Reputation is a complex thing. For those of you familiar with the Escape Velocity series, you are familiar with being able to kill ships to gain reputation with the enemies of those ships. However, we believe this is a bad mechanic as it encourages senseless killing and mindless farming of reputation. So the Naev mechanic is a bit more complex.
It is important to note that the gain or loss of faction can also depend on what system you're in and other factors. Therefore it is very hard to actually estimate precisely. However, if you behave as the faction generally wants you too (not too hard to guess), you shouldn't have a problem.
We distinguish three different sources of faction:
- Ship death
- Scripted events or missions
You may notice when you're attacking a ship, it'll yell something every so often. This is the broadcasted distress signal. If there is a planet in range or another pilot nearby you will incur on a reputation hit with that faction. Only one hit can be produced per ship.
When you kill a ship you'll experience a large faction hit. This is regardless of anyone being nearby. It is generally much harder to produce gains from killing ships compared to producing losses.
Script events or missions
These can add or remove large amounts of faction. They are the best way of producing high levels of reputation.
The amount of reputation you can gain from various sources is limited. You can not go from 0 to 100 reputation just by distress signals nor killing ships. Usually, the most effective way to achieve a high reputation is by completing missions.
Ship Death Cap
This cap is the maximum total reputation you can achieve through killing enemy ships. If your reputation is higher than this, killing ships won't gain you any more reputation.
This is the most important cap. It is the maximum reputation you can achieve with a specific faction. It is also a variable cap. The more campaigns and missions you do, the higher the cap becomes. It is fundamental to be able to advance in the game. See the article on the campaign structure for more information.