This article explains how factions work. If you need a list, see the Factions category. If you'd like to find some of the merchants who sell items when you gain sufficient (positive) faction you can browse a categorical listing of NPCs.
What is Faction?
Faction is a type of reputation you can improve in order earn the respect and trust a group of NPCs (Non Player Characters). Before you interact with some NPCs you begin with either negative faction and the NPCs in an area will to to kill you on sight (KOS for short) or in a neutral state and NPCs will offer you the chance to impress them or just not react at all.
There are numerous factions in the world and some zones may even have multiple factions. Not all NPCs have an associated faction, but most do. In many cases the monsters (MOBs) you encounter also have faction associated with them that can affect how they behave (if they attack or ignore you) when you approach them.
Your standing will progress in either a positive or negative direction in ranges, shown as a meter and described in more detail Ranges section below. The Value of Faction section here describes the essence of gaining (or losing) faction and why it is beneficial.
The Value of Faction
Having positive faction has many benefits that go beyond whether or not NPCs and MOBs will attack or ignore you. Gaining the right amount of faction is frequently a requirement to unlock a series of quests in many zones as well.
Other vital benefits include:
- The ability to buy gear (armor, weapons, etc.) that is frequently of a very high quality from special faction merchants; in some cases, it's the best you can get if you don't participate raids. Reaching certain levels of faction allows you to buy Category:Titles.
- It's often very important to anyone who takes up a Tradeskill, as you will need a certain range of positive faction in order to buy special recipes to make some of the most desired items in the game, which you can sell on the broker.
- In addition, most factions also have merchants that will sell you furniture that you can use in player housing.
Gaining Positive Faction
This is typically done by taking quests or completing tasks that offer (positive) faction as part of or as the entire reward. For example, one quest or task may reward you with a gain of 500 (positive) faction for your success, while others may reward several thousand. Some are adventure quests that require you to fight the enemies of that faction, while others may ask you to craft items using your Tradeskill abilities.
In most cases, quests tied to gaining positive faction are repeatable. For example, you can also improve faction by doing City Tasks for various NPCs your home city or Tradeskill Writs (and/or Rush Order) to prove your worth to many crafting societies.
The most common type of negative faction is associated with cities that are outright aggressive to members of the opposite alignment. For example, the guards in and around Neriak are from a city with an "evil" alignment that is extremely hostile to outsiders, therefore they will always attack anyone who hail from a "good" alignment.
Equating a character's alignment with faction can be somewhat confusing for new players though, as NPCs in some starting cities are not outright aggressive to characters of the opposite alignment. In such cases they will not attack you if you enter the city, but the key NPCs like those to use the broker and bank will never talk to you. In some cases, a few quests many even be available to characters of all alignments. As of 2014 this is true for both the cities of Gorowyn and New Halas.
How MOBs can Affect Faction
In some cases, various monsters (MOBs) may have faction that can be gained or lost in a manner that effects your standing with another type of MOB and may impact the reaction of NPCs in the area as well. A good example of this is in Thundering Steppes: the HORSE PEOPLE will not attack you unless you attack them first and once you do, they will all attack you until you kill Gnolls and raise your faction with them again.
Each range is tied to a descriptive word, so you can asses how a faction will react to you at a glance when you check it in the Factions tab of the Character window. For example, those who will almost certainly attack you (and it could be said they hate you) are in the Scowls range, while those who you've impressed the most (and who more or less adore you) are in the Ally range on the meter. The meter is also in color in-game to make checking faction easier too. Slightly different colors are used in the meter below, but they will also help you understand the way faction works in the context of this article.
Faction gain and loss is split up into ranges of 10,000 point blocks or tiers of value. The reaction of any NPC or MOB will remain the same while your faction with them is within each range. In other words, faction at 13K on the positive side is in the Amiable range and will make them friendly, but if you need until you attain the minimum of Kindly to buy gear (or other items) from a faction merchant, you will not be able to do so until you reach the minimum for the next range of 20K for Kindly.
Being at the maximum (negative or positive) does not change the meter, but does have other effects sometimes. For example, if a walk through (or quest timeline) says you need Ally faction, but 40k+ doesnt work, you may actually need to be at the maximum for Ally.
The breakdown of ranges is thus:
Checking Your Faction
You'll start with very few factions to look up, based on the starting city you choose when you create a new character. Until you have encountered a faction in the world, sometimes by just entering a zone and killing their enemies, the list described here will remain relatively small. As your journey in the world continues, the list will grow.
- Your standing with each faction is shown in the game as a meter which is explained in the Ranges section above.
- Press C to open the Character window and select the Faction tab.
- Point your mouse at the drop down arrow and click on it. Doing so will open a list of other factions you can check your standing with, based on the regions, continents, or zones that a faction was introduced with via game content expansions.
- Select the the region (from the list) you'd like to check and it will display any you have encountered there.
- Keeping track of which factions are associated with each list in the drop down of the Factions tab can be confusing at times. For help remembering, see the Factions category for a list of all known factions.
In EQ2 your character can choose to follow a Deity and improving your reputation works in a similar manner, also shown as a faction (with the specific deity you choose).
See Favor for more details on obtaining and spending it.