I thought it might be nice to see if anyone wanted to put together a thread "Helpful Hints" for new people regarding how to begin the game with your bridge officers. Being someone whom likes to start with a full contingent of blue officers (easilly done. it's an ego thing) I wondered what other people's feelings were on this matter.
There are three things that probably would help someone out when it comes to BO's and later in the game.
1. There is no problem with promoting all of the to Commander (as long as they stay one rank behind you). This way, if you take them on an away team, they'll have access to all their Ground skills.
2. When it comes to your BO's in Space, keep in minind that all you will ever be able to use is 5 maximum. Depending on the ship (at RA), they will be in the following ranks:
Ship Type (Esc - Tac, Crs - Eng, Sci - Sci) Commander
Ship Type Lt Commander
Ship Specialty (for example, Adv Escort - Extra Sci Off) Lieutenant
Ship Specialty Ensign
Keeping that info in mind, you can figure out what skills to train to which BO.
3. By the time you hit Captain, you will have a total of 8 BOs assigned to your ship. This is enough to for a dedicated Bridge Crew and a dedicated Away Team crew. Setting it up this way, you can concentrate your BO skill points on only those skills that they'll need and be able to use, and not have to spend any in skills they won't ever use. Once you have everyone maxed in those particular skills, then you can concentrate on skills they won't generally use. (You never know when a Bridge crew officer might have a skill you would want to use on the ground and vice versa.)
Personally, I've been training them based on what skills I thought would be the most useful (mostly space combat gets the priority) as I go.
I kind of screwed up when I got promoted to Lt. Commander, though. I wanted to get rid of my generic BO's so I could complete the custom bridge crew with custom names and species of my choosing that I couldn't quite do right away at launch. But I forgot to empty their inventory or skillset before I discharged them so I lost all those points and items and have to start over in a sense with those officers.
No big deal. Long way to go to Admiral level, still. :-)
Items, yes, you lost. BO Skill points, you were going to lose those anyway. But, as BO Points seem to be plentiful and have no cap, there's no real need to worry there.
Just to give you an idea, I've reached RA5 about 10 tends ago and I currently have over forty thousand boff SPs unspent.
Not only are all my Boffs skills maxed to 9, but I have specific Boffs (for example, Boffs with hull rep skills for fighting Borg, etc) and I swap Boffs as needed for the circumstances.
Here's a question.. I recently noticed that I had captain rank, personal shields equipped on on of my bridge officers (rank commander).
I was under the assumption that if an item could not be used, that it could not be equipped. Does that mean I can use my rank gear on my boffs? ..Or is it that it can be equipped in the slots, just without functionality?