Hey all! It has been ... a significant amount of time since I last logged onto these boards. Getting retrenched and then the retraining and scrabbling to find a new job in a area suffering heavy depression of both jobs and hope was not fun.
Four years of not fun at that.
That said, I've got money under the belt again and am looking to finally start adventuring in a digital Golarion, and while I was a original kickstarter ... I never got my invite/download details, so first of all, need to figure out how to get that fixed.
Also, as an Aussie, how badly am I likely to get screwed playing when most American players are asleep? Finding myself heavily frustrated with WoW, my old nemesis, and looking for a new online game where I won't cop the rough end of the pineapple just because I am a functional adult and thus cannot play games during the night and sleep during the day.
And the most important question ...
Can I roll a Half-Orc yet?
Gah! *flops about, covered in cats and shed fluff* Talk about your detours! Note to self, the Demi-Plane of Kittens is fun and all, but only after the first few hours.
Not two months.
Would you ever use one of those new-fangled guns?
How about setting up a +1 Nonlethal Canon on the other side of the Wizard Iconic's door? Set it up, knock on his door, and wait....
Unfortunately the Half-Orc 'Beta' Stats certainly depicted 'strong', but a +2 to wisdom and a -2 to intelligence does not denote 'stupid'. It speaks of a mind who takes more note of the world around them than book learning, a mind that draws upon common sense than 'rational' thinking.
Personally I'm estatic with Paizo/Pathfinder's take on Half-Orcs. They focused as much on the 'Human' half of the race as they did the 'Orc', and for that, I am forever grateful.
Calistra .... Goddess of Jealous Fools, Perverts and Whores. Easiest way to pick a fight with an Elf is to describe her that way.
And she's not 'Evil'. Just very, very selfish and self-absorbed. Kinda makes me wonder if she 'incarnated' that way or there was a period in history where Calistra wasn't a selfish, manipultive sex-and-status obsessed Goddess.
Ideally, a Thief who targets PCs should have a steeply increasing % of being identified and have an automated bounty put on their head.
NPC Guards will attack on sight, and Players can attack you as well to claim the bounty with no risk of earning bounties on themselves.
If you haven't sold or dismantled the items before you're caught, happy ending for the home owners, they get their stuff back and you get gold taken from your character and are given dubious missions to fulfil to get back into society's good graces.
If you have sold and/or dismantled the items ... you take an even bigger gold hit as the NPC Guards distribute your wealth back to the other players, and if you run out of gold before they are repaid, well .... you remain 'murder-bait' until X amount of time has passed to all other PCs within that Hex.
Happy Ending ensures people get their shinies back and the Thief gets an ass-kicking, and hopefully decides to NOT camp a region overlong.
Bad Ending causes players to need to replenish their stolen goods and have some additional currency to do so. Also the Thief in question is in a hell of a lot of trouble and is likely K.O.S. until he or she leaves the borders of the Hex.
In regards to the mailbox .... stolen items remain 'hot' property for a number of days. And I mean 'Real Life' days, not In Game days. Unable to be mailed, unable to be vendored to 90% of the NPCs.
Other PCs might be willing to purchase them, but at a greatly reduced rate, given the status of the goods and the risk of being caught with them and 'fingered' as the Thief.
I'll probably end up a Barbarian, a Fighter or a Cleric, and depending upon how professions end up working, likely end up either the owner of a Tavern (I CAN DREAM, DAMMIT!) or a Farmer.
If I get the chance, I would love to be a Mount Breeder. Specifically Exotic Mounts like Bulettes, Dire Badgers and other big, beefy critters that my fellow "run up and hit it in the face" Classes will feel comfortable riding into battle.
Given the location, we're safe to assume Goblins, Hobgoblins, Kobolds, Orcs, Ogres, Hill Giants, plus the Standard Player Races.
Given the location of the World Would relative to the Crusader's Road, half-Fiends and Tieflings as well. Maybe even mercenary bands of exotic humanoids who got lost or decided that they really weren't being paid enough to go risk their lives against Demons.
Animals are likely to be Rabbits, Goats, Deer, Boar, Cattle, Horses, Dire Beasties and the like. Likely a blend of plains-dwelling, swamp dwelling and forest-dwelling Animals, given the nature of the terrain of this region.
Magical Creatures can be just about anything but desert, tropical or arctic dwellers.
Dragons ... likely Red, Green, Black, Silver, Gold and maybe Brass or Copper.
I second the motion that Outsiders be rare and extremely dangerous. Anything that can slip past the World-Wound is going to be at the very least abnormally cunning, even for a Demon, let alone powerful to slip the Wards.
Also, a broad variety of people come to the Worldwound to fight the Demons. They could bring a variety of minions, pets, mounts and war-beasts with them, allowing the game to 'slip in' some strange critters into the mix.
And given that, if a Hex isn't used regularly, the monsters have the capacity to litterally breed themselves into an army, a handful of Gnolls or Chimera escaping into the wilderness and avoiding the players could come back and bite us, hard when we find a new Hex, and it's been turned into a literal fortress of highly-skilled Gnolls looking to raid our farmlands for food and slaves (is there even a difference in their language?) and thus forming new content for the Players.
@ Elinor Knutsdottir: they (Goblinworks) came up with the 'contract' system which would allow players to hire other players to kill griefers and contract-breachers.
Solution? Hire a L50 character of your own, go out farming with your Mercenary a decent way away, wait for the Serial Killer to show up and start beating on you .... bang, over runs your cohort, and together you tear the Griefer/Player Killer a new one and teabag their corpse, take their stuff and wait for them to respawn.
Unforunately, we're dealing with Humans here, and if there is one thing Humanity is good at, it's coming up with ingenious ways to make the lives of other Humans miserable.
Hence my feverent hopes and prayers for the 'behind the scenes' GMs who aren't adverse to stepping in when the situation is completely hopeless and unleashing the Randy Giant or something equally deadly and humiliating on the Griefers/Gold Farmers/Annoyances.
*Mental image of a Lieutenant Colonel Virtue screaming around in the sky, laughing as he sets fire to 'Annoyances'*
If I may be so bold?
Given the nature of the game, how difficult would it be for people whom are known Loot-Ninjas and Gold-Farmers to have 'accidents' out in the field, thanks to the GM's spawning powerful monsters nearby and 'siccing' them onto the Player in question.
You lose all your loot if you don't run back to your corpse in time, remember.
How long would it take for the Gold Farmers to go out of business if there's an Adult Red Dragon flying around strafing them and making life difficult? Could even become a zone-quest, with the Gold-Farmers having to pay people to protect them, diminishing their profits heavily (because anyone who is capable of taking on and dispatching a Dragon isn't going to work for a handful of copper coins) as they are forced to rely upon other players to support them.
And if they fail to pay up ... well, that means they have broken their 'contract' and are now vulnerable to people putting out bounties or, in the case of the Grey Knights/Bandits factions, Assassination contracts.
Hell, if I find a Gold Farmer, guess who is going to get assassination contracts out on them until either A) they go back to spamming WoW or B) I run out of gold.
That's the beauty of the Sandbox game we've got going here, the Mods can quite litterally lurk behind the scenes and tweak the game on the fly to do whatever they need to do to keep the game fun and interesting for the majority of their players.
I also put up my hand to a 'Reverse' Auction House where, rather than being able to put things up for ludicrous amounts, people post what they need, and the amount they are willing to pay, and then the orders are filled, or are ignored if the amount offered is nigglingly small.
Alternatively, Items have a % tax on them. A +1 Sword being sold for 1000 gold coins has a (for example) 20% tax on it. Same sword, being sold for 5000 gold coins, would have an increasingly painful tax threshold put on it.
Ie, there's a limit to profitability vs power of the item. A +2 Sword is worth roughly around 5000, give or take some special materials, so again, the tax resets to the base-line 20%, modified by the base value of the item and the various enchantments, materials and modifications involved in the finished product.
I don't think anybody objects to Players making a profit. But if you were to go to Wyrmrest Accord, there's six players, Horde Side, who have effectively locked up the Auction House and have screwed everyone who isn't sitting on tens of thousands of gold from getting gear or materials off the AH.
One of these players, whom I was talking to after he tried to purchase a rare old-world pattern off me, claimed he wasn't doing anything wrong, it was his $15 a month, and if people were so butthurt they could go install multi-boxing capabilities in their towers and farm their own stuff.
That's the problem that we will (hopefully) not face with Pathfinder Online, at least at first, because the limited slots will prevent people from creating 'Multi-Box Guilds' and just running content mechanically until they have enough gold to 'lock up' specific resources being put into the Auction House system and block other players who do not have that much free time or Real Life Money to spend on super-hardcore machines.
Yeah, I remember those days.
Then again I'll generally have 5 ranks of Diplomacy skill on any character I have. Being a Humanoid Threshing Machine is all well and good, but I enjoyed being able to walk into a tavern and talk to people, and with some characters, that required being able to be able to talk the other patrons around.
But please ... no radial system. Just plain old simple
a) How are you? (greeting)
Same here. It would be interesting if it were possible to actually 'talk' and maybe even 'trade' or 'ally' with groups of monsters.
Bandits from Scarwall might find it necessary to ally with a nearby tribe of Orcs, funnelling supplies and weapons to the Orcs to build up the NPCs' camp in a neutral, unclaimed Hex into a veritable fort.
From there, the Bandits can request the Orcs attack the other two Factions. In time the Orcs will be slaughtered, inevitably, but while the Players are off playing Hide-The-Bastard-Sword with the Orcs, the Bandits have time to advance their own borders, or if the other two factions try to push both Bandits and Orcs back, have a semi-trusted ally to watch their backs.
Orcs then are less likely to attack the Bandits and far more likely to attack the 'Crusaders' and the 'Grey Knights', but being Orcs, anyone is fair game if the loot and body count drops too low.
Depending upon your allegiance, infamy/renown, class and even religion, NPCs might be willing to talk, and even follow, you into combat should you meet the right criteria.
Vanilla WoW, you couldn't get a basic mount till level 40 (I believe) and an Epic Mount at 60, which was worth hundreds of gold.
Burning Crusade added a further hump to this process via flying mounts.
Then Blizzard started to lower the bar, letting players have access to mounts at level 20 (basic) and 40 (Epic) and flying at 60 (Again, from memory)
Then Cata came out and herp a derp flying everywhere.
Please, as much fun as Flying would be, in an open-world PvP-ish setting .... having high levels dropping down from on high to power-teabag you while gathering materials on your low-level character is never fun.
I believe there was a WoW Guild called the something-or-other Aerial Superiority Squadron, which consisted purely of Druids knocking people off their mounts in mid-air. I can fully see guilds of Player-Killers grinding flying mounts for the sole reason of getting that 'first shot' in purely because 90% of the player-base will be more focused on watching everything on the Horizontal Plane, not peering up and dreading the whistle sound of the wind rushing past the +5 Adamantine Crotch-Plate of the Paladin dropping down on them from on-high.
I'll put a +1 to this.
A massive world, where towns are just that, towns, not four or five streets and some buildings.
That's a village, dammit. Cataclysm Stormwind is perhaps the only 'true' city in World of Warcraft at the moment. Hence why I'm always there. Racist bastards still won't serve me drinks, though!
In a town, yes, a crush of people, NPCs and PCs alike, but outside of those regions, I would have a Nerd-Gasm that would raise the ocean level across the world by several meters if I could pick a random direction, hit the auto-walk button and just see other Players in the distance at best.
WoW made a good game, but they never made the maps truly big enough for the sheer volume of players they have. At prime-time, on the more populous servers, it is entirely possible to have people spawn-camping mobs just to do their quests.
Don't even get me started on the death-threats and drama that their laziness with the Easter Holiday Event generated, with them trying to cram every player into 4 of the 'starter' towns. I jumped from Wyrmrest Accord to Theramoore at prime-time to see if the rumours were true, and having twelve or so players camped at every. single. spawn. point and furiously right-clicking in the hopes of getting enough eggs just to do the Dailies was enough to make me log out and forget I had an account till the event was over for another year.
World of Camp-Craft, and god help you if you somehow ask people to give you a chance.
I cannot wait for this game. PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE!
Also, I do like the idea of random instances.
Something that irritates the hell out of me with most MMOs is that, by making the fights 'rote', with every mob in the instances being able to have their abilities mapped out and players fighting almost by rote with each 'dungeon run', the game actually becomes either a chore or ridiculously easy.
I know, as a Warrior Tank, I run in, hit rend, hit thunderclap, hit shockwave, hit cleave, then start spamming devastate and Revenge every time it pops up, swapping targets to keep the aggro up and hitting thunderclap often to keep Rend up and keep the damage ticking over.
And yes, I am an Orc X-P.
What I see, when I read the Blog, is 'Dungeons' that fit with the local terrain and the current 'crop' of monsters spawning there. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, it will never be running the same damn Instance/Dungeon with the same damn mobs and the same damn drops over and over and over again.
May I just slip in, please, no badges. Please. Player Made or Looted Items, possibly with an 'Item Modifier' thrown in somewhere so Players can tailor their appearance.
Throwing another bit of WoW in here, do people honestly think Blizzard is not watching the Transmogrification system to see what sets people are using the most? Which 'season' or 'expansion' or 'patch' of gear the majority of their players are using?
A Hex mostly dominated by wild animals? Cave full of mostly animals, maybe Druids (whom you may or may not have to fight) and possibly a few animal-themed monsters.
A Hex dominated by Goblinoids? Abandoned Dwarven ruin brimming with ancient-but-still-dangerous traps, Goblins, Worgs and a small cadre of Hobgoblins in charge of it all.
A Hex dominated by Players? A mine, loaded with Bandits and Thieves, or a sinister Cult, or Were-Rats!
That's something that I don't think people have twigged to yet. Even if a Hex becomes 'colonised', there is no reason why the Instances will stop spawning, they will simply change their tune and adapt to the current environment.
Actually, Mr Dancey, question:
Assuming my Character finds an area that will often spawn a Dungeon or 'Dungeon Cluster', would my Character be permitted to build a Tavern there to provide a safe haven and/or place to sell treasure for adventurers?
Would I also be facing 'invasions' from the inhabitants if the Players don't come and clear out the instance every week or so?
Or does the presence of a Building nearby or 'Hideout' cause a buffer zone where Instance 'Gates' will not spawn?
I must stress again that I believe that being able to 'improve' skills both In-Game and Out would be a nice touch.
In-Game improvements is, naturally, the skills you are using right then and there.
Out-of-Game are skills you are choosing to increase, enabling you to build a character with a skill set that you desire.
Hell, if you're a combat-machine, set your combat skills to improve while Out-of-Game, or offline.
But as things stand, I believe actual combat abilities are unlocked by acquiring the 'Badges', rather than sitting there for five hours slaughtering wild boars, looking for that ever-elusive liver.
'Skills', on the other hand, rarely apply to combat, from what I am reading of the Blog. They might increase your damage or your blocking or even your speed, but having an extra five ranks in a skill isn't going to make you a PvP Rock God. From what Ryan Darcey has stated, it's a minor improvement, seemingly a tiny percentage increase (.1% as an example, in my minds-eye view of the situation) to combat at best.
Feel your pain there, 58 hour, six day a week job here.
Secondly with something as vague as "while online". Does that mean logged on afk counts? OK so you kick people off who are afk for 15 mins, what happens when they start writing scripts to walk around slightly every few minutes. Or are we only counting in combat... ok so someone who spends their time diplomatic and socializing goes slower etc... We are rapidly approaching skill through use territory in that case. While a nice hybrid, it does kill some of the things that I love about the skill through time system, namely the fact that me and my friends can easily stay at exactly be at the same grade always, the only variance in power being wealth, which between each-other we can opt to distribute as we desire.
There is that, but look at it from the other angle. You're in a hostile zone full of bandits, monsters and Player Killers. Your diplomacy and socializing skills aren't going to count for much against 90% of the encounters here.
But when you log, you can dictate that you want them leveled. While not nearly as fast as if you had actually gone to a Safe Zone and spent the time leveling them manually, it gives you the opportunity to ensure they remain at least somewhat competetive.
Also, perhaps depending upon your account status, the manner in which you log out, and the nature of the location you log out in, can all affect the speed of learning.
Premium account, you level up the skills as fast offline as online. You're paying your $15-$20 a month for everything, after all.
'Standard' account, you level up the skills at 75% when offline. You're not going for the works, but you're still putting money in Goblinwork's pocket.
'Free' account, you level up the skills at 50% when offline. You're not giving Goblinworks any money, so they're only giving you the bare bones of the game.
Now, the 'Logging off situation.
Let's assume the lowest denominator here, the 'Free' account.
A)Log Out in an empty field in hostile terrain, and you've done nothing else to your character in the process. Your basic 50% learning speed.
B)Log Out in an empty field in Neutral terrain, and you've done nothing else. 55% learning speed.
C)Log Out in an empty field in Safe terrain, and you've done nothing else. 60% learning speed.
Now let's do something else here.
A)As before, but you've used a player-made kit called the Basic Camp Site kit, have assembled a Basic Camp Site that gives you a tent and a fire pit. Log out, your character and the camp disappears, you gain a bonus 5% to your learning speed, for a total bonus of 55%.
B)As before, but you've used the Basic Camp Site kit. As above, but you have a Learning Speed now of 60%
C)As before, but you've used the Basic Camp Site kit. As above, but you have a Learning Speed of 65%.
Camp Site Kits could come in a range of types, providing Learning Speed bonuses and other bonuses too, depending upon the type. Heavy Weather kits could provide bonuses in Hexes where storms, floods or even fire-storms are a hazzard, Ranger kits could form a temporary base of operations for an hour after your character logs in, Noble kits could grant your character a moderate bonus to inter-personal skills for an hour afterwards because it contained everything you needed to look your best, etc etc.
Hell, while logging out in town is always a valid option, it should not necessarily be the best option for adventurers. This isn't a game where you wake up, go to work, slay the odd Troll, then go home and make dinner. This is a game where you travel the land, smite and talk and sneak your way to victory, so on and so forth. Trudging back to a town is necessary to restock and resupply, but it shouldn't be a 'every damn day in the inn' routine.
Unless that is what your character wants to do.
At which point, go forth, and remember to bring me back some mead this time!
I'm sorry, I should have explained this all before in my previous post.
As far as styles, I can say I do like the ideas of them, the more variance, the more personalization etc... a character can have, the better.
Perhaps for melee there are three 'types' of stances you can take. Aggressive, Defensive, Balanced. While providing little in the way of mechanical benefits, each 'stance' sets how your character attack animations will be performed. I can't see how we can do that for ranged attacks with bows, guns and throwing weapons though....
Spellcasting .... I got nothing.
I think we're making the guys at Goblinworks cry at this stage, however.
As it seems my post got eaten, I'll repost it again.
The EvE way can be fun if modified slightly.
You level up faster in game than out of game.
Offline leveling is only 50%.
Use that for skills you need leveled for a 'badge' or skills that you might find you're not using due to the actions of other players or NPCs, but you think/find are vital in other areas.
I would also like to see players get a chance to dictate attack poses. Player A can select 'flashy' in which the character does all little twirls and other 'Hollywood' fighting flourishes, Player B can select 'Brutal' in which their character performs attacks that seem to hit deep into the enemy's limbs and torso, so on and so forth.
Might even develop into 'Schools' of Fighting Styles, especially the Monk and Fighter classes.
I'd also throw support for 'Solitary Confinement for Life' punishment.
No Mail in or out except for legal matters.
Food and Water three times per day.
Gets to watch only Disney Channel and Nature Programs.
Has no access to writing materials except legal documents.
With these sorts of Monsters, locking them away in a vault is actually the best way to deal with them. If they can't inflict their poison onto the other prisoners, most of whom will likely be released at some stage, all the better. And disappearing into the vault and having no further outcome on the world would also be a constantly twisting knife to their guts.
And by 'Monsters', I mean the sickos that think they have justification to go around murdering people, one or a thousand, in pursuit of their religious, social-ideological or political agendas.
Nice. Nice to see the Prosecutors fall back upon the old "Fringe Group" scenario to get a Guilty Verdict.
Anders Behring Breivik is a monster.
Gamers around the world are not.
Please stop lumping us in with these freakshows and start asking why their parent's didn't instill proper respect for life, why their friends didn't try to talk them out of it, why their co-workers and bosses didn't notice the changes and start to keep tabs.
Durr-Hurr, he plays an Online Game, must be the cause.
Shades of 'The Devil's Game' all over this.
Perhaps a halfway meeting? Trying to push past somebody pushes you both off. IE, player A is standing in the doorway that Player B needs to get through. Player B 'pushes' past, pushing Player A out of the doorway and Player B gets pushed into the building, but off to the side of the door.
Alternatively, perhaps running through somebody slows you down and cancels your actions. Drop movement speed to 50% and cancels your spellcasting/ability.
A better way to put it would perhaps be each 'gem' in the ring is actually part of an ancient [insert obscure chinese mysticism] practice that the Mandarin mastered, and then corrupted.
[Obligatory Hot Chinese Woman] "How was he able to do that? One stone commands Wood, another Metal, another Fire, another Water, the fifth, Air."
[Stark] "But ... he has ten rings."
[Obligatory Hot Chinese Woman] "And that's where the corruption comes in. He forcibly created, then enslaved Five Spirits that should have Never Been. Disease, Decay, Famine, Blood and Destruction. For each Pure Element, he created a vile, twisted mockery."
Give Mandarin a new 'twist' on his power. Make him something that Stark fears within himself, a formerly noble man who became so twisted over the harm his creation could unleash he became the very monster he strove to stop others becoming.
What annoys me is that, as an Aussie, the only way I can watch this is via YouTube. And currently every damn Thundercats Video is full of pirating adds.
Can anyone direct me to a 'Clean' site where I can buy the damn things, either as DVDs or actual downloadable movies? And by 'Clean', I mean 'completely legal and supporting the creators'.
Can't believe I haven't thrown my hat in here.
Bunbury, W.A., with a group that has unfortunately gone on semi-permanent hiatus due to a few people getting retrenched in the middle of a campaign.
Anyone know of another group near Bunbury that runs Paizo/Pathfinder, please gimme a hoy, I'm missing my game.
One thing you will find, Benoc, is that leveling up is absolute murder. Rift Invasions in mid-level Zones are exercises in masochism because none of the high levels will come and help and none of the low-levels can do jack sheet.
Other than that RIFT was freaking incredible, and I hope you have fun!
If I can find anyone who plays RIFT in the gaming group I'll get them to give you a shout.
Just throwing this in quickly and avoiding the Math-Fu, but considering how little damage a shuriken does, having the ability to stand there and go "Wah-tah-tah-tah-tah-taaaaaaah!" for several rounds without needing to have a packmule carrying your ammunition wandering around in your general vicinity does not make the item 'better' than a Magical Bow with a Extradimensional Quiver.
Let's say, a 12th level Monk who has a Strength and Dexterity of 18 (14+4 from a Belt) and the Pouch of Stars, vs a 12th level Ranger with Strength and Dexterity of 18 (14+4 from a Belt) with the Archery tree, a unenchanted Composite (+4) Longbow and ye olde tardis-quiver.
Monk is dealing (assuming point-blank feat and precise shot feat) 1d2+5 damage with a Flurry of +17/+17/+12/+12/+7 total maximum damage 35 points of damage total minimum damage 30.
Ranger is dealing (assuming point-blank bonus feat and precise shot bonus feat) 1d8+5 damage with an attack rate of +17/+12/+7 total maximum damage 39 points of damage total minimum damage 18.
Not too bad, but now add on enhancement effects to both, and again the Bow will pull ahead of the Shuriken noticeably. That said, I like this idea, as it gives a 'ranged' Monk a chance to be viable without nicking the Archer's gear to do so.
Mind you considering the Monk can run up and punch God in the face, at best the Pouch of Infinite Stars seems to be more a harrassment tool for a Monk to use at range, possibly to attract and 'aggro' a group and then use his unmatched speed and reflexes to bring them to the PC's trap.
I like that concept, Urman! While it might be handy to be able to support the Guards during a dangerous time when Hobgoblins might be massing somewhere in the Hex, your character is effectively no longer training, thus their skills would stop advancing or might even begin to creep back a little, a nice trade-off for making the local community less vulnerable.
A Hideout also makes a great bolt-hole for your Favourite NPCs (assuming we get 'Follow' Commands) for a character to drag all those NPCs to while the 'bandits' go on the rampage through your little village.
Honestly, more than setting fire to my +2 Brothel, I'm more worried about 'Griefers' going out of their way to kill the NPCs to lower the attractiveness of the town to new NPCs/Players and remove our ability to vendor items or train our skills.
Something I did note is that the hexes are going to be massive. Assuming they keep to-scale, it might be possible to have hundreds of 'Hideouts' within a Single Hex, although the possibility of every few hundred feet holding the potential to unleash a horde of Player-Killers does fill me with dread.
Again, sorry, I'm not being overly clear. I meant I was hoping there would be a building called the 'Barracks' in the Controlled or 'Safe' Hexes where players could log out to turn their characters into Marshals. To effectively make the Marshals tougher and give them different abilities than normal to make late-night Sieges or Zergs much less effective unless you have more troops than Sauron and the Empire combined.
To the other part of your topic (and you might want to tone down on the insinuations. I'm probably older than you by a decade at least.) is that a Player can choose to leave their character at the Barracks. Or they can leave them at the Smithy. Or the local College. Or out in the Wilds. Where-ever the character is, something should be the result.
Barracks means your character is 'added' to the pool of available NPC Guards (Marshals) if the region is under heavy attack when players are not around.
Smithy means your character spends the time offline pursing a trade of some kind, slowly leveling up (much slower than actual online training) and produces items for the local market, thereby increasing the item pool for people to buy, trade or use to craft more complex items.
Camping out in the Wild means your character is out of town, but is not necessarily vulnerable. Camping in the Wilds might net the player actually trapping an animal, or finding a node of rare herbs or a tree-node whose wood is highly valued for magical wands, etc etc.
Logging out at the Tavern means you've rented a room and going to sleep in a soft bed. Bonus XP for the first hour after you log back in.
Sorry, I went off on a tangent in a big way.
What I meant was the Marshals being 'boosted' by players logging off in the Barracks, effectively turning their character into an NPC Marshal for the duration of their time offline, granting the Marshals random abilities based upon the character and the way the player has leveled them.
Marshals spawned by the Game are your generic sword-and-board net-throwing anti-teleportation badasses.
Marshals using a logged-off character have a grab-bag of abilities dependant upon the character used to create them, plus the above.
In that way, I can see Griefers attempting late-night raids or murder-sprees having to face entirely unpredictable and dangerous enemies, rather than the 'bot' Marshals they might otherwise face.
Also you're assuming that everyone is going to be a great screaming flaming phallus to the eyeballs once out of a secure hex. Most people aren't going to go Chaotic Psychopath the instant they are out of the Hex. People will be very, very cautious, naturally, but I doubt we're going to see EvE's pirate-guilds circle-jerks around the warp gates right away, although for the PvPers there is likely going to be some delicious three-way shenanigans between the Hell Knights, the Crusaders of Iomaede and the NPC Brigands if the other Players decide they want to hold hands and skip through the fields rather than slaughter each other for a pouch full of rat-pelts.
Another idea that occurs to me, how about players being able to log their characters out in a 'barracks' of the local area. Not only does it make their characters into an NPC Guard, thereby boosting the NPC Guard Presence during off-peak hours and making it harder for Griefers to come in and rampage through a town during the smaller hours of the day, but the PCs who do this gain some small mechanical benefit, either a bonus to attack and damage, or a small bonus % to reputation gains with the faction they just helped and their allies?
Don't forget, Valkenr, that NPCs will also be attacking the three main cities and the towns. Bandits, Goblins, wild animals, Dragons looking to start up a Hoard, so on and so forth, if PCs aren't going out and clearing hexes regularly, the chances for an NPC Invasion are quite high.