NPC factions

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As you visit the collapsed worlds of the Star Union, you’ll notice they are filled with survivors. The NPC factions are far from the sitting ducks from previous AoW games; they can’t be ignored. They might have alien savage societies, but are in the majority at the start of the game.

The game recognizes the following NPC factions (NPC is short for Non-Primary Combatants):

  • Autonom - Robots from the emergency services that have developed their own autonomous AIs after the central network of CORE went down.
  • Growth - Intelligent plants escaped from biotech company Terra Tech. They strive to live in symbiosis with other life forms. Not for people with tenctaclephobia.
  • Paragon - The former governing and elite classes. They’ve survived the collapse through life extending augmentations and therapies which are now faltering. They haven’t lost their arrogance and entitlement though.
  • Psi-fish - Mysterious floating aliens that have become more prevalent after the collapse.
  • Spacers - Mutated descendants of the urban populations. Their society and religion were shaped by gaming culture, as the empire population was entertained by extreme VR experiences. With the networks gone, they seek their thrills in the physical world.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

Quests[edit | edit source]

When expanding you’ll soon run into one or more of the factions. You might decide to approach them in a friendly way, so you perform quests for them and improve relation and influence – which you can then use to ask faction armies to give up important structures for you to use. Each NPC Faction has its own set of quests and narrative flavor.

War[edit | edit source]

If you decide to remove an army belonging to an NPC faction by force, it means war with the entire faction and a hit on your global reputation. Be careful not to start too many NPC wars as their bases and dwelling will start to spawn invading armies and your colonies might be overrun.

Sector claims[edit | edit source]

Just as AI Players, NPC factions lay claim to unowned Sectors around their habitats. So even if you try to avoid them, conflicts of interest with your NPC neighbors will soon start to appear: if you settle in sectors next to their dwelling your relations with them will suffer.

Demands[edit | edit source]

NPC factions will make demands based on their relation with you and based on the stage of the game. Small and early offenses can be made right by payments in one of the key resources. Soon demands will escalate and include demands that you hand over sectors to them. If you decline demands, relations will go further south and you are at risk of attack.

Attack events[edit | edit source]

As in AoW3 there are stacks garrisoned at NPC dwellings, and ones patrolling territories. This time NPC factions will also launch invasion attacks. This is associated with an event. An extreme version of NPC attack events are Boss events, extra strong armies that have named Boss characters with high level unit mods and henchmen.

Unit rosters and assets[edit | edit source]

Each NPC Faction has at least 5 unique units, including a Tier IV as well as a set of unique Mods and Operations you can acquire from them. Depending on your relation level you can recruit NPC Units as auxiliary forces. The higher your relation, the higher the level you can recruit. This recruitment costs additional influence.

Dwelling ownership[edit | edit source]

The ultimate friendly goal is annexing a faction’s Dwelling to your city. These dwellings have resource yields comparable with the Golden Landmarks (the highest-level economic structures in the game), and the units of the faction are unlocked for production.

PvP interaction[edit | edit source]

This is not all, NPC interaction comes into play with PvP interaction too. You can mess with the NPC relation of other players through Covert Ops and of course they’ll play a role in achieving particular victory conditions.

Autonom[edit | edit source]

Main article: Autonom
The Robots providing emergency services within the Empire were run by the Conscientious Omnipresent Regency Engine CORE, but when it faltered during the Collapse they relied on internal backup processors. In the centuries since then, these robots have linked up and developed into a new collective of sentient beings. They called themselves the Autonom.

Growth[edit | edit source]

Main article: Growth
During the expansion of the Star Union, expeditionary forces stumbled across a planet unlike any they had discovered before. This faraway planet was completely covered in alien jungle, a jungle that appeared alive beyond the normal capabilities of plant life. This jungle formed a single entity, all plants interconnected into a massive collective sentience, reacting and even predicting the actions of the scientists that studied it. Seeing the value of this hardy, rapidly expanding plant species, they started cultivating and genetically altering it to use in their terraforming efforts. They developed a new strain of this plant life, which has a long and complicated scientific name, but is simply referred to as the Growth. The Growth was unique in that, if it was allowed to grow big enough, its sentience became more sophisticated and it would be able to form symbiotic bonds with wildlife. This was dangerous to developing colonies so efforts were made to always keep the Growth in check.
They deployed the Growth to their terraforming colonies with varied success. The Growth allowed for rapid development of local flora and fauna, as long as it was kept under control. On some planets, however, the Growth grew out of control and developed too much, taking over large parts of the planet and forming symbiotic bonds with the local wildlife through the use of pheromones and mind-altering pollen. Intelligent life was equally affected, there were stories of colonists disappearing into the wilds, lured by pheromones, never to return as they were absorbed into a symbiosis with this alien Growth. After the collapse, planets seeded with Growth were left to grow unchecked and the Growth thrived, rapidly evolving and growing into maturity. Over time, giant Mothernode clusters formed on these planets, which serve as central hubs for the Growth and are seen as the main source of the Growth’s sentience.

Paragon[edit | edit source]

Main article: Paragon
The Paragon once were the elite citizens of the Star Union empire. After the Collapse, all interstellar trade and communications ended, leaving the surviving citizens marooned on their worlds. The upper-class Paragon (named after the company that provided their cybernetics, Paragon Augmentations) fell from boundless hedonism to a state of survival. They were no longer able to connect with CORE, the administrative heart of the Star Union with the Emperor at its center. Over time, the disconnected augmentations that gave them eternal youth and super human abilities started to falter, with many Paragon descending into madness and decay. 

Psi-Fish[edit | edit source]

Main article: Psi-Fish
It is believed that the Psi-Fish originate from the void, the space between the planes of existence. Their primary goal is the creation of more Psi-Fish. After the collapse, they preyed on the vulnerable survivors of the Star Union, wiping out entire settlements to grow their Shoal- the Psi-Fish race as a whole. They are curious creatures and seekers of knowledge, for as alien as they are to mankind, this universe is alien to them as well.

Spacers[edit | edit source]

Main article: Spacers
Spacers are gangs of raiders, who roam the ruined worlds of the Star Union looking for anything of value. They originate from the Star Union’s mega city masses that were kept in check with limitless virtual entertainment and nutrients laced with pacifying chemicals. After the Collapse brought the population violently back to reality, they were left to survive in a devastated and lawless universe. The strongest, craziest and most ruthless survivors formed tribal gangs. They fill their days with raiding, debauchery and perverse rituals as a replacement for numbing bliss the Union once provided. Not all humanity has left the Spacers though. They can be negotiated with; their NPC quest lines allow them to restore somewhat of a civil society and join your colonies.

Forgotten[edit | edit source]

Main article: Forgotten
These ancient Es'Teq were never meant for reawakening. Some were entombed for faults of the body or mind, some for being criminals and undesirables, all were sealed off in vaults to sleep eternally. Eaters of the Dead roamed these halls, making sure no resident died from a lack of Essence. They were instead devoured, a great honor for those entombed in these sanctums, for they would live eternally inside the Eater. When the Collapse occurred, these hospice-like vaults were shaken by the Void Storm that swept the galaxy, awakening the inhabitants and corrupting their Essence. Now they live on a painful substance known to them as Rot, and make outfits of metal and gears to carry the weakened and impaired, for living in pain is certainly better than facing True Death.

Therians[edit | edit source]

Main article: Therians
Born from tragic experiments to save a scientist’s dying wife from a ravaging genetic disease, the Therian Project was meant to fuse stable animal DNA with humans that were afflicted with incurable diseases. Like all research that could ‘enhance’ humans, it didn’t take long for Terratech to get their hands on this new technology, altering and transforming those who could pay, no cost too great in attempts to perfect this new process. Society’s outcasts were the first to suffer at the hands of these experiments. The project was shut down after backlash when their first test subject, called Deer, broadcast the horrid truth of the genetic experiments. Deer fled and took refuge with her newfound people, taking up arms for protection. Since then the Therians, with their animal modifications and human weaponry, managed to survive on many of the planets they occupied. Belonging to neither one kind nor the other, the Therian refugees are social outcasts, searching for a place they can call home whilst keeping a positive outlook on life.