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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
05-13-2011, 10:48 PM
I think the optional dialogue choice is the way to go. First of all, if someone has a back story and doesn't want to know an NPC they don't have to. You're not forcing something onto anyone, which I agree I've found very annoying in some missions I've played. But, if someone wants to have a different experience they can pretend to know the NPC right off the bat.

For what it's worth, I think just having the ability to choose whether you've met someone or not makes the "have met" option a lot more appealing. It's a lot different when you consent to allow a back story element, rather than just having it forced on you with no choice whatsoever. I'd probably have no problem choosing to know an NPC in many circumstances, but would be annoyed if I just found out I knew them without having elected to do so.

Beyond that initial contact, however, using the optional choice allows you to introduce NPCs who make appearances over the course of several missions, without making it mandatory to play the missions in a certain order. So when that role player plays your first mission, he has never met these people before so he chooses "We've never met". But in the next mission, he has met them before and can now choose "We've met before..." (and the location/events of the mission where they met). It has nothing to do with his back story in this case, but rather is an actual experience of having met the NPC in a previous mission.

This way you can use the same NPCs in multiple missions, but by leaving the optional dialogue choices it doesn't matter whether this the first one of your missions the player has played, or if it's the fifth. A few incidental minor NPC contacts doesn't really warrant restricting play of a mission to a certain order, but you can never go beyond the "we've never met before" stage unless you do that, or leave it to an optional dialogue choice.