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Offline Desdinova (OP)

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My issues with the officer system
« on: August 01, 2020, 05:36:41 PM »
Early Retirement
So, the way retirement works, you have a base minimum retirement age of 10 years time in service, plus five years per rank after the first, with a 20% chance for commanders (with an assignment, 40% without) to retire  per year.

Basically this means most (assigned) officers retire about 3.5 years after they hit the minimum retirement age. Unassigned officers will probably retire about a year and a half after the minimum age. An assigned officer only has about a 25% chance of lasting to six years post-minimum retirement age.

Every game I've played so far, my officer corps has been replete with captains and and admirals in their 20s because good officers just don't last. In the real world, a US naval officer can expect to hit O-6 (Captain) after about 21-23 years in service, which is about when they'll be expected to retire in Aurora. Most captains will retire before the age of 45. Frustratingly, for specialty roles like terraforming or mining base commanders, its entirely possible that they retire with no qualified officer to replace them.

Nonsensical promotions
If officers don't retire, they get promoted. If left to its own devices, Aurora automatically promotes officers so that each higher rank has half as many officers as the rank below it, so if you have 32 LCDRs, you'll have 16 CDRs, 8 CPTs, 4 RADMs, 2 RADLs, and 1 VADM. Unfortunately it does this without regard to whether an open billet exists at that rank, so if you don't babysit the system, your most talented officers will be promoted out of their jobs and end up sitting around fleet HQ doing nothing until they retire or die, unless you manually demote them, flag them "do not promote", or create an admin command just for them, which becomes a pain to manage if they again die without an eligible replacement. You end up with an extremely top-heavy command structure, because the real graph of available billets doesn't follow the same progression.

For example, if you have a small navy of 4 destroyers (with main engineering & auxiliary control modules), and 4 16-ship squadrons of Fast Attack Craft, your available billets look something like this:

1x Navy HQ (VADM)
1x Fleet HQ (RADM)
1x Task Force HQ (RADL)
4x Destroyer Captain (CPT)
4x Destroyer XO (CDR), 4x FAC Squadron Commander (admin) (CDR)
4x Destroyer Chief Engineer (LCDR),  64x FAC Captain (LCDR)

Basically, if you build enough naval academies to fill out the lower ranks, you end up with 68 LCDRs with jobs, 26 unemployed CDRs, 13 unemployed captains, 7 unemployed RADLs, 3 unemployed RADMs, and an unemployed VADM & ADM. This is a simplistic example, but it's been my experience that there are always way more lower-level billets open than upper level billets.

Proposed solution
Officers shouldn't be automatically promoted unless a billet exists at their new rank that they're qualified to take over. 'Qualified' meaning that they hold the appropriate specialty bonuses. Institute an "up or out" system which is based on time in grade instead of an arbitrary retirement cutoff date. For this example, let's go with 9 years.

For example, using the structure above:
VADM Bigshot hits 9 years time in grade, with no higher-level admin position existing for them to be promoted to, so they retire. The RADM below them is promoted to their admin command, and vice versa with the RADL commanding the task force command. When we get to the captains, the captain with the best relevant skills, out of those captains with a minimum, let's say, 3 years time in grade (to prevent the unrealistic meteoric rise of 20-year old officers) is promoted. An officer that hits 9 years time in grade will retire automatically, unless no eligible officer exists at a lower rank to replace them. Allow the "story character" checkbox to override or at least boost this retirement cutoff.

Also, Steve, please add more command & control modules for currently unutilized skills, like mining and terraforming.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 01:35:14 PM by Desdinova »
 

Offline froggiest1982

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2020, 10:18:59 PM »
Early Retirement
So, the way retirement works, you have a base minimum retirement age of 10 years time in service, plus five years per rank after the first, with a 20% chance for commanders (with an assignment, 40% without) to retire  per year.

Basically this means most (assigned) officers retire about 3.5 years after they hit the minimum retirement age. Unassigned officers will probably retire about a year and a half after the minimum age. An assigned officer only has about a 25% chance of lasting to six years post-minimum retirement age.

Every game I've played so far, my officer corps has been replete with captains and and admirals in their 20s because good officers just don't last. In the real world, a US naval officer can expect to hit O-6 (Captain) after about 21-23 years in service, which is about when they'll be expected to retire in Aurora. Most captains will retire before the age of 45. Frustratingly, for specialty roles like terraforming or mining base commanders, its entirely possible that they retire with no qualified officer to replace them.

Nonsensical promotions
If officers don't retire, they get promoted. If left to its own devices, Aurora automatically promotes officers so that each higher rank has half as many officers as the rank below it, so if you have 32 LCDRs, you'll have 16 CDRs, 8 CPTs, 4 RADMs, 2 RADLs, and 1 VADM. Unfortunately it does this without regard to whether an open billet exists at that rank, so if you don't babysit the system, your most talented officers will be promoted out of their jobs and end up sitting around fleet HQ doing nothing until they retire or die, unless you manually demote them, flag them "do not promote", or create an admin command just for them, which becomes a pain to manage if they again die without an eligible replacement. You end up with an extremely top-heavy command structure, because the real graph of available billets doesn't follow the same progression.

For example, if you have a small navy of 4 destroyers (with main engineering & auxiliary control modules), and 4 12-ship squadrons of Fast Attack Craft, your available billets look something like this:

1x Navy HQ (VADM)
1x Fleet HQ (RADM)
1x Task Force HQ (RADL)
4x Destroyer Captain (CPT)
4x Destroyer XO (CDR), 4x FAC Squadron Commander (admin) (CDR)
4x Destroyer Chief Engineer (LCDR),  64x FAC Captain (LCDR)

Basically, if you build enough naval academies to fill out the lower ranks, you end up with 68 LCDRs with jobs, 26 unemployed CDRs, 13 unemployed captains, 7 unemployed RADLs, 3 unemployed RADMs, and an unemployed VADM & ADM. This is a simplistic example, but it's been my experience that there are always way more lower-level billets open than upper level billets.

Proposed solution
Officers shouldn't be automatically promoted unless a billet exists at their new rank that they're qualified to take over. 'Qualified' meaning that they hold the appropriate specialty bonuses. Institute an "up or out" system which is based on time in grade instead of an arbitrary retirement cutoff date. For this example, let's go with 9 years.

For example, using the structure above:
VADM Bigshot hits 9 years time in grade, with no higher-level admin position existing for them to be promoted to, so they retire. The RADM below them is promoted to their admin command, and vice versa with the RADL commanding the task force command. When we get to the captains, the captain with the best relevant skills, out of those captains with a minimum, let's say, 3 years time in grade (to prevent the unrealistic meteoric rise of 20-year old officers) is promoted. An officer that hits 9 years time in grade will retire automatically, unless no eligible officer exists at a lower rank to replace them. Allow the "story character" checkbox to override or at least boost this retirement cutoff.

Also, Steve, please add more command & control modules for currently unutilized skills, like mining and terraforming.



I don't know, I mean I can see where the issue is but I use like 15/20 admin commands from beginning and in my last game the chain of command is still lasting. All my High Rank Officers have 65+ years old and starting to be orange and red because their health starting to drop. I have few rampart young officers just waiting for the old man to retire pr die so they can compete for the admiral spot.

It's important also to use the right C.O. officers spots for the leading ships as well flag bridges. The Admin commands need to have a developed and deep structure to force the higher ranks to be in command.

I however agree on few things as at least every 25/30 year I need to manually promote a good chunk of individualds to feed the ranks as I need more higher rank officers.

So yes, I guess something cool would be to actually set an age on when officers should retire with them stilll enrolled unless forced to retire due health reason. A choice to retire him/herself should kick in only around 50 y.o. and could keep the current formula.


Offline skoormit

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2020, 11:26:04 PM »
Also, Steve, please add more command & control modules for currently unutilized skills, like mining and terraforming.

Why do we need modules? A ship captain gives 100% of their mining and terraforming bonus.
I never have enough captains for my Diggers and Planters.
 

Offline Zincat

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2020, 04:03:44 AM »
I absolutely agree both with the early retirements problems and with the nonsensical promotions problem.

I would be fine with this proposed solution too.

Right now it's really a bit of a mess imo.
 

Offline Desdinova (OP)

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2020, 10:56:19 AM »
Also, Steve, please add more command & control modules for currently unutilized skills, like mining and terraforming.

Why do we need modules? A ship captain gives 100% of their mining and terraforming bonus.
I never have enough captains for my Diggers and Planters.

And that shortage is why we need mining/terraforming c&c modules. Because if you have your miners commanded by LCDRs, they tend to gain skills and get promoted to ranks where there are no mining jobs. If you set the senior CO check, you have to micromanage it because officers with mining specialties won't get assigned or promoted. You need to have roles for lower and higher level officers.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2020, 11:24:05 AM »
I think that promotions should be based on availability and not automatic... although there have to be some way to tell the system when a vacancy is available at admin commands and what ranks they have. There also need to be some limitation on the upper ranks so you can't create overly deep admin rank system without having the lower ranks to support it. So a minimum required on the lower ranks should still be there for upper ranks to be filled properly but the limit should be something that is not so restrictive and we should not automatically get higher ranks unless there is a need for them.

I have no problem with people leaving the officer corps if there have not been any jobs for them and there are no advancement possibilities, so a captain should be less likely to leave than a lieutenant commander.
 

Offline idefelipe

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2020, 05:23:15 AM »
I am having the same problem. All my Rear Admiral are being retired at the age of 48... none of them are older. This is a bit annoying, because all they have a long career with several medals and achievements and it is frustrating that they retreat even with the command of a Naval Administration of high rank.

I have clicked the "story character" button, maybe that will slow the proccess, but I agree that this needs a fix or new solution (I like a lot the one you have proposed :D)
 

Offline Platys51

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2020, 12:58:43 PM »
The biggest issue I have are promotions.  I spend half an hour to carefully arrange my officers where they will provide most value, yet in next 20 minutes half of them are out of post with nothing to replace them.

Promoted officers should just stay assigned on their current task if there is no useful replacement.  Like, let us tag a skill ship will check for its captains and no captain shall be promoted unless there is an officer available with such skill above some set threshold.

Also, yeah, military officers end up retiring very fast.  It would be great if we got life extention tech in biology that would lower ammount of health issues and extended time in service, allowing us to keep good commanders longer.
 
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Offline Demonius

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2020, 08:47:19 AM »
Good old Manticoran Prolong or Marsian Cell Refresh..
 

Offline bankshot

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2020, 04:15:00 PM »
The biggest issue I have are promotions.  I spend half an hour to carefully arrange my officers where they will provide most value, yet in next 20 minutes half of them are out of post with nothing to replace them.

Promoted officers should just stay assigned on their current task if there is no useful replacement.  Like, let us tag a skill ship will check for its captains and no captain shall be promoted unless there is an officer available with such skill above some set threshold.

Another way to reduce micromanagement would be to allow auto assignment rank ranges for ships.  As far as I can tell auto assignment will only pick officers with the lowest permissible rank to fill a position.  So it only picks LtCDRs for my terraforming and mining ships, CDRs for survey ships, etc.   We can up the minimum rank with the Senior CO check but that doesn't expand the range, it just moves it up one rank.  If we could also specify a max rank for auto assignment that would alleviate a lot of the "promoted and relieved of command" spam.  Internally they can be relieved of command but if they are still in the permitted rank range they can then be immediately re-assigned unless they are better suited for another position. 

And as a side note - it would be nice to allow science officers/XOs/etc. to be something other than LtCDRs, as long as the commanding officer is higher ranked.   
 

Offline froggiest1982

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2020, 06:09:13 PM »
The biggest issue I have are promotions.  I spend half an hour to carefully arrange my officers where they will provide most value, yet in next 20 minutes half of them are out of post with nothing to replace them.

Promoted officers should just stay assigned on their current task if there is no useful replacement.  Like, let us tag a skill ship will check for its captains and no captain shall be promoted unless there is an officer available with such skill above some set threshold.

Another way to reduce micromanagement would be to allow auto assignment rank ranges for ships.  As far as I can tell auto assignment will only pick officers with the lowest permissible rank to fill a position.  So it only picks LtCDRs for my terraforming and mining ships, CDRs for survey ships, etc.   We can up the minimum rank with the Senior CO check but that doesn't expand the range, it just moves it up one rank.  If we could also specify a max rank for auto assignment that would alleviate a lot of the "promoted and relieved of command" spam.  Internally they can be relieved of command but if they are still in the permitted rank range they can then be immediately re-assigned unless they are better suited for another position. 

And as a side note - it would be nice to allow science officers/XOs/etc. to be something other than LtCDRs, as long as the commanding officer is higher ranked.

Yet again this is a problem you facing only because there is a lot of hierarchy missing in many people's game. Without being too preposterous if you don't have the correct structure in place there are some roles will never be filled. If you have one admin and a fleet you will always end up with Ensigns and or Cadets filling roles and these are promoted at light speed causing the problems many of you are facing. If you have a structured admin command set for a fleet with a CO you will end up with all ships in that fleet using a grade less then the CO and if you have modules on it you will have at least 3 grades on that, let's say Cadet Ensign and Lieutenant. That structure will need at least a Captain as Commander and if that is part of another Admin Command you will go up to Major and potentially you can keep building up from there. Another important thing is the Priority to set on ships. I honestly set only 2: one for military ships (higher priority) and one for commercial ships (less priority) so that at least my military is always set up right. I may change priority only for survey ships as I may want them to have the right people assigned especially if I have not found any aliens yet.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: I've found out that if you do not hit the reassign naval button the admin command grades just get higher and higher without checking what is inside but just remembering the latest highest grade. If you reassign the officials then even the admin command grades get readjusted considering the ships and the fleet grades.

Why the above is important? As said at beginning the biggest problem is the auto promotions, however if you have admins set up for Major on an Admin which would actually require an Ensign to run that assignment will be hard to fill for long as a Major will get promoted, this will reduce a lot your micro management because if you'll assign a Captain that will last as long as he lives or the actual Admin or Fleet level outgrows him.

Finally I agree there is a lot that could be done in terms of promotions and such but still you need to step up your level of details in a game like Aurora to your organization as well otherwise you'll end up with a detailed game on some parts and completely shallow on others. However, I am happy with Officers jumping from ship to ship so that when they finally have reached my Logistic Admin Role and Ribbon I can see they spent some times Tugging s**t or moving s**t on some cargo on Tau Ceti for years. It makes me think they have earned that spot. But I understand that's me only.

In my game so far I had to manually promote officers only twice and that is because when you have them from the start most of them will retire and or get promoted all at the same time as they spawn all with same age (21) but the more you get in the more the age will be variegated and will require less and less maintenance. Later in the game you will have more ships (this is also why you should spend some time at the start and use your building points), more admins, more components etc. Still some manual promotions will be done but it is not as bad as some users are describing to be honest. I think this problem affects only those who have played fast and short campaigns and when the event I just described (multiple officers leaving at same time) occurs they get annoyed and think it is a problem with promotions etc. I think this will be easier to solve having the officers spawn at start with more realistic age. Also nobody start from bottom and then rise up, there should be an intake higher in numbers where 70% are cadets 15% ensigns 10% Lieutenants and 5% Captains for instance and these grades should be out of the pyramid scheme (1,2,4,8,16 and such). I would keep that limited to the highest ranks which make sense as you still require a sort of chain of command in place.

Again I am not saying the current system is right or even that I am right, I am just saying it's not that big hassle or problem one could think it is by reading some posts (not only here) or at least not in my games.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 06:29:28 PM by froggiest1982 »
 

Offline Icekiller

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2020, 09:30:33 PM »
Quote from: froggiest1982 link=topic=11800. msg139598#msg139598 date=1596668953
Quote from: bankshot link=topic=11800. msg139594#msg139594 date=1596662100
Quote from: Platys51 link=topic=11800. msg139555#msg139555 date=1596563923
The biggest issue I have are promotions.   I spend half an hour to carefully arrange my officers where they will provide most value, yet in next 20 minutes half of them are out of post with nothing to replace them. 

Promoted officers should just stay assigned on their current task if there is no useful replacement.   Like, let us tag a skill ship will check for its captains and no captain shall be promoted unless there is an officer available with such skill above some set threshold. 

Another way to reduce micromanagement would be to allow auto assignment rank ranges for ships.   As far as I can tell auto assignment will only pick officers with the lowest permissible rank to fill a position.   So it only picks LtCDRs for my terraforming and mining ships, CDRs for survey ships, etc.    We can up the minimum rank with the Senior CO check but that doesn't expand the range, it just moves it up one rank.   If we could also specify a max rank for auto assignment that would alleviate a lot of the "promoted and relieved of command" spam.   Internally they can be relieved of command but if they are still in the permitted rank range they can then be immediately re-assigned unless they are better suited for another position.   

And as a side note - it would be nice to allow science officers/XOs/etc.  to be something other than LtCDRs, as long as the commanding officer is higher ranked. 

Yet again this is a problem you facing only because there is a lot of hierarchy missing in many people's game.  Without being too preposterous if you don't have the correct structure in place there are some roles will never be filled.  If you have one admin and a fleet you will always end up with Ensigns and or Cadets filling roles and these are promoted at light speed causing the problems many of you are facing.  If you have a structured admin command set for a fleet with a CO you will end up with all ships in that fleet using a grade less then the CO and if you have modules on it you will have at least 3 grades on that, let's say Cadet Ensign and Lieutenant.  That structure will need at least a Captain as Commander and if that is part of another Admin Command you will go up to Major and potentially you can keep building up from there.  Another important thing is the Priority to set on ships.  I honestly set only 2: one for military ships (higher priority) and one for commercial ships (less priority) so that at least my military is always set up right.  I may change priority only for survey ships as I may want them to have the right people assigned especially if I have not found any aliens yet.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: I've found out that if you do not hit the reassign naval button the admin command grades just get higher and higher without checking what is inside but just remembering the latest highest grade.  If you reassign the officials then even the admin command grades get readjusted considering the ships and the fleet grades.

Why the above is important? As said at beginning the biggest problem is the auto promotions, however if you have admins set up for Major on an Admin which would actually require an Ensign to run that assignment will be hard to fill for long as a Major will get promoted, this will reduce a lot your micro management because if you'll assign a Captain that will last as long as he lives or the actual Admin or Fleet level outgrows him.

Finally I agree there is a lot that could be done in terms of promotions and such but still you need to step up your level of details in a game like Aurora to your organization as well otherwise you'll end up with a detailed game on some parts and completely shallow on others.  However, I am happy with Officers jumping from ship to ship so that when they finally have reached my Logistic Admin Role and Ribbon I can see they spent some times Tugging s**t or moving s**t on some cargo on Tau Ceti for years.  It makes me think they have earned that spot.  But I understand that's me only.

In my game so far I had to manually promote officers only twice and that is because when you have them from the start most of them will retire and or get promoted all at the same time as they spawn all with same age (21) but the more you get in the more the age will be variegated and will require less and less maintenance.  Later in the game you will have more ships (this is also why you should spend some time at the start and use your building points), more admins, more components etc.  Still some manual promotions will be done but it is not as bad as some users are describing to be honest.  I think this problem affects only those who have played fast and short campaigns and when the event I just described (multiple officers leaving at same time) occurs they get annoyed and think it is a problem with promotions etc.  I think this will be easier to solve having the officers spawn at start with more realistic age.  Also nobody start from bottom and then rise up, there should be an intake higher in numbers where 70% are cadets 15% ensigns 10% Lieutenants and 5% Captains for instance and these grades should be out of the pyramid scheme (1,2,4,8,16 and such).  I would keep that limited to the highest ranks which make sense as you still require a sort of chain of command in place.

Again I am not saying the current system is right or even that I am right, I am just saying it's not that big hassle or problem one could think it is by reading some posts (not only here) or at least not in my games.

I have to say that I disagree with your sentiment here.  Simply creating extra empty admin commands isn't a useful solution to not having enough jobs for officers.  In my current game I have 9 ranks in my Navy.  115 at the lowest level, and 1 at 7th from the top.  Just from a purely military perspective, the smallest Admin Command that I can realistically create, would be a squadron.  My squadron's are made up of 8 ships, and I only have 3 squadrons at this point.  All of those are then organized into a fleet, maybe a temporary task force command if needed.  There isn't any additional detail that would exist for me to create admin commands for. 

Quite frankly, while I love the current system of having multiple officers assigned to ships is interesting, it doesn't provide the same amount of officer staffing as task forces did.  Nor does it provide the same RP, to me anyway.  Admin commands now feel like this nebulous thing that don't serve as much of a purpose.  If we could have admin commands with the same staffing requirements of VB6's task forces, I feel that would be much better.  After all, admin commands are not held on the shoulders of one person.
 
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Offline froggiest1982

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2020, 10:08:11 PM »
I have to say that I disagree with your sentiment here.  Simply creating extra empty admin commands isn't a useful solution to not having enough jobs for officers.  In my current game I have 9 ranks in my Navy.  115 at the lowest level, and 1 at 7th from the top.  Just from a purely military perspective, the smallest Admin Command that I can realistically create, would be a squadron.  My squadron's are made up of 8 ships, and I only have 3 squadrons at this point.  All of those are then organized into a fleet, maybe a temporary task force command if needed.  There isn't any additional detail that would exist for me to create admin commands for. 

Quite frankly, while I love the current system of having multiple officers assigned to ships is interesting, it doesn't provide the same amount of officer staffing as task forces did.  Nor does it provide the same RP, to me anyway.  Admin commands now feel like this nebulous thing that don't serve as much of a purpose.  If we could have admin commands with the same staffing requirements of VB6's task forces, I feel that would be much better.  After all, admin commands are not held on the shoulders of one person.

My Admin Commands are not empty so I am not sure where you have taken that information from but it's wrong.

I do agree with many here and I also said that I just think you can make it work if you really want to and I also believe there are other areas that require urgent attention.

Obviously this is IMHO and I do accept different views as I agree with you on the VB6 structure, the only annoyance there was that if the task force leader would retire or die the whole chain of command would have gone down the drain causing a lot of different issues. Regarding the ranks yes as you can read that was another thing I would like changed as well so we may agree to disagree more than we think.

 ;)

Offline Icekiller

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2020, 11:11:49 AM »
Could you please provide an example of how you would set an admin command structure for the OOB that was listed at the beginning of the thread?
 

Offline TMaekler

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Re: My issues with the officer system
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2020, 02:16:10 PM »
It would be nice if the command system in Aurora would allow for multiple playstyles. Actually you have to do a pretty fixed amount of open slots to sustain the good development of your officers. And this is due to the fixed numbers of how many people can get promoted (the 50% rule).

I like the initial suggestion in this thread because it reflects more how it would be done in real life.
 

 

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