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I wonder, what are (or have been) first contact policies for each species in Mass Effect along the timeline ?

I found some examples in the corresponding wikia, like the peacefull first contact between Salarians and Asaris and of course the First Contact War between Turians and Humans.

But in none of the cases there was no particular policy, and there is no clear First Contact policy for each faction (even though, Salarian and Asari seems to be peacefull).

What are the First Contact Policies throughout the Mass Effect Universe ?

  • Not familiar enough with the tie-in materials to know if it's answered in there, but pretty sure it's not answered in the games. The primary reason for the First Contact War was not policy, but that Turians found Humans just randomly trying to activate a relay, which is incredibly dangerous if you don't know what it connects to - the Rachni were unleashed this way. So those Humans were stoped with force. Otherwise I speculate that they have a diplomacy corp which handles any plannable first contact encounters. – Radhil Nov 11 '16 at 18:41
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A clear or cohesive first-contact policy is never eludicated. From the events around the Raloi, and Yahg though, we can infer a few things. Both of these races were recently contacted by the Citadel races. Contact with the Krogan, though they were a pre-spaceflight species at the time, was done with a specific goal during wartime, and can't serve as an accurate example.

Notes on the Yahg

  • The Yahg were roughly equivalent to current day humans. They have the beginnings of a space program.
  • The citadel races initated contact, and sent a delegation to meet with the Yahg. We do not know if one race led this delegation or not.

Notes on the Raloi

  • The Raloi had just launched their first space telescope, placing their tech level around 20th century Earth.
  • They initiated contact with the Asari. Or alternatively, the Asari responded to being noticed by the Raloi.
  • First contact was completed on the Raloi planet, after which the Raloi were invited to visit the Citadel.

In addition to these two events, there is mention of First-Contact Procedures in the events around the re-discovery of the Manswell Expedition.

Believing it very possible that the colonists had no knowledge of the rest of the galaxy, the Alliance decided to proceed using first contact protocols. Rather than send in a full military force, they sent in a team of military experts, medics, sociologists, anthropologists, linguists, psychologists, geneticists, and other experts to a facilitate a dialogue with the colonists.

It is unclear if these protocols are Human-specific, or enforced by the Citadel. They do appear to be compatible with what we know of the Raloi and Yahg contacts.

So What?

There are some things we can determing or infer. It does appear that there are standard first-contact protocols, but they only appear to pertain to pre-spaceflight, or at least pre-relay species. Notably, the Turian's responded to discovery of Humans by occupying their colony, rather than attempting a traditional diplomatic contact after the battle at Relay 314. The humans were already settling worlds and using the relays at this point, so they were treated like a newly-discovered galactic power.

The Citadel Council appears to openly contact new races, but only if they are at the point of reaching space. Before the altercation with the Manswell colony, the Asari were observing a pre-spaceflight race, with no mention of contacting them.

Standard protocol, at least for the Council and Humans, is to send a wide delegation to the new race, meeting them on their planet. If the initial contact goes well, then a delegation of the aliens is brought to the Citadel for culture and legal education.

We do not know if technological uplift or Council recognition is provided automatically, or if it must be requested/earned.

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    "Notably, the Turian's responded to discovery of Humans by occupying their colony, rather than attempting a traditional diplomatic contact after the battle at Relay 314. The humans were already settling worlds and using the relays at this point, so they were treated like a newly-discovered galactic power." - This was a war crime, for which the Hierarchy paid reparations to the Systems Alliance. It's not part of any official first contact policy. – Kevin Nov 12 '16 at 6:44
  • Good point, though its not clear if the reparations were specifically due to them not following first contact protocol, or because the occupation of shanxi was illegal, and unwarranted by their fight at Relay 314. – ench Nov 12 '16 at 6:49

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