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Improved Faction System

Editorial By Kevin Tierney on July 20, 2006

"An Improved Faction System"

Editorial by Kevin M. Tierney

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.

First should be how one is able to join a faction. Let fellow players decide who can join their faction. More importantly, if a group of players is being dishonorable, allow the players the ability to exile them from their own faction. Have a certain election system implemented where certain leaders from each faction form a council where everything is discussed on the grand scale. This would create a truly faction friendly gaming system, where all members of the faction really have to work together in order to succeed. If one leader abuses his power in removing people that should not be removed, there is always the election system to remove them from that council, so someone better can lead.

The next system exists in some games that have factions, but needs to be expanded a little more. One should not be doing business with the opposing faction. In Star Wars Galaxies, one should not be selling their best weaponry to the enemy. There should be many factors in place discouraging such from happening. If they still attempt to do so to pursue a lucrative business, the faction can once again take action in removing that person.

PvP should remain a central part of factions, but the benefits should be available to all. True section control should be something that should be implemented. When that area comes under factional control, business opportunities are open to crafters or other businessmen of that faction to conduct operations in that region. Here the crafters become dependant upon the pvp people. For those who like to engage in PvP the benefit would be obvious. A more aggressive expansion will almost certainly mean additional fighting. However, those areas would have to be defended.

Of course, there should be a risk in doing this if you are a factional businessman. If your section were to by chance fall to the other faction, one should have to face the risk of the opposite faction (preferably done by NPCs) raiding your place of business, and destroying your stock in that region. While one can increase their profit margins with additional stores, they can also lose a considerable amount of inventory if the section is poorly defended. This also would be effective in putting a strain on the opposing factions supply lines, making them travel further to purchase supplies.

To offset the losses from only being able to sell to a certain clientele, a “faction” menu could be easily inserted into the game. In that menu one could check the progress of their factions, and also businessmen could advertise their respective businesses. Guilds could place orders for entire sets of armor or weapons to be provided by the factional businessmen. Those running a business can advertise for factional members to help them in obtaining supplies for their merchandise.

If one enjoys creating their own content, no system more allows this than the faction system. Developers should give real consideration on how to support these players. Hopefully these few ideas can contribute to such a discussion.

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