[MUD-Dev] Chatbot, NLP and explaining away NPC limitations

Erin Mulder meara99 at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 6 12:06:09 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Buehler" <johnbue at email.msn.com>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2001 5:36 PM
Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] Chatbot

> I suspect I'm just presenting some things taken straight out of
> The Sims, but I think that it would be more interesting to do this
> style of NPC interaction than anything that I've seen in EverQuest
> or Asheron's Call.  The socializers would enjoy it, I think, while
> the goal oriented players might be less inclined to.

In the NLP thread, someone pointed out that NPCs are a lot like
immigrants in their understanding of PC speech.  They react to
certain key phrases and respond with rote replies, while staring
blankly at any conversation they don't understand.

I'm not sure he meant to suggest that NPCs actually be portrayed 
as immigrants in the game (since how many foreign shopkeepers 
can you have before things begin to look a little fishy).  However, 
I find it rather interesting to look at this the other way around and
suggest that the PCs are the immigrants who don't know the native
language, and the NPCs just happen to have learned enough 
common to buy/sell from these wandering adventurers whose
pockets are lined with gold.

Thus, NPCs would speak mumblespeak between themselves 
and even litter it throughout their NPC->PC conversations.  As now,
PCs would learn to try to use smaller, more common phrases if the
NPCs don't seem to understand them.  However, with a good 
background introduction, they might end up attributing the NPC 
speech limitations to language differences instead of dwelling on the
perceived limitations of the mud's language processing.

(This would be particularly believable if logs were kept of the 
conversations occuring near/with the NPCs and they could spend 
off-hours "learning" the words they overhear most often -- either
unsupervised and/or with the aid of a "language teacher" who has
access to their underlying concept banks)

Are any muds out there using this?  Do players find it more 
believable?

Erin

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