NPC stands for ‘non-player character’ – in other words, one controlled by the computer. NPCs can be anything from the background people who populate virtual cities, to shopkeepers who sell the player items and weapons, and quest givers who send the player out to accomplish a specific task. Some NPCs are very important to the storyline of the game. NPCs can also be hostile to players, or can become hostile through a player’s words or actions. In many role-play games, unfriendly or hostile NPCs can be persuaded to change their opinion of the player’s character through conversation. In many older games, this will consist of having enough skill points to charm or threaten (or enough money to bribe!) the NPC. In more sophisticated games, the player will have to use their judgement to work out what conversation choices the NPC wants to hear. It is actually quite rare for MMOs to have this feature.