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3-03-2012 @ 9:13AM
Why have factions in the first place? What is the purpose of factions in a MMO?
3-03-2012 @ 9:43AM
Easy way to organize and set up PvP conflict within the context of the game world. Any other ways I can think of (all players attackable by anyone? PvE only zones and PvP zones scattered around the world? Random selection at the start of BGs?) are much more complicated than simply "There are two teams. Team A fights Team B." Those other solutions also lack convenient hooks you can use to tie the PvP content into the plot. You could have a game with no PvP content, or limit it to duels and gladiator fights, but lots of players LIKE PvP, and Blizzard wants to take EVERYBODY'S money. Plus, PvP has the advantage of being a renewable resource in the way PvE is not. Every time you fight Deathwing, it's the same fight. He's not going to do anything to surprise you. But Battlegrounds have different 'mechanics' and 'spawns' and 'phases' every single time you do them, and all blizzard has to do is create a place for that to happen and turn the players loose. It keeps a lot of folks busy during content lulls.So yeah, lots of reasons why mmos set up the "you guys vs. them guys" scenario.
3-03-2012 @ 9:52AM
It depends on the MMO, but in Warcraft, factions serve the purpose of allowing the players to chooses which side of a conflict they want to play on. At its most basic level, WoW is the classic fantasy trope of monsters vs demihumans, and amidst that backdrop, various events often interfere with and delay the conflict. The relevance of factions depends heavily on the story writers, and over the last three expansions, that role has been set aside because of various "greater evils." There's no point in fighting to control the world if Kil'Jaeden/Arthas/Deathwing comes along and destroys it.I would love to see cross-faction raiding, I really would, but something I would like to see more is for faction choices to actually have more impact and relevance, and for a lot less vilifying of the Horde and a lot less sugarcoating of the Alliance. Pushing the whole "Horde is savage and evil" bit is as tired and boring as the "Alliance is noble and true" crap that some plots have tried to peddle.
3-03-2012 @ 11:05AM
I actually prefer when MMOs I play don't use permanent factions to segregate players. I see the downside of segregation as way bigger than any upside from faction identity or easy conflict setup.Besides, if there are factions, I usually have a very simple way to choose them: get into the already most popular one. This same motivation apparently is true for a large enough portion of the player that, without a very careful balancing act by the developers, most likely involving bonuses for the underrepresented faction, faction-based games degenerate into multiple imbalanced servers and the conflict greatly downplayed due to lack of opponents. It's a big part of why Blizzard had to allow same faction match ups for Arenas and Rated BGs.Games without fixed factions, on the other hand, can keep the balance way easier. When players can change who they fight for at the drop of a hat, the queue sizes for instanced fights alone are often enough to balance the factions reasonably well.
3-03-2012 @ 11:56AM
We're now downvoting people for asking legitimate questions? The Queue is gonna be brutal today.
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