I know that this isn’t high effort, however I feel like we should take notes from games like STALKER: Clear Sky for some of our maps. It’d be fun to see a dynamic faction system that’d both function, have ups and downs for our interactions with other factions while having territory systems. This opens up room for set-piece missions on some maps. Factions would heavily spruce up the game, especially with the concept of AI companions or bodyguard soldiers.
A loyalty/relations system would be great too. We saw Nelson dip into this mechanic VERY LIGHTLY with the Liberator on the map of Russia and it could be expanded to develop hostilities, support, etc.
What if we could help the Syndicate in Germany, causing Coalition roadside patrols and city guards to become hostile while hill bandits would be friendly, even spawning specially armed Syndicate bandits. Being able to see the two groups occasionally converge for ambushes/clashes would be an amazing sight. The multi-faceted story/lore creation potential is immense and could be melded with gameplay, even map changes. Coalition units could be portrayed as tyrannical, abusive, heavy-handed if you go through Syndicate questlines. Imagine the destruction of coalition scouts, elite units and small forts with the ultimate goal of being one of the group members who end up slaughtering the coalition in a final confrontation at a coalition base, driving the coalition out of Germany, creating the map we see in 3.0.
Or, on the other side, imagine trying to help the coalition construct new forts, link routes together and survive as it wages a desperate war against guerilla factions. Being able to be on the frontlines, seeing civilians be slaughtered as you desperately try to hold the line for an evacuation while hordes approach your fort. Well trained, internationally supported, heavily armed allies for some missions but in a state of desperation from each piece of territory being surrounded, overwhelmed, stuck facing huge hordes of zombies with the only safety being inside the infiltrated walls. Once the zombies are cleared through, there’s always the threat of cunning guerilla soldiers. What heavily armed equipment they have is risked at almost every turn to help hold onto control
Both sides could provide engaging experiences while being able to effectively fight themselves and create an experience of their own, should a player not participate fully in faction wars. Both sides would be unique while portraying their own stories, two sides of a piece of lore explored, expanded upon. Although it’d be nice to have this feature be disabled in it’s entirety, as many servers might prefer not having to work with such a system.
Buying equipment for a faction would be nice. I want to give my lego asylum patients tanks.
As for the endgame of this all:
In this example of Germany, the Syndicate could take over the map, giving you leadership over a cave militia base with vehicles, light armored units and lots of heavily armed bandits which may be sent using a base feature to ambush certain convoys or terrorize the populace bringing home copious amounts of loot.
As for the coalition, you could hold, maintain, upgrade and hold your very own fort. Installing new functions in it (such as heli pads to spawn heli units, a garage, barracks for more soldiers). You can also join your conscripted soldiers to save civilian npc’s which chill and give lots of exp, discounts on vehicles/soldiers. The coalition fort could also have an armory/weaponsmith to purchase equipment from.