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Becoming a Starship Captin.

Harmond

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POSTS: 155

Report this Jan. 11 2006, 5:44 pm

Can we assume that becoming a Captain is going to be hard?  After all if you look at a galaxy class starship, it will hold over 1000 people and I am sure it is going to be hard to find 1000 folks to be on your ship while you alone is the only captain.  

Yes I know some ships only have a small amount of folks, but for the bigger size ships it is going to be uber rare to be the captain on them.  


Any input on this from anyone good or bad, I am open to discussion on this.

Ztrike

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POSTS: 63

Report this Jan. 11 2006, 6:44 pm

I have been concerned about the same issue my self. I am going to assume that to become a captain would take a great deal amount of time. We can't have half the crew of a Galaxy class starship with the rank of Captain.

However, I am concerned as to how long it will take, because if I am not mistaken there are other high ranks that as players we can obtain. And if that is the case, then how long would it take to make those ranks such as becoming an Admiral? A life time perhaps?

I have also heard that we can turn down promotions. So there may be a large number of us who do not want to give up the Captain's chair.

Philipp1980

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POSTS: 164

Report this Jan. 11 2006, 9:32 pm

Yeah, I don't want a bunch of wannabe-captains out there and nobody to follow. If it's true that a player-controlled ship is supposed to have on average about 20 players on it, I'd prefer if not more than the best 5% actually become captains.

At another point I heard that there can be several people with the rank of captain on a single ship, where only one of them is in command, but come on, the title is worthless without the chair, why bother?

Ztrike

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POSTS: 63

Report this Jan. 12 2006, 12:46 am

To add to my remarks about players becoming Admiral. From what I understand is that an Admiral can have a few ships under his command. If that be the case, then a guild can have the possibility of having a few ships. Which means that in this case there can be a few Captains to command those ships. Besides from what I understand you will ofcourse have to become the "First Officer" before being able to command a ship.

- Ztrike

Harmond

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POSTS: 155

Report this Jan. 12 2006, 1:26 am

By passing a promotion is in the series, after all Will Riker gave up being a captain early in the TNG series. I think Jean Luc made it clear, when he told him his options.  He would be the second in command of the flag ship of the federation or he can be the first in command of his on ship. Yes if I was the second in command of the flag ship, I to would give up a captain spot for a chance at the big seat.  

this has really got me thinking about the captain seat, I wonder if it will be as rare as the jedi was in SWG a few years ago.

Ellessar

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POSTS: 1848

Report this Jan. 12 2006, 3:18 am

Quote (Philipp1980 @ Jan. 11 2006, 6:32 pm)
Yeah, I don't want a bunch of wannabe-captains out there and nobody to follow. If it's true that a player-controlled ship is supposed to have on average about 20 players on it, I'd prefer if not more than the best 5% actually become captains.

[QUOTE]

The first thing you need to understand that most players will want to attain the rank of captain.  There will be people who don't care or don't want it, but in general most gamers will want to rise as high as they can within reason.  With that in mind you always must make it possible for newer players to attain the ranks just like the older vets.  

Now in any MMO rank is generally a pretty staright forward thing.  You do something for increased honor/prestige/experience and you gain rank.  (I'm not talking levels here I am talking rank which should be completely spereate).  The best system would be somthing along the lines of WoW in which your rank is not a static feature, but rather rank is determined server wide by judging all the players.  In the case of WoW players are juded by honor from PvP kills.  STO will have its own system of lets say presitge for doing missions.  At the end of every week the game has a look at how much honor/prestige you got for the week and every player is then ranked in order of how much honor/prestige they obtained.  Based on your ranking vs. everyone else and based on your current rank promotions and demotions are handed out.  You can only advance or reduce one rank per evaluation period to avoid huge sweeping changes.  You cannot just attain a rank and sit there forever.  You have to keep up with everyone else.  You can't just attain rank and then rest easy.  If you don't attain any honor/prestige for a week or a few weeks you will likely find yourself demoted as someone else will come along and take your spot because they were one rank below you and attained more honor then you did.  So they advance a ranka nd you lose one.   By making it a week to week system or even a month to month system it ensures that those on top do  not stay on top forever.  A newer player can rise and replace a complacent veteran.  It is not exactly a very canon military procedure, but it makes sense in a gameplay terms.

Now in terms of how many captains there should be, well I don't really know.  I would say the ratio should be something like 1:20 players.  Every rank in the system should be based off a ratio of how many players exist in the game.  If there are X amount of players on the server then there are Y amount of ensings, X amount of LT (JG), Z amount of LT, etc.  

Now in this system will it be hard to make captain?  Yes and no.  Since you should only be able to advance one rank per interval it will take 6 complete intervals for any player to attain captain.  If you make the intervals a week it is 6 weeks before it is possible for someone to be a captain.  If you make it a month it will be 6 months to make captain.  So there will be some time involved.  Now the difficulty of the rank will be a fluid thing.  That will be determined by how much competition there is on the server.  Since I assume most people will take it seriously you can expect it to be something difficult.  If only 1:20 become captains then you need to be doing better than a large portion of the player base each promotion interval.  

I think the ability to turn down promotion should be included in the game.  If someone finds they are happy with the duties and responsibilities of a certain rank then they can turn down future promotions, but they still need to keep at to maintain whatever rank they are at.  

Prestige/honor should be handed out for doing missions successfully.  I should think that the amount of prestige should vary depending on just how successful you are at each mission and by what means you accomplished you goals.  Completing missions in a non-StarFleet way should earn you less prestige/honor.  Of course you should also be able to aquire negative prestige or dishonor for certain actions.  Losing a vessel, getting people killed, excessive collateral damage, etc.  Those should earn you negative points.  At the end of every interval you net prestige/honor is determined and then you are ranked.

And yes I do think it should be possible for multiple captains to play on one ship if they want.  You should not force players who might be friends to not play together because they are both captains.  If you have several players in your group all with the same rank then you choose among yourselves who will command or allow the game to do it based on say time in rank.  I do think multiple captains on a single ship should be allowed.  We have seen in in Star Trek before.  Captain Kirk commanded the Enterprise while Spock and Scotty were both captains in rank.

uleski

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POSTS: 18

Report this Jan. 12 2006, 3:59 am

you will have to wrestle a klingon for command.

details to follow...

Harmond

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POSTS: 155

Report this Jan. 12 2006, 5:09 am

Ellessar, the idea you are saying only supports the players that has uber amount of time to play, but what about the working man/woman that can not play as much.  Your way would limit them to fall behind each and every week.  I for one might want to go for captain but by your system, I would not come near it because I can not play but maybe 2 hours a day max if that much. Is that fair to me and anyone else that works alot of hours ?

No I feel it should be a system that is for the causal player as well.

Vorad_Tain

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POSTS: 58

Report this Jan. 12 2006, 7:18 am

Another aspect to consider is that many of the larger ships will have crew from all over the world, who will be online at different times throughout the day. So if there is only one Captain he would have to be online 24/7 to accomodate his crew.

The solution have to have some kind of command crew on each ship, each of them capable of taking command of the ship if the Captain isn't around. How the ratio of command crew vs. ordinary crew should be, I don't know.

Philipp1980

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POSTS: 164

Report this Jan. 12 2006, 8:08 am

Quote (Harmond @ Jan. 11 2006, 5:09 pm)
Ellessar, the idea you are saying only supports the players that has uber amount of time to play, but what about the working man/woman that can not play as much.  Your way would limit them to fall behind each and every week.  I for one might want to go for captain but by your system, I would not come near it because I can not play but maybe 2 hours a day max if that much. Is that fair to me and anyone else that works alot of hours ?

No I feel it should be a system that is for the causal player as well.

Exactly. I don't want to be a Lt. Cmdr, then take a plane to Madrid for two weeks vacation, come back and be an Ensign, that's bull (and it's one of the reason I don't like WoW). Absolute ranking (get  let's say x number of prestige points, and you'll never lose them except as punishment for e.g. breach of federation law) is alot more player-friendly than this relative ranking (players compared with each other) Ellessar proposed.

Sure it'd limit the numbers of captains running around at once - which would be a good thing in my opinion, but I'd prefer a different way, where someone doesn't lose what he gained with hard work

Harmond

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POSTS: 155

Report this Jan. 12 2006, 2:32 pm

Quote (Vorad_Tain @ Jan. 12 2006, 4:18 am)
Another aspect to consider is that many of the larger ships will have crew from all over the world, who will be online at different times throughout the day. So if there is only one Captain he would have to be online 24/7 to accomodate his crew.

The solution have to have some kind of command crew on each ship, each of them capable of taking command of the ship if the Captain isn't around. How the ratio of command crew vs. ordinary crew should be, I don't know.

I am not even considering the different time zones and different play times that everyone has.  If what you say here is correct, than everyone would be racing to be on at a certain time.  Also for a ship like the enterprise, you would have a group of folks that would work out a system that only they where the captain and no one else of it. Also it would not be MY ship at that point, it would be our ship.  That in itself hurts the rank of the captain.  No I think this way is flawed as well.

It will have to be a system that first off is for both the uber players as well as the causal players. Also it should also give the ship to each captain.  So that the captain CAN SAY, this is MY ship.

Vorad_Tain

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POSTS: 58

Report this Jan. 12 2006, 3:34 pm

Quote (Harmond @ Jan. 12 2006, 8:32 pm)
Also it would not be MY ship at that point, it would be our ship. That in itself hurts the rank of the captain. No I think this way is flawed as well.

It will have to be a system that first off is for both the uber players as well as the causal players. Also it should also give the ship to each captain. So that the captain CAN SAY, this is MY ship.

With that attitude you might as well prepare yourself for not having any crew. If you insist on the ship being YOURS and in no way something you share with your crew, how can you have anybody who would play on that ship? I would also say, as a Captain I could not deserve the respect of the players around me if I considered the ship to by MY property. If you don't make people feel like part of the team that has some say on the way the ship is governed, they will either find themselves another ship or joining a NPC ship where they will have the same amount of influence as on the ship you govern unilaterally.

And about the time zone issue, you are clearly saying that you will only play with yanks who live in your own time zone as that would be the only way to avoid the problem of people logging on, finding out that Your Majesty isn't online and have to wait until you get online before being able to do anything.

Good luck with that, dude.

Of course, if you intend to solo, this won't be a problem, but then the original issue is moot as well.

Ellessar

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POSTS: 1848

Report this Jan. 12 2006, 3:39 pm

Let me first say this up front.  If you are not a hardcore gamer don't play an MMO.  I know that might seem harsh, and I know the devs will say they will try to make a game for the casual guy, but that is complete nonsense.  WoW is probably the game which is the best suited for casual play and even still if you are not hardcore you are left out in the cold.  Only the people who play all the time level up, attain the honor to get the ranks, earn the reputation to get exaulted in the factions, and go on the high end raids to get the items to build the legendary gear.  MMOs are not for casual gamers.  If you only play every few days here and there you are throwing your money out the door.  Even the so called casual gamer in an MMO plays every single day.  That is just the way it is.

Now the problem with static ranks is simple.  You cannot create a quota limit or else the game is not fair for the newer gamers.  So therefore an unlimited number of every rank must exist.  If that is the case then the game will end up with everyone being a captain just like everyone was a colonel in SWG.  If rank is static then what possibly could stop every player from getting rank?  If that is the way the game goes I'm alright with it, but I would prefer a more competitive system.      

Besides, in what way is a static system any better for a casual gamer?  You are all saying the road to captain should be hard and long.  What do you think that means?  That means a long grind which means guess what the casual gamer is still left out in the cold because the hardcore gamer will make captain ages before the casual player.  Jedi in SWG was a set static system.  Did that help the casual gamer in any way?  Certainly not, it was all about the hardcore gamer.  

Now for those who worry about what if I go on vacation, well there are two things here.  One in WoW you can pretty much do nothing for more than a week before you will start to lose rank.  You can sit still for several weeks before you fall low enough on the list of your grade that you are bumped to the lower rank.  Second you could always extend the period from a week to say a month.  This way short vactions don't completely ruin your rank.  If you are away for two weeks you still have time at the end of the month to get your prestige points in.  

In the end though, I don't see how you think a WoW type system is any worse for a casual gamer than a static system.  If anything a WoW system is better for the casual gamer.  In WoW you can easily attain rank while being at a low level.  Therefore you don't have to play all the time and have a maxed out toon to gain PvP ranking.

Harmond

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POSTS: 155

Report this Jan. 12 2006, 5:25 pm

Quote (Vorad_Tain @ Jan. 12 2006, 12:34 pm)
Quote (Harmond @ Jan. 12 2006, 8:32 pm)
Also it would not be MY ship at that point, it would be our ship. That in itself hurts the rank of the captain. No I think this way is flawed as well.

It will have to be a system that first off is for both the uber players as well as the causal players. Also it should also give the ship to each captain. So that the captain CAN SAY, this is MY ship.

With that attitude you might as well prepare yourself for not having any crew. If you insist on the ship being YOURS and in no way something you share with your crew, how can you have anybody who would play on that ship? I would also say, as a Captain I could not deserve the respect of the players around me if I considered the ship to by MY property. If you don't make people feel like part of the team that has some say on the way the ship is governed, they will either find themselves another ship or joining a NPC ship where they will have the same amount of influence as on the ship you govern unilaterally.

And about the time zone issue, you are clearly saying that you will only play with yanks who live in your own time zone as that would be the only way to avoid the problem of people logging on, finding out that Your Majesty isn't online and have to wait until you get online before being able to do anything.

Good luck with that, dude.

Of course, if you intend to solo, this won't be a problem, but then the original issue is moot as well.

I did not mean it the way you took it, any captain in the tv series calls the ships theirs. When I was a tank commander on a M1A1 tank, it WAS my tank. I was solely responsable for the lives of my crew.

When I called the tank mine, it really was not mine, it belonged to the US Army. I am not talking about actual ownership of the tank but having pride in it. I helped keep the tank in 100% condition and clean at all times. When we where out in the field for weeks, it was the tank commanders responabliity to maintain their tanks. We did not wake up and just run to a tank and call it ours.

The same goes with a ship in STO, if I get the ship in tip top shape and while I am off line someone goes and half way destroys the ship and logs off, then I get back on, is that fair to me ?!?!?
Captain 1 -- gets ship in tip top shape
Captain 2 -- goes out and does alot of pvp or pvm and half way destroys the ship. Captain 2 does not care and logs out.
Captain 1 -- logs back in and finds the ship messed up and starts to work on it again and takes several minutes to get it back going. Goes out for an hour or so and before he logs makes sure the ship is in great working order.
Captain 2 -- logs back in and does same thing again, not caring who is making sure the ship is fixed as long as she/he is having fun in pvp or pvm.

That is my point to having more than one captain per ship.

Now on to your other point you took wrong.
I have friends all around the world in MMO's, from everquest, everquest 2, SWG, and UO.  I play with friends all over the world.  

Please do not think i am mean or anything of the sort, I am simply just pointing things out that I hope the dev team takes into thought.

Do I think I will be a captain of a galaxy ship, probable not. Do I think I will be a captain of any ship, probable just a runabout. I am more interested in the engineer side of the game or medical side. Maybe i might go into security side.

Harmond

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POSTS: 155

Report this Jan. 12 2006, 5:49 pm

To be a captain you are going to have to make alot of choices for the ship and crew. To go into battle or not to, to explore that planet or not. People in RL are going to look to captains for leadership. Also Vorad_Tain, made a great point to my post earlier. If you say something on the message boards or in game, some folks can take it the wrong way. I did in no wise mean it the way he took it and I hope he dont think that way after reading my last 2 posts.

In STO not only does a captain have to be the captain but also the councler as well. Keeping peace between the rl folks on the ship while running a mission.

Anyone can be a captain sooner or later in STO, but it is going to take someone special for the folks *in RL* to get behind and follow.

I remember when I was in EQ and doing elem/time flagging, I did not just follow anyone into the zones. It took someone I trusted, that knew the zone, that knew how to keep the folks in line, that knew how to fight and beat the mob. It took someone I trusted that would get us out of there alive and flagged.

Yes, I to feel to be a great captain you are going to have to be online more and know the game better to a certain point than others.

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