In the real world, people don't just suddenly disappear because some divine being on a higher plane decides to log off!? So how can we replicate the real world in games when users can log off at any time, or worse have their connection drop? The ability to leave the game at any time isn't just a problem with game realism, it can also cause many issues with group centric activities like raiding and PvP. How much does it suck when your healer or tank drops?
One thing that I have yet to see done in an MMORPG, is the ability to include other players as the objectives to your quest. For example, you receive this quest:
"Find 'Melf Himself' and give him this package."
or better yet:
"Assassinate 'Melf Himself'"
On a side note, it would be funny if your assassination target also had you as their target. It would be pre-ordained PvP with a PvE quest like twist. Something for everyone :P
Upon accepting the quest, you are blocked from talking to the person who is your quest objective. You are also blocked from using the their name in chat. The only way you can find the other person is to talk to NPCs and ask if they saw them recently:
"Yes I saw 'Melf Himself' pass through here only 2 minutes ago. If you hurry, you might catch him at the Blacksmith."
How cool would that be? Oh yeah... logging off problem... What happens if the other person logs off?
Now we discuss a possible solution. Why not have your character become an NPC when you log off? It could wander around and become one of the town folk, or even a henchmen (if you were in a raid or something). No matter what happened to your character while you were logged off, its status would always be the same the next time you logged in. The only thing that would potentially change, is the location of where you last left it. I think it would actually be kinda cool, as you would be surprised every time you logged in.
This would also open up the possibility of 'day jobs', like in city of heroes, except your character actually performs the job as an NPC. Player housing would also become more important, because your NPC character would actually have to live there.
In summary, we need some way to handle the logging off problem, especially with moving toward a dynamic type world. Having having a connection drop or a player rage quit during a group centric activity can really inconvenience other people. It also steals away from the realism of the world a bit. Solve the problem and our online lives become just that little bit easier. ;)