Effective value is not simply a matter of having the highest quality duty officers, but also the appropriate selection. For example, it does me little good to have four Purple quality Doctors if I have no interest in running Medical assignments and really want to run Colonial assignments, for which I need Quartermasters. Moreover, number matters as well - if I want to run multiple simultaneous Colonial assignments in an effort to maximize my advancement on the Colonial track, it isn't enough that I have one Blue or Purple Quartermaster, I might actually statistically be better off with three White quality Quartermasters.
Min-Maxers and Strategy Afficionados rejoice!
Previous mission or assignment completion will also be a prerequisite to having certain assignments available. For example, you might have to complete the "Establish Colony in the T'Ong Nebula" assignment before you are offered the "Provide Security against T'Ong Nebula Raiders" assignment.
Which assignments are available will change every few hours, and may also be gated by your captain's rank, what sector you are in, and other achievements.
Is it just me or does this sound like they're adding stories to exploration nebulas?
Subsequent to the duty roster system going live we will be rolling out the next component of the system: Department Heads and your First Officer.
Bridge officers will be able to "eat" duty officers of their own branch to learn those duty officer's passive abilities. (Fictionally, think of it as the duty officers are joining that bridge officer's staff.)
With the appropriate expenditures of Merit/Honor and for bridge officers with adequate training, a player can appoint a bridge officer to head up one of six departments - Tactical, Security, Science, Medical, Engineering, Operations. Once heading up a department, those "eaten" duty officer skills will become active.
(For the record, the term "eaten" is used in this description to make sure it is clear that the duty officer goes away.)
Slotting between stations (the current "Assignment" tab), away team and department head slots are independent; if you slot a bridge officer into the Tactical Department Head slot, their passive powers will be in effect. That exact same bridge officer could also be slotted into a bridge station or away team, but whether that bridge officer is or isn't his or her department passives will be in effect.
From department heads, a bridge officer can be promoted to a First Officer once you acquire special "trainer" duty officers. The skill imparted to a First Officer, however, will be an active, clickable skill that you can slot on your power bar and use in space.
When you appoint a first officer, another BO can replace them as department head. Your first officer's passive duty officer skills will however still be active as a first officer - so this means you can effectively double up on the passives in one department.
First Officers may be demoted, but there will be an associated cost, probably in Merit/Honor. The former first officer's skills will be retained, although inert unless reinstated. This is also true of department heads who are removed from their position - the passives they ate from their duty officers will still be there, they just will be inert and inactive until they are reinstated. The first officer skills have not been designed yet, but they are currently envisioned as being new skills, probably similar to your captain skills.
Department head and first officer skills for bridge officers will be in addition to their existing skills - getting them to play nicely with the bridge officers' existing skills is one of the reasons why that part of the system will be rolled out after the duty officer part of the system.
Department head skills are taken from duty officers in their own branch, so the passive skills they gain will in fact be associated with their branch of service. First officer active powers will probably also fall into this pattern as well, but there is still a lot of design that has to be done in this area so I can't promise anything.
Integral to the introduction of department heads and your First Officer we will be revisiting the entire crew user interface in an effort to streamline and integrate it, all with an eye to allowing us to build even more deeply upon that to provide even more functionality and depth to your crew.
I was hoping that the first officer system would be playable on the ground (as in have the option of not bring the captain down, and having the first officer running the show) like Instead of having the captain beam down to that rumulan planet at the end of cloaked intension my first officer would be the patzy
Depending on the assignment, other rewards may also be available including:
new duty officers
Sounds very "healthy."
The current plan is that before accepting an assignment you will be told which traits will be good or bad for that assignment (and yep, a trait that is good for one assignment may be bad for another), although you probably won't be told the difference, say, between a trait positively affecting Critical Success and one positively affecting plain Success. Currently, a large majority of assignments affect Critical Success/Success equally and Failure/Disaster equally, though there are exceptions that are left for you to discover - for example, there is one where the Seduction trait increases your chance of both Critical Success and Disaster, but not Success or Failure.
Similarly, a disaster outcome usually results in the deaths of any white quality duty officers put on the assignment and a chance for each higher quality duty officer to spend some R&R time in Sick Bay. Sick Bay and death results for white quality duty officers do sometimes occur outside of disaster outcomes, note - you can see crewmen die even on the successful completion of a ground action.