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We Take Care of Our Own
For now, the design team is using the term "alliance" to refer to an NPC faction that players can expect to interact with on a level beyond simple combat. In other words, there might be gangs and tribes and cults, but they're mostly just opponents to be slain. Alliances are a deeper and richer vein of content that will help shape our sandbox.
Recently, game designers Lee Hammock and Stephen Cheney gave a presentation on some of the NPC factions that we're going to be highlighting from the inception of Pathfinder Online.
There are a number of factions in Golarion with an interest in the River Kingdoms, and more specifically the area around the Crusader Road; these include the Hellknights and the Knights of Iomedae. In addition to these large international factions, there are smaller local groups, like the Bandits of the Echo Wood and the Daggermark Assassins Guild—groups that are far smaller, but can still be effective in local matters. We intend to include these groups in Pathfinder Online through a system we call alliances.
Each of these groups or factions is considered an alliance. Players can earn their way into the good graces of an alliance or even join it, getting benefits like special training, equipment, etc. Alliances can also provide benefits to settlements, such as special buildings or guard upgrades.
The Battle of Evermore
We are pushing to get the Technology Demo video in the hands of the Kickstarter backers this week.