Hello Fed-Space Membership.
I’d like to take a few minutes of time to address some points that have been coming up in discussion between some members of the leadership team, as well as make some announcements about upcoming events and news about the site.
The site membership hovers at around 75-80 players as I write this. Our recruitment and attrition roughly equal, so we have stayed at around 80 members for the past 2-3 years. This is a sustainable level, and while I’d be very happy to see our membership grow, I’ve always said I’d prefer a core of strong, committed players vs a large mass of players who don’t believe in the core values of our game.
Sadly, that is partly what has inspired this message.
Federation Space is a place for writers and roleplayers to come together to collaboratively tell stories set in the Star Trek universe. But over the past few years we have noticed a trend in both new and veteran players who don’t put in the effort to write good stories, who don’t interact with their peers, and who can’t be bothered to maintain and promote the spirit of Federation Space. This is obvious in a number of ways:
● Slow Posting Rates/Whining about having to post: Federation Space is a hobby. It should not be viewed as a ‘chore’ where you ‘have to post’. It should be something you look forward to participating in. I get very tired of hearing (and I will admit I am a victim of saying it sometimes), “I guess I need to post” or “I really need to post, but…”. What we should be saying is, “I really want to post today.”
○ We make time for the things we want to do. If you are coming up with excuses why you aren’t posting, or whining about posting, then maybe you should be asking… do I really want to be here? If the answer is yes, then you need to look at adjusting your attitude a little.
○ “Yes, but I also have 8 NPCs, GM, and AI roles.” If you can’t keep up with all your roles, then maybe you need to have an honest look at your capacity. Some people can post for a Main PC, an alt-PC, a GM, AI, and multiple NPCs. Some people can only manage one PC. And both are just fine. There isn't one "right way" to play FedSpace. But just be honest with yourself with what you can and can't do.
○ “I’m too stressed because fill in reason” to post. “I’m too busy to post”. We’re all busy, we’re all stressed. As a hobby, Fed-Space should relieve that stress. This is not to say I don’t understand the need to slow your posting rate, take an LOA, step back from NPCs, etc. if you have a life event that interferes. But that should be the exception, not the norm.
● Lazy posting: It’s blindingly obvious when you don’t use spell check. It’s obvious when you haven’t read other players’ or the GM’s posts. We all miss cues now and again but it shouldn’t be more than 10-15% of the time at most, and ideally much less. You should always read all posts in the thread you are in and any threads affiliated with your plot--I always re-read everything since I last posted in a thread when I am about to post a reply. This is a collaborative game; you’re missing the point if you ignore other players’ posts. Not only that, but it’s disrespectful. How would you feel if other players ignored your posts? And you should always, when in-mission, read the Bridge. If you really want to get the most out of the site, go outside your comfort zone and read posts on other ships/bases/etc. You are missing out if you only read one or two places.
● The tagalongs. All members of Fedspace are here to collaboratively tell a story. This involves 1- writing your character’s reactions and interpretation of what other character’s have said/done and what the GM has given, and 2- moving the story along. But we’ve seen a rise in players who don’t do step 2. They’ll post their character’s reaction, and then do nothing that makes the story move forward. Sometimes your character might not know what to do, or might not have the skill; but that doesn’t mean they can’t move the story forward. Sometimes their inactivity is what moves the story forward (maybe they don’t notice a warning light, or their hesitation gets them shot). But you need to do something that makes the story move forward. Otherwise the GM could just tell the story themselves.
● Out of Game Problem Solving: I’ve noticed an increase in players using OOC to problem solve, instead of having their character doing it. This is a roleplaying game; your character should be the one taking steps to solve a puzzle. OOC should only be used to clarify a point, if you have a concern, etc. There’s no reason for a player to be contacting a GM directly. Nor should you be asking a GM questions in Crew Announcements/Discussion. If you have a mission-related question, go up the chain of command. Some players seem to be doing this so that their character won’t make mistakes. This takes away from the storytelling aspect of our game. Even if we are the ‘heroes’ of Star Fleet, we should be making mistakes, and our characters should have to go through the motions of figuring things out. It’s called story and character development.
● Metagaming/supersimming: Characters who magically know the answer. Characters that are perfect at everything they do. Characters that suddenly have skills and abilities not listed in their bio. Characters who have an ability/device/idea that so overshadows everything else that they can’t possibly have made a mistake or been wrong. Characters who solve an entire plot in one post without anyone else participating. If this is how you want to play, then why are you even here? Go write your own private stories on your own blog or something. This is a site for people to interact, to write together, to collaboratively solve the fictional problems that a GM presents. Even Captain Picard relied on his senior staff to solve problems, he did not do it all himself. We have very carefully tailored the technologies and abilities on this site to ensure balance so that players/characters can be challenged, but also have a reasonable chance of success if they work together and do things as a team. If you want to metagame/supersim, then I’m going to be very direct here: Leave and go find another site to write on. Fed-Space is not the place for you.
● Entitlement: The admins often hear “Why am I not a CO? I was next in line?!” or “Why can’t I be promoted to that rank?” Often these are the same players who are lazy with their posts, who metagame, who don’t do anything to contribute extra to the site, who don’t participate in the community outside their own ship. These people often feel entitled to be a CO or have a more senior rank.
○ Here is what every player and character is entitled to on Fed-Space: They are entitled to a friendly community where they can explore the lives of fictional Star Fleet characters in a future version of the STAR TREK universe.
○ Nobody is entitled to anything more, or less, than that.
○ When you try to take more, you take it away from others.
○ When you fail to be a community-minded member who provides good, regular posts, you take the fun out of the game for others.
○ Your character it not entitled a certain rank or position, they aren’t entitled to have certain abilities or to have certain tactics that automatically work.
○ They earn rank and position through:
■ your time on the site
■ your active, productive participation through posting
■ 3- your demonstrated contributions to the site.
○ If you think you deserve more, then demonstrate it. Show us that you do and it will be recognized.
■ If you feel like the opportunity to contribute more isn't available to you, then you should bring this up with your Primary PC’s DH, FO, CO, FC, or the CinC or another site admin.
■ Remember, you have to show that you have the skill, dedication, and commitment to the site to be considered for these positions.
I think we can all work together to do better ourselves and to mentor those around us who might need some extra support. At the end of the day, this community is what keeps us going, and we have a strong community of fun and caring people. We all just have to want to be here.
That’s the end of my ranting in this post… now on to some site news:
● We are also working on switching the main message board software to the latest version, and also making updates to the WordPress front-end sometime in the coming year, hopefully early in the year.
● We are still working on the new Constitution. As we delved into the rewrite/reorg of the document, we realized that it was a good opportunity to revise a document which no longer reflected the way Federation Space operates.
● We have a new Fleet Personnel Officer (FPO). Commodore Wendy Rickenbacker will now be handling all non-cadet account creations, and will be checking rosters to ensure COs and FCs are doing their jobs by ensuring these documents are updated in a timely manner. She answers to the CinC, and will report to her any discrepancies.
● The site is stable financially for now. We have about 3-½ months of funds in the bank to keep us afloat. There are still over 30 pins available for those who donate $5+. See the site financial reports thread in Red Alert for more info.
● The site’s telepathic guidelines were recently updated to address some concerns. Anyone playing a telepath should read them.
● ALL equipment or ship specs changes need to be reviewed by the site’s ENGCOM, Commodore Julia Nielson. You should email her if you have a request. She will discuss with the site creative staff and then get back to you. If a change is found that was not authorized by her, then appropriate disciplinary action may be taken at the discretion of the site leadership.
● ALL new BIOs (character changes, NPCs etc) must be reviewed and approved by the academy. Send them to Commodore Taylor and she will send to a BIO evaluator to review and approve.
● We will also be reviewing the guidelines on multi-species (hybrid) characters. It feels like there is a very high amount of them, and some which it would be impossible for any genetic compatibility, even with DNA manipulation. Nearly ANY pairing of different species would require SOME manipulation, and it seems like we’ve gotten out of control with this on the site.
● Character Death and Character Consequences are being reviewed. Apparently people think that their characters “cannot die” without their permission ever, under any circumstances. This is not true. In fact, the GMs have a mechanism, when a character does something that is so implausible it must result in permanent damage, death, or career-ending results, it can in fact happen. In those cases, the GM discusses the matter with the Creative Director and the site admins, and we make a decision. So don’t go shooting an ambassador, or jumping into an exploding warp core unless you are willing to accept the consequences.
● Some site terminology tweaks are occurring. Following is a lexicon of some changes and standards we use on Fed-Space
○ Fed-Space/FedSpace/Fed Space/Federation Space are all acceptable terms for the site. The legal entity that owns the site is “Fed-Space Association LLC”.
○ Star Fleet is the site’s official term for what Trek canon calls Starfleet. This was done for multiple reasons, but mostly to help mitigate any ‘copyright’ concerns that may arise.
○ Star Date is what we officially use for stardate. Again, for the same reasons as we use Star Fleet.
○ We don’t use NCC- for the same reasons, and also because our site founder wanted our ship designations to reflect the ship class.
○ First Officer vs Executive Officer: Which is right? The answer, is BOTH. On Fed-Space we accept either as valid. For all official documents we use First Officer, or (FO), but in-game Executive Officer or XO is acceptable as well.
Character type designations are also changing effective Star Date 21801.01 to better reflect how we use them on the site:
● Primary Rated Character (PRC) is replacing “PC” or “Player Character” as the site’s designation for your primary character. The CO of your PRC is the one who must approve you having an SRC, NRC (see below), GM, or AI, or any other site role. They have the authority to revoke those roles after granting them if you are not performing as your PRC.
● Secondary Rated Character (SRC) is replacing “ALT” or “Alternate Character” as the site’s designation for your second rated character.
● Non-Rated Character (NRC) is replacing “NPC” or “Non-Player Character” as the site’s designation for any character you have which you do not earn points for. This was done because in virtually every other role playing system an NPC can only be played by the GM or moderator. Because NRCs are played by PLAYERS, we wanted to switch to the rated/non-rated to make things clearer, especially for newer players.
● “Rated” characters are characters that earn points. All of your additional points (other than positional or medals awarded to your SRC directly) including AI/GM/Division Head, etc. points are always awarded to your PRC. Your PRC is the only one that can be in a command (FO/CO) position. Your PRC is usually of higher rank/position.
This will all be spelled out in the new Constitution in more detail, but I wanted you all to be aware as the designations begin to change across the site (you’ll notice the Academy has slowly started switching to the new terminology).
And don’t forget, new BIOs for all PRC/NRC/SRC characters must be approved by the Academy, and all new accounts other than Cadet accounts are approved by the FPO following submission of the new character form as found in Red Alert. This process may take several days as the Commodore will verify the information with your CO(s) as appropriate.
As always, if anyone has any questions, concerns, etc. you can email me at President@Fed-Space.com.
Thank you, and ahead Warp 9.
-Perry Brulotte, President, Fed-Space Association, LLC
-Joshua Barnett, President, United Federation of Planets