I noticed something REALLY odd while playing tonight. Here's the condensed version:
Race A and Race B are at war. Race A has a number of rebels wanting guerilla weapons & robotic troops delivered. Being the nice guy that I am, I help them out.
Race B gets mad because I'm dealing with Race A (their rebels, at least). IMO, that shouldn't happen. If anything, Race B should be HAPPY I'm helping the rebels!
That leads me to a broader point that I'd like to see handled in how relations work. It would be nice if races evaluated whether they actually like the action associated with a quest rather than just who offered it. Consider a system with several races present, all rather unfriendly to each other. One of them offers a quest to make the system safer. If I do the quest, the others get mad about it, even though it helps them out too.
Extending that idea, it seems that the other races present ought to have an improved opinion of the race that offered the quest - maybe those guys aren't as bad as we thought if they're cleaning up the joint.
It seems like in most cases this shouldn't really be hard - there are just a few obvious examples (clean up a system & kill a boss are the ones I can think of) that would need to be changed.
Finally, is it just me, or is it too hard to maintain a neutral mercenary type approach? If you try to do jobs for everybody, it seems to mostly just make everybody mad at you. Maybe it's intended to work this way, I don't know - but it seems like the races should be a little less sensitive about the player doing jobs for people they don't like, as long as they don't do direct harm (which seems to be factored into the quests already anyway). Of course, if you have some sort of pact with somebody, sure, you shouldn't be working for their opposition. But it seems like otherwise the penalties are too high.