Getting Deep Into the Weeds of Privateer’s Faction Reputation System (July 15, 2022)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Privateer has different comm responses depending on your reputation with a particular faction (friendly, neutral or hostile). The one exception is the Retros for whom there's no way to increase your reputation; it's always negative. Except...

... if you destroy 6528 Retro ships, an incredibly unlikely number, you'll max out the value and flip around to friendly status. But there are no recorded comms... just warnings and weed jokes that the game's designers thought would never be seen! Folks asking why this happens: each Retro ship you destroy subtracts 5 from the reputation, which starts at -128. Killing 6528 of them subtracts 32640 which hits the 16-bit negative maximum. One more and an integer overflow jumps you to +32763 (decidedly friendly)!

Which is to say, maybe those Retros aren't so bad after all.

This may also explain their amazing temple in Righteous Fire.

Original update published on July 15, 2022


Rogue Leader
Good old integer overflow. Granted, it was developed a long time ago, but this is why even where I assert something should not happen, I have to assume that it could, and handle the situation appropriately.


What we need to do is figure out how to resurrect retros... or give birth to them so they get hostile again.

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
You can get them all hostile again the hard way (kill another 6,000-odd of them to get their internal value back down below zero) or the easy way (pay Lynch to reset reputations in Righteous Fire, which will set them back to -128).


Rear Admiral
So, this means I'll need to find time to play the game again and try this one out ...
Last time, all factions except Retros were friendly or neutral. Anyway, I think the good ol' games still were designed much more thoroughly than today. You had no internet and needed to check everything out twice because updating was a pain in the a-- for a developer ... well... sort of.