Among the Star Traders trust and privilege are earned. A Captain must prove himself to the factions and to his individual contacts before they will offer him a place in their networks. This level of love or loathing is measured by a Captain's reputation. As the indicator of a Star Trader's standing with a faction or contact, reputation plays an incredibly important role in determining how faction ships will respond to a Captain, and what zone and contact services will be available. A Captain's reputation begins at zero with every faction but his or her starting faction. From there, it can run either positive or negative. While faction and contact rep is often intertwined, it is important to realize that they are also independent of one another. It is possible to have positive reputation with a contact, while having negative reputation with their faction and vice-versa. In general, factions punish a Captain for having negative reputation, while contacts focus on rewarding a Captain for having positive reputation.
Faction reputation, naturally, is gained with the entire faction. It will affect the way that all faction ships treat a Captain and which services are available in all faction controlled zones. Faction reputation tends to "snowball" because low/negative reputation leads to hostile encounters, which lead to more negative reputation. Conversely, positive reputation leads to positive encounters and more reputation. Therefore, even if a Captain wishes to have a "neutral" relationship with a faction, it is advisable to have 20-30 reputation with them, in order to avoid slow reputation drain.
Faction reputation can be increased by:
- Completing missions from a faction's contacts.
- Completing missions from an allied faction that pertain specifically to an ongoing Alliance.
- Winning certain patrol missions in orbit of a faction zone.
- Acknowledging a faction ship when you already have enough positive rep with them.
- Numerous talents also provide opportunities to raise reputation with a faction in different circumstances.
Faction reputation is diminished by:
- Retreating from faction ships when the captain has low reputation (resulting in negative numbers for hostility of the encounter.)
- Bounty Hunters will lower reputation if you retreat with -1 or worse hostility. Bribe to 0 and you can retreat safely.
- Spies, Military Officers, and Zealots will lower reputation if you retreat with 0 or worse hostility. Bribe to 1 and you can retreat safely.
- Smugglers and Merchants can never impact your reputation either way for simply encountering them. Retreat with impunity.
- Explorers cannot lower your reputation during retreat but if you acknowledge them (2+ hostility) they can raise it.
- Destroying, looting, salvaging or ransoming a faction ship or pressing it's crew.
- Failure of certain missions.
- Engaging in battle with faction ships. This loss is greater when they belong to the dominant faction of the quadrant.
The results of negative faction reputation:
- Faction ships become increasingly hostile, especially military and Bounty Hunters.
- 0 rep or below ships cannot be purchased at the Starport.
- -10 rep ship upgrades and doctor services are denied.
- -15 rep recruits and spicing is denied.
- -20 rep ship repair and trading is denied.
- -30 rep refueling is denied.
- -45 reputation: will now be executed for surrendering to hostile faction.
Tips for Repairing Faction Reputation
The Factions panel will inform you of the current Conflicts. Clicking on those conflicts will often give you hints on ways to participate (beyond simply getting missions). Conflicts and Rumors often intertwine. Always be watching your Rumors and your Faction panels. However, because of that, the observant Star Trader can exploit anything to better themselves and crew.
An immediately approachable way to garnish reputation is Patrolling over a 'hostile' zone during a particular conflict and you may indeed pull a conflict card that grants you some positive reputation for that hostile faction.
Blockading actions due to conflicts are more dangerous, but worthwhile, especially for bans and embargoes.
This should also highlight for players that services, such as the Spice Hall, are tied to reputation. You will have a better life if you are within -10 to +10 rep with any faction.
Because we all know how it feels to be in a hostile quadrant and not have anywhere safe to land. Especially when you really, really need to.
Pro-tip: Card manipulation Talents are quite powerful, especially with 3 or more of each in reserve.
Recruitment bonus for extremely high faction reputation
|Faction Reputation||Non-Combat Recruit Bonus Levels||Combat Recruit Bonus Levels|
|500 - 799||+1||0|
|800 - 1099||+1||+1|
|1100 - 1399||+1||+2|
|1400 - 2099||+2||+2|
Contact reputation is your Personal Reputation with an individual, representing the strength of your relationship and the contact's willingness to flex his or her own power on your behalf. Contacts will also consider a Captain's reputation with their faction in determining his or her effective rep.
With contacts, there is more of a give and take of reputation. Services they provide the Captain will require a certain level of reputation and will also diminish a Captain's reputation with that contact. A contact will not be "used" by a Captain perpetually, just because they once had a good reputation. Contact influence which is the global measure of their power is separate from the Captain's reputation with that contact. Both influence and reputation may limit what services a contact can or will offer and many actions a Captain can take will increase both their reputation and the contact's influence.
Contact reputation is increased by:
- Completing missions given by the contact.
- Selling intel to the contact.
- Having positive reputation with the contact's faction, modified by certain Contact Traits.
Contact reputation is decreased by:
- Using most of the services they offer.
- Failure of some missions.
- Selecting a -rep card in the Black Market game.
The results of positive reputation with a contact are always access to their services and access to higher levels of their services. These include:
- Higher level Trade Permits
- Higher level Edicts
- Higher level Military Rank
- Higher black market access (permit) levels
- Higher level recruits
In the space age, it is easy to underestimate how much your activities on and around planets is observed. Routing satellites take note of your arrival, may log some of your activity. Starport dockmasters take down your manifest with the name of every crew member and passenger upon your landing. Star Traders, as offworlders, are a highly regulated caste of people.
While captains try to keep their stealth or spying activities from being noticed, over time, the faction pieces together that you were there, in their system, doing such and such, prodding and probing at their systems, and that it did not result in something that was to their advantage (patrol, driving away pirates, economic activity). This is assessed as Reputation damage.
Reputation Ranks and Titles
|500||Star Hero Dedicant|
|400||Star Hero Acolyte|