Garrisons. Instanced per faction or perhaps, sub faction, when the numbers rise...
Space Marine - Battle Barge
Orks - An ork camp in the ground
Eldar - Inside a ship as well. Im sure they woudnt set that of a hq in this contested imperial planet amongst all the shit. (or maybe they would? idk about this really)
Chaos - Have it in a HQ amongst all the heresy of their main locations that they have aquired in the ground.
Now, what do you do in that battle barge, for the example of the space marines? When you launch the game, you have a menu with Options (settings and what not), a quit button, and a Join game. From this last, you choose your Space Marine character....
and get launched into the battle barge immediately. It must be of the size of a real map, and of course, you are inside a massive w40k ship, so it MUST look like one. You can have window sections and etc where you can look outside towards the image of the planet, but that is just a minor detail.
What do you do in the battle barge:
- Practice Cages. Where you go and use a terminal (like the vehicle terminal where you choose a vehicle) and fight against training servitors and the like. And, of course, you can go inside the practice cage, and duel against another space marine player that went into it as well. A duel feature just like in Mount & Blade Warband. (much better than a teamwound zone like in the garrison now where its everyone against everyone.).
-Armoury: Where you go and requisition equipments and the like, and change your loadouts and etc, but only through there.
-Mess hall: Basically the rest of the ship where you can just keep chatting with the other space marine players. OOC and IC, whatever is your thing.
-Observation/strategic/deployment area... whatever the name: Where you go there, and see the map of the world, and the deployments of the forces in that world and how the battles are going, and from there you can decide to deploy your squad or you alone, by drop pod or thunderhawk. (maybe have only the drop pods being able to deploy in hostile and contested areas, and the thunderhawk in friendly areas).
Npcs are a must, even some space marine npcs. Basically, make these "garrisons" the main hub of the game, where you customize your character, and roleplay and interact with fellow players. And FROM THERE you get sent into the battles in the world. Of course, you can rush clicking join game and run to the place where you can deploy. Its no problem and its intended that way. And this will not take players away from the battles, this will just work as a pre battle thing, or for those that for that small moment are not interested in battling. Just like Duel servers in M&B Warband serve a purpose, so will the practice cages, and etc etc.
From that example of the battle barge, im sure you can think of the equivalents of the other factions... Ork camp would be a large ork camp full of grots, orks, mekboys, nobs, a bunch of npcs around tents, banners, vehicles etc etc.....
Basically: it will need 4 maps.... But they will be very rewarding to the game's experience.
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