Sunday, 18 January 2015

Updates; Mod, Training, Website, Scouts, and the Armada (OOC)

Last year, my blog posts were few and far between. This year, I want to make them more frequent. Where possible, I intend to spend a little time on a weekend (probably Sunday as this is after the shift) to add new posts and keep everyone up-to-date on what is happening in the TSN RP Community.

TSN RP Community Mod
Fish Evans and Allard Mo have been hard at work readying the mod for its first release. A few minor tweaks have been made to ship stats to ensure a good level of balance is maintained in the game and to make meshes and skins match up. Allard has worked to smooth out the 3D models and match up the skins to the ships and Fish has focused on tweaking weapon stats. The final test is scheduled for next week, and the release date to the TSN RP Community is set for the end of this month - 31st January. This should coincide with the next major story arc planned out by the Intelligence Department. Many of the new ships and extra features have been added specifically for this, but also make an excellent addition to the game. 

Distribution of the Mod should be straightforward, simply getting people sorted at the start of the shift. The pre-release test gave us ideas on how to quickly get the Mod out to people, and we have plenty of people who can help should anyone have any issued. I have thought over the organisation of it in my mind, and have thought up a plan on how to organise it should anyone have any issues, simply assigning an officer to do a walk through to those who need the assistance. I think it will take very little time to get the mod out.

Public Release of the Mod
One question that has been asked is whether the mod will be release to the general Artemis Community. This is something still under consideration and would have be done in consultation with those who have created the Mod. They are the ones that put all the work and effort into it after all. I personally am in two minds still on what to do. Releasing it will really show people who we are and what we are doing, which is something that can only benefit us. 

I do have my reservations though as things that the RP Community have created and shared are used without reference to where they come from. The one I have seen used most often is the Combat Orders. Although there were crews using orders before hand, it was the TSN RP Community that came up with the formalised Combat Order: Echo, Delta, Omega, Gamma, Theta and people use them without really knowing where they originally came from. It is awesome to hear people who have never played with the TSN RP Community using them though and shows how our group has really influenced others playing Artemis (I don't profess to have influenced everyone of course! That would be rather too big headed of me, lol!)

Training and Recruitment
The Training Department have been working to develop some new training videos of our own. They are also developing new documentation to outline some key protocols and simplify some things for new officers. The aim is to allow officers to join us and settle in quicker, making them feel more comfortable with how we operate. Some who have joined us will have heard and even used our combat orders before and be confident with operating their console, so it is a simple matter of learning our way of working, however those new to the game can sometimes be overwhelmed with this extra learning curve.

TSN RP Community Website
It was highlighted by some officers that, although the website is informative, it could sometimes be difficult to find information and they would have to dig through pages to get what they needed. As a result, I have spent a little time reorganising a few pages, and changing the main navigation menu across the top of the screen. I have added a drop down menu to a couple of the options to allow people to miss out the main page, and jump straight to a specific section. It should mean less digging to find specific information.

The role of the Scout
During the Duty Shift last night (17th January) we were running another mission with two battle groups (Falcon & Hawk, Pegasus & Phoenix) and a scout (Hunter). Personally, when I was commanding the Division I felt that I was not using the scout to its full potential. For a while now, we have have the scout ship conduct "Recon Ops" whenever we make contact with unidentified enemies. This allows science officers on other ships to focus on secondary scans of enemy vessels, whilst the scout gets the primary scan with what we call "visual identification".  This role is well practised now and a simple order "Begin Recon Ops" to the scout sets them off doing this. 

It occurred to me last night that we could expand this quite easily, by coming up with other "Ops" for a scout to complete. At the end of the shift, I discussed the idea with the senior officers, and we developed new "Operational Procedures for Scout Vessels". Rather than Attack Patterns, which are use by Battle groups, the scouts have four "Ops"; Recon Ops, Counter Ops, Support Ops and Defense Ops. These tell a scout and crew what their tasks are to be during the current engagement or mission, giving clearer direction on what they should be doing, but the freedom to operate more independently without needing to check in for new orders.

I want to trial these new "Ops" next shift to see how they work and let command officers get used to them. Hopefully, too much of a new concept as it is simply an expansion of the "Recon Ops" which we have used for a while now.

The TSN RP Community at the Artemis Armada
A number of officers have been discussing the presence of the TSN RP Community at the Artemis Armada this year. Until now, there has been no official 'yes' or 'no' to whether the TSN RP Community will be attending. However, based on the discussions I have seen people have on our own forums and the work a couple of officers have been doing, a small team has developed that are attending, and want to do so as the TSN RP Community. Verok has been leading the way, coming up with ideas such as a bridge set up, contributing to discussion on uniform design and thinking up a promotional video to show people. As a result, he seemed the natural choice to take the lead on this. Having one person in overall charge in this way should give other officers someone to communicate with. 

Final Word
And there we have it, my first Blog post of the year. I hope this has been informative, and thanks to those who read this. If there are any questions or comments about anything we are doing, just comment below. I'll try and address them in future blog post.

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