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I know that NPCs have been suggested and turned down because they were suggested for workers taking away from player collaboration. My suggestion is different.

We make these large cities with only 20 citizens and it feels empty. I understand some servers have more players but the average seems 20-30. My suggestion is to add a mechanic in that when you design a specific house or apartment an NPC moves in. They begin to impact the environment by producing waste and possibly consuming products which leads to more eco issues. You could have a garbage disposal job that recycles etc and recycled items can be repurposed. Players of course can limit immigration through laws etc. This can be controlled through a specific housing item placed in a building designating it an NPC.

Idk just some basic thoughts on increasing population in empty cities that comes with problems to solve.

Edit: Another thing I thought of is NPCs could be mid game transporters aka logistics. Yes the powered vehicles are there but I still have to do the traveling. Is it too far fetched to have employees? Idk

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about 1 month ago - /u/SLG-Dennis - Direct link

"Is it too far fetched to have employees? Idk" - No. But those should be other players. Transporting business is big on some servers :)

I appreciate your ideas, but NPCs are simply out of scope. Everything people seem to suggest for NPCs to do is stuff we want players to figure out and do with other players. I know people that don't do anything else than building stuff for others, others love mining for other people in diggy diggy hole manner, some people love trucking around and others only deal with government all day. There is enough possibility for all this stuff being done by players - and that's what Eco is about and what we want people to experience when playing the game.

NPCs would take a lot away and go into the opposite direction of what we want. Work Parties and Labour were implemented so players need to help each other out, providing work for them. Contracts have the same purpose. And in a future update this will extend to schooling for learning skills.

about 1 month ago - /u/SLG-Dennis - Direct link

Originally posted by Teagan_75

So, the scope of this game will always be to cater to the player who has exorbitant amount of free time and never the casual player?

I see 20 true professions in the skill tree at the moment. Do public servers or private servers retain the interest of 20 players consistently?

Edit: I have run servers before many times. I know how hard it is to keep player interest in a very grindy game like ARK, Empyrion, etc. It’s nearly impossible unless it’s heavily pvp. Eco is not like that which I truly appreciate. However, another thing players always want is logistics and not themselves doing it ALL the time without a goal of getting to the point of not doing it.

You say players like the menial jobs. Not in my experience running games similar to this. It is a rare person who enjoys that.

I unfortunately already disagree with this meaning we cater to players with exorbitant amount of free time. Eco is played in 30 days cycles and resembles society building, so playing daily is pretty much 'required' and is obvious for most people. A casual player for me is someone playing two hours after his work time. I know a lot of people of that kind that love doing what you call menial tasks through all that time and relax. Hell I know so many people that play a simulator game resembling their job (train, construction, bus, etc.) they did five minutes ago that even I question why that is - but they love it. I actually know myself very well as well and I do like digging without seeing the sunlight as well.

Official and community servers like White-Tiger do retain that interest - yes. And White-Tiger has been my former private server which did as well. It requires thought and active work by the administrators, of course. I'm hosting gaming communities and even clan-organisations with hundreds of people for over 15 years now with all major games from battlefield over minecraft, ark and conan exiles and I didn't have issues with player retention on grindy stuff. With and without PvP. Sure, there always are players that cannot afford playing regularily (and those tend to play games like hots and overwatch [sorry, blizzard fetish] with 20 minutes rounds in my experience), but Eco isn't built around those indeed. I'd not call those people casual players, though. (I didn't look up the definition, maybe 2 hours a day for playing is already way above casual, but yes, then that's the target group.) And i'd say that Eco is quite clear about what it is with its maximum 30 day cycles.

And I also know we always have all required people on Tiger. People that don't want to see sunlight, experts in lawmaking, experts for economy and a lot of casual players as well. It works out quite well in my opinion. And that's what Eco is about. Using the players interests to create a specialized society with working governance and economy. Tiger is pretty much how we think Eco should be played - while giving you any possibility to change stuff and mod stuff, even to a big margin without requiring mods so you can play how you want to play Eco.

But no, what I wanted to say is that we won't have NPCs. We want players to do the jobs, as this is what the vision our game-design is based on entitles. They will get help with better machinery making stuff more and more efficient and in much later development also with basic and limited automation. But in the end, they still will need to do it themselves. Labour is a part of Eco and required for society simulating. And yes, there is totally a lot of balance still to do!

I can totally understand if someone doesn't like this type of game. But I've got to know so many people that actually do in my 3 years of working at SLG and 4 years of playing Eco that I don't have doubts this works out.

about 1 month ago - /u/SLG-Dennis - Direct link

Originally posted by Teagan_75

Don’t get me wrong. I totally love this game. I just wouldn’t play on public servers due to many of the issues in this thread and others (corporations, monopolies, etc) which cannot be solved through voting since it’s mob ruled aka democracy. They will never vote to regulate their business like politicians never vote for term limits lol. I play with a handful of friends so we actually have time to learn and enjoy the game. The original post was not asking for NPCs to take over jobs (which it actually ended up being turned into) but rather filling up my city with npcs I have to take care of. That’s it for me honestly.

I guess my definition of a casual player is not the official one. I am lucky if I can get 2 hours in each day being the mother of a preschooler. Playing for an hour each day doesn’t get me very far but that doesn’t bother me because I play with people who are in the same boat as me.

I like the labor part of eco too and would never ask for that to be taken away. I have seen too many games that get to the point of complete automation with no player interaction and it gets boring.

On White-Tiger all those politic decisions you say aren't there do actually happen. On Sea-Otter they made a senate as well instead of direct democracy. I mean it's part of my job to look around a lot of servers, but all you said there does happen regularily on servers. With 9.2s introduction of residency senate can be consisted of senators from different regions, making it very hard for groups to get overly influence on politics. They either play together in one area and can only get one seat or they need to spread to get more seats, but loose benefits of playing together. Both is a massive reduction of power.

I got what you wanted NPCs for, but the answer here is the same - you prefer playing singleplayer, but our focus is on multiplayer and developing NPCs for people playing singleplayer instead of the intended gameplay of Eco would be development time (and for NPCs a lot) that is much better invested elsewhere, hence it is not going to happen. I guess we did our fair share to describe Eco as a game that is meant to be played with other humans and that the experience of the game pretty much consists of all these issues that arise and you are supposed to solve. Having this issues is intended gameplay.

See, I'm just trying to be honest with you. I see no good in telling you, yes it might come, it might come, maybe. If it's not going to happen you have the right to know.