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Once upon a time, Silver wrote "You have probably already seen the strong dislike players have for Mercs."to me as part of a discussion when the game was younger. Things have changed since then, both in the state of my region and the game itself. This post is being made to explain what that Mercenary/Rogue Agent & Patriot award grants and why you should not fear them. I'll start out with the benefits of Patriot for the TL;DR Crowd: Benefits you will forever & always be capable of harvesting your neighbors/enemies bases at 100%. Let that sink in a second.. You can do that while never needing to worry about defense, Tear down those towers with impunity You can take down every target by stripping 100% of the seekers, followed by doing the same with each and every zone assault before starting on all of the helpless defensive bots you've left abandoned in the open for your fragile shockwave deployments to shred. your target is utterly incapable of distracting you no matter how many scopes/allies he can bring to bear against... against what?... his own zones?... go ahead. If done properly, your target is completely incapable of even defending against you stripping all the attack capable defenders, If by some chance they notice and try? pick a different tower. How to unlock? Well that's the hard part, your first and second step pretty much amounts to "blow up all your bots, come back and do it again in 60-120 days, then 60-120 days after that do it one more time" if you don't care about the rank points, you can do each of the first three switches needed after 60 day waits. if you wait 120 days in that faction instead, you get the rank points back for that switch. Technically you can do all three in 90 days, then spend 360 days in a single faction to get them back, but that's a lonnnng wait with awesome power constrained only by your willpower. Specifically you need to switch to one of the other two factions first, wait, switch to the third, wait one last time, then return to your original faction. after 120 days in any one faction, you can put in for a loyalty review in the portal to get a +20 point award that counters one of the -20 point defection penalties. So what now? Once you get the ability to change factions at will, you gain some wonderful abilities for stabbing the top dog in your area in the eye with their own knife. I gave some broad strokes earlier, but will give details now. Plant all your bases under the dominant faction's towers, because each time you change faction, the system will "Set Base Allegiance". Before each harvest, briefly jump to that faction and harvest at the friendly rate all the time(psst, sometimes even a little better) As of the time of this writing, the optimal deployment rate at 100 with an maxed/8200 bot scope is roughly 6 deployments of any type every 20 minutes.While most players quickly build up a very sizable, noticeable, and free kill pile of leftovers in a prolonged strike, you can trivially avoid that by switching factions at least 6 times an hour. strike faction A by changing to faction B or C and firing off that cycle's bots. After your six deployments are fired off, destroy the evidence by flipping to either of the other two factions until the next cycle begins. Qonqr blue gives everyone a number of unknowns (us some extras), beacon mechanics especially in our case, but as long as patriots targets dominant factions to keep things moving, the team has no reason not to embrace us for the human led bot decay we contribute . Perhaps I or another will update this with relevant details after that update