Yeah, I don't think other people see them (maybe if they're in your team during a ground mission, but probably no other time), but I've written bios for mine. I haven't put them in the game yet, though. I keep them in a text file on my computer.
Hmm, next time I'm waiting for a tribble to breed, I may transpose them into the game, heh.
The complexity varies depending on how much backstory I can think up for them (I have around 22 BOFFs between 2 characters), but generally, they get one or two lines each.
Mainly, it's to make them seem more thought out and actually participating in the game, rather then just a named NPC whose sole job is to fight stuff.
Although there's no way to do this in the game, I've even assigned unofficial ranks to them.
Something like: you're co-captain, you're first officer, you're head of science/engineering/ship's doctor etc.
I've actually written pretty extensive bios for my Boffs. I've got a blog for each of my active characters and post log entries and biographical stuff there.
I'm always on the lookout for people with interesting character bios and kinda disappointed that we can't access Boff bios ingame.
If anyone else has a blog or posts bios, log entries, or other things elsewhere, I'd be curious to know about it.
I have a blog that was originally going to be for people to post screenshots, but it has kinda turned into a blog for my characters. If anyone would like to post their character bios on my site I'd be happy to create a login for you.
I don't do much RPing on MMOs anymore for a variety of reasons, but I never wrote bios. Ever.
My opinion (and this is only an opinion) is that, if you're going to RP, do it right. People do not have their autobiography tattooed to their foreheads, so simply looking at a character should not tell you their entire backstory.
Perhaps more importantly, it removes a lot of RP potential and relegates to a "alreadly know that" category even among strangers. For instance, why would I bother asking you why you joined Starfleet if I've already read it in your bio? Introduction RP is often very interesting because, as with the real world, it makes a first impression. If you can just read a bio, then all of that RP - and a sense of mystery - is lost.
I have wrote some bio's for a few Bo's. I actually have this storyline going where my captain married his security chief, When that happened I changed her name by adding a hyphen and the captains last name. Whenever we are able to promote Bo's to captain I'm going to let her take over and maybe kill off my very first captain I created. All good things come to an end sometime...