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Friendly NPCs and manned stations


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I know friendly NPCs have been suggested many times before, but they look more feasible now with alpha 17. So, how about this?:


  1. Add a high tier trader quest to rescue an NPC holed up in an infested location. As reward, player may choose to recruit the NPC.
  2. After recruiting, player may interact with land claim block to deploy the NPC. The NPC will then be removed from the player's global NPC pool and appear in player inventory as placeable item (if inventory has room).
  3. Player may place the NPC on top of a solid block anywhere within own land claim area.


After placement, the NPC will stand in place until reclaimed or killed. The NPC will constantly scan for enemies, kind of like an organic turret with 360 degree field of vision. When the NPC sees any enemy or zombie, it will go into combat mode.


The combat mode is simple:

  1. If any enemy is within sight range, the NPC may shout an alarm, depending on player selected setting.
  2. If the closest enemy is within weapon range, and NPC has line of sight, then the NPC will attack.
  3. Else if NPC has low cover (1 high solid block adjacent to NPC in enemy direction), then the NPC will crouch for cover behind the block (think of a popular tactical turn-based game with a story about fighting aliens).


The NPC can take damage from enemy attacks. If the NPC is killed while the player is logged on, they leave NPC pool for good. NPCs killed while player is logged out only return to player's NPC pool.


For optional more complex combat mode:

  • The NPCs only crouch behind cover if they see an enemy player, not for zombies.
  • The NPC will stay crouched behind low cover also when the enemy player is within weapon range, and only pop up to aim and take shots.
  • An NPC standing behind high cover (2 solid blocks) will sidestep to adjacent floor (if it has low or no cover) to take a shot. The sidestep direction depends on the cardinal direction of the enemy, if there is no room to sidestep then the NPC will do nothing.
  • The NPC can shout things like "Ammo low!", "Out of ammo!" or "I'm hit!" depending on situation.
  • Wounded NPCs have chance to abandon post and return to pool.
  • Unattended NPCs under attack with no ammo and no melee weapon will abandon post and return to pool.


Player can interact with any deployed NPC (by holding 'E'):


  1. Give weapon (NPC can hold only one weapon at a time)
  2. Give ammo
  3. Restore NPC to inventory for new placement
  4. Restore NPC to pool (will be available for acquisition through land claim block)
  5. Turn alarm on/off


Player can also interact with land claim block:

  1. View player's NPC pool
  2. Restore all deployed NPCs to pool (immediately)
  3. Turn alarm on/off for all NPCs





Optional, for added complexity (perhaps too much micromanagement):


The NPCs have health, water and food status, just like players. The water and food will degrade while the player is online. Player can heal NPCs with medical items (just like when using bandages on other players), and right-click with food items to apply food effects (except NPCs don't get food buffs or debuffs, to keep things simple, you don't want drunken guards with food poisoning around your base after all).


When a NPC hits "hungry" level, they will automatically return to NPC pool.

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