I have been doing a bit of research on Factions to help update the UOGuide page about it (www.uoguide.com/Factions). I was reminded of how it was launched and thought some people might be interested. Factions was supposed to launch with Renaissance. But it fell behind schedule and rather than put the entire expansion off, they delayed the Faction system. This allowed UO:R to be released in May. Then for the summer they would really hammer out Factions and make it great. But it didn't work out that way. They had to keep iterating designs as they went out for testing because we (the players) always found stuff wrong with them. For example they originally designed it so that the sigils would sit on teleporter tiles in the ground. But players would stack so much stuff on top of them that it became a chore to find the sigil. So they switched it to pedestals. Weeks and weeks of testing was going on. Then it turned into months. It was lots of fun for us players, but clearly not for the developers. Some time in late fall a decision was made to just stop working on Factions. There was just no more time they could devote to it. The Third Dawn expansion and client were going to be released in just a couple months. So they finished up what they could and tried to publish it. But there were so many issues left that it took a month to get the final testing done. It was finally released in December 2000. This disappointed many people. But the work they did accomplish gave players a good long while of group PVP fun.