So. The following things are true:
Artificial pvp aka content driven pvp has ALWAYS been a failure in Meridian. This includes the Necro/Hunter Scenario as well as the Factions.
The current system is too intertwined with, limited by, and limiting to the "class" structure of the game.
I wasn't going to reply to this at all because, simply put, I think in a lot of ways there is some group think going on and I think I'm wasting my time...
1) Eliminate Factions, at least as we know them. Sacred Cow? Maybe. But so were safespots... They are limiting to builds, have never worked other than to allow for targets w/o going red and the Necro/Hunter Scenario can be done right in order to incorporate the intended positives while reducing some of the artificiality and limits in the system. Storywise (for those it matters to) they can unit (at least on the surface, never sure about the tricky Duke) behind the Hunters as a means of ridding the world of a greater threat.
2) Death penalties shouldn't be so scary. I say this as someone with a KD ratio as good as anyone to play this game. The lesson learned was "Plan ahead, log high, mule gear, and make camping the ghost as painful as possible." So lets fix that. Logging in pvp should be MORE painful than death. However right now gear is too valuable and rare and we shouldn't feel like we have to keep gear on mules instead of using it. I have a proposal to redo the current item system a little but understand that part of fixing the pain of death is fixing the system. And what worked in the past with 100+ people logged in won't work with 30. We need to encourage pvp and moreover have pvp that doesn't build hostility among the players. If we lost 2-3%, xp, and continued to have full loot drop in most situations but have the rarity of the items dropped change? I wouldn't log. I'd take the death. Heck if someone logs off unsafe after being hit there should be a ### msg. Same if a ghost is enforced. I'll address the proposed item system in another post (I expect anyway).
3) The Hunters - become a server wide faction. Most players are hunters and there are mechanisms to encourage people to build as hunters and stay hunters when built. There are no limits on the number of hunters and there is no tie to the "class system" as everything can be customized to fit with just about every build. This group should benefit from a building bonus, gain essentially the same pvp bonus as the Necros, and in general have things that unite them and the server to the side of the hunters. Unless you have your pvp flag turned off you should probably be a hunter. Meridian was best when the norm was being a hunter.
4) The Necromancers - The necromancers are limited in number (which should be a number that can easily be altered on the fly). However Necromancers would "reset" every meridian yearish. The mechanics here would be designed to be used for end game characters only (and limited to them through requirements) and would essentially prevent building. Also being a necro would be socially limiting but designed to encourage pvp. The benefits of being a necro is that being hunted and pking is fun. Other than that? Not much, at least over being a hunter. But they will have a ton of social penalties.
5) The Scenario would include town take overs with dramatic consequences (price increases from npcs server-wide, towns essentially shut down for travel and use, fewer "Faction Points" earned for the hunters and more for the necros, benefits for the necromancers, etc. Death during a town takeover would function much like in the survival arena. The Necros would get FP for any hunter killed anywhere (and no penalty for killing non-aligned) but would get more FP for completing murder quests from the Lich Queen (Billy has been unsafe for X hours Y minutes and is located on a screen with 1 other person, kill him), taking towns and holding them, turning in tokens to the lich queen, killing hunter NPCS, etc. Hunters gain FP for killing Necros, Killing Necro NPCs, holding towns and taking them back, and all hunters active would receive some by limiting the success of the necromancers.
6) The Shield - Necros get black, Hunters can choose Red/Blue/Green/Purple/White/Grey/etc. Each shield's benefits are exactly the same. They enable you to earn and use faction points. They also get stronger as you continue to earn faction points. You select two statistics that can be increased from (+3 to +5 should be fine), select one magic school for a sizable spell power bonus, select a primary function (Defense bonus, armor bonus, offense bonus, melee damage, bow damage, spell damage, etc) and one secondary bonus (same list, can't be doubled up on).
7) Tokens - drop just like normal and Councilors want them back (letting go of their power is a united world is hard for them). Hunters can turn them into the councilor for gold and a boon (that helps them build and fight and is related to the Councilor's domain. Cylill gives increased WC imp rate and some offense & wc damage. Alzahakar gives some spellpower and spell imp rate bonus. Esseldi gives some mana regen and a spell imp rate bonus. Drechx gives some hp regen and a tougher rate bonus. Bei naq reduces the cost of regs and has mobs drop more money. The boons would last 5 hours AT THE LONGEST (logged in time). Necromancers would turn their tokens into the Lich Queen and doing so would provide the same boon to all Necromancers and wouldn't have a building element at all.
8) The Stigma and Power of being a Necromancer - As a necro you can't enter any safezones except for necro only safezones (that non-necros can't enter) such as Roq's room, a back room in Yevitan's bank accessible from Jasper, the "Wall Door" in the guard tower in which you'll find the corrupt guard, etc. These rooms have NPCs that sell everything required to keep fighting and a room set up as well as common chests for all necros to use, npcs (including the Queen when the necros haven't taken a town) and a portal that will port you to an out of the way location that currently has no one on it (if possible). When you try to enter Fams as a necro it says "This door has been barred to you from the inside" or some such. Your name is black and you always look like a necro after the dispel). NPCs out in the wild (unless they are corrupt and on the Necromancers' side) won't sell to you or buy from you. Non-Necros can't heal or buff you (at any time). Silver arrows and holy damage hurt you more. Seance cast by a hunter within a few screens tell them where you are (unless cloaked / in a safe zone or guildhall / logged off or phased). Hunt applies the same way but repeatedly for a duration upon moving screens uncloaked. They are removed from their guild (don't let guild leaders become Necros, they must abdicate first). Also mechanically you can't gain %/toughers as a necro. In order to become a Necromancer you must have max hp -10 and three schools to level 5 or 150 hp. They do not have red penalties including revs, they do not have karma changes (in fact they may set their karma to whatever by talking to the lich queen), they all gain health/mana/vigor when one kills a player (higher their victim's max hp the more they gain), standing in one place without moving and outside of one of their safezones for a few seconds will auto-cast fade silently, they gain a slight vamp effect to weapons (hp) and damage spells (mana) in pvp. However the biggest benefit is that at the end of the meridian year the necromancer is white and able to rejoin society. =)
9) The Benefits of being a Hunter - You gain an increased xp rate, and imp rate / softcap resistance benefits in all schools. Gain a warning when a necromancer logs on, Seance/Hunt changes, the Martyr's Battleground spell provides you defense, the rallying cry skill provides you small bonuses across the board (Off / Def / Weapon and Spell Damage) dependent on how many people are both following your call and with you on the screen. Hunters must always be innocent. Only hunters may vote for Justicar.
10) Town takeovers by the necromancers make all the NPCs flee to other locations. Instead all the necromancer friendly NPCs will spawn in that town and the town's buildings become necro safezones. Inside town is the lich queen and quite a few really tough mobs (and more spawn as non-necros enter), outside these towns at the gates are easier but still scary mobs (creating a troll in bob effect for the paths around that town). Necros can buy for normal prices, spend TP, spend FP, gain %s, etc here and in the necro only safezones there. In town they control they have increased vamp effects and hp/mana regen. From the inn there are now portals to every necro safezone as well as the portal to the boonies.
11) Items and Faction Points. Faction points are spent and last only till the end of the meridian year and in return you gain high end gear. This includes Hold/Blind/Blast/Purge weapons that also may include (increased justice (and "blood" for the necros) weapons, MSH/GGs (reworked GGs), "Master Robes" (customizable ala the shield menu to select two schools), "Warplate", as well as "Loyal Minions" who are either hunters/necros too). When you die a relic of these items drop into the opponent's inventory but it does not drop as loot, instead the more FP your stuff cost, the more the killer earns (still a % of its cost though).
Note: I'm bored now so I'm done. The above has not been proof read or spell checked or anything expected of a finished product and I was repeatedly distracted while writing it!