Are we too trusting of NPCs?

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I think you are throwing out the terms in a wrong fashion, but with good intend.

I doubt the actual irl gamer trusts the characters so easily. It is rather the developers that makes the protagonist, the gamer/player controls, to be almost disney, sunshine and rainbow trusting in anyone that shares 2 cents with them - like that ackward kid from your childhood who clung to you because you uttered a single sentence at him, not really caring about the context, just that you acknowledged him, even though you had thunder and lightning conveniently shocking around you, while laughing maniacly.

Truth be told, if it is not an rpg, I rarely trust anyone with more than safeguarding a glass of water (for the cyanide pill that they will be forced to swallow when they eventually lie!). They are either extremely bland and one-dimensional, easy to read, or predictable to such extend I can sometimes say their lines before they utter them themselves :P

So... long answer short: Gamers trust too easily? No, I do not think so.
Protagonists/main characters trust too easily? Mostly yes. And the stupidity is in free fall at times.

Amethyst Wind:

I love this post far too much to put into words.
OT:While I agree with you to a point its in online games when you're depending on other humans where you have to be most wary of who you Trust.NPC's are generally pretty transparent as far as motives go.

Not really, its just that a lot of times the player doesnt have the ability to choose if he doesnt want to believe in it.

I think that this is mostly because you are not given an option due to the linear nature of the quests. And most games don't inflict any penalty on us for getting deceived.

Skyrim Dark brotherhood questline spolier

Just look at Bioshock, that was a huge deception that the NPC played upon your character. Of course it was necessary to continue on in the game, but still it was a pretty big revelation in my opinion when I ended up getting betrayed.

I'd say it's the other way around. NPCs are way too trusting of players. So many times I've done a quest to kill X number of whatevers. I go out and do it, then come back and tell them I'm done and they just take my word for it :)

(little off topic but) i've always thought gamers are too trusting off the actual game, for example whenever there's the choice "save x or save y" you always assume that whichever one you pick will definitely survive, which is why i like walking dead so much because it fucks with that a little bit, so i thought adding random chance to the game would make gamers a lot more suspicious of it, if a character has a chance of betraying you. as opposed to you know he's going to betray you no matter what, it would make you be a lot more careful about how you treated him, obviously the percentage chance could be influenced by other things, say if you did a mission for him, or helped him when he was in trouble, the chance of betrayel would go down a lot, that would mean gamers would consider how they treated npc's and whether or not they trusted them

OT i never trust npcs i always assume they are planning to fuck my day up and whenever given the choice, i fuck theirs up first

Borderlands 2

Bioshock

Shadow of the Colossus

Fallout: New Vegas

Maybe I'm just too trusting.

It goes two ways; why do these brave souls trust that hitherto unknown hero this much? We all know that if it weren't for the pre-programmed limitations, we'd kill them all.

Ultratwinkie:
I noticed something:

Gamers are too trustworthy of what NPCs say and do.

When an NPC is trying to be convincing, the player will almost never doubt it. Even if they are practically pandering or using fantasies like "ill make all your dreams come true."

When an NPC tells a gamer something, the gamer takes it as 100% truth. A rapist could tell a gamer that he was just being "nice" when the gamer caught him with a screaming child, and the gamer would believe it. The most glaring is Fallout New vegas, where a raider tries to convince you they were "wronged" when the NCR busted down their door, started shooting, and put an end to their rampage.

I noticed this when too many players believed shady NPCs that were obviously lying or hiding their intentions in the more better-written RPGS and games.

Have you noticed anything like this? Do you think gamers are too trusting?

Nah, I just go along with it. That way, when I get ambushed, there are lots of corpses to loot.
Typically though, believing the NPC is telling the truth is usually the only way to proceed.

Take the undead nightmare mission where John Marston kills a bunch of sasquatches. It felt so wrong because they weren't fighting back, but I had to kill them to find out why it was bad.
Also to get rid of the quest from my journal.

I came across this in Skyrim. There was a guy on the road next to a torn up merchant cart saying bandits had destroyed the cart and he needed help to get to safety. I was like every bandit I've come across in Skyrim has tried to kill me, either this guy was lucky(not a chance) or it was a trap. Sure enough trap. I never trust an NPC unless they are a hireling.

After playing Sleeping Dogs, you'll never trust another NPC again. I swear almsot every single Face Mission where you're driving along and someone goes "HEY SHEN CAN YOU HELP ME?!" is pretty much a front for someone to punch you in the back of the head and attempt to make off with some of your money, which you promptly beat the hell out of.

BIOSHOCK!

I'll not spoil anything but I was surprised! I think i trusted the character because he/she was well written. anyone who finished bioshock will know what i mean.

NPCs are designed to be post-boards that relay information.
If they went about LYING to you all the time, no one would listen to them and then there wouldn't BE NPCs.

Gamer(s)? ...Well it depends on what games, some games don't give you valid options to ignore/choose what you do or don't with certain NPC's since they're what move the plot along.

There's very few that give you ample ability to choose what you believe about certain NPC's.
I know that Bethesda always leave it heavily on your shoulders what you do about certain events and interactions but most games don't really master this subtlety because it's easier to string the player along with a rope so he doesn't see all the cracks in reality.

Oh ho ho, play "The Inquisitor" despite all the monsters, devils and all the plain evils of that world, some npc tells you that its the humans who are the biggest evils who top those other ones. Almost every npc lies to you in that game, you really can't trust anybody, and always have to wind up on the cynical side of the brain, or else you won't get anywhere with the adventure (if that makes any sense)

Odbarc:
NPCs are designed to be post-boards that relay information.
If they went about LYING to you all the time, no one would listen to them and then there wouldn't BE NPCs.

Just read your statement by chance, what? elaborate oh wise one on what you mean by no NPCs I'm quite interested

Throughout the entire Soul Calibur game on the Wii I kept going "He's gonna betray me. He's gonna betray me. He's gonna betray me. Has he betrayed me yet?" during every single conversation with the last boss.

I've never played the game myself so I'm just going off what I've heard, but isn't this concept essentially what L.A. Noir was all about?

DrunkenMonkey:

Odbarc:
NPCs are designed to be post-boards that relay information.
If they went about LYING to you all the time, no one would listen to them and then there wouldn't BE NPCs.

Just read your statement by chance, what? elaborate oh wise one on what you mean by no NPCs I'm quite interested

NPCs exist to give information.
If NPCs gave our wrong/false information exclusively, there wouldn't be any need for NPCs.

I'm talking strictly in a non-sandbox type of frame whereas some forms of NPC act as body-bag fodder.
In the traditional RPG sense (Pixel era Final Fantasy for example), NPCs literally wondered the street to give you information.

Never, that I know of, did they tell you how to execute and event in a place that caught you doing mindless work with no possible chance to reward you. That would be redundant and completely horrible programming/design.

In my first morrowind playthrough there was a murder investigation where I was expected to pick who I thought was the killer and mete out bloody bladed justice. Only I killed the wrong dude, later I realised how absurd It was that I could have thought it *was* that dude, and basically the only reason I'd gone ahead and murdered him was cos one of the actual murderers had TOLD ME it was him, I thought it was just another part of the quest. At some point some npc will give me the info i'm looking for and then I'll be able to act based upon it. yeah not so... and never again!

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edit: made a mistake

Odbarc:

DrunkenMonkey:

Odbarc:
NPCs are designed to be post-boards that relay information.
If they went about LYING to you all the time, no one would listen to them and then there wouldn't BE NPCs.

Just read your statement by chance, what? elaborate oh wise one on what you mean by no NPCs I'm quite interested

NPCs exist to give information.
If NPCs gave our wrong/false information exclusively, there wouldn't be any need for NPCs.

I'm talking strictly in a non-sandbox type of frame whereas some forms of NPC act as body-bag fodder.
In the traditional RPG sense (Pixel era Final Fantasy for example), NPCs literally wondered the street to give you information.

Never, that I know of, did they tell you how to execute and event in a place that caught you doing mindless work with no possible chance to reward you. That would be redundant and completely horrible programming/design.

long story short thanks, that clears it up

Zeren:
I trusted an NPC once.


Never again.

I still couldn't pass him up. He was the only pure thief around. At least cleaning the heart gave enough exp to make up for it.

Still, why Yoshimo why?

OP: Well, yeah. Unless we are specifically signaled that he's untrustworthy we will almost always trust them. Then again continuing with Baldur's gate, I trusted Saemon Havarian. Twice. Maybe I'm just gullible.

exp. 99:
Having played Castlevania 2 in the heyday of the NES, screw NPCs. They're a bunch of lying little bastards. VtM: Bloodlines just reinforced that image.

Paranoia is now the watchword of the day.

Good evening
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I tend to trust NPCs a little bit too much. But then again I always carry a shotgun and/or a big stick to kill them with if they try anything funny.

Having just completed Episode 4 of The Walking Dead I find this thread interesting.

That game has taught me to never trust anyone other than the zombies. They're the only honest people in that game.

Also I had to go and plat Railworks 2013 for an hour afterwards to settle down.

Plyphon:
image

"You can't run, Denton. Even if you escape, your killswitch is counting down. You'll be dead in twenty-three hours. Another fifty billion dollars down the drain."

Yeah I signed up just to post that.

You ever trusted Walton Simons?

I don't think there's any point in Deus Ex at which you are encouraged to trust him...
None that I remember anyway.

Trust npcs? I can't remember the last time I got betrayed in a game and didn't see it coming. What really irritates me is when my character trusts an NPC who is wearing a neon sign saying "I'm going to betray the fuck out of you!", and I'm forced to go along with it.

Odbarc:
NPCs are designed to be post-boards that relay information.
If they went about LYING to you all the time, no one would listen to them and then there wouldn't BE NPCs.

Now that's a boring way to think of NPCs, we need to transition our thinking from Elder Scrolls/WoW NPCs here to Planescape/The Secret World thinking. An NPC is a way to gain context for the world setting, reflecting the actions of the player and passing judgement on them to give them weight.

NPCs can be funny, quirky, cheerful, rage inspiring, heart-breaking and above all things they can engage you and give you a purpose to play the game.

Sure they have a role to play in conveying information, but thinking of them purely as tools for that is a dead end of game design that kills off excitement quicker than anything and leads to people chasing 10 rats. The purpose of an NPC is to cower as you stride through the room blasting away guards with your arcane magic, to be befuzzled by the man who suddenly turned invisible and ran away with their cooking pot, to be the lovesick idiot who is driving the town into violence because he's blind to all else but his selfish love, to berate you constantly for your lack of skill and to finally grudgingly admit that their are few else who can surpass the PC.

Without NPCs the only story remaining is one of loneliness

BrotherRool:

Now that's a boring way to think of NPCs, we need to transition our thinking from Elder Scrolls/WoW NPCs here to Planescape/The Secret World thinking.

If you think NPCs in Elder Scrolls are telling you the truth... you know very little about Elder Scrolls.

NPcs are the worst people to get info from in Elder Scrolls, because they are all lying, and 90% of what they tell you about the world in wrong.

Having recently been playing The Void I'm at a loss to formulate any opinion on how trustworthy any of the npcs in it are. The sisters hate the brothers but they have a kind of symbiotic relationship but they all seem to be playing some grand gambit and I'm not sure what to believe at all.

Awesome game, tough as nails though.

Absolutely not but when you refer to an RPG it's all about the xp. Someone runs up and says help and you think...'good or bad, i'll get a reward from doing what needs to be done either way'. Clean out their shed full of rats or get attacked and take all their clothes when their dead, both are good outcomes for player progression. Ignoring them often loses you the chance of the quest altogether.

As far as linear stories go you know full well who is going to traitor on you(if anyone does) within 10 minutes of interacting with them. You don't get any chance to do anything about it though. Apart from being the guy/girl/alien who is about to save the world, and kill a small army in the process, you lack basic understanding of relationships with other humans/aliens. Intelligent enough to be able to use alien equipment and computers without any practice but too stupid to realise your boss going 'Mwuah ha ha ha harr' everytime something strange happens is likely to end in tears at some point.

SajuukKhar:

BrotherRool:

Now that's a boring way to think of NPCs, we need to transition our thinking from Elder Scrolls/WoW NPCs here to Planescape/The Secret World thinking.

If you think NPCs in Elder Scrolls are telling you the truth... you know very little about Elder Scrolls.

NPcs are the worst people to get info from in Elder Scrolls, because they are all lying, and 90% of what they tell you about the world in wrong.

This was less about telling the truth and to be honest, I was being harsh on TES because they do a lot of things I mentioned positively. I just always imagine the series as being fairly flat and unreactive and I can never really pin down why. But yeah I think they do manage to have a lot of non-signpost NPCs, although the number of signpost NPCs is still higher than other games

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