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Currently, much of human space is at peace; the cold war between the two great factions of the Federation, the oldest interstellar nation, and the Empire, born out of brutal secession from it, has thawed somewhat, but the potential for a crisis is still there.
The constant proxy and low intensity conflicts of the previous decades have now reduced in number and relations have stabilised. It’s not a total peace; here and there some conflicts smoulder. A new player has made their presence felt. In a short period of time the Alliance has expanded from a handful of worlds to a much larger coalition of systems, united politically for stability. This has forced the two older powers into realising they no longer dominate.
The independent systems still constitute the bulk of the human inhabited systems. They bring a rich tapestry of cultures and beliefs to the dark of space. From these worlds individuals and governments seek new opportunities deep in unexplored space.

— Elite: Dangerous Handbook[1]

Factions

Insignia of the Empire, Alliance, and Federation

Humanity in the 34th century is divided into thousands of unique factions, each with their own history, culture, and ethos. Factions generally fall into one of two main categories: Minor Factions, which are organisations that can control anywhere from dozens of star systems to a single station, and Superpowers, which are large political unions of Minor Factions that share a similar, overarching culture and economic ties. The interplay of Minor Factions results in frequent territorial changes, but the overwhelming strength of the Superpowers provides a steadying influence.

Galactic Superpowers

There are three extant galactic superpowers[2] in the human-inhabited Core Systems of the Milky Way galaxy:

  • The Federation
    • A representative democracy based out of Sol, founded in 2242. It has the largest population (2.5 trillion), territory (5,969 systems), and GDP (gross domestic product) of the superpowers.
  • The Empire
    • An elective monarchy based out of Achenar, founded in 2296. It has the second-largest population (1.8 trillion), territory (5,257 systems), and GDP of the superpowers.
  • The Alliance
    • A political and economic union based out of Alioth, founded in 3230. It has the third-largest population (491 billion), territory (847 systems), and GDP of the superpowers.

Another superpower once existed, but was disbanded before the formation of the Alliance:

  • The Galactic Cooperative
    • An interstellar, isolationist trade organization based out of Lave, founded in 2696 and dissolved in 3174.
ED-Ships-Faction-Conflict

Faction conflict

The relationship between Federation and Empire has historically wavered between cool disdain and outright hostility, often exploding into armed conflict. Although the Alliance is the newest superpower and maintains cordial relations with the other two, a number of its member systems were the victims of past Federal or Imperial exploitation and proxy conflicts.

Another group of note is the Pilots Federation, which oversees the vast majority of the actions taken by privately-owned vessels in human space, but which does not directly involve itself in political affairs. Instead the pilots within this group hire themselves out as mercenaries or operate as benefactors to other factions, for monetary gain or otherwise.

The majority of human territory consists of independent systems controlled by Minor Factions that decline to align with any of the Superpowers.[3]

Minor Factions

In addition to the three Superpowers, there are also as many as seven Minor Factions in any given star system. The Minor Faction with the greatest influence within a system will usually control that system's government, and administer its key stations and other habitation centers.[4] In the event that a system is controlled by an Anarchy Minor Faction, no conventional laws apply.

Controlling and minor stations are also owned by minor factions, which also own the station markets.[5] Trading in said markets may give a boost for the owning faction's influence, depending on their state.[6]

Influence

All factions in System have a combined influence of 100%, meaning every citizen is associated to one. Influence is changed by player actions done in the system. Increasing one factions influence will take away influence from other factions proportionally to the amount they have. This recalculation is done at 13:00 GMT(Server time) every day.

States

A faction can experience different states, also depending on what actions and influence players deal. It must always have the same state across all systems. For states like war which can only apply to one system all other systems will have no active state.

State Meaning Reason Countermeasure
None no other state is available other systems anything
Boom economy is booming trade of commodities or exploration data smuggle
Bust economy is low smuggle trade
Civil Unrest citizens are rioting crime and weapon trade/smuggle bounty hunting
Famine food shortage trade/smuggle food
Lockdown system is locked for security bounty hunting
Outbreak an epidemic is spread across citizens trade/smuggle medicine
War two factions of different systems

are fighting for control

influential rivalry between factions
Civil War two factions of the same system

are fighting for control

influential rivalry between factions
Election two factions of same government type are peacefully solving their conflict influential rivalry between factions
Retreat faction is leaving the system Influence < 2.5%
Expansion faction is gathering resources to expand to another system Influence > 75%
Blight an agricultural blight is affecting crop yields sufficient shipments of Agronomic Treatment
Drought a lack of water supply is causing an economic downturn sufficient shipments of water and other emergency supplies
Infrastructure Failure disrupts a faction's operations and reduces both security and economic standards sufficient shipments of food and machinery
Terrorism terrorists can target prosperous factions, resulting in a significant security and influence cost legally selling weapons to authorities/bounty hunting/faction entering lockdown
Natural Disaster puts extra strain on star system's infrastructure, increasing chance of drought or infrastructure failure for other factions
Public Holiday increase faction's influence and standard of living for short duration, at small economic and security cost

Reputation

+3 Allied
+2 Friendly
+1 Cordial
0 Neutral
-1 Unfriendly
-2 Hostile

The player has a reputation with every faction which by default is Neutral. On the ship's scanner neutral factions are displayed in orange, friendly and allied in green, and unfriendly and hostile in red.

Reputation Missions Trade Combat Exploration
Increase completing profit handing in

bounty vouchers,

combat bonds

sell data
Decrease failing crime

Note: actions will always affect the Reputation of the faction that controls the station/system/ship.

Powers

The Powers are 11 exceedingly influential individuals with enormous followings who vie for influence in the Core Systems. Neither Superpower nor Minor Faction, some Powers are major political figures within the Superpowers, while others control independent organisations more powerful than most Minor Factions. They generally ignore the petty squabbles of the Minor Factions and compete for the hearts and minds of populations directly through the application of financial incentives, propaganda, or military force.

See also

References

  1. Elite: Dangerous Handbook
  2. Galactic Superpowers - Story - Elite Dangerous
  3. Elite: Dangerous Handbook
  4. https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=11&p=1526033&viewfull=1#post1526033
  5. https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=12&p=1526613&viewfull=1#post1526613
  6. https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=13&p=1526913&viewfull=1#post1526913

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