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When I first started participating in the faction system, I signed up under Edmund Mahon - feeling the Alliance best fit the type of role-play I might want to take part in.

However, as I'm sure happens with many new players, before long I started wondering what Earth looked like in the Elite universe. Then I quickly found that a permit from the Federation would be required to see it first-hand.

So, at least for now, I've switched my allegiance to be under Zachary Hudson. I plan on staying with this path at least long enough to get my Sol Permit and see what "home" looks like in the 34th century.

Still, at some point I think I'd like to go back to the Alliance and play as I'd originally intended. Thus I now wonder whether abandoning the Federation, after obtaining my Sol Permit, would also mean forfeiting access to the cradle of humanity.

After switching factions, do you retain any benefits (access to ships, system permits, etc.) gained from ranking up in your previous faction(s)?

If some or all rank benefits are lost, what happens if you switch while currently using them? (Example: Switching to Alliance while flying a Federal Dropship in Sol.)

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  • Good question, Id hazard a guess that permits may cease to function, but you wouldnt lose ownership of a Federal ship. Id like to see an authoritative answer though.
    – Dpeif
    Aug 11 '16 at 16:58
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    @Dpeif My expectations are something along the lines of: (1) Permits will cease to function, but you're not going to be supernaturally ejected from your current system if it requires one. (Though local authorities may make it very uncomfortable for you to stay.). (2) You won't be able to buy any new faction-specific ships from your old faction, but you'll keep any that you currently have. What happens if one of those is destroyed may be a different matter. (Will insurance cover replacement of a ship you can't buy anymore?)
    – Iszi
    Aug 11 '16 at 17:18
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    Personally, I don't care what happens with ship-buying permissions. There's more than enough best-in-class (or close thereof) ships that don't require a faction affiliation. I just included them for completeness' sake. My main concern is whether I'll be able to "go home" again after I abandon the Federation.
    – Iszi
    Aug 11 '16 at 17:26
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Nothing is lost (except access to purchase power-specific items)

PowerPlay (Hudson, Mahon, etc) is totally separate from the major faction ranking system. You could stay pledged to Mahon and still rank up with the Federation.

If you look in your right panel under the first tab, there's a progress bar, rank and status with each of the major factions (except no rank for alliance). While you can change from allied to hostile (etc), your rank can never be lost and that progress bar can never go down (only up).

I have lieutenant with the federation, baron with the empire and stay friendly or allied with all 3 major factions. I still have all my permits, and can buy a Federal Assault Ship, an Imperial Clipper, etc.

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