NPC Pilots can be hired to pilot your ships, trading between Stock Markets. They offer limited social chatting.
The philosophy of the game is that the Player plays the game and not automata.
However, to aid the Player NPC Pilots were introduced. In game lore they are colonists who, for whatever reason, are unable to control a Warpdrive-euipped ship, but can pilot a ship using thrusters only. This makes their transit times very slow compared to Pilot Citizens. Their primary purpose is to assist in the supply of materiel to a Player's Colonies and Strabases, but they have the ability to trade with other Player's Stock Markets and so can be used to generate samll amounts of income.
You can hire several.
Each NPC will count against your ship's Passenger Capacity, and can not be removed except by assigning them to their own ship.
The NPC is a chat bot, with limited vocabulary and AI. They are currently being educated by R & D, and will be more socially capable in future updates.
They can be found at any colony with an Entertainment Complex, on the top floor of the Entertainment Complex.
They travel only between gated systems.
There is a limit to how much the NPC will buy from a Stock Market, up to one half of any given material.
NPCs make their own choice about what to buy and sell at each stop. The NPC remembers how much it buys a material for, and will not sell to a stock market unless it will make a profit.
NPCs begin actions once every 15 minutes. This allows them to fly in formation.
- NPC Pilots can NOT trade at the Inner 9 Star Stations. They can only trade at player Stock Markets.
- NPC Pilots are undergoing massive revisions, expect them to be unpredictable and useless for the near future. And cheer when they get something right.
- NPC Pilots are ruthless traders. They are capable of buying at a Stock Market and selling the item right back to it, if the price is right. This can quickly result in you having no credits if the NPC is not your own employee.
- NPC Pilots take full control of the ship they are assigned to. You no longer get to Refit that ship, or use it yourself. That NPC and that Ship are one and the same until the end of time, as is. (If you leave a hyperdrive fitted to that ship, the NPC never gets to use that cargo space, and you can not take the hyperdrive off. See NPC Ship Fitout below.)
- NPC Pilots cannot mine asteroids or conduct combat missions and at this time there is no intention of having them do so.
At this time NPC Pilots are not very reliable. They will, probably, work for a short time, but will, eventually, just move between the bases on their route without moving any cargo.
Speculation is that this usually occurs when they thin that the job has been done. That is, when they have moved half the available cargo, or filled half the buy order, in one day. At this point they have nothing more to do that day, but they do not seem to start work again the next day.
There is no sure and certain solution for this, but sometimes reissuing their trading order will restart them.
To get to them Land in the Landing Bay, disembark, and use the Transportation Grid to travel to the Entertainment Complex. There is a door at the bottom of the Entertainment Complex with an elevator inside. Go to the top floor. To move faster when walking on the surface, hold down the Shift key.
Click on the NPC you wish to hire, this will bring up a chat box where you can talk with them.
To hire one, enter these words:
- You: "I want to hire you."
- NPC: "Are you trying to hire me?"
- You: "yes"
- NPC: "What do you want to hire me to do?"
- You: "Fly ship.
- NPC: "Ok. I'll make my way to your ship I guess, and you can take me to the one you want me to fly."
Assign to Ship
After that, you can assign them to a ship by:
- Fly to a station where you have an extra ship, or have purchased a new ship.
- Use the Manage Ship button and you will have a "Crew" and "Pilot" button.
- Click Manage Crew. Assign the NPC to the ship.
- Click Manage Pilots. Give the pilot a command.
Rescue Stranded Ships
It is possible that your NPC can go off course and get stranded. If this happens you need to issue the command:
- Return to Starbase
This will cancel your NPC Pilot's orders and move the ship to your ISB ready to receive new orders.
NPC Ship Fitout
Before you give a ship to an NPC, know that once they get it, you no longer have any control over the ship, or the fitout. If you give them a ship with a Hyperdrive for example, they will forever fly a ship with less cargo space and a Hyperdrive they can't use.
This fitout works for any ship class and provides the maximum amount of cargo space to the NPC pilot.
- Build whichever class hull you like, and add the same class Electronics, Gravity Generator, Propulsion, and Computer. You do not need a Warpdrive. As listed, everything else can be class 1.
- CL 1 Armor
- CL 1 Capacitor
- CL 1 Mining Beam
- CL 1 Ram Scoop
- CL 1 Reactor
- CL 1 Salvage Beam
- CL 1 Shields
- CL xx Computer
- CL xx Electronics
- CL xx Gravity Generator
- CL xx Propulsion
"Trade between <colony_name> and <colony_name> and <colony_name>."
- Use underscores instead of spaces in each name to prevent language filter errors.
- Do not use system names, only colony names.
- The NPCs can have routes with unlimited stops, just keep adding 'and <colony_name>'.
- If a name of a Solar System is used in place of the colony_name, the results may be undesirable.
- You: "trade between My_Colony and Caprica"
- NPC: "trade route between My Colony and Caprica?"
- You: "yes"
- NPC: "ok, that's now my trade route!"
To move an NPC ship to a certain location, use the " Go to ..." command.
- You:"Go to colony_name"
- NPC:"Move to... colony_name?"
- NPC:"Ok, flying to colony_name"
To Clear Orders
- NPC:"ok, clearing my orders."
To Clear Cargo
- You:"Dump <item>"
- NPC:"My Cargo; I will now value <item> at 0 and sell it anywhere that buys it at any price"
- "Empty Holds" will eject ALL the cargo that NPC is carrying.
- You:"Patrol colony_name"
- NPC:"You want me to patrol colony_name as a Customs Ship?"
- NPC:"Ok heading to colony_name"
The intended function of Customs Patrol Ships is to combat Smuggling.
You may need to repeat these questions in order to get useful information since they can give you different answers:
- "Where are you?"
- "What are you doing?"
- "What is your cargo?"
- "What is your trade route?"
- "How many passenger quarters?"
- "Rename your ship _______"
- "What is your name?"
- "How are you?"
- "Where do you live?"
- "Where do you work?"
- "My name is <name>." Gives a response, but unknown if it is recorded or used.
Preliminary NPC Report
Although there is no way to directly gather statistics on NPCs, we can observe the effects on warehouse inventory, and credit balances.
It would appear that an NPC flying an Archon can move 200k materials from a colony to it's linked OSB in 1 day. A price difference of 10c was used to inspire the NPC's profit motivated hauling.
Travel times for NPC's is based on 0.25 hours (15 minutes) for each loading, travel, and unloading.
For example, a delivery from New Dawn to Prime would go through this process:
- In New Dawn at OSB/Colony, load resources (15 minutes)
- In New Dawn, travel to Vestra (15 minutes)
- In Vestra, travel to Apollo (15 minutes)
- In Apollo, travel to Veritas (15 minutes)
- In Veritas, travel to Prime (15 minutes)
- In Prime, travel to OSB/Colony (15 minutes)
- In Prime at OSB/Colony, unload resources (15 minutes)
Total NPC one-way travel time from New Dawn to Prime: 1.75 hours or 1 hour and 45 minutes or 105 minutes
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