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NPC's cannot explore the Inner City or tag along with other players, along with looting and trading. PC's (Playable characters) have tried interacting with NPC's - but they get no reply. Outpost guards cannot be damaged by friendly-fire, leave the Inner City to go into safe areas, or attack PC's.
Cover fire/attacks from Outpost Guards
The outpost guards will automatically fire on (or attack, if at Dogg's Stockade) any zombie that comes roughly within firing range of the outpost entrances. This can be extremely useful for any players who are low on health, have little or no ammo, or are being pursued by multiple infected when trying to get into the outpost or otherwise out of danger.
However, you should be aware that whenever you kill a zombie and an outpost guard happens to have any measure of involvement in helping to bring it down (i.e. if a guard managed to get a few shots on a zombie that you killed), the EXP gain from that zombie will be affected the same way it would be if another player helped you kill a zombie-- a fraction of the EXP will be "given" to the outpost guards, even though they technically don't level up. This is especially important to remember during outpost attacks: Every zombie that gets hit by an Outpost guard's weapon even once will give a portion of its EXP to the guards once you've killed it.
It should be noted that this factor introduces an interesting choice of tactics that can have a major impact during an OA:
- If you choose to stick with the outpost guards and fight alongside them, you'll have the advantage of being backed with one or more invincible allies who provide you with some extra defense and continuous firepower. However, there's no guarantee that the guards will hold back every single zombie that comes at you, and you'll most likely receive a reduced amount of total EXP at the end of the Outpost Attack.
- If you choose to head to a place around the Outpost that is isolated from the Outpost guards, you'll presumably receive all the EXP from every kill you make. However, you'll risk becoming surrounded on all sides by the infected if you're not careful, and any friends who come with you will also take a fraction of EXP from any "team kills" you make-- and if they die, they're probably not going to be back for at least a few minutes-- even then, there's no guarantee they'll come out again during that particular Outpost attack.
As described earlier, the Guards are known to "talk". Despite being NPCs, the guards still exhibit sure signs of their humanity (which, if you think about it, can be quite reassuring). A Guard's speech can have emotion - anger, worry and so on. Here are a few examples:
"Be careful out here, infected are everywhere..."
"I used to live just a few blocks down the street. Had to shoot my neighbor last week..."
"You'd best have something to trade, or else get lost."
"See that huge f**ker with a huge spike for an arm? Now that's ugly."
"Guns are for pussies."
"I'd watch my back if I were you..."
"What are you looking at?"
"I f**king hate guns. They just attract more of these f**kers."
"If it weren't for Nastya's, we'd all be dead by now."
"I just shot a kid last week, and i didn't even feel sorry...what the hell is wrong with me?"
"I hate this stinking hell hole."
"Got any food?"
"I sure hope my family made it back to Nastya's..."
"Keep your eyes peeled."
These are only several of the many lines used by these guards, though one thing is notable: None of the 5 guards at Nastya's Holdout use foul language.