Persistent Players (NPC Mode)

There aren’t going to be any NPCs, right…?

What if…

What if we ARE the NPCs???

What if your character never leaves Oort…?

What if when you log out, your avatar becomes an NPC?

  • You can be seen sleeping in your beacon
  • You can run a shop
  • You can offer quests/rewards
  • You could set to any number of modes (sleep/tend shop/wander within radius) or maybe set shop hours or something
  • You can’t be harmed, but you don’t fight back or anything
  • Some kind of marker to indicate you’re in NPC mode
  • maybe you can go into NPC mode whenever you want, logged off or not

Before you tear apart my fledging baby idea, just imagine - cities and worlds full of players, thriving, all the time - without the devs ever having to generate a single NPC.

BOOM Dark out


Good idea indeed. May be there has has to be a maximum of npc-players or a time out after which you disappear (just think about overcrowded city places :wink: ), but especially the idea of being a “offline trader” makes the life as a wandering merchant much easier (so you don’t need to build up vendor tables or something similar).

I hope something like this would be possible cuz it would fill the places and also gives many opportunities for roleplaying. May be you only could get an NPC in beaconed areas because it would look strange if you would run among monsters in the wilds :wink:


Its an interesting idea, for sure. But…

I really disagree with this. If you want to leave your body(?) unattended in a PVP or hostile PVE area, there should be consequences. Let your NPC fight back with your current equipment, but if you lose… well, maybe you will learn to be a bit more careful.

Definitely the best idea ever so far for the possibility of NPCs.


If we become npcs by logging out, we would need options for our bot allowing it to only perform certain tasks and only move in certain areas, and obviously these options need to be easily available to all players. If a seven year old comes back to the game wondering why they are halfway across the country that’s probably bad. Hell if I log in confused that’s bad too. It would also be quite a task for the devs.


I think the options should be limited. For example you could set to sleep, sit, trade or walk the beacon/near area. Something like traveling would be not good because of enemies on the way and wayfinding issues. Also to be an NPC should be only available in pve areas (to avoid the conflict in being a target but not really ingame) and may be only in beacons as well (sounds more reasonable to me).

If a player sets a beacon he should then have the option to allow npcing (open, for friends/guild, only himself) or not. For example if I build a nice home for me with an open area I may then chose to set npcing off for others to keep the atmosphere I want there.


I like the thought on being able to sell things or run quests when you log off. It adds more for people to do, while not being totally stupid like giving people rewards for being offline / waiting for things to charge like this is a mobile game.
+1 from me.
Definitely make this so you cant be harmed.


This seems a lot like sleepwalking to me, which sounds amazing.
Maybe our little half-selves do some small little tasks like watering flowers and polishing windows. Little tasks that don’t help the player too much, but gives the npc something to do. :lester:


Maybe it’s just me but I just assumed that this could only work within your beacon

Other games allow you to AFK and gain exp but I really like the idea of being able to log out and be able to gain something for the time you are away. Almost similar to browser based empire games where you accumulate so much resource over time, it would be cool to have options such as: setting up shop to gain income, gather resources slowly, gain exp slowly, train skills ect. Of course it would be at a slow rate like 20% of the normal speed but would be cool to help out players who aren’t able to play 24/7 and of course there would be a cap to prevent real lame asses from milking the system.

Plus I really liked the idea of being able to see players move around as if they were part of the world which in a sense we all are. In response to doing this in an unsafe or pvp zone, of course this would be restricted to your main beacon home or perhaps the capitol city of the world you are currently living in. This would give the cities a sense of activity and liveliness.


or maintining builds inside a beacon cause sutff inside beacons will degenerate overtime so how about this means that you can repair stuff while offline…

hmm, stuff in beacons should not degenerate ^^ … But just to have animations for that would be cool (like allready mentioned: Watering the plants, whiping a window,).

Also, to get stuff by being an NPC (next to the opportunity for trading) may be a bit to powerful. I think to get a resting bonus as a buff would be ok, but to get mats or skillpoints just by resting may be a bit overpowered :wink:


Wow you have already posted many really good ideas in this forum but this is definitely your best so far!
All those additional suggested ideas may be good but i think with all those additional features this system would get overly complicated whereas i think this idea should be kept simple (so it gets an actual chance of being implemented^^):

  • NPCing only inside beacons (so there is no question about how/if a NPCing player should be attackable)

  • You can choose between a “creature-like-random-wandering-around” and a “no-moving” moving pattern. (so if player builds a small shop for decoration his character actually keeps standing behind the counter)

  • An option to choose if foreign players are allowed to NPC around inside your beacon or just disappear upon logging out.

  • You can put items that you want to sell or buy(aka “quest”) in two additional “inventory” windows and set the prices you are willing to pay/sell. (with a possible “NPC-tax” as gold sink)

(so basically @DarkRepulsor ´s original idea^^)

The last point is (imo) really important since Oort stated that most (all) items ingame will be player crafted, this means this game will need a really good trading/economy system to allow/encourage fluent player trading. And the fact that there (most likely) wont be any sort of (generic MMO like) global auction house means that we need a other/new system for convenient trading.
The only MMO i know where really every item is player crafted is EvE online which uses a kinda similar system for trading as you suggested and it works pretty well over there.
This “NPC-trading” could maybe also be something skillable (increased stock size, less “NPC-tax”, etc.)


im pretty sure the devs said somewhere that everything would degenerate but in beacons it would be alot slower,

This could solve this whole cities looks empty bcause people are not online at the time problem.


Awesome, awesome!!

Summary of new ideas to this point:

  • Will eventually need overcrowding control (max # of offline players, 24-hour timeout, etc)
  • Typically only available in beacons you have permissions for (you, friends, guildmates)
  • “Standby” and “Wander” modes
  • Opportunity for player trading while offline (“while you were gone…” report on login)
  • Option to make your beacon NPC-friendly or not (useful for guild towns, taverns, markets, etc)
  • Player control over what they buy/sell while in NPC Mode
  • Great for player-driven economy

And because I like visuals:

Additional thoughts:
Standby behavior - avatar stands still and doesn’t move until player logs back in.
Wander behavior - avatar mills about, never leaving beacon area, performs small non-destructive actions like sitting in chairs, sleeping in beds, opening/closing doors, “talking” to other NPCs, etc (provided those are defined furniture props).
Seller Gold - how does this work? You don’t really want to display your total gold to everyone, right? Maybe you have a “shop fund” value that gets cut out of your total gold?
Custom Dialog Text - players should be able to write their own dialog text, or at least the NPC greeting – provided there are enough anti-abuse measures in text entry. I kind of like how Discourse does it, btw – you can type all the bad words you want, it just won’t display them.

  • Greeting text
  • Selling text
  • Requesting text

The idea of a trading gold pool which can be set is good and important. Nobody wants to lose all his gold ;D … Your list and sketches seem to be quite complete and would be one of the best offline possibilities I’ve ever seen if it will be realised later in the game :lester: :sunny:

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@ben, @james? What do you think about this idea and do you think it would be able to find its way into the game? Would be quite innovative and a good solution for many issues like ghost cities and possibilities for players with only few time to play :wink:

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Just got another idea: if a player choses to trade as a NPC he puts a small sign next to him which shows an icon (which you can chose out if a small sortiment). On this way you can show what you are selling or buying (like a generic one for a mixed sortiment, a stone block for building mats, a sword for weapons, a potion for alchemical stuff, …) :wink:

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Yes. I think there are many ways you could indicate the theme of a shop.

  • Signs with customizable text
  • Wall-mounts and racks for weapons/tools
  • Mannequins for displaying armor
  • Shelves for potions and small items
  • Contextual decorative blocks (flowers on display at an apothecary; colored stone on display at a quarry, a lava forge at a blacksmiths, etc)

I would also love to see market awnings as a decorative prop, but that’s for a different thread.

Back to the topic, can anyone think of potential abuses here? Because I’m trying, and having a hard time coming up with any.