So the forums have contained a lot of discussion in the last few weeks (admittedly somewhat Chicago/Illinois driven) regarding Faceless/Legion bickering, who is and isn’t multiscoping, the plus and minuses of sync-locking, as well as other assorted topics. Players on both sides have thrown out numbers and said this side has x players and this side has z players, etc. From a global standpoint, the numbers are clear, faceless is leading. (Although, 74% of the planet remains unclaimed, so somebody get out there and QONQR it!) As a faction, they have the most zone leads of any faction on Earth. In the United States, they control 46.1% of the zones; Canada, 50.4% of the zones; United Kingdom, 35.8% of zones (actually one of the most evenly balanced countries out there); Germany, 38.4% of the zones; and the list goes on and on… While there are outliers, as anywhere with statistics, I chose more active countries with fairly large player bases.
Which brings me to the point I wanted to make: why is it that Faceless leads in so many areas? Are they just a better organized faction? Are they employing a strategy that Swarm and Legion have not yet figured out on a global scale? Are they just more dedicated players better in each area in which they’re fighting? Are they all multiscoping or outspending the other factions? I think the answer to any of these questions in the overall sense is no. While there may be individual locations where any one, or perhaps all of the above questions can be answered with a yes, I think part of the problem lies in the design of the factions themselves.
To begin, I think the back story on each faction is great. It really does bring a feel for what each side is trying to accomplish in the game. That there’s a Legion battling the Swarm of nanobots and there’s a Faceless organization secretly manipulating bots on both sides for their own purposes is cool. It is much better than we’re the army of A fighting the armies of B and C. But when I really think about the factions themselves, that’s where I see the issue.
I’m a member of Legion. I’m probably in the least cool faction out there. Think about it. We’re “the man,” “the grown-ups,” “the establishment.” We want to control the Swarm and stamp out any bit of their existence. Something new and cool has arrived on Earth, and we don’t want any part of it. We want everything to be as it was. We are led by Agent Sunday, a former NSA commander and a woman who doesn’t mess around.
On the other hand, Swarm is the cool new thing on the block. They are this mass of nanobots that want to spread everywhere and get into everything and take over the planet. The members of Swarm want to bring this cool new thing to everyone. A little hippy-ish, maybe, but Swarm wants to partner with this new technology and change the world. Led by Dr. Kimyo Nagumo, this faction has a brilliant nanoengineer leading humanity toward its future.
Finally, Faceless. Faceless is aware of this nanobot thing and knows they can hack it and control it. They’re the outsider, the underdog, working and manipulating from the shadows. They’re cooler than the stiff, tired old guard of the Legion, and they’re too cool to hang with the hippy-hipster Swarm. They are who they are and they’re cool with it. Their leader goes by the name of Prometheus, and no one knows exactly who he is, though he is known to stand up for the rights of the people to ensure their freedom from the slavery of corporate technology and government oversight.
In the real world, if I had to join one of these three groups, I’d probably throw my lot in with the Faceless, to be honest. I may be mistaken, but I think the majority of players choose them for that very reason. My faction options are to be “the establishment,” “the nerds,” or, “the hackers.” Another problem I see is that while Legion and Swarm have female leaders, it is assumed that Faceless’ leaders is male. I have no problem with female leadership, but if I’m choosing a faction when starting based on which character best represents me, faceless is my only male option. That’s my two cents on the subject, what are your thoughts?