I’m developing this idea of a Darkness Falls type dungeon based entirely around PvE factions instead of how player realms are doing in some PvP/RvR/AvA type system. First, I think a quick primer on what I mean by factions is required.
In this MMORPG I’m concocting in my head there are no predetermined sides. You’re not joining the Alliance or the Horde or the Good guys vs bad guys. My world’s factions functions much in the same way the original EverQuest worked. Every race has its own faction, and relationships are fluid based on actions taken by the player. If you are a Dark Elf and you kill Dark Elf NPCs you are going to be hated by your own people, but the Humans might start to like you more. Killing certain monsters can bring faction hits or gains. An Ogre could work for a real year to gain enough faction to enter the Elven City.
Some of the work associated with factions can be done quickly. Depending on the race someone chooses, there will be predetermined dispositions. For example, Humans will have an easier time accepting a Dark Elf than an Ogre in their city. Some faction changes can be seen in a day, some a week, some might even take the player over a real year to accomplish.
Are you familiar with Darkness Falls? It was a dungeon in Dark Age of Camelot that would be unlocked for the realm (group of pre-determined allied races) who owned the most keeps in the realm vs. realm war going on in the frontier. As soon as another group was winning, the dungeon entrance would lock for those who had it, and unlock for the other realm. The other realm could then enter and kill the other players.
Darkness Falls in DAoC was an awesome PvE zone. Great loot, great places to group, great PvP when purging the enemy, and all around a great place to be. It encouraged people to PvP. People wanted this place.
My PvE Version of Darkness Falls
I’m still figuring out the entire idea, but I want to work a version of this type of open-world dungeon into my world. I’m thinking about making it a dynamic dungeon that adapts to how various NPC factions are being treated by the players. Imagine if the dungeon was centralized in an area where the orcs and the kobolds were naturally having a dispute — these would be NPCs. If players in the area were killing more orcs than kobolds then the dungeon may be infested with Kobolds. If players were working especially hard to vanquish both of these NPC factions then another type of faction might actually move on and lay claim to the area.
What I don’t want is for the idea to devolve into some stupid public quest type feeling. I actually hate public quests and events because of how developers now rely on them to fake a dynamic and “changing” world. Bull crap people. Take those lies to someone who believes them because they ain’t workin’ over here.
If this is ever going to work then the change has to be gradual, and the players almost have to be unable to perceive the change. I don’t know, thoughts? I’m trying to work this faction system into impacting the world and I think this is one potential opportunity. Whichever faction controls the dungeon would determine the mobs. Think about how that can impact people based on what I said previous.
If I’m working really hard on my faction with the Elves and suddenly a faction of Fairies takes over the dungeon… I’m not going to hunt those fairies and take a faction hit. In a sense I’ll have to work to influence the world in some other way to decrease the power the fairies have in the world. If I can’t do that by killing fairies, I’ll probably have to kill the enemy of their enemy so that their enemy can overtake them. It can add an interesting dynamic to how players thinking about factions.
As always your thoughts are wanted.