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The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Multi-Faction Warfare and PvP

Posted by garrett Wednesday April 14 2010 at 6:06AM
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Back in the old days Player Killing was quite a big deal. I can remember playing UO with my PK character and hunting through the forests looking for Blue. I was an outlaw I felt like an outlaw. I could not go to town, I could not get to civilization, I had my guild, my band of thieves and cutthroats, they were my only home.

The next night I was on the Blue side, fighting and hunting against the other PK guilds on the server and saving those poor souls who had been killed, robbed, and forced to go back to town in shame. Both side of this coin were fun and players had the ability to create 2 characters that they could join either fight with.

I know I harp on DAOC a lot, but the concept of multi-faction warfare in an open zone was what made DAOC great. I played Midgard and we were out numbered. We also all worked together for a common cause. To hold the relics for our realm that gave us bonuses and helped out new players level in Darkness Falls. We went out everynight in 8 man groups or sometimes a zerg to hunt down Hibs and Albs. The Hibs, even though our enemies, would fight it out, yet if the Albs showed up the game changed fast and we joined to defeat them first. If I got out late, or missed a group it was ok I would go to the walls where the stealthers would hang out and wait for their quary. I never minded being bait because we all worked together.

Then WoW arrived and while I have now been playing WoW on and off since day one. The concept of realm pride and knowing that you were fighting to help low level players was gone. Sure WoW had its two factions, but it was only two. While the Horde and Alliance definitely did not get along, there was no reason behind hunting players. Sure WoW has PvP, but it is for personal glory. Also, there is no loss. If you lose a Battleground, players can just leave and only suffer from gaining less Honor. Wintergrasp was a step in the right direction, but that is one zone. Stil it did open up VoA which is cool because you can get loot, but again personal glory.

I miss the idea of multiple factions. Everygame has two now, there is no longer faction choices. I think one of the biggest mistakes Warhammer made was not having multiple factions. They thought they needed to be like WoW, they did not.

I also miss the idea of fighting for our players to have a place to level easier. It was a real benefit and gave every faction a reason to fight for something.

Anywas these are just thoughts today, maybe some of the MMOs coming out will change back to these ideals and give us a good strong reason to fight again.

seigard writes:

I %100 agree with you m8. The feeling that you get whe trying to survive and hide near enemies is gone now. But you should give a try to aion. it feels good when you go to thier place by rift and try to survive there.

Wed Apr 14 2010 8:43AM Report
Lord.Bachus writes:

i 200% agree and more...

Ever since DAoC i have been dreaming for a game with 5 or even 7 factions... that battle it out in the endgame...

And your faction choice is based on your actions in game, meaning full quests that can change your faction over time.

 

Next to that an extra NPC faction that takes part of the PvP like Aion would even add more fun....

 

Wed Apr 14 2010 10:02AM Report
Murashu writes: Nice post Garrett and I fully agree. I was very surprised to see Mythic stray away from their proven success with the 3 faction RvR system in favor of the 2 faction system like WoW. They’ve admitted that this was a mistake but instead of fixing it, they are slowly working on making the game even more like WoW. The days of large scale epic battles are gone, only to be replaced by small scale BGs for the end game. Wed Apr 14 2010 11:09AM Report
Raithe-Nor writes:

Your observations are good, but you interpret them rather poorly.  The problem is not with the number of factions or the virtual game benefits accrued by participating in war.  The problem is with the players that are there simply for personal gain and have no interest in helping new players become a part of their "faction."

It's a difference between old-style MMO-RPGing and modern MMO-gaming.  The chief difference is in the players, not the game design.  Darkfall has 5 races and 3 factions, but very few players actually care.

Wed Apr 14 2010 12:58PM Report
Nihilist writes:

DAoC and Planetside were the two best zerg based pvp mmo's in my view.

 

Both had 3 factions, and focused on base capture and defense as the end game, or entire game in Planetside's case. They both had a great sense of realm pride since you got to know the familiar faces of friends and enemies, and it was always fun to know that your enemies also have other enemies.

 

Its the lack of realm pride the kills mass pvp in 2 faction games like WoW and WAR since every battle is more or less the same and the enemies and allies never change. With no 3rd army to backstab/ninja or intervene it basically comes down to numbers, which becomes lame for the underpopulated side after a while.

 

Due to these issues the actual war becomes stagnant and uninteresting, thus the only reason to pvp is to collect frequent flyer points and buy the phat pvp gear. Once you realize that gear doesn't buy happiness and is ultimately shallow then you quit, reroll or sell the account. 

 

I want to feel like I am fighting a war that I actually care about. You didn't take a keep to farm gear points in DAOC, you took it because you wanted to conquer/cap the zone for your realm, caputre relics, open DF - basically do things that matter for the WHOLE realm/world, not just for my next set of pants.

 

PvP for gear grind  = fail. Bring back 3 factions, bring back realm pride, bring back pvp that people actually give a dam about.

Wed Apr 14 2010 5:04PM Report
FC-Famine writes:

When we played back in the late 90's on MUDs, we didn't have forced facctions either. The only thing we had was guilds and those were all we needed. Guilds were our factions and the idea was to encourage guild versus guild conflict for control over the region.

I think a lot of the reason factions are split between just two is because of how much development it takes to create more than two. If you have 3 to 5 classes per faction with a plan to only have 2 factions, then you 6 to 10 classes. If you add on one more faction, then you have 9 to 15 classes. That's a lot of work for one more faction that also defines classes, or even races!

Though, I should throw out some self promotion here and state that The Secret World is going a different route. Maybe that will help ease the pain of your itch. ;)

Wed Apr 14 2010 5:28PM Report
nate1980 writes:

I agree.

Wed Apr 14 2010 5:39PM Report
SkullFighter writes:

I dont really care whether you have 2 or three factions.  It boils down to guild warfare.  You kind of lose your guild identity when you are just apart of some faction.  It is much funner when you can forge and break your own alliances and make a name for yourself or your guild.

When your in a faction you are just another one of the gazillion guilds that make up that faction. 

It doesnt really help that the guild warfare games are shallow in just about every other department except for guild warfare.  So theres just epic fails everywhere.

Wed Apr 14 2010 7:51PM Report
pojung writes:

Why do 3 factions? Three, albeit assymetrical, is almost too easy to produce and would eventually lead to crap immitations down the line.

5 factions. To this day, I *still* don't understand why not a single dev has picked up on the 5 color concept MTG uses, and how easily and great that would translate to an MMORPG stage.

 

But yes, great article and fully agree.

Thu Apr 15 2010 6:27AM Report
liegeois writes:

So why do you not pay attention to such games like Eve Online and the recently released Global 'agenda? In both games of the faction - not artificially created by the developers of a real forces that are formed by players to achieve what is its purpose. Also in Eve, you can set one of the sides and fight for it in the faction wars. I mean that developers should not provide a wider range of parties, but an opportunity, an opportunity to create their own party and defend their point of view and not try to bring all its actions under a pre-determined pattern.

Fri Apr 16 2010 12:57AM Report
Nihilist writes:

I agree, guild alliance factions would be the best choice, but few games are able to impliment this properly.

 

The problem is that guild based factions are usually bad for solo / small group / small guild players since they will usually get trampled by zerg alliances.

 

I think there are enough solo / small group players who don't necessarily have the time or desire to deal with the dynamics of a zerg guild and like having people around who have their backs through a preset faction.

Sat Apr 17 2010 3:41PM Report

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