I’ve seen people suggest to stay at a certain MC Capacity or usage. Do or Don’t kill the servants like the scum they are. To do the barest minimum in the story, or kill every alien on earth.
Alien Threat Levels Guide
When Do the Aliens Attack?
It is paramount to understand the aliens are binary in their hatred towards you. They have a hidden “Hate level” (Remember, what we see in the intel screen is imperfect!) and at 50 “Hate” they will start blowing up your stuff.
Things that increase this are obvious stuff like blowing up ships, killing/detaining aliens, and even beating up the Servants and Protectorate.
But What About MC?
The answer is Using MC increases the “floor” for how low it can go. This is modified by difficulty, Cinematic is .05x. Normal is .4x (or .3x on 0.3.21.) Veteran is .6x. and Brutal is 1x. This means (absent hostile actions against the Aliens) you can use 1,000 MC on cinematic, but only 50 on Brutal before angering the aliens and they bring the hammer on you.
Keep in mind this is a minimum hate, so going full hog and building to the limit difficulty limit Before you have completed story objectives is ill advised.
So What Does Piss Them Off?
The obvious stuff does at least, killing and capturing the Alien Xenoforms bring 10 hate while blowing up their ships brings more hate per ship type (1-for-1 with the “structural Integrity” line in the “Terra Invicta\TerraInvicta_Data\StreamingAssets\Templates\ShipHullTemplate.json” file).
As for the Servants and Protectorate? At game start actions against them “mirror” onto the aliens. This is multiplied if they manage to make contact with the aliens. Assassinating them increases hate with a faction by 10 directly and other actions also increase this but not as drastic. Actions against the Servants will “Mirror” .25x of gained hate to the aliens, this is increased to .5x if they have established contact with the aliens. The protectorate at game start won’t do the same, but after they make contact will begin mirroring .3x of hate towards the aliens.
Can It Go Down?
It can! All human factions Except the top dog has hate tick down automatically every month. Not the most elegant solution but this way they don’t send a Dreadnought to blow up the sole Mars base of Project Exodus while a Humanity First death fleet is rampaging through the Jovian system.
The other way is also fairly obvious, when they destroy stations and habs the aliens go “Take that!” and their hate level against you is reduced by 5. They appear to collate all the stations/habs you have, sort by defenses then go for whichever is the highest research cost “Mission to X”.
So they will take down undefended Mars Bases before Luna, and if all you have is undefended stations in LEO and defenses everywhere else they’ll contribute to Kessler Syndrome (the A-holes).
So What Should I Do?
This is where we enter into subjective terms, however one can always use the above information to keep your head down long enough to be ready in your own games.
From what I see, there are 2 distinct ways of doing thing. Barest minimum Until you get Tier 2 Defense modules for Habs and Stations then going all out. Or waiting until you get “construction platforms” and making sure every important base/station has one and then just role play as the Amish from that one Family Guy skit while beating up the servants/aliens on earth.
Of the two I prefer the Latter, losing a few habs from keeping the Servants down is worth it.
As for starting nations? I have to say the EU is ultimately the strongest start. USA is big and imposing, but you are spending CP capacity on armies you don’t really need right now.
China and India show promise, but you spend the better part of a decade or more fixing them up, and when you do get them up and running they’re so bloated you can’t hold much of anything else.
EU may take time getting off the ground over USA, but you can spend the more efficient IP gain of smaller nations into precious, precious MC. “but can’t you just build MC in space?” you ask, however you need to spend MC to make MC that way. And operations centers are expensive upkeep wise, which need Nanofactories, which need even more MC and it snowballs out of control very fast.
The kill and capture Alien objectives + destroying an Alien Destroyer (ignore corvettes at first) will net you 32 hate. then as long as you didn’t kill too many servants before getting Construction Platforms on all your mars bases you should be good.
From here get Railguns and visible Arc lasers for Tier 2 station defenses and voila! You have successfully navigated the early game and can now consolidate control in the inner planets, begin exploiting the asteroid belt, and tech up for the offensive.