Battles between teams of players from different Organizations that are at war with each other can be an interesting element in the game.
The battles should be meaningful, however. They should be able to improve the position of the winning organization.
Organizations can control land areas. Controlling some land area could for example give the controlling organization some (small) percentage of each monetary transaction on it as tax income. The controlling organization might also have some say about land usage.
There are some kind of key points in the land that serve as keys for controlling the land. Perhaps some indestructible natural monolites, or perhaps player built bases / strongholds. The organization controlling the base controls the land, and gets the taxes and can use the land. When organizations are at war, they can capture each others bases and thus lands.
Scenarios to avoid
Some scenarios we want to avoid in warfare:
- The faction with most land and resources grows fastest, and with increased speed conquers its neighbours - resulting in a large homogenous empire, with an extreme concentration of power, and no enemies to fight against, thus no more wars (and no more fighting action!).
- Baroness Olga spends a year building a beautiful flower garden around her castle. Igor the orc comes one saturday evening with his fire breathing bulldog and mows it down. This scenario illustrates that participation in wars needs to be voluntary - only after each organization has agreed to be in war (accepted a challenge to war) will it be possible to conquer and destroy (military?) buildings under the other organizations control. Note that once a war has started both parties will have to agree on a peace treaty before it can end (the peace treaty might include transfer of funds or bases also). (There might be some other ways a war can end though, perhaps it can just time out after some weeks).
Some design forces / factors that can be used to tune warfare:
- Spawn delay and spawn point after dying in an attack against an enemy base. In this case you would spawn at some of your own organizations base, and then have to walk / transport yourself back to the battlefield through normal in-game means of travel. If there is no instant movable teleportration in the game (as there won't be) this means that the defenders will always have the advantage, because they will spawn at the base that they defend, while the attackers have longer delays to get their respawned fighters back into the fight. This makes the overall situation more stable, and reduces oscilation effects, where bases are conquered and reconquered so often that controlling the land becomes somewhat meaningless.
- The delay after a base has been conquered before the conquerors can start to spawn there. If there is a delay like this, it makes it easier for the defeated defenders to recapture their lost base, as they can spawn into it, and the attackers need to keep it under control (=keep some of their soldiers there, for example keeping their flag flying over the base)
- Amount of members in an organization is more or less in relation to the amount of land it can hold, compared to other organizations. More members can defend and capture more bases. People should be able to select which organizations they want to join, and thus the sizes of organizations would reflect their popularity. So the more popular an organization is, the larger amount of land it will likely hold. Sounds kind of fair, but still, if most players are in a single organization, it could control almost all of the land, leading to a static and not that interesting world.
Maintaining the Diversity
Are there any design forces that could help dampen the sizes of organizations? Some kind of negative feedback loops to avoid one organization recruiting all the players on the server?
- Perhaps some kind of administrative overhead?