Merits are what a commander receives when they turn in Powerplay (bonds). They are used in the Powerplay system to determine the rating that the player will receive at the end of the week. There are 5 obtainable ratings in the game. Each rating comes with its own associated perks that vary by power. However each ratings merit point requirements and cash payouts will remain the same no matter the faction the player belongs to.
Players have several choices when it comes to obtaining merits. While more may be released in the future the following are the methods to earn merit are known to work.
- Combat with non allied factions players.
- Combat in expansion system.
- Killing Hostile agents
- Transportation of cargo for the fortification and preparation of systems.
- Piracy of cargo from foreign powers
Combat with players
While in the past you could earn merits via PvP combat this is no longer the case. However you will lose 10 merits for killing a player aligned with your faction or to one based in the same power type between the Empire, Federation, and Alliance. For example if a player belonging to Zachary Hudsons power were to kill a player belonging to Felicia Winters power that player would lose merit because both factions belong to the Federation.
Combat in Expansion Systems
Combat in Expansion systems can only be done when a Power that expands through combat is expanding via one of a series of similar combat zones. Powers that expand through combat and their related combat zones are:
- Arissa Lavigny-Duval (Crime Sweep)
- Archon Delaine (Resistance Pocket)
- Denton Patreus (Military Strike)
- Pranav Antal (Violent Protest)
- Yuri Grom (Armed Revolt)
- Zachary Hudson (Military Strike)
In order to earn Merits via combat, the player must travel to the expansion system, find the specific type of combat zone that is related to their pledged Power, and participate in combat there. Players can earn merit in any faction's combat zones by either helping allied forces or opposing the expansion of enemy factions. It is important to note that players must pick a side under their functions tab in order to earn merit.
It is recommended that players who want to farm merit in combat zones fight in a wing to speed up the rate at which they get kills. This will also have the added benefit of reducing the risk of getting mass targeted and killed. There is safety in numbers.
Killing Hostile agents
Killing foreign diplomats and their cadre is a relatively effective method for earning merits. You will be awarded 30 merits per kill. In order to utilize this method you must go to an enemy faction's control system in the process of being undermined and either sit at the navigational beacon or interdict ships as they fly by you, which is more effective. You will be looking for ships with names along the lines of Utopian Overseer, Federal Logistics, Imperial Agent, Federal Agent, Alliance Enforcer, Private Security, etc. Most likely any ship aligned with one of the powers in its name that is not System Defence Force or allied with your overall faction. As with combat against players you will lose merit if you attack and kill allies.
Fortification and preparation of systems
This is by far the safest and slowest method for obtaining merits. The pilot must go to their faction's capital system and pick up cargo for fortification or preparation from a station. The amount of cargo the player can pick up at any given time is based on that player's current rating with their faction. It ranges from 10 every half hour at rating one up to 50 every half hour at rating five. After the player picks up the cargo they must transport it to a system for fortification or expansion depending on the type of cargo they picked up from the capital. Once they arrive at their destination system they simply dock and turn in the cargo under the contact's tab at the station. It is important to note that there is no limit on the amount of cargo that may be held or turned in at one time. This makes it possible to fill your hold by obtaing the limit of materials each half hour (or throughout the day) then make one run to deliver all of said materials in the evening.
If a player has the credits to spend this can be the fastest way to farm merits. Along with the allotment of Powerplay commodities you receive every half hour, you have the option to Fast Track the next quota allotment at the price of 10,000 CR each. As each Powerplay commodity is worth 1 merit when turned in a player could spend 100,000,000 CR and effectively buy their rating 5. A circumstance where this may prove useful would be if a player could make 100,000,000 CR in less time than it would take to earn 10,000 merits.
This method may prove particularly appealing to end game players who belong to Arissa Lavigny-Duval's faction. This is due to the fact that Arissa's faction bonuses to bounty effectively make it possible for players to earn 4 times the normal amount of bounty if they are rating five. With this massive bonus players can make between 10,000,000 to 20,000,000 CR per hour at Hazardous Resource Extraction Sites.