Uplink Analysis: Faction Appeal

Written by David "Scooter" Bass on October 05, 2012

WildStar Uplink is a weekly conversation we hold with our fans about MMO design, philosophy, and news. The main goal of these conversations is to gauge how important certain issues are to the WildStar community. More than just a simple conversation, we ask questions about topics that are important, and we share your responses with the development team directly. Want to participate? Follow @Team_WildStar on Twitter for the weekly question, participate using #WSuplink, and keep an eye on the community team (CRB_Atreid, CRB_Aether, and CRB_Scooter) to interact with us throughout the discussions.

This week, the team was looking on feedback for how you choose your side:

What attracts you to a specific faction when you create your character in an MMO?

A number of you have an affinity towards Good or Bad stereotypes:

qn2Quid: I always choose the coolest race for the profession i want, if all races are available i mostly pick the "good" faction
AgentNardz: Normally I go for the "good guys" unless there's a really cool class or my friends have already decided on a faction.
gentlestar: I hate good guys, so bigger, badder and strikes fear into the heart of the pansy goodies is my choice.
druidsfire: I generally choose the 'good' guys unless the char models seriously appeal.
StarWarsDaddy: I'm usually drawn to the faction that is viewed as the "bad guys" - maybe I'm just a wannabe bad guy deep down.
ValkavGaming: I'm typically drawn to the antiheroes. I'm not a fan of the overly righteous types.
jleithart: I also like to choose the underdog. Dominant teams are no fun to be on cause you don't feel like you're making a difference...
zaprobo: I always go for the most high-tech option within (hopefully) an Empire-themed faction. Good lore is a must!

Lore, personality, and looks seem to always play a role in making this decision:

HolyCrapItsLate: Backstory for the factions. The how & why they relate to each other as well as how they relate to the larger game world.
lethality_mmo: Why I choose a faction: 1) Story (why are they who they are) and 2) Aesthetics (will I want to be in their environments all day?)
nilihanth: Both visual style and personality differences. Alliances and enemies also matter. Adversity makes these things fun!
Gazimoff: Generally, I tend to go for the more technological, meritocratic faction. Do it because logic dictates > divine entity.
TishToshTesh: Larger scale faction doesn't matter as much as race/local color. I look for morally upstanding, fictionally interesting ones.
Sunicro: A number of factors effect my choice, Lore, Available combinations of Race, Class, Path, Role, Aesthetics & so on

Some of you were less interested in overall factions, and more interested in which races you most relate to:

jleithart: Whether or not I believe in the overall cause of the faction. Otherwise if I have friends in one faction.
Hiraghm: Whether the faction's "character" matches my own world view to a degree.
rpepper: Racial aesthetics and lore are usually my main reasons for choosing a faction.
OniOnidra: In first, it depends of the races. If no distinctions, I'm looking at the lore, I don't like too good factions.
b_1st: If friends haven't already chosen for me, No. 1 thing is which races I can play. No. 2, most interesting lore.

We asked the Chad "Pappy" Moore, Lead Narrative Designer, to respond to your comments:

Hey all!

Thanks for the great input on what is important to you when you choose your race and faction. Let me give you all a little insight about how we went about creating them for WildStar.

As you've probably heard us say many all starts with personality. It is extremely important to us that our races and factions have unique personalities..and those personalities determine everything from how they look to the lore that we write for them. In general, we have tried to avoid big distinctions like good and evil, and instead tried to develop personalities, histories and conflicts that reflect the personalities of the factions and races in our game. It's not like the Exiles are the good guys and the Dominion are the bad guys--but the motivations and desires for each are very different, and we hope that those will resonate with different kinds of players. And we very much want our factions to have polarizing characteristics, so that the conflicts between them will be more visceral. We understand that there's a very real emotional and experience in choosing a side and swearing an allegiance--and we want that to be reflected strongly in our game.

Within each faction, there will also be a broad range of personalities to choose from. Each of our player races have unique lore, and that translates into unique voices and stories. And again, it's not about good guys and bad guys. Some of our races on either side live in those interesting gray areas that create the most interesting characters. And, as you might have noticed, our characters just look cool across the board. The art team continually makes my job easier by making the characters look a million times cooler than I see them in my head. And for those of you who are looking forward to more information about the Dominion? All I can tell you is that it will definitely be worth the wait!

Again, thanks for the input!

Do you have a faction you're leaning towards for WildStar yet? Or is it too early to say? Let us know on Twitter at @Team_WildStar and keep an eye on the #WSuplink hashtag for a heads up when we begin a new topic on Monday. Thanks to everyone who participated in this week's discussion, and have a great weekend!

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