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I sometimes have a hard time telling real players from NPCs (especially when the player isn't moving around). So far I've used two methods:

  1. Look for a guild under their name
  2. Look for a class icon above their portrait

enter image description here

Method one doesn't always work, however, because not everyone is in a guild. I thought that method two was foolproof until I came across this character with a warrior icon who was walking along a patrol path much like an NPC guard would.

enter image description here

Is there a way to tell with certainty whether a character is a player or an NPC?

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    It's not so much you failing the Turing Test as these NPCs are passing it. The Turing Test pass/fails computers not humans.
    – Yuuki
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 15:43
  • @Yawus You are completely correct. Though lacking in accuracy, I'd hoped it would make for a more entertaining title.
    – Brysonic
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 16:53

4 Answers 4

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Walk by them, if the 'greet' options comes up they are NPC.

The green color used to display NPCs and PCs names is also different. (NPCs use a green, PCs use teal)

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    I hadn't actually noticed a difference in colour, thanks for pointing that out. Also, this means that apparently Blitzii in the screenshot above IS actually a person. Maybe now I can keep from being fooled in the future :-).
    – Brysonic
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 17:09
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    Damn, hope this doesn't ruin the trolling fun. (Wear cultural armor and act like a NPC, people attempt to click you for at least 5 minutes)
    – Domocus
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 17:47
  • @Domocus, relax you'd be mistaken by any role-player walking and chatting in town, I guarantee that. (Unless they have poor grammar skills)
    – M'vy
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 15:22
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If you have selected a player, right-mouse clicking their portrait should give you options to contact/interact with them.

Options on right-click

Similarly, a player's name in chat can also be right-clicked for options (left-click goes directly to sending a whisper).

Chat options are identical

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  • To further clarify, NPCs do not give these options upon right-click.
    – Gwen
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 15:47
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NPC names are in Green. Real player names are a more Blue Teal.

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  • This was my foolproof way. Is this not valid for all characters?
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 16:12
  • As far as I know it is valid for all characters. I suppose I should add the addendum that enemy NPC names are red not green but I figured the question was only for friendlies.
    – AdamP
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 16:46
  • Also, things with red names don't survive long enough to warrant a conversation :)
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 8:56
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I've had a similar problem, what I did to deal with it is turn off the automatic display of names for Players in the options. This way only NPC names will display on a character by default and I have to hover over a player to see their name. You could also switch it around if you want, turn off NPC names and leave on Player names.

If you open the Options window, you'll see the options named:

  • Show All NPC Names
  • Show All Player Names

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