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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
09-14-2010, 03:03 PM
Section II - AAATEN'SHUN!!

In this section I'll describe how to control your Bridge Officers. And I'll cover more on the game AI as well. You do have quite a bit of control your Bridge Officers. All of the controls are icons on the team window. There are icons which control your entire team. And there are a set of icons for each Bridge Officer so you can control them individually. I'll go through each command individual and explain how they work in detail.

The Controls
The icon bar at top of the holds four icons which gives commands to all of your Bridge Officers. The first icon is a diamond outlined in line segments. This is the Passive control icon. The second icon is a simple 'X'. The is the Active control icon. The third icon is a circle with four hashes across it (a target reticule). This is the Set Focus control icon. The fourth and last icon is an inverted triangle inside of a 'V'. This is the Set Rally Point control icon.

To the left of each character's portrait where are 3 icons stacked vertically. These are the icons to control each Bridge Officers individually. The top icon is the Passive/Aggressive icon. Clicking the icon will toggle back and forth between active and passive stance. The outline lined diamond icons indicates passive mode, and the 'X' indicated active stance. The second icon is the hashed circle Set Focus control icon. And the bottom icon is the inverted triangle inside of a 'V' Set Rally Point control icon.

And to the right of the Bridge Officers portrait and status display there are one to four power icons. These power icons correspond to your Bridge Officers ground abilities. These power icons are used to control if and when they use their abilities outside of the normal AI control.

Passive/Aggressive
This controls the stance of a Bridge Officer. The default stance is aggressive. In aggressive stance, a Bridge Officer will start to attack if any enemy come within their perception range, an enemy attacks a Bridge Officer or yourself, or if you start attacking or use an offensive abilities against an enemy. (By the way, if one Bridge Officers or you are attack, the rest of the the Bridge Officers know it, and they will go into combat mode).

Passive mode is just that. In passive stance, a Bridge Office will not attack under any circumstance. However, Bridge Officers will still use their other abilities when the circumstance warrant it. That is they will recharge personal shield that are damage, heal friendly targets who are down on health, etc.

You may ask "Why use Passive Mode?". Well it's useful in a couple of circumstances. First if you are setting up a killing zone with mines, bombs, turrets, mortars, etc. You don't want a Bridge Officer jumping into combat before you are ready. Putting them in passive mode will prevent that. Another use for passive mode is if you want to fallback for some reason. If you set you away team to passive mode, they will stop attacking and quickly come back to their leash points near you or rally points that you have set for them. Once you are grouped, a quick click puts them all into aggressive mode, and ready to go once more.

Set Focus
This command tells the Bridge Officers to focus efforts on whatever you have targeted at that moment. In simple terms, it's a command to focus fire on your target. But it's actually more complex and powerful than that simplification. The thing targeted could be foe, friend or even yourself. And that is what gives it so much power.

The Set Focus command overrides the normal aggro rules I spoke about earlier to a certain extent. On an enemy target, it's essentially a focus fire command. But as I said in the aggro section, it's not an exclusive target. A Bridge Officer will heal, recharge shields of friendly targets when needed. If the target if a friendly unit, the Bridge Officer will give priority to the target. For example, the focused target will get heals first.

One aspect of Set Focus comes from the target assist code in the game. It can have some interesting aspect in combat in the game. These apply to players as well. For a very simple example, you have a Klingon Warrior targeted, and the Klingon Warrior has your Science Bridge Officer as his current target. If you active Medical Tricorder, the target affected will be your Science Bridge Officer. This is target assist, and as you can see it will work in reverse with abilities that affect friend is used on an enemy target.

This reverse target assist as well as the usual behavior of target assist applied to your Bridge Officers as well. Its something to keep in mind. I'll come back to 'Set Focus' in the "Make it so!" section below.

One control that I haven't mention yet is actually a ground key bind. And that key is 'Y'. This is bound to the Team Set Focus control icon. IF you want of focus fire on a specific NPC. Target that NPC yourself, hit 'Y' and then wave "bye, bye" to that target.

One very important interaction that will lead me into the next section on Rally Points. If you give the Set Focus to your Bridge Offices set to an enemy NPC, you officers will chase that focused target all over the map. Your Bridge Officers will even go beyond their leash lengths. In a sense, the target becomes the new leash point. Be aware.

Set Rally Point
As I said in a previous section you can change the leash point for a Bridge Officers. This is done by setting a rally point. Setting a rally point is a two step process. The first step is to click on the rally point command icon. The imagery of you cursor will change to be an image of the control icon: an inverted triangle inside of a 'V'. This indicates you are in Set Rally Point. (Note: You cannot click and select targets in this mode). To set a rally point select an area with you visual range and click the left mouse button. At that location one to four circles will appear on the ground with the roman numbers 1-4 hovering above them. This are the new leash locations for the corresponding Bridge Officer. Your Bridge Officers will otherwise behave as described in the "The Basics".

To clear a rally point right click on the Set Rally Point control icon (team or individual). The circle(s) will disappear. And the Bridge Officer will come back and join you at your side. And sometimes your cursor will be left in Set Rally Point mode. To get out of that mode, simply right click with mouse cursor off any of the game UI controls. The "Set Rally Point" image will be replaced with the normal game cursor.

Power Icons

Now normally your Bridge Officers are pretty good about using their offensive and defensive abilities. Meaning they will shoot the bad guys and treat the good guys. But there may be times when you want a Bridge Office to use an ability outside of then they would normally use it. And there may be times when you don't want a certain ability used in combat. Well you can do both of those with the Power Icons in the team window.

First off let's take the simple one. Tell a Bridge Officer to not use an ability. That is done by right clicking on the appropriate power icon of that Bridge Officer. That will cross out and put a color border around that power icon. That tells the the game AI to refrain from using that ability. To re-enable that power right click on the power icon and it will return to normal. (Note: Some abilities are bugged in that the Bridge Officers will use the abilities regardless of the power icon setting. And sometimes regardless of whether it's in or out or combat. Medical Generator was one such bugged ability. I haven't used it on a Bridge Officer since the beginning of the game so it may be fixed by now.)

To tell a Bridge Officer to use an ability, just left click on the appropriate power icon. If it's an targeted ability (i.e. a heal or hold), you must have an appropriate target targeted before activating the ability. After clicking the power icon, the Bridge Officer will activate the abilities and you'll see the power icon go into its cool down timer animation.