Author Topic: Bridge Officers  (Read 3419 times)

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Offline jonw

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2017, 03:01:40 PM »
Ooh that sounds really cool.  If you only have a small warship and only have a CO, would that mean you get a penalty to initiave or is that unaffected? It seems like you might prioritize initiative for COs and then delegate other tasks to specialists.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2017, 05:49:12 PM »
Ooh that sounds really cool.  If you only have a small warship and only have a CO, would that mean you get a penalty to initiave or is that unaffected? It seems like you might prioritize initiative for COs and then delegate other tasks to specialists.

Initiative in C# Aurora is replaced by Reaction Bonus. A similar effect but percentile-based. As things stand, that bonus is based solely on the commander and is at full effect.
 
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Offline Gyrfalcon

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2017, 02:36:55 AM »
I think your latest idea might work the best, as long as the modules aren't too massive so that people aren't locked into certain ship size expectations.
 

Offline Zincat

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2017, 03:24:38 AM »
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.

I like this solution. I do think, however, that there should be a bit of scaling for the modules.

I don't know how big you plan the modules to be. But I think it would make a lot of sense if the bonuses they grant would also be somewhat dependant on size.

Let us say I make a 300.000 tons battlecruiser. I hardly think that Main Engineering could be a 50 tons module. Because it does not make sense, and also in that case I can just add EVERY module at a minimal cost to large ships, without any effort at all.

In my mind there's 2 possible solutions to this:
1 - The necessary module size is based on ship size, as a percentage. In the above example, you add "Main Engineering blocks" until you've reached, say, 50 tons or  1% of the ship (whichever is bigger). This also result in some more crew (the officer's aides)
2 - You make multiple versions of each module. A "base module" that is small, a "large module" that gives a little bit of bonus, and a "largest module" that give even more bonus. This would encourage to build larger modules on bigger ships. And here too, the largest versions would need some crew, the officer's aides.
Personally, I would prefer solution number 2.

I understand this complicates things a bit, but I think it's necessary to prevent the abuse that would happen if modules had a fixed size. Where every ship above a certain size would have every module at full efficiency, without any kind of tradeoff
 

Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2017, 05:28:59 AM »
I like this solution. I do think, however, that there should be a bit of scaling for the modules.

I don't know how big you plan the modules to be. But I think it would make a lot of sense if the bonuses they grant would also be somewhat dependant on size.

Let us say I make a 300.000 tons battlecruiser. I hardly think that Main Engineering could be a 50 tons module. Because it does not make sense, and also in that case I can just add EVERY module at a minimal cost to large ships, without any effort at all.

Wouldn't a more neat situation be if they also increased the total crew requirement of the ship by X%? ( In addition to the 2-3HS or 100-150 ton Steve mentioned as an example ).

That way the bigger the ship the bigger the extra total crew needed for the modules, and then we get extra tonnage which scale with size of ship, even if we only have a single module.


If you need for example 6% tonnage for crew for your 300'000 ton Battlecruiser and each module increase crew requirements by +10%, then in total 4 modules would actually require an increase in crew space from 18'000 ton to 25'200 ton (+7'200 ton extra).
 

Offline Detros

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2017, 05:34:36 AM »
That sounds it can be problematic because if adding such modules raises the needs for crew quarters depending on some percent of the current size then adding those quarters raises the size which means now more quarters are needed and when those are added then again...
 

Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2017, 05:39:28 AM »
That sounds it can be problematic because if adding such modules raises the needs for crew quarters depending on some percent of the current size then adding those quarters raises the size which means now more quarters are needed and when those are added then again...

Aurora already solved the same issue with armor, adding more armor increase the size of ships which would require even more armor to armor...

So I don't think it's unsolvable, just needs some consistent logic ( like a scaling factor for "crew needs" of 140% when you have 4 modules ).


The reason why I suggested crew needs is because realistically speaking command module crew needs would scale with total size of other crew. It's all about keeping a chain of command and being able to carry down orders to any crew at any part of the ship. It makes sense that Administrating/Commanding a bigger crew would require more crew in the command modules. This extra crew need would also scale with deployment time needs for crew, so it makes sense to put it as a % on top of current crew which is impacted by this, rather then as a % of ship tonnage.

If you want to get really fancy you could even call it all officer crew space and list it separately :)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 05:53:46 AM by alex_brunius »
 

Offline Titanian

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2017, 07:46:13 AM »
Instead of just scaling crew requirement of a module, why not scaling the whole module including crew requirement? Then, based on that size, one could even add a bigger command structure, e.g. at some size allow a third in command and second tactics officer and so on. That way, officer density on ships would stay roughly the same too, regardless of tonnage. Rather the impact of a bonus of a single officer should decrease on larger ships, as there is much more to coordinate, which could be offset by having more officers of the same type on board.

2 - You make multiple versions of each module. A "base module" that is small, a "large module" that gives a little bit of bonus, and a "largest module" that give even more bonus. This would encourage to build larger modules on bigger ships.
Don't think this is a good idea, why should a larger ship get a larger bonus out of the same officer? I would rather say it should require a bigger module to get the full bonus.
 

Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2017, 08:38:59 AM »
Instead of just scaling crew requirement of a module, why not scaling the whole module including crew requirement?

Two reasons:
1.) No other functional modules in aurora automatically scale in size depending on ship size. ( That I am aware of at least ).
2.) What prevents you from having a full complement of bridge crew aboard a single seat 250 ton fighter? If they scale as a % of ship size they will need almost no space.
 

Offline 83athom

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2017, 08:44:33 AM »
Two reasons:
1.) No other functional modules in aurora automatically scale in size depending on ship size. ( That I am aware of at least ).
2.) What prevents you from having a full complement of bridge crew aboard a single seat 250 ton fighter? If they scale as a % of ship size they will need almost no space.
3) A 100k+ ton freighter doesn't need several hundred people in the bridge at all times ;).
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Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2017, 09:14:10 AM »
What about if the new modules have a set size added to the ship and then additional size that scales in relation to some other function of the ship. For instance main engineering could be a 200 ton module but also scale in size depending on the tonnage of engines maybe 50 more tons per 50hs of engine, CAG 50 tons per 2500 tons of hanger, CIC 50 per 2500 tons of weapons, science per 2500 tons sensors or any type etc. Basically having each module adds 250 tons and adds maybe an additional 2% tonnage overhead to the whole ship. It's not a large amount but it might be enough that you have to think carefully about whether to include any of the modules if a ship needs to maximize efficiency. Also taking into account the extra engine power needed for added tonnage, extra crew, extra armour etc it works out being more than just 2% overhead.  Considering the large bonus you get from the extra officers it's still worthwhile. Also each module should add crew equal to maybe twice what that tonnage would give you for the associated system. 
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 09:18:03 AM by MarcAFK »
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Offline TCD

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2017, 09:32:36 AM »
What about if the new modules have a set size added to the ship and then additional size that scales in relation to some other function of the ship. For instance main engineering could be a 200 ton module but also scale in size depending on the tonnage of engines maybe 50 more tons per 50hs of engine, CAG 50 tons per 2500 tons of hanger, CIC 50 per 2500 tons of weapons, science per 2500 tons sensors or any type etc. Basically having each module adds 250 tons and adds maybe an additional 2% tonnage overhead to the whole ship. It's not a large amount but it might be enough that you have to think carefully about whether to include any of the modules if a ship needs to maximize efficiency. Also taking into account the extra engine power needed for added tonnage, extra crew, extra armour etc it works out being more than just 2% overhead.  Considering the large bonus you get from the extra officers it's still worthwhile. Also each module should add crew equal to maybe twice what that tonnage would give you for the associated system.
I don't really see what the in game benefit to scaling modules is. The cost is increasing complexity and opacity, both already problems for the game.

And frankly, for a 300,000 ton battleship I really can't see a real world case where you wouldn't put a CIC in. Or why you should be encouraged not to add a CAG on a heavy carrier.

I think modules as Steve has them planned will already add plenty of decisions for smaller ships, as well as some extra color and career progression, and thats fine for me.
 

Offline byron

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2017, 09:42:54 AM »
This sounds fantastic.  I really like the use of modules for this.  Aurora often models things you see in real-world navies, in this case I suspect we'll see the cousin to export ships which have lots of guns but little in the way of command and control. 
I will say that I'm not particularly in favor of the spaces scaling, although the idea of them adding crew because of them is not a bad one.  Even on a battleship, the actual spaces in question are quite compact, but in the example of damage control, you'll have parties spread throughout the ship.

Will we see matched staff officers?  And will the existing Operations bonus turn into Tactical?

One more module might be Logistics, for various transports.
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Offline IanD

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2017, 11:55:22 AM »
One past problem Aurora had was the crew were large compared to present day warships, where the crew is getting smaller as automation takes over. Steve has addressed this in the past. To artifically inlflate crew size seems a backward step.

In addition Aurora only covers one third of the crew of a ship, the officers, and then perhaps only half of them. Is there any reason that Aurora has only seven steps in rank?

It can be argued that anything below the XO should be a non-executive officer, e.g. Sub-lieutenant or Lieutenant. Thus the rank structure could be one with twelve steps in it as below:

Non-executive officers
Ensign or Midshipman/Warrant Officer
Sub-lieutenant
Lieutenant

Executive officers
Lieutenant Commander
Commander
Captain

Flag rank
Commodore
Rear Admiral
Vice Admiral
Admiral

Administrative
Admiral of the Fleet
1st Star Lord

Sub-lieutenants or lieutenants could command small craft of 1000 tons or less. Above that an executive officer would be required. Lieutenant Commander could bridge between non-executive and executive ranks. Commodore could be a bridging rank that commands their own ship as well as a squadron. An Administrative rank is one normally associated with a sector command, Admiral would be the bridging rank between a fleet command and sector command. Even flag ranks could command their own ship (the Royal Yatch was usually commanded by a Rear Admiral)  If twelve steps are too many then the Ensign, Admiral of the Fleet and 1st Star Lord could be omitted giving a nine step structure.

As I said earlier Aurora only covers one third of the crew of a ship, missing out the enlisted men and non-commissioned officers. If you want to expand the rank structure further consideration could be given to non-commissioned officers, e.g. Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer and Fleet/Master Chief Petty Officer.  Thus the crew of a 1000 ton fast attack craft could be a Lieutenant, a Chief Petty Officer and a Petty Officer (engineering). Alternately the FAC could be captained by a CPO. The NCOs could be "hidden in the woodwork" perhaps a FAC commanded by a CPO which destroyed a high value target could be promoted to Warrant Officer and thus appear on the promotion track.

That's my tuppence worth
Ian
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 12:01:27 PM by IanD »
IanD
 

Offline byron

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Re: Bridge Officers
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2017, 12:08:44 PM »
I think the idea is to hold down the number of officers you have to deal with, for performance reasons.  Yes, IRL fighters would be commanded by more junior officers, but remember that each step is a 3-fold increase in personnel.  A USN Lieutenant Commander is an O-4.  Doing some basic math, the bottom level will make up 2/3rds of the officer pool.  Each additional rank we add to the bottom is going to triple the size of the officer corps.  So if we go to O-1s, we'll have 27 times as many officers as we do now.  And most of them won't have jobs, because IRL they're division officers, and we don't have that level of granularity.  The idea is that the bridge officers will appear only on larger ships where the relevant department heads will be of high enough rank to make it into this system.

Oh, and one other thing that springs to mind.  Mining and construction platforms will have issues with this if we cut commander bonuses in half.  For that kind of thing, where the commander has a specific job to do, and doesn't need to be a generalist, it might be best to just give full commander bonus on those traits and not allow bridge officers to get in the way.  I'd also suspect that we may need to turn down the promotion bonuses on those traits, so we don't have issues with people being promoted into uselessness.
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