Brainstorm This Crew: Stations, bonuses, specialties, experience & expense.

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    As has been generally suggested elsewhere: I'd like to see crew on my ships manning functional systems consoles, providing in-play bonuses. I'm starting a new thread to present some specific ideas that lead in that direction.


    Specialties:

    • Cadet: No bonuses
    • Engineer: Energy efficiency or output bonuses
    • Pilot: Improved maneuverability
    • Tactical: Improved weapon cool-down and damage
    • Science: Improved Scanner efficiency
    • Miner: Improved mining /refining yields
    • Medical: Healing and recovery of crew
    • Command: Improved crew morale. Improved crew bonuses.

    Experience and consoles:

    In a way, you are crafting your crew just like everything else. You start out with an untrained cadet who gives no bonuses and has no experience in any of the specialties.
    • Crews gain experience while attached to a console depending on the type of console they are attached to.
    • Weapons control consoles give tactical experience. Engineering consoles give engineering experience, etc.
    • Experience accrues for time at the console, depending on how hostile the sector is. No experience for peaceful. Rapid advancement for time in a hostile sector with active enemy AIs. Experience bonuses to all specialty scores for the whole crew on entering a previously unexplored sector.
    • Crews gain command rank by advancing beyond a threshold score in at least 3 other disciplines.
    Additional consoles and effects: (When occupied by a crew-member):
    • Command station: Acts as a BobbyAI. Ship will maneuver and fire in the presence of enemies. Bonus modifiers to crew bonuses.
    • Damage control (engineering): Allows the ship to recover HP, rate based on experience
    • Jump drive: Reduced recharge time, and increased jump range, both based on experience.
    • Helm: Increased ship turning rates. (required for Command station to control the ship)
    • Science station: Auto runs a dialog on sector change informing of sector status, enemies and anomalies in neighboring sectors. Reports on ore and resources in sector bodies.
    • Medical station: Damaged crew heal of damage over time. Crew killed in combat have a percentage chance to respawn.
    • Drive station (engineering): bonuses to speed and acceleration.
    • Weapons station (tactical): Required for command station to control the ships weapons Bonuses to damage and cooldown.
    • Security station: (tactical): Crew guards position, then engages any enemy AIs or players with hand weapons.
    • Remote control (tactical/pilot): Allows a player or crew member to take control of a turret or small craft attached to a slaved mount point. (drones!)
    • Unified operations (tactical/pilot/command): combined command/helm/weapons all in one. Only uses the experience of a single Crewman. Loses functions if another station of that type exists. For instance it can't be used to steer the craft if a helm station exists, or fire the main weapons if a weapons station exists. Great for small craft where space is at a premium. Great for large craft as an emergency station should one of the other 3 be destroyed. expensive.
    Other thoughts:
    • A life support block that allows crews to be helmetless within x radius. Crew bonuses are nerfed while they wear a helmet.
    • Space plague: Picked up by going helmetless on some planets. Communicable on board ships. Easily curable if you have a doctor, otherwise reduces NPC bonus and health until they die.
    • Pay: More experienced crew become more expensive, slowly draining your credit balance until they leave you. Happy crew work cheaper. An experienced captain can keep your labor costs down by keeping morale up.
    • NPCs could be assigned to their station by the traditional c/v method or by a "t" menu option where crew assignments, including backups could be edited, lust like we currently use the T menu to combine/slave ships subsystems..
     
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    I would 'really' like to see this in the game. I would especially like to see it if there were certain requirements for the crew, like adequate living (RP) space. I'm not sure how that could work without adding blocks to the game, and I've heard that adding new blocks is problematic. If it were, we could have a bed block, a 'head' block, a kitchen block, etc.. Each block needs to have a certain amount of empty space near to it. Each crew needs a minimum of 2 bed blocks, one head block and a kitchen block. Extra space and/or extra blocks convey a bonus to the rate of XP gain.

    This would simultaneously give people a reason to have RP space in their ship and reward those who are otherwise penalized for doing so. All other things being equal, an RP ship will loose to a solid battle cube every time. This would flip that on it's head.

    Plus, the desire to gain experience for one's crew would give us a reason to get out and do stuff, a reason to actually 'play the game' as opposed to just building more ships.
     
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    therimmer96

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    Yes. Please.

    I never liked the idea of a experiance system, but I suppose it would add value to ships and crew.
     
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    Very through. I like it.
    NPCs could be assigned to their station by the traditional c/v method or by a "t" menu option where crew assignments, including backups could be edited, lust like we currently use the T menu to combine/slave ships subsystems..
    Wouldn't it be better to have that done through talking to the NPCs / the NPC Lctrl menu?
    Like, you would talk to the captain to do crew transfers.
     
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    +1, nitpicking follows to refine an already good idea.

    Your 'Specialties' sound more like skills to me and seems easier to explain that way. I would make 'command' skill an average (or some other math) of all the other skills. A really good commanders knows everything about their ship.

    Experience should not be affected by sector hostility. This would unbalance experience gains, imo. Miners, for example, will never get XP unless you are mining under fire, which is rarely a good idea.
    Unexplored sector bonus should only go to science crew. Why would medical even care?
    Cloaking should be added as an engineering duty.

    The Crew Station should be one block, with c/v subsystems to determine it's function. Multi-function stations (Unified Ops) can/should have a penalty similar to the power penalty of multi-output weapons. This requires more thought.

    I don't like the helmet nerf or the plague, I can't think of any good reason for them. But I can't think of any good reason to leave them out either.

    Wouldn't it be better to have that done through talking to the NPCs / the NPC Lctrl menu?
    Like, you would talk to the captain to do crew transfers.
    Agreed
     
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    Ithirahad

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    This would be great. Bonus points if players could use the command/unified operations consoles as a secondary core access.
     
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    Oh Yes Please. Ideas like this were flying around chat today, and it would, IMO, make crew AI useful and worthwhile.
     
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    I love this idea! Like Panpiper sad:

    It would add a "go out and play" factor to the game where you realy have to "live" your ship and the idea behind it.

    Maybe you could also add a Marine skill for those crewmans which only exist for the sake of defending your ship.
     
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    Snk

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    +1. I'd really like to see several players contribute on a ship, though
     
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    sayerulz

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    How about adding a fire control station that increases turret accuracy, or that can be made by the addition of some sort of antenna to improve accuracy on nearby friendly ships?
     
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    alterintel

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    I would just like to say, that this is probably the best idea yet. This not only solves the problem of useful RP space, but also allows an experience system that actually makes sense, while simultaneously allowing players a very intuitive way to add bonuses to their ships. All I have to say is GENIUS!

    A couple of additional ideas to throw out there:
    1) Racial bonuses: (like in Star Trek, Vulcans would get a science bonus, Klingons would get a weapons bonus)
    3) Crew members from planets you control: If you own a planet you could get crew for free because the crewmen would be loyal to their planet.
    2) Crew trading: like fantasy sports online. What if each crew member was as unique as a player, the more experience they get the more valuable they are. You could trade them, steal them, or use them as covert agents. depending on the personality traits of the crew, they may be more susceptible to deception. This would also mean a crew death is that much more devastating. You would definitely need a doctor then.

    A good line from Firefly:
    Mal: How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne?
    Jayne: Money wasn't good enough.
    Mal: What happens when it is?
    Jayne: Well... that'll be an interesting day.
    Mal: Imagine it will.

    Crew trading (along with ship construction and trading) could very easily done on mobile apps as well.
     
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    I'd like crews and I'd like them being dependant on certain interior facilities, like working life support. Like I've said in several similar threads of the past, however, the boni (ah good old plural of 'bonus', how much forgotten you are nowadays) of the crewmen itself I'd be fine with only if basic uncrewed starship would have its systems severely weakened. It would also have to be dependant on the overall size/mass of the vessel, because I don't think that single-pilot fighter should require or have much use for additional crewmen.

    I also wouldn't want too many distinct roles - having just technical crew for repairs and non-battle systems, gunners for turrets, security for boarding/defending against boarding and a medic or two would be enough for me. Though I guess I wouldn't mind flavor NPCs (even non-recruitable ones) like shopkeepers, cooks, regular civilians living on the stations.
     
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    Bench

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    I hadn't considered the crew experience on the duty station they're assigned to resulting in the bonuses they give improving, makes them a lot more valuable. I wonder if you could make the crew join your faction when you took over a ship through a boarding party.

    Interesting.
     

    alterintel

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    I wonder if you could make the crew join your faction when you took over a ship through a boarding party.
    Well... that'll be an interesting day.

    I guess it could depend on crew moral...
    Crew Moral being a function of: pay, RP space, player reputation?
     
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    Lecic

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    1) Racial bonuses: (like in Star Trek, Vulcans would get a science bonus, Klingons would get a weapons bonus)
    As cool as that might be, I'd rather we avoid a Planet of Hats situation with any alien races that might exist in the game in the future. Maybe some species have a higher chance of being skilled in a certain area, but it's not a confirmed thing.

    2) Crew trading: like fantasy sports online. What if each crew member was as unique as a player, the more experience they get the more valuable they are. You could trade them, steal them, or use them as covert agents. depending on the personality traits of the crew, they may be more susceptible to deception. This would also mean a crew death is that much more devastating. You would definitely need a doctor then.
    Ths would be very cool. It'd also be a good reason to try and negotiate a surrender if you're clearly winning (or losing) so your crew don't have to die- some of the lesser skilled ones could leave on an escape pod with you, and the rest would be handed over to the enemy as either new crew or bargaining chips in the form of prisoners of war. ("We will return 50 of your skilled captured crew if you abandon operations in this contested sector.")
     

    alterintel

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    This would be very cool. It'd also be a good reason to try and negotiate a surrender if you're clearly winning (or losing) so your crew don't have to die- some of the lesser skilled ones could leave on an escape pod with you, and the rest would be handed over to the enemy as either new crew or bargaining chips in the form of prisoners of war. ("We will return 50 of your skilled captured crew if you abandon operations in this contested sector.")
    Now we have a potential soft-spot in ship battles. Target the bridge. Even with unlimited resources you wouldn't be able to replace your skilled crewman such as a Spock or Scottie. Man that would suck big time.

    Also opens the door to bio weapons.
     
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    I hadn't considered the crew experience on the duty station they're assigned to resulting in the bonuses they give improving, makes them a lot more valuable. I wonder if you could make the crew join your faction when you took over a ship through a boarding party.

    Interesting.
    I would think that would depend on their "personality." Were they particularly loyal to that faction, or that captain? Did you just kill their spouse during boarding or blow up their best friend? Were they a slave?

    Perhaps a greedy crew member would work for you if you paid him more than he's making now. Maybe a crew member is afraid of small spaces, so your tiny ship scares him. Maybe that last survivor of the stranded wreck is so grateful he works for you for free.

    Personality traits can add variety to NPC reactions and even some degree of emergent behavior for NPCs if they heavily influence NPC decision-making.
     
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    Now we have a potential soft-spot in ship battles. Target the bridge. Even with unlimited resources you wouldn't be able to replace your skilled crewman such as a Spock or Scottie. Man that would suck big time.

    Also opens the door to bio weapons.
    Nukes DO have radiation to deal with...
     
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    GaeasSon, I reread your post and stumpled apon on thing:
    Payment for your crew.

    There are lots of people which are not able to play every day,
    So maybe they only cost if you use the ship (Enter the ship core - or hopefully in the future a comand chair) or have a reduced cost if not used?

    Otherwise there could be a "send to sleep" mechanism where they dont cost a thing. Wouldn't be an optical solution (even if i would prever it), just a command option and you would loose the bonus while they are inactive.

    As Optical solution there could be a form of Cryochamber.
     
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    GaeasSon, I reread your post and stumpled apon on thing:
    Payment for your crew.

    There are lots of people which are not able to play every day,
    So maybe they only cost if you use the ship (Enter the ship core - or hopefully in the future a comand chair) or have a reduced cost if not used?

    Otherwise there could be a "send to sleep" mechanism where they dont cost a thing. Wouldn't be an optical solution (even if i would prever it), just a command option and you would loose the bonus while they are inactive.

    As Optical solution there could be a form of Cryochamber.
    I like the thought of the cryochamber for the crew. An alternative would be that when docked a station the crew disembarks for R&R.
     
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