Skyrates
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New Faction System
http://skyrates.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=4339
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Author:  Lord Gilbert [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:51 pm ]
Post subject:  New Faction System

Flight School as an influence gainer is a perturbing entity.

First off, I'd like to say how darn impressed/surprised we have been with Flight School. We never expected letting them continue to gain group influence would snowball into what it is.

However, we feel it needs to change. Even if you had to elect to join a Flight School faction that gained skyland influence, the presence of a 'grown-up' version of the newbie starter faction just feels very off.

I'm going to toss out an idea set:

1. Players start in flight school.

2. Flight schoolers can gain personal influence, but not influence for the purpose of taking over Skylands.

3. Flight School has no faction chat. Instead, everyone has a 'help' channel that they can enable/disable viewing.

4. Players can join an independent faction that has faction chat, but only gains personal reputation.

5. Flight School and these Independents cannot control Skylands.

6. For events like the Legacy Event, Independents influence totals may be taken into account.

7. Players will be able to switch factions every [period of time].

8. Players can not switch into Flight School. Once you leave there, you're gone for good.

Author:  Fenriq [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

Where do I sign?

Author:  Fortuno David [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

Sounds good.

Author:  Ellington [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

Why 7? I can see people bouncing between every faction just for the fun of it... I mistrust it. But, I'm sure yall have thought of that.

Author:  Fenriq [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

Oh wait, I read it too quickly and missed 7. I don't get that either. Seems made for mischief and worse.

Dang it, I've been thinking again and I can see a reason to be able to change factions but I'd think it would have to be pretty good and compelling and not just to see what its like being Blue or Red or Green (as in, your faction used to be all about conquest and now its about making lace doilies or something).

Author:  Mad Hatter [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

Given the presence of our two new entities, the Order and the Court, might I suggest that there be two "Independent" Factions?

Some of the FS4L arguments have been that they don't like the Factions we currently have--- don't join any, because they don't feel like soldiers, or they don't feel like merchants, or they don't feel like hat-lovers. (I know, I know-- you're trying to steer away from that, but still).

Adding a fourth competing Faction adds a little bit more variety to the game, without making everything feel overcrowded. So, perhaps it would be interesting to add two "Independent" Factions-- one of which can take skylands (Brown Factions) and one of which cannot (Purple Faction)?

While the tri-Faction plotline is interesting, I have to admit it's been a lot more fun with a fourth entity to compete against.
Green and Flight School have been headbutting eachother on the battlefields for weeks now-- Getty, for example, and, most recently, Sharif. With the absence of such a fourth entity, it seems to me like what's going to happen is, "Okay, guys, let's go after Red."

I don't want to see the Factions gain up on eachother like such. While competition is fun, variety is moreso.

Author:  fierydemise [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

I hate to be the first to dissent but my objections to the proposed plan:
Overall it seems to needlessly over complicate things by creating 2 factions when 1 (unaffiliated) would suffice. If you look at the first few points of the proposal FS and independents function identically with the exception of the radio channel.

I'm not sure I see the point of the 'help" channel since right now world chat is currently quite effective for asking basic questions.

I'm not sure what point 6 means however if it means that the independent faction's total influence on things like the legacy event then I think it creates a potentially unfair situation for either the independent faction or other factions depending on the numbers, if it means individuals competing then I think it is logical.

I don't like the idea of faction switching because it could make spying or attempting to disrupt another faction easier and in some ways legitimate. Secondly it would only further unbalance the faction numbers, for example in the Legacy Event at the first update when Blue was cleaning up what is to stop people from gravitating towards the winner leaving Blue in this example with an even larger numerical advantage.

My proposal would be: All players start out unaffiliated and can gain personal influence but not take skylands (I am unsure about governorships), players can go from Blue, Red or Green to unaffiliated but can't go from unaffiliated to any color other then what they transfered from originally (for example a Blue switches to unaffiliated then they can only join Blue).

Author:  Lord Gilbert [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ellington wrote:
Why 7? I can see people bouncing between every faction just for the fun of it... I mistrust it. But, I'm sure yall have thought of that.


Fenriq wrote:
Oh wait, I read it too quickly and missed 7. I don't get that either. Seems made for mischief and worse.

Dang it, I've been thinking again and I can see a reason to be able to change factions but I'd think it would have to be pretty good and compelling and not just to see what its like being Blue or Red or Green (as in, your faction used to be all about conquest and now its about making lace doilies or something).


People make mistakes. We want factions to be important but not a life sentence.

Mad Hatter wrote:
Given the presence of our two new entities, the Order and the Court, might I suggest that there be two "Independent" Factions?


Independent means tied to no specific group. No skyland influence.

fierydemise wrote:
I hate to be the first to dissent but my objections to the proposed plan:
Overall it seems to needlessly over complicate things by creating 2 factions when 1 (unaffiliated) would suffice. If you look at the first few points of the proposal FS and independents function identically with the exception of the radio channel.


For ease of newbies mostly. They don't need to worry about themselves being in a faction.

Quote:
I'm not sure I see the point of the 'help" channel since right now world chat is currently quite effective for asking basic questions.


Honestly, World can be a very intimidating place. Some ask questions, but some look at the chaos going on there and just duck out. An entire channel devoted to 'help' could make sure people have no qualms about asking.

Quote:
I'm not sure what point 6 means however if it means that the independent faction's total influence on things like the legacy event then I think it creates a potentially unfair situation for either the independent faction or other factions depending on the numbers, if it means individuals competing then I think it is logical.


I am tired and am not going to even begin figuring out what this sentence is asking.

Quote:
I don't like the idea of faction switching because it could make spying or attempting to disrupt another faction easier and in some ways legitimate. Secondly it would only further unbalance the faction numbers, for example in the Legacy Event at the first update when Blue was cleaning up what is to stop people from gravitating towards the winner leaving Blue in this example with an even larger numerical advantage.


As I said, right now we want the factions to be important, but to some they're a ball and chain forever. If we were to do it, it would in no way be an instantaneous thing you could do at any time. The number currently being thrown around is 'a month.'

In regards to the Legacy event, that's an interesting point. It could be solved by disabling faction changing during times such as that.

Author:  Fenriq [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

One suggestion if factions can be switched in and out of, a public record of such movements.

Author:  Lord Gilbert [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

That idea is interesting.

Author:  Calvin [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:46 pm ]
Post subject: 

I like all these except 7.
Once you're "in", you're "in".

However, if there was sufficient support for it, I could see a case for being able to leave an influence-gaining faction to join an independent one (but not the other way around). Once you're a member of an independent faction, you're there for life.

Author:  Tarlach [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

fierydemise wrote:
I'm not sure what point 6 means however if it means that the independent faction's total influence on things like the legacy event then I think it creates a potentially unfair situation for either the independent faction or other factions depending on the numbers, if it means individuals competing then I think it is logical.


Whoa, dude...I think you're missing something like six commas and a semicolon from that sentence.

Author:  Fortuno David [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

Preventing spies isn't a good argument for faction switching because you can already spy using alts.

Fenriq wrote:
One suggestion if factions can be switched in and out of, a public record of such movements.
The switcher could add a comment on why he's switching factions.

Author:  Blue Vast [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

Fenriq wrote:
One suggestion if factions can be switched in and out of, a public record of such movements.


Lord Gilbert wrote:
That idea is interesting.


With this train of though, and if I may hijack this thread a little, I'd like to put forth my idea for an in-plane ticker again:

Blue Vast wrote:
phil wrote:
this seems like a promising idea, but it would want to come with a richer world which did things like leak rumors of lux drops before they happened, giving you a chance to plan in advance when to strike and when to sleep. better tavern chatter would definitely be a good thing to have, regardless.


What about in-plane ticker tape machines? The ticker could give out a variety of information, like governership changes, island flag changes, luxury drops, and maybe even 'flavor' news, just to name a few.

edit: and when I envision a ticker tape machine, it looks like this, with a glass cover.


I really think it'd give the world a more 'organic' feel.

Faction defectors could easily be considered for the ticker(s).

There doesn't need to be just one ticker, either, there could be a number of them, one for urgent news, one for everyday news, and one for high-volume stuff, just to name a few things.

:oops:

Author:  Trystero [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

The answer to the faction-switching issue, in my view, could be as simple as "once you leave, you can't go back." So you can switch, maybe with a prescribed time limit between changes, but once you make that decision, it's forever as far as the ex-faction is concerned. I would say some of the influence you've accumulated goes with you as well -- you have a rep, and that follows you, but not 100%, or even necessarily a large percent, since your influence was for the benefit of the faction you are with.

Author:  Fenriq [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

Fortuno David wrote:
Fenriq wrote:
One suggestion if factions can be switched in and out of, a public record of such movements.
The switcher could add a comment on why he's switching factions.

Even better!

And maybe even a record on each player of which faction they've joined or left.

Author:  Mad Hatter [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Blue Vast wrote:
Fenriq wrote:
One suggestion if factions can be switched in and out of, a public record of such movements.


Lord Gilbert wrote:
That idea is interesting.


With this train of though, and if I may hijack this thread a little, I'd like to put forth my idea for an in-plane ticker again:

Blue Vast wrote:
phil wrote:
this seems like a promising idea, but it would want to come with a richer world which did things like leak rumors of lux drops before they happened, giving you a chance to plan in advance when to strike and when to sleep. better tavern chatter would definitely be a good thing to have, regardless.


What about in-plane ticker tape machines? The ticker could give out a variety of information, like governership changes, island flag changes, luxury drops, and maybe even 'flavor' news, just to name a few.

edit: and when I envision a ticker tape machine, it looks like this, with a glass cover.


I really think it'd give the world a more 'organic' feel.

Faction defectors could easily be considered for the ticker(s).

There doesn't need to be just one ticker, either, there could be a number of them, one for urgent news, one for everyday news, and one for high-volume stuff, just to name a few things.

:oops:


I currently head the GNN Ticker at the top of our secure channels-- it's very tedious to manage, and sometimes I'd rather just take the whole thing down.
This is not something, I believe, the Devs should be bothering themselves with. (No offense intended)

Author:  Blue Vast [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:24 pm ]
Post subject: 

Mad Hatter wrote:
Blue Vast wrote:
Fenriq wrote:
One suggestion if factions can be switched in and out of, a public record of such movements.


Lord Gilbert wrote:
That idea is interesting.


With this train of though, and if I may hijack this thread a little, I'd like to put forth my idea for an in-plane ticker again:

Blue Vast wrote:
phil wrote:
this seems like a promising idea, but it would want to come with a richer world which did things like leak rumors of lux drops before they happened, giving you a chance to plan in advance when to strike and when to sleep. better tavern chatter would definitely be a good thing to have, regardless.


What about in-plane ticker tape machines? The ticker could give out a variety of information, like governership changes, island flag changes, luxury drops, and maybe even 'flavor' news, just to name a few.

edit: and when I envision a ticker tape machine, it looks like this, with a glass cover.


I really think it'd give the world a more 'organic' feel.

Faction defectors could easily be considered for the ticker(s).

There doesn't need to be just one ticker, either, there could be a number of them, one for urgent news, one for everyday news, and one for high-volume stuff, just to name a few things.

:oops:


I currently head the GNN Ticker at the top of our secure channels-- it's very tedious to manage, and sometimes I'd rather just take the whole thing down.
This is not something, I believe, the Devs should be bothering themselves with. (No offense intended)


I'm not familiar with your GNN Ticker, but the system I'm envisioning would be very 'hands off' after the initial coding.

Author:  Deyo [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Flight School Faction

Lord Gilbert wrote:
2. Flight schoolers can gain personal influence, but not influence for the purpose of taking over Skylands.

...

4. Players can join an independent faction that has faction chat, but only gains personal reputation.

5. Flight School and these Independents cannot control Skylands.


Can Flight School and Independent pilots be governors?

-c.

Author:  Tarlach [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:44 pm ]
Post subject: 

((OOC))

[Edited to retract one point. 12:29 EST, 06/05/2008]

I personally disagree with Gilbert's plan, because it would result in a substantially more convoluted story universe, and would make the faction system more confusing. Here are the elements of the faction system I would like to see preserved as they are:

Players begin in flight school. The very name "Flight School" suggests that it's a place whose purpose is to cater to beginners, providing them with a safe space to become acquainted with the game, ask questions, and gather information before they choose a faction. As-is (without saying anything about the legitimacy of FS as an influence-gathering entity), the "Flight School" concept serves its intended purpose well.

Three colored factions. Point Retracted. I've decided that I'm amenable to more than three factions, as long as they've got a place within a coherent storyline, and as long as future versions of the game have enough skylands to go around.

No faction switching/Once you leave Flight School, you're gone for good. I grouped these two together because one follows from the other. Faction switching would complicate the game's structure, and faction members would never be able to completely rely upon the loyalty of their faction-mates. This is where things can get really hairy. Only allowing switching after a predetermined period of time? Having to leave a comment on why you're leaving one faction for another? A 'permanent record' of faction loyalties over time? Get real! Who is honestly going to spend their time trying to figure out all the ins and outs of faction-switching? Who is realistically going to be able to keep an eye on things to make sure the system isn't being abused? This is unnecessary complexity.

Factions earn influence, not individuals. What if a player decides to leave a faction and become an "independent," taking their personal career accrued influence with them? What are they going to do, go out and start their own personal faction? What use would they have with all those influence points if they join a faction that can't earn influence? If players leave one colored faction for another, taking their accrued influence with them, all I can see this leading to is faction leaders attempting to court players who already have massive influence 'accounts', and the political landscape of Skytopia changing wildly and unpredictably as a result of individual player factional decisions. If you thought the bickering was bad now, just wait until the accusations of foul play start flying between factions... Come on, people--think these things through!

I think this game could fall prey to "World-of-Warcraft-itis", a condition in which the story universe becomes so convoluted and confusing that new people are intimidated, and don't feel it's worth the effort to find their place in it. If the story universe of Skyrates becomes a labyrinth of retcons and shoehorned-in story elements which were simply added to please a small group of players rather than to fit in with the overall vision of the game's creators, I think fewer people will feel it's worth their time to figure it all out. Keep the story universe coherent, and let that drive the game structure.

And to the people commenting in this thread, above all else, please consider the success of the Skyrates game project above your own personal pride (as far as it's derived from gameplay achievements). And devs, please, for the sake of all of us, favor simplicity over complexity.

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