So, here is the persistence component of NPCs coming in the next patch addressed by FD.
Personalisation is about reflecting the player’s presence in the world and providing persistence for their activities. We’ve already mention that mission givers will be getting faces for 2.1 The Engineers update and this forms a part of the core of this personalisation. The mission contacts will become the faces of the minor factions you deal with for mission and this will be accompanied by a new layout for the mission board to group things more effectively for dealing with the minor faction.
The new mission presentation puts these NPC characters to the forefront of missions. They are unique and have their own faces, names and status within their organisations. The type of organisation will be reflected in the tone of their communications. Their dealings with you are also influenced by your reputation with the minor faction, but also the relative differences in status between you and the character. So if you’re Elite ranked and they’re a minor flunky then they will show you the proper deference – assuming their governing organisation allows it!
Repeated dealings with a minor faction will see your own status within the minor faction improve or fall – depending on your activities. At certain points you will deal with more important members of the organisation or even sterner types if your reputation is lacking. This will also be reinforced by a new greetings message when docking to reflect your status with the station.
The mission contacts will also remember if they’ve dealt with you before. As well as providing consistency the contacts are the conduit for gaining missions and seeing the effects they have. So they will inform you if the minor faction has entered a particular state, or a state is incoming. There will also be much smarter selection of missions that tie in with the current state of affairs, there will be more details on this as part of the progression and variety goals.
As well as what is happening in local space the contacts will let you know what impact your efforts are having and so helping to communicate the galactic simulation states and trends more effectively.