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PoliticsWhen you start, you pick one of eight factions. LED, FDC, BoS, GoM, Mercs, VC, EC and CMG. LED act as local law enforcement, FDC act as a global military. BoS are the underground mafia, GoM are pacifist freedom fighters. Mercs are guns for higher and VC, EC and CMG are corporations. Generally, LED are allied with FDC. BoS are friendly with GoM. VC, EC and CMG are a little more complicated and change depending on what's best for their businesses. But the alliances and enemies of factions are so dynamic I can't accurately give much information. It's safe to say that shit in this game happens often, and it's always a good idea to pay attention to the higher ranked people in your faction to see who you should and shouldn't be chilling out with. Civil Wars, Coup De Etat attempts and other such scandals are a common occurrence in FOM, at any time the entire community can be turned on it's head.
There are no NPCs in this game. "Quests" are player run. The money you get from quests comes directly from your faction's funds. Funds are not unlimited. Every item you can pick up in the game has been created by a player. Item creation takes a while to do, but once it's done you can put the items up for sale on a colony. There are taxes, and depending on the colony every item you sell will have a percentage taken off and given to the faction that controls that colony at the time. Each colony can be mined for various resources, and these change depending on the colony. It's a good idea to have the faction pay you to mine or else you'll be out of cash fast. While you won't necessarily ever need to create an item in the game, you will at some point purchase one and have a direct impact onto the economy of the game. Factions can bottom out and end up with nothing, while other factions can control all the colonies in the game. Again, all player run.
CombatYou shoot dudes in the face. Combat is real time, and unlike so many other MMOs, you aim. You don't get a lockon, your shots will miss. Players have quite a bit of health to help prevent people getting outright murdered, but with no armour you're still going to go down fast. You have all the standard weapons. Various rifles, SMGs, pistols, energy weapons and grenades. You can also wear different selections of armour, clothing and shields. For an added boost, you can take illegal drugs that give bonuses to accuracy or stamina, but usually have some undesired effects. (Though LED and FDC are not "allowed" to take drugs, and you will be arrested if the law finds you have these on you.)