Proposal: X-Fleet on Starfleet Command
Problem: For the nearly-two years I've been in the club, I've heard the following recurring complaints:
"Our ships are all the same."
"We have too many ships."
"We need more ships that are different."
"I have this idea for a ship that's different, but...
" ... I don't know if it would play well or not."
" ... I don't know if it has more than a few months milage."
" ... I couldn't do it with all of the rules we have."
" ... I'm afraid it'll be shot down by some Command Bully."
To varying degrees, these complaints have merit. They all stem from our group's idea of what a ship is and how to support it. Our idea of what a ship is, as codified by FCOMM and established by everyday practice for the past however-many years, is perfectly fine for a post-TNG vessel with a minimum of 11 players who are arranged the standard configuration that is expected to continue operating until the end of eternity. But the is club organized such that it isn't very accommodating of anything that fails to exactly match that idea. While this no-doubt weeds out a lot of garbage, I think this means we're missing out on ideas that could be successful and popular.
I am proposing an experiment to test if that is the case.
Proposal: I propose a new fleet-like area, known as the Experimental Fleet, or X-Fleet for short. In this area, many of the rules that govern how ships operate would not apply, and it would be very easy to start new ships here. The tradeoff is that they would get absolutely no official support from the various departments of the club, and they would face some very harsh termination conditions. I don't have a draft of the proposed edict ready, but here's a brief summary of advantages that ships in this area would benefit from:
* Any group of three people can start a ship.
* Aside from the Terms of Service, there would be absolutely no limitations whatsoever on what people do there.
* People could call themselves any rank they want on these ships.
* People could be organized in any configuration. E.g. you could have a ship with no security department.
* People could GM without a license on these ships.
* Ships could go without GMs entirely.
* Any spec could be used, even ones not approved by EDept. This includes things like "no spec" and "something vague scribbled on a cocktail napkin late last night."
* AWOL limits could be anything people want, including no limits at all.
* Ships could be set in any time period. Technically they could even not be ships, but bases, planets, office buildings, whatever.
* I'm sure people more creative than I am could come up with things that would be allowed that they'd like to try.
There is such a thing as too much freedom, so here's the downside to running a ship in X-Fleet:
* No official government support.
* You get no new crew from the PDept or the Academy.
* The Gamemaster Department is not obligated to help you.
* The Engineering Department is not responsible for maintaining your ship's spec.
* Any rank a player holds within X-Fleet does not count toward your member rank.
* If your ship has zero posts after 30 days, or less than 3 rostered players after 30 days, it gets cut automatically with no debate, no discussion, and no appeals process.
An Executive Assistant would be responsible for administering X-Fleet. Their role would be limited entirely to ensuring that the TOS are being followed, creating ships when a proper petition with three active members is received, and decommissioning/de-publishing ships immediately when they meet the failure criteria. They would not be granted any discretion in these decisions whatsoever.
Discussion: The major intended effect of this proposal is to provide the club as a whole with a wider variety of roleplaying environments. Because none of these environments would be granted any official support, the cost imposed on the rest of the club for allowing them to operate would be minimal. Because the cost imposed on the club is small, there would be no need for a large public debate for every idea: the people who wanted to try the idea could just do it, and it wouldn't really be anyone else's business. We wouldn't have to speculate whether people would want to play on the All-Section-31-Super-Secret-Timeship, because someone could just start it and we'd see it succeed or fail quickly.
I imagine there could be a lot of ships in this environment, given that any group of three could form a ship. Some of these ships would be uninteresting to many people, but others would be wildly successful because they would be offering things that players want that they can't get in the mainstream fleet. The strictly enforced failure conditions would keep truly horrible and boring ships from continuing to exist. The only way a ship could succeed in this environment is if people actually like playing on it and wish to continue.
Also, we could see the emergence of mission-specific or short-term ships. Remember a couple of months ago, people said they were interested in seeing a Mirrorverse ship? The general consensus was that it would be cool for a while but then people would get bored with it. Well, why not just play it and enjoy it for as long as it lasts? Not every RP environment needs to exist as a standing historical monument forever.
One downside to this idea is that it creates a new government position. In my original version of this idea, the Executive Assistant was actually a piece of software, but I realized that no existing software is set to do this as easily as I think would be necessary, and writing new software to do it would be time and talent consuming.
So what do people think?
-- Joe P
- 2013 May 20 - 12:06pmSam Bibb LOA 20th May
- 2013 May 20 - 5:04pmRobert Archer
- 2013 May 20 - 5:50pmRobert Archer
- 2013 May 21 - 1:46amLarry Garfield (One Man Kazoo Band)
- 2013 May 21 - 9:06amRobert Archer
- 2013 May 22 - 8:08amCommodore Lindsay "Beaver" Bayes (Game Master Director)
- 2013 May 22 - 8:58amSam Bibb LOA 20th May
- 2013 May 22 - 5:12pmRobert Archer
- 2013 May 23 - 1:50amBrandon Irvine (Command Cakemeister)
- 2013 May 23 - 9:25amRobert Archer
- 2013 May 21 - 10:13amN Markel
- 2013 May 22 - 1:20pmVice Admiral Jack Dipper (FComm 1, Coder and AIDir)
- 2013 May 22 - 5:11pmVice Admiral Jack Dipper (FComm 1, Coder and AIDir)
- 2013 May 23 - 1:01pmJeremy DeSpain
- 2013 May 23 - 3:03pmHelen Hosick (LOA - 6th June)
- 2013 May 23 - 5:30pmFleet Admiral Drew Z. Diamond (President)
- 2013 May 23 - 6:40pmFleet Admiral Drew Z. Diamond (President)
- 2013 May 23 - 8:51pmTyra Schroll
- 2013 May 23 - 9:29pmRobert Archer
- 2013 May 23 - 11:33pmMike Montemayor
- 2013 May 24 - 8:57amRobert Archer
- 2013 May 24 - 10:43amSam Bibb
- 2013 May 24 - 2:39pmRobert Archer
- 2013 May 24 - 4:44pmAnthony Findora
- 2013 May 24 - 7:35pmMatthew Kleinman
- 2013 May 24 - 5:24pmLindsay Bayes