NPC & personal space: no innocent thief anymore

Neutral NPC keeps certain distance from you( I suggest 10).

When you keep approaching a neutral NPC, they will turn hostile like an angered moose.

This solves the problem that neutral NPC steals from your shopping cart in front of your eyes.

And what if you are returning to your mobile base after raiding a town just to notice NPC quickly running away from it with your tools and drugs?

In the anarchy of cataclysm, what would one do when he finds a pile of unguarded loot?

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If you kill him you will get “Killed an innocent” debuff. There is no way to deal with thiefs. Can’t claim something as your own or lock your car.

Yeah… that’s a problem.

But theft when you are absent is very natural. At least they wouldn’t steal when you are present.

Tell you a secret.

  • NPCs can usually but not always be goaded into attacking you if you have low speech.
  • NPCs cant see into your car, but seem to be able to see stuff on the door. For some odd reason they can see whats in a door or hatch or such on the outside of the vehicle. But not on the seats or trunks.
  • I think letting go of the vehicle just before it hits them will not count, but dont quote me on that.
  • NPCs can be persuaded to stop pathing to your stuff if they see other closer stuff, and can stop if their target is moving. Driving away can discourage them.
  • NPCs wont path over traps willingly. Spiked pits are traps.
  • Prozac will fix all your NPC woes
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Prozac, the path to inner peace.


What if the game checked whether the item was touched by the PC in the last hour and then would allow to kill for pnly half of the ‘killed innocent’ debuff

In reality, most people try to coordinate and help one another. We are social/herd animals. And anarchy does not mean criminality or sociopathy. Anarchy is a rejection of social hierarchies.

As a squatter, I would expect to see evidence of somebody’s presence long before I uncover any sort of cache. I would look for territorial markings (say… spraypainted tags, or objects placed in a conspicuous manner). I would look for clues as to whether or not the owner is nearby, and any clues which suggest how recently somebody has been nearby. For instance: How dusty is the environment? Is there food? Is it spoiled? Is there a sleeping area? How much effort has been put in to covering up signs of presence? Also, how difficult is it to enter a site? Are there locks on the doors? Are there fences?

There are a lot of things to consider when determining whether or not a site has been abandoned. Taking things from or even trespassing on a site which is not abandoned should be considered dangerous by anyone, weighed against how dangerous the intruder is themself.

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You also have to remind yourself that, in survival situations, a group will have much higher chances of survival and it will make most things easier.
So, if a zombie apocalypse struck, and you found a deathmobile of a base which seems to be inhabited, your first instinct wouldn’t be ‘loot it and run!’ - you’d try and wait until you meet the person whos living there. Yes, it might be a risk, but there is also a chance you will be invited into a group of survivors, which will raise your own chances of survival as well as theirs.
There are, of course, always exceptions to the rule, but…well, yeah.

Anyways, we all know there is plenty of room for npc improvement. How is this for an idea:

Every animal/zombie/monster has 2 values, Aggresiveness and Morale. Couldn’t we also use the same values for npcs, but give every npc their own values? That way, we could have different types of archetypes, based upon those 2 values.

High Aggro/High Morale: The ‘Hero’ type - he will actively try and seek out monsters in order to fight them and wants to protect what’s left of humanity. He would be more inclined to accept a ‘im weak, you could protect me’ approach if you tried to get him to follow you too.
High Aggro/Low Morale: Your usual bandit/psychopath. They don’t care about other people, just about themself. They might create groups, but those aren’t usually stable. If you have one of those as a companion, keep a gun close to you, and hope they consider you ‘useful’.
Low Aggro/High Morale: Tend to avoid fighting, they would be more of a scavenger type. If they happen to find the players base and/or vehicle, they might stick around for a while if it’s safe, hoping they would find other survivors to team up with.
Low Aggro/Low Morale: The thieving type of people. They are relatively cowardly, will only fight if they are sure they will win said fight. If they stumble upon a base of the player, they’d most likely try and loot it, but they would run away as soon as they see someone approaching.

Of course, those are just examples, but I feel this could improve the quality of the npcs by quite a bit, while it shouldn’t be too hard to program? I think? I mean, animals already do similar things at certain values of Aggresiveness and Morale, so one could use that as a fundament.
Also, you wouldn’t just by looking at someone know what type of person they are - you might get clues through conversation and actions, but you’d need to be with them for a longer while to be sure. Or you might die with a knife in your back, because of a bad companion…which, lets be honest, is a thing that happens anyways - not with companions, but I met an untimely end by npcs which went INSIDE MY VEHICLES AND SHOT ME! …
yeah, we still need the ability to lock stuff.

Interpersonal interaction is sophisticated. We tend to expect NPCs having more sophisticated behavior than other monsters do, since they are human. Those are all thoughtful and useful suggestions. A less simple-minded NPC surely will add thrill to the game.

I think we all agree that, in the player character’s presence, a neutral NPC should maintain non-trivial personal space from the player character. And this would naturally eliminates “NPC taking things in front of your eyes”.

Getting too deep into interpersonal relations with NPCs who currently have no behaviors more complex than aiming while avoiding the player is not a good idea.
For now, the NPCs need the most simple, brute restrictions, like “if this area is arbitrarily declared as camp by building a bulletin board, non-friends won’t take shit from it”.

[quote=“Coolthulhu, post:12, topic:14371”]Getting too deep into interpersonal relations with NPCs who currently have no behaviors more complex than aiming while avoiding the player is not a good idea.
For now, the NPCs need the most simple, brute restrictions, like “if this area is arbitrarily declared as camp by building a bulletin board, non-friends won’t take shit from it”.[/quote]
Yep, this. I’d also say something like “if a vehicle is tracked by PC, it’s also off-limits”.

“If a friendly NPC sees a non-hostile NPC enter a designated area, it will mark the offender as hostile.”
Optional: non-hostile and non-agressive NPCs avoiding marked areas.

That’s still trivially simple and captures the right behavior. Marking your turf is not magical, it just provides a clear signal about boundaries.


That sounds about right to me. Nothing is more annoying than when an NPC just takes my crap as if it had just dropped off some zombie, but I get a huge “you murdering monster” penalty when I shoot them and take it back.

NPCs should respect boundaries - at least acknowledge them. If they think that they can get away with taking from you, they should feel free to try, of course, but if they’re not someone who’s looking for a fight, they should avoid things which are likely to start fights - IE, thieving, or cursing at you and informing you that this is their territory, dirtbag.

The most brute-force way, I would think, would be to mark zones such that your zones are acknowledged even by NPCs not in your faction; they may still be willing to pick a fight with you if they judge you weak enough and they’re an aggro-type person, but random “innocent bystanders” won’t just loot your stuff.

Also, vehicles and their contents that you have interacted with significantly should get this - anything you’ve driven, or [G]rabbed and moved recently. So some heavily-armed bandit raider might just walk up, take your stuff out of your shopping cart and dare you to do something about it, but Random Nobody McPlsKillMyZombieMom won’t do so, especially after giving you a quest to kill their zombiemom.

hmmm, what about making a security system that you installed do that? as in, security system marks a car as “owned” (spawned ones are ‘owned’ by the world) and if anyone interacts with a vehicle that isn’t the owner or friendly to the owner the alarm goes off and the interactor is marked as hostle.

The last thing I want is NPC’s setting off loud alarms in an area I’m planning to return to.

loud enough to wake you up, not loud enough to call hordes. also the main point is the hostility marking.

I don’t need a bloody alarm to go off if I witness them screwing with my stuff.

yes, and what about if you are sleeping in your car and an NPC just walks up, loots your shit and walks off?