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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Guild Wars: Factions Preview Event Follow-Up Q&A

Guild Wars Guru posted a Q&A today about the Factions Preview event. Nothing really earthshaking in there that I didn't know already, really.

This brings up a point I've been thinking about recently. How will Guild Alliances be important in GW: Factions? I think there's two reasons:
  • There'll be a new chat channel like the current Guild channel that everyone in your alliance can hear. This should make it easier to round up 4 or 8 on those nights where there's not as many people playing.
  • Alliances can gain access to "elite" PvE areas in the section of territory controlled by their Faction.
So how will this elite PvE access actually work? We don't know for sure yet but here's my best guess - in fact, I'll be a bit surprised if this isn't how it works.
  • Fighting Alliance Battles (PvP) moves the Faction control lines on the map so each Faction will have access to some number of outposts within their territory.
  • You can go into the opposition territory but you won't have access to the resurrection shrines without killing or bribing the guards (as per the Q&A).
  • The top-rated alliances in each Faction gain control over outposts in the territory - the "best" area goes to the top-rated Alliance, the second-best to the second-rated, and so on.
  • You increase your alliance's rating by donating Faction points to the alliance instead of using it yourself.
  • I'm guessing the control lines may update every 24 hours to give all the players in different time zones a chance to contribute and make alliance control over outposts less fleeting.
So what are the ramifications of such a system? Well, large alliances are rewarded - the way to control outposts in your Faction's territory is simply to have as many active players grinding faction points in the alliance as possible. Casual players are likely to feel excluded - if you're in a guild consisting of you and your 5 real-life friends, you're never going to see the elite PvE areas since you're highly unlikely to be invited into a very active alliance.

I hope that this is addressed by simply making the elite areas have an entry cost much like the current Underworld, only significantly more expensive. Control over the outpost means your alliance doesn't have to pay the entry fee. In fact, you could even make it so that a portion of the entry fees paid by others go into the coffers of the controlling alliance. Everyone gets to see the content and players have a reason to bother trying to take control of outposts via boosting their alliance rank since it would presumably be hugely lucrative.


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