Your side vs my side, or maybe it’s 3 sides all driven by conflicting goals, or maybe it’s good vs evil. I’m not sure exactly when it happened but at some point MMO devs decided the best way to have a war is a clear division of sides/factions/races/relms. Ironically it was around the same time that the War in MMORPGs changed direction and headed to “everyone gets a trophy without any consequences”.
You wanna question everything, lets start here. So why? Why do we have sides? We don’t need them. The nice thing about people is if you put X amount of us on an island we will quickly break into mobs/gangs/factions, war is soon to follow. We don’t need someone saying “hey you, yeah you, you're Horde, I’m Alley so we have to fight ok?”. Give us the freedom and I promise you will see conflicts, factions be damned!
Factions are kind of like realtors, no one really needs them, they just make the process easier. My best experience with this was SWG. SWG had Rebel vs Imperial, but it also had unique flagging and guild war systems. Even if you were Reb or Imp you didn’t show up on anyones radar unless you turned yourself PVP active. The nice thing about this was the random fights that broke out. I can’t tell you how many times I would be peacefully hanging out in the cantina when in would walk a few overt Rebs. Silly rebs. They would strut around talking smack and daring Imps to go overt and fight them. 99% of the time a bar fight broke out, that spilled into the street and that spilled into the town and before we knew it a mass battle erupted and the whole town was being lit up. It was a beautiful thing.
You also had the choice to feud with another guild. Once you got into a guild war you were KOS to one another. Again, me innocently waiting in line for my buffs before I went out to grind Rancors for cash, when I see a red dot on my map! Before I knew it my guild was in a battle right in the middle of the star port! You just never knew when you might run into trouble. No matter where you were you always had a bit of the unknown in the back of your head keeping you on guard.
I even had one friend, not surprisingly the same one that told me all about DAOC, that was a Trando Bounty Hunter. He was pretty much ALWAYS flagged for PVP! I wasn’t that brave, plus I usually wore fancy dress clothes when I wasn’t geared for battle lol.
Even if we didn’t have Imps or Rebs I guarantee we would have seen alliances form and conflict arise. It’s what happened in UO, EVE, Darkfall etc. I’m kind of surprised that more devs haven’t gone with a similar system. It seems like it would be a lot easier to develope 1 world, 1 starter city/zone/etc than the current model of doing 1 for every faction. I like the idea that you start out part of the same nation, same place, same time and you go into the world, lvl, join guilds, make enemies, flag and start pvping. An added bonus to this process is that when players aren’t flagged they can be around one another. It made for some great spying back in the day. See a guy walk into a bar, overhear him talking to a guild about going out to grind some faction quests (faction quests flagged you). Msg your friends, follow the guy, wait for him to flag, and give him a proper mauling. It’s no wonder so many ruthless feuds started in SWG! Thats some cold stuff right there!
People don’t need reasons to war, if history has shown us 3 things it’s that people excel at the 2 f’s. Fighting and F***ing, and no one is unkillable (I’m looking at you Lord British).
So I ask you my CU brethren, why even have realms in CU?