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Idea for controlling faction imbalances:


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BW needs a way to control faction imbalances without forcing players to do things they don't want to do, one that makes sense within the context of a story-based game.


So allow for people to switch factions, but only from the zerg side to the outnumbered side. Certain rules would need to be in place for doing this:


1. The opportunity to switch can be only for a limited time, only as needed to help with faction balance, and would have to be monitored and switched on/off on a server-by-server bases. So maybe you get a mysterious letter in the mail telling you that the opposing faction needs warriors like you and that there was a rumor you might be open to reason... Go visit a quest-giver in Nar Shaddaa, who then starts you on the quest chain to change factions, a chain you can abandon at any time if you change your mind.


2. Players can switch from their current class only to their mirrored class/spec. after a quest chain that rationalizes doing so as a story element.


3. Players keep their level but lose their ship and companions in doing so, but can get a new ship/companions by doing the class quest in their new faction.


4. Only one faction has the opportunity to switch at any given time, and only in response to faction imbalances.


I believe this wouldn't necessarily cure the imbalances but could help moderate them. Players on Imp side would likely join Republic right now just to not have to play Huttball as much. However, if you made faction switches available to both sides, that might just worsen the problem, so you'd have to offer it just for one faction or the other at any given time, and only to try to maintain balance.

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Some form of defecting or switching is good. Also:


- Neutral faction (move BH and Smuggler to this alignment and introduce two new classes to each existing faction)

- Ability to defect / or participate in opposing side conflicts at the expense of losing benefits with your existing faction


One problem in SWTOR, unlike say WoW, is that both factions are not fighting a common enemy. Unlike the Lich King, or Ragnaros, each faction's prime enemy IS the opposing faction. The Empire seeks to destroy the Republic, and the Republic seeks to enforce order against tyranny (Imperial). This is one of the reasons that a faction-less system probably would have been easier to work with in the long run. Though it's still possible, I doubt that will happen. Neutral factions, defecting, or a mercenary system seems to be the only solution currently.

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