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I've noticed factions on the strategic map in Illyriad, and found the Faction Info page under options, but I don't know what factions are? Are they player or GM created and controlled? Can I interact with a faction?

In short, what does a faction mean to me?

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I found this wiki page but it only tells me they're NPC alliances, not what they do. – C. Ross Jan 17 '11 at 14:37

Factions aren't yet fully released, but the devs had to put them geographically on the map and provide information about them ingame (eg description and standings on the faction page) otherwise people would mightlily complain when they suddenly found their nice new city was actually next to the flesh-eating-zombie faction! I know I would.

ie, Factions are on the map, and they have trade hub locations that they own that you can see on the World Map - but there is currently no way of interacting with them.

A useful post from the devs as follows:
^^ Outlines the plans for factions and what they will do in the future

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Factions have seen a number of part releases since bunnyness' answer of 2011. As of the Illyriad 5th anniversary (2015):

  • Factions are crucial to some site-wide mysteries, for instance the Heart of Corruption, the most active site-wide mystery, which is intimately tied up with the Melder and the Windseeker factions, with Melders having consumed and sent out many thousdands of units so far. The key to unlocking the race-specific discoveries of how to craft, e.g., Dwarven Champion's Armour, seems to depend upon killing and surviving attacks from Melders.

  • Factions provide a lot of background material for the game that adds depth to the geography.

  • New factions have been rolled out with the new, southern continent, the Broken Lands.

  • Factions are tied to trade via the trade hubs. Factions have attitudes to players and player alliances (faction standings), which affects trade taxation, and at the limit, might prevent traders visiting hubs at which they are hated.

  • Currently faction standings are purely dependent on the faction default race attitude, but it is possible to interact with the special NPC units associated with each faction (at present, you can attack faction armies); there are supposed to be faction-specific quests coming real-soon-now that will allow much deeper engagement with factions.

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