So, many of us want to be able to control our ships from the bridge. The results from the first survey show that it is one of the most popular things players want to see in the game. However, many players have pointed out that it would be difficult for the system to work, and Cryptic has said that they need to work out a way to keep it from taking away from the online component before they can add it. The purpose of this thread is to highlight the way the system would need to work.
It would involve having the player sitting in the captain's chair, with the normal space HUD in place of the ground hud. People have made screenshots of what this would look like before, and I have as well, though the screenshot got deleted from my computer while I was making it due to Windows Auto Update. I don't have the 2 or 3 hours needed to make the mock-up again, so I'll have to describe it. If you combine the space HUD with a graphic of a player sitting in captain's chair, you will see that there is plenty of room above the main viewer to add new tools that would be needed for Bridge Control to work.
New Tools that would be needed Proximity Sensor
In space, a way is needed to see what is going on around you. You need to be able to select targets, and know where that target is in relation to your ship. This tool would work like Radar, but with constant dots instead of blips. The tool would have a graphic of your ship in the center, with progressive rings in increments to show distance. You weapons firing arcs are represented on the tool, allowing you to specifically choose enemies that could be hit with the full force of your weapons (broadside phaser array attack for instance). Allies would show up as blue dots, enemies would show up as red dots, and points of interest would show up as gray dots. All of the dots are clickable, which selects the target and displays information such as their HP on the main viewer.
Beside the Sensor graphic would be a list. This list would have tabs for enemies, allies, and points of interest (destructible objects, etc.). This list would display the names of all enemies and allies within scanning range as well as your distance from them (which would solve the problem mentioned by the devs in a recent interview about bridge control taking away from the online component, due to players not being able to see other players around them). Names would be clickable, which would bring up a view of the target and information such as HP on the main viewer.
This would be a new display that is essentially only used for piloting the ship. It would give a frontal view, with a decent viewing angle, allowing the ship to be steered towards targets properly. This is needed because the Main Viewer would be need to show your target and all relevant information about them such as HP. Some may ask, why not use the main viewer for steering the ship, and have a separate display for piloting the ship. The reason I chose to do it this way is because the main viewer showed the enemy in the shows and movies. The Conn officer piloted the ship, other officers didn't need to worry about how the ship was moving, they needed main viewer to show them the enemy and what kind of damage the enemy vessel was sustaining. This display could be written in as a screen on the Captain's Chair's armrest.
A way for your ship to show up to other players that are using the current system instead of the bridge control system.
These are things that would improve bridge control, but are not crucial:
Sector Space Navigation Improvements
During Sector Space travel, you are not limited to sitting in your captain's chair, but are instead allowed to go anywhere on the ship. In order to set course for a planet, you would click on a HUD button that opens a set of orders. Clicking on the "Set Course for ......." order would open a navigation database that contains ever system in every sector. You could then set course for any system. In order to get to systems in other sectors, the autopilot would set course for each new Sector, until it got to the one containing the target system, whereupon it would set course for the target system. During travel, you would be able to go anywhere on your ship, which would of course require ship interiors to be made as one single instance. When your ship arrives at it's destination, you would receive an alert on your commbadge telling you that you have arrived at your destination. You would of course not be able to do things like run a holodeck program (once holodecks are added) due to the fact that that would require a new instance, which would stop your autopilot, but you would be able to explore the ship, talk to NPCs, replicate items, etc.
A screen shaking effect whenever you are hit by explosives.
An animation showing officers and crew being slung out of their seats on the bridge when crew are injured.
An animation with exploding consoles when crew are killed during an attack
The ability to save boffs to certain stations, instead of having them randomly placed.
Random Crew that move around the ship, performing various functions throughout the ship
The ability to set a uniform style for all crew, and have crew performing the right functions for their department (working at an open conduit-engineering, standing guard at the armory-tactical, etc.)
No one should expect bridge control anytime soon, as new tech is needed, and coderanger, who makes new tech for the Cryptic Engine, has mentioned that he is backed up for several months when it comes to making new tech.
All in all though, the 29% majority vote from the Survey shows that this is a crucial feature that is greatly needed. I for one believe it would help significantly in terms of immersion. Cryptic needs to make sure this feature is added ASAP.
I have a suggestion, when you start taking hull damage, have random consoles explode and kill Ens. Crusher ^^
As for this idea, I'm not confident this would be that practical for combat. However, it'd be great as a means of:
1) Guaranteed less chance (or no chance) of getting pulled into a DSE.
3) Displaying information about the ship (you could see the ship status from a console on the bridge - or crew status on the bridge or transporter room)