Examples of the Alliance Meter in popular media:
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- Grand Theft Auto 2 has three meters, one for each gang in that area of the city. Each of the three areas of the city has the Zaibatsu, while other two change according to which part of the city you're in. The higher the respect, the more dangerous (and better paying) missions the player can take.
- The Mercenaries games feature dynamic relations meters between your chosen mercenary and the various factions active in the warzones you fight in. Generally, doing things the faction likes (i.e. shooting their enemies in line-of-sight of the faction's soldiers, completing their missions, bringing them enemy vehicles, etc.) will please them, while openly killing their troops, sabotaging their operations, etc. will piss them off. In the second game, this only happens if the enemy manages to get in a radio call to their headquarters that you're causing havoc. If you kill the radio operator before he can finish the call, the enemy will be none the wiser. However, you'll always be hostile with either the North Korean Army or the Venezuelan Army. It's also possible to permanently make a faction your enemy in the second game when you receive missions to destroy their headquarters late game.
- Present in Sid Meier's Pirates!: The game tracks your relationship with each of the four major colonial powers. Attacking one power's ships will earn you favor from its enemies and scorn from its allies. However, the political situation is constantly in flux, with wars breaking out, truces being signed, and alliances being made or broken seemingly at the drop of a hat, so if you're trying to butter up with one faction in particular, you have to pay attention to current events.
- Underworld Ascendant: Each of the three main factions has a global disposition towards the Avatar, shared by all members of said faction.
- World of Warcraft features a reputation system, representing your character's current standing with various factions found in Azeroth and Outland. Each faction has eight different rankings, ranging from "hated" to "exalted", and NPCs react differently depending on your current rank. Reputation is earned in a number of ways, usually via quests or killing specific enemies of the faction. Most capital cities of your own faction start as Friendly, while other factions start as neutral or hostile. High reputation with a faction generally allows you to purchase goods only available from them.
- There exist a few reputations which are mutually exclusive as earning reputation with one will impose a loss on the other. The most well-known example is the goblin city of Booty Bay and the Bloodsail Pirates who are at war with one another.
- Parodied in a FoxTrot strip where a savvy theater manager convinces Jason and Marcus to pick up spilled popcorn to get advance tickets for the WarCraft movie by framing it as a faction quest.
- In EVE Online, helping a faction or their affiliates gives you access to more profitable missions and discounts on various fees. Unfortunately, bowing to one direction usually means that you'll also moon the opposite faction. This standings system is also a crucial tool in diplomacy between players, corporations and alliances. In addition to being highlighted in the UI by everyone belonging to the organization in question, organizations with high standings can be allowed to access various structures like space stations.
- Dungeons & Dragons Online has a "Favor" system where completing quests grants you a few points of hospitality from whatever patrons are in charge of that quest. The more points, the more you are favored by that patron, and each one has its own levels (typically 3 or 4 per patron) and leveling up your favor gets you rewards. It can't go back down, though, and they can't be played against each other.
- The Lord of the Rings Online has mostly-independent factions, but there are at least two who despite neither being actually evil (one of them is a little on the mean side, but it's in a practical jokes kind of way, not a kill or enslave the Free Peoples kind of way) are opposed to each other, and most quests that help your reputation with one hurt your reputation with the other. The penalties tend to be slightly less than the rewards, though, so doing one quest for each faction usually has the net result that both of them end up liking you a little better than they did before.
- Ryzom has a "Fame" system that affects whether a specific Race, Religion, Faction, or Tribe will let you join them, trade with you, tolerate you, or just plain kill you on sight. Doing missions for these various people will affect your Fame with them positively, while killing some of their members or doing missions for a faction that another faction is an enemy of will negatively affect your Fame with them.
Role Playing Games
- Fallout 2 had an individual opinion meter for each town the player entered, along with a Karma Meter. Thus, a player can have negative karma for wiping out a town of innocents but still be loved by its neighboring town because they were at war with them.
- Similarly, Fallout: New Vegas has one for major towns such as Freeside, and most factions. The way it's handled is quite unusual for most Alliance Meters, though: fame and infamy do not subtract from one another, they're each a dimension in a two dimensional grid. If you do something that helps a faction, then do something that hurts it, you get a "mixed" reaction from its members and they'll comment they have no idea what you're up to; you're confusing. Your relationship with Mr. House is binary, however; he'll consider you a valued employee right up until the moment you oppose him.
- In Freelancer, every mission you take affects your rep with everybody connected to either faction involved. Oddly, people pay a lot more attention to who you took the mission from than who it was against. So to continue the page example, Faction E, which is allied with both A and B, will be pleased and F, which hates both, will be angered. A Hostile faction will attack on sight and deny you landing permission on their bases; a Neutral faction will ignore you in space but might assist allies who hate you, and will let you land but might not sell you their best stuff; and a Friendly faction will assist you in combat against anyone they're not allied with, stay out of the fight when they are, and will sell you their best stuff and offer you the best missions.
- There are also guys who offer to hack your file with a particular faction through the Neural Net, making them and their allies think they like you, at the cost of angering their enemies and also the hacker charging you a bundle.
- One faction is worth noting because they hate everybody except the Zoners and the IMG: the Xenos, a rabidly xenophobic faction of terrorists in Liberty. Players often slaughter them in huge numbers to improve their reputation with almost everyone else.
- If you manage to sink your alliance meter low enough with opposing factions, it will lead members of those groups to put aside their hatred to team up against you. Corsairs and Outcasts against you? Can see that happening. But it gets downright absurd in some of the more well known mods, when you get Nomads joining up with The Order to kill you.
- In the Geneforge games, you can end up on either side of the Shaper War, or in some cases destroy both. Note that that doesn't work in Geneforge 5, where You Lose at Zero Trust.
- The Elder Scrolls:
- Daggerfall has a primitive system where your initial character build allows you to adjust how friendly various segments of society from peasants to nobles will act to your character. In actuality, the effect is minimal. What has slightly more effect is the hidden in-play alliance meter that the character build modifies, as the relation to a faction is one of the factors that decides when promotion in that faction can occur.
- Morrowind has a similar system, with three main differences: the effect on an individual NPC is greater, the number of factions are heavily reduced (no peasant faction, for instance), and very few of the quests impacting faction-relation can be done without first joining a faction.
- Nearly every sidequest in Pillars of Eternity has Multiple Endings, and different endings will positively or negatively affect your Reputation stat for that region, which changes how NPCs address you and may open further quests. A good example is the early quest "Lord of a Barren Land", in which you are requested to Storm the Castle of Lord Raedric and assassinate him so that his brother Kolsc can take over. Doing it as requested will give you positive Reputation in Gilded Vale, while changing sides will give you negative Reputation.
- In Tyranny, factions have a significant role; Faction reputation is defined in terms of Favor and Wrath (with the former being positive and the latter negative, naturally), and players gain abilities for either one (so even if it's possible to keep friendly with every faction, you might not want to).
- The Hands Of War series has "good" and "evil" major factions which differ from game to game. In addition, we have the Mercenaries and the Merchant's Guild, which hate each other for obvious reasons, and the Trackers, Blademasters and Magicians, which are class-based factions that all rival each other.
- The indie game Democracy pretty much runs on this trope. The entire society of the country you are in charge of is divided into overlapping groups like "parents", "smokers", "middle income", "commuters" etc. Every single one of the 20+ groups gets its own satisfaction meter, influenced by the policies you introduce. The meters take up the entire center of the screen for most of the game.
- Vega Strike has a lot of factions, some allied and some feuding. Not only legitimate ones, but ISO and Pirates are some people's "friends in low places" too. This leaves Luddites as the Butt-Monkey: everyone either hates or barely tolerates them. Blow up a lot of their ships, and not only pirates think you're a pretty swell guy despite several hits against them, but even aggressive aliens at war with the humanity give you some benefit of doubt.
- Spore has them in the last 4 stages: Red faces mean they hate your guts. Orange faces mean they don't trust you. Yellow faces are neutral. Blue faces mean they like you. And green faces mean they worship you.
- Master of Orion also has meters for your relations with every other race.
- Tropico has political ideologies. Every citizen has certain political opinions which player must try to please to win elections. Assuming you hold elections, of course. (Though even if you don't, it's still a good idea to keep the various groups as happy as possible.)
- With the expansion pack you are allowed to Take a Third Option and outright ban one political group, meaning you are free to do things that would normally upset people of that ideology. (Then again, banning them upsets them so much that it is a "The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized" moment for many.)
- In Wing Commander: Privateer, your standing with the factions in the Gemini sector can be altered by which faction you shoot down. While regaining trust after a killing spree is technically possible, without Roman Lynch's help in the add-on Righteous Fire it's much more difficult. Note that Retros will never be friendly other than for plot-dictated reasons in Righteous Fire.
- X-Universe games have 5 basic races / factions (6 as of Terran Conflict), plus several minor factions and corporations, with each side having different relations to each other. Killing hated enemies will give you a reputation to the sector owner and a hit to the victim, killing neutrals will give you a hit to both the victim and sector owner reputation, and killing an allied will give you a massive hit to the allied victim and the sector owner. It's possible to ally yourself with all the races, including the Space Pirates, by avoiding combat missions and not slaughtering random ships in sectors. Getting your reputation up will allow you to buy high power weaponry and ships, while low reputation will prevent you from entering their core sectors, docking at stations, all the way up to outright kill-on-sight orders.
- The iOS game Galaxy on Fire II has two meters, which make it clear that it's an "either them or us" relationship. The first scale is between the Terrans and the Vossk. This actually makes sense in-universe, as the Terrans and the Vossk have recently fought a war. Then there is the Midorian-Nivelian scale, shown the increased tensions between the Nivelian Republic and the breakaway Mido Confederation of Planets (there is no Midorian race; the Mido systems are populated by Nivelians and Terrans). Other races are present in the game (such the Octopods and The Greys), but you only meet a few individuals from them.
- No Man's Sky: One exists that measures your standing with the Galaxy's three races. It's affected by things such as destroying the ships of one faction's enemy (like, say, Space Pirates), helping a faction's vessel when it needs assistance, assisting the locals, and other such acts. Initially it was not visible nor had any tangible effect, but after the March 2017 Pathfinder update, the meter is seen in the Journey tab of the pause menu, and alliance ranks are required for better upgrades from space station vendors.
- MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries featured a faction rating for the rival Steiner and Davion royal houses, but also included 'nobility' and 'infamy' as other parts of your reputation. Some missions would only be offered to players with high enough values in certain categories, and depending on how things played out you would eventually lock yourself out of about half of the end-game content due to one faction withdrawing its missions thanks to your high reputation with their rivals, necessitating several playthroughs to see all three of the Faction-Specific Endings.
- The Escape Velocity games keep track of the player's status in relation to the various governments in the universe.
- The later entries in City Building Games use this to interact with other cities. Fulfilling requests and giving gifts will make them like you, refusing requests, demanding/requesting goods makes them dislike you, and they really don't like it when you attack them. Oddly enough, attacking other cities increases their respect for you, and they may comply with your wishes regardless of their feelings for you if your army is stronger than theirs.
- X-COM: Apocalypse has a lot of organizations most of whom you want to be as friendly as possible, for various reasons. Which isn't easy, because alien infiltration and collateral damage to their property make them upset. And because some organizations are hostile towards each other, trying to make one like you more can cause someone else to dislike you. On the other hand, this also means that if you happen to blow up someone's property, this will make their enemies like you better!
- The Civilization series tracks your relationships with rival civilizations, calculated based on your interactions with them over the course of the game - whether you've made declarations of friendship, settled land they were wanting to claim as their own, share the same religion or ideology, helped pass or defeat one of their proposals at the World Congress, denounced another civ you'd previously declared your friend, and so forth. Civ V also gave a hidden "honesty" stat to world leaders that affected how accurate this diplomatic ranking would be, so leaders like Napoleon could suddenly declare war even though your relationship was listed as "Friendly." Civ VI throws another wrinkle into these calculations by giving each leader a distinct Agenda that affects how they react to your playstyle - Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang hates it when you beat him in a race to build a world Wonder, while Peter the Great of Russia is impressed by nations that have surpassed him in science.
- Civ V introduced city-states with a more straightforward Alliance Meter that can be filled by taking care of any barbarians threatening them, completing "quests" such as acquiring resources or building certain wonders, though if all else fails you can just hand them sacks of gold. Making them angry by trespassing inside their borders or extorting them for cash doesn't make them a direct threat, but it does make it harder to get on their good side later. Do enough for them to become "friendly" and they'll share their luxuries and strategic resources with you, let you pass through their borders, and give you distinct bonuses like extra Culture or Food based on what kind of city-state they are. If you can make them consider you an "ally," they'll join any wars you get into, and will give you the votes needed to win a Diplomatic Victory.
- Knights of Honor features a relations meter for every nation on the map. These can change depending on your interactions with that nation (gifts, diplomacy, requests for tributes, giving Independence if it's a vassal state, pillaging) but also thanks to interactions with other nations. Declaring war or attacking a nation will always have a reaction on your relationship with other nations, depending if they had a positive or negative relationship with the nation you attacked. Other factors like religion, marriage politics and diplomacy play a role as well.
- In Total War: Warhammer relationships with every country are tracked. Most of the factors are ordinary: wars, trade, gifts, demands, diplomatic events, relative military strength, and preset factors (Vampires hate Dwarves, for instance, and Chaos hates everyone). A few, however, are more unusual in order to reflect the attitudes of different groups. For instance going to war with Orcs improves your relationship with them. When the apocalypse starts people are suddenly a lot more open to working together.
Stealth Based Shooters
- Splinter Cell Double Agent. Your actions affect how much you're trusted by the John Brown's Army (JBA) terrorist group you're trying to infiltrate and the National Security Agency (NSA), your real employer. The amount of trust for each organization is shown on a trust meter. Oddly, since it's zero-sum, a faction will lose trust in you if you help their enemies in a way they don't even know about.
- In Thief: Deadly Shadows, there were two values representing Garrett's popularity with the Hammerites and the Pagans. They were pretty useless, however, since the only ways to manipulate them were three minor sidequests and the only effect they had on the gameplay was that Garrett's allies acted as meatshields for him during the final mission.
Wide Open Sandbox
- Bully tracks your allegiance with the five school cliques, as well as the townies. Each mission will gain or lose points with certain cliques, and your ranking will determine whether they attack you on sight or fight with you against other cliques.
- Mercenaries keeps track of every faction present in North Korea (except for the North Koreans; they'll attack you on sight), with missions for one faction possibly decreasing another's opinion of you. Skillfully playing them against one another is key to progressing through the game.
- Grand Theft Auto 2 is the only game in Grand Theft Auto series that has "respect meter" where there are three gangs that are against each other. Killing the gang that is the target of a particular gang reduces the respect of the target gang while raising the respect of the requesting gang. The respect meter is required to advance to the next available mission, which is harder and paying more. There is two ways to escape the town. One is to accumulate enough money until you are shown the exit and thus unlocking the next district (or beat the game after the third) and the other is to complete all available mission, in which the three gangs will after you for your Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, and you Kill 'em All.
- Eclipse Phase has social networks with "Rep Scores" that quantify your reputation with the group, such as Autonomists, the hyper-elite, scientists, criminals, Firewall, the network corresponds to. If your rep is high enough you can pull in favors from people on that network, a lot of Autonomist habitats don't even use money anymore just rep.
- In Hc Svnt Dracones characters have loyalty scores with the big seven Mega Corps that range from -5 to 5. Corps that have rivalries with another corp (ASR and Pulse, Spyglass and IRPF, Progenitus and TTI) won't allow you to have more than five points between them and their rival. At three loyalty you're considered an employee and are entitled to discounts on their products and a retainer.
- Blades in the Dark Your crew has ratings indicating their relationship with every other noteworthy faction in Duskwall, from fellow petty gangs to the Imperial Military stationed in the city. Doing scores almost inevitably sours your relationship with one or more of them, but if you're smart about it, it may also improve your standing with others.
- Warframe has the Syndicates: six independent factions that oppose both the Grineer and the Corpus, each with a unique ideology and theme. The Tenno can wear sigils representing each group to gain reputation with that group and half as much with the group's ally, but at the cost of losing reputation with the group's two enemies. Work long enough for a Syndicate, and you'll get access to powerful mods and special weapons. Get them angry at you instead, and they'll start sending Eximus squads to hunt you down. While Cephalon Simaris and the Conclave are technically part of the Syndicate system as well, they remain separate from the politics of the main six, and players can only make positive progress with them.