Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Proposal: Universal Bridge Officer slots to ALL ships

Last night, as my Science Character progressed from Lt. Cmdr. to Commander, I encountered an issue.

The issue is, that the science ships at Commander level, don't appeal to me in the least. I have two choices: The Olympic series (aka "Golf Ball Ships") and the Nebula class. The Olympic series allows a science captain to play as they have been, with a fast turn, smaller ship, provided you actually like the style of the ship, or the Nebula allows you the option to play in a canon cruiser, but severely limits your options in using your science abilities, due to the lack of turn rate.

I didn't like either option. I already play a cruiser on another character, and I really hate the look of the Olympic series of ships.

I got to thinking "why are we so limited in what we can fly, and when?" A system already exists that would give people more options as to what they fly and when, so why couldn't this be applied across the board?

That system is the Universal Bridge Officers, which the KDF has for the Bird of Prey series ships.

What I am proposing, is to do away with the clunky bridge officer assignments that currently exist on all Starfleet and KDF ships, in favor of Universal Stations on all ships.

What does this accomplish? It allows players to truely choose what ship they wish to fly, instead of being locked into a ship because of it's bridge officer loadout.

If I had my choice at Commander, I might have chosen to use a Stargazer series ship, because I like the style more than the Olympic, or I might have chosen the Akira because I find the style acceptable, it's a canon ship, and it has the turn rate I would need for my science abilites. But, because my bridge officer progression is keyed to the Intrepid (or more accurately, the Bellephron) at Captain level, it is virtually impossible for me to use the Akira or the Stargazer in our current system, based on the officers I have at my disposal, and the available skill point pool to make any changes to a BO loadout.

A Universal Bridge Officer system, would allow for more choice to the players, and, it would also paint a more realistic picture of how Starfleet Captains assemble their Senior Staff, which is based on what their mission assignment is, rather than a staff assembled by an arbitrary loadout locked to a particular ship. With the exception of a few "mission specific" ships that exist in Starfleet (Oberth and Defiant for example), the majority of ships are not assigned based on a Captain's career progression, but rather based on what ship is available at a given time. It is only Cryptic's arbitrary decision on what they think a ship should do, which is currently locking us into these ships. My belief is that the decision should be in the hands of the players.

Using such a system opens up many options across the board. It gives people the option to fly their favorite ships, with their preferred character class. Maybe you prefer to play tactical, but you really love the Intrepid class. Using this system would allow you to do just that, creating a more "border defense" style ship, instead of using a full assault escort or a beams broadside battleship. Or maybe you think the Sovereign Class should be a battleship? You could slot more offensive abilities to a Sovereign using this system. Maybe you want to play a purely science team ship for RP purposes? Choose your vessel, and set out on your adventure, because with Universal Slots, you could actually make that happen!

I know some people object to this line of thinking. Some will say that it unbalances the game. To them, I would say "How exactly does it unbalance the game?" Sure, it might mean that you don't get a surefire victory over another ship in PvP, based solely on what the ship looks like, but is that really such a bad thing? Shouldn't variety be something that we look forward to, rather than disdain? Additionally, there is canon backing for a bit of variety in how ships are utilized. For example, we have seen the Excelsior class used for a variety of mission profiles. Sulu used the ship for a survey of gaseous anomalies (Science) while Benteen used the ship for planetary defense (Tactical). So why is the current Excelsior pretty much locked to Engineering? Or another example would be the Sabre class. While STO portrays this ship as an escort, and First Contact showed it as such, the SCE book series noted the Sabre class was the official ship of the SCE in the late 2300s. Why would the SCE need an escort? Then there is the Nebula, whose mission profile was supposed to be multi-purpose, with variant pods based on an individual crew's need.
Additionally, you maintain a certain amount of balance, via the Console system. Ships would still have an optimal use, based on consoles available to the ship, but you can choose to either play to the min/max, based on the consoles, or perhaps, you choose to ignore that and play what you want, based on your preferred ship and playstyle, with a sacrafice of optimization, consoles be darned!

The other objection would be from KDF players, in saying that only the KDF should be allowed to use Universal Stations. I would ask "Why?" In my proposal, all ships, across the board, would benefit from this arrangement, including non-BoP KDF ships. This opens up alot of options for KDF players, that don't exist otherwise. Maybe you love the K'Tinga ships, but want to play a scientific Klingon? This system makes it possible. Or maybe you want a Vor'cha that can punch the living daylights out of another ship, so you load it up with Tactical abilities, at the sacrafice of survivability, instead leaning on the natural toughness of the ship being a battlecruiser. This system would make that possible!



I would ask that Cryptic consider this proposal, and I thank them for taking the time to read this, if they do in fact consider it.


C_Carmichael
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-02-2012, 03:00 PM
PWE/Cryptic sells additional Bridge Officer slots in the C-Store. If it is a case that you are at a lower level where you do not have the Bridge Officers that would match the ship you wish to fly, you can purchase additional slots to be able to fly that ship.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-02-2012, 03:05 PM
First of all:
The Olympic IS a canon ship...

Second:
Ohhh Nobody EVER had that Idea.
Well beside absolutley EVERY poster who didnt get how ships work here..
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
03-02-2012, 03:13 PM
One thing I thought would be cool is a Wesley-style BOff, a wizkid "acting ensign."

Stick 'em with an offduty outfit and give them four universal ensign skill slots. They can fill any slot. They can learn any ensign ranked skill.

That's your cost. And it's pretty much canon.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
03-02-2012, 03:15 PM
Im blind... Im blind.... the terrible GREEN, it hurts us....... *runs around screaming and bumping into the furniture*
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
03-02-2012, 03:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by virusdancer
PWE/Cryptic sells additional Bridge Officer slots in the C-Store. If it is a case that you are at a lower level where you do not have the Bridge Officers that would match the ship you wish to fly, you can purchase additional slots to be able to fly that ship.
i think the op means the boffs manning the ship, not just having them available. at present to my knowledge you can't add Boff stations to lower tier ships.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
03-02-2012, 03:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstAngelus View Post
First of all:
The Olympic IS a canon ship...

Second:
Ohhh Nobody EVER had that Idea.
Well beside absolutley EVERY poster who didnt get how ships work here..
OP, while the above reply post is maybe a little too snarky considering the amount of thought you evidently put into your post, FirstAngelus is basically right on both counts.

The Olympic is canon, and the idea has been brought up before more than a few times, and for primarily balance and gameplay reasons (which I won't go into detail now because I'm technically supposed to be at work right now), I don't think is going to happen, and don't think it should happen.

You could always fly another type of ship for that rank. I know when I was levelling, I did science for Lt. Commander, Cruiser for Commander, and escort for Captain before finally settling one one type for Admiral.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
03-02-2012, 03:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by virusdancer
PWE/Cryptic sells additional Bridge Officer slots in the C-Store. If it is a case that you are at a lower level where you do not have the Bridge Officers that would match the ship you wish to fly, you can purchase additional slots to be able to fly that ship.
Sure, I can buy additional Bridge Officer slots. That isn't an issue, and I have done so. The problem is, not having sufficient Bridge Officer Skill Points to rank up officers if you choose to hop over to a different ship line for a while, based on a preference.

But, I would contend that allowing for more flexibility in ship use, via Universal Stations, would not only allievate this problem, and allow people to make changes when they see fit, but it also presents a much more accurate portrait of Starfleet ship useage as well. There are very few ships in Starfleet that only serve one particular role. Ships like the Oberth, the Defiant and the Prometheus. The majority of Starfleet's vessels, can be used for pretty much any purpose, and we've seen that both in canon, and in non-canon books.

The only reason we don't see that in STO is because Cryptic decided to force ships into specific categories, where there really isn't a need to do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstAngelus View Post
First of all:
The Olympic IS a canon ship...

Second:
Ohhh Nobody EVER had that Idea.
Well beside absolutley EVERY poster who didnt get how ships work here..
The Olympic might be canon, but you might also recall, it was shown in an alternate reality (the same alternate reality as the Galaxy-X) and there is no reason to believe that it actually exists.

But, that's not really the point. I personally find the ship hideous, and would rather fly something more to my taste, but I am prevented from doing so, based on an arbitrary design decision Cryptic made, that has ZERO basis in canon at all, and doesn't need to exist. (See my above response.)

As for every other poster, I can't speak for them. But, I myself do know how ships work, and as I pointed out above, with very few exceptions, most ships in Starfleet are not restricted to the point that they are in STO. There is no reason, for example, why an Intrepid couldn't be used in a more tactical role, or by an engineering character for a more "frigate" style gameplay. The limitation right now, is imposed by Cryptic, and I propose that the limitation should be lifted, because it doesn't make much sense, and, it offers more variety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan99
One thing I thought would be cool is a Wesley-style BOff, a wizkid "acting ensign."

Stick 'em with an offduty outfit and give them four universal ensign skill slots. They can fill any slot. They can learn any ensign ranked skill.

That's your cost. And it's pretty much canon.
Using my system, you could pretty much do that, with 4 individual BOs fulfilling a variety of roles for the Ensign Universal slot.

What I would like to see is more variety, more customization and more choice, rather than restrictions and forced path, for no apparent reason.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
03-02-2012, 03:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Butters
i think the op means the boffs manning the ship, not just having them available. at present to my knowledge you can't add Boff stations to lower tier ships.
I took the OP as stating they have a set of BOFFs at a lower tier which limits them in the ships they can fly.

They went from the Science Vessel (2 Sci, 1 Eng, 1 Tac) at Lt. Cmdr to Cmdr. At Cmdr, they would still only have four BOFFs. Their ship choices based on only having those four BOFFs would be the Research or Advanced Research...unless they discharged a Sci to replace with a Tac or an Eng to fly a Cruiser (which they stated they did not really want to do) or an Escort (which appears to be what they want to do). By discharging though, they could find themselves a Sci short elsewhere.

Thus, mentioning that they could purchase additional BOFF slots. By purchasing two additional BOFFs for 200 CP, they would have six BOFFs. They could do 2 Sci, 2 Tac, 2 Eng. They could fly any Cmdr ship - any Capt ship, etc.

Yes, eventually they would end up with 8 BOFFs - but then again, that would allow them a greater freedom to fly a multitude of ships when at VA/LG.

Though, given how little actual time you spend at a ship in the lower tiers - it is somewhat moot. Whether you spend a weekend going through it or only play a little once a week - the actual time in the ship remains the same before you have moved on.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
03-02-2012, 03:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by C_Carmichael View Post
The Olympic might be canon, but you might also recall, it was shown in an alternate reality (the same alternate reality as the Galaxy-X) and there is no reason to believe that it actually exists.
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Olympic_class

The USS Nobel (NCC-55012) is an Olympic class ship that fought in the Dominion war and an graphic of it was seen on screen during the DS9 episode "Sacrifice of Angels".

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File...ass,_lcars.jpg

It exists.
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