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News & Features Discussion  » General: Editorial: Faction System

17 posts found
  Dana

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

 
OP  7/20/06 2:47:10 PM#1

Kevin Tierney returns with a new editorial today. Inside, he examines the issue of faction systems in MMORPGs and theorizes on how he believes they should be used.

One of the best features in my mind about an MMORPG is the ability to join factions. When one joins a faction, they no longer specifically game for their own purposes, but for the benefit not just of a guild, but for a collection of guilds all under the same banner. However, I also believe that the majority of MMOs do nothing to support the faction system.

As it stands in most games, people are free to join whatever faction they may desire. They can bring dishonor towards the faction, but there is nothing that can be done against them. Factions are also almost entirely PvP orientated. Unless you want to go around killing other players, there really is no benefit or contribution one can make towards certain factions. There also is very little benefit to actually controlling different regions for one faction, unless more PvP is viewed a benefit. Can such a system be changed? I believe it can be done, by incorporating a few systems.

You can read more here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  Kareal

Novice Member

Joined: 4/20/04
Posts: 17

7/20/06 10:17:08 PM#2
Is it just me or do the 'Editorials' seem to be getting shorter and shorter. This one in particular seems more like a forum posting thats been given a stamp of approval more than anything else. But anyway back on topic...

What in specific do you mean by 'faction' as your post seems to step across the line from Rebel v Alliance Factions or Hibernia v Midgard v Albion Realms to more of an Alliance system. The other question is at what point does a player alliance become a faction?

EVE Online seems to present most of what you mention in 0.0 alliances: territory control and resource benefits to that territory used in crafting. The only thing that isn't involved is NPCs which I believe in alot of players minds is a good thing.


Lead Designer, Islands of War
Warlock L80, WoW Mug'thol
Warden L50, DaoC Percival
EVE Pilot

  Mcgreag

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/05
Posts: 491

7/21/06 7:57:49 AM#3

Agree with the above poster. It's much better if you allow the players to create their own factions, with their own set of (ever changing) allies and enemies than to force some pre-made stuff on them.

This allows for a much more dynamic and complex game with diplomacy, backstabbing and everlasting vendettas. It also give more people a place in these factions. Even if they don't like the combat part pvp they can still be involved in the for example the diplomatic part of it.

Here is the current EVE alliance map, this map is player created and changes all the time as the result of wars and diplomacy. The large unclaimed space in the middle is npc controlled.

"Memories are meant to fade. They're designed that way for a reason."

  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

7/21/06 4:26:36 PM#4

Originally posted by Mcgreag

Agree with the above poster. It's much better if you allow the players to create their own factions, with their own set of (ever changing) allies and enemies than to force some pre-made stuff on them.

This allows for a much more dynamic and complex game with diplomacy, backstabbing and everlasting vendettas. It also give more people a place in these factions. Even if they don't like the combat part pvp they can still be involved in the for example the diplomatic part of it.

Here is the current EVE alliance map, this map is player created and changes all the time as the result of wars and diplomacy. The large unclaimed space in the middle is npc controlled.



I'd have no problem with player created factions.  My editorial was more along the lines of "factions, whatever they are, here's some ideas for it."  I do think the diplomacy angle of factions is all too often underplayed in MMO's though sadly.
  Beatnik59

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2235

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

7/21/06 6:15:20 PM#5

I'm not sure this notion of factions will really work like games who depend on factions need it to work.

Perhaps its because I really do not see much of a difference between factions as the article describes them, and guilds as they currently exist.  Perhaps in the minor details they are different, but the essence of what makes a guild is essentially the same whether we are talking Mr. Tierney's factions, or EVE's alliances, or any guild from any game.  They are exclusive clubs, based upon principles of exclusivity.

In EVE at least, I'm not sure that any one of those alliances on that map, or any of the corporations who make up those alliances, will take anyone unless they are willing to use Teamspeak or something else along those lines.  They claim that they cannot play the way they want to play without it.  And while that may not really matter to those who use voice chat, to those who are not willing to use it, there is a barrier to content that is beyond the control of the developers to correct.  For even if you integrate voice chat, you cannot force players who do not want to use it to suddenly use it, simply because alliance players want to use it.

The politics around voice chat use is just the most obvious way that players give each other the cold shoulder, but its not the only one.  And for games that are trying to use factions to foster inclusiveness amongst players that would probably not have anything to do with each other otherwise, its self-defeating.

The great thing about factions, be you in SWG, or DAoC, or CoH, is that they allow players to include themselves based on their own preferences, rather than to be forced to conform to someone else's preferences as a prerequisite to being included.  I think that is a wonderful thing, because it gives everyone a context whereby they are included amongst something greater than themselves, and their personal biases.

These days, we have generated more reasons to exclude players, than to include them.  Roleplayer versus twink.  Voice chat versus text chat.  Carebear versus PKer.  Raider versus solo.  And in terms of the guild system, players are given the power to accept and dismiss others on whatever grounds they deem necessary.

Factions, in my opinion, need to counterbalance this, not reinforce the differences that divide us.  They need to provide connections between players that wouldn't otherwise have anything to do with each other, and the successful games have done this to brilliant success.

__________________________
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
--Arcken

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

7/21/06 6:22:07 PM#6

Originally posted by Beatnik59

I'm not sure this notion of factions will really work like games who depend on factions need it to work.

Perhaps its because I really do not see much of a difference between factions as the article describes them, and guilds as they currently exist.  Perhaps in the minor details they are different, but the essence of what makes a guild is essentially the same whether we are talking Mr. Tierney's factions, or EVE's alliances, or any guild from any game.  They are exclusive clubs, based upon principles of exclusivity.

In EVE at least, I'm not sure that any one of those alliances on that map, or any of the corporations who make up those alliances, will take anyone unless they are willing to use Teamspeak or something else along those lines.  They claim that they cannot play the way they want to play without it.  And while that may not really matter to those who use voice chat, to those who are not willing to use it, there is a barrier to content that is beyond the control of the developers to correct.  For even if you integrate voice chat, you cannot force players who do not want to use it to suddenly use it, simply because alliance players want to use it.

The politics around voice chat use is just the most obvious way that players give each other the cold shoulder, but its not the only one.  And for games that are trying to use factions to foster inclusiveness amongst players that would probably not have anything to do with each other otherwise, its self-defeating.

The great thing about factions, be you in SWG, or DAoC, or CoH, is that they allow players to include themselves based on their own preferences, rather than to be forced to conform to someone else's preferences as a prerequisite to being included.  I think that is a wonderful thing, because it gives everyone a context whereby they are included amongst something greater than themselves, and their personal biases.

These days, we have generated more reasons to exclude players, than to include them.  Roleplayer versus twink.  Voice chat versus text chat.  Carebear versus PKer.  Raider versus solo.  And in terms of the guild system, players are given the power to accept and dismiss others on whatever grounds they deem necessary.

Factions, in my opinion, need to counterbalance this, not reinforce the differences that divide us.  They need to provide connections between players that wouldn't otherwise have anything to do with each other, and the successful games have done this to brilliant success.


What if a faction member brings great disgrace to his faction?  In SWG, there was an Imperial guild who was notorious for their dirty fighting and exploiting.  These guys never once played honorably.  They gave all Imperials a bad name.  We took action first by never responding to calls for help from them, but they continued to wear the Imperial standard, yet dishonor us.  Almost every medium to major Imperial guild on the server wanted nothing more than a way to remove them from our faction.  As factions emphasize teamwork on a supraguild scale (a conglomerate of guilds if you will) I think there should be some mechanisms in place.
  Beatnik59

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2235

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

7/21/06 6:49:00 PM#7


Originally posted by iceman00

What if a faction member brings great disgrace to his faction?  In SWG, there was an Imperial guild who was notorious for their dirty fighting and exploiting.  These guys never once played honorably.  They gave all Imperials a bad name.  We took action first by never responding to calls for help from them, but they continued to wear the Imperial standard, yet dishonor us.  Almost every medium to major Imperial guild on the server wanted nothing more than a way to remove them from our faction.  As factions emphasize teamwork on a supraguild scale (a conglomerate of guilds if you will) I think there should be some mechanisms in place.


I'm not sure if a player controlled factional system will help the notion of "honor."  I would venture to say it will actually make dishonorable actions more prevalent.

You mention SWG, and for many Rebel players on my server, buffbotting was dishonorable.  AFK grinding was dishonorable.  Faction farming was dishonorable.  Unfortunately though, for many of the "serious" Rebel guilds, buffbotting, AFK grinding, and faction farming was not seen as "dishonorable."  In fact, they argued that they were "noble" things.

Instead of saying that buffbotting hurt live Rebel musicians and dancers, the big and serious Rebel guilds claimed that buffbot accounts were great and egalitarian in that they provided a public service 24 hours a day for the Rebel faction at large, and that Rebel players who disagreed were selfish, and didn't care about the faction's needs to beat the Imps in PvP.

Instead of saying that AFK grinding was dishonorable, the big guilds said that it was honorable in that it brought up PvP builds more quickly to better win at PvP against the Imperials.

Instead of saying that faction farming from placing Imperial bases was dishonorable, the big guilds said it was honorable, because someone put forth the expense and the effort to get the base so that Rebels could kill the guards for faction points.

In every one of these cases, people made the argument that what was considered standard faire for big, serious PvP factional guilds was very dishonorable, and very much against the spirit of what being a member of a faction should be about.  But that didn't matter, because these "continuity breakers" were justified by the fact that they helped the faction to win over their rivals.

In short, I don't trust the players, myself included, to pass judgement about what is "honorable" or not.  It seems that this discression, if it is to belong to anyone, should rest with the provider.

PS, one more thing:

I disagree wholeheartedly that factions are "groups of guilds."  The wonderful thing about factions, at least to me, is that you do not need to be in a guild to participate in factional activities, and share cameraderie with others toward a common goal.

__________________________
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
--Arcken

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  nthnaoun

Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/05
Posts: 1428

7/21/06 7:55:01 PM#8

A lot of good ideas in this editorial. A few things I think are worthy of consideration is:

It would take a mature playerbase to run something like this.

It would take a large playerbase per server to make it work.

Future expansion should not make the world bigger or give the factions more places to fight over unless the population numbers could cover that much ground. (Nothing is worse than the old world being deserted for the new expansion land, thus turning the game into a non-newbie friendly game and making it into a original playerbase only game.)

They would have to use a Hunter, Warrior, Crafter system, meaning, Hunters gather materials for the crafters, because Hunters could defend themselves (PvE oriented fighters would like this role). Warrior would defend their factions land against opposing factions (PvPers would love this role). And Crafters would make items and sell them in their shops (great for people who like the business end of MMO's). All three would have to rely on one another equally to make a balanced economy and not an overinflated economy. Which brings me to my next and last point.

All items in game would need to be crafter made. There could be some flexibility here, but not much room for loot based items.

  nthnaoun

Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/05
Posts: 1428

7/21/06 8:02:50 PM#9

Originally posted by Mcgreag

Agree with the above poster. It's much better if you allow the players to create their own factions, with their own set of (ever changing) allies and enemies than to force some pre-made stuff on them.

This allows for a much more dynamic and complex game with diplomacy, backstabbing and everlasting vendettas. It also give more people a place in these factions. Even if they don't like the combat part pvp they can still be involved in the for example the diplomatic part of it.

Here is the current EVE alliance map, this map is player created and changes all the time as the result of wars and diplomacy. The large unclaimed space in the middle is npc controlled.


Here is my problem with player created factions. It is the same problem with player ran guilds. You end up with most guilds offering the same thing and being the same. Too many people want to start their own guild or faction than there are players to support them adequately.

So if there are 4 premade factions, with a starting town and a current NPC hierarchy that can be replaced by PC's by the use of a democratic system, than people would be forced to join either one of the 4 factions. This would result in 4 factions with approximately 500 people in each one, given that you're playing on a 2000 player server. If it was left up to players to create and run factions, you would have about 200 factions with minimal people in them. There would several family oriented factions, several casual player factions, several PvP only factions and etc. This is why player created and ran factions are a bad idea compaired to already created factions that can be player ran.

  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

7/21/06 8:06:00 PM#10

Originally posted by Beatnik59


Originally posted by iceman00

What if a faction member brings great disgrace to his faction?  In SWG, there was an Imperial guild who was notorious for their dirty fighting and exploiting.  These guys never once played honorably.  They gave all Imperials a bad name.  We took action first by never responding to calls for help from them, but they continued to wear the Imperial standard, yet dishonor us.  Almost every medium to major Imperial guild on the server wanted nothing more than a way to remove them from our faction.  As factions emphasize teamwork on a supraguild scale (a conglomerate of guilds if you will) I think there should be some mechanisms in place.


I'm not sure if a player controlled factional system will help the notion of "honor."  I would venture to say it will actually make dishonorable actions more prevalent.

You mention SWG, and for many Rebel players on my server, buffbotting was dishonorable.  AFK grinding was dishonorable.  Faction farming was dishonorable.  Unfortunately though, for many of the "serious" Rebel guilds, buffbotting, AFK grinding, and faction farming was not seen as "dishonorable."  In fact, they argued that they were "noble" things.

Instead of saying that buffbotting hurt live Rebel musicians and dancers, the big and serious Rebel guilds claimed that buffbot accounts were great and egalitarian in that they provided a public service 24 hours a day for the Rebel faction at large, and that Rebel players who disagreed were selfish, and didn't care about the faction's needs to beat the Imps in PvP.

Instead of saying that AFK grinding was dishonorable, the big guilds said that it was honorable in that it brought up PvP builds more quickly to better win at PvP against the Imperials.

Instead of saying that faction farming from placing Imperial bases was dishonorable, the big guilds said it was honorable, because someone put forth the expense and the effort to get the base so that Rebels could kill the guards for faction points.

In every one of these cases, people made the argument that what was considered standard faire for big, serious PvP factional guilds was very dishonorable, and very much against the spirit of what being a member of a faction should be about.  But that didn't matter, because these "continuity breakers" were justified by the fact that they helped the faction to win over their rivals.

In short, I don't trust the players, myself included, to pass judgement about what is "honorable" or not.  It seems that this discression, if it is to belong to anyone, should rest with the provider.

PS, one more thing:

I disagree wholeheartedly that factions are "groups of guilds."  The wonderful thing about factions, at least to me, is that you do not need to be in a guild to participate in factional activities, and share cameraderie with others toward a common goal.


In order for my propositions to work, players would need to band together to start their own factions. 

As far as not trusting the players, those players that are honorable will stick with like players.  Those that aren't will stick with the dishonorable ones.  It is generally my experience that the dishonorable ones are normally a very loud vocal minority, that can eventually be silenced.

As far as the supraguilds, you do have a point, in that one can join a faction without being part of a guild.  I was speaking under normative stances, because whatever one thinks about it, most people in MMO's inevitably join a guild.

Things that are clearly illegal and dishonorable (those who sploit and other stuff) should by no means be allowed to carry a voice at the table, as those companies should take action against those who violate such rules.  however as an swg dev said to me "just because you don't like it does not make it an exploit."  He had a point, and I think the system that I propose (which does need some development, as a short editorail cannot iron out everything) could give a solution to that, so people of the same faction do work together, rather than people doing their own thing, just wearing the same standards.

  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

7/21/06 8:12:13 PM#11

Originally posted by nthnaoun

A lot of good ideas in this editorial. A few things I think are worthy of consideration is:

It would take a mature playerbase to run something like this.

It would take a large playerbase per server to make it work.

Future expansion should not make the world bigger or give the factions more places to fight over unless the population numbers could cover that much ground. (Nothing is worse than the old world being deserted for the new expansion land, thus turning the game into a non-newbie friendly game and making it into a original playerbase only game.)

They would have to use a Hunter, Warrior, Crafter system, meaning, Hunters gather materials for the crafters, because Hunters could defend themselves (PvE oriented fighters would like this role). Warrior would defend their factions land against opposing factions (PvPers would love this role). And Crafters would make items and sell them in their shops (great for people who like the business end of MMO's). All three would have to rely on one another equally to make a balanced economy and not an overinflated economy. Which brings me to my next and last point.

All items in game would need to be crafter made. There could be some flexibility here, but not much room for loot based items.


A mature playerbase?  Well for the most part yes.  However you just need a certain core that really care about things more than others who can help run the things.  not every single member of the faction needs to have the same intensity on working towards things.  It's never that way in any assocation.

I'm not entirely sure about a large playerbase.  That would depend on how large one makes the world.  One could make it a small or average world.  For SWG I think, you'd definetly need a good sized player base (which they once had) to make it work.

I know at least on the localized level the three pronged system you've described I've made work.  We even made it work on a planetary level at times in SWG, with imperial crafters pooling resources together that imperial miners collected, hides and bones that our hunters harvested.  (The PvP part couldn't be actualized because PvP mainly had no point in SWG other than bragging rights.)  But this would emphasize working together no doubt.  Perhaps the idealist in me is showing, in my grand idea for something that might not be obtainable in reality.

As far as crafted only items, I'm not so sure.  Planets (or sections) that are fought for control could offer lucrative loot, and it's a lot easier if your faction controls that area so you can handle the pve stuff without having factional patrols shooting at you.  :)  But a strong amoutnw ould have to be player crafted, but your high yet rare stuff could be loot made.

Anyways some interesting considerations you raised, which is what I hoped this would generate.

  Mcgreag

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/05
Posts: 491

7/22/06 4:59:18 PM#12


Originally posted by nthnaoun

Here is my problem with player created factions. It is the same problem with player ran guilds. You end up with most guilds offering the same thing and being the same. Too many people want to start their own guild or faction than there are players to support them adequately.
So if there are 4 premade factions, with a starting town and a current NPC hierarchy that can be replaced by PC's by the use of a democratic system, than people would be forced to join either one of the 4 factions. This would result in 4 factions with approximately 500 people in each one, given that you're playing on a 2000 player server. If it was left up to players to create and run factions, you would have about 200 factions with minimal people in them. There would several family oriented factions, several casual player factions, several PvP only factions and etc. This is why player created and ran factions are a bad idea compaired to already created factions that can be player ran.


Well basing them on how they are down in eve this just isn't true, maybe this is because in eve holding space really matters and you can't hold space with just a handfull of player, someone bigger than you will come and take it. The 4 largest alliances in eve have over 2000 members (with the nr1 having 3800 members) and the 12 largest have over 1000 members each.

You can say what you want about combat, pace, skill system etc in eve but its alliance system is just way beyond everything else on the market. The player made factions really matter and they are not there just to provide some pvp experience.

"Memories are meant to fade. They're designed that way for a reason."

  Beatnik59

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2235

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

7/22/06 6:42:38 PM#13


Originally posted by Mcgreag


Well basing them on how they are down in eve this just isn't true, maybe this is because in eve holding space really matters and you can't hold space with just a handfull of player, someone bigger than you will come and take it. The 4 largest alliances in eve have over 2000 members (with the nr1 having 3800 members) and the 12 largest have over 1000 members each.

You can say what you want about combat, pace, skill system etc in eve but its alliance system is just way beyond everything else on the market. The player made factions really matter and they are not there just to provide some pvp experience.

You can say what you want about combat, pace, skill system etc in eve but its alliance system is just way beyond everything else on the market. The player made factions really matter and they are not there just to provide some pvp experience.

I think the point nthnaoun is trying to make, and I agree with, is that there is really nothing different about EVE alliances when compared to guilds.  Sure they may be bigger, and they may actually occupy vast tracts of space, but there is nothing these alliances really do that I haven't seen before in countless games.  They all stand for the same things more or less, so easily described in a few sentences in your statement about them.

They want to be the best, biggest, richest, and win more than they lose in PvP.  Who doesn't?  But there is no real diversity there in terms of what the alliances are about.  There motives are the same, and they do basically the same things, no matter what tags they are wearing.  I admit that there are a few alliances on that map that do things differently, like Ushra'Khan, and CVA, but they are the exception that proves the rule.  The factions really do not tie into the background story, do not really care about tying in to the background story, do nothing to foster inclusiveness, do not enhance the game of anyone not chosen by them to be a member, and basically stand for nothing above what a guild stands for.

When I play EVE, I'm suprised about how little the ones I play with care about what alliances do.  Possibly because the standards to get into one are too high for your average EVE player.  All the past two weeks, I only met two players who even tuned in to EVE TV, and why should the others that do not really care, since they feel no connection to those things?

Factions, true factions, need to unite players that wouldn't have anything to do with eachother if the faction were not there.  They need to foster roleplay, connect with the lore, and create a tangible means for expressing ideological differences.  They need to be things that players have the ability to pursue without having to wait for an invitation.  Otherwise, its just a big guild, with more powers for sure, but nothing that makes it different from a typical guild.

__________________________
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
--Arcken

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  Mcgreag

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/05
Posts: 491

7/22/06 8:10:52 PM#14


Originally posted by Beatnik59

I think the point nthnaoun is trying to make, and I agree with, is that there is really nothing different about EVE alliances when compared to guilds. Sure they may be bigger, and they may actually occupy vast tracts of space, but there is nothing these alliances really do that I haven't seen before in countless games. They all stand for the same things more or less, so easily described in a few sentences in your statement about them.
They want to be the best, biggest, richest, and win more than they lose in PvP. Who doesn't? But there is no real diversity there in terms of what the alliances are about. There motives are the same, and they do basically the same things, no matter what tags they are wearing. I admit that there are a few alliances on that map that do things differently, like Ushra'Khan, and CVA, but they are the exception that proves the rule. The factions really do not tie into the background story, do not really care about tying in to the background story, do nothing to foster inclusiveness, do not enhance the game of anyone not chosen by them to be a member, and basically stand for nothing above what a guild stands for.
When I play EVE, I'm suprised about how little the ones I play with care about what alliances do. Possibly because the standards to get into one are too high for your average EVE player. All the past two weeks, I only met two players who even tuned in to EVE TV, and why should the others that do not really care, since they feel no connection to those things?
Factions, true factions, need to unite players that wouldn't have anything to do with eachother if the faction were not there. They need to foster roleplay, connect with the lore, and create a tangible means for expressing ideological differences. They need to be things that players have the ability to pursue without having to wait for an invitation. Otherwise, its just a big guild, with more powers for sure, but nothing that makes it different from a typical guild.


There is nothing different about your factions than the alliances in eve. People are going to be part or not part of them for the same reasons they are part/not part of an alliance. And the alliances do tie into the story, they even change it. Did you know that when the blood raiders (npc pirate faction) moved out of the amarr system and out to 0.0 they (in the form of the dev incharge of story and events doing incharacter inpersonating of the blood raider leader) contacted the player alliance in possession of the area they intended to move to and asked if it was ok?

If you don't want care what happens with the alliances that's upto you but that's the same as saying you don't care what happens to your factions. Either you care or you don't. You can't have it both ways.

And there are nothing exlusive about these alliances. Some have strict recruitment rules but others like ISS and Goonswarm take basicly anyone. If you want to get involved there is nothing but yourself stopping you. And that's why a faction system won't be any better, because you won't have more player involvement with it only less.

People get involved because they feel they can get something out it. For some it's making a difference, for some it good pvp fights, for some it's just reaping the benefits of living in alliance controlled space. But in the end every member of a 0.0 alliance roleplay every day he is logged in and playing, even if he doesn't do it deliberately or even know it, because his actions/non actions are changing the gameworld. This is something you just can't get with fixed factions.

"Memories are meant to fade. They're designed that way for a reason."

  Owyn

Novice Member

Joined: 3/19/04
Posts: 337

7/23/06 12:31:58 AM#15
This article, however brief, reminded me of my very earliest online play back in the early 90s, on an LPMUD called "Genesis".  Fun game.  =)  The server was capped at about 100 players, and there were queues to get in almost round the clock.

Anyway, the game didn't have classes, precisely.  There was a base set of skills that any player could take (you paid coin to train).  And then there were specialty skills for each profession in the game.  Some professions were called "primary" others "secondary".  A character could take one primary and one secondary profession; some more powerful primary professions were balanced by filling the secondary slot as well as the primary.  These professions opened up new powers and skills in return for taking away a slice of your experience points.

Anyway, to get back to the topic!  These professions did not stand alone.  You had to join some sort of guild, clan, or other ingame organization to be able to learn a profession.  For instance, the MUD had a bard's group, which allowed people to learn the secondary profession of bard when they joined.  Anyone could join, it was easy.  On the flip side of that were groups like the Knights of Solamnia (yeah, pulled from Krynn - the MUD had LOTR stuff in it too, was an interesting mix of worlds) where you had to find a Knight member to sponsor you as a Squire, then work your way up to being able to attain Knight yourself through ingame deeds.  Or the Monks of Katheda, who were not as strict about code, behavior, and whathaveyou as the Knights, but still had some membership and joining requirements.

It was pretty darned interesting.  The "factions" were all preset.  Each had one "wizard" - a dev - running the show for them and helping to involve them in the storyline.  And each had different rules about how one would join, who could join, and what the requirements were to retain membership.  In the Knights, for instance, if you were spotted doing bad things, members could petition to have you removed.  Each faction had a mortal leader or council as well, with different rank structures for different factions - the Army of Angmar might require you to kill higher ranks in combat to attain each new rank, while the Knights might vote in their new leader, while the bards might have a council of leaders, etc.

No MMO has done anything even close to this, so far.  It's an interesting mechanism that I've never seen copied over to 3D worlds.

Owyn
Commander, Defenders of Order
http://www.defendersoforder.com

  Xyang

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/06
Posts: 219

Don''t cry that you''re being walked on if you act like a carpet.

7/23/06 12:50:29 AM#16
What if a faction member brings great disgrace to his faction?  In SWG, there was an Imperial guild who was notorious for their dirty fighting and exploiting.  These guys never once played honorably.  They gave all Imperials a bad name.  We took action first by never responding to calls for help from them, but they continued to wear the Imperial standard, yet dishonor us.  Almost every medium to major Imperial guild on the server wanted nothing more than a way to remove them from our faction.  As factions emphasize teamwork on a supraguild scale (a conglomerate of guilds if you will) I think there should be some mechanisms in place.

The thing is that you have to see your faction as your "country". You are randomly put with people that you will like or dislike but at the end, you all wish that your country/faction will do well on the economic side or war effort.

That's why guild exist inside of those factions, so people that have the same view of the "world" can play together and enjoy themselves. All of this without loosing sight of the faction war effort that should affect everybody in it one way or another.

What deserves to be done, deserves to be "well" done...

  JYCowboy

Novice Member

Joined: 1/11/05
Posts: 661

SWG: Jess Youngstar(CIA)-AhaziDCUO: Blue Horizon(CIA)STO: John West(USS Texas)NCC-91836

7/23/06 10:42:29 AM#17

Originally posted by iceman00

Originally posted by Beatnik59

I'm not sure this notion of factions will really work like games who depend on factions need it to work.

Perhaps its because I really do not see much of a difference between factions as the article describes them, and guilds as they currently exist.  Perhaps in the minor details they are different, but the essence of what makes a guild is essentially the same whether we are talking Mr. Tierney's factions, or EVE's alliances, or any guild from any game.  They are exclusive clubs, based upon principles of exclusivity.

In EVE at least, I'm not sure that any one of those alliances on that map, or any of the corporations who make up those alliances, will take anyone unless they are willing to use Teamspeak or something else along those lines.  They claim that they cannot play the way they want to play without it.  And while that may not really matter to those who use voice chat, to those who are not willing to use it, there is a barrier to content that is beyond the control of the developers to correct.  For even if you integrate voice chat, you cannot force players who do not want to use it to suddenly use it, simply because alliance players want to use it.

The politics around voice chat use is just the most obvious way that players give each other the cold shoulder, but its not the only one.  And for games that are trying to use factions to foster inclusiveness amongst players that would probably not have anything to do with each other otherwise, its self-defeating.

The great thing about factions, be you in SWG, or DAoC, or CoH, is that they allow players to include themselves based on their own preferences, rather than to be forced to conform to someone else's preferences as a prerequisite to being included.  I think that is a wonderful thing, because it gives everyone a context whereby they are included amongst something greater than themselves, and their personal biases.

These days, we have generated more reasons to exclude players, than to include them.  Roleplayer versus twink.  Voice chat versus text chat.  Carebear versus PKer.  Raider versus solo.  And in terms of the guild system, players are given the power to accept and dismiss others on whatever grounds they deem necessary.

Factions, in my opinion, need to counterbalance this, not reinforce the differences that divide us.  They need to provide connections between players that wouldn't otherwise have anything to do with each other, and the successful games have done this to brilliant success.


What if a faction member brings great disgrace to his faction?  In SWG, there was an Imperial guild who was notorious for their dirty fighting and exploiting.  These guys never once played honorably.  They gave all Imperials a bad name.  We took action first by never responding to calls for help from them, but they continued to wear the Imperial standard, yet dishonor us.  Almost every medium to major Imperial guild on the server wanted nothing more than a way to remove them from our faction.  As factions emphasize teamwork on a supraguild scale (a conglomerate of guilds if you will) I think there should be some mechanisms in place.

/LOL

Played on a Ahazi did ya?  If not, this situation was/is there also.