Much of the chatter back and forth between ships is very much “operational” chatter. I.e. it conveys orders and key tactical information between ships. Hailing other ships isn’t often done. The are a couple of sticking points with it. First, the interaction is only usually between the commanding officer of the ship and the hailed vessel. This leaves other crew members to listen, and possibly chip in bits, but otherwise become observers. It is also usually limited to one ship hailing back and forth, with the rest of the division being the observer. Another is the time it might take – it does slow the pace of the mission/ game down and for some this can feel tedious. This doesn’t mean it is never done. I have heard hails to other ships for surrender or to exchange some information, and it has been done well. It is definitely something that can be planned and tried out in missions. And I like the idea of bringing together some standard hailing and response procedures that we could use when interacting with GM controlled NPCs. There are standard communication procedures in place between ships, but sometimes they slip.
The Sandbox is used almost exclusively now for simulations and missions.
Discord is predominantly OOC due to the nature of the discussion there. There was an IC bar, but it didn’t quite work out well enough and lots of OOC slipped into it. In the TS channels though, there are only one or two actually specifically OOC. The rest are supposed to be IC, but talking in character isn’t strictly enforced. There are plenty of people that will engage with that (and to be honest Lt. Cmdr Hall is a real pro at it), it just takes people to speak up 🙂
We are always searching for Non-combat interactions between crews in a mission. Trying to make these interesting for all positions is tricky. The shuttle provides possibilities, and has been used brilliant for RP in the past. It is just making sure we come up with fresh ideas, or keep on using the ones we have to make RP really engaging.
The rewards and consequences often happen through a season. There is a plan overall, with possibilities built in to deviate off the main story line. The reason why things are planned though is simply time. To come up with new story and missions each week takes a lot of time and effort from ONI, and having the overall plan already mapped out (even if there are no REAL rewards/ consequences, and instead just perceived rewards and consequences) makes for a much better season and set of missions I have found. It also makes it easier to feed in extra bits and tweak here and there based on the actions of the division.
We’ve always kept the in-character ranks and actual ranks tied together. It has worked out well so far. The way we have allowed others to advance along specific “career paths” has been to run departments, where officers could earn secondary ranks/ qualifications. For example, there is a rank system within the ONI department that runs parallel to the TSN Rank system. Also, with the main rank system, you can always tell those players who have been around longer and are generally more experienced at playing. That helps to keep things clear (hopefully) for those who are new. Captains in the TSN have truly earned their stripes through years of being in the TSN and making the greatest contributions.
There were some roleplay “rules” developed for proper “play-by-post” on the forums some years back. It did have promise, but uptake was limited. Some people wanted more freeform RP, whereas others didn’t engage with it. It was based on the Mythic RP rules and aimed to allow people to play against the system, collaborating and coming up with questions. People developed characters, and everything is still recorded. Take a look at the “Forum RP” documents in the Data Net and the threads about it all. Part of it was to come up with a system that would allow missions to be played out between duty-shifts, without them running over the time limitations, or going off on odd tangents.
In terms of background stuff to RP, I think you have joined us in a relatively “quiet” patch. There has been an interim period between our last season, where we explored “beyond the frontier” and our next major season. Hopefully, with the next season which is currently being written, you will see more of the RP elements coming in to shift.
Anyway, I hope that goes some way towards giving you a greater insight into what we have done in the past, or what you might be able to expect in the future. I do appreciate you taking a fresh look at all this, and it is reminding me of some awesome RP events and times that we have had in the past. All this helps inspire future events!