It’s pretty common when playing an MMO that when you visit a town or city in the game world it’s pretty much the same as when you left it last. In persistent worlds it’s not uncommon for places to be somewhat static in this respect, but Icarus Studios — makers of Fallen Earth — intend on changing this with their new progress towns feature.
Progress towns are — as described by lead scripter Doug Goodall — towns built up by players and potentially destroyed by NPCs who are hell bent on attacking said town. A good way to think of it is that progress towns are a crafting feature for the building up of a town or city. None of the buildings are pre-defined and what and where they are is up to the player. Since the buildings are also destructible, they’re also subject to NPC attack.
When NPCs attack and destroy your buildings you are out those materials it took to make, so it’s in the interest of the players to make sure their town doesn’t get reduced to smoldering ashes while they’re away.