It's here! The update all of StarMade has been waiting for! NPC Factions.
And the good news is a reset is not required to get the update. There seems to be a bug with getting them to spawn in-game though in Linux. I've been working on it and I think I've got it sorted out, I'll know for sure tonight when I get home from work and get logged in.
I may still do an update, just to clean up the universe. As usual though, there will be lots of warning before that happens.