factions

Factions is a standalone expansion for Guild Wars that released on April 28, 2006. It may also refer to the combat module release of Origins of Malu.

Lord of the Rings Online explains the Allegiance system in Mordor

We’re probably not going to blow your mind by saying this, but here it is anyway: Mordor in Lord of the Rings Online is not a friendly place. You’re shocked, obviously. But the point is that you’ll need to have some allies to deal with the problems of that land, and those allies need to know you’re their ally. Hence, the upcoming Allegiances system, a chance for players to improve reputation and standing with one of four factions for cosmetic rewards and unique storylines.

It’s important to note that the four factions (the Hobbits of the Company, Durin’s Folk, the Court of Lothlorien, and the Kingdom of Gondor) will not affect your access to endgame gear, even though the Allegiance system will be tied into the endgame. But your choice is mostly between the four stories you wish to follow and which cosmetic gear you want to access first. Still, much like Merry and Pippin’s oaths of service (which formed the initial concept for this system), it’s going to be important from a narrative standpoint to consider whom your character will bend a knee for.

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LOTRO’s new allegiance system will take you to fantastic places

One of the new major systems that’s coming with Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor deals with your pledged allegiance to certain Middle-earth factions. Players will choose between four races to dedicate their Mordor adventures, opening up a special headquarters and unlocking rewards over time.

Allegiance can be pledged to the Court of Celeborn (Elves), Hall of the King (Man), Erebor (Dwarves), or Bar Thorenion (Hobbits). As players progress in their allegiances, they will open up a special quest line. “Allegiances do have you filling up a bar, and there are repeatable quests and rewards, but for me the significant addition is that each of them tells a continuing story,” said developer MadeOfLions on the forums.

Get an early look at all four class halls allegiance halls after the break!

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Puzzle Pirates sails into the Dark Seas

Fourteen years into its quirky voyages, Puzzle Pirates still hasn’t exhausted unknown ports of call. The MMO announced this week that it is starting to test its Dark Seas content update, with a new set of islands and two additional factions to explore. The update is decidedly focused on PvP, pitting pirate crews against each other in the search for gold ‘n’ glory.

“All new pirates begin in Port Venture of the Greywaters archipelago,” the team explained, “a relatively safe place to begin getting your sea legs before venturing further out into the Obsidian ocean […] Each crew must choose a faction at the time it is created. Crews can not currently switch factions, but pirates are free to change crews at any time.”

There may or may not be a wipe after the beta test, so take that into consideration. It looks like Puzzle Pirates is being primarily supported through Steam these days, so if you’re looking to play it, that’s where “X” marks the installer.

Source: Puzzle Pirates. Thanks Yellowboots!

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Massively Overthinking: Do MMORPGs aspire to pro-social mechanics?

Massively OP reader and Patron Avaera has a thoughtful question for the team and readers this week. “I wish more virtual world games thought deeply about what impact they can have for the better,” he writes.

“It seems to me we are living in a time when tribalism, intolerance, and lack of empathy are increasing, with online trolling, harassment and simple nastiness on the rise even before considering where real-world politics seems to be heading. Yet research continues to show that immersive virtual worlds (including MMOs) have significant potential to change us through the type of experiences they offer, with recent examples being that a VR out-of-body experience can reduce fear of death and that social exclusion in a game environment carries a negative effect on real-world emotions. Do you think any MMOs are already using this incredible power to change us as people through pro-social mechanics, activities or narratives? Can you think of any examples where you have been moved or changed by game experiences, for better or worse, and do you think this was a deliberate act by developers? As our genre continues on a trajectory away from massively social roleplay towards cliquish competitive skirmishing, are there any signs that there are still companies willing to test whether virtual world games can be more than just moment-to-moment fun or entertainment?”

I posed Avaera’s question to the whole team for an intriguing Overthinking.

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Chaos Theory: Week one impressions of Secret World Legends

It’s been a week since Funcom threw open the doors of Secret World Legends’ headstart to everyone and removed the NDA. That’s seven days of choosing factions, meeting handlers, blasting zombies, dodging traps, upgrading weapons, and learning about the Filth — and getting to share those experiences! And share I shall.

So what do I think of the “new” game after a week of non-testing play added atop my beta adventures? Knowing that I am quite the fan of the original, some folks might expect me to sing unending praises of everything. For that same reason, others might expect me to decry that this version has obliterated what I held dear. In truth, this Chaos Theory will be neither extreme (sorry if that disappoints!). In Secret World Legends, there are some things I really like, some things I will tolerate for the good of the game, and then there are those things I do not like.

How would I answer the burning questions on many folks’ minds: How much has the game changed, are those changes actually worth it, and is SWL worth playing (again)? My short answer is that’s a very personal decision depending on your personal  tastes. But since the game is free-to-play, why not give it a go? I think it is definitely worth it.

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Chaos Theory: Guide to The Secret World’s Templars faction

It’s Templar Time! After looking at the Illuminati and delving into the Dragon, it’s now time to tie up this trio of guides and talk about the final faction in The Secret World: the Templars. I could fall back on that old adage of “saving the best for last,” but this secret society may not be the best for everyone. That’s the whole reason behind these faction guides — so folks can get a feel for what they may want to play. And with Secret World Legends launching its early access tomorrow, the time to pick is close at hand.

As much as I have been tempted to roll a different faction for SWL, it’s going to be very hard to pass up being a Templar. I can’t deny that it has been my my favorite faction; the philosophy jells better with me, I prefer the deck costumes, and I enjoy the wit of Richard Sonnac’s messages. But what really cemented this society’s place at the top was the final story mission, Virgula Divina. Doing the Illuminati story mission felt like a let down by comparison! If you’ve never visited the playroom, you are truly missing out. Could this become your favorite faction, too? Let’s take a (spoiler-free) look-see at what it has to offer.

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Revelation Online explores the motivation of the Pirate Crew faction

Pirates! It’s pretty easy to understand the motivation of pirates most of the time; pirates want to get stuff by taking it from other people. The Pirate Crew faction in Revelation Online is a bit different, though. Sure, they’re happy to take things from other people and thus become the new owners, but they’re primarily interested in hunting for treasures that haven’t already been claimed. Thus, they’re currently investigating the mystery and treasure behind the Deathly Atoll.

Don’t worry, it’s just a name. It’s really more of an island.

There’s obviously plenty of stuff on the aforementioned Deathly Atoll that is, well, deathly. It’ll kill you. The bright side, of course, is that there’s also plenty of treasure scattered throughout, which is also fine motivation for the pirates and like-minded adventurers to check things out. You can examine the full rundown on the official site if that sounds like something you’d be happy to take part in.

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Chaos Theory: Guide to Secret World’s Dragon faction

When it comes to chaos, do you tend to run away (possibly screaming), or run toward it? If you lean toward the latter, you might be a Dragon at heart. In that case, this next installment in our The Secret World faction guides may be of particular interest. Today we look into that mysterious green-clad faction that calls Seoul its home base in game. What sets this home-grown secret society apart from the others? Who is a part of this network and what are its goals? And how much information can I spill before I reveal spoilers?

Unlike the Templars and the Illuminati, who are quite present in the real world, the Dragons were specifically developed for TSW. (Or maybe they do exist and are much better at being a secret society!) My very first character I made and played was actually a Dragon. Unfortunately, I found the faction less interesting to me than the others, and I abandoned her to play a Templar, then livestream a Lumie. Now that I have delved deeper into the intricacies of the Dragon, however, I realized I may have ducked out too soon and I am seriously contemplating rolling one in Secret World Legends!

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Perfect Ten: What the mainstream games media doesn’t get about MMORPGs

Ever since becoming an MMORPG player and especially since covering these games professionally, I’ve realized one of my greatest pet peeves is the attitude the broader video games media maintain toward our genre. I don’t want to accuse with too broad of a brush or construct a strawman here, but too often I’ve read articles covering MMOs as if the author were either worried about contracting some sort of horrible disease by even mentioning the game or suffering from a superiority complex about how much better other types of games were.

Somehow worse are the sites that employ a “token” MMO player as a writer, as if to foist this terrible genre on some lunkhead so that the rest of the staff can cover the latest groundbreaking edition of Call of Duty, Madden, or Battlefield.

See, I don’t claim that MMOs are better or worse than other video games, yet they do have something special that seems to elude journalists who sneer at grinds or roll their eyes at players foolish enough to care about these games. Sometimes it feels like nerds dumping on other nerds so that the first group can feel superior in some aspect of their life. I don’t know.

Today I’m going to attack my pet peeve head-on by listing 10 things the mainstream games media doesn’t get about why MMORPGs are special, beloved, and captivating.

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ArcheAge Erenor Eternal update dev tour: Trading revamp and new zones

Have you got the urge to explore? ArcheAge’s Erenor Eternal launches this evening, bringing three brand-new zones for players to gallivant about in. Of course, as with every large named update, there’s plenty more content than just pristine sod to prance upon in Auroria. On top of a new level of gear, a new skill progression, and new battlegrounds, Erenor Eternal includes significant crafting changes and a big revamp of the tradepack system. Although my personal focus was riveted on the tradepack revamp, I was more than happy to get a peek at the new zones with Senior Producer Merv Lee Kwai as we toured and talked about the upcoming changes.

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Star Trek Online debuts new lockbox items, deploys Escalation console patch

Over the years, Star Trek Online has featured a number of ships and enemy factions from one-off episodes, including an entire group of enemies (the Tzenkethi) whom we never actually see on-screen. But the latest lockbox for the game takes things even further with the Husnock Warship, a ship that we never even properly see during the one episode where it would have shown up. (Explaining would spoil the episode.) The whole point of the Privateer lockbox is that it’s not beholden to limited factions, instead just featuring a collection of various bits and bobs from several series.

Players can also get a new Privateer outfit, pilot the new Miradorn Raider piloting vessel, and pick up new weapons and kit modules. Console players will have to wait for a bit longer to pick up the box themselves, but the bright side is that the console versions of the game are getting a nice big patch today, which should help take the edge off. It contains new featured episode, new War Games, and quality of life improvements, so that’s all good.

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Preview: Behind the gates of RuneScape’s Menaphos, opening today

One of the worst teases in a game for me is to see a place and not be able to go and explore it. RuneScape players have experienced that to the 12th degree! Not only were the walls and gate of the city of Menaphos erected 12 years ago with no way for players to get inside but different quests in the game would hint at the story that existed behind those unbreachable walls. And as of today, fans can finally get through those gates and experience the city.

But before the city gates opened up permanently, Jagex slipped me in for a guided tour of Menaphos, the Golden City. While I wasn’t able to play the game myself, I got see the sights and learn many things about the game’s first ever expansion from Jon Wilcox (senior communications manager), Dave Osbourne (lead designer), Joseph Redstall (product manager for the Menaphos expansion), and Benjamin Luff (gameplay development graduate.

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The MOP Up: Revelation Online’s monthly challenges (June 4, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from Black DeathHellionAstellia OnlineOverwatchDayZPirate101Armored WarfareAionElder Scrolls OnlinePath of ExileDungeon Fighter OnlineWurm OnlineRevelation OnlineOsiris: New DawnDark Age of CamelotAge of Wushu 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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