Persistence concerning NPCs and the World

I'm not sure if this aspect of the game has been covered already but I find it really interesting and I hope we can get a discussion going here.

One of my favourite elements in most games is the idea that the world is persistent, and that it exists whether or not my character is around. For instance, bandits don't exist purely to plague me, they also perform raids on local villages and other bandit activities.

In terms of NPCs my primary concern is that they should do activities that are believable and real, not just preprogrammed or random. In other words, they do what they do because they want to, not because they were arbitrarily told to. This also governs animals and other natural phenomena.

The world should also be persistent and display changes that make sense. I think this part will be easier to handle.

Also note that this is independent of the dev's statement that events will occur in the world with or without your input.

What do you think? Is this feasible? Is it even something we want?



Yes yes and yes

The story unfolds in a hugely dynamic fashion and events will transpire even without your intervention. Your lack of involvement may lead to truly disastrous consequences for the world, the game will not end but the world may become a very inhospitable place. Even if you try your best you may not succeed, the game does not revolve around completing tasks and progressing stages of the plot. Success or failure are of equal value, the aim is to have fun.
There will be a great many unique non player characters in the world, whether they become friends or enemies or are simply indifferent is completely circumstantial. The game is not specifically designed to have a persistent party of companions, though some characters may choose to follow you and may be predisposed toward this role. If they perish they will not return to life, or at least not as they were. Ultimately no character (or creature) is special, all are subject to the same rules and the physical laws of the universe.
From here:

Tony Dye

The idea that your actions matter, and that NPCs do what they are doing for believable reasons regardless of whether you're around, are two core ideas for the game. Reflecting your actions in the world, in terms of the future interactions you have as well as physical changes brought about by quests, is a concept we hope to see take a prominent place in things.
I am loving this game more and more. Thanks for the answers.

If anyone wants to discuss implications of persistence, they can put them in this thread.


One of my major questions regarding persistence is economics. How in depth are you wanting to get into economics? The only game that I have ever played that even had anything like a true randomized economic system is Mount and Blade: Warband. The villages and towns traded and produced items which could be hampered by say torching a town which results in high prices for bread in the nearby city or selling a lot of iron in a area destabilizing the prices for a while. When you eventually were knighted and given a fief you could support it by building things such as messenger posts to alert you when a enemy is nearby or a mill to raise the towns productivity. I think this type of system could make interacting with citizens and towns much more interesting and meaningful to the whole game world. Also, even if the game doesn't have economics I think the idea of groups fighting and towns being taken and re-taken in contested areas would be cool as well.So, you think the price of armor is to high? why not help settle the towns problem with bandits so the guard does not buy as many sets or help fund new guard posts in the countryside so they can deal with the problem without you.


Yes, having the open world ability to buy, make or steal a house/keep/castle is great. But with that ability comes the responsibility of upkeep, protection, building an army, dealing with the community, etc. If SG can make this work in a single or Lan game then such a thing would increase exponentially in an online open community. That is where alliances could be formed for all of the reasons stated above. Yes, it becomes a SimWorld but with better goals, environment and stories.


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