Pappy! I love that you're asking this! I feel immensely strongly on this issue and I'm personally excited you guys are talking about it and even considering it!
- What are your thoughts on dropping the faction barrier? And why?
Absolutely drop it! As Wakyn put it well, a faction barrier gives you some nice story telling, but halves your playable population. It creates divides between players in RP, PvP, and PvE. I hate, personally as an RPer, when coordinating things going "Man I wish these other several hundred players could participate. Oh well, sucks to be them".
There's been a counter argument made on keeping it up because of lore reasons, but I personally think combining the factions could create more interesting dynamics than currently exist. How do two groups that hate each other, that suddenly HAVE to get along, handle that? It's not like that bad blood disappears, which makes for interesting storytelling!
I guess my argument would also add - I'm not sure what keeping the faction barrier /helps/. It makes PvE groups harder to find, PvP groups harder, RP harder, and makes the game feel smaller than it is for everyone involved. You basically have two half-games, operating simultaneously, that periodically glimpse each other unless they're in a battle ground. You're basically creating an environment where you're saying "What if we had a game where half the people couldn't interact, and we have to develop more content for both sides, and have both sides resent the other no matter what we do. Also all queued content will take longer"
- If you were a developer for a day, what would your vision for what faction barriers be?
For a day is a bit tough! I'd personally like to write into the lore racial enmities, but let people take with it what they will. It's not like people COULDN'T be enemies if they wanted to. On this issue, I'd probably just destroy it altogether. Let housing all connect, let the channels all connect. Basically just one game with two capital cities and 8 races. MAYBE for immersion keep cities hostile. If I was worried about implementing it, I might do a soft merge - Allow xfac housing (and a toggle for lot owners to decide if they want to allow it), allow xfac channel sharing, and remove the language barrier. But honestly I feel so strongly about this I'd probably just go all in with a merging of factions and not even bother "testing the waters".
- How should PvP flags factor into faction barriers, if at all?
PvP flags is an interesting one. I love the prestige decision of keeping yourself flagged giving prestige. PvP is already kind of hurt with world bosses. Just spitballing, but maybe have 3 different PvP flags - A No PvP one, a PvP flagged for just the other faction, and a PvP flagged where anyone can attack each other as long as they're also PvP any flagged. Just an idea!
A separate addition regarding lore: This is writable and fixable. It's not like it would be hard to say "Both factions found a common enemy and have an uneasy truce, but still distrust or even hate each other". You'd have some want to finish the war, some who'd be happy for peace. You'd have interesting politics involved - ("The War is Over, do we get Arboria back, or do you really need an extra parking lot?" "Congratulations Exiles, the war is over, you're now trial level citizens of the Dominion which does not give you full rights as punishment until we can recuperate from you what all your war crimes cost us") - Still, I think the lore is workable, I think the logistical part is more important.
Thank you Pappy!
Edited by Peppercorn, 16 March 2016 - 07:22 PM.