Hi. I'm a new member and haven't even created my character yet. I have a question about factions. I've read the descriptions for many of the factions, but not having played the game before I still don't quite know which faction I would like to join. If you don't like a faction can you "unjoin" and go to another faction keeping your existing character? Is there any penalty for doing this? Is there any stigma/negative connotation for changing factions that may follow you through your career? Thanks for the help.
If you're on a faction ship, you may end up arrested for leaving the group. Especially without telling them before hand.
And yes, faction hopping DOES tend to give you a negative mark. People tend to dislike employees who tend to switch factions alot. And, if you went from say, the NR to the GE, people would trust you even less as a potential spy, defector, etc.
Other than that, yes, you can leave a faction at any time.
Faction hopping is only spread by word-of-mouth. And it's not necessarily too bad of a mark unless you continue to do it frequently, or you leave from important positions. The average person leaving every few months for part of the first year to try to find a faction that fits them probably isn't a big deal.
"May the Grace of Ara go with you, and His Vengeance be wrought upon your enemies."
Generally new players get a great deal more leniency in this regard because it's not uncommon for a new player to try out a faction and feel as though it doesn't suit them well. Provided you don't make it known if you are leaving one faction for their enemy, you really shouldn't have any trouble with this. Most faction leaders will probably be quite understanding, and some may even offer to help you find something else that you might like better.