Wednesday, 13 June 2007

It's standing procedure.


Harold: "Morning."

Samantha: "Morning!"

Harold: "You're new here aren't you?"

Samantha: "Yup, just added with the latest patch."

Harold: "Oh! Well, welcome to town, it's always nice to see fresh faces."

Samantha: "Thanks! I must say, I'm all fired-up and ready, I've been on the NPC orientation day, got my Quest Givers pack right here. So what're you up to today?"

Harold: "Weeeelll, I thought I'd do a bit of standing around."

Samantha: "Standing around?"

Harold: "Yup, just standing. I like a bit of standing, me. In fact, that's pretty much all we do here in town. Stand, absolutely motionless. If one of those free-roaming adventurer types happens to run up to you, you can give them a quest to do."

Samantha: "Oh. Right."

Harold: "Make sure they run right up to you though; if they're more than two feet away, don't speak to them. It's our little game, keeps them on their toes."

Samantha: "Why?"

Harold: "Well, they're allowed to run around freely, enjoy the fresh air, get a change of scenery. Meanwhile, we're all stuck here, on the same spot, day after day. So we make sure they have to do as much running as possible; Arnold over there came up with the FedEx mission archetype one day, that one spread through the NPC ranks like wildfire. We had those adventurers running all over the land. That'll teach 'em!"

Samantha: "So... we just stand here?"

Harold: "Yup. Why, what were you expecting?"

Samantha: "Well, the NPC brochure made it sound a bit more dynamic."

Harold: "Oh, there are more dynamic NPCs. You know, some of us get to move around."

Samantha: "Really? Oh that sounds more like my sort of thing."

Harold: "Oh yes. Sometimes, you get to move over to a barrel, and put an item in it. Graham over there gets to put some seeds in that planting pot behind him every now and again, when an adventurer's quest requires it. Alright Graham!"

Graham: "Kill me."

Harold: "Ha ha, don't mind Graham, he's been here since Beta so he's probably just got a bit of cramp. You took out your KSA insurance, right?"

Samantha: "KSA?"

Harold: "Deary me, what are they teaching at NPC school these days? Knee, Shin and Ankle insurance: you're going to be standing on that spot, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, for several years at least. The only time we get a break is when they take the server down for maintenance. Isn't that right Graham?"

Graham: "I can't feel anything below my nipples."

Harold: "Ha, ha. That's our Graham, always looking on the bright side."

Samantha: "B...bright side?!"

Harold: "Well, if you can't feel your legs anymore you're one of the lucky ones! The excruciating torturous pain is gone; it's one of the perks of years of service. And anyway, you probably couldn't move even if you wanted to, the legs become locked and the knee joints fuse after about six months. So get your standing position right, make sure your legs are a comfortable distance apart, because it won't be long before they're stuck like it."

Samantha: "But I want to move around! Why can't I move?!"

Harold: "Why can't you move around? Why can't you move around?! How would the poor adventurers find you then? Those poor simpletons would have to look for you; go asking other people in the area where they'd last seen you; maybe even have to use some brain power to deduce where you might be, based on the time of day and your profession, say. We can't have that! Their lives are hard enough, what with all the running around and killing defenceless animals for huge piles of gold and equipment."

Samantha: "But the animals move around!"

Harold: "Oh deary me, you really are fresh from the NPC propaganda machine aren't you? No, no, no. It's just not done; you can't have NPCs moving around in some sort of semblance of life, it would be chaos. You can't make things that are involving and dynamic, adventurers don't like it. They much prefer us to stand on the same spot, barely moving, for time immemorial.".

Harold: "Anyway, think yourself lucky that you're indoors. Ok, so you'll never get to see the sky again, but at least you're not stuck out in the elements all year round!"

Samantha: <runs off screaming>

Harold: "Here! You can't go running around like that, what if an adventurer needs to bring you some rabbit intestines in exchange for gold? I dunno, this new generation of NPCs are becoming more rebellious by the day. Wasn't that way back in our day. Time was that we'd be like a statue, a quest and loot vending machine in the shape of a humanoid. Isn't that right Graham?"

Graham: "I've never been to the toilet, you know."

3 comments:

Kinless said...

"Deary me" brought to mind Blazings Saddles and "Look what the cat dragged in." And otherwise it almost had a Sartre "No Exit" feel to it. Excellent!

Melmoth said...

Alas, I've never got around to watching Blazing Saddles. I had two friends who used to do impersonations all the time of the cowboys eating beans. At least, I think it was an impersonation and not a way to hide some sort of strangely synchronised chronic flatulence.

Bringing Sartre into it makes my brain hurt; however, "L'enfer, c'est les autres" with respect to MMOs and the Inferno is an excellent meme for me to take away and ruminate over.

Elf said...

It would be interesting if the NPCs were allowed to move around and have slightly more normal lives. Imagine, if you will, that you have slain the bunnies that were eating the lettuce crop of the town, and you went to the mayor with proof of twenty bunny ears in a bag. As you work a day job, you've moonlighted bunny killing during the evening, and handing in the quest is the last thing you do for the night.

The mayor is not in the town hall. In fact, it's closed. Hmm, you track him down to a house nearby, so you go in and find him, wearing a nightgown. 'Mr mayor, I have defeated the bunny infestation, and would like to claim my fur-hide pants as a reward!'

'Sir, do you know what time it is? I only got up to get a glass of milk! My wife and daughters are sleeping, and you're dragging a bloody bag through the house! Get out, and come back to see me in the town hall during office hours, nine to five.'

'But I work nine-to-five, this is the only time I have free.'

'You'll just have to make time during your lunch hour. I won't be around, of course, as I'll be eating lunch, but you could see a clerk and he'll deal with you.'

'I work in Thelsamar! Do you have any idea how long a gryphon flight takes to get here? And the in-flight food is rubbish. Why can't you open outside of office hours?'

'Look, it's really not my problem. Thanks for taking care of the bunnies, but please leave and let me get to sleep. I have an important meeting with a dozen other bunny killers tomorrow and I need to be perky and act all surprised for each of them, so I need a good night's rest.'

'Bleh, I'm going to become a disgruntled peon lumberjack.'