NPC Contacts are probably special because Cryptic doesn't want us to create missions where an NPC Contact may be a part of an objective but is set to disappear for whatever reason. We already have enough trouble with NPC Contacts getting killed by hostile enemies as it is.
Well, if we could use animations on the details or put costumes on them, that would work just as well.
Here's the big problem right now. We can either 1) place an NPC contact, which we can cause to animate with the warp out or impulse out animation, but then can't actually make them disappear, rendering the animation moot. OR, we can create a detail, that we can cause to disappear, but we can't make it do anything.
Maybe there needs to be a new class NPC animator or something like that, where it has the properties of the NPC contact, but isn't a contact per se, if that's really the problem.
Alright, here's what you do. Make a duplicate of the map your using. Announce the character is running away. Instruct you team to use the riker manuvour and follow. Warp to the duplicate map, that has the foe like you want him. Problem solved.
Teleporting to a whole new map doesn't make sense in most scenarios, though. My issue is getting a non-combative NPC from one place in the map to another after combat begins. You can't disappear the original contact; you can alter their behavior to timid, but that only lasts until the combat is over then they go back to their original behavior. You can't have an NPC STAY scared after a combat. Nor can you replace living NPCs with "dead" ones without a map transition that takes away from the continuity substantially.
All I'm asking for is the ability to disappear a contact so that I can "reappear" him elsewhere in the map with a different animation. There's NO OTHER WAY to do it besides a needless map transition. Everything else I'm doing can be done with triggers except this.
You can do some tricks, have the NPC disappear someh ow (placing an object on top of it or dropping it through teh floor) and place a new npc at the spot it is supposed to be. Technically it won't be the same NPC but to the player it is the same one