There’s a reason why playgrounds are memorable for us as kids. It’s where teams are picked for dodgeball/basketball, and where one side inevitably loses their lunch money or dignity. It’s that brutal dirt pit where we learn winning = COOL.
Please, noooooo! Arm bruises are the least painful part of losing.
A couple of decades later, us gamers bring the same mentality in the MMOs we play. Raise your hand if you’ve ever nerdraged at getting crappy race abilities or getting pwned in PVP because you have no back-up in a server with a 1:10 ally ratio?
Developers implement fixes to ‘balance’ the game in this regard, because they know that this source of frustration is also what keeps us involved. Really involved. “For the Alliance, RAWR!” *Equips insignia and tabard*
In the case of Age of Conan, which previewed 12 new factions for its Rise of the Godslayer expansion slated for release this year, it seems they are borrowing a page off WoW‘s profitable playbook by implementing factions as a vital gearing mechanic.
The East is the Beast. Awesome Asian-inspired armor sets could require additional AoC Gold along with faction standing.
But these sweet samurai-esque outfits will come at the price of a rival faction hating your guts. But this isn’t anything new in our dog-eat-dog world. But should you forget, repeat this mantra with me: “Your friend’s enemy is your enemy. Your enemy’s enemy is your friend…”
Of the five revealed factions (five others to come and two hidden in-game), I’m personally drawn to the Scarlet Circle. Nothing screams uber-win than having ‘ultimate power’, as described in the preview:
“The Scarlet Circle has, effectively, achieved its goals. They are the ultimate power in Khitai, as well as the controlling the Entity, which is one of the most powerful artifacts ever discovered.
“The Scarlet Circle as a group of sorcerers is a relatively small circle. There are probably no more than ten or twelve members at any time. However, the Scarlet Circle often hire mercenaries to escort them on their various expeditions. By default the mercenaries then become known as Scarlet Circle Guardians. So while the Scarlet Circle itself is rather small, the organization has a name that extends very far.
I’d be interested to know what quests they’d still be needing outside of keeping everyone away from their mega-weapon. Maybe steal another mega artifact from a rival faction? Who knows, but it sounds fun being the lackey of mighty sorcerors.
We’ll keep you posted when the other factions show off what they have to offer to other adventurers willing to stick out their necks for virtual eye candy. Stay tuned–Conan’s playground is about to get messy!