Advanced NPC interaction menu

Disclaimer: I have no coding skills whatsoever, and with my exams coming up in a few months, I have no spare time to learn to code. I therefore hereby humbly beseech thee, oh gods of programming, to take my proposal into consideration.

With that out of the way, let’s get to business.

I think it would be cool if you could have a way to interact with NPCs on a deeper level, with more concise and clear menus. Basically my idea is the following:
When your relationship with an NPC crosses a certain threshold (They like you enough), you get acces to an advanced menu for that NPC. In this menu you could view a bit about their background, stats, see what they’re wearing wearing, see their body temperature, encumberment, and hunger and thirst levels. Through this menu you can closely determine what the NPCs wear, give them food and drink, etc. This would add to the game in the following ways:
-It would be more esthetically pleasing than the current NPC interaction.
-It would be more concise and clear. Instead of naming what NPC is wearing in one long list, it could be displayed similarly to the way you can see what your own character is wearing. All the information you need in one orderly screen.
-It would give you more power. You have more control over your NPCs, and can use this to maximize their potential.
-With great power comes great responsibility. From the point you can access this menu, you have to make sure your NPC doesn’t get too cold, warm, encumbered, hungry, thirsty, etc. If the player doesn’t provide in the NPCs needs, the relationship would cross back over the threshhold, and they would dislike you for a while. (NPC AI would have to be changed to their needs though. Now they would have to look for food for themselves when you’re not there, otherwise it wouldn’t be realistic. I realize this might be problematic)
-This would clear the way for possible future NPC updates. NPC interactivity is a very interesting part of the game, and it would be nice if you’d have more control over them. If something is changed, you could control it through this menu.
-This could well be paired with an AI update, to make the NPCs more lifelike. (I know this would be a lot of work, and if I could help I really would >.<)

This idea isn’t fully fleshed out yet, so I would really like to see people’s suggestions to improve on it.

I’d like to see NPC “personalities” as a sort of composition for NPC behaviors where you can stack different decision making engines for NPCs. The “guard” personality says to stay in one area or follow a certain patrol route or character, to prefer higher defense armor, and to be extra vigilant. The “fighter” personality says to aggressively chase targets, prefer direct approaches, and to prefer armor balanced between encumbrance and defense. The “scavenger” personality could say to avoid combat unless very opportunistic situation, prefer sneaking and quiet weapons, and to select armor with low encumbrance. The “diplomat” personality would prefer to talk their way out of situations and negotiate for or purchase protection. Then, there could be a “bandit” personality that dictates that the NPC with that personality prefers violence and intimidation, and will attack other unaligned humans unprovoked.

NPCs can have multiple personalities that stack, so an NPC with both “bandit” and “guard” personalities will use both sets of rules to make decisions. A priority system could be used to resolve conflicts, so a “diplomat” “scavenger” “bandit” NPC might try to convince you they are friendly, then stab you in the back when they get the chance.

On the player control side of things, there could be job type personalities, like a “foreman” personality that can be assigned to a friendly NPC that has a certain set of stats or skills (construction 5+, fabrication 3+, for example) and NPCs with that personality can direct you to acquire materials and when things get more advanced, command other NPCs to build things. Followers could have a set of personalities that govern how much they trust the player and how much the player can command them to do, like the basic “follower” personality means they’re just tagging along with you. If you run into a sticky situation, their other personalities will govern how they respond. If you build trust, they can be upgraded to a “companion” personality and you can instruct them to do more things like guard a location, get more detail about their skills/stats, and so on. Finally, if you build up more trust, they can be upgraded to the “partner” personality where you can dictate what gear they wear and what weapons they use and so on.

Most personalities should be presets that can’t be changed, but the player should also have the ability to define their own personalities by assigning sets of rules to an NPC or saving that set as a preset and then assigning that preset to an NPC. Certain personality rules might require another personality be active, that the NPC has a certain level of stats or skills, or the player has a certain level of stats or skills. For example, if you want to create a “medic” personality and assign it to an NPC, you might set a rule that says to use healing supplies on any nearby NPC or the player whenever they have a body part that is at 60% or below, which might require the NPC to have a first aid of at least 3, and a trust level of at least “companion”. If you wanted to create a “martyr” personality and direct the NPC to attack aggressively even against a much more powerful enemy, it might require that you have “partner” level trust and that the player has a speech skill of 6 or higher.

Some rule examples:

[ul][li]Always attack aggressively[/li]
[li]Attack when convenient[/li]
[li]Attack my target only[/li]
[li]Defend yourself when attacked[/li]
[li]Flee when attacked[/li][/ul]


[ul][li]Maximize defense[/li]
[li]Maximize storage[/li]
[li]Minimize encumbrance[/li]
[li]Balance encumbrance/defense[/li]
[li]Balance encumbrance/storage[/li]
[li]Balance defense/storage[/li]
[li]Specific clothing only[/li][/ul]

  • NPCs should always try to prioritize warmth if they are in danger of frostbite

Item Pickups:

[ul][li]Strictly items needed for survival and direct upgrades of current gear[/li]
[li]Construction and crafting supplies[/li]
[li]Weapons and ammo[/li]
[li]First aid[/li]

Healing Items:

[ul][li]Heal any friendlies when a body part health drops below X%[/li]
[li]Heal player only when a body part health drops below X%[/li]
[li]Do not use any healing supplies except on self[/li][/ul]

  • NPCs should almost always health themselves whenever needed

Weapon Priority:

[ul][li]Use best weapon for current skills[/li]
[li]Prefer bashing[/li]
[li]Prefer cutting[/li]
[li]Prefer ranged[/li]
[li]Prefer silent[/li]
[li]Prefer heavy[/li]
[li]Prefer explosives[/li]
[li]Prefer electronic/advanced[/li]
[li]Prefer fiery[/li]
[li]Use designated weapon only[/li][/ul]

Engagement and Targeting:

[ul][li]May initiate combat[/li]
[li]Only join combat in progress[/li]
[li]Avoid targets that may damage friendlies (auto fire weapons, flamethrowers, grenades)[/li]
[li]Target most injured enemy[/li]
[li]Target player’s target[/li][/ul]

There are probably many, many, many more rules and lots of potential personalities.