While it’s focused on multi-player gameplay, there will be extensive interaction with NPCs (Non-Playing Characters) in Ultima Forever, as NPCs drive the quests in UF.
Ultima Forever is set 21 years after Ultima IV, and in it, Lady British has the thrown. She is the young daughter of Lord British. The official explanation is “The old lord left Britannia many moons ago, and Lady British is now the rightful heir.” The unofficial explanation is that the designers of U4E made the decision to use Lady British, as EA does not own the rights to use Lord British. Those rights rest with Richard Garriott, aka Lord British.
The Gypsy (Codex of Ultima Wisdom) will feature prominently within Ultima Forever. The answers to her questions will dictate your starting Virtue levels as well as your gear/weapons.
Familiar and new NPCs
In an interview with IGN, the Ultima Franchise Producer had this to say:
For those familiar with the ’85 classic Ultima IV, no doubt you’ll recognize certain NPCs, locations and some of the key moments you took in proving you were an Avatar…. We took liberty to make changes as needed … The story has been fast forwarded 21 years and a new leader has taken the throne. Past friends have aged, but new friends are waiting to be met.
Interaction with NPCs
In that same IGN interview, Jeff Skalski also mentions the importance of NPCs:
The gypsy will look at you and pose her questions. Your answers will dictate your starting virtue levels and the color of your first set of gear….All throughout the rest of the game you’ll stumble across NPCs with moral quandaries seeking advice…
Mentions of NPCs
We know there is a “trapped NPC” according to a comment made in March of 2011 by one of the developers: “”Just finished a new conversation for the secret project..its now being tested by the group..it has a trapped NPC..”.
Speaking of conversation trees, this comment was made a few days later: “Having to make tough choices in the conversation tree in the secret project..some of these are tough”