Whatever they wear should be represented by graphics. This makes it very interesting, the possibility to see NPCs walking around looking like other players and also be able to see what the NPC will drop when killed.
Of course the equipment/looted items will affect not only the graphics but the attributes of the NPC.
Are you talking if a player dies at the hands of an NPC that he NPC can take your items?
This I do not agree with- it is akin to having to pay rent on an in-game house/apartment in some MMOs- I already have a mortgage in real life, why am I paying a mortgage in fantasy land?
However, I do think that whatever an NPC is wearing/carrying is what we should get to loot. The age-old comment of a wolf dropping a longsword and chainmail is perfect here. The wolf does not have thumbs, or a backpack, so why would it have that?
I think it would be very cool to get realistic loot and i do think the loot stats should effect the NPC- that would make it tough if you are going for a breastplate of regeneration, because you know this NPC is not going to die quickly.
The realistic loot I can completely get behind. As for the NPC's looting your items, I'm not sure if that would make it in EQN. It's an awesome idea, I'm just not sure how well it would work in the game. For instance, if you die and the Orc takes your sword and the next adventurer comes along and kills the Orc, does that new player get your sword? It would make for an interesting social aspect of the game. You could "engrave" your name on the sword, so that if the new player sees that it's yours, it could lead to that player seeking you out to return it. Or possibly using a "locator spell" of some sort to find your sword again and confront that player. This would tie into the "good vs. evil" social circles.
While it would make for some interesting times in Norrath, I don't believe we'd see a mechanic like that in EverQuest Next. However, an alternative death penalty to NPC looting could come from their AI. If the Orc that kills you tells his friends that there are easy targets in his area, more Orcs might come to kill the next adventurer that comes along. That would force you to find some backup to avenge your own death and promote grouping and socializing.
There was a quote from Dave Georgeson that they are talking about death penalties, and more information on that will come as more about the game is released.
Let's say you are fighting this horde of goblins in the forest and you die, the goblins loot your corpse or bring it to the goblin king. He piles your corpse with the rest in the corner of the room and loot whatever he wants, equips it and feels shiny. The more adventurers that fall will bring more shiny loot to the goblin king and also make him stronger. This will in turn make it easier for him to bring havoc on the surrounding areas.
You could separate pvp from pve here and say that only the pvp tagged players' corpses could be looted by other players. I don't know how death works in EQN as of yet but I like the idea of corpse retrieval. I think back on the MUD days when you had to get people together to be able to get your gear back if you died in a terrible spot.
When a guild or group of players manage to kill the goblin king they will get rewarded depending on how strong he has grown (fame/reputation/housing). When killed all corpses stockpiled in the corner will be released and returned to the rightful owner. Here you could, as you also mention about the "good vs evil" social circles, let the victorious champions decide what to do with it all. Of course this will affect their social standing within the game and give them less reputation and so on.
I really like this idea, although I don't see actual loss of player items making it in to EQN. Definitely the idea that enemies can grow stronger as they succeed, just as they can grow weaker when they are beaten would be great. And for them to gain sort of items that players are using against them would be good too.
It would have to play in to the death penalty.. maybe some significant durability hit or something that would prevent players from just throwing themselves at enemies before killing them for improved loot. Or if there's no other way, just have them gain the items for use, but not drop them.