Let me begin by bringing up my theory that helm officers are raised as tacticians, while science officers are raised as strategists. I’m a science officer so my analysis of a situation tends to deviate towards an area instead of towards an action, and I rely a lot on Helm dealing with the smaller scale.
First, I think that if I have to micromanage helm, we’re both screwing up. I can give a more general order, such as “attack any dettached ships”, or “move to the rear as soon as this Kralien is dead”, or even more often “snipe this Arvonian”, or “your priority is to kill A98”. I have the luxury of working routinely with the two best helmsmen of the division (Aposine in my previous post on Lancer and Quinn here on Viper), and we never had an issue. Then again, they are really good tacticians who can more often than not get the proper positioning without needing more specifics. And we have enough experience together that we can trust each other’s assessments beyond the idea of just everyone doing their jobs.
Now, someone has to always look at the ship status, either the CO, the XO or the engineer, because there are variables that force a retreat. Warp knocked for some captains, for me it’s beam damage, some prefer shields at 0%… If a helm officer retreats under my command just because of shields, no matter his previous experience, he made a mistake. And again, waiting for beam damage and not retreating when shields are down can be a mistake with a different captain. Ideally, only the CO or the XO should begin pulling out.
About rank and priority of information, I agree with most of the list. Now, while I understand and appretiate that junior officers stop talking if I have something to say, a high ranking officer with a working brain knows that, for his experience, there are times when your subordinate has something more urgent to bring up.
The problem comes, indeed, from new cadets with little experience playing Artemis online, and it is corrected fairly soon. Officers who remain stubborn on their lack of comms discipline are rarely promoted, because it really disrupts a lot.
Personally, whenever possible, I try to address cadets that come under my command for their first simulation with something along these lines:
Welcome aboard, cadet. You might notice that I’m a rather unconventional officer, and you might feel confused. Ask any questions, just not when in combat. There are many things done here that nobody else does, so take what I say with a grain of salt and don’t assume other command officers will agree with me. Now, if you think you’re doing something right, by all means take initiative and do it without bringing it up to me. If you’re wrong, I’ll tell you. The rest are corrections as we go, don’t position the ship close to that many enemies, remember the shields, you need to prioritize beams instead of shields…