NPCs in Mabinogi can remember and develop fondness for players that they interact with frequently. NPCs with higher Intimacy may respond to Keywords in more personal ways, especially with the Private Story Keyword and Nearby Rumors Keyword. Some NPCs may additionally give access to Secret Shops or may provide Quests (i.e. Role-Playing Quests) at high Intimacy; in contrast, low Intimacy will usually make NPCs standoffish.
Intimacy consists of three components: Memory, Favor, and Stress.
- "Memory" is how well the NPC knows you.
- Memory is a positive value and has the lowest priority of any component of Intimacy.
- Memory will change a NPC's Greeting as it increases.
- For most NPCs, the NPC's Greeting is given when a player selects the "Talk" option.
- The first interaction with a NPC will increase Memory and place the player into a state of Memory-limbo.
- To progress with Intimacy, the player generally has to use the Private Story Keyword or Nearby Rumors Keyword on the NPC once. Otherwise, the NPC greeting will not progress regardless of the amount of times a player initiates conversation.
- After using one of the Keywords, Memory will increase randomly after the NPC's Greeting when the NPC is not Stressed.
- Besides a NPC's Greeting, Memory will increase from the following methods:
- "Favor" is how much the NPC likes you.
- Favor is a positive or a negative value.
- Favor affects the facial expressions an NPC will generally make outside of specific Keywords, Quests, Gifts, etc.
- Favor will change from the following methods:
- Favor generally does not change after using the Private Story Keyword and the Nearby Rumors Keyword.
- Favor increases after successful Part-time Jobs and decreases after unsuccessful ones.
- Favor increases/decreases when giving Gifts to NPCs.
- NPCs have tastes and only items that match those tastes satisfy them. Poorly matched gifts can decrease Favor.
- NPCs generally prefer Gifts that do not stack.
- All NPCs significantly enjoy being gifted Likeability Potions.
- "Stress" is how much the NPC has recently interacted with you.
- Stress is a negative value and has the highest priority of any component of Intimacy
- Interacting too much with a NPC in a short time will make an otherwise friendly NPC uncomfortable.
- Stress decays within seconds, unlike Memory and Favor which persist for minutes to hours.
- There is no other way to decrease Stress other than to wait a few seconds.
- Stress will increase from the following methods:
- The Priority of the components of Intimacy are thus: Stress > Favor > Memory.
- The benefits of high Favor and Memory cannot be accessed if Stress is high.
- Priority reveals itself through the very first message the player gets after seeing a NPCs greeting, and are as follows:
- Very Stressed: "(NPC Name) is giving me an impression that I may be interrupting something."
- Stressed: "(NPC Name) is giving me a look that it may be better to stop this conversation."
- Extremely Favorable: "(NPC Name) is really giving me a friendly vibe."
- Very Favorable: "(NPC Name) is looking at me with great interest."
- Favorable: "(NPC Name) is giving me a welcome look."
- Extremely Unfavorable:
- "(NPC Name) is really giving me the impression that I am not wanted here."
- "(NPC Name) is making an effort to avert my eyes."
- Very Unfavorable: "(NPC Name) is giving me what I call a look of open contempt."
- Unfavorable: "(NPC Name) is making the impression that I am not a welcome presence here."
- Very Memorable: "(NPC Name) is giving me a friendly smile."
- Memorable: "(NPC Name) is smiling at me as if we've known each other for years."
- "(NPC Name) is waiting for me to say something."
- "(NPC Name) is slowly looking me over."
- "(NPC Name) is looking at me."
- "(NPC Name) is paying attention to me."
- "(NPC Name) is looking in my direction."
- To access most Secret Shops, the NPC must be both (at least) Very Memorable and Extremely Favorable with the player.
- Because Memory has less priority than Favor, generating Favor can prevent the player from being able to check if Memory is high enough to access.
- Secret Shops require 5 Likeability Potions.
- Stress will prevent the player from accessing a Secret Shop, though this is not that important because Stress decays quickly.
- Seeing an NPC's Greeting at low Stress and high Memory can generate a lot of Stress. This may confuse players into thinking they do not have enough Memory and Favor when in fact they only need to wait a few seconds for the recently generated Stress to decay.
- It is best to not talk to NPCs when attempting to unlock a Secret Shop when using Likeability Potions to avoid getting confused by the NPC's Greeting and the Stress it generates.
- It is a common myth that gifting Gold reduces Stress. The myth originates from the fact that higher Memory generates higher Stress when Memory increases due to a NPC's Greeting. Because players often initiate a conversation to check their Intimacy, they would unknowingly generate a large amount of Stress and see the "it may be better to stop this conversation" message.
- Gold is a fairly meaningless Gift because of its low value and stackable nature. Players thought this was reducing Stress when it appears they were only giving time for the Stress they had just generated to decay.
- Ironically, giving Gifts does not appear to even affect Stress at all.