I recently posted a proposal for how a third faction could be incorporated into the existing campaign system of zone locking. The post was met with some enthusiasm (my thanks to those that commented here and the bunch of folks that contacted me in-game, feedback is great to have), so I think it’s time for some more third faction rumblings, but please bare in mind the following is purely hypothetical and Mythic have not given any suggestion they would consider adding a new faction. Right now this is just a popular topic generally, that I think is worth a bit of pondering on. Certainly it seems to me that most people are in agreement, WAR should have had a third faction. It worked in Camelot, would have worked here and would have been a lot better than just two. So the next question I’d like to mull over is:
Is it possible to implement a third faction without it becoming each server’s whipping boy?
Short answer: I think so.
The big concern is that if a third faction suddenly appeared, it wouldn’t have enough players to compete with the existing factions. If the faction starts of weak and is getting it’s backside spanked, then it’s perhaps not going to be an attractive option for people to sign up to and as a result it stays weak long term. Also I’ve seen people comment that people aren’t going to just quit their existing guilds and factions to join the new one, which I’m sure is true in many cases, but I know for sure it’s not every.
So if we think about what introducing a third faction needs to achieve and who it should be marketed at, I think it’s fair to say that; a change of this scale needs to not only be a nice addition that keeps existing subscribers, it also needs to draw in masses of new subscribers and give the game a big injection of life.
If what forums and some bloggers seem to be saying is true, then WAR is full of pissed off and bored people wanting a new challenge. OK, so if you want a challenge how about building a whole new faction up to a competitive level? Surely that would be one hell of a path to glory? I’ve already seen several guilds re-roll faction for a new challenge, which suggests it’s actually not that much of a stretch with a third faction. I know that if I were in that pissed off category I sure as hell would give it a go. It could actually be quite an exciting thing to be part of. Perhaps within this contingent lies the experienced spine of a new faction.
As for the new players, this is the crop waiting to be harvested. If Mythic could get that huge influx of new players you’d hope for with any expansion, but also get the majority of them into the new faction… That’s the lifeblood of it right there. We all saw how skilled Mythic are at building up hype for their game. Mythic could use that skill again and focus it around the third faction. Mythic release the expansion after months of advertising funkiness and the new players join up already brainwashed and gagging to play the new races.
Also I think a key selling point would be to release this as a proper paid expansion (something this scale has huge costs after all), but unusually the expansion release should include a full copy of the original game. This would mean totally new gamers wouldn’t have to pay twice to start the game and would instantly have access to that all important new faction. A whole game and expansion for the price of one is something people will certainly consider trying out and with the new content hyped to high heaven it would get some attention.
So that’s fine, we’ve got a potentially decent sized player base, but how do we make them start strong? That hype is going to wear off fast if the new faction’s city is on one star and being farmed constantly.
That would indeed be a bad thing. Lets avoid it entirely through the power of live events… For the first few months after release have the new faction’s city as un-attackable. We could push them back through the zone before it, but we can’t siege their city itself. This would give their faction time to develop relatively unmolested. As time progresses have various live events themed around the collapse of whatever lore reason is used for this immense defensive power.
The next big thing is to capitalise on the lore. Warhammer is one of the most popular fantasy licences out there; Gamesworkshop has created wonderfully detailed and interesting civilisations full of character. Pick the right races and classes for this new faction and make them awesome. Not good, not quite cool, it needs to be bloody awesome. The things you could create for Skaven zones… or Bretonnian, or Wood Elves, or Beasts of Chaos, or Nurgle, or…. There’s just so much potential to back up the hype with epicness. Make the most of it.
Boil this down and we’ve got:
I’m still happy as Larry with my Destruction evilness, but if I weren’t that would make me sign up. How about you?
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