Modifying the way NPCs give directions

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numidium3rd
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Modifying the way NPCs give directions

Post by numidium3rd » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:52 am

When you ask commoners for directions in a town the quickest way to find a building is to ask them repeatedly until they mark it on your map. Therefore, that's what I usually end up doing. Arena was actually able to avoid this by only having the townsfolk mark the exact location if you're sufficiently near it. I think this makes town exploration more engaging since you have to look around a bit instead of just spamming the "OKAY" button a few times in the dialogue menu.

I've been thinking it might be a good idea to implement town directions queries the Arena way in DFU. Would this make the game too tedious or would it add a fun, extra dimension to exploring towns? Is this straying from Classic too much? What do you all think?

BansheeXYZ
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Re: Modifying the way NPCs give directions

Post by BansheeXYZ » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:16 pm

Would this make the game too tedious
Yeah.
would it add a fun, extra dimension to exploring towns? Is this straying from Classic too much? What do you all think?
Not really. Daggerfall is built to be ginormous and the result is that it's mostly generic. There's no point to exploring towns and wilderness because there's nothing unique to find. The fun of the game is in its immersive atmosphere and character progression.

Now take a game like Divinity or Ultima 7, it's all hand-crafted and built for exploration. Every NPC has a story to tell, quests are specific to each NPC and can only be done once, every house has different items in it, there are containers and secrets strewn about the world. There are rewards to snooping around and backtracking.

You're not adding exploration to dfall by making it harder to find the generic npc that labels your building. If anything, they made it too hard already. Half the people don't know where the only bank in town is? Someone capable of marking your map would waste time giving you nothing but a cardinal direction? It's not just tedious, it's unrealistic. And the guilds should've been premarked since their shape gives them away anyway.

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mikeprichard
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Re: Modifying the way NPCs give directions

Post by mikeprichard » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:19 pm

Yeah, the classic implementation is already unrealistic and tedious in my opinion. A compromise might be to have some NPCs in a town tell you they simply don't know where a particular building is, with these people never marking the building on your map no matter how many times you spam "OKAY"; other (probably most) NPCs in the town, on the other hand, would always mark the building on your map upon your first request. Personally, I'd prefer some major buildings (including guild halls) to be pre-marked on your map, with any NPC in a town able to immediately mark on your map any of the remaining buildings. Of course, this would be a significant departure from classic.

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pango
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Re: Modifying the way NPCs give directions

Post by pango » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:41 pm

How hard/easy it is to get directions is a reward for good reputation and good communication skills.
Like NPCs indoors only giving directions and not pointing things on map is a reward for coming to town during daytime.
Those mechanics could be made easier/more realistic, but then you'd lose part of the gameplay.

Or maybe some different layer could be used; Like, you make it easier to get directions (at least for shops and guilds, maybe only neighborhood knows about the exact location of residences), but if people are really willing to talk to you, they could not only give you locations, but also some quality hint:
- "I know the man that runs the place. Good guy."
- "I heard nothing good about this shop."
- "Nice general store, too pricey for me though."
...
Or give you a recommendation among the shops they know about?
That way reputation and communication skills are still a benefit: you could get an idea of where to buy and sell your stuff without going to each and every shop.
When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
-- Charles Goodhart

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mikeprichard
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Re: Modifying the way NPCs give directions

Post by mikeprichard » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:45 pm

Good point about faction reputation (fundamental to the classic system). Still, what I'd at least like to see (either through base DFU options or a mod), as I mentioned before, is if an NPC is at all capable - considering reputation and other factors - of marking something on your map (much preferable to simply providing directions), they should mark the building upon your first request.

BansheeXYZ
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Re: Modifying the way NPCs give directions

Post by BansheeXYZ » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:10 pm

pango wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:41 pm
How hard/easy it is to get directions is a reward for good reputation and good communication skills.Like NPCs indoors only giving directions and not pointing things on map is a reward for coming to town during daytime.
Those mechanics could be made easier/more realistic, but then you'd lose part of the gameplay.
Speaking on classic's design (not as a suggestion for DFU), nothing would've been lost by pre-labeling orange/blue. You've still got quest houses and the regional "where is/about" to ask about. Forcing npc interaction to make the map useful for commerce wasn't a good tradeoff. Having done the legwork in Aldingwall to get all the businesses identified makes me want to stay there. So there's this ginormous world with tons of other cities and I end up spending most of my time in one. You can see how the idea backfired.

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mikeprichard
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Re: Modifying the way NPCs give directions

Post by mikeprichard » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:08 pm

Given how tedious building discovery through random NPC dialogue can be, I usually just run around a new base of operations and info-click buildings manually to add them to my map.

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Alyndiar
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Re: Modifying the way NPCs give directions

Post by Alyndiar » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:14 am

mikeprichard wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:08 pm
Given how tedious building discovery through random NPC dialogue can be, I usually just run around a new base of operations and info-click buildings manually to add them to my map.
Now I feel stupid... It never occured to me that this could be done... <banging head on desk repeatedly>

Thanks for the tip!

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mikeprichard
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Re: Modifying the way NPCs give directions

Post by mikeprichard » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:31 pm

Sure! :)

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