Reddit thread: Sixth Arc Discussion
Hi all! This is just a quick update post.
I’ve been talking with other members of the Factions staff, and we’ve decided to accelerate the conclusion of the Hextech Revolution storyline. We are now planning to conclude this arc on July 13, after a final tournament.
- What with the impending Voidpocalypse and all, a few more weeks of political infighting about who gets what percentage of pyrikhos access would seem a bit anticlimactic.
- Speaking of the Voidpocalypse, we have a great opportunity here to finish the arc with a bang. (Don’t worry, we have contingency plans: Runeterra will not actually explode.)
- The aftermath of Demacia defying the League and attacking Zaun’s territory is such a big deal that it seems problematic to try to cram it into a couple weeks of arc finale. It really should be part of the buildup to the next storyline.
- We feel like this arc has already pretty fully developed, and it’s time for a change.
- We’ve been trying all kinds of crazy new stuff this arc, and it seems well past time to pause, reflect, and revise. Also, to be perfectly honest, the Factions staff and I are pretty worn out from all the ad hoc last-minute work we’ve had to put in to manage these new features on the fly. We need a break.
Next, I’ll provide some more information on what we’re thinking with regard to next steps.
So here’s the general game plan:
- July 5–6: the Voidpocalypse. This weekend, we’ll have the special Void matches, and then resolve the Voidpocalypse/Shurima situation. We’ve come up with a range of possible outcomes, depending on how the matches go and what Summoners decide to do. There’s lots of awesome story material, and we think it should be pretty exciting.
- July 12–13: the final tournament. Whatever happens, we’ll then have a final tournament on July 12–13. In keeping with what we said previously, this will be a chance for Zaun to insta-win the arc: if Zaun comes out on top in the tournament, then it wins, period. If it doesn’t, then after the tournament completes we’ll crunch the numbers and make a final update to the Balance of Power. Whichever faction has the most points will win.
- Each faction will get three weeks of research rolls.
- An intermission period will begin. We’re planning to have a fairly long intermission, perhaps a few weeks, both to give people a break and because we have lots of stuff we want to discuss and work on.
- We plan to start the next arc in early August.
What’s this “intermission period” I refer to? Read on for an explanation.
Intermission is the space between storylines. When “the Shuriman Dispute” (the Hextech Revolution storyline) ends, all Summoners are released from their oaths. It is traditional within the League for a major dispute such as this to be followed by a symbolic return to the normal state of affairs, in which Summoners and Champions freely move between factions to resolve a variety of disputes, big and small.
Here are our primary objectives for the intermission period:
- Take a break. Everyone, staff and players alike, needs a break from the crazy (although fun!) mayhem. Go grind solo queue, or play some unscored intermission matches with whatever crazy factions strike your fancy, or write some lore.
- Finish up the lore. We want to take some time to color in some lore from this arc. We might try to put out an intermission edition of the Herald, too, showing a bit of what’s going on in the aftermath of Hextech Revolution.
- Review the arc. We’re going to have a big community discussion about this arc. We’d like to get your thoughts on what worked, what didn’t, what should be changed, and so forth.
- Develop a framework for future arcs. Appropriately enough, there was a LOT of innovation this arc. The research system, for example, is brand new. Although this made the arc kind of exciting, it did also put a lot of pressure on staff to rapidly revise these systems on the fly. During this intermission, we’re going to build a sort of “Factions Manual” that provides a guide to future arcs. That way, we can get all the rules in place ahead of time, and reduce the amount of on-the-spot rulemaking.
- Appoint staff. We’ll also be taking some time to build our staff team for the next arc. So far, there’s been a bit too much “I do stuff until I find someone to start doing it instead”. Before we start the next arc, I want to have it figured out who’s going to be handling what. This is both a matter of quality and of personal sanity: when I’m doing too much stuff, the quality of what I do declines, and it also becomes a bit problematic in terms of balancing time. I love Factions, and indeed part of the problem is that I love it so much that I’ll gleefully overload myself with time commitments until everything crashes. That’s not good.
- Balance-testing and analysis. We want to encourage people to play some balance-testing matches, so that we can gather the data we need for a proper analysis of the relative impacts of different ranks. We’ll use this information to improve our rank-balancing adjusts.
- Come up with the next arc. We’ll be holding a public poll to select one or two factions for next arc. The winning faction from Hextech Revolution will then get a private poll to add another. Then, staff may add one or more other factions. We’ll put together a story and get everything set so that the next arc can get off to a smooth start.
Here are some answers to questions I expect might be asked.
What happens to the research system?
Our current plan is to keep research around, but to simplify it considerably. Going forward, each active faction (i.e. each faction actively playable in the current storyline) will have one project, which might be something obviously sciencey/researchy or something of a different nature, like a construction project. As for inactive factions, we haven’t fully made up our minds, but we think it would be neat if active factions were given some opportunities to collaborate with inactive factions.
What does the winning faction get?
This will depend on how events like the Voidpocalypse turn out, but the winner will be granted authority over both the regulation of pyrikhos-powered hextech and whatever’s left of the relevant regions of Shurima. This does not mean that other factions will completely lose access to pyrikhos, though their access may end up being reduced or regulated.
The victorious faction will get an extra research slot in future arcs, with which they can pursue pyrikhos-related projects.
Is Demacia getting in trouble?
Nah, the League’s totally cool with countries violating League dispute boundaries and starting wars between the biggest militaries in Runeterra. I believe at this point it is the custom of the times to add “kappa”.
Demacia and its allies are going to get in some serious trouble for what they did. This will likely be part of the leadup to the next arc. Of course, Zaun might get in some hot water too, given that their aggressive mining and reckless research nearly got Runeterra pulled into the Void.
I’ve set up an /r/leaguefactions thread where you can ask questions, provide feedback, and make comments about what’s next.
If you’re not familiar with Reddit, this is a good time to learn. The interface might seem a little odd, but if you get confused, I’m sure someone in chat can help you out.