Universal Bridge Officers
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Join Date: Dec 2007
11-05-2010, 10:07 PM
I thank everyone that has read and replied with your own thoughts in this Thread. I would like now to bring the discussion a step further, so permit me to post some ideas on a tentative system that I think would give more flexibility to the players and permit for all ships to have Universal BO's, plus bring it closer to Trek.
So without further ado.
Universal BO's & Flexibility
The basic Idea is inspired actually from exciting mechanics of the game right now, it will become clear as you read further. As explained during the initial discussion the suggestion assumed that some systems connected presently to the functionality and implementation of BO's would also alter in some ways in order to make this possible, and in what follows I shall try to give examples in order to represent these ideas.
The biggest reason why just making all BO universal would not work has been actually several aspects but related to one another.
1st - It would affect game Balance
2nd - (related to 1) It would alter the role of Ships
3rd - (related to 2 ) Ships would lose their uniqueness.
So first things first,
Ships & ship equipment functionality
The core of the idea consist of making a list of Powers that are normally associated to Ship and Ship equipment functionality from the current BO powers.
For example, Tractor Beam, High yield Torpedo, Rapid Fire, Attack Pattern Omega, Engineering team, Emergency Power to Shields etc.
And then associating these powers properly as part of the Ship standard Functionality and Ship Equipment that the player can change such as Torpedo launchers, Arrays, Turrets Cannons Shields, Impulse Engines Deflector Dishes and Consoles.
Also, associate levels of Powers to Character Rank as well as Ship Design.
- All ships will by default have a Tractor Beam and the player will have a power in their Power Tray to activate it on all ships.
- All ships equipped with a torpedo launcher will have access to torpedo related powers, such as HY and Spread.
- All ships will have all types of Engineering Teams
- All ships will be able to call upon Emergency Power to various Systems
However this will depend on Rank and the Ship as well, so at Ensign We do not have access to these Functionality, and then at Lieutenant we get Spread 1, at Lt.Commander Spread 2, at Captain spread 3, while we could get HY1 at Lt.Commander etc.
Up to what level certain powers go will depend on ships and their role and will constitute ship Uniqueness.
In short, what powers are available to a ship depends on the type of equipment we outfit that ship with in priority then depending on Ship Design and Role and Rank. This is the basic principle which by now you may see that it is inspired from how ground Combat Kits and Weapons work. Each Kit has its own abilities and each weapon gives you abilities depending on its type and role. So the same approach for Space as well.
This also means that slight changes may need to be done to the UI in order to have access to this functionality is a easily accessible way on a per Division focus, Engineering, Tactical and Science.
Finally Consoles, in addition to their standard Effects could also provide some specific functionality, this permits for a greater diversity and rewards.
So by now you maybe thinking, "ok but wouldn't that destroy BO's, and not have a reason to have them?"
Quite the contrary, this will make BO's equally important, the only difference is that your options for action as a StarShip Captain is no longer limited to a few select Powers and Functionality. But BO's are equally important.
The approach does not require any changes to the current skill system, we still put points for our captains the same way as we Rank up, and at certain levels we will still be able to train BO's.
"But train them on what? You just removed all their powers!", you may say.
We train them Specializations.
For instance we can Train a Tactical BO, Tactical Team Specialization, what this will do is give a bonus to the effects of the Power, which is available by default on all ships.
So by default Tactical Teams have an effect as is now for Tactical team 1 for instance, but if you have a Tactical BO with Tactical Team Specialization Grade A, then the power receives a +1 to all effects a reduction in cool-down etc etc.
or another example and since all ships have a Tractor beam not all ships may have a BO who is specialized in the use of Tractor beams so if you opt to specialize of of your BO's to use Tractor beams your Tractor beam will perfom better than another player's ship in which no BO has been specialized for it.
How many Specializations a BO can have depends on their Rank. So an Ensign BO can have one specialization, a Lieutenant 2, Lt. Commander 3 and a Commander 4.
This means you could enhance selectively a certain functionality of your ship but at the expense of others. yet it does not limit you on what options and abilities you have in every ship as a Captain, what limits these depends on the Ship Design and Role.
Thus, you are now free to open up Ship BO positions to become Universal.
Special Abilities such as SNB, RSP, Tyken's Rift, Gravity Well etc. Are not abilities associated with normal operation of ships, and are not specializations either. These are in this case Randomly available periodically.
On every engagement a roll is made periodically and from a poll of Special abilities one per BO becomes available randomly depending on what type of BO's you have, so the chance of what abilities pop up depends on the type of BO's you have as part of your bridge crew.
Lets say you had a tactical Commander, and a Lt Engineer, 2 Lt Science and a Ensign Science, during combat they may suggest Attack Pattern Omega for the tactical officer, RSP for the Engineer, Viral matrix from a Scientist, Gravity well from another and finally Photonic Shockwave for another.
Depending on the situation as Captain you opt to choose using Photonic Shock Wave, at that point all other choices are discarded, and the roll process begins again randomly offering choices following a period of time.
Not unlike when Captain Picard asks the Bridge crew for options or alternatives in a given situation and Data or Riker or Laforge come up with various suggestions and then Picard chooses the one he feels would be more appropriate for the situation.
This at the same time eliminates cookie cut tactics in game, and makes the game play more consistent with the Trek Experience.
It can even go a step further and be combined with a BO progression system where BO's evolve as well and with time get better at doing certain things or their suggestions become more powerful.
A step even further
There can actually be Functionality associated with the differentsections of ships, if you choose this Saucer section it can have some variation from the same Class of ship Saucer variation two. The Akira and the Oslo could be both escorts of the same rank but with different Ship Specs, for instance one could be more beam Based while the other more Torpedo based...and thus more consistent with Trek.
In conclusion, Ships retain their primary role, and can be designed to be closer in capability to Trek.
Example the Miranda can actually have a Torpedo Pod, with 2 launchers able to shoot two torpedoes either fore or aft or one for and one aft, at close intervals.
Each ship design can have different characteristics, and each ship design can have proper Bridge Crews from the get go. Like even the Miranda could have 5 BO's all at ensign, and this would not provide it with more Powers than it could have as per its design specs, and thus be more consistent with Trek as well, and all positions can be Universal, at the choice of the captain.
This way possibilities open themselves for the game. For instance there can be a greater customization of Equipment, Consoles etc. Specially combined with a Crafting system, there is like that many different things to craft and customize.
All in all, with such an approach, BO's can be Universal and each player as Captain can choose their BO configuration as well as customize the functionality of their ships according to their style of play. Plus it is all more consistent with Trek.
That is about it.