Greetings everyone, We would like to share with you an “In Concept” design for the future of the Faction system within Ultima Online. Please remember that while everything you see here is “In Concept” at this stage, it represents the direction we are aiming to go. We look forward to hearing your constructive feedback! What are our high level goals for this new system? 1. Provide an objective based PvP experience. 2. Offer a sufficient level of gear that allows playing multiple shards to find the fight on whichever shard it may be occurring on. 3. Provide appropriate rewards to incentivize group efforts while engaging the system. 4. Incorporate Ultima’s Virtues as the basis for participating. What will happen to the current faction system? 1. All aspects of the current faction system will be removed. 2. All currently existing faction artifacts will be allowed to expire via the “Moonbound” property. 3. All faction vendors and faction NPCs will be removed. 4. Town stones and faction bases will be removed. How will Virtue & Vice work? 1. There are two opposing sides, one representing “Virtue” and one representing “Vice” 2. Each side will have an encampment located somewhere in the overworld where they can get limited amounts of gear similar to old faction gear for free, with additional gear being available for purchase. Each side will also get a mount. These encampments will only be accessible by members of its respective team. 3. Gear will be functionally useful in Felucca only. 4. If a guild participates in Virtue & Vice all members of that guild are automatically enrolled. 5. A single account can only affiliate with one team at a time. You may join multiple characters, but all account characters must be on the same team. 6. The system will track the number of players logged in to each team, when a threshold is met a battle will begin. How do battles work? 1. At the beginning of each battle a random shrine that hasn’t already been featured in a battle will be chosen. 2. Players on each team will be notified that a shrine has been identified for battle. 3. Battles are objective based on the following: a. When only 1 team is present in the vicinity of a shrine that team will begin claiming the shrine. b. If at any time a living member of the opposing team is present in the vicinity of the shrine claiming will cease. c. Visual cues at the shrine will indicate which team is currently claiming points for that shrine. d. When resurrected in battle players will receive a “wounded” debuff that provides a damage modifier to incoming damage. e. If a team reaches a victory threshold for holding the shrine they will be declared victors of that battle. f. Following a battle there will be a cool down before the system checks to see if the population threshold has been met to begin another battle. What happens after a battle has concluded? 1. Each shrine that is claimed will give a buff to the members of the team who claim it, while providing a lesser consolation buff to the losing team. a. After all eight shrines have been cycled through for battle, the team with the most shrines will receive rewards. 2. In the event of a 4-4 tie, the Chaos shrine will be the tie breaker. Some Player Generated FAQ (Thanks to Tina Small for putting together the base of this list) Q: How will you put your character into Virtue & Vice? A: Recruitment NPCs will be available in each of the Feluccan cities. Q: How will you take characters out of Virtue & Vice and how long will it take to leave? How long will it take to re-join? A: You can leave instantly at any time using a speech command, it will take 7 days to rejoin. If you shard transfer you will immediately be allowed to rejoin on your destination shard. Q: How will you know who else is enrolled in Virtue & Vice? A: There will be a team roster and each team will have their own visual style. Q: Will there be any kind of structure to Virtue & Vice so that individual characters are perceived as being part of a team? If yes, what does that structure look like? A: There won’t be any ranks like factions, but working as a team will provide for a greater chance of victory. Q: If there is no structure to Virtue & Vice and you fight any and all other members of this arrangement on an individual basis, what incentives will people have for participating in it other than presumably just being able to PvP anywhere in the game? A: There will be objectives that when completed will give rewards. The functionality of Virtue & Vice will be restricted to Felucca. Q: Will it still be possible to set up guilds to war each other? A: Yes, Guilds will still be able to war each other as they do now. Q: If yes, will membership in Virtue & Vice affect how "guild war" kills are counted, i.e., which arrangement/system will take precedence in counting a kill that involves two characters in opposing guilds who also happen to belong to this arrangement? A: They will work independently of each other. Q: Will "young" characters be able to join this arrangement? A: No. Q: If there are any "teams" to Virtue & Vice, will all your characters on an account on the same shard have to join the same side or stay neutral, or can you have characters on the same account on different "teams" on the same shard? A: You may only join 1 team per account. You can join multiple characters, but they must all be on the same team. Q: Will there be anything similar to faction strongholds or bases, or just sign-up/quit stone(s)? A: Nothing quite as large – think a smaller encampment. Q: While you're in Virtue & Vice, can other characters in Virtue & Vice heal or rez your character or your pet? Can your guildmates or alliance mates heal or rez your character or pet? A: When joining Virtue & Vice a guild must be all in. In Felucca if your guild or alliance mates are part of the same team, they will be able to heal and rez both you and your pets. Q: Can you steal from a character who also belongs to this arrangement while both are outside of Felucca? A: No. Q: Will there be anything like the faction 20-minute skill loss period after your character dies to another character that is in Virtue & Vice? A: There won’t be any stat loss, but continued death will result in a “Wounded” debuff where incoming damage is modified. Attacking one’s own team members will result in a “Traitor” debuff that will have dire negative effects on stats and skills. Q: Will a character under Virtue & Vice be able to participate in the Trammel and Siege town election system, including taking advantage of town buffs? A: Yes, so long as they are eligible under the requirements of that system. Q: Are all kills made by members of Virtue & Vice of other members of Virtue & Vice considered "legal" and not reportable as murders? A: Yes. Q: Will you be able to use traps outside Felucca to kill/injure other members of Virtue & Vice? Will you be able to remove such traps? A: We are still discussing the implementation of any traps within the system. Q: Will Virtue & Vice add any new kinds of craftables? A: Not at this time. Q: What will be the consequences for non-members of Virtue & Vice who assist in kills or kill-attempts made by members of Virtue & Vice? A: They will flag according to current flagging mechanics. Q: Will there be any kind of ranking system, shard-wide leaders of any type, voting periods, etc.? A: Not at this time. Q: Will there be a leaderboard of any sort to keep track of who has made the most kills? A: Yes. Q: Will joining Virtue & Vice grant you any sort of special abilities or access to special items? A: Yes, you will have access to gear (similar to current faction gear) that will only work in Felucca. These items will not be ephemeral, however will take extreme damage in Trammel. Q: Are there plans for the designers/developers and the EMs to create special events built around Virtue & Vice? A: Not at this time, but you never know Q: What will happen to the faction strongholds, sigil posts and town stones? A: They will be removed. Q: Will there be any kind of replacement for faction vendors, especially of the reagent and bottle type? A: Yes, they will be located within the encampments for each team. Q: Will the team make sure that NPC pricing in faction towns is not left at an artificially high or low level after the faction system is disabled? A: Everything related to the current faction system will be removed and returned to its normal operating state. Q: What will happen to existing faction war horses? Will there be any point in trying to keep them if you won't be able to actually ride them anymore or be able to rez them with bandages without vet skill? A: Each team will have their own mounts to utilize. Current mounts will be removed. Q: Will faction silver continue to have a use? What about faction trap deeds, faction trap removal kits, faction robes, faction-hued clothing and weapons, faction artifacts, faction consumables? Will these get stuck in containers and backpacks or on paperdolls and mannequins after the faction system is turned off? A: Current faction gear will expire normally. Silver will continue to have a use, the extent of which is still in concept. Anything available in Factions as far as consumables will be available in Virtue & Vice. Q: What about Siege & Mugen? A: On Siege Perilous & Mugen opposing members of Virtue & Vice will be able to engage in combat anywhere. Initial gear will also be provided while additional gear will be available for purchase.