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Reader Comments (49)

Posted: Mar 18th 2011 8:06AM Heraclea said

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This is something that City of Heroes / Villains already has, with cooperative task forces and zones in the Rikti War Zone and Cimerora. The hypothesis being that Rikti invasions and ancient Roman time travellers menace both sides equally.

(But they really need to give the Shadow Shard the same treatment.)

Posted: Mar 18th 2011 12:41PM J Brad Hicks said

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@Heraclea And the problem with it, in City of Heroes, is ever since it became the norm, it has been used as an excuse not to create any new content for one of those two factions. Instead, all they created was heroic content that villains could join in on. Even in issue 20, which is supposed to be an exception to that, what we're getting is one heroic task force, two heroic trials, and one villainous strike force.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 1:29PM Daemodand said

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@Heraclea Yes, like so many other things City of Heroes pioneered this feature. And yes, unfortunately it has had the consequence of limiting Villain content, but then that's probably the whole reason it was introduced to begin with. "Fewer people play Villains" becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when Villains get little new content.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 8:10AM exe973 said

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One of the nice things about Galaxies was the ability to cross such boundaries. Having the neutral faction was very nice as well.

Posted: Mar 18th 2011 8:54AM JanChel said

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@exe973

Yes, this is one of the things that made SWG fun. Your character was pretty much as malleable as you wanted it to be. You still had reason to stick with your faction but if you wanted to you could switch sides. Or opt out of the whole thing altogether by going neutral.

I thought this was how RIFT was going to be at first reading from the lore, because they had the races comingling in the stories.

And though it might not fit in every game in terms of story, more MMOs should adopt a similar sytem. It just gives the setting a more lived in feel and is more believable.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 8:17AM Apakal said

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No. This whole joining forces to defeat a greater evil is one of the most clich├ęd story lines ever. And it just reduces PvP to some sort of game/contest rather than a real battle, which really kills the significance of it.

If anything, I want to see games with more than 2, or even 3, factions. Give us 5 or 6 choices. Make the world feel really at war and really alive.

Factions add flavor to the game. They limit choice, and as a by product, create a sense of pride and belonging. I loved being part of the Horde and fully took it as my responsibility to not give any Alliance the time of day. I absolutely hate it when I see Horde and Alliance just kind of amiably going about their business together. He's your enemy! Go kick him in the teeth! Don't just run by him. Kill him.

A faction isn't supposed to just be something you have to pick so you can get into the game and start fulfilling your own agenda. Its an intrinsic choice you make when creating a character and its supposed to be a driving force in how you play the game.

To take factions a step further, they need to stop allowing single account holders to play both factions on the same server. It really kills the immersion when you have players popping into chat "I was just on my Alliance toon and they're going to raid TB in 10 minutes." Way to suck the fun and surprise out of it dude.

Posted: Mar 18th 2011 9:17AM Tizmah said

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@Apakal 6 factions huh...yeah good luck finding groups with such a divided player base. 1000 per server...cut that by 6, that's 166 players per faction. Don't think that's gonna work out unless you can freely group with anyone.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 9:31AM Apakal said

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@Tizmah

Sure, if you want to make up arbitrarily small numbers to support your point. I could easily throw out EVE-like numbers or World of Tanks and invalidate your argument. 55,000 players on a single shard doesn't make things seem so impossible now does it? Even 10,000 players and its completely feasible.

And if the grouping mechanic doesn't rely on the holy trinity then you don't need tens of thousands of players in your faction.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 12:05PM madbassman39 said

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@Apakal I've never heard of a 5 or 6 sided war. If there are alliances between the different factions then you already have that base covered with almost every post WoW MMO. Each race is its own faction which have allied with other factions to make a super faction, or an Alliance/Horde if you will, or Destruction/Order.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 12:11PM Liltawen said

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@madbassman39
The Hobbit movie will be coming out eventually and I imagine Turbine will be going in that direction for a tie-in. I wonder if they'll try to do a 'Battle of the Five Armies' sort of thing?
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 12:43PM madbassman39 said

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@Liltawen Maybe, you know the elves, dwarves and men vs the warg and goblins? Thats how it was in the book. Five factions, fighting two sides of a war.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 1:15PM Apakal said

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@madbassman39

@madbassman39

And? I fail to see your point. Just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean its beyond the realm of possibility.

And there's no reason some of the factions have to ally with other factions to form super factions, as you say or that a war need only have 2 sides. If the groups are independent enough and philosophically different enough to making allying impossible, there you have it. Sure it requires a little more imagination than the current MMO template offers, but I only see that as a good thing.

The Secret World will have 3 factions. At least that's a start.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 1:28PM madbassman39 said

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@Apakal I'm not saying it cant be done, but for a faction to be at war with 4 or 5 other factions who are also at war 4 or 5 factions, its just not entirely possible. Now if they were to put 5 or 6 factions, and say faction 1 was at war with 2, 3 with faction 4 and 5 then you have an interesting political campaign at work underneath. Three factions isn't unheard of, look at Planetside, Earth and beyond, Star Wars Galaxies, and as you said Secret World. Three factions work, because you can throw in a neutral faction or in planet side have wars on different continents that are between two different factions at the same time.

I prefer the old EQ days where there was no all out war, in which case Factions in the multiples could and did work. Every race was not friendly with each other and they weren't allied. My gripe is that a game based around Wars ends up having two "super factions" in the end. I like the way WAR works because you have the humans vs Chaos, Dwarves vs Orcs, and Elves vs Dark Elves making 3 different wars with an overall arching alliance. The Warhammer myth even goes to show how awesome this is in more depth, but sadly the game just didn't deliver.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 8:37AM Greyhame said

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Depending on how it's handled, I don't see a problem with it.

Posted: Mar 18th 2011 8:40AM Elikal said

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Yes sure! I knew cross faction grouping from SWG, EQ2 and others. It was cool and gave more opportunity to group. In WOW I had often wished to group with the other faction. Open up nice RP opportunities.

Posted: Mar 18th 2011 8:41AM VisualGloss said

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I'm all for this. EverQuest II allowed you to group across factions and it made playing with my friends alot easier. WoW/Rift/Aion and various other games caused me and my friends some problems. Everyone wanted to be on different factions so it limited who I could play with and lessened the play experience for those of us who caved in and played a faction/race we had no interest in.

I understand it's a lore thing and that's fine, it's their game, but how about someone make another WORLD for us to play in. I'm sick of being forced to be X, Y or Z. Get a bigger broader faction system going with tons of various factions.

One of my great memories of the original EverQuest (Happy Birthday!) was back when Kunark launched. I was over in Blackburrow with a friend (Half Elf and Dwarf) and we stumbled upon an Iksar who we ended up playing with quite a bit. He was evil and was kill on sight in Qeynos, so we all decided to work on clearing out Blackburrow and get his faction up so he could walk into town. We eventually got him into Qeynos (the banker still hated his guts). I have wished for a faction system like that ever since. The freedom of being able to shape who likes me, who hates me, which cities I can go into, who I can group with.

Give me a world to play in where I can make decisions for myself and let me play with who I want, faction be damned! I'm hoping EverQuest Next will rock my world and bring back some of that EverQuest goodness that so many of us have missed ever since.

Posted: Mar 18th 2011 11:42AM delphinius81 said

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@VisualGloss

I'd actually like to see several divergent paths through quest content, and have my choices in quest content/decisions lead to how my player is perceived. Enough with "I selected race X some I'm a good guy." How about, "I selected race X, and because I keep choosing the good options, the good factions like me."

You know, the stuff that they do in many single-player RPGs related to your alignment (Baldur's Gate, NWN, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, etc.). Might actually help get more RPG into the MMORPG...
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 8:44AM katostrofik said

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While some gamers love the divide of players in an MMO, I'm against games forcing it 100%.

Faction imbalance causes queue times for PVP. I don't play games to sit in a queue. When I am in the mood to PVP, I want to log in and be slaughtering people within seconds. When running to a horde base to capture a flag, I in no way feel like I am helping the alliance out. It would be every bit as satisfying to capture the flag of another alliance team.

If I meet someone new IRL, and they have a character of the other faction (and most likely on a different server from mine anyway) that they have put countless hours into leveling and gearing out, neither of us will want to make a new character to be able to party up with each other.

There should still be PVP and PVE servers so that both types of players can be comfortable and have fun, but factions should go out the window in the future of MMOs. Let the feeling of unity be within your guild, corporation, alliance, agency, whatever... and possibly double the number of players that you are able to play the game with for those really tough encounters.

Posted: Mar 18th 2011 8:50AM LeStryfe79 said

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Yeah, Apakal, It might be cliche, but it's not nearly as cliche as the number of non-teamup scenerios currently seen in mmos. For instance, right now you probably hate my guts cause I think you're wrong. However, next week I might be totally on your side. You just never know. :) The real problem comes from having just 2 factions to begin with. Any real virtual world needs at least 3 if not more...

Posted: Mar 18th 2011 9:27AM Apakal said

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@LeStryfe79

Lol. That's true.

I think my problem with the concept is really that it always happens in a very linear fashion. A patch comes out or an expansion and suddenly factions are united and that's that. I would be much more interested in the concept if it happened dynamically on an individual level. If players had to campaign amongst there factions for unification, individual players could make their decision and progress their story from there. If enough players choose unification, story arcs change, different things happen in the world, etc. etc. This would then also open up possibilities for civil war, treachery, and deceit, which would make things very very interesting.
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