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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
05-13-2010, 11:33 AM
***Bridge Officer Story Arcs Selection Screen***

Previously on the Star Trek Online Forums... I discussed and gave an overview for the Story Arc System. In the course of this, I alluded to the individual traits and elements which allow you to customize your Bridge Officers in story-relevant ways while also suggesting at some functionality changes you may notice with your Bridge Officers. Here, I plan to outline the elements of the Story Arc character tab and what they would mean for you. And now... the conclusion.

Core Traits:
These are the core Ground and Space Traits you select at character creation. Currently (as of 5/13/2010), there is no system to modify or upgrade those traits, despite much support for the idea. These are traits which may be logically modified in the course of character intense story developments and so this is one feature of this system which I expect would prove quite popular.

Because these are so intrinsic to your character, the essential element of their design here is that they can be expensive to replace and it may take the complete rewards earned in a Story Arc to change one trait and it may take multiple Story Arcs worth of Plot Points (the currency awarded for Story Arcs), to upgrade one trait to a Superior form.

You remain limited to the traits available at character creation and any mandatory traits for your Bridge Officer's species may only be upgraded or exchanged for their Superior form. (Although the possibility exists for ranks of traits beyond Superior down the road.)

Personality Traits:

These reflect your Bridge Officer's personality, their disposition, their outlook on life and way of interacting with the world. These may result in slight modifications to their standard dialogues but the primary purpose they serve here is to determine the list of Story Arcs which may be applied to your Bridge Officer. For example, a Vengeful Bridge Officer may go on a near-fatal mission of retribution against a faction they have a Vendetta against whereas an Amorous Bridge Officer may find themselves under the thrall of a seductive alien telepath and a Parental Bridge Officer may be driven to extremes in the defense of innocents. You are given two for each Bridge Officer to give them a fairly wide selection of Story Arcs they can encounter.

Suggested Personality Traits:

Favorite Planet:

I use this in place of homeworld because not every Bridge Officer's homeworld may be represented in game or may be unavailable due to faction restrictions. This determines one place you are likely to travel to and have an adventure at in the course of a Bridge Officer Story Arc. It may also be useful for implimenting NPC chatter and other uses elsewhere in the game. (For example, a daily or weekly mission to take shore leave on a planet of your choice may provide a buff or benefit to Bridge Officers whose Favorite Planet is that world.)

Favorite Food:

Again, a good source for NPC chatter, this helps give your Bridge Officer personality. If your BO is falsely presumed dead, perhaps a shipboard funeral will have a crew member reflect on sharing this dish or beverage with the Bridge Officer. Or perhaps, after being held captive and interrogated, the Bridge Officer will request their favorite dish.

As a functional element, a Bridge Officer's Favorite Food will be twice as effective on them as any other food, encouraging you to remember and stock your Bridge Officer's favorites, adding to the sense of personality.

Gender Preference:
Given the possibility that your Bridge Officer may have a taste of love, whether it's a manipulative telepath or a doomed romance like the one between Jim Kirk and Edith Keeler and also given that gender preference may be especially unpredictable in a 25th century where some races have multiple genders, this is where you indicate your Bridge Officer's preference of gender. The default will be the apparent opposite gender but you can adjust this trait if you prefer.

Divided loyalties are a recurring theme in Star Trek. The DS9 crew helped the Mirror Universe Terrans. Worf was frequently conflicted between his duty to Starfleet and his birthright as a Klingon. Many in Starfleet sympathize with the Marquis.

Here, you select a faction your Bridge Officer shows extra sympathy towards, who on some level they feel like they know and understand better. This may result in you defending the faction in some exploration space and ground missions where they are being hunted by a better armed aggressor. This may result in some missions where you fight this faction to the regret of your Bridge Officer. This can also play a pivotal role and filling in some of the "madlibs" elements of Bridge Officer Story Arcs.

There is a mechanical effect to reinforce the asset and the liability that these sympathies can represent. Superior understanding can lead to superior tactics but it can also cause your Bridge Officer to experience hesitation in the heat of combat against such a foe.

Reduces the Bridge Officer's damage dealt against members of this faction by 10%. Grants the Bridge Officer a 2% additional chance of Exposing a member of this faction with any Expose attack.

As with Sympathies, a Vendetta can help shape your Bridge Officer's character arc by filling in details needed, while also helping to skew Exploration content in ways that can make it personal.

As we saw with Picard and the Borg, a deeply held grudge against a faction can both increase the ferocity with which a Bridge Officer fights to kill that enemy while also blinding them and making them more vulnerable.

Increases the Bridge Officer's damage taken against members of this faction by 10%. Grants the Bridge Officer a 2% additional chance of Exploiting a member of this faction with any Exploit attack.

Best Friend:
Kirk gave the eulogy at Spock's funeral. Garak and Bashir had a friendship which proved pivotal when Bashir's Secret Agent program ran amock. Paris and Kim were always getting into trouble together.

Simply put, identifying a crew member's closest friend among the crew can really help with auto-generated content. This is the first person to notice when something is wrong with that crew member. This is the person that can help snap them out of the influences of mind control or the person to talk them back from the edge.

Increases the effectiveness of the Bridge Officer's healing and buffing abilities by 5% when used on their Best Friend. Also makes the Bridge Officer slightly more likely to assist the Best Friend than other officers and focus fire on the same target.

Academic, Artistic and Athletic Interests:

These serve to further round out your Bridge Officers and personalize the missions they cneounter, both in Story Arcs and in Exploration missions (as well as random NPC chatter). It may be as simple as them talking about coming back from a sporting event or it may be as pivotal as making a First Contact mission read so that your BO's knowledge of some cultural practice or element was essential in learning to communicate with them. As these are flavor elements. they are relatively cheap to modify.

Academic Knowledge refers not strictly to classical topics but simple something which a Bridge Officer may have knowledge of the arcane details of. This is something which a person can study.

Artistic interests are forms of expression, something you can appreciate in performance or exhibition and take part in an exhibition of.

Athletic interests are sports and physical activities which tend to be team or group oriented and competitive, whether against an opponent or a person's own best record.

I'm supplying a tentative list here, with canon examples of people who participated in each in parenthesis:

Academic Interests:
Antiquities (Jadzia, Kirk, Phlox, Picard, Sisko, Spock, Sulu)
Archaeology (M'Ress, Picard)
Automotives (Paris, Picard)
Chess (Data, Geordi, Jadzia, Kirk, Sisko, Spock, Troi)
Computing (Barclay, Data, Geordi,Scotty)
Dabo (Kira, Riker)
Dom-Jot (Picard, Sisko)
History (Chekov, Kirk, Paris, Picard, Riker, Scotty, Spock, Worf)
Kadis-kot (Naomi, Seven)
Kal-toh (Tuvok)
Literature (Bashir, Chekov, Data, Janeway, Kirk, McCoy, O'Brien, Odo, Picard, Spock)
Music (Bashir, The Doctor, Kim, Kirk, Jadzia, McCoy, Picard, Sisko, Worf)
Poker (Crusher, Data, Jadzia, Kirk, Geordi, O'Brien, Riker, Troi, Worf)
Puzzles (Bashir, Spock)
Religion (Chakotay, Kira, Sisko, T'Pol, Tuvok)
Stratagema (Data, Riker)

Artistic Interests:
Acting (Crusher, Data, Neelix, Riker)
Cooking (Archer, Hoshi, Kes, Neelix, Sisko)
Dancing (Crusher, Data, Janeway)
Film (Paris, Trip)
Gardening (Kes, Janeway, Sulu, Tuvok)
Magic Tricks (Arex)
Musical Performance (Arex, Data, The Doctor, Kim, O'Brien, Picard, Riker, Uhura)
Painting (Data)
Photography (Trip)
Poetry (M'Ress)

Athletic Interests:
Anbo-jyutsu (Riker)
Archery (Tuvok)
Baseball (Sisko)
Bat'leth (Jadzia, Worf)
Fencing (Geordi, Picard, Sulu)
Fishing (Riker)
Geskana (Trip)
Horseback Riding (Kirk, Picard)
Hoverball (Torres)
Kayaking (O'Brien, Odo)
Martial Arts (Sulu, Tuvok)
Parrises Squares (Torres)
Racquetball/Tennis (Bashir, Janeway, O'Brien)
Rock-Climbing (Kirk, Travis)
Sailing (Paris, Malcolm, Picard, Sisko)
Shuttle Racing (Paris)
Soccer (Sisko)
Springball (Kira)
Water Polo (Archer)

***Bridge Officer Story Arcs Selection Screen***