A simple guide that helps with a common issue I see throughout; Managing Faction Reputation…
But from a longtime Casual Player.
Alright, first things first, unless you’re building for it, you’re more than likely not going to make friends with every single faction.
It’s far more likely you will choose about two or three Factions you’ll “dump” negative Reputation onto. Who you choose to do this for, is up to you. If its for RP reasons, or strategic reasons based on the Factions’ positions on the Galactic Map… These factions are going to be who you work against most likely, to work on the other factions’ Reputation, and once you get to a certain point, it becomes more expensive to pardon, so choose wisely, you’re not likely to go back on this decision easily.
Early in the game, you have zero reputation with everyone but your home faction. No one knows you, you aren’t a threat, you aren’t an ally. But you are a potential threat, and you are a potential ally, and they’re watching you closely to find out which you are.
So, you just got your ship, you got your Star Traders License, and you hopefully have a plan for what you want to do. For now, its safe to do the Arbiter Transport Contract, at the beginning, if you wish. It’s decent money, and no reputation costs. Whatever you decide, move on and do it.
Early in the game, you’ll get contracts that “Prove your Charter” which is basically just, “Prove you are actually worth working with” because like I said, they’re watching you closely. These rarely (if ever?) go against any faction, and are simply a small amount of money and rep for that Contact and Faction. After this initial phase, however, you’ll get the normal contracts. Accept contracts that don’t go against any faction you specifically want to like you, and especially accept contracts that go against themselves, or no one.
Contracts that go against themselves?
Yes, this means, for example, you are talking to a Thulun Contact. They have some contracts, that relate to either a trait of theirs, a conflict the Faction (Thulun) is engulfed in, or a rivalry/alliance with another contact. This third option may be underrated, as if this Thulun Contact is in a rivalry with another Thulun Contact, you’re taking a Thulun Mission, against Thulun, and this means that you won’t lose Reputation with anyone, except the contact you worked against. Chances are, at this time, you don’t even know that Contact anyway, and the most they can do is hire some bounty hunters to go after you, but you’ll be protected by Thulun as a whole. Even better, as you help the contact you are right now, you’ll lower the rivals’ influence, meaning they won’t even be able to do that.
So, you’re doing some contracts. You’ve selected your two or three factions that you’ve decided insulted your entire family line, and will now harbor disdain for the rest of your life… and you hear the alarm, the screen pops up with a ship on the sensors, and you’ve come across another person in the Void.
I’m going to correct a very common misconception, right now. Retreating is not always a peaceful resolution to an encounter. More on this in a moment. Always Acknowledge before Retreating. Acknowledgement is the true peaceful resolution to an encounter. Retreating is exactly that, you’re opting to not fire, and you are purposefully avoiding the ship.
There are eight jobs the other ship’s Captain may be. That is, Military Officer, Bounty Hunter, Zealot, Spy, Merchant, Smuggler, Explorer, and Pirate. What job the other Captain is is very important.
Military Officers, Bounty Hunters, and Zealots are all vigilant. They seek to weed out the criminals and miscreants that dare smuggle or prey on the merchants and explorers across the quadrant. If you come across one of these Captains, you have various options on what to do, depending on your reputation with the Faction they belong to.
GOOD REPUTATION: You can typically “Acknowledge” and move on. They won’t even search your ship, you get a little reputation bonus, and everyone is happy. You can also fight them, as usual.
NEUTRAL REPUTATION: You have the fight, retreat, and submit to inspection buttons here. This is probably where most people have the most trouble in managing reputation. If you do not want to lose reputation, Submit to the Inspection! This is the red option with a white flag, that looks suspiciously like surrendering? That’s literally just them making sure you don’t have anything illegal, or certain mission cargo that goes against their faction. Again, that goes against their faction, unrelated factions don’t care about the mission cargo. Retreating is the equivalent of a cop trying to pull you over, and you drive off at full speed. Seems suspicious, right? Difference is, the cops usually chase you.
NEGATIVE REPUTATION: You probably have to fight them. Do your ship combat stuff, whether you retreat or not, is up to you. Sometimes you can surrender, but read it carefully as sometimes its a surrender to execution!
Merchants, Smugglers, and Explorers, are just your average worker… Some more legal than another. Point is, they don’t want any trouble. Only shooting them will cause any reputation loss, so if you don’t want to lose reputation… don’t shoot them. Retreating from any of these three do not at all lose reputation, because they’re similarly trying to retreat from you.
Pirates. They’re pirates. Well, more accurately, they’re Privateers. Only Independents are true pirates. This is notable, as Privateers are somewhat legalized, so interrupting them can lead to some consequences. Depending on what you do that is. Pirates will often only allow you to attack, surrender, or retreat. The reputation comes in if you beat the pirate in combat.
Beating the Pirate, you get some lovely options, like… looting, conscripting, taking waterfuel… destroying their ship and salvaging the remains for some money, killing everyone on board. The usual. Anything except leaving their ship intact will lose you reputation. Looting the ship may also be allowed, but I need this to be confirmed. Conscription will cost reputation, as well as some crew that just doesn’t like you.
Spies. I don’t remember really, if I confirm one or the other, I’ll edit this into one of the other groups. They might try to search for contraband, but they might also just try to leave.
Ship operations are those things like patrolling, spies, blockades, salvaging… Those things.
Often, you hear patrolling is the best way to gain reputation. And often, I hear that the game is an endless loop of grinding Patrolling because you’re trying to be friends with everyone. Anyway, Patrolling is good for reputation, because its you trying to help that faction’s orbital defense. Blockading is taking offensive action against that faction: Do it to the three factions you don’t like. Spying is mainly for Contact Reputation, over Faction Reputation. Salvaging is a double edged sword, high risk, high reward. It does have a risk of losing you reputation… but also gaining reputation, among other things.
Patrolling is a safe thing to do usually. Unless there’s a military conflict, any reputation loss with facing certain privateers are usually small and easy to get back.
Blockading, again, do it to the faction you don’t like, during a conflict like a Solar War or a Trade War. That loses you rep with that faction you don’t like, while gaining it for ones you do like.
Spying you do like Blockading, during a Spy War. Otherwise, I believe you mainly get Contact Rep from Intel.
There’s not much to this part, just how they work with reputation.
Here we come to an end for Star Traders: Frontiers Managing Faction Reputation for Casual player hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!
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