Forums » Suggestions

Faction System Changes - Request for Comment

Jan 02, 2007 incarnate link
Ok, this is the general idea for some first-generation faction changes. This isn't all encompassing, there are a lot of.. larger changes I would like to make to this system, which I'm not including in this post. This is just an idea for an initial change to fix the Serco-Itani problem (Serco with high Itani faction and so on). I would like feedback. This has not been entirely thought through yet, as I'm trying to juggle a number of different things (including the new server rollout).. so if people notice problems, flaws, or potential for metagaming / exploits, please point them out. Also, parts of this are repetitive, it'll get re-written later. This is a cut/paste job out of a large doc I'm working on, so it kind of starts in the middle. My biggest concern here is the "Neutral-cap" function of preventing excessive manipulation of faction (changing alignment to the enemy, and then back again).. I don't want to be too fascist with this. But considering it should require spending a lot of time raising your "enemy" faction to flip the switch, I don't think it'll happen often by accident. It's possible to do this sort of thing for the UIT at as well (albeit at a higher standing level, so if they hit Admire with one side, the other side won't permit them past Neutral, or some such).. but I have some reservations about that, along with the system in general.

Feedback greatly appreciated. Please read it in full before responding, and please keep responses on-topic to this specific faction case. I know there are lots of other issues we all want to solve, I'm just tackling one at a time. I also know this doc may not be the clearest, and I'll try to post responses as soon as I can.

* Special Cases *

Certain factions are known to utterly hate one another, and therefore hate or distrust anyone who willingly works with their opposing faction. In the case of the Serco and Itani, the two are at war, and thus anyone who is friendly to their enemy becomes a security risk in their own space. For the Corporations, this usually means the two are competitors in some market, and each wishes to wipe out the other. In these cases, a mutual exclusion exists, the user may be aligned with one faction or the other, but not both at the same time. This may occur on an absolute scale, such as with the Itani and Serco, or on a smaller scale where alignment is merely impacted to some degree.

* Cases of Mutual Exclusion *

The Itani and Serco are at war. Each side considers the other the enemy, and thus all individuals from the opposing side are considered the enemy. The UIT, on the other hand, is neutral in the war and useful to both sides. However, those who profit from aiding the "enemy" will be seen with mistrust by the opposite side. In this way:

Serco are Hated by Itani

Itani are Hated by Serco

An individual of either side may not raise their standing above Hate with the opposing side, until they drop their standing to Hate with their own faction. A single character should not be able to dock with both factions at the same time.

In addition, neither side should permit someone of the enemy nation to gain more than Neutral standing. Ie, if a Serco character purposefully tanks their Serco standing to Hate, then manages to raise their Itani faction, they will not be able to gain Itani standing higher than Neutral.

A UIT character begins with Neutral standing with both sides. But any gains on one side are lost with the other. If they should become Respected by Itani, they become Disliked by Serco. Admired by Serco, Hated by Itani, and so on. In this way, the UIT are considered "neutral", but not without repercussions of their choices. If they wish to retain the benefits of neutrality, then they have to behave that way. On the other hand, if they choose to align themselves with either side, they will be welcomed, but their alignment is taken seriously by both sides.

* Implementation of Mutual Exclusion *

For Itani and Serco, doing anything that reduces their home faction standing has no positive impact on the opposing standing until they hit "Hated" at home. Then, once they have hit "Hate", continued abuses against their home nation will register as positive for the opposition, up to a maximum of "Dislike" at the opposition faction. Once they hit Dislike, they must go to the opposition and take positive missions there to improve standing, they will not be able to gain opposition faction from further attacks against their original home nation. In theory, they can then use missions at the opposition faction to gain standing until they peak at Neutral. They should not be able to progress beyond Neutral. If they should then switch back, after their character has reached Dislike or higher with the opposition, the "home" nation will also not allow them to progress beyond Neutral (they have essentially broken trust with their original nation).

* Migration Features *

Because this mutual-exclusion is a new thing, many of our existing users have high standing with both Serco and Itani. To get around this, once we have implemented this change, they should be prompted on first use of this type of character, by the Client, telling them:

Due to changes in the Faction system, it is no longer possible to have high standing with both the Serco and Itani factions at the same time. You may now choose which you would like to retain. You will keep the chosen standing, but your standing with the "enemy" faction will be reduced proportionally. If your character is Serco or Itani, we recommend choosing your home faction. If you choose the "enemy", your standing will be capped at Neutral, and you will be Hated at home. UIT players should simply pick the faction they prefer to visit and trade with. If you don't understand, click on the Faction Help button for more information.

Underneath this prompt would be three buttons, Serco, Itani, and Faction Help. If they should exit the client without choosing, they should be prompted again on next character usage. Faction Help will describe basically what this document describes, the inter-relations of the various factions.
Jan 02, 2007 Scuba Steve 9.0 link
Going backwards:

UIT characters should have the choice to be able to set both Itani and Serco to neutral instead of outright picking one side.

Perhaps, over time, if you're hated by your home nation and neutral with an enemy nation, the enemy nation will start to trust you. So, say, six months ago Joe-Not-Itani bombed his home nation's(Itani) faction and raised his Serco to neutral. For six months he's been a loyal to Serco as he can be, and the Serco are beginning to notice this. So, in response, they raise the neutral cap to a, say, "respected" cap. But only after an extended period of loyalty with the enemy(Serco) nation and hated by the home nation.

While it is(and should be!) hard to build trust, it should not be outright impossible.

THeoretically, it would be easier to gain the trust of your home nation if you redefected quickly. However, the more you become a turncoat(I've always wanted a turncoat counter) the less your nation trusts you and the longer you must be loyal to your(or the enemy, perhaps) nation for them to raise the neutral cap. The above example of six months might be too extreme for first-time-turncoats, but repeat offenders could easily get into that range. Also, any of these counters or trust things shouldn't be displayed to the player. After all, you don't know how much your government really trusts you, do you?
Jan 02, 2007 Yuutuu1 link
I like the idea but I think it is very unfair to the serco's. This makes it pretty much impossible (unless they wreck their own faction) to travel through 1/3 of the space in game without being chased. (Itanis have 10 systems out of 30).

I think it would make less people want to be Serco and make it more undesirable than the other two factions.

Serco claim more systems or Itani lose more
That or give Serco something to balance it out.
Jan 02, 2007 upper case link
i'm all for the itani/serco thing, though, one who had tanked his nation standing being caped when he comes back might be a bit harsh. coming back ought to be hard to gain trust (perhaps impossible for pos) but given proper missions and service track, it should still be possible to become at least respected.

i'm against any real-time -specific delays like scuba proposes though.

yuutoo1 also points out the "lack" or serco systems. it turns out that uit have even less. though, they're perhaps less severely impacted by the proposed changes so... is that a balance?
Jan 03, 2007 Yuutuu1 link
both serco UIT and maybe even grey could use an increase but grey and uit are pretty close as it is but if there is gonna be more on serco itani war then we should even the playing field a little bit
Jan 03, 2007 incarnate link
* Number of Systems:

Eventually we're going to add more nation-war conflict, which will probably take place in Deneb for the moment. So, in a sense, the Itani will be "losing" a system, since that will become the "front" for the war and a more dangerous place (at which point it becomes 7 systems to 9). But I really don't think the Serco/Itani nation space thing is a significant imbalance. It only would be if future resources (mineral remap for mining -> economy) are mapped out unfairly.. and I don't plan to do that.

* Neutral Cap:

I was worried this would be a little too harsh, and I agree, it should be possible to regain and change your character over time. I dislike fixed limits, but have been focusing on simple and fast solutions. Anyway, perhaps instead of a Neutral cap we could say that regaining faction with your old nation is twice as hard for 2x the period of time that you were siding with the opposition, with a minimum of two weeks. After that, the rate of regaining faction reverts to normal. So, if you sided with the enemy for three weeks, it would be six before your faction would allow you to gain standing at the normal rate.. but you could still gain standing with twice the work. Does that make sense? The "faction gaining difficulty" and "difficulty timer" multipliers, as well as the minimum, could increase with successive turncoat-ing.

Conversely, this becomes possible to subvert if someone comes up with a meta-gaming way to easily generate a large amount of standing (always a strong possibility, especially with new missions being released regularly). So it could be possible to include a Neutral limit cap for two weeks as well.

My big concern is of course people who play with their standing to acquire the benefits of both sides, or other advantages unavailable to more "loyal" peers. So, some long-term disadvantage might not be bad.. even if so much as a negative "accomplishment" flag for a certain period of time, which could be used to limit "special" progression options.. I dunno.

Anyway, I really don't consider this a necessity for short-term implementation. At least adding mutual exclusion will solve some of the more blatant problems. But I welcome further ideas on the subject.

* UIT Migration:

Allowing UITs to set both Serco and Itani standings to Neutral is fine. I didn't anticipate that many would really want that, but the option should definitely be available.
Jan 03, 2007 WE WANT LEEBS! link
I like the changes. No more prom/valk driving itani/sercos.

Also can you
(a) Deduct faction points for buying nation-specific ships except for UIT (this is to encourage more killing)
(b) Itani/serco players should only be able to increase Itani/serco faction above Neutral only by doing anti-Itani/serco things (so trading won't bring you above Neutral, this is to encourange more war-stuff)
(c) Get rid of FF :D

(a) + (b) combined will make those ships really "war" ships : you have to be actively fighting to get the best ships. Now those ships are being used to pirate people at the moment....
Jan 03, 2007 object link
My 2 Cents:

First Cent: - The new Faction system should have less impact to UIT. Why? Because UIT are most frequently Traders, Miners, Smugglers and so on. It some kind of illogical that every work with Itan has a negative sideffect to Serco and vice versa. As an UIT you havenīt to report every job to the Serco/Itani. So how should Serco always know if youīre working with Itan, and how should Itan always know when you are working with Serco? Especially if you donīt use Deneb/Geira for your Travels/Runs. Yes, its illogical for a Serco to have high Itani Standings, but if a UIT has high Serco and Itani Standings: Why not: Maybe he is just a god smuggler and the other side just didnīt notice his work with the enemy.

One (Maybe to comlicated) Idea for this: If a UIT crosses the Deneb/Geira Border, his work with the enemy will be recognized and has an negative impact to the standings. Using Geyspace as route for Trading with Serco and Itani didnīt have a negative impact. So, if youīre in Deneb and got a Trading Mission/Run to Geira, you can choose: The short way, with loss to one Faction standings, or the real looooong way without any faction loss.

Second Cent: Maybe you should consider changing the prospecting missions. They are already long and boring (as almost everybody knows ;)), but with the new faction system it really becomes harder to finish them all, Especially for Serco/Itan, because after the Faction System Change, you HAVE TO tank your home-faction standings a bit to get the prospecting missions in the enemy-faction systems (and every successful finished prosp-mission in enemy territory will be followed by a standing loss with your home Faction...) And..if you donīt want to change the missions itself, how about changed rewards? Maybe like a badge for every "finished" Nation. (I finish all Prospecting Missions in UIT, so i get an UIT-Prospecting Badge if I also finish all Serco Prospecting, I get a second Serco Badge and so on. If I finish all prospecting missions, i get the Master Prospector Badge ;) ) So, if you donīt want to tank your Serco Standings as a Serco Player, you still have some kind of Reward without doing these missions in Itan Space..
Jan 03, 2007 bojansplash link
Looks fine Incarnate. :)
UITs will complain a lot but you can cut them some slack - limit max itani/serco faction standing to +600 for UITs. Profiteers and smugglers will love it. :)
That way they will be able to get admire but wont be able to purchase any nation specific warships.
Jan 03, 2007 sleon link
and what about choosing between too fighting corporations when you are admired at both of them ?

or what about giving me faction points if i am KOS by xang xi ?
Jan 03, 2007 zamzx zik link

My 2c;

You will need at least one mission ( it doesn't have to be exciting) to completely change your faction. Period. You can have it as a placeholder, if you don't have the time to make a real one.

It should first change your faction to "unaligned" Unaligned meaning, you can dock at a faction, (Say, TPG) and if you have 600+ with them, change your faction to TPG (it should open up new missions)
Changing your faction should induce a loss of 500 if UiT, and a loss of 1000 if it is serco or itani.

Basicly, there needs to be some way for a UIT to go serco, or to help an itani. It's part of the backstory, some uits helping some serco, and some helping the itanis.

I think that's just about all the faction system needs. Good work Incarnate!

Jan 03, 2007 jexkerome link

About Mutual Exclusion:
I think it's a little too harsh. What's the point of going traitor if you get no perks for it, like the Prom or Valk or Corvus Vult? Like the pirate, the renegade should be a viable option to play. And yet, we don't want to make it too easy, like you say, to flip-flop between factions. So how about this? Every time a player is Hated by both mutually-exclusive factions, his ability to gain faction for both is halved; that is, he only receives half the faction points, from then on, for both factions. So, for example, an Itani who tanks his home standing now receives just half the faction points (or fraction thereof) for both Itani and Serco factions; this represents that he's no longer fully trusted by either side. On the other hand, there's no limit on how high he can raise within either faction; he can go all the way to PoS with the Serco (to continue our example), but it's twice as hard. Conversely, he could try to redeem himself with the Itani, but now it is harder, because he has betrayed them. And this faction penalty would be permanent and cumulative, so the first time the player incurs in it, his faction gains are halved; the second time, they are quartered (1/4th), the next time he just earns 1/8th of a point, and so on. This way, players who sincerely wish to switch sides can do it with some effort, but flip-floppers will find it increasingly hard to do so.

Special Cases: The Union and its Corps
The Corps (at least that reside in Unionspace) shouldn't be totally independent of the UIT; they should be, rather, subservient to it, so to speak, because right now they might as well their own nations. I propose that these Corp factions be tied to UIT faction in the following way:

1. No Corp faction can be higher than UIT faction.
2. Half the loss/gain in Corp faction is reflected to UIT faction, and viceversa, observing #1.
3. The Corps that don't reside in goldspace, namely Xang Xi, Aeoulus, Ineubis and Tunguska, are exempt from these rules and behave like they do currently, faction-wise. This represents their being outside UIT space and jurisdiction.

This system wouldn't invalidate existing rivalry between Corps, so you can go for Axia or Valent, but you can't be liked better by them than the Union as a whole.

The Corps and mutual exclusion
The benefits each Corp offers should be balanced so a player must actually make a choice, rather than be put in a no-brainer situation. For example, getting back to Axia and Valent, Axia gives you the Guardian Wraith, an EC, a Maud, and the ever-popular advanced positrons; Valent gives you... an EC and a Maud (and the latter at Trade 13, at that). If these benefits stay like this when the new faction system enters the game, I can tell you right now which faction all players are gonna go for.

Lastly, I suppose I should add that more varied ways to recover your faction with the Corps should be added; right now if you go to Hated you're doomed to escort missions for a long, long time.
Jan 03, 2007 Syylk link
Coming from VegaStrike, I always found VO's way of dealing with faction standing a bit too permissive. I'm very glad that devs are exploring ways to improve it.

One suggestion I might give to them, is to consider the "floating pivots" concept. Instead of setting an hard cap on absolute values, you'd put a cap on the SUM of two (or more) relative values, with some twists added in for good measure. Let me explain:

A faction standing range is between -1000 and +1000. If you want to balance out two factions (Itani/Serco is the easiest), being sure that only loyal players get the best bonuses, without punishing too much who wants to have an equilibrate standing, you could have an upper pivot and a lower pivot.

Let's say you have +500 as upper pivot and -200 as lower pivot. It means that the total value of Serco + Itani standing can only be in the -200..+500 range. Ex.:

You can have +600 with Itani only if you have -100 with Serco.
You can have +1000 with Serco only if you have -500 with Itani.
You can have -600 with Serco only if you have at least +400 with Itani.

Between the allowed range, you can have anything. +250 with Itani and +250 with Serco is allowed. Outside the pivots, an automatic balancer is in place. If you push your standing with one faction too much (either positive or negative), and you fall beyond the floating pivot range, you will earn/lose enough standing with the other faction to keep your total within range. Ex.:

You're at +400 IT / +90 SR: you gain +10 SR, all is good, go to +400/+100. You gain ANOTHER +10 SR, autodampening engages, and you go +390/+110. You lose -10 IT, and go +380/+110 without need of autodampen.

The actual range can be the difference between Itani/Serco players (narrow range, so little leeway in terms of turncoating), and UIT players (broader range, since traders can and will stay true to the idea that the most profit in a war is when you sell equipment to both combatants).

This is the base concept. There would be some added tricks:

o) Pivots for more than two factions: Orion + Valent + Axia pivot range is 0..+1000.

o) Hard caps: an Itani char can't go above 600 in Serco, and vice-versa. UITs can't go above 900 with Itani and Serco.

o) Range modifying, one-time only missions. Some good ideas can pop out of this: design missions where the end result is to increase the range (with IT/SR numbers, go to -250/+550), or to have some good bonus BUT reduce the range (-150/+450 range) for a certain pivot pair.

o) Tying more pivot pairs together! Example: IT+SR => -200..+500; IT+XX and SR+XX => -150..+400; XX+TPG => -100..+200; IT+TPG and SR+TPG => -300..+600. The complete interfaction dependence matrix can be QUITE interesting. The broader the range, the easier to gain decent status in both factions.

o) If you want to reduce turncoats, make it that every crossing of the "0" of any standing in any direction reduces the ranges that standing is in by 50 pts. If you want to INCREASE the turncoats, at every passing of 0, increase the range by 50. Up to you admins to shape your game the way you want it to be.

Caveat: faction pairs and actual number pulled out of the exhaust pipe.
Jan 03, 2007 LeberMac link
Alright, here's how I see it.

The faction relationships can be controlled by a simple setting from 0 to 2000. Zero being utter hatred and unending war between the factions, and 2000 meaning that the two factions are so allied so closely and are so friendly, that it's hard to tell where one begins and the other ends.

Let's take for example an itani character, starting out. When his career begins, he's Serco-Hated at -600 and Itani-Liked at +500. (I forget the actual setup, but this is for illustrative purposes anyway, so bear with me.)

The relationship setting for Serco-Itani is set at 100. That's pretty low, but since the two sides are locked in what looks to be an unending war, it's a reasonable number.

You'll notice that, when added together, his negative Serco standing and his positive Itani standing work out to -100. Which means that he has 200 points of "room" to increase either his Itani or Serco standing before the relationship limits begin to take effect. Think of this as "wiggle room."

Now, let's say our itani friend takes a trade mission which adds 100 points to his Itani standing for a setting of +600. Great! He's "Admired" now, and moving up in the world, but he's not infamous yet for being an Itani delivery driver, so he still has 100 points of "wiggle room."

OK, so he takes another trade mission, which boosts his itani standing another 100 points to +700. He's becoming known to the Serco side now, and his wiggle room is gone. One more successful delivery for the Itanis and he's going to be looked down upon by the Serco.

Undaunted by the prospect of losing more Serco standing, our intrepid Itani delivery driver makes one more delivery which boosts his Itani standing yet another 100 points to +800. Uhoh. The Serco take notice this time and begin to dislike this person even more, because he's such a good 'lil Itani delivery driver, helping their economy and whatnot. Therefore in the Serco's eyes, his standing drops 100 points to -700, because 800 Itani plus -700 Serco equals 100 (faction setting).

I think this is a simple way to start to fix the faction standings. As a bonus, there is nothing preventing you from tanking BOTH standings, but the system does work to prevent you from being admired by BOTH Itani and Serco. However, if you do negative things to Serco, your Itani faction does not automatically increase. The only way I see to fix that is to implement multiple-faction awards for missions. (I.E. one mission may gain you +100 Itani and also get you -50 Serco, and maybe -5 BioCom and +5 Ineubis. Who knows?)

I'm not sure I like the "barrier" idea that Incarnate mentioned here:
An individual of either side may not raise their standing above Hate with the opposing side, until they drop their standing to Hate with their own faction. A single character should not be able to dock with both factions at the same time...neither side should permit someone of the enemy nation to gain more than Neutral standing. Ie, if a Serco character purposefully tanks their Serco standing to Hate, then manages to raise their Itani faction, they will not be able to gain Itani standing higher than Neutral.
I think that an Itani trader could become known as a fair individual to some Serco, but due to the Serco-Itani faction relationship settings, if they wanted to dock with a Serco station, they would be forever limited in their Itani standing to +699 (+699 Itani and -599 Serco equals 100.) If they did one more good thing for the Itani, they'd be barred from docking in a Serco station until they did something nice for the Serco and got their standing back "up" to -599.
Just make sure that all Itani-specific vessels require an Itani standing of +700 or more. Same on the other side for Serco. Obviously the ship faction requirements would have to be fine-tuned to work with this scheme.

Specifically, I think that there should be the freedom to "switch sides". For example, say our Itani trader has a change of heart. If he can tank his itani standing to -1000 and raise his Serco standing to +950, then let's say a mission thread becomes available to him that allows him to switch sides, essentially becoming a Serco character. However, some flags should be set that prohibit doing this a lot. Working up your national (Serco/Itani/UIT) standing should be harder than it currently is now.

Options further down the line could include:

Different relationship settings depending on what nation your character starts out as.
For example, if you start out as a UIT, the Itani-Serco relationship meter may be set at 300 instead of 100.

Non 1:1 ratios for forced faction relationship changes in your character's standing.
For example, if our Itani example would increase his itani standing, perhaps when the "forced drop" kicks in for his Serco standing, his BioCom standing would drop by 25% of that amount as well, depending on the relationship setting between BioCom and Serco as well as the relationship setting between BioCom and Itani.

Adjustable Relationship Ratios
In the future, perhaps the Serco-Itani conflict becomes less intense after some kind of dev-written ceasefire or whatnot. Then the relationship number can be adjusted upward to reflect the easing of tensions. (Like, to 300 instead of 100)

And, of course, the option we'd all like:
Being able to switch your faction to that of the grayspace companies
For example, if you get your Orion faction up high enough, and Tunguska hates you enough, you would be given the option to take a mission thread that would switch your character's identity to Orion, instead of Itani, Serco, or UIT. Pirates, of course, would be able to switch to Corvus, etc.
Jan 03, 2007 LeberMac link
Holy crap lots others posted before I finished mine...

I like jex's comments on the flip-flopper rules. Constantly switching sides should be permanently and cumulatively harder. BUT - only if you go back and forth between two hated factions like Itani & Serco. If you're Itani, and the devs allow switching your faction to, say, Ineubis, you should not be penalized the 1/2 Faction Itani value for changing to Ineubis.

Although I disagree when he talks about capping your TPG standing to be whatever your UIT standing is. I think that, although the two should be closely linked, having the "mother" company cap the "subsidiaries" would be wrong. You could be admired by TPG for being a great Raptor test pilot, say, but only "Liked" by the UIT nation.

I like zamzx's comments on the faction-changing missions. First to unaligned, next to your chosen faction. As long as you can't STAY unaligned. Or, penalize unaligned pilots so that they can't progress past 0 (neutral) with ANY faction, leaving all the faction-specific goodies out of their reach.

Oh yes as WWL said: FF should go bye-bye. Yay I agree.

object: In my opinion, the mining prospecting missions should not have a say over faction standing issues. That's the tail wagging the dog. Just change the prospecting badge to be awarded for each faction, so you could have prospecting badges for each faction. The mining mission is the thing that should be changed.
Jan 03, 2007 FatStrat85 link
I started a thread about this a few weeks ago. I tried to keep it really simple. I think it achieves what you're trying to accomplish pretty elegantly. All these ideas sound good though. I'm sure whatever you do will turn out great.

Specific system:

More general intro:
Jan 03, 2007 TRS link
This is of great concern to me, because I currently have characters that are KOS with their home nations, for the specific purpose of eliminating friendly fire limitations. For example, I might make an Itani character, tank his Itani standing, and make him Serco admired. He is effectively a Serco, with the exception that if a Serco deserves a good boom, he can deliver it. Your system will make it so that this character cannot obtain either a valk or a prom. If you expand on this system, every character that frees himself from the artificial friendly fire system, will suffer extreme handicaps. Just because my character is Itani, doesn't mean he is automatic agreement with the next Itani over, who may be in the act of pirating a UIT in grey. You are effectively crippling the only available mechanism for avoiding friendly fire restrictions.
Jan 03, 2007 davejohn link
Well, I'm POS everywhere , all 13 of them . Good old Ecka some say , but I accept that its an unrealistic position , been there , done that , got the Miners helmet to prove it .

The changes proposed by inc will certainly liven things up a bit , so lets try it and see what happens. I need some challenges in game.

Whilst we are at it lets get rid of FF protection , and introduce a sparring mode instead.........


Jan 03, 2007 Aramarth link
From a strictly storyline point of view, has a Serco ever trusted an Itani since the point of rediscovery? Not once. I am totally in favor of the Serco/Itani cap of the opposing faction at Neutral (respected at most). That said, Leeber's pretty picture proposal (say that five times fast) is also along the lines of what I had pictured. So, doing both seems fairly ideal, and possible.

For 'change of heart' faction switchers, just give the pilots a single switch. I'd never trust someone again if they sold me out, so give everybody one mission which switches their 'hard caps' to the new faction. Going back is not happening, because nobody is stupid enough to trust that guy again. I've never seen a game to let players switch sides in a war before, so even as harsh as I sound by VO standards, I don't think it is too much.

I was under the impression FF was on its way out already, so I hadn't thought this thread needed to address that.
Jan 03, 2007 Cunjo link
I don't think there should be a cap at neutral, per-say, though I do think it should be extremely difficult to gain faction beyond a certain point with the opposing side. After all, while a defecting combatant may never gain complete trust with either side again, if they are a great enough service to their new allies, they should gain some benefits... It would require hard work and dedication of course, which would cut down on abuse of the faction system (they wouldn't go turncoat unless they really had a good reason to), but they should still be able to get Respected, or even Admired status with the enemy faction if they're KOS for long enough with their own, and if they've done enough to aid the war effort.

Also, I think the UIT should have the advantage of being able to raise both Serco and Itani factions to Respected without seeing a drop in the opposing faction. To get standing higher than respected, however, they would need to take sides and tank the other.