You can make an inquiry with most NPCs in The Repopulation, and the questions you can ask them are determined by a per NPC basis. Some questions will be available for anyone, and others require you to know specific bits of knowledge in order to inquire about them. You can acquire this knowledge in many ways: by reading books, inquiring with other NPCs, overhearing NPCs speaking about matters, exploring areas, through missions, or via engagements.
To make an inquiry of an NPC, you simply right-click on them. If you already have missions for that NPC you will get the mission dialog first, followed by the inquiry options. If the NPC is a vendor, you’ll receive a vendor window with a button to enter into an inquiry. Otherwise, you'll simply receive the inquiry chat bubbles.
Inquiries, like mission text, take place using a chat bubble system. Inquiries are separated into topics such as "Tell me about...", "Where is...", "Why...", "Do you...", etc. Clicking on any of those topics will present you with a list of responses to complete that sentence. Most NPCs also provide an option which allows you to enter text. This is typically used for things like finding information on NPCs in the city or asking for directions to a particular NPC or landmark. It can also be used to allow players to ask about hidden topics.
Inquiries are tied into the Diplomacy system and allow you to increase your diplomacy skill just by interacting. As your diplomacy skill rises you’ll receive more complete information and at a higher frequency. A low diplomacy skill will often result in NPCs who are not willing to divulge information or who will only provide partial information.
Locate NPCs Edit
One of the simplest types of inquiries is the "Where is..." inquiry. This inquiry allows you to ask about other NPCs who have some type of relationship with this NPC, who they are willing to talk about, and in some cases, ask about other NPCs. Some NPCs will be more willing to provide this information than others. An NPC with a Talkative or Helpful personality is far more likely to aid a player than an NPC who is Quiet, Shy, or a Jerk.
If an NPC is aware of whom you are inquiring about and you pass the diplomacy skill check, they will provide you with a tracking marker to the NPC’s current location. They may also provide some additional information such as specific times that an NPC is available. This is important because some NPCs have multiple spawn locations, may path between multiple locations, or might only be available at certain times of day. For example, many shops close at night.
NPC Details Edit
Another very common type of inquiry is asking an NPC to provide information about another NPC. They will often speak about NPCs who they have some type of a relationship with or give you a prompt where you can enter the name of other NPCs in the area.
This method allows you to obtain useful bits of information such as providing clues about an NPCs personality traits, their profession, and problems which may be bothering them currently. It’s important to note that most NPCs in The Repopulation have their own moods, dilemmas, personalities, professions, and other useful traits, such as the cause of their current dilemma. Some of those traits will change based on events in the world and new opportunities become available as an NPC’s traits change. For example, if a local gang or indigenous species raids a shop’s supplies, the shopkeeper may feel vindictive or depressed. When they are in those states, they could give missions or inquiry choices that they would not give at other times.
Backstory and history are important for establishing a meaningful world. For example, a Doctor might be able to describe to you how Cloning works and the principles of the Judair Limiter and memory retention. A robotic engineer might be able to tell you about robotics manufacturers or certain parts. Many NPCs can tell you about local events or an area’s history.
As is the case in other areas, some of these bits of knowledge will only be available to you after you learn about the subject from elsewhere, and others will be readily available to all. Your list of inquiry subjects will grow as you continue to obtain knowledge.
Hidden Missions Edit
Inquiries can also be used to provide hidden mission opportunities which reward players who take the time to solve them. Keep in mind that most missions in The Repopulation are generated and can be tailored for your character. These missions, along with the inquiry and achievement systems, use one another as filters when generating new opportunities. As a result, most characters will not have all of the same opportunities available to them. For example, if you are a thief or an assassin, you’re going to have a very different set of opportunities than a player who plays primarily to gain military rank in an honorable fashion.