24/10/2016 at 01:55 #17117Matthew VajParticipant
Well, it’s up to Xavier and Jemel and maybe the other COs, but thinking back to when I was a cadet, I think I would’ve benefited from being on a training vessel of some kind. Picking it up as I went worked, but I was fortunate enough to have played the game several times before joining TSN, and some cadets have little to no experience at all. As for the type of ship, I suggested a scout because the ship would intentionally avoid combat for the most part, but really each ship has its own learning curve.24/10/2016 at 02:33 #17119AramondParticipant
I’m going to have to agree with van Leigh about the Hunter. With how fragile scout ships tend to be, one wrong move, and that’s a group of cadets sitting in life pods. Not a fun feeling when you’re first starting out with a group that more-or-less knows what its doing. I’d rather stick them on a light cruiser, or something heavier, since the ship wouldn’t be as effective due to inexperience.
Then again, having a crew composed entirely of cadets increases pressure on the CO of that ship. When a cadet is thrown on a normal ship, you’ve got the rest of the crew that can help mentor him/her. With the cadet ship, you’ve only got one or two reliably experienced people on board, meaning that their attention is spread thinner.
Having a more regimented training for cadets, though, would be very helpful. We’d just need to figure out how to go about that.
@mattssheep4 The issue with fighters is twofold. To bring one in every once and a while means temporarily restructuring ship assignments. Which can be a major pain for the senior officers, since we like knowing our crews and being effective. We’re actually working on an absence reporting/tracking system so assigned crews are filled with consistently active members, but more on that in the coming months.
The other issue is the main reason that carriers/fighters have been nixed for the time being. Numbers. To support a carrier, you not only need to have a crew going about it’s normal duties, but also people to fly the fighters. You’d want at least 3 to make a fighter group effective, and that means they aren’t available to be on the bridge. Maybe once we get the aforementioned absence system in, we can start talking about carriers again. It would let us give the GMs more warning about when pilots would/wouldn’t be available. Until then, they just don’t work with the way the TSN is structured.24/10/2016 at 02:53 #17126John van LeighParticipant
…And those three have to be trained to be a fighter group together. So, we need more than three willing officers floating around. Fighters are cool if you’re flying, but a pain for everyone else (at least until they are greatly improved so that deploying becomes easier).24/10/2016 at 03:38 #17128MatsiyanParticipant
Good to see this being considered, but so far this is one anomalous week.
For the time being, it would be fine for an XO to command an additional ship borrowing another XO as his 2IC. That gives other junior officers the opportunity to XO and it dilutes the cadets into environments where they can get a good idea of the expectations and behaviours of a seasoned TSN crew. That immersion is what Inculcates good habits. Having too many cadets together does not let them see how amazing a crew can be. We see this all the time with local cadet forces. They do mot have the example of how to be awesome.24/10/2016 at 03:59 #17131John van LeighParticipant
Agreed. Serving with solid crews dilutes inexperience. Still, it is a good idea to work separately for very simple stuff. But that’s something that, ultimately, has to be decided by Jemel.
I think Matsiyan is right to be cautious, as well. 30 officers is an excellent number, but there’s a lot that could go wrong if we rely on what we had.
About the idea of exposing junior officers to command, I like it. But I’d rather know who wants to be trained so that we don’t waste the time.
Mind you, I’m not deciding anything (I don’t have the authority to do so), but if we roll with this idea, I don’t mind spending time outside the Duty Shift to work with command candidates.24/10/2016 at 04:48 #17133MatsiyanParticipant
I am certainly interested in the command track, that is one reason I switched my primary to Science so that I can get a better strategic view than available in Engineering. Having the opportunity to XO while a regular XO, or captain, was off commanding cadets would be interesting. That is actually a benefit. If a captain commands the extra vessel, his XO has a shot at command experience.
Personally I think it is far too soon to expect to establish a sixth permanent captain and XO.
Speaking of availability, Mundy and Matsiyan will be away on Stardates 51116-2237 and 121116-2237. That should be the last absence for quite a while though.24/10/2016 at 10:21 #17148
Well, we’ve had crews with all cadets and a couple of senior officer instructors, as well as cadets distributed amongst crew. We moved away from the cadet crews as some were already experienced players and just needed to figure out how the TSN worked. It was also something of a chore for the instructors. We ended up having cadets dismissed an hour early so we could have all experienced officers and crews. Its something that never sat right for me, so the practice was scrapped.
As for a sixth ship, we have had one before, and even looked at the possibilitu of a seventh. The numbers over the summer period drop though, and ultimately the crew have to disband. We have data for a whole year now on attendance figures (just how many were present at the beginning of the shift +- a couple). 35-40 is our expected peak, bit around April numbers will start to decline again.24/10/2016 at 13:08 #17155Charles BeaumontParticipant
I definitely think I’ve benefited more from being mixed in with more experienced TSN crew than I would have from an all cadet crew. You get a better feel for play and communication styles, though I have played the game a fair few times before joining, so can’t comment on how best to get brand new players up to speed.
I’m curious about fighters/carriers in the mod. Have you found a way to make the fighters take resources from their carrier when they resupply, or a fuel/power system for the fighters? I found the base game ones a tad overpowered when we tried them as long as we were mindful of their shield status.
As cool as it would be (I have a bit of a love for wing commaner style games), I know it’s unrealistic to expect a carrier in the group anytime soon unless everyone’s happy with dropping 2 of the current ships to allow it to run, and it would probably have a massive effect on division combat doctrine and mission design.24/10/2016 at 14:38 #17162Blaze StrifeParticipant
I can say that I’m not sure if I would’ve returned for a second session if my first was on a ship full of cadets.
We tried carriers. It didn’t work. I don’t expect to see the return of them unless we start to constantly run 5 full ships.24/10/2016 at 15:15 #17170
The carrier.. as a combat ship, I am not looking in to have one return. Though we gave it a good go, it never really worked out brilliantly. As a result, we looked in to creating varients of the core ships to mix things up instead.
There is one possibility, and that is modding fighters so they become shuttles instead. Every ship could have one shuttle equipped, and though they would be used infrequently, we could have missions where you have to deply a shuttle. For example, the repairing of sensor relays could require a shuttle instead of just the ship pulling up next to it. We could also have other reasons e.g. ferrying passengers to stations or between ship, conducting a close survey of an asteroid or nebula or deploying specialist equipment. Infact, we could potentially move to handling all transfers like this, with a shuttle pilot needed to send engineers, boarding parties or medical teams rather than the automatic transfers we have at the moment.
In situations like that, the shuttle and pilot would be vulnerable and it would make for interesting decisions if attacked or as part of some time critical missions. You’d also have to nominate one of your bridge officers to man the shuttle as well, sacrificing a position and having someone else stepping in to fill for them. With a crew of six, again it could make for interesting play.
I can easily script in messages for the GM to send with things like ‘shuttle launched’, ‘shuttle docked’, ‘transferring personnel’ etc. They would be pop-up messages for all the crew.24/10/2016 at 16:25 #17189AramondParticipant
Fighters-as-shuttles is a really neat idea! The main thing is to make shuttle flights consistently interesting, so that it’s not as monotonous as “go to console select screen, get in fighter, launch fighter, fly to station, fly back to ship, go to console select screen, reselect bridge console.” In terms of resupplying, that’s a lot of work and time that could be better spent just having the helmsman dock with the station.
Random thought. Do fighters have any way to brake down to 0? It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten in one of the deathtraps.24/10/2016 at 16:56 #17197Matthew VajParticipant
I like the shuttle idea as well, although I’m not sure how you would make the shuttle flights ‘consistently interesting’. I don’t think it would get too repetitive, though.
There is a control to brake fighters, but I don’t remember what it is.24/10/2016 at 17:13 #17201Jemel EahainModerator
back in the day we could have 6 or 7 cadets on every week, the more experienced ones were mixed in right away but the green cadets spent the first half hour of the shift doing basic training just so they could see what was expected from each station and see what the combat orders were, they were then split up and mixed in with the crews, if that meant we had enough we would open a 5th or 6th ship and xo’s etc would go and command these ships, the training department has its own mini training sand box mission used for training cadets etc in recent time cadets have trickled in rather than turned up on mass so there has not been the opportunity to run a basic training exercise, its just an other thing that has evolved over time within the fleet24/10/2016 at 17:18 #17203
It is possible to have fighters stop entirely by pressing and holding a key. As for keeping it interesting, the mission would be designed with the shuttle in mind. Combat by the shuttle would be minimal and dilemmas would be presented e.g. the main ship has to respond elsewhere, then an enemy turns up and the shuttle has to hide or evade in a nearby nebula or asteroid field.
When I think of shuttle missions, I think of when they appear in ST:Voyager and other Sci-fi. The shuttle could be deployed in a battle to drop marines at a base, getting passed capital ships, or could have a device to disrupt their sensors.
I also think there might be times where it is safer to send a shuttle… perhaps to gain a sample from a particular nebula with radioactive properties…. Baryon nebula investigation? It could be that intense radiation would cause warp core failures on TSN capital ships, but a shuttle uses different energy systems (i.e. based on impulse reactors) that wouldn’t be damaged. Note, shielding would stand up to radiation, officer could be protected with an innoculation of some sort, or it could simply not be harmful.
I think there is plenty of scope to keep it interesting. The trick is adapting the fighter to become a shuttle. To me, it shouod have no torpedoes and perhaps one simple beam for defense. In otherwords, very little combat capability. That way it would be about clever piloting and completing objectives rather than having more combat capability. When the enemy attacks, it is better to have the shuttle aboard and officers on the bridge instead of attacking.18/11/2016 at 03:45 #18257NhaimaParticipant
Yes, fighters can come to all All Stop/break by hitting the <Delete> key. (Afterburners is <Insert>).
Removing the homing torpedoes on a fighter is pretty easily done, as is tweaking the beams to the level of inadequecy you see fit. The main problem is that each species can only have one fighter which means that this shuttle will become the default Terran player fighter instead of the Allard FXI.
Depending on what capabilities you wanted to assign to it and how much GM overhead you wanted to allocate to this idea, you could simply mock up a shuttle as a capital ship and have officers transfer their consoles to the fighter when crewing it. This has the benefit of leaving other fighters unaffected, allowing multiple officers to participate on a shuttle mission or leaving shuttle combat somewhat clunky for a single pilot/gunner, as well as enable them to assist their mothership with alternate taunting vectors and an auxiliary science relay depending on how many stations are selected. This way would also mean the shuttle could be slightly more capable if desired since it couldn’t be launched and disposed of at will. It just requires GM attention to appropriately set up the launch and then recovery/silent destruction on return.
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