Teer Fradee, the island where Spiders’ latest game GreedFall is set, is a terrifying island. There are gigantic beasts aplenty, warring tribes, back-stabbing mercenaries and colonial nations locked in age-old rivalry.
Since the game’s hero/heroine de Sardet is neither an assassin nor a crack soldier, he/she will have to experience the total sum of the pitfalls and triumphs of diplomacy, to achieve success, or a simile thereof. That’s where the factions come into play.
The factions have many differences that may prevent them from aiding one another, but the threat to the continent, the Malichor, as well as the growing threat on Teer Fradee itself, can be used by you, to unite them. To do that, though, you will have to gain the trust of each faction or, failing that, their gratitude. You may even have to resort to blackmail and coercion, but in my opinion that is the true fun part of this game.
What the factions are all about
GreedFall is not a very subtle game. Most of the time. You will usually spot the villain after the very first exchange and find it rather amusing how the game then tries to divert your attention with false trails and dubious alternative suspects. When it comes to dealing with the factions, you will have to first find out what it is they desire and play on that.
1. The Merchant Congregation
The Merchant Congregation is your own faction and it is one that relies on neutrality. Taking the side of one of the other two colonial factions, be it The Bridge Alliance or Thelemé, is therefore out of the question. The Merchant Congregation relies on good relations with its neighbors, so you are not to alienate them either. Tough luck.
2. The Bridge Alliance
The Bridge Alliance is a faction that is driven by science above all. That does not prevent them from wanting to exploit Teer Fradee’s riches, though. The Bridge Alliance is also at war with Thelemé, though on Teer Fradee their respective cities, Hikmet and San Matheus, are as far away from each other as possible and there has been no conflict so far. As scientists, the faction hopes to find a cure for the Malichor, just like our hero. Which makes them possible allies in that quest.
Pious Thelemé is particularly interested in Teer Fradee because they believe it is the island canon to their saint, San Matheus. Therefore they deem it their god-given duty to convert the natives to the light. By force, if necessary. They therefore qualify as first-class villains and their actions will reinforce that first impression. Nevertheless, not all is as it seems in their city of San Matheus and it is up to you to find the leverage needed to make Thelemé do what you want.
4. The Coin Guard
The aptly named Coin Guard are a mercenary faction that is in charge of security all over the continent and therefore on Teer Fradee as well. Having a captain of the guard, Kurt, as your companion, will aid you in bringing them in line. Or will it?
5. The Nauts
This sea-faring faction likes to keep its secrets close, thereby raising suspicion from the other factions, especially Thelemé. They have strange customs that seem uncivilised and even cruel, but they are not villains. Or are they? With Captain Vasco by your side, you should be able to keep their secrets and convert them into a weapon of your choosing.
6. The Natives
The people of Teer Fradee represent a conglomerate of clans led by a king or queen. They may be in harmony with nature and the spirits of the island, yet at the brink of war with the biggest factions, Thelemé and The Bridge Alliance. There are many conflicts you will have to solve, but also rivalries to appease, since the prideful monarchs also struggle among each other. Thankfully, one of their wise ones, the doneigad Siora, will joing your team and help you understand Teer Fradee and its clans better.
During the prologue, which also serves as tutorial, you will be introduced to all the factions minus the Natives. And you will accomplish missions that may or may not influence what will ultimately await you on Teer Fradee.
Tools of the trade as a diplomat
Knowing the factonions and being aware of their goals is one thing. You als have to be able to use them to your advantage. Therefore you will be able to upgrade your character to make use of Attributes like Charisma or Intuition to unlock dialogue options and Talents like Lockpicking or Science to open alternative paths to your goals. I’d advise you to invest in these four, as they come in real handy throughout the game.
Your goal in GreedFall should be establishing a friendly, or at least nice, relationship with all of the factions (and your companions). During missions, you will win and lose reputation among them, but to the very end there is always an opportunity to swing everything around in your favor. If, and that is crucial, you invest in Attributes like Charisma and Intuition. Take that chance and you will certainly succeed in the final assault.
The next post will be about customising your GreedFall character.
Until then keep on playing.