Okay... So I'm probably going to scale back on feedback and playing as we get into the holiday rush.
But I wanted to toss this out there.
We've looked at personality systems before. I had a giant thread proposing one when the game launched, rivaling Thomas' mini-games thread.
I heard Kestrel make buzz about wanting one, so she could offer things like more customized dialogue.
One thing I think would be cool is if this was handled as a micro-reputation system. Same rough timeframe (30 days) but with smaller projects since you'd ostensibly be running multiple reps for multiple BOs. This is separate from any department head system.
Here's the broad strokes of it:
You select a personality archetype for a BO. These are all sortof Trek archetypes, as opposed to being species or profession specific.
Things like "Combat Veteran," "Logical Observer," "Youthful Recruit," etc.
A BO can have one archetype. As you progress through tiers, you choose one of two personality traits. These provide passive bonuses but also tag these BOs for additional bits of dialogue in missions.
If you finish out an archetype, you get a "personality" variant of the Odyssey uniform for that BO. Rolled up sleeves. Odyssey with utility vest. Unzipped Odyssey like the Vulcan on the front page. Odyssey with medical jacket. Then you get an additional project that unlocks that costume for your captain.
One additional feature would be a ship interior "Senior Staff Briefing." This is a fairly standardized mission. You launch into it and consult your bridge officers (you choose five from a list and then they appear in a briefing room, based on ship interior style). You stand before them and announce a problem, choosing the threat you wish to deal with from a list. They offer up suggestions based on personality and profession. Which set you navigate through gives you a buff.
It goes like this:
Ops officer: What did you call us here to discuss...?
Choice: The Borg Situation, The Romulan Situation, The Tholian Situation, etc. Maybe also choices like Engine Efficiency, Diplomacy, etc.
Then the choices you navigate through select a buff that gets placed on you and any live players teamed with you. More personalities, more choices. More choices, more possible buffs. Buffs last an hour and persist through death. Some buffs may do things like offer a different branch in a mission (for example, a peaceful solution to "Divide et Impera") or unlock a door, exposing a new part of a map. Some may autocomplete parts of a mission or an STF optional. Some may open up DOff assignments or additional missions or add limited rewards to normal missions.
I like this idea... rather than just having the crew interactions play in our heads, we can get some real Spock-and-McCoy going on... it'd be a crazy amount of work to try to retrofit it into the existing missions, but having the boffs get customizable personalities is something that should be looked into.
for what its worth i really like you design you proposed ages ago, and i think it would still be a good idea, just make it less grindy or resource intensive then the rep system. Maybe have the Rep MARks be granted by how long a BO is slotted, or its powers activated etc.
More stuff happening in the background, with less farmville clicky fests
Some may open up DOff assignments or additional missions or add limited rewards to normal missions.
I really like the idea of this. One of the episode types I always enjoyed, from all the series, were the ones where the captain would end up working with a specific crewman and they gained a deeper understanding of each other. You can think back to Picard helping Worf during the Birthright arc. Sisko came to the defense of Dax, Bashir and Worf during legal proceedings on DS9. Janeway found three junior officers who had slipped thru the cracks and took them on an away mission with her.
I would want to see some minor story driven missions that open some back story with your boffs. I guess the missions would appear based on the personality archtypes you selected for them. There would probably also need to be some racial considerations made too, so you don't have stories where they act completely outside their culture. The missions would be like the starting point on New Romulus; just you and the boff.
Lots of potential here and hopefully not too much overhead in development.
I wonder if this could even go a step further to adjust ground AI's? I mean the AI in this game isn't spectacular, but different enemies do have at least some variations in their patterns (if only slightly). Make it so as you develop certain personality traits, they behave certain ways on the ground? A Brash Hothead charges in guns blazing, while a Quiet Caretaker hangs back and puts heavier emphasis on using their special abilities? That to me would be worth more than a simple stat buff.
A set of customizable personalities for our Boffs would be really grand. Something we could set like their stance? Craftable would be interesting. I'd even consider spending EC (not Zen or Lobi) to acquire variants from other player's off the exchange.