Tips for interacting with NPCs (expecting a response):

SilenaSilena Member, Immortal Posts: 95 Immortal
edited February 9 in Harpy's Head Tavern
We like possessing NPCs and interacting with players, whenever possible! But often, that isn't possible. Even during an event. Even if you had a conversation with one literally five minutes before- it still gets exhausting following after every person's desire to roleplay. That, and we have real-world lives(some of us, anyway). So in an effort to reduce feelings of frustration on the part of volunteers and players alike, I offer these suggestions for the best outcome in NPC interactions:

1. As many are aware, we see when NPCs are addressed with SAY TO or TELL . Try to remember to use these commands if you want some kind of interaction. We won't see ordinary SAYS or emotes done in front of them, and it can be easy to forget a conversation was wanted.

2. Following up on 1, please do not do this repeatedly. If you don't get a response, we are busy, or can't respond to that particular request. The best thing you can do is come back later, or, even better:

3. Use MOBMSG <mobile> <message>, when wanting to communicate with recently-interacted with NPCs. It could be this isn't a commonly known feature, but it's useful and stores the messages in a format that's convenient for us to check. If you have an unusual request of an NPC that might require additional preparation on our part, this is generally the best way to let it be known.

4. If you are involved in an event with NPCs, please invite every member of your organization to attend, or write in the news about what happened afterwards. This is not an obligation, as you are free to roleplay however you want: But. The reason we run events is to increase the involvement of all players. Interacting with players who don't share information makes our job more difficult, forcing us to repeat it several times and using other means to make orgs aware of what's going on. This can make volunteers reluctant to interact with you during future events.

5. Be clear about what you want from the NPC, and remember that how you interact with them will impact how they respond. We are not acting as 'admin' when possessing NPCs, we are that character. Every character in Aetolia is assumed to have their own history, biases, interests, and goals.

On top of the above, please don't be frustrated if a response is not immediate. Leave a message, roleplay with other players about the information you want, etc. There is a lot that goes on "behind the scenes" that has to get done. We may not always be able to tell you why you didn't get a response, but chances are it isn't personal.
RhyotRazmaelZailaAnteheKelliaraKasimirTeani

Comments

  • ZailaZaila Pacific TimeMember Posts: 356 ✭✭✭✭
    I feel a bit bad now for regularly using SAY TO when trying to get NPCs to give me their quest lines. I didn't know it pinged ya'll!

    Sorry! 
    EliadonSilena
  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Member Posts: 1,953 ✭✭✭✭✭
    These seem like good tips for interacting with other players too.




    KodaSilena
  • SilenaSilena Member, Immortal Posts: 95 Immortal
    Zaila said:

    I feel a bit bad now for regularly using SAY TO when trying to get NPCs to give me their quest lines. I didn't know it pinged ya'll!

    Sorry! 

    Lol... it isn't that bad, spam-wise, and I tune it out when people do it during quests. The only part that can get frustrating is when it's obvious it's being done to get our attention, and we can't respond. Sometimes it's fun to surprise people who weren't expecting the NPC to talk back, so... 95% of the time, it's fine, really.
    Zaila
  • TeaniTeani Evening Sky SwedenMember Posts: 1,956 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Seems like a great guide to me! The below questions are not asked out of frustration, but rather additional info that might be helpful to know if they can be answered.

    If an attempt to get your attention is made, using SAY TO and mobmsg, and one feels like they have provided a lot of information, how likely would you say it is that said NPC will get back to them?

    What time frame are we talking? If nothing is heard after a few <hours/days/weeks>, you will probably not hear back? 

    Can mobs return messages?

    If one doesn't get a response, say because of the info being too sketchy, how can one learn to improve to have a better chance in the future?

    Keep doing great work! :smile:



  • KasimirKasimir Clearwater, FLMember Posts: 38 ✭✭
    edited February 10
    Silena said:

    Tips for interacting with NPCs (expecting a response):

    1. I didn't know this. Please don't assume. Thank you.
    2. Alright.
    3. I thought this was broken? Good if it was fixed, but I've been told more than once MOBMSG is ignored. http://forums.aetolia.com/discussion/comment/56776#Comment_56776

    If the Pools want a message delivered before starting a scene, or engaging an NPC... Do you want these OOC? Do you have a template? Do player mobs, like shopkeepers and orghall features, retain this information and allow their owners to see them?

    4. Yups, completely agree. SEARCHNEWS exists, HELPSEARCH exists, but not library, book, or orghelp searches. Please, write news posts, and keep keywords (names, locations, named items, important abilities) in mind! The history and lore of the game is only going to get thicker with time, and future leaders, like current leaders, are expected to know everything. You might reply they're not, but they are. Two scenes now I've been told to go off and learn when, using the above tools, I gain no insight. If anyone expects players to search two decades of books, [dead] clans and orgs, and...

    You're (players of all kinds) making it really hard on new characters. You're making it really hard on getting new characters to become new leaders.

    It's up to good leaders to both scrub history no one wants to retain, and then sift what's left and present the take-home morals and points that define orgs to new people.

    Granted, these things should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Maybe. Possibly. Probably? I don't know.

    5. Alright. If the character is an antagonist, don't be surprised if they're attacked with intent to kill. Since Aetolia has a combat system, please... please... please do not RP combat. Make attacks for the NPC in question ahead of time. Expect me to use every skill and power I've gained and practiced to assess said NPC. Maybe turn on crit immunity or create defenses to extend fights. If this is wrong, tell me why, because I'd like the discussion so middleground can be found and expectations can be adjusted in both directions.

    Consider the following questions as well. Not everyone has volunteered as a divine, and I lack common sense.

    A. What does an NPC see after possession? Do effects that hide other effects affect this vision? Examples, skills with 3rd party messages, curing, darkness, blizzard, wind, custom/hidden movement, deathsight, thirdeye...

    B. NPCs don't have access to PATH and FOLLOW, correct? I know player pets and ents have ORDER FOLLOW, but I get the feeling that NPCs can't? Is there some way to make movement in a scene convenient to possessors?

    C. I'm under the impression there's ranks in the Pools. New volunteers don't get access to all resources in the Pools, and as they don't have nearly all the responsibilities of their superiors. Where does having the ability to possess a mob come in this chain? Do requests need to be made ahead of time to get permission to do single possessions?

    D. Can multiple NPCs be possessed at the same time, or is it possible to move/order multiple things at once?

    Once again, thank you for reading. Some of this stuff has been frustrating me as player since I started playing IRE in highschool fifteen years ago. This ignorance makes me not want to participate in events because I could be harming the scene like sandpaper on a slide.
    Post edited by Kasimir on
    Kodaza
  • SilenaSilena Member, Immortal Posts: 95 Immortal
    Thanks! I'll try my best to answer.
    Teani said:

    If an attempt to get your attention is made, using SAY TO and mobmsg, and one feels like they have provided a lot of information, how likely would you say it is that said NPC will get back to them?

    What time frame are we talking? If nothing is heard after a few <hours/days/weeks>, you will probably not hear back?

    Can mobs return messages?

    If one doesn't get a response, say because of the info being too sketchy, how can one learn to improve to have a better chance in the future?

    Likelihood of response is a hard question, really, so much would depend on context- who the NPC is, what the request is, if anyone's paying attention to that NPC. We're not all experts on everything, and if it happens that the volunteer who made that NPC(or originally possessed them) is gone, others might be reluctant to get involved. All I can tell you in those cases is to provide more detail about what you want.

    Time frame, if it's during an event(assuming one that takes a few days to finish), generally within a few hours to a day. If it's a random request, I would try something else after a week of no response. Orgreqs, talking to an active divine directly, or to a different NPC. Also, most people do this anyway, but just in case: If you do want to ask something special of an NPC who isn't involved in an event/wasn't recently spoken to, roleplay about it first within your guild or city. It's a way of giving volunteers who are already inclined to help advance notice of what's going on. Again, not required, but a good idea.

    NPCs can't return messages, though there are ways they can send letters. They can also return tells.

    As for improving, I mean, this isn't a job. The goal is, hopefully, that you're doing it because it's fun! You can always try a different approach or send a reminder if you don't get a response back within a reasonable time frame. If you think the information is too sketchy, it might be better to talk to an in-character god directly, to work out the details.

    Most of the time, requesting something of an NPC should be fairly obvious why you're asking them as opposed to any other player/god. If it isn't, this might not be the best route to take.
  • SilenaSilena Member, Immortal Posts: 95 Immortal
    Kasimir said:



    3. I thought this was broken? Good if it was fixed, but I've been told more than once MOBMSG is ignored. http://forums.aetolia.com/discussion/comment/56776#Comment_56776

    It works. That response was quite a while ago, but often it is true that messaging your patron is a better way to go. But if you need to speak to a particular NPC, for whatever reason, this is still a good option.
    Kasimir said:


    If the Pools want a message delivered before starting a scene, or engaging an NPC... Do you want these OOC? Do you have a template? Do player mobs, like shopkeepers and orghall features, retain this information and allow their owners to see them?

    You don't have submit a message before you talk to NPC. I'm talking about situations where someone tries to talk to them and gets no response- rather than giving up, this is another option. Treat messages to them the same as those to other players(IE, in-character). Only celani/gods can see the messages.
    Kasimir said:


    A. What does an NPC see after possession? Do effects that hide other effects affect this vision? Examples, skills with 3rd party messages, curing, darkness, blizzard, wind, custom/hidden movement, deathsight, thirdeye...

    That's a good question! So, the way possession actually works is via commands given by a celani that may be standing in the room. In which case, whether the NPC can 'see' skill effects or movement will depend on the NPC in question and whether it would make sense, from a roleplay perspective. The short answer is there isn't a real limitation on their ability to see anything, so it depends on the celani in question to make it an issue.
    Kasimir said:


    B. NPCs don't have access to PATH and FOLLOW, correct? I know player pets and ents have ORDER FOLLOW, but I get the feeling that NPCs can't? Is there some way to make movement in a scene convenient to possessors?

    You mean having an NPC follow you, or having other NPCs follow them, or you follow an NPC? In the first case, there are commands that allow an NPC to follow players, which works similarly to the FOLLOW command. There is a limited PATH-like ability that isn't very useful over long distances, but for the most part, movement is convenient for possessors. Still, there might be practical reasons why a celani doesn't want to move the NPC out of a room or area.
    Kasimir said:


    C. I'm under the impression there's ranks in the Pools. New volunteers don't get access to all resources in the Pools, and as they don't have nearly all the responsibilities of their superiors. Where does having the ability to possess a mob come in this chain? Do requests need to be made ahead of time to get permission to do single possessions?

    For generic, not-organization or story important mobs, this is one of the first things volunteers would be allowed to do. Requests don't need to be made ahead of time, and most of the time, permission isn't required. That said, we work collectively to develop the world, so often it needs to be talked about ahead of time.
    Kasimir said:


    D. Can multiple NPCs be possessed at the same time, or is it possible to move/order multiple things at once?

    Theoretically, as many as we want. In practice, my own ability to control multiple mobs is inversely related to the square of how many hours I've been online. Switching between them gets confusing pretty quickly! It is possible to move/order multiple mobs at once, but generally only through coding done ahead of time(or by using multiple celani).
    Kasimir said:


    Once again, thank you for reading. Some of this stuff has been frustrating me as player since I started playing IRE in highschool fifteen years ago. This ignorance makes me not want to participate in events because I could be harming the scene like sandpaper on a slide.

    You shouldn't feel this way! My personal perspective on this, the only players that harm a scene are those who are setting out to do so. I appreciate it when players offer suggestions during events- it may not always seem like it, but not all events are 'railroaded' in a particular direction. If a player suggests something that sounds more interesting than my original plan(and makes sense), I will go with it if it's at all practical to code.

    Not speaking for everyone/all events here: Sometimes, events have to work out one way, and sometimes we may not have time to make changes.
    Kasimir
  • AnteheAntehe Member, Immortal Posts: 457 Immortal
    I just wanted to expand on a few points!

    A. What does an NPC see after possession? Do effects that hide other effects affect this vision? Examples, skills with 3rd party messages, curing, darkness, blizzard, wind, custom/hidden movement, deathsight, thirdeye...

    Keep in mind that volunteers don't know what every skill line and message means (and we can't just do a google - we have to ask as well!). This is why emoting, or using thoughts, to add context for what your intention is in what you're doing is important (kind of like DnD. "I'm backing out towards the alley and making a fireball [ so I can see oncoming shadows more clearly ]."


    5. Alright. If the character is an antagonist, don't be surprised if they're attacked with intent to kill. Since Aetolia has a combat system, please... please... please do not RP combat. Make attacks for the NPC in question ahead of time. Expect me to use every skill and power I've gained and practiced to assess said NPC. Maybe turn on crit immunity or create defenses to extend fights. If this is wrong, tell me why, because I'd like the discussion so middleground can be found and expectations can be adjusted in both directions.

    This is a bit more tricky. Figuring out where the balance point is between giving direction, having opportunities, and free reign of choice (and consequence) for player decisions is a very difficult thing. We hear a lot of complaints (very, very colourful complaints) about players being railroaded, how actions don't matter, etc, during events, just pushing Admin agenda. With larger global events, this can be the case, because those are events moving the larger narrative of the continent and world forward (Kerrithrim, the invading Nazedha, Heva waking up, etc). Smaller scale things have much more flexibility. There comes a point where the safety net and the desire to have decisions make a difference, for better or worse, come into conflict, and one or the other has to go.

    In terms of mobiles more emulating players in terms of defensive skills -- the kind of progging needed for that is something we generally won't do outside of special fight encounters, like Baelak Shipbreaker. It isn't something all of us have experience with/know how to do, and the amount of time it would take us to create and test it out would only further delay interactions. We RP fights and movements to give people chances to react, to add their own colour, and to make clear that it is *not yet mechanical* but something that is enriching the scene or story. As with other show-down fights, once it gets to a mechanical "DPS it down" stage, it's pretty clear because you're getting hit with something we've initiated.


    D. Can multiple NPCs be possessed at the same time, or is it possible to move/order multiple things at once?

    Many! Though juggling between them can be tricky, and the more we add, the slower we are as we have to switch between which one we are operating through, and keep track of those various conversations.

    Also, keep in mind that volunteers aren't required to follow up on mobmsgs, or roleplay with specific people. Your interactions and attitudes IC and OOC impact just how flexible NPCs are to cater. It is our donated time to the game and we have other work that we are doing (going through Ideas, fixing bugs, building new content, testing new content, weeping into our corn flakes as new content fails to do what we want it to).
    Kasimir
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