Npc hirelings and followers: Is this a good idea?


Pathfinder Online

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Question pertaining to the general economy of the game: Can we hire npcs to gather resources for/with players? It seems to make sense from the perspective of being able to do anything we could do in the TT, but it seems to destabilize the easy acquisition of power to people who can afford to hire a handful of workers to drag a cart around for them and gather resources for/with you. If the purpose of the game is to get players to work together over long periods of time to forge items and kingdoms and what-have-you, it seems like the gatherers have a leg up compared to the rest of the professions in that their tasks can be easily outsourced to some guy with a pick or axe. An alchemist can't have some npc right by him brewing the same potion he's making, nor can a blacksmith have some npc duplicating his efforts. Even if you could, the level of cost would have to be increased for them to have the level of crafter required, when gatherers only need menial laborers swinging tools and pushing carts, etc.

Then there's the leadership skill, which essentially give you free helpers. This one could be ok if the workers had to be applied to just settlement stuff in some ways, but it seems unrealistic to not be able to recruit them as workers from the simple logical perspective of that's what they are supposed to be there for.

Just some thought, kinda curious about other's opinions.

I'm not totally against the idea, I can just see issues stemming from it.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm not sure rendering them is a good idea as you'd have hordes of npcs and pc running around all the time.

I think work camps are effectively NPCs mining away for players and maybe Leadership improves the rate of these, though I'm not sure how Leadership will work, perhaps in formations, in settlements and maybe in work camps? Whether a few NPCs are rendered to represent them or not, I'm not sure.

The other side to it, is to not outsource gameplay that players should be involved in as part of niche of various economic acitivities to NPCs eg Hauling Business is very valid and some players should specialize in it.

There's been discussion on Bots previously and whether it would undercut them to provide players with some ability that mimics that. But it's not decisive. Partly the game design should mitigate eg camps will attract mobs so Bots would need PCs to defend those camps from Mobs and other players.

I think the low level players will start as gatherers so that is how settlements will have a demand for new players, which is a good system from that pov - and be paid for it: So settlements need to be run very economically and operations need to be profitable.

All these considerations are still not determined, but I think players will go out to the wilds for these functions and as a by-product conflict will occur, at least initially until a powerbase can be established and then contest other powers/settlements... ?

Goblin Squad Member

I like the idea of hiring a few NPCs to do menial jobs such as gathering ingredients. My character may well lean into the crafting role so I will probably require a great deal of material to work with.

Having PCs to go fetch 20 eye of newt is all fine and dandy, but only when they are online and willing to perform a boring and repetitive task for little pay (i.e. a considered fraction of the project profit). After a while, these PCs will level up and decide that eye of newt gathering isn't worth their while.

I would be happier being able to hire half a dozen of the local layabouts to keep me supplied with common ingredients. Even if this is abstracted in some way, using non-PC labour for gathering would be my preference.

Goblin Squad Member

I know star wars the old republic had crafting helper npcs you'd set to work to go fetch and also to work in your space ship. One of the bright spots of that game when I read about it. Again it's a decision on whether or not that is undercutting bots or if it's taking away valid gameplay connections from players eg specialists that go out to collect then get mixed up in all sorts of shanghaied conflicts!

Goblin Squad Member

Perhaps the NPCs could have some built-in deficiency that makes PC labour better when its available. An obvious one would be that they won't venture out into dangerous areas, but maybe they are also slow or not efficient gatherers or whatever.

Not bad enough to make them a waste of time, but enough to allow PCs to be worth hiring when possible.

Goblin Squad Member

For a game where providing meaningful player interaction is one of the main goals, I believe having NPCs run gathering errands will be like shooting yourself in the foot.

If there is a lack of gathered resources, players should see that there is a good opportunity to make a profit by going gathering. Instead of looking at your "follower task managment window" if you need a few eye of newt, I would suggest having to go to the player market would provide for a better game economy.

As I see it, the more players have to depend on interactions with other players (not necessarily directly, but at least through the market) to progress, the better it will be for the economy and for the game.

Goblin Squad Member

Sadly, that means a crafter might not be able to craft because no PCs are currently willing or able to gather a particular ingredient. Yes, I appreciate the idea of having a PC-led economy, but Players usually like to be doing something more interesting than gathering herbs. If there is danger involved then all well and good, but I don't see too many players specialising as carrot farmers.

The point is that an economy should have far more gatherers than crafters to work. Being a crafter is likely to be more interesting and profitable, so will be more popular than gathering or farming. Without NPC labour, I just don't see all the crafters will be served with the amount of base ingredients they need, and those that are will be forced to pay so much for the ingredients that the items they craft will have to be more expensive - leading to a rather unstable economy!

Goblin Squad Member

@Sadurian: I like idea of dogs or pigs for hunting truffles for sale at the best restaurants! That would work. Or even mushroom sniffers. Speaking of herbs, hmm, makes me want to create a potions maester...

In general I do like/love the idea of being a minion master. There's nothing more satisfactory than sending a swarm of AIs onto another player! You may get NPC workers in the form of undead if you're a necromancer who might/could be sent out to do gathering for free/tirelessly? That could work - with risks.

Goblin Squad Member

Sadurian wrote:


The point is that an economy should have far more gatherers than crafters to work. Being a crafter is likely to be more interesting and profitable, so will be more popular than gathering or farming.

Firstly, the economy can work no matter what relative number of crafters and gatherers by balancing the yield of resources over time for gatherers.

Secondly, if there should end up being a noticable shortage of gatherers demand vs. supply of resources will increase, thus the few gatherers that exist can have the crafters betting against each other for their resources. The natural endpoint of such a betting war will be quite close to the price where the crafters will make no profit from refining the resources into goods. Should this scenario ever occur, I would expect that quite a lot of players would want to make some quick money from doing a little gathering, until the prices go back down to the point where other activities are more rewarding.

I am planning to do a lot of gathering and if it turns out the way you describe it that there will be many crafters but few gatherers then I'll be very happy since I'll quickly end up rich as a troll. I don't think that will be the case though.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Avena is correct about the downside of having lots of NPC's running around. It would take resources away from other areas of gameplay and development. Additionally, and this is just my humble opinion, it would also negate the premise of PfO - a player character oriented sandbox, where you must rely upon others. DDO, as an example, gave in to pressure from loner-style gamers and allowed hirelings. All this did was made for a rather unsocial game. PfO is designed for a small, tight-knit community of players, unlike DDO. Soloing isn't a game style PfO should be accommodating. Yes, I do realize some people will have difficulty getting groups together, but if you look at the thread dedicated to seeing where people are in the real world, those posting (and they represent just a small fraction of those who backed the game) come from all over the world. I don't think it will be as had to find groups in PfO as it is in other, larger MMO's, simply because there will be fewer opportunities to group. While that sounds odd, let me explain - in larger MMO's any given player has many options to group, both with his/her friends, guild and PUG's. With a limited number of players, especially in EE, players will group with those he/she can, thus allowing for the greater likelihood that a group will form far more quickly than in other games. Smaller number of people means the more those people rely on each other, creating a more social game; one where player character friendships and rivalries can be fully explored, thus making for lots of RP possibilities.

Having hirelings/retainers available would allow people to bypass all of the things Paizo and GW want PfO to become - a vibrant living and persistent world where everyone has a role to play and a stake to claim in how things evolve. Additionally, hirelings in a PvP oriented game are a way for players to "game" the system, by hiring the most powerful NPC's they can, upsetting the game balance.

Better for the game as a whole, and therefore the players in general, to leave such things out of PfO until such time as PfO has grown to a point where they would have a minimal impact on game play.

Goblin Squad Member

Wurner wrote:
Sadurian wrote:


The point is that an economy should have far more gatherers than crafters to work. Being a crafter is likely to be more interesting and profitable, so will be more popular than gathering or farming.
Firstly, the economy can work no matter what relative number of crafters and gatherers by balancing the yield of resources over time for gatherers.

That's not how real economies work so there is no reason why it might work in PFO.

To use a US expression, Economics 101: A real economy is a triangle, with the base level workers at the bottom and vastly outnumbering the crafters, technicians and so on. Unless you have enough gatherers, the raw materials will become hard to get hold of and therefore vastly more expensive. If this happens then everything made of those materials becomes equally more expensive. Then the base level workers need to earn more to buy the finished goods. So they put up their prices for labour. So the materials are more expensive and the finished goods become more expensive, and so on. Runaway inflation.

Your example of becoming a gatherer to step onto this gravy train is an excellent example of how it might end up - the base level gatherers become insanely rich but nobody bothering to actually make anything because all the craftsmen have decided there is more money in gathering. This means nobody wants the raw materials any more so the price plummets. A sudden economic depression as prices for services are still insanely high but the gatherers can't earn enough.

Boom and bust - that is really not the way to run a stable economy!

Goblin Squad Member

Sadurian wrote:
Wurner wrote:
Sadurian wrote:


The point is that an economy should have far more gatherers than crafters to work. Being a crafter is likely to be more interesting and profitable, so will be more popular than gathering or farming.
Firstly, the economy can work no matter what relative number of crafters and gatherers by balancing the yield of resources over time for gatherers.

That's not how real economies work so there is no reason why it might work in PFO.

Yes, it's true that in the real world you can't change the amount of wood possible to extract from a single tree and how long it takes to chop down that tree just by changing numbers in a document.

In a video game though, you can. If Goblin Works wanted to (can't see why they would though) they could balance it so that one player can gather more wood in 5 minutes than 10000 crafters could use up over one whole year.

Goblin Squad Member

It doesn't seem this must be an either/or choice. The game could offer more than one way to gather resources. It could offer a hybrid offering improved efficiency where the player character manages operations. It could offer a less productive mode assigning hireling NPC workers gathering/crafting tasks while the PC is busy or offline. It could offer PC harvesting without NPC hirelings, especially in dungeons and other exotic locations.

What is better for the game? That should be the objective rather than which one way do we personally prefer.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
It doesn't seem this must be an either/or choice. The game could offer more than one way to gather resources. It could offer a hybrid offering improved efficiency where the player character manages operations. It could offer a less productive mode assigning hireling NPC workers gathering/crafting tasks while the PC is busy or offline. It could offer PC harvesting without NPC hirelings, especially in dungeons and other exotic locations.

My point entirely.

NPC drones could do the boring and less rewarding work, but not as well as the PCs. You then model a more realistic agrarian pseudo-medieval society but still with the PCs in control of the economy. The PCs can gather and craft better than NPCs, so you can play Farmer Jinty the Turnip Farmer with a fair degree of expectation that you will be the prominent local farmer, but where an area doesn't have those PCs willing to pay a monthly subscription to be a virtual lumberjack or fisherman, you have the NPC labour as a fall-back.

PCs are still better-bigger-faster, but the economy does not entirely depend on players wanting to be gatherers, nor on developers having to constantly check the virtual economy to update the game in order to balance the level of resources available.

Goblin Squad Member

I think that unattended NPC gatherers might often be at risk and more expensive than viable in the short and long term. Even flagging killers of such "handy servants" would not help much without a way for the employer to figure out "who" that killer was. Complications on top of complications...

Unless you are suggesting invisible and untouchable, in which case they would kill the PC gatherer business, all together.

Goblin Squad Member

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Gathering is one of the primary "conflicts" in PFO. NPC's gather, but the PC's have to set up the camp and defend them from monsters and other PC's. It hasn't been stated but I imagine they will be rendered in some way as they mine/gather so you can "protect" them. But gathering is supposed to be something the players have to actively go out and do.

Crafting, I understand, is done by NPC retainers in the safety of the settlements and will probably not be rendered. Not sure if they level or not.


This to me comes across as one of the

"This may be a problem and we can solve it this way" threads. To my mind we should wait to see if it is actually a problem before we start adding npc's we don't actually need into game.

I would note that eve which has a similar idea of a player driven economy certainly has no shortage of gatherer's

Goblin Squad Member

NPC gatherers would be fair game for NPC raiders as well as PCs from rival settlements.

That's why I was suggesting they would not be as useful as PC gatherers in dangerous areas. It's another way to make the PC gatherers stand out - they'll be the ones going into the Ghoul Swamp for red orchids. The NPCs would be the guys monotonously farming the immediate area for mushrooms or wood. A raid which killed or captured them would be as much a blow to the settlement as a raid which broke into the treasury because they become essential resources.

As for working out who killed them, there's a scenario hook right there. Was it a one-off raid? Are the local goblins getting too big for their boots? Has settlement X decided to start a war with you? That's if it wasn't obvious from the hordes of frothing bugbears ravaging your fields, of course.

Goblin Squad Member

ZenPagan wrote:
"This may be a problem and we can solve it this way"

Is that not what this forum is trying to do? Highlight potential problems and suggest ways to overcome them?

Goblin Squad Member

ZenPagan wrote:

This to me comes across as one of the

"This may be a problem and we can solve it this way" threads. To my mind we should wait to see if it is actually a problem before we start adding npc's we don't actually need into game.

I would note that eve which has a similar idea of a player driven economy certainly has no shortage of gatherer's

No I don't expect a shortage of gatherers because gathering is one of the primary types of "adventuring" in the game. If you want to slay monsters you have the escalations and you also have gathering expeditions into dangerous territories.

The boring chopping and mining animations are the NPC's, you are the guards fighting off monsters and other PC's.


@Sadurian

The forum is about crowd forging it is true. Certainly we should highlight what we see as problems with what is suggested, I was merely trying to point out that introducing complexity to solve a problem that is not likely to occur seems a bit preemptive.

Goblin Squad Member

Sadurian wrote:

NPC gatherers would be fair game for NPC raiders as well as PCs from rival settlements.

That's why I was suggesting they would not be as useful as PC gatherers in dangerous areas. It's another way to make the PC gatherers stand out - they'll be the ones going into the Ghoul Swamp for red orchids. The NPCs would be the guys monotonously farming the immediate area for mushrooms or wood. A raid which killed or captured them would be as much a blow to the settlement as a raid which broke into the treasury because they become essential resources.

As for working out who killed them, there's a scenario hook right there. Was it a one-off raid? Are the local goblins getting too big for their boots? Has settlement X decided to start a war with you? That's if it wasn't obvious from the hordes of frothing bugbears ravaging your fields, of course.

They haven't really gotten into farming, but the hints say that farming is a completely different system, part of the settlement system that makes your settlement more powerful.

Gathering and mining for the resources that the game is built around are done by expeditions of PC's.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Sadurian wrote:


Your example of becoming a gatherer to step onto this gravy train is an excellent example of how it might end up - the base level gatherers become insanely rich but nobody bothering to actually make anything because all the craftsmen have decided there is more money in gathering. This means nobody wants the raw materials any more so the price plummets. A sudden economic depression as prices for services are still insanely high but the gatherers can't earn enough.

Boom and bust - that is really not the way to run a stable economy!

The demand for raw materials is driven by the demand for finished goods; in this example, there is no drop in the demand for finished goods, and only some of the craftsmen change to gatherers. The supply of raw materials increases, the price drops to the new equilibrium (with some fluctuation), and the supply of finished goods rises to meet the demand. Meanwhile coin flows in roughly the opposite direction, which means that gathering must somehow be a coin drain- not in the sense that you have to buy stuff from other players, but in the sense that you destroy coin (or pay an NPC, or some such) in the process of gathering.

The triangle description only applies if each person higher on the triangle requires several below him; if one woodcutter can cut enough wood to supply three carpenters, who can each provide one-tenth of the volume moved by one furniture retailer, the population distribution ends up a much different shape.

Goblin Squad Member

If the price of finished goods rises because the raw material cost rises, do you not foresee that this will reduce demand? If, for example, a suit of mail costs 20gp one week but then becomes 60gp because the raw materials costs has risen by 300%, many players will find a cheaper way to get their armour than buying it from craftsmen.

Your assumption of a constant demand for goods may be flawed. Time will tell, of course, but it is something to be aware of.

I would also question why, in your scenario, only some of the crafters turn to gathering. If you are able to earn more by chopping wood than turning out spear hafts, it won't take many players long to figure out that they are financially better off destroying forests. You will also be left with fewer craftsmen and little competition, which usually leads to more price rises. Players are mercenary little buggers.

If your economic model is, as you suggest it will be, based on a smaller number of gatherers than a real-world economic model would suggest (which is, after all, possible for a fantasy computer game), then it will be interesting to see what happens if there is a sudden glut of gatherers.

Goblin Squad Member

avari3 wrote:

[...]NPC's gather, but the PC's have to set up the camp and defend them from monsters and other PC's. [...] But gathering is supposed to be something the players have to actively go out and do. [...]

Gathering by NPCs in this scenario (which we have been told will be an alternative to manually hitting nodes) is perfectly fine because as you say it still requires an active player defending the camp / playing some sort of supervisor minigame or whatever.

The sort of gathering going on in SWTOR on the other hand (mentioned earlier in this thread), where you just select the type of mats you want from a list and a follower appears a few minutes later with the stuff for you while you yourself are doing something completely unrelated seems like a bad fit for this game IMO.

Parallel paths of acquisition of goods or services from both players and NPCs are redundant and, I believe, bad for the game. In a game where gear comes from player crafting and not mob drops or dungeon tokens, crafting will be serious business. By extension, so will gathering (unless you trivialize it by outsourcing to NPCs).

Goblin Squad Member

Sadurian wrote:
...many players will find a cheaper way to get their armour than buying it from craftsmen.

As I understand it, the entire economy will be player-driven (we have as-yet no evidence of cash shop armour), so what cheaper ways are there? I seem to be having a failure of imagination.

Goblin Squad Member

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Sadurian wrote:
If the price of finished goods rises because the raw material cost rises, do you not foresee that this will reduce demand? If, for example, a suit of mail costs 20gp one week but then becomes 60gp because the raw materials costs has risen by 300%, [b]many players will find a cheaper way to get their armour than buying it from craftsmen[/b\.

The only other way to get it will be to make it themselves, which means there will be a greater supply of armor, driving down the costs.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Sadurian wrote:

If the price of finished goods rises because the raw material cost rises, do you not foresee that this will reduce demand? If, for example, a suit of mail costs 20gp one week but then becomes 60gp because the raw materials costs has risen by 300%, many players will find a cheaper way to get their armour than buying it from craftsmen.

Your assumption of a constant demand for goods may be flawed. Time will tell, of course, but it is something to be aware of.

I would also question why, in your scenario, only some of the crafters turn to gathering.

My basis for demand being constant is that we're simplifying the discussion by not having adventurers take up crafting or gathering; they consume roughly the same amount of armor regardless of how much it costs.

Only some of the crafters turn to gathering because they don't act simultaneously; one crafter sees that wood is now 100 coin/cord, and turns to gathering wood that he puts on the market for 95 coin/cord. Several more crafters do the same thing, and pretty soon the price drops to the point that it's just as valuable to buy and process wood as to gather and sell it. (At that point, there's no advantage to be gained from swapping from processing to gathering).

This all applies to the macroeconomy; if there's a market that can be dominated by a single person or consortium, prices will reflect that in that market.

Goblin Squad Member

In a game that has promised to provide a player driven economy and stresses player interaction, why would we be looking to replace the services of real players with those of NPCs? My take on this might seem a bit simplistic, but every time an NPC can be substituted for a player, we whittle away at the importance of having other players in the game. There are already far too many MMOs out there wherein every convenience has been provided in an effort to retain customers, but in so doing, these games have been converted into MSOs (Massively Single-player Online games) where the presence of other players has become nearly irrelevant.

Goblin Squad Member

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Hobs the Short wrote:
... where the presence of other players has become nearly irrelevant.

Worse. The presence of other players is more often than not actually detrimental...

CEO, Goblinworks

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The game design assumes that the world is full of people you never see - the Common Folk. They're akin to the Sims of SimCity; you see the results of their actions but not the Sims themselves.

You'll be deeply involved with the Common Folk. But you usually won't see them.

NPCs beyond that are likely to be nodes in infrastructure systems like questing and crafting, not mobile bodies that you can hire to do exclusive work on your behalf.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

From what I understand, an individual PC can gather a small amount of a resource, or set up a gathering camp, where a group of invisible Common People will scoop up larger amounts of resources.

Apparently, there will also be Common People in crafting workshops, so each iron ingot won't have to be poured by a PC, then beaten into a sword by a PC, etc. In workshops, PCs will act more like supervisors, telling the Common People what to make next.

What I'm not clear on is whether there will also be a possibility for a PC to personally produce individual items, the way that PCs can gather small amounts of raw materials.

I can see leaving the smithing of 50 ordinary swords to my invisible apprentices and journeymen, but when it's time for me to create something really special, like a Holy Avenger sword, I think I'd like to take matters into my own hands.

Maybe we could have batch processing automated by Common People, but one-off item creation performed by PCs. Maybe mass production could be used to make items with "default" keywords, but PC crafting could allow more keyword customization.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Given the PnP mechanics and balance issues, I think that it's more likely that more assistants will be needed to produce higher-quality items.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
NPCs beyond that are likely to be nodes in infrastructure systems like questing and crafting, not mobile bodies that you can hire to do exclusive work on your behalf.

Thank you, that's pretty much what I was thinking of. It doesn't matter that they are not modelled, as long as someone/thing is present to do the work.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Given the PnP mechanics and balance issues, I think that it's more likely that more assistants will be needed to produce higher-quality items.

You may be right about that. From that perspective, maybe it would make more sense for PCs to start out doing their own crafting of simple items "by hand", then move up to running a workshop for more advanced items.

Goblin Squad Member

In a game where "industry" is a constant thing and even those of us who aren't that wild about crafting will be expected to pitch in. I hope it's as painless as possible. Spare me as many animations as possible and make the spreadsheets easy to use.

I do like the idea of logging in with an app off my ipad and getting that stuff done when I have a break instead of using my precious game time on that.

Goblin Squad Member

Has anyone given any thought to possibly having the "NPC's" be "PC's" that aren't logged into their character? I know Age of Wushu is doing something like this. If your "offline" job is a guard for town Bob, then when you log out in town your character would start patrolling the town...or climb into a guard tower. That way you'd still be earning your pay for defending the town but you wouldn't have to do it while you're logged in wanting to go explore.

Just a thought to limit the number of NPC's mucking about.

Goblin Squad Member

Korvak wrote:

Has anyone given any thought to possibly having the "NPC's" be "PC's" that aren't logged into their character? I know Age of Wushu is doing something like this. If your "offline" job is a guard for town Bob, then when you log out in town your character would start patrolling the town...or climb into a guard tower. That way you'd still be earning your pay for defending the town but you wouldn't have to do it while you're logged in wanting to go explore.

Just a thought to limit the number of NPC's mucking about.

The idea has been discussed a bit. Nihimon and I were in the minority for it, others countered with practical and technical considerations.

Goblin Squad Member

Korvak wrote:
Has anyone given any thought to possibly having the "NPC's" be "PC's" that aren't logged into their character?

Yes! Yes, I have!

Keep characters in-world at all times, even when players are logged off?

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Keep characters in-world at all times, even when players are logged off?

Just like EVE ships when off-station.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

I'd actually find it rather creepy for my character to be wandering around acting under someone else's (the gane's) control when I'm not online, just so there are "warm bodies" onscreen. As an option, sure; but even if a bonus were offered for doing it I'd prefer to have an opt-out.

Goblin Squad Member

Color me curious.

Goblin Squad Member

Deianira wrote:
... just so there are "warm bodies" onscreen.

Well, to be fair, that's not really the justification for it.

Goblin Squad Member

avari3 wrote:
Color me curious.

Since you asked... :)

1. We would be able to restock our supplies of things like potions and scrolls, or even breastplates for our shop - all the kinds of things you gloss over at the tabletop by saying "I have 10 days of downtime, that's enough time for me to make yada yada yada".

2. We would be able to serve as "quest givers" and merchants.

3. We would be accountable for our actions because we couldn't just log out and evade any possibility of retaliation. If we took refuge in a Settlement, at least someone has a chance of knowing which and holding them accountable, too.

Naturally, there would be problems that would have to be solved, like how to deal with disconnects or emergencies where you don't have time to get back to a safe spot.

Goblin Squad Member

I think it's a great idea. In Age of Wushu you can be kidnapped while you're logged out, hehehe.

I really think the upside to being constantly in game out weighs the downside. Merchants would actually become the "Face" of their business...not some NPC standing in your store. All the hum-drum down time details of running the business could be done while offline (and even managed offline if they have the same thing as some recent games with apps). It would vastly increase accountability...because you could always be found.

I vote yes to this proposition.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Jazzlvraz wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
Keep characters in-world at all times, even when players are logged off?
Just like EVE ships when off-station.

EVE doesn't do that. Your ship will "warp out" if you're out of combat when you log.

Goblin Squad Member

Korvak wrote:

I think it's a great idea. In Age of Wushu you can be kidnapped while you're logged out, hehehe.

I really think the upside to being constantly in game out weighs the downside. Merchants would actually become the "Face" of their business...not some NPC standing in your store. All the hum-drum down time details of running the business could be done while offline (and even managed offline if they have the same thing as some recent games with apps). It would vastly increase accountability...because you could always be found.

I vote yes to this proposition.

Where the debate would be very strong on this concept, is the appropriate consiquences when you are killed offline. I mean we are talking something around 75% of your equiped items lost on death under normal circumstances. Which is both too much for those who don't anticipate the issue, and too little for those who do.

IE when leaving town, there is the balance between being ineffective, vs putting too much at stake... With an NPC AI... you can pretty much count on being ineffective, and thus should always dump everything into storage, at which point... there's no death penalty, and no benefit or reason for anyone to find you.

If for some reason you do have gear loss or some significant penalty... that is a tad too frustrating... From a players perspective, it is pretty much never fun to lose things with no active defenses possible.

Goblin Squad Member

Korvac wrote:
Has anyone given any thought to possibly having the "NPC's" be "PC's" that aren't logged into their character?

And so, "It" rose from the ashes again...

So far, there are "zero" concrete plans for personal "shops". They are kind of redundant with local auction houses and local "shout" selling.

If this is still the plan:

Ryan Dancey wrote:
The actual production process for all crafting involves going to a crafting facility, selecting the recipe you want to make, and selecting which of your components you want to use for the production. Once you've locked everything in, a crafting timer begins counting down (likely adjusted based on building upgrades, the number of people using the building, and other settlement features). For long productions, there may be intermediary events that encourage you to check in on your project from time to time....

Leaving the game during the crafting might kink the process and also the turn order. If there are limited crafting slots, as there are training....

Accountability could simply be solved by making "timers" only active during logged-in periods rather than complicating things with automaton PC toons hanging around.

Administrators/Commanders would be especially vulnerable if they were persistent 24/7.

On the pro side: GW could save on NPC illustrating, animations, and naming. ;)

Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:
Where the debate would be very strong on this concept, is the appropriate consiquences when you are killed offline.

You can serve as a "Guard" for your Settlement, in which case you'll want to be well-equipped.

You might log out in the wilderness, in which case your gear might be helping you remain hidden.

But yes, the current rules for looting player character husks would have to be reconsidered if player characters could be killed while the players were offline. However, it's fundamentally the same problem you have when a player character is killed right as an electrical storm shuts down his power.

One possible solution might be: the husk remains for 5 minutes; all threaded gear stays with the character and is never on the husk; if the husk is looted , all unlooted items are immediately destroyed; if the husk is not looted, the unlooted items are placed in escrow until the player logs in, at which time the husk is recreated at the location of death, with the unlooted items present, and a fresh 5 minute counter during which only the player may loot the items.

Goblin Squad Member

Bringslite wrote:
So far, there are "zero" concrete plans for personal "shops".

That sounds a little more absolute than I think is warranted.

Before we can talk about independent shops or bazaars we need to get at least this level of functionality implemented first, so until all of that content is deployed, we won't be Crowdforging on the question of what else to do with markets.

Ryan is saying "let us get this other thing done first, then we'll talk". He's not saying "that's not gonna happen".

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