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I had an idea

livinlifejb90#4082 livinlifejb90 Member Posts: 218 Arc User
Before I start I just want everyone to know that this is not a "should they/could they" kind of idea. It's just one I had while playing and I thought it was a cool one and i wanted to share it. I'm hoping it will just start a discussion about ideas, not what the devs should, shouldn't or can't do.

So I was starting a new toon. I chose alien because I wanted to make something cool looking and give her an interesting personnel record. I was skipping the tutorial and it occurred to me. My toon is just an ensign and yet...she commands a whole ship? How does that work. And that got me thinking. You realistically shouldn't command anything until the rank of Captain. I mean how can you captain a starship while not being a captain? Makes no sense.

And that's when the idea really took off. What if instead of immediately being given a ship, you had to serve aboard one until you were promoted to captain? Now here me out. This could be a complete revamp of the tutorial, so all new characters would have to start out this way. Or it could be like an extended prologue sort of deal.

There would be 3 commands, each one corresponding to the class you chose. So tactical officers would serve on for example, an Escort or a battlecruiser. Engineering would serve Cruisers, and Science to serve on a science ship. Now, while serving under a command, depending on your class, you would fulfill different duties:

Tactical: you would be doing a lot of combat missions, such as defending the ship, maintenance on weapons, tactical training, etc.

Engineering: Doing repairs, maintenance on the engines, or even crafting batteries, etc.

Science: Maintaining shields, research tasks, med bay missions.

Universal: This would be the introduction of a brand new Away Mission System.

The Away Mission System would be the perfect excuse for them to re-introduce Exploration. But also new things like archeology, research tasks, combat missions, and the return of Diplomatic Missions/First Contact. Not only that, this would also allow them to revamp ground combat, as well as actually give them a reason to make more bridges and introduce ship interiors. Especially for missions that involve defending the ship you're on.

Now when you reach Captain rank, you would then be granted your first ship, and they would include everything from T1 to I think T4 (T4 is Captain, right?)

Then the game would go on as we know it now. Only these new systems would still be there, BUT!!!

When doing away missions, you could have a choice: Play as yourself OR as one of your BOFFS. If you choose yourself then its a regular ground mission like it is now, but if you choose boff, could be a very different experience, and would allow you to get out of your own class once in a while without having to make an alt. And then of course rewards would be based on performance of tasks.

Not only would this be, I think, a more realistic Star Trek Experience, I think it would be more fun as well. Also, that sense of accomplishment at actually having to really earn that first ship. It would be a longer start to the game of course, more story driven than combat, but I think it could be fun and have more of that RPG feel.

Now please feel free to give feedback, add your own ideas. Just please try to keep it positive, if you hate this, that's okay, just move on and don't derail the thread please. :D


  • phoenixc#0738 phoenixc Member Posts: 4,646 Arc User
    Technically, real world ships are not always commanded by captains either, especially in wartime. In fact minesweepers, subchasers, and other small ships were often commanded by lieutenants in WWII, and destroyers were often commanded by lieutenant commanders or commanders rather than people with the actual rank of captain (though they were usually referred to as the captain of the ship).

    Occasionally they were even commanded by noncoms though that was usually an emergency thing just until a commissioned officer could take over.
  • spiritbornspiritborn Member Posts: 3,770 Arc User
    Also we got a battlefield promotion, because we were literally the most senior officer alive at that point as the captain in both cases got killed, after the intro throwing us to me a random lower decks mook simply would seem like punishment both from a narrative point of view (not mention it wouldn't make sense gameplay wise to not be able to do space content until level 40+).

    Start with things like Mirandas or the Californias (when they add them into the game) to RP your captain not getting a top of the line ship as their first command, then build up towards of the top of the line ships.
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,482 Arc User
    Captain is a job. It can be filled by anyone of any rank. In the real world, rank isn't some random thing, it comes with a set of responsibilities, like the number of people under your command. So it is perfectly reasonable for a small ship with a small crew to have a small ranked officer in charge, which is how it works IRL. A capital ship is going to be commanded by a high rank officer, by contrast. Bigger ship, more people, more value, requiring more experience.

    However, our captains, per the tutorial are so inexperienced that we definitely should have been relieved of command by an LT or someone with actual experience transferred from another ship. That we stumbled our way through the tutorial isn't really an excuse. Forcing us on that would not make the game very fun, though.
  • garaffegaraffe Member Posts: 1,353 Arc User
    This idea may work for Fed captains with their strict rules and regulations, but not the other factions.

    In the KDF tutorial, you start off as the second officer, the first officer is killed by the captain, but then you kill the captain. According to Klingon rules, you are now the rightful commanding officer, though not ranked as captain.

    In the Romulan tutorial, you aren't even a military officer serving on a military ship. You are just a colonist escaping an elachi attack in an old rust bucket. You are in command because everyone with military experience is either missing and presumed dead, or Tovan. Technically, Tovan should have taken command, but he seems to have no desire to command.
  • darkbladejkdarkbladejk Member Posts: 3,400 Community Moderator
    I should close this because it falls under the Frequently Created Threads list, but I'm going to let this one go for a brief amount of time as I don't think the explanation in the FCT list adequately explains some of the nuances of why the story and ranks are the way they are in STO. This thread also touches on some lore elements. Should this thread start to derail I will close this thread.

    -Others have done a good job at pointing out the real world inspiration of battlefield promotions so I don't see a need to explain that. For an on screen example of this I would refer you to the episode with the Red Squad cadets. Nog as an ensign outranked them all, but the "captain" was given a field promotion that came with command of the ship.

    -When STO starts out, we are in a midst of war with the klingons and a renewed Borg threat. You as the most senior officer were all that's left of the command staff when they were killed. This goes back towards point one but serves to explain why lower rank personnel can command ships and have duties normally reserved for higher rank individuals.

    -One of the key selling points of STO is that you get to command your own ship and crew. To do what you're asking now would heavily restrict the early game and undo over a decade of precedent at this juncture. If you don't get to command your own ship until late in the game that's going to turn alot of folks away from it and would not do well for people. Plus if the t1-t4 ships don't become available until captain rank, why even have the t1-t3 in game at all since they would be downgrades at that juncture?

    -One of the key points behind the story and why they give you a choice between a cruiser, an escort, and a science ship each time you get a promotion is so you can get a feel for each of the type of ships. If you want to stick to all cruisers, all science, or all escorts you can do so, but you are given different options as not everyone plays the same. Forcing the different captain types to only use one type of ship or another sets the very bad precedent that they're only supposed to fly one specific type of ship or another, when that's simply untrue. I myself main a tactical captain tank that flies alot of engineering heavy ships. Another guy in my fleet is an engineer that can easily keep up with the tac captains in my fleet in terms of damage. Then we have a sci guy that can tank just as well as the tacs and engineers in my fleet. I say this to make the point that in trying to pigeonhole people into one way of play or another, or be perceived at trying to pigeonhole people into one style of play or another, you really short change people and can hamper them from finding out what they actually do like in game. Playing to one's career choice in queues is one thing, but trying to force it on them the rest of the time is something else that was never intended with STO.

    -For the Away team stuff and more diplomatic systems, while alot of folk have requested these things, they would need to be implemented in a way that makes sense story wise and gives folks something meaningful to do. The first system was removed in part because folks got stuck in the exploration clusters and couldn't find their way out. Thus they never experienced the actual story of the game and quit as a result. Plus it was little more than a random story generated thing with very little variety. Designing stuff like that takes time and isn't something that can just be implemented on a whim. I know that's not what you're saying but the point still needed to be made. Perhaps in time they will do a revamped version, but I'm not holding my breath. I think you're underestimating just how much goes into creating such systems.

    -Lastly on this point, while alot of folks may like the non-combat solutions such as the folks who actually watched alot of Trek, this is still an MMO and alot of folks prefer the action/adventure elements of it. This means the pew pew elements and such will generally always take priority. Even though there was peace in Trek for the most part up to the Dominion War and for awhile after, there were still skirmishes and similar.
    "Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again." - Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek Generations

    Star Trek Online volunteer Community Moderator
  • davefenestratordavefenestrator Member Posts: 10,042 Arc User
    edited April 2021
    ... Science: Maintaining shields, research tasks, med bay missions. ...

    STO has done this before with the career-specific parts of missions. The ship rescue near the start of the fed missions, the mining moon in the Romulan Mystery arc, the injured crew treatment on the ship attacked by Breen (I think), the virus infected computers in the Discovery arc, etc.

    The problem is that the activities need to be kept shallow (and so boring) to fit in with an action-oriented MMO. If there was a medical simulator sub-game with real depth it would drive away those who don't want to delve into future med-tech and act as Doctor Pulaski. Many players pick science because they want to use space magic in combat.

    What we need for that are full side games like "Doctor Space, Space Medicine Woman", stealing plots from James White's Hospital Station novels and House MD.
  • darkbladejkdarkbladejk Member Posts: 3,400 Community Moderator
    closed by request
    "Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again." - Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek Generations

    Star Trek Online volunteer Community Moderator
This discussion has been closed.