Think about it…being able to change sides…with your same character and play new aspects of the game that you haven’t before. I think I have an idea about how it can be made possible
There are players like me, when we get to the end game we think, I don’t want to PVP. Shocked? Well you shouldn’t be. There are numerous players that don’t want to PVP. But, not all players want to start over again and have to spend hours RE-leveling their character just to the same end game goal. This gets old really quick and soon interest in the game wanes. How to solve this I would think would be easy.
I call it “Integrated Mercenary Missions” (IMM). Let me describe to you how this would work.
You are flying on a mission heading to your target. Someone hacks your signal and chimes in through a secure channel and says “Hello X. We have been watching you and think we can help each other out. Are you interested?”
If you are interested then you listen to the request and have the option to accept or reject the mysterious message. If you accept the Mission you are on your first IMM. The IMM could be a mission that goes against your current one. Perhaps, you have to save NPC Z for your faction mission but in the IMM your mission is not only to save him, but to deliver him to a ship that will uncloak when you meet it at the specified coordinates and hail it. Thus completing the IMM, and gaining Mercenary faction, but taking a similar hit to your current faction when they question your actions. Place little hints in the regular quests that show that you are losing rep with the current faction. Small snide comments and such would suffice.
Alternately, if you listen to the IMM and reject the offer, you lose rep with the Mercs, while if you reject them flat out, you lose none. Lose enough faction and risk being attacked by NPC Mercs that have been hired by the opposing faction that made the request. Why? Because you are taking quest information, this makes you a liability to that faction to be dealt with. To resolve this faction loss, pay the Mercs a meager fee and they would make it appear the hit-men were successful win or lose. This rule would apply as well to taking an IMM and not completing it purposefully.
The Mercenary Faction would be a separate faction that works for all factions and has faction rep of its own. As you complete IMMs, you gain faction for the Mercs AND for the faction that you completed the quest for. Once you gain enough faction with the Mercs they trust you enough to tell you who the mission is from before you accept the mission. That way, after gaining enough rep, you can slowly gain enough faction to defect and absolve yourself of your former allegiance.
This isn’t perfect as now you are a traitor and can be attacked by your previous faction as well as a bounty placed on your head for the defection (only for PVP). Now that you are on the new faction, you have to gain rep, how to do this? You get to play that faction’s storyline from the beginning as if you were a new recruit since, well, you are. Put no limits on the IMMs and defections. Allow as many as the player wants at any given frequency. Only real loss is that your ship, which you had previously decked out so meticulously, is not impounded by the new faction to their R&D sectors. So you get a brand new ship, a basic one for the new faction.
Get tired of the Mercs contacting you? Take special missions to eradicate them from your faction given by Spec-Ops command. They tell you “take the mission, before you complete it and when they arrive, use this stealth beacon, we won’t be far behind. Help us take down their group and we will award you greatly”Make the missions for Integrated Counter-Merc Missions give more rep than a normal mission, but take the risk of the Mercs making you “Target Number 1” with a high bounty. Expect high NPC attempts to take you down. Only way to remove yourself from this list, why, money of course! Pay off the Mercs or take the IMMs that no one wants after talking to a Merc agent in town who is less than noticeable. Now you are clean and clear. That is, until the next encounter with an IMM or ICMM.
Now, I provide this method for JumpGate Evolution, but who is to say it could not be applied across the board for other games in various leveling and methodologies?