After the relatively positive response I got to the first concept piece I did, I may have been bitten by the bug. Concepts like these are pretty stimulating. I get to stop sitting back so hard in my armchair and really pit my player instincts against the desire to make something meaningful, in-depth and fun. The second round of Season 3 faction rallies are dropping tomorrow and I wanted to publish this concept that I’ve had brewing for a while. Please let me know what you think.
Factions are organizations connected to The Last City’s governing body The Consensus. Players pledge to these factions to earn reputation over the course of a season with an investment reward at the end of the season. While players will not be restricted from earning reputation with multiple factions over the course of a season with multiple characters, the best rewards come from the deepest reaches of each faction’s reputation path. Faction reputation can be gained at all times during the season with faction rallies providing an holiday event with special gear and cosmetic loot.
The goal for the season is to reach faction level 100, where a seasonal prize weapon awaits each faction. Seasonal prize weapons are earned by reach 100 and purchased with seasonal prize items unique to each faction per season.
The Path to the Goal
In order to reach faction level 100, faction tokens are available to earn all season long. Faction rallies are week-long holiday events that will provide bursts of reputation and gear.
The Length of the Journey
Faction tokens can be earned from playing any activity, from Patrols all the way up to Raids. The time investment of the activity will reward an appropriate amount of tokens. Teaming up with other faction comrades will provide a token bonus upon activity completion. Armor mods earned along the way will help to make life easier while wearing full faction armor, especially during rallies.
Sights to See Along the Way
Each season, different factions will have a small storyline to follow that helps to outline their current objectives with relation to the Tower, the City and the Traveler. Each faction rally will provide a small side story that provides insight into the faction’s past and how that might affect its current endeavors. Faction reputation levels will pop small events that players can use to gain seasonal prize items.
Detours and Roadblocks
Each character can pledge to whichever faction they’d like individually. Switching factions is possible at any time, but removes all progress made with the old faction. All items earned from any faction can be retained regardless of current affiliation, but the benefits from emblems, Ghost shells and armor mods can only be obtained when pledged to the appropriate faction.
A New Destination
Each faction’s seasonal prize weapon is a gun with a unique frame and perks bespoke to that faction. Previous season’s prize weapons can be obtained from a faction reputation level checkpoint in the current season.
As is made evident, this concept is essentially a wholesale rebuilding of the faction experience for players. As such, I feel obligated to delve into some details to explain these changes in a less abstract way. This part will be a bit long, but should explain away most questions you may have as a reader.
- Each character on an individual account can pledge to one faction at a time.
A character can switch factions whenever they’d like, but lose all reputation with their previous faction.
- Pledging to a faction grants a faction Ghost shell and a faction emblem.
Faction reputation can be gained passively throughout the season.
Reward engrams will grant faction armor and a selected pool of faction weapons.
- Faction rallies are holiday events that provide increased rewards and progress towards a seasonal prize.
- Faction pledging is free.
- Switching factions can be done at any time outside of faction rallies.
- Switching factions removes all reputation associated with the previous faction.
- Faction armors and cosmetics can only be equipped when pledged to that faction.
- Equipping the faction emblem allows players to passively gain faction tokens during any gameplay activity. Full fireteams of a single faction will grant a small token bonus.
- Tokens can be turned in to faction vendors for a faction reward engram.
Reaching levels 25, 50, 75 and 100 pop special events for the player that make progress towards a seasonal prize, reward seasonal prize items.
- Faction vendors will always sell a statically rolled ghost shell, armor set and one weapon for each slot. The rolls and weapon selection will change weekly.
- Faction reward engrams will always contain one dynamic roll armor piece and a dynamic roll of one of the weapons offered in the current week’s vendor selection.
- At various reputation milestones, players can earn cosmetic items.
- At various reputation milestones, players can earn the ability to apply ornaments to armor.
- At various reputation milestones, players can earn progress toward a seasonal prize.
- Faction rallies are week-long holiday events with different objectives for each faction.
- Faction rallies have three facets: competition, cooperation and storytelling.
- Each facet will have a winner based of completions or tokens generated.
- Competition: Crucible and Trials of the Nine (tokens)
- Cooperation: Strikes and Raids (tokens)
- Storytelling: Rally quest (unique completions)
- Each facet will have a static weapon geared toward that activity offered as a prize per faction.
- Winners are on a per-facet basis. For example, Future War Cult could win the competitive facet, but New Monarchy might win the cooperation facet.
- Winning factions will have a masterwork version of the facet weapon offered as a prize.
- All facet items will be added to the reward engram pool as dynamic rolls with a rare drop rate.
- During faction rallies, all reward engrams have an increased chance to drop masterwork items.
- During faction rallies, all activities yield an increased amount of tokens.
Equipping a faction Ghost shell during a faction rally grants access to Renown.
Faction Rally Storytelling.
- Each rally will have a unique questline using existing destinations for each faction.
- Quest missions will contain dialogue between the Ghost and the faction vendor.
- Quest missions will make special use of the Renown system to add challenge/increase rewards.
- Quest lines focus on side stories for factions based on current and past events.
- Vendors will sell the full armor set each season.
- Armor is statically rolled at the vendor.
- The ability to purchase armor is unlocked at specific levels.
- The ability to equip armor with faction-based mods is unlocked at specific levels.
Faction Armor Mods.
- Class item (faction): In full armor, token drops increased on faction-specific destination.
- Class item (rally): With renown, picking up orbs increases damage output.
- Boots (faction): In full armor, defeating faction-specific enemy type increases movement speed.
- Boots (rally): With renown, your movement speed is increased.
- Gloves (faction): In full armor, grenade kills on faction-specific enemy type reduce ability cooldowns.
- Gloves (rally): With renown, your handling/reload speed is increased.
- Helmet (faction): In full armor, high value targets are marked on faction-specific destination.
- Helmet (rally): With renown, your super cooldown is reduced.
- Chest (faction): In full armor, damage output increased on faction-specific destination.
- Chest (rally): With renown, your damage taken is reduced.
- Vendors will sell one kinetic, energy and power weapon each season.
- Weapons are statically rolled at the vendor.
- The ability to purchase weapons is unlocked at specific levels.
- Each faction will offer up a seasonal prize weapon.
- Seasonal prize unlocks at level 100, with items required to buy it.
- Prize weapons have frames and perks unique to their factions.
- Seasonal prize items gained through storytelling, reputation milestones and rally quests.
- Seasonal prize items change each season and are unique to each faction.
- Each milestone at 25, 50, 75 and 100 rewards a seasonal prize item.
- Each rally’s story offers a seasonal prize item, estimated at 3 per season.
- Prize items can be purchased at various reputation milestones.
- One additional prize item has a chance to drop very rarely from faction reputation engrams.
- Of the 9 guaranteed item drops (10 if counting the rare drop), only 7 are needed to purchase the seasonal prize weapon.
Faction Concept Working Example
I wanted to combine everything here into what I would consider a working example for the new faction experience. First up, the loot.
Future War Cult
- Kinetic auto rifle (unlocks at level 30)
- Energy pulse rifle (unlocks at level 40)
- Power rocket launcher (unlocks at level 50)
- Simulant helmet (unlocks at level 20)
- Simulant gloves (unlocks at level 15)
- Simulant robes (unlocks at level 25)
- Simulant boots (unlocks at level 10)
- Simulant bond (unlocks at level 5)
- Ghost shell (pledge)
- Seasonal Emblem (pledge)
- Class item ornament (unlocks at level 10 with requirements)
- Boots ornament (unlocks at level 20 with requirements)
- Gloves ornament (unlocks at level 30 with requirements)
- Helmet ornament (unlocks at level 40 with requirements)
- Chest ornament (unlocks at level 50 with requirements)
- Class item faction mod (unlocks at level 15 with requirements)
- Class item rally mod (unlocks at level 10 with requirements)
- Boots faction mod (unlocks at level 25 with requirements)
- Boots rally mod (unlocks at level 20 with requirements)
- Gloves faction mod (unlocks at level 35 with requirements)
- Gloves rally mod (unlocks at level 30 with requirements)
- Helmet faction mod (unlocks at level 45 with requirements)
- Helmet rally mod (unlocks at level 40 with requirements)
- Chest faction mod (unlocks at level 55 with requirements)
- Chest rally mod (unlocks at level 50 with requirements)
- Seasonal legendary sparrow (unlocks at level 60)
- Seasonal legendary ship (unlocks at level 70)
- Seasonal prize item (unlocks at level 80)
- Seasonal prize item (unlocks at level 90)
- Seasonal Emblem variant (unlocks at level 100)
The idea with the loot and unlockable cosmetics and mods is to try to balance the desire for cool loot to equip and show off with the need for a relatively consistent stream of rewards. The mods I wanted to have unlocked relatively quickly in order to help the otherwise slower levels between 50 and 100 travel by a bit smoother. Rallies, in particular, should be a little less cumbersome with Renown now making you a bit more powerful without necessarily reducing the challenge.
If you just want the weapons and armor, you still have to put the time in, but if you want to really rep your faction hard, put the time in and you will be generously rewarded. Best of all, earning tokens is passive throughout this process, so the idea of leveling up once or twice a day should feel natural fairly quickly.
- In this example, for one season, FWC would like to investigate if there are any possible technological lessons its engineers can learn from the makeup of the Infinite Forest on Mercury for use in their CHASM device.
- As one of a handful of Guardians to enter the Infinite Forest and return alive, Lakshmi-2 requests that you investigate several timelines for her studies.
- The player will mostly deal with Vex encounters in the simulant timelines, but will encounter all enemy types in the Infinite Forest.
- Survivors of the CHASM device all claim to have seen different futures with relation to the Darkness’ approach. Levels 25, 50 and 75 will pop a special encounter in the forest against enemies identified by FWC as those who stand to threaten the past, present and future.
- Level 100 will uncover the Vex Mind behind the gather of these malevolent forces in the Infinite Forest. Engage it to learn more about the Infinite Forest, CHASM and possibly FWC.
- Turning in 7 Chrono-spec Cores (this season’s assumed prize item) grants the seasonal weapon to the player.
- In this example, for one Rally, FWC had several crates from its extensive armory stolen during the assault on the Tower by the Red Legion. FWC has only recently audited these losses and would like you to track them down.
- The player will use Ikora’s Meditation technique to travel back in time to the Red Legion assault to track down the crates and the thieves behind their disappearance.
- Each new day during the Rally will provide one new mission on the path to discover what happened during that fateful day…
The idea with the storytelling and rally missions is to leverage assets currently available in the game to tell stories that can detail more about the factions, their vendors and their history. Events like these stand to illuminate more of the foggy present-day lore of Destiny 2, giving the player a real sense of connection to the factions and, ultimately, the City.
Thanks for reading and please let me know what you think.