Author Topic: Bridge Officers  (Read 3382 times)

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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Bridge Officers
« on: March 11, 2017, 08:31:58 AM »
In C# Aurora I am adding extra officer positions for ships. In addition to the commander of the ship, there will be up to four more officers depending on the size and role of the ship (XO, Chief Engineer, Tactical Officer and Science Officer). I may add more in the future depending on how well this works. Once I have sorted all the details I will post with the specifics of how these officers benefit the ship.

As a result of these changes, I am going to replace the current system for determining the rank for a ship commander. Each class will be assigned a specific rank for the commanding officer (rather than the current range of ranks). The automatic assignments code will only assign officers of that specific rank, although you can override manually with a higher ranked officer if desired. The other officer ranks will be based on the specified commanding officer rank.

For example, the required XO rank for a ship will be one rank lower than the commanding officer. The Tactical Officer will be two ranks lower. These are fixed and can't be manually overridden. I could have based this on one rank lower than the current commander instead (rather than the class) but that could lead to a lot of complications if you manually assign a higher rank commander with an XO one rank lower and then change the commander to a lower but still eligible rank. It will be far better for a consistency POV to have the officer ranks (below the commander) fixed.

If a non-commanding officer is promoted, he will have to leave his position and be assigned a new one (this will be handled automatically). You will be able to see his progression to more senior roles in the commander history.

So a question...

What ranks should I set the Chief Engineer and Science Officers in relation to the commanding officer? As currently setup, science officers can be added to any ship of 3000 tons or more that is equipped with survey sensors. Chief Engineers can be added to military ships (not necessarily armed) of 12,000 tons or more. XO is military 6,000 tons and Tactical Officer is military 18,000 tons.

I currently have science officer set as one below the commanding officer (as they would be important on a survey ship) and chief engineer as two below the commanding officer (so he one below the XO). However, there are reasonable arguments for the opposite to be true. One other factor is that setting the science officer 2 below the commanding officer means the survey ship would need the commanding officer to be a Captain to make a Lieutenant Commander eligible. While ships large enough to need a chief engineer are much more likely to have a Captain rank and therefore 2 below is fine.

Open to suggestions.

 

Offline Titanian

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2017, 09:19:20 AM »
To me this does seem to add some more arbitrary size restrictions with no explanation anywhere like we already have with FACs and fighters. Why should a small survey ship not be able to get such an officer? What about making a survey sensor of any sort the requirement? And damage controls for an chief engineer? Or maybe even just tickboxes in class design?

What is your idea behind these changes? What do these officers add to the game? Do you want to seperate different functions to different officers, so that the perfect officer does not need all the bonuses in one person?
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2017, 09:34:36 AM »
Reason for change is that it is has been requested a lot, plus it provide a better historical background for commanders and provides a use for all those low-ranked officers. The officers will modify the ship's capabilities. Currently I have the science officer adding half his survey bonus to the commander's survey bonus. Still deciding exactly how to use bonuses from the others.

Arbitrary size is based on not overwhelming the game with five officers for every ship.

Another option I just thought of (taking into account your comments), which would solve a few problems, is that the requirement for bridge officers is based on the required commander rank, rather than the size. So if the ship has a CDR as the required rank, it can also have a LCDR exec and a LCDR science officer if survey sensors are present. If the ship has a CPT or higher as the commander requirement, it can have a LCDR Chief Engineer if engines are present and a LCDR Tactical Officer if weapons are present, etc.

In this case, I don't have to worry about whether the rank offset will go below LCDR.

EDIT: I have changed the code to this rule. It is no longer based on size. Players can now determine if they want officers by setting the required commanding officer rank to the appropriate level. Higher provides more officers but makes it harder to find commanders due to the lower number of senior officers available.


« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 10:02:31 AM by Steve Walmsley »
 
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Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2017, 11:41:19 AM »
Spock & Scotty were both Lt. Commanders to Kirk's Captain. And 2nd & 3rd in line of command. So it looks like they are/should be -2 from the captain rank-wise.
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2017, 12:21:33 PM »
I really like the rank offsets. It should work quite well.  Might end up with too many flag officers, or perhaps not enough LCDR (Carrier-heavy fleets).

Science officer could also be used for unemployed Scientists.

A Flight Ops Officer/CAG might also fit, unless thats intended to be reliant on the flag staff.

Brainstorms for officers:

XO adds half their skills to all subordinate officers 
Engineers could give enhanced damage control.  Perhaps something qualitiatively different, like an option to quickly repair a component @ 4x cost, or a chance to keep a destroyed component online (or bring it back up quickly).
Tactical Officers ....hmmmmm.......  Perhaps would work well as a factor in an EW rework?
(Military?) Science officers have a chance to obtain scans of enemy classes
 

Offline Detros

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2017, 12:29:11 PM »
Another option I just thought of (taking into account your comments), which would solve a few problems, is that the requirement for bridge officers is based on the required commander rank, rather than the size. So if the ship has a CDR as the required rank, it can also have a LCDR exec and a LCDR science officer if survey sensors are present. If the ship has a CPT or higher as the commander requirement, it can have a LCDR Chief Engineer if engines are present and a LCDR Tactical Officer if weapons are present, etc.
That makes sense to me more than those size constraints.
If ship of given class needs to be commanded by higher rank commander he/she is then capable of having more subordinated commanders then lower  rank ones are. If the systems these subordinates would operate are present. Good.
 

Offline Titanian

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2017, 01:22:40 PM »
That sounds a lot better. :)
 

Offline 83athom

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2017, 03:44:04 PM »
As @TheDeadlyShoe said, the Science Officer position can/should be filled by a scientist rather than a military officer. As well as ships with large amounts of hangar spaces should be able to employ a CAG other than that of the fleet command position. However, I think they should require their own modules other than the bridge, such as a CIC for the Tactical Officer and/or CAG, Main Engineering for the Engineer Chief, Science Center for the Science Officer, etc (The XO can be on the Bridge with the captain). I also think the Bridge should be a bit heavier (100 tons) but also gains an important role as without the bridge you can't give the ship (other than FAC/Fighters) any orders until it is repaired. Or even adding in an Armored bridge which is heavier but a higher HTK. Also, maybe a chance to kill any officers in their modules if it gets destroyed.

Skills;
XO: Adjusts the skill rating of other officers. Modifies moral rating (good XO boosts moral while a bad one demoralizes). Also modifies crew experience gain rates.
Tactical: Required to get the bonuses for missile tracking. Grants slight bonuses to hit chance for beam weapons.
Engineer: Boosts DAC rates. Gains efficiency for DAC/maintenance material costs (use 5%, 8%, etc less MSP to repair/maintain a component). Possibly even slightly lowering the failure rating. Also, you could tie this officer in to the new logistical changes letting him reduce the time needed for a ship to perform certain actions (refueling, rearming, etc).
Science: Determine classifications of enemy ships or wrecks. Determine the ranges of enemy components (radar, missiles, beams, etc). Boosts survey point scanning (by a percentage or flat rate (two different skills)).
CAG: Boosts the performance of hangar actions, such as repairing, refueling, and rearming. Also boosts the speed of parasites assigned to the ship can perform orders.
Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2017, 03:49:24 PM »
Another possibility for CAG:  Fighters no longer benefit from Crew Grade bonuses; instead they get a Fighter Combat bonus from their CAG, or possibly the CAG's fighter combat bonus is interpreted as their Grade.

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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2017, 05:34:19 AM »
As @TheDeadlyShoe said, the Science Officer position can/should be filled by a scientist rather than a military officer. As well as ships with large amounts of hangar spaces should be able to employ a CAG other than that of the fleet command position. However, I think they should require their own modules other than the bridge, such as a CIC for the Tactical Officer and/or CAG, Main Engineering for the Engineer Chief, Science Center for the Science Officer, etc (The XO can be on the Bridge with the captain). I also think the Bridge should be a bit heavier (100 tons) but also gains an important role as without the bridge you can't give the ship (other than FAC/Fighters) any orders until it is repaired. Or even adding in an Armored bridge which is heavier but a higher HTK. Also, maybe a chance to kill any officers in their modules if it gets destroyed.

I've been considering something on these lines myself (CIC for Tactical and Auxiliary Control for the XO) but I hadn't thought about Main Engineering or the Science Centre. Good ideas. If these various systems are requirements for the various officers, they would serve to set a minimum rank for the captain of the vessel. I will try to make adding the locations a real decision in terms of costs vs benefit, especially for smaller ships. Main Engineering for example could be 2-3 HS, which would mean the benefits of a Chief Engineer (damage control, potential for instant repair, improvement in maintenance, etc.) would likely be less than an equivalent amount of engineering spaces on smaller vessels.

I will definitely add a check for casualties if the bridge, or any of the other locations, is hit. The idea of an armoured bridge is a good one too. If the location for the individual officers is damaged, any benefits from that officer would no longer apply.
 

Offline Titanian

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2017, 10:27:36 AM »
Hm, then what about a bridge being required to assign any officer? That way we could get rid of the magical threshold of 1050t ships absolutly requiring a bridge, but 1000t ships not. Then including a bridge simply gives the benefit of being able to assign a commanding officer, and the typical fighters and FACs simply won't have one anymore...or maybe making the bridge the requirement for any officer above the lowest rank?
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2017, 10:53:59 AM »
I've been considering something on these lines myself (CIC for Tactical and Auxiliary Control for the XO) but I hadn't thought about Main Engineering or the Science Centre. Good ideas. If these various systems are requirements for the various officers, they would serve to set a minimum rank for the captain of the vessel. I will try to make adding the locations a real decision in terms of costs vs benefit, especially for smaller ships. Main Engineering for example could be 2-3 HS, which would mean the benefits of a Chief Engineer (damage control, potential for instant repair, improvement in maintenance, etc.) would likely be less than an equivalent amount of engineering spaces on smaller vessels.

I will definitely add a check for casualties if the bridge, or any of the other locations, is hit. The idea of an armoured bridge is a good one too. If the location for the individual officers is damaged, any benefits from that officer would no longer apply.

Some random thoughts:

A less "all or nothing" (in terms of benefits) version of this would allow e.g. XO to be assigned if there were a bridge but no aux control, but e.g. with a reduced bonus.  So the idea here is that, for a bridge, all officers are in one spot which could be armored more efficiently than individual control stations but knocks out all officer bonuses (and maybe kills/injures them as well) if destroyed vs. having individual stations.

On fighters/FACs:  I still like the idea of having a "cockpit".  Combined with the above, maybe this means that there are two types of individual stations: reduced and normal size.  So for fighters, the command pilot would sit in a reduced size pilot station, while for FAC maybe there would be multiple reduced size individual stations or a reduced-size bridge, while for a DD there might be a full-size bridge and for a BB full-size duty stations.

This also brings up the point that for a fighter, you'd like the command pilot to handle both piloting duties (fighter ops bonus, which applies even to starships?) and command duties (CIC?).  Can one officer occupy two stations simultaneously?  It almost feels like the ship component here is a duty station that has attributes such as command station (CIC) or plot station (fighter ops which might morph into piloting).  Of course this would probably make the assignment AI and micromanagement a lot worse.

Obviously the above is a bit fuzzy in my own head :)  It feels like bigger ships should require more bridge infrastructure though.  So what about a log scale:

<1000 tons: tiny officer stations
<10,000 tons: small officer stations (twice as big?)
<100,000 tons: regular officer stations (another 2x?)
<1,000,000 tons: large officer stations

You could also put a soft cutoff in place for the size restrictions above:  one could still use a tiny station on a 1050 ship, it would just have the bonuses reduced by 5%.

John
 

Offline Titanian

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2017, 11:24:02 AM »
What if the bridge would become an automaticly scaling component like armor, changing size dependent on size of the vessel or the amount of crew members onboard?

Or the other way around, bonuses provided by officers are divided by vessel size or number of crew members. To compensate, one could install more bridge space, therefore providing space for more officers, whose bonuses add up? That way, huge battleships would house dozens of officers, and tiny ships just one, but on average, one officers gives bonusses to the same mass of ship.
 
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Offline Detros

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2017, 11:28:18 AM »
Or the other way around, bonuses provided by officers are divided by vessel size or number of crew members. To compensate, one could install more bridge space, therefore providing space for more officers, whose bonuses add up? That way, huge battleships would house dozens of officers, and tiny ships just one, but on average, one officers gives bonusses to the same mass of ship.
+1
You can rename Bridge to something like "Commanding terminal" / "Commanding post": on a small ship one or two terminals would be enough while big ships would need multiple terminals to keep all the info for commander ready so that his/her bonuses can properly apply.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2017, 11:57:16 AM »
What if the bridge would become an automaticly scaling component like armor, changing size dependent on size of the vessel or the amount of crew members onboard?

Or the other way around, bonuses provided by officers are divided by vessel size or number of crew members. To compensate, one could install more bridge space, therefore providing space for more officers, whose bonuses add up? That way, huge battleships would house dozens of officers, and tiny ships just one, but on average, one officers gives bonusses to the same mass of ship.

I am going to add Auxiliary Control, Main Engineering, CIC, Primary Flight Operations and Science Department as new modules. Each one makes a different officer available to be recruited to the ship (XO, Chief Engineer, Tactical Officer, Commander Air Group and Science Officer) and will add 1 to the Control Rating of the ship. These requirements add the effect of larger control spaces while maintaining some variety. An officer can be killed if his station is damaged. I may also add 'temporary promotions' if the commander is killed, with the most senior surviving officer taking over as commander until relieved or promoted. The modules will also affect the minimum commander rank for the ship.

I am also going to change how certain bonuses are applied. The commander of a ship will only apply half his bonus for Crew Training, Survey, Fighter Operations, Engineering (new skill) and Tactical (new skill), with the appropriate officer applying his full bonus. The commander of the ship is now a jack-of-all-trades, applying a portion of his bonus while the specialists provide the larger bonuses. Larger ships gain an advantage as they can afford the space to accommodate the specialists, while smaller ships have to make do with the commander handling everything (at half efficiency).

A bonus from the Chief Engineer will only apply if Main Engineering is undamaged. A bonus from the Science Officer will only apply if the Science Department is undamaged. A bonus from the Tactical Officer will only apply if CIC is undamaged. A bonus from the Commander, Air Group will only apply if Primary Flight Operations is undamaged. Bonuses from the commander and XO will only apply if the ship has a control rating greater than zero (they can command the ship from any of the surviving control spaces).

If this works OK, I might add other officers in the future and modify other bonuses in the same way.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 02:51:10 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 
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