NPC Evolution (Challenges, NPC Trust, New gameplay loop)


#1

This one’s called ‘NPC Evolution’, because since they’re now here in their barebone state, I think we should push them further. Right now they’re idle and even idle are unresponsive statues, unless triggered. I’m going to introduce three ideas that in whole is one large idea.

NPC Evolution is about making some of them from each faction or survivor group set challenges and gain trust for these NPC’s to earn level rewards. Through this, you get a new gameplay loop entirely. The original first thought was introducing Bunker 666 and the Iron Church/Ljuset commune members in the game and let them be interactable NPCs that can be visited any moment and spoken to about crazy ways to kill machines. People without prompting create these challenges right now by themselves, without any benefit, except the fun factor. Moller PP Challenges, Magnus Challenges and some that are in the game’s challenge tree - Melee ones.

The idea now is to overhaul some things and introduce new rewards, which might be a bit of work, rather than plopping down an empty NPC and giving it an interaction trigger with couple challenges you can pick - like a mission. The current challenges are more permanent and would need to be pulled in with the NPC challenges, so this could eventually be divided in repeatable and permanent challenges.

[-------] Stage 0 - Basic improvement [-------]

:exclamation: Suggestion 0. Better NPCs

  • Request Add NPC idle states with voice lines that loop over and acknowledge a player enter the range. In a cluster of NPCs, give only one priority to speak - to avoid overlap.

[-------] Stage 1 - New NPCs and System [-------]

:exclamation: Suggestion 1. NPC Challenges - Interactable NPC.

  • Request Create cultist NPCs that have already been sighted in the game - Iron Church or Ljuset Commune, fully fleshed and with some idle lines. Make sure the introduction makes sense story-wise and slowly introduce this group as people that challenge each other, to eventually start challenging the player. The cultists hand out Challenges that can be anything from a repeatable one, to the ones that are on the actual challenges tree with the titles and other rewards. Regular rewards you can receive after finishing a challenge and returning is ammunition, weapons, attachments and regular loot pool items. The silly challenges that already exist in the game’s challenge tab with prestige would need to be pulled in to the cultist’s addition of challenges.
  • Actions Interact action. Interaction opens a menu of challenges, similar to a Warboard mission, but introduces conditions to reach, to count as a challenge complete. This counts towards a new XP bar that only has to show with challenges themselves done (to not become annoying). Filling an XP bar and gaining levels/trust, the player receives titles and newly designed attire. Attire can have multiple color states, from rubbish to cleaner clothing that you earn through to make implementation lazy for Developers.

[-------] Stage 2 - NPC Evolution [-------]

:exclamation: Suggestion 2. NPC Trust - Regions of presence

  • Request Just like Rivals in regions and their levels, create a Trust level for NPCs, if you do things for them. Expand from just silly challenges handed by cult members to Requests to be fulfilled from other NPC survivor groups - Ringfort, Bjortunet. Donating resources, clearing areas near them from enemies and handing weapons earn Trust. With Trust, the idle NPC states could change depending on your Trust level… Just hanging out near them. If you were to clear the machines around Bjortunet to keep it safe, you’d gain a trust level and they’d hand you wintery-themed goods - Titles, Winter clothing and returns for attachments/vision modules. With this, the area around the NPCs slowly improve to show a sense of progression. More boxes, or tidier places in each of the NPC camps after each level.
  • Actions Similarly to challenges given by Suggestion 1. Repeated requests may appear for some basic resources that the player might need.

[-------] Stage 3 - The perfect state [-------]

:exclamation: Suggestion 3. NPC Activity

  • Request Make these people appear in key locations and act on their own. This only a vague idea to give much of the creativity to the team, but if the NPCs showed their own strength in holding down areas of interest for them, with the player being able to see, interact and assist… creating actual purpose for the NPCs and giving them ‘beyond basic’ treatment. This may be anything for NPCs to encourage actual originality, so I’m leaving this suggestion vague.

This is how I see NPCs taken further, because from first introducing them in Alpine Unrest and now in FNIX Rising, nothing has really changed in them and it’s sad to see. If you were to make such a big move for NPCs, could’ve done a bit more for their idle states and now can definitely look for ways improving them. When the time and resources are available, consider improving this aspect, since you went through with it. Hope this is interesting :metal:


NPC Outpost's and bartering
New NPC charater's Shop Trading outpost
QoL Inventory / Gameplay flow / Option flow
#2

I would love to some kind of repeatable mission of some kind. It could help with end game exp gaining, with 2nd,3rd,4th characters. More lively npc’s would be great. And it would be cool if they moved around, and walked a bit. Now completing tasks for certain factions would be interesting, and story wise could be cool.


#3

It would be a nice thing to see some future content with Trading outpost with a NPC character to trade with , could make it 80’s to fit with game and have a special trader like ''Hanz ‘’ from Die hard or ‘’ john conner ‘’ from terminator to sell you guns and stuff , ah well go for it if you want to leave ‘’ shop trader ‘’ Ideas , down below , Yippe kia yay :+1:


#4

For myself i personally wouldn’t want NPC, as i think anything they could offer us could be better implemented as a thing for us to craft. I really think they were onto something for including a crafting system in GZ, and would factor in tons of immersive things instead of an npc where we would then need to acquire currency etc. but im also of the opinion that any idea thrown into gz is a good idea, as this game still in many ways is a blank canvas to be filled out with gameplay features such as NPC’s or crafting or what have you. :slight_smile:


#5

Hrm, what about instead of directly with NPC’s you could find ‘Trading Notes’ at safehouses left there by other survivors (probably not other players though like a game marketplace).

Kind of like the storage boxes, but you leave what someone else is asking for at the safehouse (e.g. simple medikits and smg ammo), and then a couple of in-game days later you can go back and they’ve left you whatever was promised in the trading note.

Have tiers of trading, allowing larger/higher-quality trades to spawn with certain groups/individuals after completing however much trade with them (trust building). Players could even be generous and over-deliver resulting in faster access to higher level trading or random gifts along with the promised reward/s.


#6

In my opinion NPCs could really ruin the atmosphere. Right now you feel like you’re all alone and there could be killer robots anywhere. Having a NPC behind a booth outside of a safe really messes that all up. Not only does it break the atmosphere it would be completely illogical if you got into a fight outside of a safe house and the NPC is just standing there offering you guns. Also NPCs just always seemed really fake to me, as it is hard to create a lifelike NPC. I’ve pretty much never seen a believable NPC in any game, and in gen zero a unbelievable character could really hurt the fragile balance they have going on.


#7

Well said the being alone or nearly alone (when playing co-op) feel is a key part of the atmosphere in this game. Sort of like Last Man On Earth (1964), The Omega Man (1971), I Am Legend (2007), The Last Man on Earth Anthology - Isaac Asimov or I Am Legend by Richard Matheson…Though none of these feature Mechs they all have a feel to them as this game does. It is a balance that this development team has pulled off well NPCs & such would I agree ruin that balance.
SPP


#8

Agreed. NPC’s especially a trading shop, would completely conflict with what is happening in the game. Couple questions:

  1. How are they safe?
  2. Where do they get their products?
  3. What are they doing with the money they collect?
  4. How are they safe?

None of those can be answered without breaking the ethos of the game.


#9
  1. It’s john conner robot expert so very safe

  2. They scavenger from out of town and bring in the goods

  3. They have a bank of bullets < ( Currency )

  4. Read first answer

Keep the ideas flowing and thanks :+1:


#10

It could work in game right now before any dlc hit by allowing people a trade option system.
Other than that atm it doesn’t work well due to story on the start and big island.
Maybe with the intro to future content it could by adding npc hiding in the islands as a retaliation plot.

I wouldn’t mind having a trade system like you find on game’s like Borderlands. But instead of trade it should be called barter since there is no money involved. Only straight bartering


#11

Totally into this BUT only IF:

The trading posts are in cargo containers, and they’re stocked with supplies that you can trade other supplies for - no money, just what you collect. You never see other people, only hacked robots assembled from Runner and Hunter parts, a different Frankenstein’s monster/robot in the containers who keeps track of the inventory. That’s who you trade with. It would be part of a network of supply containers put together by an underground faction of scientist-hackers who knew what was coming and built this in the hopes it would help any resistance that survived. Is anyone left to use it other than you? Part of the mystery.

Making them a non-verbal robot hacked for this purpose and assembled from spare and broken parts solves the issue of a silly NPC who always repeats the same lines and is oblivious to their surroundings.


#12

I also think that a trading outpost like in other games absolutly doesn’t fit to the game.
A bunker where one guys is hiding and standing behind a tabel waiting for someone to trade? Like there would be so many survivers that are able to deal with the machines to trade with him/her. That would be sooo unrealistic.
The idea of hacked and reused machines, like Unaha-Closp descriebed, is much better in my opinion.
Those machines could walk through the world without getting recognized as a thread and wouldn’t be attacked.
I like the idea of a runner


or a hunter or some Frankenstein bot made out of both that walks trough the world and waits for some time at certain points like military bases. There the player can interact with them. Since we don’t have a valid currency it should be bartering, like WarpigX9 said.
The easy way would be a list of items that the owner of the machine wants, similar to what NoMrBond said. For example first aid kits (would be the most logical item for persons in a save location). If we drop this item in it, like in the plundra, we could pick an item the machines carries like ammo or weapons/attachments.
The cooler way would be, that the machine has a working radio with which we could actually talk to the guy who hacked the machine and sits in the safe location. This would require a question and answer system to be implemented and if possible a voice for our character (not like in the Surge 2, I don’t like that my character talkes to other persons but doesn’t have a voice).
Both solutiones would be much less effort than a human NPC to interact. I share the same fear that ColdwarWHLO have, that they feel really fake.
It could also become very useful to have this feature if the crafting gets implemented, that tene mentioned. You could collect lots of stuff that is easier to find and trade it against stuff that is harder to get, espetially at the first half of the game were you cant deal as good with the FNIX enemies.


#13

love the idea that they walk around, with supplies strapped to them!


#14

Think about it: Does GZ really need NPC’s and Trading?

Does this fit into the game setting?
As someone said in a different post: GZ is a game more about guerilla warfare.
The same thing can be achieved through a crafting system. Which I personally think would fit much better in a game like this.


#15

I think having NPCs would take away from the atmosphere of the game. The sense of isolation and mystery would just be gone.


#16

It would be very cool with some sort of outpost’s scattered around the map that have NPC’s in them which you can barter with and get quest from!


#17

Several topics where players have requested more use for NPCs, merged into one, neat topic.

//Mod


#18

When the world is more fleshed out, perhaps when some time has passed and the Machines really have taken a foothold on the country, I could definitely see active NPC outposts. Could be cool to defend them and such. More quests/missions, like repeatable, would be very cool to see.


#19

Personally, I would like to have no more NPC’s added.

Reason: one of the unique features of this game was the lack there-off.
IF you got to hear an NPC, he got killed off at some point, brilliant.

For LONG I wondered, am I the only one?
How far is this going?
Is it the whole planet that’s overrun?
Will I ever see another face ALIVE?

That got extremely killed off by the first NPC’s introduced, and nearly made me quit the game, as this unique feature suddenly was destroyed.

I mean, think about it…
You’re racing around for any life form that is not a bird.
Survivors at X?
You head there to see more dead soldiers, maybe police, maybe a civilian.
You there learn, there might be at Y, you rush over there, to see a machine “standing over a fresh kill”.
You hear that radio message… cut off since a machine ended the caller’s life.

That was so amazing, so very Generation Zero…

And then someone figured to bring in NPC’s.

What would it be, that in the next DLC, you get called back to Hjimfall, to help the survivors fight of a new menace, but you just get there to see the hotel in ruins?
Then you’re called back to the FNIX outpost, to help those survivors… but the place is empty, not one person found, only a hint to a new part of map, where these are brought to for whatever reason.

But no matter what… all you get to see… more and much more dead people, or empty places.

That would restore the origins of GZ: the totally lifeless city deserts, inhabited with machines… and nothing but machines…

Are YOU the last one alive…?

But… that’s me.


#20

That same concept has been used in other games as well and it made the gameplay a lot better. To name the few that came to my mind: Subnautica, The Solus Project.

In those games, there were radio transmissions of survivors and some locations were set up like they were just recently abandoned (e.g burning campfire). This gave the player a hope that they are getting closer and closer meeting other people. But at some point (well into the game), the thought of you being alone started to sink in and as you advanced, the evidence showed gradually that you are completely alone in the game world.

This kind of concept gives hope in the beginning and once you’ve realized that you are alone, then the search for answers (where everybody go) begins.

I, personally, like this kind of concept more than the one we currently have in GZ. I’d rather be the last one alive, figuring out what happened with everyone else, than meeting others and running errands for them.