Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Doffs for Doofuses
10-02-2011, 10:48 AM
One of the really cool things about STO is that you don't just get a character to develop, but an entire crew to develop. Duty officers are one of the most extensive and daunting aspects of that crew development, so I'm here to ease you into the whole mess.

What Are Duty Officers?
=====================

So you just hit Lieutenant Commander 2, and now you're getting your first crop of duty officers and are getting alerted to all kinds of assignments. What's this all about?

Where bridge officers (boffs) are your senior staff, duty officers (doffs) are your "rank and file" crew. They man minor stations through the Active Roster, and take on minor missions through the assignment system.

They're also the driving force behind the commendation system, which is half loot pinata, half collectible card game, and half multi-branched alternative progression system.

Doffs themselves are effectively an item stored in a special inventory, much like bridge officer candidates. Doffs cannot be customized, renamed, etc, and aren't represented by a character in the game world.

Doffs have several aspects:
Branch and Department
---------------------

Doffs are divided into the three main branches of service: Tactical, Engineering, and Science, but also into more specific departments. Tactical doffs can be tactical or security, Engineering doffs can be engineering or operations, and Science doffs can be science or medical.

There are also civilian doffs, which include everything from diplomats to bartenders to colonists.

Specialization
--------------

The main title under their name, like Quartermaster or Tractor Beam Officer. This is their contribution in the Active Roster. What exactly they do is described below their title. For example, a Quartermaster (an Operations specialty) reduces recharge time for the Combat Supply power, and an Astrometrics Scientist (a Science specialty) reduces your transwarp cooldown.

Some specializations exist that cannot be used in the active roster, but instead relate solely to the assignment system.

Traits
------

Much like boffs, doffs have traits. These are represented in a line of icons, and includde things like Telepathic, Honorable, Peaceful, or Unscrupulous. Some traits may sound like they have positive or negative connotations (like Honorable and Unscrupulous), but depending on the assignments they're sent on, any trait can be positive or negative. More on that.

Note that, unlike boffs, doff traits don't generally play a part when they're slotted in the active roster. They play a role in matching the best doffs to carry out assignments.

Rarity and Quality
------------------

Unlike other items, Rarity and Quality aren't strictly linked. Purple doffs are better as well as much rarer than white, but not all doffs of equal quality have the same rarity. KDF Klingons and Federation humans are common, most main allied races are uncommon, and outside races (like Federation Klingons) are rare. Generally, rarity only matters if you want a specific race of doff, especially if you want a ship full of just that race. Quality is the actual gameplay measure of a doff.

Ultra Rare duty officers exist in some specializations. These are purple quality doffs, but much rarer than normal purples. These have alternate roster powers - not inherently superior, just different. For example, a normal Energy Weapons Officer gives a chance to lower cooldowns on target subsystem powers, but Muaza Amman'sor, an Ultra Rare Xindi-Aquatic, gives your beam weapons a tiny chance to remove buffs from targets.

Obtaining Doffs
=============

There are several routes for obtaining doffs. The primary ones:
Leveling: You get 12 doffs to start you out at level 6, and four packs of three as you level. This isn't a lot, but they're still a starting point.
Recruitment Assignments: Found primarily at the Academies, centralized from Personnel NPCs. Specialized recruitment assignments for specific races or special duty officers are available in various sectors.
Colonist pickups reward 5 colonists, and a number of assignments have a small chance to reward prisoners.
The C-Store: C-store packs are better than standard recruitment in general. They give guaranteed quality levels - one blue, two green, one white minimum. Every doff in the pack can potentially be higher than its guaranteed quality - in theory a 6 purple doff pack is possible, but one in a million is being optimistic.

There are also several ways to augment your roster, by grind or luck. These often have different or even extra traits compared to random doffs obtained by above means.
Commendation Rewards: Every commendation tier you complete unlocks a set of duty officers from a vendor at your academy. Tier 1 and 2 unlock green duty officers, tier 3 blue, and tier 4 purple. You get one free pick from each level, and can spend Dilithium to get more.
Chain Rewards: Many chains (colonial chains, Project Chrysalis, etc) give unique doffs as final rewards. These often include unusual races (Deferi, Hirogen, Jem'Hadar) or unique traits (telekinetic human)
STFs: You can get special Liberated Borg duty officers for encrypted data chips. 20 for blue, 40 for purple.
Defectors: Both factions have access to assignments that can reward defectors of the opposite faction. These are similar but separate from commendation reward cross faction doffs.
Rare assignments: There is one special assignment called Investigate Temporal Anomaly. It can appear almost anywhere, and once you've completed it successfully you won't see it again. The reward is a purple El-Aurian bartender, your own personal Guinan.
Events: There has been one Junior Officer Appreciation event to date. Similar to Q weekends, this is a weekend event where CXP rewards are increased. The first of these gave a special exocomp with an alternate roster power.


Lastly, doffs can also be traded on the exchange, by direct trade, mail, etc. Many special doffs are bind on acquire, and most others bind when used in the active roster. They don't bind when used on assignments, however.


The Doff Window
=================

The Doff window is accessed by the second button below the minimap, next to the C-store. The entire system, active, reserve, and assignments, is contained in this window.

Ship Duty
---------

First, the Ship Duty tab. Under this you'll see three headings. Space and Ground are your Active Roster, where you slot doffs to get their benefits. At the bottom you can see how many positions you have. This is 5 when you first gain access to the system, but increases with level. You can slot all engineering or all tactical if you want, or you can mix and match any way you want.

The Roster section here shows all your current doffs, sorted by department. Here you can see all the details of each doff, and their current status. On Assignment means they're out on a mission, On Reserve means they're available to be sent, and Currently Assigned means they're on the Active Roster.

There are also special tabs called Passengers and Brig. This is where colonists and prisoners are stored (up to 20 each), so they don't limit your officer compliment.

Assignments
-----------

This tab shows available assignments, divided into Sector and Shipboard. Sector assignments are avaialble in all sector blocks, as well as some social zones like Starfleet Academy and Earth Spacedock.

Some shipboard assignments are slightly different than sector assignments. Many of them give temproary buffs - for example, doing a diagnostic assignment will reward you a small temporary buff to the system in question (these buffs appear in the reward list using the same icon as 1 hour skill boosts). Others include tribble gene splicing (letting you bypass rare food requirements for higher tier tribble breeds), "crafting" assignments that let you make level-appropriate even mark equipment (the outcome level determining the color quality of the item) and also two Reassignment missions, which can be used to dispose of unwanted or duplicate doffs in exchange for refined dilithium.

In Progress shows any assignments you currently have out, and the time remaining. Whent he time runs out, there's a brief "Completing" delay, after which the officers return to the reserve roster and the assignment moves to the Completed category. In the Completed category, you can close assignments and claim their rewards.

Sickbay
-------

In the event of failure or disaster, sometimes duty officers end up in sickbay. Very high risk assignments may even retain this risk on success. Duty officers in sickbay can't be used for anything until they get out. White quality doffs can potentially die on certain assignments, but green and higher are protected.


Request Duty Officers
---------------------

This page allows you to open cadres you've gotten by recruitment or the C-store, as well as buy C-store doffs. It also shows a list of recently acquired doffs.

Options
---------

Here, you can enable Department Head Recommendations, and assign bridge officers to department head positions, as well as First Officer. Any boff can be first officer, Tactical and Security take a tactical boff, Engineering and Operations take an engineer, and Science and Medical take a science officer.

Currently, these assignments have no gameplay significance. When you start an assignment, the appropriate department head will offer recommendations on which duty officers are best for the job. These recommendations are conservative - they're based on what doffs will give the best Success rate. However, you may not want to go that route all the time. More on that below.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
10-02-2011, 10:50 AM
Assignments
===========

Assignments are the minor missions you can send duty officers from your reserve list on. Your captain and bridge officers don't take part in assignments, and once you send your guys out you don't have any more influence on wether they succeed or not.

Assignments fall into several Commendation Categories:
Science
Engineering
Medical
Military
Espionage
Colonial
Trade
Exploration
Development
Recruitment
Diplomacy (Federation only)
Marauding (KDF only)

The lines between categories aren't always clear cut. Exploration often has a scientific aspect, Colonial may require defending a colony from attack, and Military may require obtaining supplies rather than combat.

Each Commendation Category has its own experience type, and levels up independently, with four tiers of rewards as you go. Rewards include Titles, Accolades, unique duty officers, other-faction bridge officers (through Diplomacy and Marauding), and access special assignments.

Commendation categories take 100,000 experience to max out, which is a lot.

Assignment Rarity
-----------------

Assignments have rarity/quality levels just like items in the game, indicated by color from white to purple. Rarer assignments give significantly higher rewards, to the point that in some cases a 15 minute rare assignment gives more commendation experience than a 2 day common one.


Risk
-----

Risk is a simple scale of how much danger your officers are in on the assignment. This ranges from None, meaning there's no chance of injury or death, to Exreme, meaning expect most of the team in sickbay, even on a success.

Where to find Assignments
-------------------------

Every four hours, the available assignments in every location change. You can find them in every sector, including enemy territory, as well as on board your ship in the form of routine maintenance, training excercises, or even sessions with the ship's councilor. Some, but not all, social maps also include assignments, including but not limited to Earth Spacedock, Sol System, Starfleet Academy, Wolf 359, and the Romulus system. In any location where there's more than one of the same map (as is common in Earth Spacedock), each instance will have its own set.

In the future, standard missions may include assignments you can access while in the mission map, so your duty officers will attempt side goals while you take care of the real problem.

Clicking on an assignment in the list brings up a page showing several things.

At the top, there's the title and description of the assignment, followed by the time to complete it (ranging from minutes to weeks), and its reward, including items, commendation exp, and currencies.

Below that is the base success rate. There are four outcomes of an assignment. Failure and Success are self explanatory, but there's also Disaster and Critical Success. Critical Success may return better or more rewards, where Disaster can land your officer in sickbay for some time (they'll be locked in the reserve roster and can't be used for a while). White quality duty officers may even get themselves killed on a Disaster.

There are ways to improve your chances, though, and that's what the last section of the assignment's page covers.

At the bottom you'll see a list of requirements. Each box will have the type of duty officer (it may be as general as any doff of the right branch, or as specific as a specific specialty), and will have several lists of traits or specialties. For example:

Tactical Officer
Critical Success: Seductive, Telepathic, Projectile Weapons Officer
Success: Seductive, Telepathic
Failure: Honorable, Peaceful
Disaster: Aggressive, Honorable, Unruly


This box can be filled by any tactical officer, but has a better critical success chance with a projectile officer. In addition, matching traits in the list will alter the chances of success. Put a Klingon in there who has Aggressive and Honorable, and your failure and disaster rates will both go up. However, put a female Orion in there and her seductive trait will boost your success rate.

Note that its not always boosting success or lowering failure. The rule of thumb is always Green=good, Red=Bad. A red trait under Success will lower your chance of success, and a green trait under Failure will lower your chance of failure. This also isn't just limited to traits, but includes department and specialization - an Any Officer slot may give improved success if it's filled by a medical officer, for example.

It's a fairly simple matching game, but it's worth paying attention. You have no more influence once you dispatch officers on an assignment, so this is your one chance to match the right officer to the right job.

There's also one more section below the officer slots. This is also part of the requirements, any items you need to send with your doffs. Most of the time these are commodities that you can replicate, but it can also include energy credits or contraband, a special commodity collected through certain assignments.

To the right, your available roster is displayed. If Department Head Recommendations are turned on, the appropriate department head will offer you a list of the best officers for the job, or you can bring up the full list if you want to save better doffs for another assignment.

What's this Red box?
-------------------------

Sometimes you'll see a red triangle on an assignment. this means for some reason you can't do it. Hover your mouse on the triangle to see why.

Often, it's because you don't have the right doffs - it may require a specific specialization you don't have available, for example. Other times, some commodity is required that you can simply replicate or buy from a freighter. Sometimes, though, you're simply not a high enough level.

It can also be because of Assignment Points. These are how many assignments you can have active simultaneously. You can have 20 assignments out at a time.


Outcomes
--------

Most assignments have four possible outcomes, from best to worst: Critical Success, Success, Failure, and Disaster.

In most cases, critical success gives better rewards than a normal success. Depending on the assignment, disaster can land doffs in sickbay and possibly kill a white quality doff, but not always.

Some assignments, most notably Bridge Officer Recruitment, failure and disaster are still a "success," but with reduced reward. For example, a bridge officer recruitment mission (commonly seen on Earth Spacedock) will give a purple doff on a critical success, a blue on a success, a green on failure, and a white on disaster. No worries about losing your doffs on them. These missions usually have a very high base failure/disaster rate, which can scare people off from doing them.

There are two ways to improve your outcome odds. The first and most obvious is matching the traits as you can. This is cumulative, so if an assignment benefits from telepathic, logical, and unscrupulous (a common set in trade deals), a Vulcan will hit two (logical, telepathic), but a Ferengi will only hit one (unscrupulous). This is also cumulative across multiple doffs, matching all 5 in a large assignment will have a significant effect.

The second way, less obvious but easier, is simply to use higher quality doffs. Can't match any traits? Switching from a white doff to a green one is almost as good. This can make blue and purple doffs your go-to guys. For example, the purple El-Aurian bartender (rewarded from Investigate Temporal Anomaly) doesn't meet the requirements from many assignments, but can still perform comparably to a carefully matched white doff.

Higher quality doffs also increase the assignment's Quality rating. 5% for a green doff, 10% for blue, and 20% for purple. This rating is cumulative across multiple doffs, so five purples on a big assignment will crank up a 100% quality modifier. All experience rewards (CXP and skill points) are multiplied by this value at the end of the assignment.

In addition, assignments have a Critical rating. This is how much your experience rewards are increased on a critical success, and is generally higher on rarer or more difficult assignments. For example, take a blue military assignment that normally awards 250 CXP. That's already a nice chunk, but it has 5 doff slots and a critical rating of 150%. 5 purple doffs will give you a 100% quality rating, for 500 CXP base, and a critical will give you another 150% for 1250 CXP, six times the original base.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
10-02-2011, 10:51 AM

Commendation Leveling Strategy
==============================

There's a lot of development to make in the system, and it's perfectly ok to just do assignments and let the levels come. However, there are ways you can get a system going.

These are by no means the only way to go, but I've found it successful.

Recruit Recruit Recruit
-----------------------

Recruitment hotspots are Starfleet Academy for Federation and Klingon Academy for KDF. These locations will usually have recruitment assignments available, some taking 1 day and giving white/green doffs that cannot fail, and one taking 3 days and giving a blue or purple doff of a specific department, with a small failure chance but also a critical success chance.

This is the most important part of getting rolling in the doff system. Your initial batch of recruits won't be large or diverse enough to start hitting more than a few assignments here and there, and it won't give you many active roster options.

Even after you fill up your 100, it's worth it to keep pushing recruitment. You can reassign away white and later green doffs while trying to improve your selection of blues and purples.

Recruitment is slow going. A good strategy if you have the character slots is to create an alt, get him to level 6 to unlock the doff system, and pick up any recruitment you can on him. Any good doffs you collect can be mailed to your main, and any others can be dismissed for dilithium.

Prisoners and Refugees
These are some coveted doffs. KIingons will likely find themselves swimming in prisoners, but Feds won't be so lucky. Either way, these doffs can be used for various special assignments (Debrief Prisoner, Treat Refugees for Trauma), but the real interest is trading them.

Negotiate Prisoner Exchange, generally found in enemy sectors, will let you trade a prisoner for a random doff.
Asylum assignments let you hand a refugee into protective custody in exchange for a random high quality doff.

Refugees can show up in random packs, and also come from various sources, most notably Support Colonization Efforts. Prisoners come from critical successes on many military, espionage, and marauding assignments, and KDF players can buy them from Orion slavers or get them from Support Efforts after finishing colonial chains.

Critical Success is the Best Success
Your department heads will give recommendations based on Success only, ignoring critical success. The ideal way to plan assignments, however, is to maximize critical success. This still reduces your failure chance the same as if you planned for success, but also increases the chance to get a critical success, and criticals are the way to really generate CXP.

For example, take a military campaign assignment giving 250 CXP, with 5 doff slots and a 200% critical rating. Packing 5 purples on this will already bring you up to 500 CXP, but a crit will raise that to 1500.

GOLD!!!
Many assignments have a gold box on them. These benefit from and sometimes require the special traits Telekinesis, Shroud, and most commonly Resolve. Normally recruited officers can't provide these traits, but several colonial renowns and special rewards have shroud and telekinesis, and the consulate chains in Cardassian space unlock officer exchange options to obtain Resolve doffs.

Gold box assignments are generally more rewarding than standard ones because they're more restrictive.


Specific Categories


=Diplomacy=
Diplomacy has elevated CXP rewards compared to other categories. Entertaining Dignitaries, Religious Symposiums, and the like are fairly demanding - requiring a number of civilian specializations and a lump of EC funds. However, many give quite high rewards to start with, and many have 5 doff slots, making this one of the easier categories to raise. Tiers also reward transwarps, and tier 3 gives access to Klingon space.

=Marauding=
Marauding is a very diverse category, but also very high risk. It's best to wait until you can avoid using white doffs in risky assignments. Many inter house political assignments can be churned through to generate a steady stream of CXP, but your big payouts come from high risk assignments with 5 doff slots. Like Diplomacy, Marauding tends to have elevated payoffs, rewards transwarps, and at tier 3 gives access to the Sirius sector.

=Science=
Most assignments involve collecting data samples. These are under an hour, and generally take two doffs, making them easy grind fodder. Key assignments are the shipboard assignments that consume a large number of data samples and rare sector gold box assignments that take rare particle traces.

=Engineering=
The bulk of engineering is short shipboard assignments, mostly diagnostics. Cheap grindables, basically. Assignments to watch out for are any civil engineering assignments in sector space - building communication systems, fitting seismic stabilizers or weather control systems, etc. These are high payout, but will require large amounts of multiple commodities. Many colonial chain assignments also give engineering CXP, often in pretty respectable amounts. These are big investment assignments requiring commodities, but will yield your best payouts. Engineering also pairs with Espionage to create weapon satellites from stolen plans. Commodity heavy, uses just about everything at some point.

=Medical=
Every one of your doffs in sickbay will give you some medical CXP, but in the long run it's not really enough to matter. Key assignments here are Research Therapies (unusually high payout for a single-doff assignment), medical relief, and the gold box Medic Support to Combat Zone. There are also quickie shipboard assignments, most notably chains involving gamma quadrant commodities which unlock repeatables. Very commodity heavy path, you'll need tons of Medical Supplies and plenty of Antigens, and gamma quadrant commodities are useful as well.

=Military=
Lots of high risk assignments. Wait until you can avoid white doffs here if you can. Lots of big payouts here - resply, reinforce, and military campaigns all have many doff slots to crank up your Quality level, high risk, but high payouts. Before you have the greens to get going with real assignments, security briefings at your home system can give a reasonable payout for no risk or investment. For Federation, military criticals are particularly important, as they're your main source of prisoners. Commodity intensive: Have tons of provisions, medical supplies, and plenty of shield generators.

=Espionage=
Again with the high risk. Have enough green or better doffs before you get going here. There are many assignments like tracking fleet movements that take several doffs that make for good payouts if you can pack them with blues and purples. Particular interest are the Secure Prototype assignments. These give schematics to build weapon satellites, and you need to do them once each to unlock their respective shipboard construction assignments under Engineering. Instigate Defection assignments are also very attractive, since you can get cross faction defector doffs this way, many very good blue and purple doffs in this pool.

=Colonial=
Any time you see a pickup, get it. You can have 4 pickups worth of colonists in your passenger section at a time - if you're full and see a pickup, mail yourself the colonists and get it anyway. Do not do common drop offs. Instead, all your other colonial work should be in exploration clusters. Look for yellow text - each sector has a chain of unlocking assignments involving starting and expanding a colony. CXP is not your only reward here, but Colonial Renowns. Finishing a cluster's chain will reward you a unique doff, many of which are unusual species, including everything from Deferi to Jem'haddar. Commodity medium, you'll need all kinds of stuff, from astrometric probes to seismic stabilizers. Usually not big lots at a time, so you can get away with replicating them in a pinch.

As you do these chains, you'll also unlock a plethora of miscellaneous assignments in those sectors. These are interesting because nearly all of them give split CXP, hitting many other categories.

=Trade=
Prepare to go broke, but an easy grind. Avoid dealing with latinum purchases unless you love dabo (you can buy for latinum, but not sell for latinum). Key assignment here is trade route negotiations, but most of your work is going to be in 30 minute grindables to buy and sell with EC. You'll need tons of every commodity here, but the cheaper ones deal in bigger lots - provisions and medical supplies up to 60 at a time - so have TONS of those on hand. Your safest bet is actually to stick to buy assignments - it'll go a long way towards funding the commodity hungry categories. Trade is low risk, but stick to your best quality doffs whenever possible - failures here will become expensive fast.

=Exploration=
Most exploration deals with alien technology, and mirrors the Science branch with tons of fast grindables. Alien Shield Tech assignments are very good to hit, as they give the Personal Mobility Shield, a standard ground shield that resists roots and holds and such. Ruin sites and other excavations also give high payouts. Your real source of CXP here, though, isn't the doff system, but the Tour the Universe event. Each sector block you finish gives a bit of Exploration CXP, and if you finish the whole thing you'll get a bonus that includes other categories, but primarily goes to Exploration. Max out Driver Coils and get the Borg engine and 3-4 laps isn't out of the question.

=Development=
Your best rewards here are scattered in sector space. Shore leave is high payout and takes 5 doffs, but the best ones are various competitions, from unsanctioned combat arenas to sports tournaments. The gold box assignments often take entertainment provisions, and some are fairly restrictive with Resolve requirements, but are very high payout. The single best assignment in this category, and one of the most rewarding in the entire system, is Approve Extended Wilderness Survival Training Program. Crits well upwards of 5000 CXP are not impossible.

=Recruitment=
Your most important category, but also the hardest to rank up. Recruitment centers around the home systems, but the bigger payouts are on bridge officer recruitment and cultural exchange, which appear out in sector space. These are all long assignments with lockout timers and many have high rarity. You also get a small amount every time you dismiss a doff from your roster... which is about the only way to actively grind Recruitment due to the cooldowns involved. If you have a billion or two EC burning holes in your pocket, cheap white doffs might work for you.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
10-02-2011, 10:59 AM
Chains
==========


One of the coolest things in the entire system is the Colony system. Most assignments are simple one-off work orders, but in each exploration sector (Including opposing faction sectors if you have tier 3 Diplomacy/Marauding), you have assignment series allowing you to build up and support a new colony. There are also many other chains for various things. The Assignment Chains tab under Assignments shows what chains you've started (ones you haven't started won't show), and give a brief list of unlocks and missions.

These involve chain assignments and numerous side missions.

Recognizing Chain Missions
Simple: Look for X/Y numbers and yellow text indicating that the assignment will open up new assignments in that sector.

Don't even worry if you can't get good doff matches - the chain advances regardless if you fail or succeed. If you see a chain assignment, it's worth throwing whatever doff is available into it.

Just like all assignments, these steps aren't always available. To make matters a bit stickier, you have to both be on the correct step of the chain AND visit when the assignment is available. This can make these chains fairly frustrating, as such it's recommended not to focus on a specific sector, but tour all of them periodically and progress as many chains as you can at once.


Brief list of Chains
The most popular chains are the Colonial chains. These involve building and expanding a colony, and are intensive in both colonists and commodities. They unlock a wide variety of side missions, many of which give CXP in multiple categories.

There are shipboard chains for each of the Gamma Quadrant commodities. The final rewards of these chains are repeatable assignments to make special consumables from those commodities, and also unlock lucrative (but rare) shipboard assignments to generate Science CXP from those commodities.

There are also shipboard chains involving chefs and bartenders. These are particularly item intensive, because they regularly require rare unreplicatable food and drink that can cost a pretty penny on the exchange. These unlock lucrative

Each of the DS9/Gamma Quadrant doff races have a chain that appears throughout Cardassian space to expand diplomatic relations, or assist with building Alpha Quadrant colonies. The final rewards of these is a cultural exchange mission that lets you recruit doffs of that race without paying for them.

The KDF has chain assignments involving developing, testing, and using weaponized versions of various diseases. These are nice sources of Medical CXP, but the chains don't appear to have any special rewards.

Some of the coolest chains in the system are the story chains. These are rewarding and long chains spanning multiple commendation categories, and follow a bit of story progression (easy to miss if you don't read the text blurbs on each step). These cover all sorts of ground - like exploring the appearance of the fleet from The 2800, tracking down escaped prisoners from Facility 4028, and working with Section 31 on a secret and probably illegal project to invoke telepathy in non telepathic races. These have various rewards, typically involving unique purple doffs, but for story junkies they can be their own reward.

Chain Rewards
Most chain steps unlock repeatable versions of themselves. Colonial chain steps unlock all sorts of side jobs to support the colony, like fending off raiders, providing supplies, or even establishing additional colonies in the area. The Ghost of the Jem'Hadar story chain unlocks a number of long shipboard science missions.

The last step of many chains gives a special reward - most often unique doffs, but this also includes a couple titles and items. Many chains also end in a repeatable assignment that gives a special reward on a crit. Colonial chains end with Support Colonization Efforts, which gives a purple version of the blue doff you automatically get on step 7/7, for example.


Shipboard

This is a new feature to Shipboard assignments. Your randomized pool is still available from anywhere, but if you go to your bridge you can access a greatly expanded selection of doff assignments from eight NPCs. Most have random selections, but many also have a set of fixed "always available" assignments, usually requiring specific items or dilithium to start.
Tactical Officer: random military and espionage
Medical Officer: Random medical, fixed hypospray and regenerator creation
Bartender: Fixed Extreme Bartending chain
Chef: Fixed Culinary Credentials chain
Science Officer: Random science, fixed shield charge and energy cell creation and data sample analysis
Engineering Officer: Random engineering, fixed battery and component creation and prototype turret assembly
Operations Officer: Random colonial including colonist pickups
Envoy (Fed only): random diplomatic
Counselor (Fed only): Fixed counseling sessions (split medical/development)
Marauder (KDF only): Random marauding
Brig Officer (KDF only): Fixed interrogation sessions (espionage)


Many of the random assignments aren't particularly great, but there are some gold bar assignments, especially from the tactical officer. The main reason to walk through your interior is the fixed assignments - progressing the food chains, assembling prototype turrets, etc. These require fairly specific item requirements, so for the most part coming here isn't a critical part of the general grind, but is a key part in getting many of the rewards people want.

This whole set of assignments is on a 20 hour reset independent of the 4 hour sector and 1 hour personal reset.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
10-02-2011, 11:00 AM
Pay (or not) To Win
Ok, can't really talk about anything in this game these days without talking about how the C-store fits in. There are several microtransactions of note with the doff system, but all of it can be bypassed. Here's the benefits, and bypasses for them all:

Roster space
You can expand your roster in steps of 25 or 100 up to a limit of 400. This is a really popular buy, because the doff system often comes very close to Pokemon in Space, and it's easy to get carried away with a lot of doffs, it's hard to decide who to dismiss to make space for new recruits, you may not get fitting replacements.

100 doffs is enough. You can, with some tweaking, get an extremely effective crew with the active powers you want and do any assignment that comes along (with the minor limit that you won't quite be able to have 20 assignments at once going with 5 doffs each). 200 makes things much easier, but beyond that becomes collection and not necessity. Even at 200 if you actually look at things closely you'll see your roster is filling up with doffs that never see use.

Standard packs
For 220 CP, you can get 6 doffs - two guaranteed at least green and one guaranteed at least blue. These make building up a roster immensely easier. Each pack has about a 10% chance to have a purple and 1% for an ultra rare.

Everything you get from these packs can come from standard recruitment, though. It's slower and has lower chances for the best doffs, but it's possible. In fact, you can cheat yourself on recruitment CXP if you get most of your doffs from the C-store.


DS9 packs
The same as standard packs, but with the expansion races, some of which have unique traits. These races have traits that are occasionally required for or improve chances in assignments. These assignments generally have gold borders and give elevated CXP.

Most gold assignments don't *require* these traits, and can be done with normal doffs at slightly reduced odds - they're modified by other traits as well, though, and it's rare you can match 3/3 anyway so you really lose nothing.

For the ones that do, finishing the racial chains in Cardassian space unlocks the ability to recruit these races. Like standard packs, it's faster to just shell out the money (and you get guaranteed quality) but it's doable without. Nonetheless, this is the hardest C-store buy to completely swear off of in the system, since those gold lined assignments often give outstanding CXP for the inputs.

All doffs from these packs are tradeable, so the exchange can solve all your problems. Shelling out 50k EC for three or four white Cardassians can get you rolling.


DS9 Commodities
This one's actually something of a misconception. These commodities can come from Cardassian Lockboxes, which require master keys from the C-store to open, but this isn't a cost effective way of getting them. Only about a quarter of lock boxes have them, and 20 at a time.

All of these can be obtained for 2000 EC from Haggle for _____ assignments in Cardassian space. These assignments give 1-10 depending on outcome, and have reasonable cooldowns, so it's easy to get a solid stock of them built up.

Character Slots

Did you see that one coming? The Doff system is self-contained. You can confine your activity to a single character just fine. However, there are benefits to having alts set aside just to fuel your activities.

The best way to fast track crew building is alts. Park alts in the academy and every couple days, stop by to start all the available recruitment. Use the reassignment options to trade in whites for greens, and later on when your main's crew is well built, greens for blues and even blues for purples, and mail the results to your main.

With a bit more time investment, these alts can also double up on any key assignments - they can go out and collect colonist pickups, haggles, prototypes, anything cooldown limited you might want more of.

If you're a Fed, a KDF alt is also useful. Many marauding assignments (Disabling freighters, raiding supply bases, intimidating unaligned planets) give substantial amounts of commodities, especially contraband. This lets you maintain stockpiles without burning EC everywhere, and is much faster than hunting for trade assignments for deals.


In-game Help

A special channel, DOFFJOBS, has been set up to help collaboratively track rare and profitable assignments. Just /join doffjobs and listen in. Just like the Red Alert channel, the more people contribute the more reliable it becomes.

bit.ly/DOFFS is a community run google document spreadsheet that aims to track important assignments. It's only as good as its contributors,
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
10-02-2011, 11:45 AM
Awesome writeup.

BTW, we're actually looking into shifting to a plan where you get more active roster slots based on an aggregation of commendation tiers rather than just level.

The number of level-gated assignments is also relatively small, and they actually shouldn't show up at all if you aren't high enough yet, so I'll check into that and see if I can replicate it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
10-02-2011, 12:01 PM
Thanks for your work, its really a good overview.

I just had one mission where it said: you must be lvl 36 to do this assignment. No other showed up yet.

Any tips on how to get more doffs a little faster?

And what I still dont get are the assignment where you send your boff back to hq... What are these about?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
10-02-2011, 01:00 PM
Sweet, thanks for writing this out!

Really cleared it up some more for me.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
10-02-2011, 01:33 PM
Also I've had a couple of officers end up in sickbay even though the mission I sent them on was a success.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
10-02-2011, 01:45 PM
Thanks.
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