One of the dangers of running missions in high sec is running afoul of one of the empires. On my current quest for the Nestor, I need to worry about my Amarr standings. Currently Wandering Rose is sitting at -2.81 and Rosewalker is at -4.5. If I hit -5.0, the Amarr Navy starts shooting at me in high sec.
My standings with the Amarr are improved considerably due to a skill called Diplomacy. The skill grants a +4% modifier per level to the effective standings toward every NPC faction with which I have negative standings. Both Wandering Rose and Rosewalker have the skill trained to 5. Without Diplomacy, my characters would have Amarr standings of -6.01 and -8.12 respectively. Did I mention I like to shoot at Amarr ships?
The formula for calculating standings isn't found in CCP's Help Desk article on standings, so I thought I would include the algorithm below:
Effective Standing = Unadjusted Standing + (10 - Unadjusted Standing) * (4% * Skill Level)
Of course, my standings are so bad that just a couple of storyline missions would free me from fear of the faction police wanting to separate me from my ship.
On the flip side, if I started working to improve Wandering Rose's Amarr standings, her Minmatar standings would drop like a rock. Her standings are 9.91, and I'm not sure I really want to lower them. Then again, the development trend in EVE is to not value high standings like I have with the Minmatar anymore. I think the only reason I am reluctant to do so is that her standings show she is a staunch supporter of the Republic and doing anything to reduce that feels like a betrayal of the character.
I should add that I could gather up the loyalty points I need without ruining my Amarr standings. I know of a level 4 distribution agent in low sec I can get a lot of loyalty points from. But part of the exercise I am engaged in with my current grind is to become familiar with running high sec security missions after a very long time of not doing them. Besides, ruining my Amarr and Caldari standings would give me additional goals in the game. A kind of perverse way at looking at the situation, but if I want to talk about repairing standings, I may need to ruin some first.