[WIP][MOD] NPC Teamwork

This mod proposal is a mixture of different aspects of the game, intending to create a completely different play style with a lot of meaningful decisions. The primary focus of the mod is altering NPC combatants, their gear, behavior, interactions and goals to make your character part of a team, instead of lone savior who wanders off into the wilderness. Some scenarios are focused on base defense and one intended scenario (feasability study pending) is the safe escort of an NPC through enemy territory. These are different ways to play with and assist “Strong NPC” which is the overriding theme of the mod.

I intend to do the AI, NPC, Lua scripting and item editing, but I want to recruit a map maker. Conversations and quest editing is something that I can do myself or let someone else handle. Patrol routes and spawns may be a joint effort or up to the map maker.

Of course I wanted to include more than the game can handle, but my feasibility study says that all features are possible with just DBR edits and some minor LUA scripting. The management of NPC inventory does not seem feasible at this time. I wanted the NPC to scavenge the loot and upgrade themselves, supplemented by what the player would trade them directly. The same interface would allow trading with pets and upgrading their gear. This features are not possible. I can spawn specific gear on NPC, but I can’t trade it to or from them apparently. (Yet?)

Game modificaions:

  • Massively lower mob exp
  • Extremely high quest exp
  • NPC should be several levels higher than player
  • Mobs should be several levels higher than player
  • Quest status needs to check survival of NPC, with higher rewards (or incremental rewards) based on NPC survival.
  • Design an interfaces to alter NPC equipment through paid upgrades
  • Rewrite the controller AI to be a little more varied in behavior

Map design: Small base with mobs from multiple directions, Town base with noncombat NPC as collateral, Attack a Rift or Necromancer, etc.

NPC AI in base defense, attacking a forward position, possibly patrols
Scenario 1: base is being attacked

  • Initial AI is “FleeOnLowHealth” but variations, including alarms or leader health are preferred.
  • Attacking “LeadChance” should be set by character dialog, with a few options “I want the troops to be aggressive” etc
  • Ideally we’ll have several maps around this same theme.
Scenario 2:	NPC need to switch roles based on character dialog
  • Move to destination with combat
  • At destination, dialog trigger (onReachedMovementGoal)
  • Switch to defensive role (change the NPC controller)
  • For quest success, NPC must survive while player attacks boss
  • If moving to the goal takes too long or the boss isn’t killed in time, then a series of large jumps in spawn difficulty.
Scenario 3: Escort with VIP noncombat NPC
  • VIP Moves slowly to destination
  • Advance patrols, player can stay with VIP but patrols likely to die, or run back and forth
  • Ideal would be NPC patrols announcing combat “EmoteBeforePursuingChance”
  • Alter VIP speed by dialog?
  • Destructible wagon? (Can destroy walls, alter their hp. Can they move with a character? Could “texture” the walls into a wagon if they move.)
Scenario 4: Band of Heroes!
  • Inventory manager controls the equipment of different NPC. Load and unload their equipment.
  • Load looted equipment on your character, or the NPC with you. Upgrade which set of gear is available by paying iron.
  • Band of Heroes would follow you.
  • Stats progression would be independent of player
  • Existing NPC / Hero AI would be fine using existing templates
  • On death all the loot drops, need to find a new hero (or quest/fee to rez them, re-equip from scratch)

Wishlist of ways the player can alter the battle:

  • Quest unlock totem spawns
  • Quest unlock trap spawns
  • Quest unlock cannons
  • Pay for extra totem spawns
  • Pay for extra traps
  • Pay for cannon ammo change (fire, exploding, frost, bolts) with components
    [li] Allow player to request ranged, melee, or support NPC.[/li][ol]
  • spawn a limited number of NPC at each request, allow requests at quest intervals
  • change initial spawn but no additional NPC refills (like hardcore?)
  • quest completion adds NPCs, and player can only complete one of several quests

[li] Adding gear to NPC by paying a quartermaster who respawns the NPC with better gear. (onAddItem has no example scripts)[/li]

Very cool design ideas, I’ll definitely be asking questions when I get stuck, or offering suggestions when I figure things out.

Look forward to seeing how you go with this.

I’ll try to release things in a way where people can have more interactive NPC in their own mods.

If you can make a NPC escort mission fun rather than puppy punchingly annoying I’d suggest you work up a resume and see if you can find some work with a developer.

Very interesting. I love Dungeon Siege and Dungeon Siege 2, and your idea of a group of adventurers remind me of those games.

As a DoW II player, scenario 4 sounds interesting. Do consider taking it up.

Sounds very interesting and promising, Best of luck to you! And I hope you won’t forget to tune the difficulty if the main hero will have npcs helping him or it won’t be fair to enemy mobs:)

Escort quests, in games and in real life, are a mixture of mitigating risks and difficulty in choosing alternatives.

I am a game developer (failure to find a decent artist), but the game theory choice here is to force decisions. Most games fail to implement rudimentary influence over the NPC actions, and then script in a bunch of spawns on top of the NPC being stupid. FFXIV:ARR’s escort quests had a “/beckon” that you had to bind to a key. They walked in a straight line, could fight a little, and you had to spam the /beckon repeatedly. What they needed to make it decent was pathfinding around A ROCK, a /stop command, and make them a party member so you could **** target the bastards.

I want an escort quest NPC to follow orders, or I probably won’t implement it. I can change the controller AI probably through a script, but I may have to swap out the NPC’s dbr with a different creature every time I want to change their speed or something.

The mission idea I had for escort was more of a balance of knowing when to fight and when to run, with cues coming from listening to your patrols fighting or getting maimed. I’d give the NPC a single use skill to salvage the fight (and that’s a reason to save one person over others) The player could also aid patrols but at the cost of leaving the NPC exposed. (Do I chase the thief or check the health of the victim? These are real choices here in game theory.)

this sounds exciting. finally I can have my army of waifus.

anyways I dont know anything about LUA so i can’t help except to provide moral support.

I know perl/php/javascript is LUA similar to those?

why not do this iteratively. first get them working as pets and later figure out more complicated stuff so you can do the simple stuff first like, should they die, trigger some quest-fail condition. and if you go into a “wrong place” or use a rift - also fail.

you can always add some bs lore about the riftgate being unstable and you cant use it until the escort is done.

I would love for radiant style escort quests from bounties (ala dragons dogma escort quests) and hire-able underlings that you can unlock