For some heroes, units and items are only means to an end. Beyond levels, experience, and wealth lies political power. The concept of factions is integral to power in Shattered Galaxy, so these political entities are discussed in greater depth here.
A. Hero Affiliation
There are three possibilities for hero affiliation in Shattered Galaxy. All heroes begin as members of Morgana Prime clans (factions). Upon leaving Morgana Prime, heroes are either mercenaries or members of factions.
- Morgana Prime
Morgana Prime is the cradle of human civilization following the tremendous cataclysm that displaced a ravaged Earth. As such, it is treated with some level of respect by factions through the galaxy. Once having left Morgana Prime, heroes can return to it only to visit and recruit others for their factions; they cannot participate in battles of any kind.
The factions of Morgana Prime are more families or clans from which heroes emerge. They have looser political structures than factions elsewhere in the galaxy and they cannot be conquered. Furthermore, it is not possible to switch from one family to another. Besides these differences, Morgana Prime factions operate in the same way as factions anywhere in the galaxy.
Upon leaving Morgana Prime for the remainder of the galaxy, a hero abandons his family and becomes a mercenary. At that time, the hero can look for a faction suitable to his tastes, can attempt to found his own faction, or can remain as a mercenary.
Because of the limited power available to the families of Morgana Prime, the rank heroes can achieve on their home planet is limited. Eventually, every hero must leave his secure homeland and find his place in the galaxy.
- Morgana II and Beyond
After establishing themselves on Morgana Prime, any self-respecting hero will seek the greater challenges and rewards that await elsewhere in the galaxy.
- Leaving Morgana Prime
Heroes that reach level 25 can proceed from Morgana Prime to other planets in the Morgana star system. To do so, use the Star Portal in your Faction capital to visit your Faction's space station in orbit around the planet. Visit the Mercenary Guild in the space station and abandon your Faction, becoming a Mercenary (see Section VIII.A.3). You will not be able to return to Morgana Prime after this decision is made.
Now that you have cast aside your connections to Morgana Prime, you are free to roam the galaxy and join whichever faction you choose. Use the Dimensional Matrix to view and visit other planets, and select your new Faction by visiting the Mercenary Guild. Note that the most powerful Factions will not accept new members. Similarly, smaller factions will provide you with a substantial XP bonus to all of your units when you join. Choose your new faction wisely.
- Greener Pastures
Because of their more powerful Factions and advanced development, heroes who have left Morgana Prime receive several bonuses: a much higher maximum level for units, higher influence chassis types, and a much greater selection of items.
To understand the factions one must first learn about the alternative: life as a mercenary. Heroes who belong to a faction can choose to abandon their faction for the mercenary life at the Mercenary Guild. To leave a faction, the hero must have been a member for at least 7 days. A hero loses 1% of his experience points for each division when he leaves his faction. The hero's units are unchanged.
Mercenaries can decide to join a faction, also through the Mercenary Guild. To join a faction, the hero must have been a mercenary for at least three days to prove that he no longer has ties to his previous faction. To acquire faction membership costs a hero 10% of his wealth and resources.
Mercenaries, being free agents of warfare have several benefits and disadvantages over factional life.
- Initiating Combat
Lacking the support of a faction prevents mercenaries from initiating combat against established factions (exception: founding a new faction). Mercenaries are able to initiate combat against aliens, however.
Coupled with this disadvantage comes, however, one of the most appealing aspects of being a mercenary. Upon entering any contested battlefield, a mercenary can offer his services to any of the involved factions. That faction's Field Commander will be told of the mercenary's interest in assisting him and will be given the option to accept or reject the offer for help.
If accepted, the mercenary will receive a fair share of the spoils at the end of the battle. Additionally, mercenaries receive much greater experience point awards if the side they assisted in battle was weaker than their opposition. However, the cost in spoils to the remainder of the faction will be substantially more than if the mercenary had been a faction member. Of course, if the mercenary is rejected, he may instead offer his units to the Field Commander's enemy...
Mercenaries pay a premium for repairing at any Factories and Lab and REM access also comes at an elevated price. Additionally, mercenaries receive no tribute as they have no territories from which to extract wealth. Unsuccessful mercenaries will quickly find themselves devoid of money and resources, forcing them to find a faction to support them.
- Land Ownership
Land 'owned' by mercenaries is immediately retaken by aliens when it becomes unoccupied. Factions can attack at will mercenaries in enemy or mercenary 'owned' territory.
The majority of heroes pledge their loyalty to a single faction. Factions are an excellent source of devoted allies, useful information, and friends.
B. Political Power
While many heroes will be content with the normal benefits of faction life, some will seek to gain additional power and standing within their community.
Democratic elections are held to determine which faction member will hold each office. Terms last between 2 and 4 weeks, depending upon the office. The election period begins with nominations. Anyone of the minimal level required for that office can enter themselves into the nomination phase. A hero may only run for one office at a time.
Members of the faction can nominate the candidate they feel is most qualified. At the end of the nomination period, the most successful candidates enter the voting period, with all votes reset. At the end of the voting period, the hero who achieved the most votes is elected.
Voting and nominating takes place in the Vote section of the FHQ, where candidates can post statements to support their candidacy. At any time heroes can check on the status of the elections. The current phase (Nomination, Voting, Office Held) is shown as well as the time remaining until the next phase.
The Overlord is the leader of his faction. He can forge alliances, declare wars, set the tax rate and allocate factional wealth for spending. The Overlord's units receive a 40% health bonus in combat. Finally, by typing "!ON!" before chatting, the Overlord can make an announcement to all faction members on the same planet as him. Most importantly, the Overlord can appoint up to 12 council members and invest them with specific powers (see Section VIII.C). An Overlord's term lasts 4 weeks.
Each day, every faction member can vote to support or oppose the current holder of each elected office. Votes of confidence or non-confidence carry throughout the elected term. If the opposition reaches 70%, the current office holder is immediately expelled and an election period begins.
C. Council Members and Regiments
Through the FHQ, the Overlord can promote up to 12 citizens to positions of power within his or her faction. Each position can be given a customized title. Currently, five administrative powers are available; more will be added in the future. No more than four separate council members can possess any single power. The Overlord automatically possesses all powers. An Overlord also has the power to create fighting regiments with appointed commanders and captains.
Each Council Member is in charge of one Regiment. Regiments are groups of faction members organized for battle.
- Viewing/Assembling a Regiment
One of the who-list (F6) options is Regiment. Regiments may be either open or closed to new members. However, you may only enter regiments within your own faction. You join or leave a Regiment by double-clicking on its name within the who-list (F6). The commander or overlord, however, can choose whether or not the Regiment should be open or closed, restricting who may enter the Regiment. Along with regulating whether a Regiment is open or not, the Overlord decides what the Regiment should be called. Only the Overlord can change the names of Regiments.
A regiment consists of more than a name and a few arbitrary heroes; the Regiment must answer to some governing body. The council member who the Overlord has appointed to a specific Regiment is also known as the ruler of that Regiment. The player currently in command of the Regiment is known as the commander. The ruler has the option of being an active part of his or her Regiment, if this is the case; the ruler also serves as the commander. Otherwise, the commander is the hero with the highest rank. If highest rank is shared amongst more than one hero, then the one who joined first is the commander. The history of a Regiment can also be accessed via the who-list (F6).
- Regiment Communication
Communicating to a regiment is exactly like communicating to an individual. All Regiment names are preceded with * to indicate that it is a Regiment. A Regiment can be added to the recipient/ignore list, clicking on a regiment on the who-list (or regiment list) adds that regiment to your recipient list. (see section III.C.4)
D. Foreign Policy
The Foreign Policy section of the FHQ shows both intelligence data on other factions as well as the standing of your faction among the factions on your current planet. The top portion of the screen lists the other factions as well as general information about each. The faction names and statistics are color coded to show the current relationship between that faction and your faction. To examine a faction in more detail, click on its name.
- Foreign Relations
While factions often war over territory, wealth, and power, there are times when less hostile relationships with your neighbors is desirable. The standing of the selected faction with your and other factions is shown in the bottom left portion of the Foreign Policy screen.
Factions have one of three primary relationships with each other: War, Neutrality, Alliance. Two transitional relationships are also possible. The difference between the relationship types is primarily what happens when heroes of the two factions occupy the same province.
- War (red): When entering territory occupied by the other faction, a fight ensues unless it is a capital city.
- Cease Fire Offered (orange): This state is reached when one of two factions at war has offered a cease fire to the other. The Overlord of the second faction then has the option to end the war, improving the relationship to Neutrality. In all other respects, this transition state is the same as War.
- Neutrality (yellow): When entering a battle involving the other faction, combat ensues. Otherwise, each other's provinces can be freely traversed. It is possible to attack a province owned by the other faction, but this unethical action will reduce prestige and/or experience of the attacker.
After the relationship between two factions changes, the two nations must each wait at least one full day before either can attempt to again change their relationship. Note that withdrawing an offer of cease fire can be done at any time. It is not possible to change directly from War to Ally or vice versa. After a week of no change, relations between two factions will deteriorate one level as suspicions and tensions rise.
Restrictions on the use of buildings in another factions capital correspond to the relations between the two factions. For example, repairing at the Factory of an allied faction is cheaper than repairing at a Neutral factory.
E. Founding a Faction [temporarily disabled]
Any hero who has reached level 18 or higher may attempt to found a faction (Exception: factions cannot be founded on Morgana Prime) through the Mercenary Guild, which is located in the central province of each planet. Only mercenaries can found a faction.
The top section of the Mercenary Guild interface appears very much like the Foreign Policy interface, listing all planetary factions and general information. Below and to the left of the existing faction list is a list of hopeful factions. To the right of the hopeful faction list is information on the Founder/Overlord of the selected faction.
To found a faction, three requirements must be met: the new faction must be registered at the Mercenary Guild, the new faction must obtain at least 30 initiates, and the faction's capital province must be selected and conquered.
- Registering a New Faction
To register your faction, simply click the "Found" button at the Mercenary Guild. You must be a mercenary and not an initiate of another faction. A Faction Registration Window will appear. Select the following information to help define your new faction:
- Name: Choose an appropriate name for your faction. Your faction's name may be up to 12 characters long.
- Flag: Use the left/right arrow keys to select the flag you would like to use to represent your faction.
- Specialization: Choose the division of warfare that your faction will specialize in. For every hero in your faction, the units from that division will gain a small health and tech level bonus.
- Color: Choose the color that will identify your faction in battle and on the Strategic Map. To avoid two factions having colors that are too similar, only a few possible colors are shown. Left-click the "Shuffle" button to view other acceptable colors.
After completing the registration process, your faction will appear on the hopeful faction list and your hero will be given the title of "Founder". Be certain to provide a statement about your faction to lure others into joining you in your endeavor. Note that while your hero (and other initiates) will be listed as members of the faction, your hero still a mercenary until the faction has been created.
- Declaring a Faction Capital
After convincing 29 other heroes to pledge loyalty to your faction, you will see a "Found Nation" button appear above the Chatting Log when in Hero Mode. You may then attempt to found your faction. Move your hero to the desired location of your faction's capital. Your capital must be at least one province away from every other faction capital as well as from the center province. Otherwise, there are no restrictions: your chosen capital province can belong to any faction.
When you are situated properly, preferably with many of your initiates with you and battle-ready, click the "Found Nation" button. You will be given the opportunity to confirm your decision of location. A battle for your faction's independence will then occur and all heroes on the planet will learn of your effort to found a new faction. If you succeed in conquering the province, it will instantly become your faction's capital and your faction will join the ranks of officially recognized governments in the galaxy.
F. Eliminating a Faction
Outside of Morgana Prime, a faction's existence is far from guaranteed. If a faction fails to control any of the provinces surrounding its capital for 30 minutes, the capital is captured and the faction is disbanded. Any provinces owned by the faction are immediately reclaimed by the aliens. All members of the faction become mercenaries, all leadership titles and abilities are lost. If you logon to the game and your faction has been disbanded, you will find yourself a mercenary.