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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Fewer NPCs=the future of MMOs

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77 posts found

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/16/05
Posts: 1429

OP  12/13/12 9:59:04 AM#1

Why is it rocket science to allow players to give out quests?

Why can't questing serve more of a purpose than getting a chunk of exp and loot?


Here's what I want:

When you log in the first time you either pick a guild(or start a guild) with friends or you choose a guild that suits what you want to do ingame.

PVP guilds, PVE guilds, crafting guilds, convenience guilds...all guilds would have a focus and provide activities geared to what players are looking for instead of static NPCs doling out quests, gear and travel/home services.

I'd rather do quests that help my guild and suit my interests than do static quests have no affect on anything but my exp and income.


If my guild wants to have a castle and needs X, Y and Z to get it built, that's what I want to spend my time doing.  Helping build up something that actually sticks instead of doing meaningless fetch runs.

If my guild wants to have the best transport service in the game,  I'm gonna help build ships and docks.  Whether its gathering materials or being involved in a crafting raid, what I'm doing is going to have some real weight and validity in the game world.  It'll be competitive and it'll help other players as well.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/25/12
Posts: 1157

I'm only playing the role chosen for me. Who you supposed to be?

12/13/12 10:02:01 AM#2

Interesting concept.  I agree with it.  Having an overall (player-given) goal as opposed to a generic one (shared by everybody) makes more sense.

I would play something that had this implemented.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/06
Posts: 822

12/13/12 10:14:30 AM#3

uhm hi archage?

as a guild don't you already set these kinds of goals? The only thing u need is a sanbox with a deep crafting system, but what does this have to do with NPC's ? remove quests yeah. remove npc's no thank you.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/19/12
Posts: 312

12/13/12 10:32:10 AM#4

A world empty of NPC's would get boring real fast.

But then I never understood why farming games were so popular.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

12/13/12 10:48:01 AM#5
My current mmo of choice has zero npcs. Ps2

Also the online multiplayer I like best has critters but not npcs - minecraft

So yeah op maybe has a point.
  User Deleted
12/13/12 10:50:17 AM#6
I like your ideas OP, but fewer players and less player interaction is probably the actual future of mmos.

Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/12
Posts: 12

12/13/12 10:55:36 AM#7
Anyone interested in players quests should give Face of Mankind a try. 

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/06
Posts: 822

12/13/12 10:59:45 AM#8
Originally posted by bunnyhopper
I like your ideas OP, but fewer players and less player interaction is probably the actual future of mmos.

 hope not. i really hope not



Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 14436

12/13/12 11:12:33 AM#9
Do guilds give quests that have rewards?  If not, then why would people do them?  And if so, then where do the rewards come from?  Does the guild have to pay into a pool to provide the rewards?  If so, then where do they get the money or goods for the rewards, if not from quests?  Or do the quest rewards magically appear from thin air, as in most games?  If the latter, then what stops guilds from creating quests whose sole purpose is to get their members the maximum reward with the minimum amount of effort?

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/14/06
Posts: 309

12/13/12 11:14:11 AM#10

Isnt that what the current auction house/market in games already functions as mostly anyway :/? - I mean you put up a buy order or whatever in guild wars/EVE and you'd get what you need by paying that amount for the given materials ? 


Ofcourse - having to clear an area of hostile creatures, or putting a bounty on bandits, or whatever could be an ideal thing if done right ofcourse. 


Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22194

12/13/12 11:15:46 AM#11
Originally posted by Chieftan

Why is it rocket science to allow players to give out quests?

Why can't questing serve more of a purpose than getting a chunk of exp and loot?

Because most player generated stuff is crap.


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3213

Veni, Vidi, Converti

12/13/12 11:30:02 AM#12

I think OP is on the right tracks. It's more rewarding interacting with other players eg dabbling on the markets or going about guild business of the day. So to combine the lot and by-pass NPC's altogether?

Pathfinder Online is already designing around this idea: Blog#13: Signed... in Blood

The Ties That Bind

How do two (or more) anonymous players in an MMO make an agreement that is meaningful to all parties, and that creates a system where people will fulfill their commitments even without real-world social pressure or legal consequences?

The solution we have evolved is to have a variety of contracts tailored to various purposes. Characters can enter into contracts specifying various aspects of their deals, the rewards for success, and the penalties for failure... In Pathfinder Online, the dynamic shifts from NPCs giving quests to players interacting with each other to advance their own agendas.

Worth a good read: Raises issues such as security, reputation, scams and contractual obligations... etc.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

12/13/12 11:30:44 AM#13

A key word you used is "static", as a descriptor for NPC's.


Many, and I mean many MMO games have boring static NPC's.  I feel the key to making a vibrant world, whether sandbox or themepark is to give NPC's a life, a purpose.  Single player games have this down to create immersion - NPC's have jobs, activities, daily tasks.  They move around .. they do stuff.  It's all in the Artificial Intelligence perceptions of those NPC's that make them flow with the world they live in.


The key may not be the reduction or even elimination of NPC's, but simply integrating them into the environment better.  Give them LOTS of activities.  Repeat their same tasks over and over and you get Guild Wars 2 - lame because NPC's do the same short script endlessly and relatively quickly - every 10-20 minutes, etc.  Make NPC's have no activities at all, and you get Star Wars: The Old Republic - lame because NPC's make the worlds lifeless (NPC's just always stand there ?!).  In both cases, NPC's have no depth and as a result, no life, no immersion.


Ultima had this down, even back to Ultima 5 or so.  Ultima 7 carried this further with shopkeepers having business hours, lunch breaks, errands, and sleep cycles (just an example .. every NPC was different).  Uhh that was what 20-25 years ago?  Some other games since then do this well too.  NPC's can add depth to a game, if done right.

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 1390


contact me if you are seriously interested in
* C#
* making an old schoolish FPS

12/13/12 12:05:47 PM#14
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Chieftan

Why is it rocket science to allow players to give out quests?

Why can't questing serve more of a purpose than getting a chunk of exp and loot?

Because most player generated stuff is crap.


thats why there are no good videos on youtube, and why its so unpopular.  its so overrun with subpar user content, that nobody can find any good videos after hours of scouring the service.



The End
i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects


Elite Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1931

12/13/12 12:30:12 PM#15

Totally possible and being done in my game. I want to try to tie them into guild initiation too. Long ago a guild I joined had a ritual where they brought people in with a ceremony in a cave, was a grand affair and something memorable. They must have been roleplayers because they had it all scripted and told us to move to certain areas in different parts like standing on fire. 


If you had a game where people used consumables for raiding, I could completely see someone offering quests to bring them consumables for coin to save them having to farm it themselves. It would be slower than an auction house but a good reason to have a house and a personal vendor in it.

The whole concept is simple. As long as a player secures the reward ahead of time and ticks the amount of times the quest can be completed, it's simple coding to only give the quest until  the rewards are gone.

I'm onboard for player and guild driven quests and I think they will be fun. Ryzom ring tried some generated content and scripting many years ago but people didn't pay attention.  I don't think the ring is open right now, well it wasn't last time I was in the game. Ring video -


Advanced Member

Joined: 11/30/07
Posts: 173

12/13/12 12:34:31 PM#16
Originally posted by xeniar

uhm hi archage?

as a guild don't you already set these kinds of goals? The only thing u need is a sanbox with a deep crafting system, but what does this have to do with NPC's ? remove quests yeah. remove npc's no thank you.

Agree, thats what i thought first when i read the main post.



Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/08
Posts: 149

12/13/12 12:42:09 PM#17
Originally posted by ShakyMo
My current mmo of choice has zero npcs. Ps2

Also the online multiplayer I like best has critters but not npcs - minecraft

So yeah op maybe has a point.

not sure I would call Ps2 a mmo but I guess that's an opinion I will have to disagree with

  User Deleted
12/13/12 1:06:26 PM#18

Isn't this possible in any MMO on the market today? Why isn't it being done by players themselves?

I know in WoW my Alchemist Druid helped the guild raids by gathering components and creating potions for the raids, even though I did not participate in the raids. Other guild members did their parts, too.

Getting rid of NPCs would make an awfully empty world, in my opinion.

Would doing quests for other guilds be kind of questionable?
Do you want players to blindly choose a guild based on activity instead of the players within the guild right from the start?
The quality of guilds would go downhill fast with no control over who joins.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3565

12/13/12 1:15:31 PM#19

Less NPCs means less chars in the game with backstories and less lore.

Thank god, that isn't the trend right now cause I love lore / char / story elements in my video games.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 5209

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

12/13/12 1:53:52 PM#20
Originally posted by corpusc
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Chieftan

Why is it rocket science to allow players to give out quests?

Why can't questing serve more of a purpose than getting a chunk of exp and loot?

Because most player generated stuff is crap.


thats why there are no good videos on youtube, and why its so unpopular.  its so overrun with subpar user content, that nobody can find any good videos after hours of scouring the service.



Youtube is overrun with subpar user content, by far the majority is crap.

Most of the  good videos are professionally done.  The amateur ones by and large are crap, it is the one out of a million that gets popular and is entertaining, but when there are 100 million a day, that still leaves lots to choose from over time. 

edit - I did read one stat sometime that said that something like 100 million videos were watched a day and around 2-3 billion per month, and almost 100 million new videos made per month.

edit - actually change that. 3 billion hits per day, 48 hours of new video per minute.  So yes by far far far, the majority is complete crap.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

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