I like NPCs. I really do. As one person once said: “What is the point of surviving if you are the only person left?” That’s why I want to see more content added onto them.
First is mutant/cyborg NPCs. From what I could gather, Cybernetic Alteration was akin to large-scale gun collecting today. Someone well off could easily buy a few civilian CBMs, and we have several Professions to reflect this. Additionally, I find it hard to believe there aren’t some high-level military cyborgs running around now that the US Government is dead. Additionally, considering there are radioactive hot spots dotting the landscape (along with those Science Labs littered with oh-so-delicious technology that could spell the difference between life and death), there should be other mutants running around the remains of New Englands, right?
Second is Territories and Designated Areas: A Designated Area would allow NPCs to take resources (Healing Items, Water, Food, Ammo, Etc) from this area without you having to baby them. A Territory could be multiple things: A “Don’t Come here” sign, a “Looters will be shot” sign, etc.
Perhaps you could clear out a town, and put down a Totem that designates your area as a settlement. Boom: You suddenly have a town, maybe even with shops that have a thing worth buying (something to use Bartering on, finally!).
Another aspect I’d like to see is “NPC Evolution”. Zombies get more deadly as time goes on. Logic dictates that the remaining survivors should also get stronger as time goes on. As it stands now NPCs make no effort to improve themselves, and an NPC that spawns on Day 1 is just as strong as one that Spawns on Day 113 (first year of Day 3). Wouldn’t it be nice to see those nuts at the Refugee Center one day be armed with Pneumatic Bolt Drivers and kitted in Survivor Suits?
Speaking of the Refugee Center, the Human Factions could use a tune-up too; The Old Guard and Center quest-chains are incomplete/bugged, so there’s no way to see a main base from the Old Guard (probably where all of the remaining scientists are), or find out what’s in the basement of the Center. Also, who else wants to join the Hell’s Raiders and engage in epic cage fights, raid caravans, etc?
NOTE: Highly edited after feedback from Kevin Granade.