Off the top of my head, the optionally joinable factions are the United Colonies, Freestar Collective, Ryujin Industries, and Crimson Fleet.
Companions don’t seem to care about your faction affiliations, but they will judge you based on stuff you do in their presence. Most of them dislike criminal acts, but if you dismiss them first you can do whatever with no consequence.
All of them overlap, mostly, although you do end up having to choose between UC and Crimson Fleet near the end of that storyline.
The key thing that you don’t get told in the tutorial (though it is on a loading screen) is that the boost will break tracking on both missiles and turret weapons. So, boost is your main defensive move in the ship, and you want to always be boosting when under fire.
Mostly it’s just a matter of upgrading your stuff, though. Seems like people have converged on the particle weapons (electron beam, etc.) being better than having separate laser and ballistic weapon groups, maybe give those a try and see if it helps kill the enemy ships faster.
I mean the rank of Christian angels called “Powers”, you know, like such other ranks such as Virtues, Thrones, Principalities, etc. The heavenly host, that stuff. They’re in SMT games, but I guess not here.
Right, right, powers and principalities. But no, you get space magic basically. It’s not super early in the main quest, it happens maybe 1/3 of the way in, so I kinda get why they wanted it to be a surprise. But mostly I think they didn’t want people talking about Dragon Shouts in space (one of them is literally Fus Ro Dah, although most are new) right before the game was out.
I’ve been too busy grinding money from mission boards after realizing I enjoy the ship building in all its awkward glory, but I do know that Barrett was extremely unhappy with me exploding a UC SysDef ship (after helping them, because I thought it’d be funny). Had to hop up from the captain’s chair n play the persuasion minigame to get him to not leave in a huff.
Though I also had the “Empath” (eugh) trait that makes companion reactions stronger either way, and Empath has a “Self-Doubt/Self-Esteem” system that seemed like a defacto morality system at first, but is just a temp buff/debuff that compliments any action liked/disliked by a companion.
Sidenote: I chose Empath because I figured it’d be useful in dialogue, and all I got so far was one Deanna Troi-esque “I can sense you’re angry and upset” after someone said they were angry and upset. Great.
Otherwise factions are mostly independent of each other, doing missions/climbing rank with one won’t upset the other. They’re effectively like guilds, save for the spoilery thing @tobascodagama mentioned.
I took Empath as well, for similar reasons. It actually does come up more than once, generally yeah it’s the Deanna Troi thing. I tend to read unvoiced player prompts as “and then I said something like this” more than necessarily being verbatim what your character says, so I don’t find it (or the Persuade minigame) all that jarring personally.
Plenty, it’s mostly a standard gradient of rarity-colored pickups with different accessories/mods determining their stats and status effects. New base weapons, weapon classes and ammo types get introduced over time as you progress. Area levels are a thing now, too, so level scaling’s less aggressively based around the player, and while I can’t confirm how much this affects levelled loot lists, I did end up with an inordinately strong magnum and plenty of bullets early on, and I suspect it was from doing a mission that briefly took me into a higher-level area.
You’ll see a lot of space P90s and space Assault Rifles™ with different stuff slapped on them in the early game, but things diversify over time, and those stock weapons are still pretty nice. Across many vectors, it’s much more satisfying than FO4’s arsenal. Even the returning weapon mod system is more optional, and presented as a specialty ability rather than an inevitably expected one.
Well that’s kinda what I was hoping to hear lol, so I’ll stick with it. I take the words as written a bit more literally, but still abstract both their internal reasoning and their flow. I’ve grown like the Persuasion stuff more over time for that reason, since the silly mechanical segmenting of it still has an impressive amount of written responses and unique recorded VO to accommodate it.
I like the Persuasion system they have here quite a bit but I would love to see them implement a more generalized Reputation system in future games. They have some of it going on, but I think it would be cool to be like “Oh, you did a favor for this person previously? You either get a massive bonus to this Persuasion minigame or you can just auto-win it.” Get caught stealing? Prices are a little more expensive now and people are less willing to tell you rumors. Etc.
Yeah, that’s how it worked in Morrowind and Oblivion. Instead of a guaranteed outcome on success, the Persuade minigame just raised the target’s affinity toward you, and some NPCs would have conversational outcomes that unlock at certain affinity levels.
One thing they do here that’s pretty neat is that doing certain optional quest steps can open up auto-success options during the Persuade minigame. These have a light blue indicator on the left.
Yeah, I remember that from Oblivion. I cast a Charm spell on a beggar (had vampirism at the time…honestly I should go play Oblivion) who gave me the location of the Thieves Guild meeting. That’s the kind of stuff I wish Starfield (and all of Bethesda’s games since) did a lot more often.
Having a lot of fun so far with the various systems - I think Bethesda has done an admirable job adding new twists to very well-established interactions. The persuasion minigame is a nice blend of dice rolls and risk/reward. The only part of dialogue that’s bothered me so far is that, as of yet, I haven’t been able to badger/taunt an NPC into attacking ME, in such a way that it isn’t viewed as attempted murder from bystanders.
In other words, I’d like to be able to pick a fight with the understanding that its not the start of a murderous rampage through the whole spaceport. I feel like there have been BSD-style RPGs that had this feature in dialogue? but I can’t recall which.
I don’t know if it works the same way under the hood, but I think Oblivion and Morrowind both had this. In Oblivion, at least, I believe different npcs had different threshholds of aggression. Being below that level of affinity would make them fight you, and as long as you didn’t strike the first blow you were all clear with anyone else who happened to be around. I think some npcs had values below zero, so they wouldn’t fight you without a rage spell to raise it, and I think this tied into fear as well, some would just run away?