The Daily Grind: Do you prefer MMO factions to be good vs. evil or multifaceted?

    
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What was that vendor's name? Saw? Was it Saw? Adze? Saw sounds right-ish.
I don’t have ready access to it any longer – it was a while ago – but I recall reading something to the general effect that some players thought that the Empire in Star Wars: The Old Republic wouldn’t be the evil faction. That always tickled me. I mean, the franchise has had a pretty solid stance against empires since the first film. Sure, there were hints here and there that the factions might be a bit more nuanced (the Republic was more permissive but unable to realistically adapt to its size; the Empire was more restrictive but better at governing), but it was never a scenario in which the literal powers of darkness would turn out to be kind of OK folks.

Sometimes it’s nice to have that in a game, of course; Warhammer Online never pretended that Chaos was anything but evil. Then again, that misses out on the possibility presented by games like RIFT or Star Trek Online, with factions that aren’t evil or good but simply can’t get along for whatever reason… which has resulted, over time, in that factional divide softening. Which do you prefer in your MMOs? Would you rather have the one outright evil faction, realism be damned, or would you prefer a conflict with no “right” side and thus the possibility or promise of eventual reconciliation?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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AGx
Guest
AGx

I don’t necessarily want (or like) good vs evil with such a fine line. I prefer the approach something like WoW takes to it’s lore. While you can view the Horde as “evil” if you prefer, they aren’t really bad guys. They are a collection of races with their own goals, goals that conflict with what the Alliance is doing. I prefer my factions to be like that. In general though, yes, I prefer opposing factions. Honestly, I’d prefer a game with three factions (think ESO). Again, none of them are “evil”, they are just warring countries.

Archebius
Guest
Archebius

Depends. If I have to choose between two factions, like in SWTOR, then I appreciate there being some shades in there, but I think that the main thrust of the two organizations can be opposed – good vs. evil if you’re painting in large strokes, but get down to the fine detail and there are plenty of questionable actions by both sides.

But the ability to play as a good dark-side user seems kind of silly to me. There are nuances there – but you joined the unrepentant evil side. That’s not a, “whoops, got in the wrong line!” kind of thing.

FeveredDreamer
Guest
FeveredDreamer

I definitely prefer the multifaceted, honestly I feel like good vs. evil isn’t bad except folks seem to suck at writing these standard conflicts.  Heroes and villains need not be completely one dimensional, and being evil shouldn’t require being stupid.

Crow God
Guest
Crow God

Empire isn’t entirely evil but it’s kind of a delusion to say they’re not evil. With exceptions the Sith were corrupt and weaken the Empire’s strength. Hell, I played my Agent hating the Sith as a whole, sure he respected Darth Malgus who placed the Empire over himself, but sith behind the Sport Hunting quest who kill people for sport becasue they believe themselves above the Empire were despicable; also probably facing a public execution for attacking a fellow Sith.
As for the main question. Definitely prefer differences in ideology vs good-evil dualogy. And that was one thing I liked about SWTOR; on the surface it was good-evil dualogy but really it is more of a difference in ideology.

ZenDadaist
Guest
ZenDadaist

Absolutely multifaceted shades of grey. Straight up good guys vs bad guys is boring and tedious.

Deathage
Guest
Deathage

In a perfect game (whether it be sandbox or dev-story driven) the various factions are more realistic than being either black or white, and often come about as a realistic result of cultural or economic need. A crafting guild arises as a result of wanting to create controls on monopoly or quality of a specific kind of production; the league of monster hunters arises as a result of a specific need. Within this overarching category of “guild” or “faction”, there are individual players with their own desires or motivations. 

At the highest level, a good faction just is what it is, and arises from/is structured in a way that logically reflects their goals. The real meat of interest and what makes players either hate or love their faction & the “enemy’s” faction are the individual stories and players/NPC’s that make up that faction.

blueimpact
Guest
blueimpact

DPandaren I’m…not entirely sure that you’ve read the Vanu lore snippet. They don’t force science. They’re took technology and ran, and are in a resource battle now. The Terran Republic are trying to bring them back into the fold and slap their hands for using tech. 

The only reason they have beef with the New Conglomerate is because the Vanu used the TR vs NC civil war to take the money and run.
Not really a matter of opinion there. The writing for Planetside 2 is pretty heavy-handed and poorly molded to the point of not having nuances to explain why NC and Vanu don’t just wreck the TR together.

syberghost
Guest
syberghost

DPandaren the Vanu don’t force technology on anyone, they just refuse to let anybody stop them from advancing it for themselves. They freely share it with others.

Although all three factions are nuanced and not easily pigeonholed as “good” or “evil”, the Vanu are clearly the least evil. Condescending pricks, yes; but evil, no.

n3rdbomb3r
Guest
n3rdbomb3r

I like factions that are there more for flavor/additional content/player experience and less for active antagonism.the whole ‘XX’ fighting ‘XXX’ is kind of played out/boring at this point. People take that stuff waaaaay too seriously in a pro-sports team kinda way, which is just completely mental on its own. I’m all for healthy competition, but I’d rather work with people than hate on people for their factional preferences.
A good example of this would be FF-XIV’s ‘Grand Companies’, which are purely for aesthetics and PvP team organization, and has zero bearing on grouping or guild membership, Another is The Secret World, where factions each get a piece of the same story, just told from a different perspective with different information and dialogue. Even in PVP you can talk to each other, and outside of that you can group up and run content together and it really doesn’t matter very much.

crawlkill
Guest
crawlkill

Elikal Ialborcales wasn’t there a post about it just a day or two ago?