In a funny way, this is a good topic for the Suggestions sub-forum right now.
I'm supposing that most of the features for Limit Theory v1.0 are already set. But player control of factions is something Josh said was planned for after LT v1.0 is released.
So perhaps there's still time to usefully discuss ideas for how factions will work, and (more to the point) how the player will interact with factions.
In particular, this is really starting to look like it's going to be an information-rich game, as well as one that can eventually require the manipulation of a lot of different units. So the interface for receiving information about the world of the game, and for providing direction to units that can act in the game (NPCs, ships, fleets, colonies), is really going to need to be design with a combination of power and clarity. That's hard to do well.
How would you do it?
One real-world example might be the USA's Army Battle Command System
, which handles what's sometimes called C4I: Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence. Limit Theory probably won't need an information/control interface quite
. It's just one example that suggests the answer to this amount of information might be a "system of systems": several different interfaces integrated with a simplified overall control/display structure. You go there for the big picture; then you drill down into the control/information UI for the specific thing that interests you.
Actually, now that I think about it this might benefit from the kind of message-management scheme I outlined in my Small things that would be nice to have
comment. By carefully defining information types as messages, you can build systems that move information messages up (to deciders) and control messages down (to actors). Then you "only" need to build the screens to display info and set goals, and the interfaces that move those messages between screens to the player at the very top and factional NPC executives at the bottom. You might even be able to use that message definition scheme for organizing how factional NPCs interact with each other. (Although a more simplified version might be necessary for performance, rather than the elegance of one C4I architecture to manage everything.)