Trying to be as spoiler free as possible, I’ve completed New Dawn and I’m wondering, does the story change depening on how you progress through it, Ie gaining ranks without cheating? Does the 3 choices in the 1st season arch effect the story in New dawn?
The answer is pretty much ‘No’ on all those accounts.
I’m not sure it’s possible to get the legitimate rank before the illegitimate, but if it is, it would take some serious dedication, as many of the missions that provide points aren’t available until later or until after completion of the story chain.
As far as I can the only mission thus gated is “Grease Monkey” (requires “Truck Sabotage” which in turn requires “Things That Go Bump in the Night” which gives you the illegitimate Anointed rank). “Cult of Personality” can be repeated without running “Things That Go Bump . . .” and completing it once unlocks the four other sides that grant ascension points.
That’s still more than a month’s worth of missions even if you somehow had the time to repeat everything once it’s off the 8-hour cooldown for patrons.
I didn’t see those four sides show up on either trip the first time, I’ll assume I missed them unlocking.
It’d still take some serious dedication!
They’re easy to miss on the first run through if you’re just following the story since they’re not available while you’re actually in that part of the compound doing “The Cult of Personality” for the first time & on completing it and leaving the gym there are a few brief steps in the story mission before you go to the nighttime instance for the first time.
Cheating, as in taking Marika’s bracelet, is explicitly a mission objective in Things That Go Bump In the Night. Since you need to complete that mission in order to unlock Foulfellow and Gideon, cheating is mandatory to progress.
Maybe someone out there could try to reach 1000 points without, but the mission structure doesn’t look like it was designed with that option in mind.
Be nice if a dev could confirm one way or another, before I have alts attempt it.
Even if you pick up the bracelet and could theoretically progress, your own status is still (according to the scanners and the achievement log) “Foundling”. Edit: The achievement! Illegitimate access will be credited only after you spoke to the guard. Thus you can still proceed to farm your points normally. This is the info I’ve gathered so far.
Edit 2: BUT as soon as you finish “Things that go bump in the Night” your bracelet will inform you, that you gained 1000 points, even though they are not credited for the achievement. Thing is, the game and NPCs in general, will recognize you as Annointed.
I will double check this with my second character in aproximately 70 -140 days xD wip
Edit 3: So what I did with my other character to make sure is not finishing above mentioned mission. You can play it normally if you like to get the “Big Game Hunter” but make sure you don’t pick up Marika’s Arm.
The devs don’t normally talk about stuff like that.
If you’re very worried about it, though, you could find out yourself? Or wait a couple few months for someone else dedicated enough to find out.