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Discussion in 'UO Factions' started by Hattori Hanzo, Mar 12, 2013.
Assume for a moment that factions are here to stay.
Would you change: timers, points, armor, etc?
I would get rid of vending machine artifacts. I would make some of these same "limited" artifacts available to be made by faction crafters made in a city controlled by the faction with silver farmed and earned by the faction. That is just a start...
Factions needs a purpose more than just free artifacts and bragging rights. Maybe take a cue from other games. Have a faction beacon at a random town sound a call for a fight at set real life times, say every three hours. The faction who wins the fight gets access to a gate leading to a place that allows them to fight a special boss, or complete a special puzzle for new ingredients that allows a crafter to make something... um... special. Obviously, determining what would be considered a win and setting a length of time to accomplish the win would need too be as 'exploit-proof' as possible. No alt-accounts to pump up the numbers, for example.
All the above suggestions would help but it is possible to generate faction interest and play as they are now. It requires some work and time but if you have both I can teach you how to create a thriving faction community. What shard do you play?
I once offered some suggestions here:
I'll now repeat some of the more obviously relevant ones.
• Restore the base 1 point per one kill shot, adjusted for the points of the character.
• Keep leadership honoring. In this way, healers and fielders can be rewarded by the Faction itself. If the Faction itself never honors leadership for those on whom it depends, hopefully they'll abandon the effort and the hard-core types will learn how much they depend on the others. If people choose to keep helping even if they aren't appreciated, it really isn't your place as designers to force appreciation on them.
• Tone down the high-level Faction Artifacts. (The Faction Ornament would still own if it had a mere MR 1.)
• Retain all Faction Artifacts available for all ranks, higher end ones cost more Silver.
• Overall prices down from now, up from initial implementation.
• Make Faction Artifacts way easier to break, and unable to be repaired. This way you keep having to participate in order to keep them, even if "participation" is just making yourself available to be killed to farm silver (or whatever the currency is going to be). OR have them able to be repaired only in a Faction City that your Faction owns and have then lose durability faster.
• Keep points for sigil stealing but make it more-analogous to a couple of kills.
• Have a deserter rank that applies to someone who has not been in Felucca in a certain time frame, and have all Faction Artifacts drop off that deserter, and a Faction Warhorse cannot be mounted by him or her. Getting a Faction Kill, or dying to a Faction enemy, removes deserter status.
However let's face it. This is a dead system, past the point of no return. Factions at heart was an RP system. Once the Faction Artifacts brought in a hard core PvP crowd that didn't care about the RP aspect (a result I feel rather stupid for not anticipating), Factions was doomed.
I think this are all good ideas as well
I do disagree factions is a dead system, but it takes a special effort to revive them. The steps are prob so opposite what anyone thinks creates active factions that its rarely done...
This is how I go about it [I rp an Order Knight so I support the "good" side, if your character is a mage or has evil designs you would start with fiction themed in that direction]
1) Start with Fiction - Set the stage with what occurs when an evil factions control towns, paint a picture of the hardships the people in the town are endurin, kidnapped children in slave camps, beatings and murders in the street, depending on your audience you can have more adult themes but I tend to make my rp fiction for general all age consumption. Challenge the morality of the audience, living a safe life, attending parties, playing hero by fighitng in dungeons against creatures in there own home that are not threatening anyone while citizens of their own kingdom suffer at the hands of...[ Minax /SL/ Com].
This will ususally get you a response of guilds and people interested in factions..... most are not pvpers. They tend to be rpers and players with rp theme ideals... not playing a character but playing to a theme of good...
2) Set a IC and OC standard of conduct... From an OC perspective set a non toleratance rule for cheats/exploits of any kind. Let people know from the begining that they may encounter people who use "cheats" and they may be tempted to use them or try them. You can't stop them from doing it or prevent them from being in the faction but if they are found using them or telling people "how to do it" in vent, chat or icq - they will instantly be removed from the guild/alliance.
IC If you are TB we will be acting like Knights in the service of Britannia... We will not attack or kill innocent Britannian citizens...We will seek to aid and protect citizens of Britannia. If attacked you can defend yourself if attacked but then they are actually grey or red not blue. The priority for the True Britannians is the protection of the towns and its citizens... if they are secure, the focus can shift to removing criminals from the gates, dungeons, etc but this is secondary to the primarly mission.
3) Train them in Tram. Not just in pvp but in what it will be like... People drop out of factions because they have an idea of the glory of battle and when they face really good *Cough* totally legit pvpers, and get completely destroyed in a way they never imagined it can be disheartening. You have to not only train them to fight but shoulder the psychologcal blow of not meeting their expections. Nothing can really prepare someone for the level of pvp coming from a non pvp or dueling with friends background. Prepare them to die, die and die and learn from those deaths.
4) Train them to return to battle in stat loss, train them to fight in stat. Demonstrate that it can be done and that by doing so you continue to aid the Faction effort. As long as there are people fighting and sigils in the base, everyone res's and returns to battle. The team and team success is what't important.
5) If the Sigls are not stealable, the Faction gives everyone leave.... Three full days to hunt, craft, and do all the things outside of factions you desire. Factions is intense and hard, people need a mental break both after a successful defense or a failed attempt to take the cities.
5) Value all faction members.... Most factions undervalue the non pvp aspects when those are your backbone to success. You need a core group of pvp types who can attack and defend as well as a strong non pvp oriented group who can steal, make/remove traps, etc.
There are those who excel at both but if your group is small you are usually losing an attacker/defender that you need when they are on the non pvper.
6) Set a code of conduct for your faction. Do not res kill- If an enemy dies and wishes to leave the battlefield allow them to res and go... The only time res killing is appropriate is if they attempt to gain access to castle, let the enemy know they can leave in peace but any attempts to enter the castle will be met with deadly force.
Treat your enemies with respect, no trash talking (regardless of what they say).
If something valuable drops from an enemy, return it. We loot only consumables for defense purposes to stock pile supplies behind our lines, we are not interested in taking people's things for the purpose of griefing or profit.
--- You might be asking what all these conduct rules have to do with building factions.... People can prob comment whether this is true or not but my enemies ususally like and respect me as much as my allies because they can trust that if something is not "legit" I will get to the bottom of it and fix it. Part of building factions is creating an atmosphere where enemies want particiapate and engage you in battle.
If you really want to create a faction guild/alliance and have people attack and defend sigils this is the basic outline. All the talk about bases, artifacts, stat loss and timers can help spark interest in factions but if you are talking about how factions are now, and how to get interest in them, these are the methods I used to build factions on GL from completely non-existent to a thriving faction shard for many years. Moving to the West Coast in RL and just life changes in general with family and career have made it so my playing time is limited to a few hours a week and only in the dead of night (l1:00am PST). I am not in a position to put this type of work into factions and so I am hoping that someone with time and desire reads this, adapts what they find useful and creates a thriving faction community somewhere so people can experience what a great aspect of UO factions can be.
You make good points. How do you build a Faction player population to apply it all toward? Do changes need to be made in the game to aid implementation of the rules you outlined? Can it simply be done with the existing game structure?
Yes, it can be done in the current game structure but it rerquiers so much effort and work on the part of the players to make up for the lack of faction support, its not done often.
So as far as changes I'd start with fiction to set the stage and create a new faction system that incorporates 5 basic playstyles. 1) PVP 2) PVM 3) Crafting 4) Resource gathering 5) Thieving/Intrigue 6) RP/Town control/function.
The player population tends to view factions as a pvp system when its really a complete system designed to incorporate all aspects of play and most of the non pvp factors have been lost.... Just for example look at factions in its hayday.
Game Fiction revolved around Lord British and Nystul opening the facet gate to tram to protect his people from the armies of Minax which were going to engulf the entire Kingdom in a deadly war. A Council of Mages formed because they felt Nystul and LB acted recklessly and the use of such powerful magic should not be left in the hands of a single person (and his court mage) but governed by a body of learned and dedicated masters who fully understand the implications of the magic and its effects. Minax had troubles in her own ranks and a group known as the Shadowlords broke off in an attempt to take control of the newly formed Felucca. The Facet barrier that keeps "evil" [murders and faction wars out of tram] was originally called the Virtue Shield and in the fiction, should a faction win the war in Fel, they would have the power to remove that Virtue shield and let evil invade Tram or if the "good" factions won, they could restore the land as One and bring life back to Felucca (which had become a land of twisted and dead trees).
This set the stage for players, and guilds to enter the war.
The pvp aspects remain today and they created a unique style of pvp which attackers were put against defenders to control the towns of Felucca. The battles were usually large scale and long in duration [24 hour sigil timers, large populations to fight at any time of the day or night].
Crafting aspects - Factions was created before insurance exsisted and one of the huge benefits of factions was the ability of crafters to create weapons and armor that were specially hued (no armor dye tubs) and faction blessed (item bless for a month). This gave crafters a huge incentive to join factions. Also most crafters were coming from the Fel based game (factions was iniitally slated to launch with Ren but was delayed to address bugs) so they were not just mule types and usually had fighting skills and could support on the field as well as craft.
PVM - Each faction had a creature which helped and aided its members and likewise could be hunted and killed by enemy factions. Silver was obtained by slaying these creates which could be used to a)help the faction control the cities by purchasing guards b) delay the sigil timer so you could literally buy more time or set a day that was better for your defenders, and was also required to create faction blessed items.
Resource Gathering: controlling towns gave factions access to raw materials that [at the time] were not easy to come by... The existence of Tram made this raw resources less valuable but they were still important. Particularly the regent vendors who provided mages with easier access to regs for spells (there was no LRC) and the creation of potions.
Thieving Intrigue: In order to control a town, its city stone had to be taken to a faction base but only a thief of high skill (80 - no items at the time to boost skill) could remove a sigil from a town. Theives and scouts were also important on gathering intel on enemies... numbers, how many sigils, etc. It gave a critical role to a non pvp template in the war.
RP Town control: Players could be given positions in a town to help build the economy Finiance Minister and protect the town - Sheriff. The positions pulled from the same town treasury so you could have a very good defense but little in the way of resources, tons of resources but little in the way of protection or a balance of both.
--- Basically people who claim factions is pvp really have no idea how it was, or intened to be and only vaguely understand how it works today. Much of the fiction, crafting, resources and pvm aspects are so outdated as to be pretty useless in today's game and where factions has failed. Ironically the aspects of factions which constantly gets talked about rather the pvp and to some extent the intrigue aspects remain largely intact. Thus faction changes we have seen focus on what still works in factions rather then what has been lost. This is the primary reason factions is a dead system today.
I've already started writing faction fiction to create a new atmospher (at least on origin) where I currently play which is how I believe you start with updating factions.
You suggestions appear to be aimed at reviving interest among players, given current systems.
One thing I have noticed, one of the several inconvenient facts about Felucca, is that rules and standards really are best for those who break rules and standards. If you have a "no looting" rule you will sooner or later falter in the face of folks who do not respect that rule.
If you have a "no speed hack" rule you will sooner or later falter to those who use speed hacks.
And so forth.
I submit that, similarly, those who join Factions and follow an out-of-character code of conduct will sooner or later falter to those who do not respect any such codes. And when they falter consistently, when they realize that the system has been taken over by hard-core PvPers who do not care about the multi-layered nature of Factions, they will, I submit, lose interest.
Entirely correct as far as I can tell.
Usually, though, when I point this out in a general interest forum such as U-Hall I get insulted.
I have a complete faction reform design developed from the feedback of players balanced and intergrated into a whole that addresses fiction, pvp, pvm, crafting thieving/scouting/ town control and rp with a few bug fixes that have yet to be addressed. I have to update the fiction and the three or four ingame events I designed to re-introduce factions to the players (as it was written with Dawn as the Queen of Britannia).
However. I am no longer posting faction reform ideas and don't think I'll do so unless the Dev team indicates they are A) Interesting in reforming factions B) Interested in player feedback.
Last time they did the faction reform I ended up wasting hours, testing, writing and merging all the feedback from players only to have them pull the plug. Was I upset my ideas where not considered... sure we are all attached to our own ideas but I was mortified that no ideas or feedbackat all was considered and the general lack of understanding of factions coming from the people in charge of reforming them.
I never put rules or standards on anyone outside my guild/alliance.... Enemies can loot us, cheat as much or as little as they are willing to risk but if you want to participate in the TB alliance I create, be in our vent, etc. this are the rules of conduct. You can even be in TB and I have no issue with you being a complete trash player because its out of my control, but I can't add you to the alliance unless you go legit and agree to our standards. [The only time we authorize attacking or TB (blue or red) is if they are undermining the defense of sigils in which case they will not be allowed to pass our defense lines]
Do people get upset because they thinks its unfair, Yes. Do people leave factions because of it, yes. Does that mean we will falter to cheaters.. No.
Faction fighting, both base attacking and defense, reduces the effectiveness of any speed advantage whether it be simple connection or something else. The areas where combat takes place are usually crammed and unlike other battle styles, running away isn't going to get a sigil.
Basically we are putting legit players and players with connection and cpu disadvanteages in positions to be succeessful against players who have advantages of movement and speed.
The standards also eliminate the most fundamental character flaw from your guild/alliance that is the worst thing to have in factions and that is people with low moral and drama. If you find people willing to die, return in stat and die again. Not cheat, not trash talk, not loot, you have the makings of a faction group that is incredibly hard to defeat.
Hardcore pvpers lose interest much sooner because they don't want to be put in fighting situations that put them at risk of dying to a "bunch of newbs" and many advantages they enjoy in a large open Yew gate field fight are nullified when attacking or defending sigils.
I don't disagree finding a player who can uphold and maintain the rp stand of my guild while engaging in this very stressful situtaions is extremely rare. Its why my guild will lead the alliance but 99% of players that join the Alliance are actually in another guild. I need to have players that can handle rp interaction in all situations, follow and understand rp wars and remain in character in Tram, factions, yew gate or spawning when interacting with rpers and non rpers alike.
Basic summary and to the point, Yes. I think you can fight an unfair battle and still win if you focus less on why its unfair and put yourself in a situation that gives you the most equal footing.
Even in Faction forums you will get a group of people who pvp at the gate with faction artifacts who will explain to you "How it really is". My fear is that the game has continued to progress (regress) to the point where their statements are more and more true and our version of Factions is more like the stories we hear about "When it was just Felucca, before AOS, etc"
I really wish I could convey this message and save an aspect of UO I truely love. I failed to do so with Order/Chaos which was heartbreaking for me as a player.
I wrote to EA, posted on stratics and rp message boards, organized an in-game a candle light vigil in front of LB's castle with all the Order Guilds on GL as well as any non order Virtue guilds that supported Order [and the original shattered Legacy fiction]. -All for not as the system was unceremoniously removed.... I took a screen shot before the server went down on the last day with my [Order] tag on, and vowed to continue training Order Knights and one day complete the Quest the Timelord bestowed upon Lord British.
Galen I know you play GL and am not sure you played at the time but it all ties in... Order was removed at the end of a series of events that involved the return of Lord British and ended with him leaving Britannia and establishing a Ruling Council. Upon his sudden return, I asked and recieved permission from the High Council to investigate if the man claiming to be the King was actually Lord British. As head of the Order Guard I simply investigated to fully legitimize his return... as events unfolded (and we had no idea Order was being removed) Lord British spoke and acted in ways inconsistent with his former self. [ OC I have no idea if this was intentional or not but Lord British was MUCH more like Blackthorn in action and philosophy.] IC Lore found his investigation which had begun as simply protocal started turning into an honest investigation that called into doubt the man proclaiming himself to be LB.
By the end of my investigation, Lore had come to the conclusion that the person acting as Lord British was not the King who had created and founded Britannia and the Virtues. That is was likely Blackthorn (a person who had known LB well enough to impersonate him while subtly sneaking in anti British policy. The funeral speech was the icing on the cake, British said all the wonderful things about Blackthorn and then declared he had seen the light and no longer pursued the course of Order... Lore couldn't prove it but he knew, this man was an imposter and no one but Blackthorn could have pullled it off.
Of course when he reported his conclusions to the High Council, he was immediately declared a traitor and insane - afterall Blackthorn was dead (oh the irony [I should contact Ra to see if any record of my investigations remain on the old HC forums and I'll dig around for my declaration that the man claiming to be Lord British was likely Blackthron and using the guise of British to manipulate Britannia... [OC: I have no idea how true or false any of it is or will end up being but it continues to developed into something interesting even years later.... IC - Lore has next to no doubt that the man claiming to be British was an imposter and that it was none other then Blackthorn]
The Order Guard went from keepers of Virtue in the realm and personal guard of Lord British and to an illegal underground organization led by a mad man. [This all made great rp sense because the game itself removed Order].
Eventually The High Council and the Order came to terms which allowed them to continue the pursuit of Order but which made the Order subject to Britannian law.... an uneasy agreement as war would likely break out if Britannian law's were passed to force the Order Guard to surrender the shards of the Gem of Immortality or the High Council reovered the shards and prevented the Order from fullfilling its quest of unity but one that worked in the present.
We ran three guildstones at the time Truth(Order), Love(PVM, Crafting) and Courage (TB Faction) and I ended up merging the Order stone with the Faction and pursuing the path of Order by focusing primarily on restoring Virtue to Felucca (another critical aspect to the Quest of Unity in our rp). RP that eventually led us off GL to Origin to create an independent Kingdom outside of Britannia (but with a strong alliance to Britannia under Queen Dawn) but now that alliance is in jeapardy with Blackthorn on the throne. For the first time our Kingdom (and my character) may be at odds with Britannia in a more direct way then ever before.
People reading this might just see a ton of nonsense...(and for a lot of people that is what it reads like - my apologies) but this is the base for my faction interest and what will keep me active in factions regardless of what changes are made or not made. Over the next few weeks I'll be writing faction based fiction based on this history and ideas. They will take place on Origin but even if these characters exist only in that land, the thoughts and beliefs of these characters can be easily generalized to other people in similiar situations on other shards.
Lets keep it simple people. Factions has all of the risk and reward It really needs for now. We do not need to do this all at once. But what we do need to do is get rid of the #1 reason why people DO NOT join factions (STAT LOSS) Lets look at this. Stat Loss was added specifically for one reason. It was to give the side attacking a stronghold time to get the sigils out after they finally penetrated the defenders defenses. It was meant to keep the defenders from rushing right back in and not giving the attackers time to recapture the sigils.
WITH THAT SAID: We do not have that issue now as there aren't even faction fights let alone people defending. Lets face it, the majority of us still in love with factions are an older generation. We have jobs, kids and other responsibilities now and we arent going to be sitting up for 2-3 days at a time defending a faction stronghold ever again (MAN WAS HAT FUN HAHA)
Our Risk vs Reward system is already in place. It always has been.
REWARD: Faction Artifacts (This is enough to lure people because you can build better suits using them)
RISK: You are able to be attacked anywhere in Felucca no guardzone (We can discuss Trammel later. Lets simplify this for now. Lets get something going then build off of it)
Stat Loss was never added as some sort of risk or punishment people. It was added for the reason I mentioned above. And now with that not being an issue it is the main thing thats keeping factions from progressing. We need to just remove it for now and build off of it. Then at a later date revisit what else we can add to factions to make it better and I promise you that there will be a whole lot more people interested in joining.
Although we disagree on the subject of stat loss, if doesn't mean I am right. If from now until the end of UO no changes to factions are made to fix the issues that exist and faction base fighting never returns as a result, there would be no reason to keep stat loss because you are right, removing it would increase the number of participants in factions.
However if you are holding on to making factions function again, you need to keep stat loss (or something similiar) and start addressing the issues you mentioned.... shorter defense timers, with longer town control... Rewards for town control rather then rewards for rank and points, Avenues for non pvpers [PVM, Crafters, Political type RPers] to play a signifigant role in factions.
If you did remove stat loss then got people to join, only to reintroduce it when you fixed the other issues you'd create a drama war between players who played with stat loss and those who never did and felt like you were destroying factions....
I always felt that if an evil faction controlled all the towns in Fel for a specific period of time (a month), stay true to the fiction and let the Virtue Shield Fall. Tram would be temporarily a fel ruleset area, which reds could then access. Had this existed from the beginning, it would not be a huge deal today bec everyone was coming from a fel only ruleset but you add this in now, people just wouldn't be able to adapt because its not how they started playing and through game choice and game design they have been able to avoid non consensual pvp.
However this leads to your idea of allowing faction fights on any facet, any location... link your idea to the fiction, if an evil faction has complete control of the towns, there forces can then bypass the Virtue Shield and wage war against the other faction players in other facets (no stat in tram ruleset areas) but evil faction players dying would be expelled to Felucca and unable to re-enter tram ruleset for 20 mins (has to be a way to prevent mass griefing at banks, events,etc so consequences have to put in place to keep evil faction players from constantly returning).
Likewise if a good faction controls all the towns, Felucca slowly gets restored... trees grow leaves, and effects on evil players becomes stronger, stat loss applies to red and greys who die in pvp.
This would definetly lead to people wanting to participate in faction base attacks and defense to at least keep a faction from complete dominace.
Again I am not naive enough to believe my older, harsher views of how UO should be; would ever be accepted by the majority of today's players and I'd never actually sugggest THESE ideas make it into the game. What this is an example of is how interesting and compelling ideas are off the table and can't be used because the game has softened over time as to make them unworkable with the current players. If you remove stat loss, there would be no going back and you'd have to investigate new mechanics to make faction base fighting work....
I may come across as inflexible at times but if you add something like this to your idea, you'd have me at least intrigued....
Remove stat loss from game and when a player dies in a faction area, remove the player instantly upon death and unable to return for 20 minutes. That fixes the need for stat loss and keeps base fighting workable while allowing you to remove stat loss altogether. Make the 20 min timer account bound so you can't simply bring in other characters and you'd have something even better.
Addresses issues of:
*fixes issue of multiple characters used in raiding or defending
*fixes issue of not being able to expel ghosts from Faction bases (exorsism does not work) as ghost will automatically be sent to a random shrine(chaos if red) upon death or upon attempting to enter faction area.
*removes the need for stat loss
*Increases general faction participation
The drawback is removing player's willing to return to the battlefied regardless of stat because and that is something not to be underestimated and would be a great loss to the system.
Basically you'd take a player like me with only one account and one main character who is willing to return and fight in stat until the sigils are lost or corrupted and puts me in a position that you are trying to avoid... sitting around doing nothing for 20 mins...
Alternatively, you could add in something like using a faction rune (which I think cost 100 silver but should then be bumped up to 5k), allows a character to enter its own stronghold during the 20 minute expel period, but who would then suffer stat loss for the duration of the timer as a result.
This would make stat loss something a player would willingly endure rather then an unwilling consequence of death. It would also give defenders a slight advantage over raiders, which should be the case but increasing the cost of a faction base rune to 5k would prevent over use and make using them costly. You could use another faction character on your account (not just the one who died) but since the expel is account bound, any character you use would experience the 20 min expel/stat loss.
Dying again would reset the expel and timer to 20 minutes and another faction base rune would be required to return.
Timer begins instantly upon death and expulsion from faction area. Logging off completely would pause the timer until you relogged wherein the timer would resume.
PS: I had to work through it but I think something like that could work... and would prob get support from some people who have been against removing stat. I'd enjoy expelling people from faction area's like a faction towns, bases and spawn areas. You might actually create a new type of faction fighitng - city wars, where factions fight in towns and expel enemies so they can't return.
I've always agreed supported this idea and would add that the crafting recipes for the artifacts should be found as rares on the opposing faction creatures. The creation of the faction artifact would require the recipe, the base artifact, silver and could only craftable in a faction town which your faction currently controls.
This ties in all your basic aspects... pvm for silver, item and reciepe, pvp/town control to secure the location and crafting expertise to create. Items would be faction bound - Crinson Cinture (SL) or (TB) and only usable by that faction. This would allow crafters to make and sell items they make but prevent them from being used by enemy factions.
I'd also scale the bonus's between the actual artifact and the faction artifact... take the regular orny vs the current faction orny with MR3. Each time you create a faction orny you would have a chance to create an orny with mr1 40%, mr2 35% or MR3 25%.
Faction artifacts would always be an ungraded versions of the original but usually falling between the faction artifact and the original. Then you could remove all the moonbound, durability limitations since you are basically using a real artifact and only enhancing it slightly rather then giving people with no comparable artifacts super items.
Ha and I told Galen I wouldn't be posting faction reform ideas and here I am posting away.
Factions are only dead because uo is dead, theres not really much wrong with it i still play factions. Noone complained back in the day about it and even if it changed it would still be dead because game lacks the players on each shard except atl.
That is sad.
But partially true unfortunately.
What is sad is people still hoping for faction changes 10+ years later. No interest = No budget = No change.
Apparently they are looking at a fundamental change. I'm surprised there hasn't been anything on here or Uhall about this, but please see the thread I posted on the Siege forum yesterday.
Hoffs, could you maybe start a separate thread with a new title? Some people who visit this forum might not open an older thread like this, but very well may open a thread with the same eye-catching title you gave it on the Siege forum!
As long as the fundamental change isn't a result of whiny trammies whining about whining I'm sure it will be great...maybe fix the existing problems before creating new ones?
*hats off to Lore*
Sound like the old honor guilds system in a nutshell. Its community building around this game, the idea of team, and a playstyle that includes, but is hardly limited to, player vs player.