believable fashion. NPCs will be more aware of their environment, take in more inputs, and are able to make more complex, more informed decisions as a result. CoE NPCs differ from normal NPCs. Regular NPCs are programmed to use paths and along predetermined algorithms that make them more predictable and less real-seeming as a result. CoE's NPC's have memory and their behaviors can change based on what they know. They'll behave differently in depending on who you are, your reputation, tribe, family, any organizations you're apart of, and etc. They will also behave differently depending on their own needs and goals, mixed with their personalities. Finally, they change their behaviors based on all the above, modified by their sense of the environment and response to what's going on around them. So while there is routine for things, this combination leads to a feeling of unpredictability and results in seeming more real to players.

An example would be: If a normal NPC shop owner's neighbor was brutally murdered within their sight, the NPC would continue business as normal. If the neighbor of an NPC shop owner in CoE were brutally murdered within their sight, the shop owner might fight, might run away, or might take another different action based on their own motivations, what they know of the murderer and the murdered, and other factors.

Additionally, CoE's NPC AI will be consistently updated as time passes as part of the post-launch maintenance, a mode which will also include modifications to the story engine to make it capable of creating new and different story arcs.

NPCs in the World[edit | edit source]

Ref.:[2]
Soulbound has said they plan to seed the world with 100K characters per server, so the ratio of PCs to NPCs will depend on how many humans join the game. They estimate that at the start it will be closer to 30K humans and 70K NPCs, but that will change over time.

There will be NPCs who hold towns where no player has been, so that as the players explore new, uncharted lands they will encounter established communities. NPCs will also help fill out roles in player-run cities. NPCs can create quests for characters - for example, an NPC shopkeeper may have a contract available for a player to bring them supplies.

NPCs in CoE have attitudes and personalities. Depending on the situation they may or may not listen to you. The better your reputation with the NPC and how well you frame your request, the more likely they are to do as you ask.

  • Players can attempt to hire NPCs, but depending on pay, the NPC can always refuse.
  • Players will be able to issue commands to NPCs (including "kill on sight"), who may or may not comply.

NPCs will differ in strength & skill, but that won't necessarily be apparent (ie, no visible levels). As a result, players will need to evaluate who they hire using recommendations, tests, or reputation.

It is against the law (but still possible) to kill NPCs (or players), whether it is on your land or not.

NPC Family Members[edit | edit source]

Ref.:[3]
Players may have children by completing a Child Contract with another player or a willing NPC. The resulting child will begin as a baby, and the player will watch the child grow and develop for their first 15 years. At age 15, the child is eligible to be designated as the player's heir.

Players can marry NPCs, though these marriages will have fewer advantages than marriages between players. "Wooing" the NPC will use the fame/reputation system, as well as mechanics such as giving/receiving gifts. Players cannot soul bind an NPC spouse.

If a player (during character creation) joins a family with NPC members, those NPCs will have codes that help control which other players can inhabit them.

  • If both parents are NPCs, their NPC codes automatically become "locked" to that player. The player can share a locked code with friends, or use it themselves to become a Non-Traditional Character (NTC).
  • If both parents are NPCs, the player can see the NPC codes for all siblings, and any nephews/nieces/cousins that have NPC parents. These NPCs are not "locked," however. Thus, the player can give out the code to friends but cannot prevent other players from taking over the NPC as a NTC.
  • Players can lock the NPC codes for any children or grandchildren that are not the children of another player, in order to create a chain of inheritance. Locking one child will automatically lock its entire lineage.

Communication[edit | edit source]

The expectation is that you'll be able to instigate conversation, or receive a request for conversation from an NPC and then use selected messages and topics in order to communicate.[1]

NPC Death[edit | edit source]

NPCs suffer instant permadeath when killed, that is they are gone forever.

NPC children under the age of 15 cannot be killed and can only be incapacitated.

NPC permadeath will be changed in some way in the future, details unknown.

So, while I can't give any details yet, please understand we're aware of the effect that bringing back NPC family members has on PvP, Griefing, etc... and we will have a solution for it at some point. Trust us to think carefully through the problem and not slap on something that doesn't make sense.
~ Caspian[4]

Notable NPCs[edit | edit source]

See: Lore Characters

NPC Organizations[edit | edit source]

NPCs can be running organizations. Noteworthy and known NPC organizations are listed on the page on organizations.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Serpentius, CoE Discord tag, ##01.13.2019#NPCs/AI/Death/Exposition/Culture#, 13 January 2019
  2. Soulbound Studios, We're video game developers at Soulbound Studios. AMA!, 27 May 2016
  3. Caspian, Down the rabbit hole..., 8 August 2016
  4. |Caspian, Post #138 in thread: I really don't like this change..., 12 December 2016