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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I have been playing STO since it was in Open Beta, and one of the most annoying things, for me personally, has been the selection of Abilities for my BOffs. There have been many times were I'm trying to select a new power for BOffs, and just thinking how I would love to give them a Captains Kits and be done with it. After all it can be a very attractive idea to causal players like me. For one the Captains kits at the Admiral Level are much, much more powerful than any bridge officer I could put together. Also it would look really cool. But how to make it work? After all if you could just equip Kits on BOffs like your Captain, swapping them in and out, why would you need any more than 2 bridge officers of each branch? How would BOff Skill points/promotions work? What would happen to the Training system currently in place? Last night while i was trying to fall asleep I came up with my own little solution to these problems. I realize that many people in the community like the current system of picking and choosing your Abilities for you BOffs, and that people have suggested BOff kits before, but I thought I would share this my own (hopefully) unique idea and solution on the forums, even if it meant me being Tarred and Feathered.

Overview: Each Bridge officer would have 2 Career Paths, one for Ground and one for Space (I realize that space Career Paths would be a harder to implement and a more difficult sell, but am including it in for completeness). Each Career Path (hereafter referred to as CP) would be a set of 4 Abilities. Ground Career paths would be roughly comparable to the Captains Kits. Career Paths can be changed at Bridge Officer Trainers for a price in Starfleet Merits. Changing an Ensigns CPs would be much cheaper than changing a Commanders CPs. An Ensign would only have access to one Ability, a Lieutenant would have access to 2 Abilities, etc. Basically the current system. The current system of Promotions and skill points will likewise stay intact. Changing a CP would also have the side effect of losing all the skill points you invested in your officer.

Ability Levels and Training: New Abilities would start out at Level 1, but would advance to Level 2 as you promote your BOff. For example, an Ensign would start out with one Level 1 Ability, upon being promoted to Lieutenant that Level 1 ability would advance to Level 2, and he would get a new Level 1 Ability, Promotion to Lt.Cmdr would mean the BOff would have two Level 2 Abilities and a new level 1 Ability. Commanders would have three Level 2 Abilities and one Level 1 Ability. To upgrade to Level 3 Abilities you have to train your BOff (as the system is currently implemented, ie only Science officers can train science abilities, and they need 9 ranks in a specific skill train a specific ability), but you can only Train abilities that are already at Level 2. Once all the 3 "lower" Abilities are at Level 3, the "Commander" BOff Ability gets upgraded to Level 2 so it can be trained up to level 3.

Pros, Cons
Pro (or a Con depending how you look at it): Bridge Officers get more powerful (as in this system ALL BOff Abilities can achieve rank 3), at the expense of their flexibility. However, it's still preferable to go with 5 PCs as they have their Captains Abilities, and the option of switching their kits mid way through the level, and abstract thinking.
Pro: Casual Players like myself can just pick a CP for my BOffs and be done with it, upgrading skills as necessary. eg. if i wanted a straight ground healer i could just select the "Medic" CP for a Science BOff.
Con: the more "Hardcore" Players would be upset that they can no longer pick and choose any ability they want, but instead have to pick a set of 4 Abilities for their BOffs.
Pro: It would look REALLY cool to have your BOffs in Kits.
Con: i really can't think of a con for that Pro.
Pro: The Ground CP's are pretty much already there in the form of Kits
Con: The Space CP's would require a lot of work to get into the game, if they go into the game at all.

Comments, suggestions, thoughts, questions? Am I a crazy person who wrote this post as a shrine to his own vanity and laziness? (Hint: yes)
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