March to Battle: Factions

February 27, 2020

Factions are powerful organizations locked in the struggle to control Aeternum. After reaching a particular milestone during the early parts of your adventure, you must choose a side in this conflict. As you adventure, you will be introduced to these three Factions: the Marauders, the Syndicate, and the Covenant. Each Faction has a set of principles and a unique motivation for wanting control of Aeternum.

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The Marauders are a ruthless military force bent on establishing a free nation where anyone with the strength to do so can prosper and profit.

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The Syndicate is a secretive organization of boundless guile and intellect in search of forbidden knowledge to usher in a new age of enlightenment.

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The Covenant is a fanatical order that has charged itself with cleansing the land of heretics and defilers so that its true holy nature can flourish and justice can be restored.

When we made the decision to remove always-on open-world full-loot PvP from New World, it was not a decision to remove Player vs. Player (PvP) combat from the game. In fact, we wanted to focus it, to create stakes that everyone in Aeternum could invest in, even if they aren’t directly interested in PvP themselves.

The three Factions form the spine of PvP gameplay in Aeternum. They create clear sides and motivations for conflict. Even if you are a lone explorer braving the wilds of Aeternum on your own, being part of a Faction means you always have someone on your side and you always have a clear view of the opposition.

While anyone in a Faction can opt-in to PvP while adventuring for some added excitement, danger, and bonuses, the ultimate goal for any Company should be to enable its Faction to control as much of Aeternum as possible. As your Faction controls more Territories, your attacks against the creatures of Aeternum will be more effective, you will find higher quantities of resources when gathering, craft equipment at higher base qualities, and find yourself luckier when looting. The more Territories your faction controls, the more powerful you become.

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After selecting a Faction, you can accept missions from your Faction representative in any Settlement and complete them in exchange for rewards. Factions offer specialized equipment, act as a source of income, and are the group you work with to wage War on other Territories to expand your Faction’s control of Aeternum.

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Once you choose a Faction, you are free to create or join a Company in your chosen Faction.

While a Company is responsible for the day-to-day goings on of a Territory, that Company’s Faction is ultimately the one in control. If your Company wants to conquer a Territory occupied by an opposing Faction, it must declare War on that Territory. In order to declare War, the Territory your company seeks to conquer must be vulnerable. A Territory is not vulnerable to a Declaration of War unless it has been sufficiently Undermined by an opposing Faction.

In order for a Faction to retain control of a Territory, its members must actively Reinforce that Faction’s Influence within that Territory. Similarly, if members of another Faction want to take control of a Territory, they must undermine the controlling Faction’s Influence by raising their own. Reinforcing and Undermining Faction Influence is done by completing PvP Faction Missions in that specific Territory.

There are two types of Faction Missions: PvE and PvP. PvE Missions ask you to do things like defeat creatures, craft supplies, or stockpile resources. Completing a PvE Mission rewards Faction currency, which can be used to purchase Faction-specific equipment and items.

PvP Missions ask you to do things like recover tactical information, deliver critical messages or items to another Territory, or patrol an area for opposing Factions. Accepting a PvP Faction mission will auto-flag you for PvP. Unflagging yourself will automatically abandon the mission. Dying during your PvP mission will cause you to fail it and you’ll have to go back and accept another. In addition to rewarding Faction currency, completing a PvP Mission also generates Influence for your Faction within that Territory. As mentioned above, generating Influence for the controlling Faction of a Territory Reinforces its control, while generating Influence for a Faction that is not in control Undermines the controlling Faction and brings the Territory closer to being vulnerable to a War Declaration.

Once a Territory becomes vulnerable by being Undermined by an opposing Faction, all Companies in the Undermining Faction are able to declare War on the Territory. After a short time which allows for multiple companies in the same Faction to make a War Declaration, one of the Companies is selected as the vanguard of the attacking forces. As the vanguard, it is up to the leaders of the selected Company to build out their forces with players who volunteer to fight (more on that in our upcoming Development Blog that details Territory War). Of course, these forces can also include members of the company that was selected as the vanguard in the first place.

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We want everyone interested in War and Territory Control to have a shot at it, so the selection process for the vanguard is random. This way, even smaller Companies have an opportunity to control Territories. If a smaller Company is selected as the vanguard for the War, they can build out their forces with any player that volunteers to fight on their side, so a full-sized army is always possible even for a Company with a single player in it.

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As a member of a Faction, you can be an incredibly valuable contributor. You can supply arms and armor, you can complete Faction Missions, you are a critical member of their standing forces, and you will work to increase your Faction’s Influence in a given territory and Aeternum overall. In times of War, you can recruit fellow Faction members to help you defend your Territory or attack a rival Faction. You cannot declare war against a Company in the same Faction as you… but if you don’t like how that Company is governing a particular Territory, you can always choose not to help them defend!

Your Faction choice impacts your play experience, positively and potentially even negatively. The 3 Factions that are in conflict over Aeternum are directly competing with one another for resources, power, and influence. This means that over time, one Faction might fall into a “last place” of sorts. To avoid that feeling like a total defeat, we’ve been careful about tuning the benefits of being in a Faction that controls the majority of the Territories, while paying extra attention to making the Factions that control fewer Territories feel like underdogs, not the losing side. No matter who is winning in the moment, we’ve built the system in a way that makes strong comebacks an exhilarating part of the game.

* Screenshots are from Alpha and subject to change.