COMMUNITY - FORUMS - GENERAL DISCUSSION
The Impact of Killing NPC's
+7

This topic came up in another thread created by Takeda_Shinukage, and I thought this subset of the discussion could use its own thread, based on the legitimate concerns it brings up. I am going to repost my original response:

@Takeda

I appreciate you taking the time for a detailed response - I always enjoy discussion with you. I may not always agree, but at least I can expect a thought out explanation.

The reason I listed the various "underlying issues" that have been generated in this discussion about "zerg prevention" is that I think, based on how this thread has meandered, is that the core issue at hand is not whether large gaming communities will have too much impact, or that "zerging" will be an issue, but rather that the impact of killing NPCs in a town, and that death is permanent for them, may be too harsh.

I don't believe community size, or "zerging" is the issue is because this (i.e killing all the NPCs in a town) does not necessarily need a large community to accomplish.

If it is a small settlement, this might be done with 10 players that know what they are doing. If it is a larger, or better protected settlement, it might take more.

This entire discussion about "zerging", supply lines, logistics, whether or not people will choose a "scorched earth" style of combat, the "reward for inequalities", etc. are all secondary to the core issue:

Should players be able to destroy a town - NPC's included?

This is a very complex issue (in my opinion), and almost warrants its own thread.

  • On one hand, it plays into the realism of the game. As Caspian has described it, he fully intends this to be a game of risk vs reward, with real consequences, and no guarantees in regards to lands/titles/possessions. In this light, being able to wipe out all the NPCs and burn a town to the ground makes sense.

  • On the flip side, as @Takeda has pointed out, it may be entirely too easy for zergs/suicide squads/trolls/griefers/strategic players/whatever you want to call them to accomplish. What if a dedicated team of 10 assassins simply decided to sneak into a down with the sole purpose of killing all the NPCs? You wouldn't even need to kill all of them. In an NPC heavy town, simply sneaking in and killing all the farmers in their sleep would be enough to cripple a town.

The questions lies in "how much is enough" to fulfill the overall vision of the game, without having the penalties be too harsh for those on the losing side.

Keep in mind, this type of warfare could actually impact the overall game as a whole.

What if all Kingdoms decided to wage this type of war?

Eventually, after a few months of specifically targeting NPCs, there won't be any NPCs left. What if a group specifically targeted women? Can't have kids with no women. Can't have heirs with no kids. Can't have new lives as a PC with no heirs.

This is an extreme example, and I doubt it would ever happen unless is was committed to on a large scale, but it COULD happen. Hell, there may be covert teams forming with the sole purpose of eliminating a town/county/duchy/kingdom's ability to have children.

"If we can't wipe them out, we'll breed them out".

So, despite semantics, @Takeda brings a very relevant issue to light.

How easy/viable/possible should it be to permanently kill NPCs?

  • Should only NPC soldiers have combat flags?

  • Should NPCs have "souls" similar to PCs with a respawn time?

  • Should NPC's only be able to be killed when an "official war" has been declared?

  • Should we just let the world burn and to hell with the fine print?


Head Archivist, Marovec V'Ralt - The Enclave - Chair of the Bardic Institute

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8/12/2017 7:46:55 PM #46
-1

will you leave a part of your force in each town you visit?

Travel in CoE takes time. You wont be able to be everywhere und your manpower is limited. But even if, guards, yours or that from local Mayor, wont deter griefers targeting NPCs.

Local economy has a high chance to fold like a house of cards, if each CDG from the player is a permadeath for NPC.


8/12/2017 7:55:44 PM #47
+2

More NPC's will come to fill in the void. They will come from other towns or orphans that reached adulthood. They will come looking for jobs and opportunity.


8/12/2017 8:06:14 PM #48
+0

Posted By Rakar at 9:55 PM - Sat Aug 12 2017

More NPC's will come to fill in the void. They will come from other towns or orphans that reached adulthood. They will come looking for jobs and opportunity.

Okay, fair point. Immigration. Now we only need to know how it will work. Because there is no one in the target town left to learn them, they need to come already being skilled in the craft.

Fair point.


8/12/2017 11:01:52 PM #49
-2

Posted By Dariusacmar at 11:58 AM - Sat Aug 12 2017

Posted By Scheneighnay at 10:36 AM - Sat Aug 12 2017

Posted By Dariusacmar at 07:35 AM - Sat Aug 12 2017

Posted By bayun at 06:11 AM - Sat Aug 12 2017

What skill and gear do you need to go against a crafter NPC? A kitchen knife and a novice in daggers? XD Griefers don't care about consequences, leave this game and find a new one to grief.

Easily killable NPCs make field for an other kind of exploit: building monopoly in your chosen profession. Make a ward, train in arms and deviancy, go kill heirs of your concurents. Got caught? Who cares as the char was disposable from the start on. It's only 25 bucks. I spend more on snacks...

Maybe a limit of X CDG from the players for NPCs to be permadead, with a CD between the CDGs. A town wide system of alerting in case of ivasion, forcing NPCs to hide or flee the town.

If you are dedicted enough you can still whipe the town from the NPC population, but it wouldn't be that easy. How the things stand now it's a really lazy tactic to criple economy that can backslash if overused.

I'm sorry...have you even watched the combat videos? A dagger? Really? Yeah, the guy with a sword took 4-6 direct hits to kill the NPC basic miners in the demo. Yeah...I can just see it...the crafter NPC stands there whimpering while you stab him with a dagger 8-10 times...not gonna happen dude. Yes...it does take skill to kill them. Because it'll be almost always in a town...around other people. And that NPC your dagger wielding moron is trying to kill...yeah, he'll run to the nearest guard who will gut the idiot with the knife.

As far as your disposable character idea...you're operating under the assumption you'll succeed. Yeah, you have a disposable character, you'll spend your 30 bucks that you spend more on snacks on a spark...and then fail spectacularly over and over again trying to kill just one NPC...and then you'll spend that 30 bucks again...and again...and again...and never succeed...because that moron...he just has a knife. Now, I can tell you, me myself and I...being a mayor...I sure as damn will have guards, both NPC and PC patrolling my town...and I sure as hell will have at least one skilled bounty hunter with the skills on retainer to stop the skilled assassins...not the complete failures the morons you're worried about, because just my guards will deal with them.

And btw...crafters can have personal body guards. Crafters can practice defensive fighting, not just crafting...I mean, seriously man, I could list 2 dozen or more things that will deter 99% of your griefers...but why bother...

You have no basis behind claiming civilian NPCs will be hard to kill.

Just out of curiosity...what exactly did you think those miners were....military combat miners? Dude...I gave a basis right in the quote of mine you quoted...learn to read.

  1. The demo was nowhere near the final version of anything.

  2. Those weren't even random miners- they were possessed or insane or some shit. The goal wasn't "run into the mine and start murdering random people"


Beans for the bean god

8/13/2017 12:39:06 AM #50
+1

Posted By Iccubus at 3:37 PM - Sat Aug 12 2017

Posted By bayun at 2:49 PM - Sat Aug 12 2017

That's not even assassination. You don't need anything apart from a blade to walk up to NPC in his shop and bring down the sword 4-6 times. Mission accomplished and the consiquences be damned.

Will the mayor post guards on every street corner? Remember the taxes. Guards cost money. More guards cost more money.

who says in the mayors settlement will only have his guards, being a barons I would be patrolling the county and settlements. The taxes they pay will cover protecting them as a kingdom as well.

I mean if it was as simple as just saying "add more guards" I feel like crime wouldn't have been such a big thing irl middle ages. Adding guards doesn't do much in actuality, it does ALOT in theory.


Don't mistake passion and tenacity for toxicity and anger. If I want to hurt you, I will.

8/13/2017 12:40:05 AM #51
+1

Posted By Rakar at 3:55 PM - Sat Aug 12 2017

More NPC's will come to fill in the void. They will come from other towns or orphans that reached adulthood. They will come looking for jobs and opportunity.

I feel like when someone hears half your population got murdered and now your on edge of collapse that is a low priority on the "move here" list using the fame/rep system for NPCs


Don't mistake passion and tenacity for toxicity and anger. If I want to hurt you, I will.

8/13/2017 3:06:09 AM #52
+1

Posted By Takeda_Shinukage at 7:39 PM - Sat Aug 12 2017

Posted By Iccubus at 3:37 PM - Sat Aug 12 2017

Posted By bayun at 2:49 PM - Sat Aug 12 2017

That's not even assassination. You don't need anything apart from a blade to walk up to NPC in his shop and bring down the sword 4-6 times. Mission accomplished and the consiquences be damned.

Will the mayor post guards on every street corner? Remember the taxes. Guards cost money. More guards cost more money.

who says in the mayors settlement will only have his guards, being a barons I would be patrolling the county and settlements. The taxes they pay will cover protecting them as a kingdom as well.

I mean if it was as simple as just saying "add more guards" I feel like crime wouldn't have been such a big thing irl middle ages. Adding guards doesn't do much in actuality, it does ALOT in theory.

Especially when you consider that this isn't an Elder Scrolls game: guards don't appear out of nowhere. They'll have to be hired, and in disproportionately-high numbers if they're going to have to constantly protect against random immortal mass-murderers.


Beans for the bean god

8/14/2017 4:42:03 AM #53
+0

Posted By bayun at 4:06 PM - Sat Aug 12 2017

Posted By Rakar at 9:55 PM - Sat Aug 12 2017

More NPC's will come to fill in the void. They will come from other towns or orphans that reached adulthood. They will come looking for jobs and opportunity.

Okay, fair point. Immigration. Now we only need to know how it will work. Because there is no one in the target town left to learn them, they need to come already being skilled in the craft.

Fair point.

They could have been an apprentice in another town who is looking to make their own name in a new town.


8/14/2017 9:37:55 AM #54
+0

Posted By Rakar at 06:42 AM - Mon Aug 14 2017

They could have been an apprentice in another town who is looking to make their own name in a new town.

It would pose some problems:

  1. Killings from randoms on the way. It would be unsafe to wander from town to town unprotected, seeing as the eligible NPC might be two counties away. This apprentice would need to join to merchant caravan.

  2. While imigration will cover the long term needs, there are the short term needs to be considered. In case of the dead papermaker, for example, setting a simple contract would be a chore as long as the apprentice arives from the other town and established a trade.

And remember, PCs in other town might be courting this apprentice. I would be pissed if the NPC I was eyeing as a spouse for my ingame-child got up and left XD


8/14/2017 11:18:50 AM #55
+2

Posted By bayun at 11:37 PM - Sun Aug 13 2017

And remember, PCs in other town might be courting this apprentice. I would be pissed if the NPC I was eyeing as a spouse for my ingame-child got up and left XD

Should've made a move sooner man...

Personally I don't know how in depth the ai could be so I don't know how life like they'd be in conversation, but if you were putting the moves on this apprentice and they leave without telling you then I would say your moves aren't as great as you think and you should probably try some other avenue of approach... Cause look... buddy... if she left you without telling you why then you scared her off. That train has left but don't worry there's plenty more fish in the sea or so I'm told...


UDL

8/14/2017 11:29:29 AM #56
+0

xDD putting the right moves might depend on the personality of the NPC. Remember, we were promised that NPCs got personalities? And really, it is possible that the age of marriage might be set to 18+ and NPC would be able to move towns at 15, there are whole three rl weeks inbetween.


8/14/2017 11:45:11 AM #57
+0

I sent think immigration will be so easy.

If your town has lost loads of npc pops that's not a good draw considering the npc are meant use maslows hierarchy of needs which has safety only just above food and shelter.

Plus travelling through the dangerous countryside, made even more dangerous by having an npc targeting player on the loose, could well mean that any npc that sets off may never arrive.

Add to this the time factor that your settlement could be missing vital services and what that could do to its viability, this making it even less appealing and you have plenty of reasons to assume immigration may well not be the solution.

Also who is to say that this is the only town suffering in this way?

Making npcs harder to permadeath seems like the solution to me but we will see what comes out of testing.


8/14/2017 11:52:41 AM #58
+0

People can play test the scenario in beta 1 and gauge if NPCs need to be harder to permakill.

Edit: Actually, the hierarchy of needs of NPC can be gone round by some micromanaging from the side of the Count, seeing as he is in charge of research and trade. This would ensure some safety on the road, as the Count can order two guards from the town to convoy the NPC.


8/14/2017 2:04:24 PM #59
+2

Hello all.

This was exactly the type of discussion I hoped to get going!

Obviously, a lot of our concerns stem from ignorance - we simply don't know how things will play out. However, I think we can all agree that the impact of targeting NPC's, based on what information we do have, will be sizable.

With that in mind, I appreciate the active communication, and I hope that it solidifies the potential issue in the dev's minds.

Any chance of getting some "official" weight-in on the matter?


Head Archivist, Marovec V'Ralt - The Enclave - Chair of the Bardic Institute

8/14/2017 2:15:16 PM #60
+1

Yes, the epeen contest is closed, we all zipped up und can talk shop now XD

An official or half-official weight-in would do wonders to calm the nerves, as well as provide usefull fuel for the next appocaliptic scenario.


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