The Factions are the groups that have both an interest and the means to colonize other worlds. Each faction gains bonuses and penalties, with different Victory conditions, based upon their principles and approach to hominization.
The Daughters of Gaia are fundamentally and diametrically opposed to the Sons of Hephaestus on the issue of whether planetary environments should be altered.
The UNSA focuses on cooperation in the form of democracy and an educated populace at the cost of slower monetary gain. Meanwhile the Horizon corporation sacrifices those ideals in the pursuit of financial gain.
Cultural starting positions can for the most part be changed during the game by spending culture points, so it's better to choose a faction based on what you want your end goal to be; paradise habitability, giant population, ridiculous amounts of revenue, or earning 20 culture points without changing a planet's starting stats (that last one, Sons of Hephaestus, is especially difficult for worlds like Venus, that keep crushing everything you build in random events, because you can't get rid of the atmosphere; or for oceanic worlds like Pontus, because of the limited building space, which cannot be expanded because you cannot get rid of the water).
Depending on the faction you chose, there are limits to what your world's culture can be. For example, if you chose Horizon Corporation, your Knowledge Value (research speed boost) can never be more than +0%%. It can't go to +5%. It can only be -50% to +0%. In return for that, your Wealth Value (financial growth) stat can never be lower than +0%. That one can only ever be +0% to +50%.
See this page for lore about the origins and structures of TerraGenesis' factions, as well as about each faction's representative:
- Main article: Governor/Governor Lore
Daughters of Gaia Edit
One of the earliest groups advocating for off-world terraforming, the Daughters of Gaia were founded by the charismatic Eleanor Lee (in a previous version, this was Deirdre McCloud) and have since become a powerful force in Earth politics. Under your leadership, the dreams of the Daughters will finally become reality: the transformation of an alien world into a new garden paradise.
Satellite: Reduced cost for Soletta.
Culture Limit: Cannot choose Industrial Economics.
Sons of Hephaestus Edit
Not everyone believes that we have the right to transform entire planets to suit our needs. Chief among the leaders of the conservation movement are the Sons of Hephaestus, a Planetary Purity splinter group dedicated to colonization methods that do not "contaminate" the host planet. Pioneers in advanced habitations, the Sons have members in nearly every known off-world colony.
VERY IMPORTANT!!! They do not believe in terraforming. They choose to preserve a planet's natural starting conditions, rather than to achieve habitability.
Goal: Achieve independence, and retain starting habitability (keep all stats within 5% of their starting positions; if your stats change a lot, there is no 'game over', you can just change them back and it's fine).
Satellite: Reduced cost for Sky Farm.
Culture Limit: Cannot choose Transformation Eco-Policy.
United Nations Space Administration Edit
After the Sundering, the surviving nations of the world agreed to pool their resources into a combined, truly international space exploration effort. After a few high-profile successes and the return of a relatively stable economy, the UNSA is poised to take its greatest step yet: the international colonization of an entirely new world, in the name of a united Humanity.
The UNSA's goal is possibly the hardest to reach. 500 million population takes a very long time in comparison; Horizon Corporation only requires reaching 1 billion credits, and you will likely accumulate tens of billions of credits before reaching the UNSA population goal. It is not practical to build enough Hab Domes to hold 500 million population, so you must reach habitable status. Population living outside Habs will be lost when you slip out of human habitable range, resetting much of your progress, so make sure to stabilize your planet first. Population does increase exponentially, because birthrate increases with population, so it isn't as time-consuming as it may seem towards the end.
Satellite: Reduced cost for Lagrange Academy.
Culture Limit: Cannot choose Plutocratic Government.
The Horizon Corporation was one of the first powerhouses of spaceflight, and has since come to dominate the interplanetary market. Never content to stand still, though, Horizon is about to unveil their most ambitious plan yet: the single-handed transformation of an entire planet into a new, corporate civilization.
Since you only need to make money (which you have to have regardless), it is probably one of the easiest factions. Culture points, rather than credits, is likely the limiting factor. However, it starts with a significantly slower research speed, which can be annoying.
Satellite: Reduced cost for Orbital Surveyor.
Culture Limit: Cannot choose Knowledge Values.
Far-Future Institute Edit
Founded by scientists, futurists, inventors and philanthropists, the Far-Future Institute is an international society dedicated to reshaping humanity's future through cutting-edge science. The FFI envisions a world beyond petty corporations, religions, and governments, a world where policy is guided by science, where expertise is king, and where even the sky isn't the limit for long.
Goal: Achieve independence, and research all technologies.
Satellite: Reduced cost for Space Elevator.
Culture Limit: Cannot choose Wealth Values.