Non-Player Characters (NPCs) are automated characters that are not controlled by a player or developer. They are controlled by programs that are written to give the player an illusion of the NPC being alive. NPCs in PlaneShift can take the form of merchants, town folk, malicious characters and hostile and friendly creatures.
Function of Non-Player Characters
Non-Player Characters are to give the impression of life in Yliakum even if there are no player-controlled characters in the vicinity. They are also vital to carry out the setting of Yliakum and give quests. The NPCs are programed to respond to certain phrases, most usual chatting phrases have been implemented so far. You can elaborate and ask them more question, depending on their original speech. If the NPC had said that they had moved to Hydlaa from a certain place, you can ask them about this place. The NPCs are vital for teaching the settings of PlaneShift. NPCs also give out quests. If a certain question is asked, usually "Give me a quest", some NPCs will give you a task to do. This is a prominent game feature. NPCs are also needed for the standard MMORPG feature, the killing of enemies, or mobs (Mobile Objects).
Types of Non-Player Characters
Mobile Objects (Mobs)
Mobile Objects are NPCs that can be attacked. These NPCs are fitted with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) so that they can fight back. There are different Mobs for different skill levels, and usually give experience points and can be looted for items when they are killed. Mobs take the form of menacing characters or creatures.
Town folk are NPCs that have no other purpose than give quests and talk. These NPCs usually have the most interesting stories to tell.
Some NPCs move around throughout the day according to their own schedules. For example, a store may only be open between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m (in game time); trying to find them during their time off can be fruitless - or fruitful. They may go visit each other or even simply go home (where you may not find them).
When you're having difficulty finding an NPC you can ask fellow players in game, preferably through roleplaying but also through out of character (OOC) communication. Also, the Shortcuts Window has 'NextNPC' on it, allowing you to search for an NPC in an area.
Interacting with NPCs
One of the most important aspects of the world of PlaneShift are the Non-Player Characters (NPCs). They are intelligent beings controlled by the game itself. They can speak, move, sell and buy objects, fight, sleep, perform a job and so on.
NPCs are the primary means for your character to get quests. With some NPCs, it may be as easy as saying “Give me a quest”, whereas with others, you may have to talk to them for a while to find out what their problems are, so you can offer to solve them.
NPCs may sometimes give you items to use in quests, or may require that you give them an item to complete a quest. You can use the normal trading process to do this.
While speaking to NPCs you should try to use natural language, as if you were speaking to a player, while keeping your phrases simple. So a question like: “quest” doesn't mean anything. If you want to ask for a quest you should say: “Give me a quest, please” or something similar.
So how do you know what to talk to NPCs about? Well, a lot of the fun and discovery in PlaneShift is finding out!
Before you can interact with an NPC, you must have them targeted. To target an NPC, click on them with your middle mouse button, or press 9 to target the nearest NPC. Press 9 repeatedly to cycle through the nearest NPCs.
When you have successfully targeted an NPC, you will see his or her name and hit points displayed in your Status Window.
Use the ‘’’Say’’’ button in your Chat Window to talk to the NPC once they are targeted.
Press Escape to stop targeting an NPC.
When dealing with an NPC you should remember that he or she will normally answer standard questions such as:
- Greeting words like: Hi”, ‘’Hello”, etc. Most NPCs will answer you back with a greeting, and will perhaps tell you how they are feeling or give you an indication of their troubles.
- How are you?” type of phrases. Usually, the NPC will tell you something about themselves and may reveal some useful information, such objects they require or tasks they wish performed.
- “Tell me about yourself” and similar. With this you are asking about the NPC's profession, role in the society or something about what he or she likes. This may also reveal some useful information.
- “Goodbye”. A way to politely finish a conversation with an NPC.
- ‘’I would like a job”, “I would like a beer”, “I would like a sword” sorts of phrases. Don't just ask “job” or “sword” because it will not work. The phrase must be meaningful.
You should use one word answers only when the NPC formulates a direct question such as: “Do you want a sword or an axe”? In this case you should answer either “sword” or “axe”.
NPCs are the best way to get quests. They can ask you to discover something, to bring an item, to perform a task.
When you receive a quest, it will appear in your Quest Log.