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View Full Version : Joining factions at epic levels - thoughts?



knightgf
02-27-2014, 11:53 PM
At Epic Levels, I believe all players should have the option of joining some faction that provides good benefits to those who join. While I will not bother going into detail what specific factions should be available, I would like to talk about the game play aspect of how they should be implemented if they were to come into play.

What are factions?

Factions are basically epic-level guilds led by NPC's. They are not to be confused with player guilds, and can be joined alongside them, meaning that a player can both be in a faction and in a player-led guild. These factions have a extraplanar influence; for those with the knowledge and power to traverse the planes, one can find them, and they can find you. In DDO, just how there are different alignments, there are different factions, but the players will never be able to join an evil faction for pretty much the same reasons you cannot have an evil alignment. They can provide unique benefits and services to those who are members of the faction.

How can I join a faction?

Let's talk about faction restrictions first. The only two restrictions are level and alignment restrictions along the law-chaos spectrum. Level isn't as restrictive; some factions require you to be a higher epic level than others. The alignment restriction may be a bit more tedious; some factions require you to be lawful in order to join them, while others require you to be an alignment that is not lawful, meaning you must be either neutral or chaotic. Otherwise, that's it! Now, in order to join a faction, you have to find a representative of the faction first, which shouldn't be too much of an issue. Once you find them, you must ask if you may join their faction, and more often than not, they will usually either require you to complete a certain quest, successfully answer some questions, take an oath of some sort and/or pay a tithe in the form of platinum to join the faction. You can only be a member of one faction per character at a time.

You can change factions, but you must wait a week before you can change again, there will often be some sort of a minor penalty that lasts for the week (You might take 10% more damage, or take a minor penalty to a stat/skill, members of the former faction might hunt you down in a quest, exc.) Epic reincarnation will not suspend or remove your faction status, but true reincarnation will 'suspend' your status, meaning that access to the faction, as well as faction perks will be lost until you reach level 20 again. However, items that you possess from either your former faction or another guild's faction work as long as you meet the level requirements and any other special requirements.

What kind of benefits can factions provide?

Benefits will vary from faction to faction based on what it specializes in (Things like arcane studies, law & order, causing change, divine worship, exc.) but the following benefits are shared with all player-based factions:



Quick teleportation to the nearest faction building (If there is more than one) via a item clickie.
Pawn brokers of weapons, armor, jewelry and clothing. These pawn brokers are special in that not only do they buy stuff from players, they also generate 2 pieces of random-gen loot per epic level that are replaced after 3 hours.
A spellcaster that casts guild airship buffs on you (These cost as much as a amenity to cast, last only 30 minutes and can be dispelled or suppressed.)
A auctioneer and banker.
A shop containing common adventuring goods for epic levels (Basically stuff for healing and buffing.)
Special shops that contain Bound-to-Guild items based on the faction specialization (Bound-to-guild functions as bound to character if you are not in a guild, but if you are in a guild, you can trade these items with fellow guild members and put them in the guild chests. It doesn't matter what guild you are in as long as you are in a guild.)


What are faction ranks, and how can I advance in them?

Faction ranks represent your standing in the faction. Initially, there will be 5 ranks, starting with rank 1. Can there be more? Sure, but let's start at 5. You gain faction ranks primarily by doing quests or raids, but you can also trade in various items the faction seeks, and perform various achievements that will automatically be tracked for you (I.E.: Kill 5000 chaotic characters, save vs. certain spells, destroy certain loot, exc.) Achievements will be more based on the primary types of characters that make up the guild, although there's usually a little something for everyone. When doing quests, it doesn't matter what difficulty you do the quest on, as long as you earn at least 1 XP from doing so (Raids with wait timers are the exception). When you gain faction ranks, depending on the faction you are in, you either gain a special faction feat or access to higher-level faction abilities, like shops or even services, although you will mostly gain access to feats when you advance in rank. You can never be the leader of a faction, although you can have sway in whatever goes on there.

Do I have to worry about someone in an 'opposing' faction?

Absolutely not. It doesn't matter if a person in a chaotic-based faction is grouping with a person in a lawful-based faction, or with any other kinds of examples.

Conclusion

Originally, I intended for factions to be an alternative way to gain guild buffs. However, after reading some DnD content related to planar stuff, as well as taking inspiration from the Ebberon house buffs that used to be somewhat viable, I decided it should be more than that, and that is why I wanted to suggest this kind of idea.

Thoughts?

MRMechMan
02-28-2014, 01:15 AM
I like it.

NPCs in this game have traditionally lacked depth. Conversations are generally

"Give me quest" "Here's the quest"
*Does quest*
"Give me reward"
*runs away*.

OR at most

"Give me quest" "Gives short background story" "Witty canned PC remark"
*Does quest*
"Give me reward" "Witty NPC remark"
*runs away*.

The players actions have an astonishingly small impact on game events/dialogue/reactivity of the world in DDO. Great single player role playing games are immersive because the players are not just shaping their characters-they are shaping the world as well. Morrowind, Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, etc all present the player with real choices that matter. That's memorable. And that's addicting-one of the reasons we are all here playing a game is an escape from real life, however brief. Making the world more immersive is always a good thing.

And, mmo players generally love counting/adding things up-look at the monster manual. The XP rewards are fairly minimal but many people bought them anyway-I personally feel a very small extra bit of satisfaction from slowly adding to my MM kills-even if the XP for most mobs is negligable.

The faction system could be the same way-doing quests/kills/tasks you already are doing and getting a minor/moderate reward for it. Some people will simply call this a new grind, but if a grind is moderate, fun, doable and provides reasonable rewards, it's not grinding, it's simply another facet of playing the game.

I think the easiest way to do this would be to work it into the favor system:

Getting spell-like abilities or other benefits at various teirs could be a nice reward-something like:

House Phiarlan Member:
Teir1: Invisibility 3x/rest, +2 saves vs illusion
Teir2: Haste 1x/rest
Teir3: Poison 2x/rest, +2 saves vs enchantment
Teir4: Improved Invis 2x/rest
Teir5: Displacement 1x/rest, +2 dex

Just thinking out loud here....

The_Human_Cypher
02-28-2014, 01:31 AM
Age of Conan has a Player Faction system which is explained in this video by one of the game's producers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spt9yJm-Gi8

DDO could implement something similar but instead tie the Faction system in with patron Deities. Factions would revolve around a pantheon of deities with one head deity taken from Eberron or Forgotten Realms lore. Belonging to a Faction would grant certain privileges as well as unlock exclusive Epic Feats or Enhancements.