But, depending on what you do, the standings loss can range from “manageable” to “oops.”
If you strictly shoot at player ships, run the complexes / missions, and only destroy the “enemy” NPCs you need to… you can mitigate the standings losses with the “enemy factions.” You can then recover the standings by running missions for the opposing faction.
If you shoot at player pods that are in the NPC militia corporation, destroy any “enemy” NPC you come across, and run countless high-level missions for your own faction then your standings with the “enemy” militia will tank.
The magic number you are looking for when it comes to NPC standings is -5.0
At that point, the respective Faction Police will chase and attempt to destroy you in their High-sec space.
(they can be outrun and avoided in smaller ships though)
Players cannot engage you for poor standings with an NPC faction.
That mechanic (players being able to shoot you for doing “bad things”) rests solely with Security Status… which will also become an issue in Faction Warfare.
edit: For the above reasons, most players who become serious about Faction Warfare will have two characters on their account;
- The main combat character that is in militia and doesn’t care about standings.
- The second character that is there for “supplying” and “vacation time.”
Generally speaking, the second character should be able to haul (train to use Blockade Runners and Covert-Ops Cloaks, they are SUPER useful) and whatever mixture of industry, combat, etc that is desired when not shooting other players.
Since one can only train skills on one character at a time (unless they use a Multi-Training certificate) it takes about 2 to 3 months to train the secondary character to a decent place.
Once there though, all training can be focused on the main combat character (as the idea is that you don’t need too many skills on the secondary character… just enough to be a useful “supplier” and do other activities).