Been distracted by space-sims and elite-likes of late, so if you guys would humour some ideas?
Taking into account a few requests on space-sims, the main one for this post is having a fully crewed ship ala Star Trek (or even Firefly) and a small side one is missions on foot, planetside, boarding actions, etc (to tie it in nicely with the crew, think Away-Missions).
In most space sims you have the majority if not complete control over the ship your piloting, and I can see taking away a large portion of this control and handing it over to AI crew might lead more to frustration and annoyance. So my thoughts where based around how else having an able crew would benefit you in flying your ship.
In the end I decided that crew would have abilities in up to 3 areas.
Flight Support: Rather than taking over control they can enhance certain aspects to make life even easier for the captain (you).
Independent Tasks: When left to their own devices with enough resources will go about doing useful things on the side that don't directly bump noses with flying the ship.
Away Team Role: In the vain of Star Trek, you select members of your crew to accompany you on missions on the ground, forming squad under your command. So I imagined there needs to be reasons to choose different crew members with different roles.
As such, crew come in a number of traditional classes and roles, each I wanted to give some of the above to (But some admittedly may miss out in areas such as flight support or away team role). I pictured crew gaining experience and 'levels/ranks' and becoming more efficient in their roles as well. So I was hoping you guys could help me out with ideas on abilities in these ability categories, as well as suggestions for other important crew I may have missed.
MAIN CREW ROLES
Navigator: Your expert on traveling through space.
- Flight Support: Perhaps maps out nearby star systems for you to jump to, the higher the rank the further out systems are mapped. Can be assigned to setting up routes and way points? Can find shortcuts and maybe necessary for traversing the likes of wormholes? Reduce the amount of fuel/energy it takes to FTL around?
- Independent Tasks: No idea really, can be given over control of the ship as a sort of superior autopilot?
- Away Team Role: Again no idea ...
Tactician: Experts on capital ship combat (cap-ships being the kind of ships you would captain).
- Flight Support: Can be assigned to take over fire controls, perhaps you can distribute some weapons between yourself and your tactician, so he can concentrate on aiming turrets on fighters and such. With higher rank will be able to identify weak points on enemy ships for you. Gives you faster missile locks and such. And can perform alittle move I call 'shield blocking', if you remember the likes of X-Wing/Tie Fighter or Wing Commander you could redirect the power of your shields - forward, back, left, right etc, the shield block has the tactician quickly redirect power to take on incoming fire while your busy doing other things.
- Independent Tasks: Not sure, afraid I'm not giving any examples of what I mean here yet.
- Away Team Role: Again, not sure.
Engineer: "I can not do'et captin, she needs more power!" This one is abit more fleshed out in its three roles.
- Flight Support: Mainly need to be assigned to what I'm calling 'Engineering Bays' where they will act to repair damage done to the ship. At higher ranks they repair faster and can come up with ship overhauls/overclocks? Like getting more boost out of the shields, guns, engines.
- Independent Tasks: Finally an example, on your ship you can create 'workshops' and assign engineers to them, where they will manufacture new equipment and upgrades from resources gathered (Sort of like X-Com's bases with their workshops).
- Away Team Role: The engineer will be a support role on the ground, able to repair equipment (vehicles?) and possibly construct certain buildings (monitoring posts, outposts, auto-turrets?).
Scientist: So as one performs away missions and collects 'data' and explores anomalies in space the scientist takes that info and creates new toys and technology for you.
- Flight Support: The opposite to the others so far, I have little idea what the scientist does to help you midflight. I considered having them give occasional advice when encountering new planets or spacial anomalies "It would be unwise to fly into that supernova Captain".
- Independent Tasks: Very much like the engineer, I picture part of the game is collecting research materials and artifacts on away missions, your scientist sits around trying to unlock the mysteries and will eventually give you a new technology that your engineers can often manufacture something from (Again, your ship is kind of like an X-Com base in my idea).
- Away Team Role: Not entirely sure, I imagine they could detect and identify research materials and artifacts you encounter on the ground letting you collect the more valuable items "No Captain that is not an alien death-ray ... its a spoon, made in china it says". Possibly they can also give advice on dangerous environments and lifeforms as you explore, or simply taking them along increases their research output.
Physician: The one who puts the rest of your crew back together after something tries to burst out of their chest. Doctors who provide medical assistance to the rest of the crew.
- Flight Support: No idea, apart from administering to injured crew in battles and such.
- Independent Tasks: Will typically work in the sick bay healing up the crew, possibly battling any dangerous alien viruses you may pick up along the way. A side idea was that they could at later ranks do stuff like cybernetics and such.
- Away Team Role: Easily enough the physician is your team medic while on away missions.
Security: Typically big tough bruisers who are the first to get a hold of the ray guns and kick some ass. Your soldiers and such.
- Flight Support: Again, no idea what they would do for you while you fly around space. I suppose defending the ship from boarding actions (if those where to be implemented) or performing boarding actions.
- Independent Tasks: Again not sure, I considered having them 'police' your crew to perhaps keep they from getting up to mischief and mutiny.
- Away Team Role: I imagine you would always take some security along, equipped with weapons and armour to protect you and any others from any dangers, and on the occasion when you are leading a military style operation on a planet.
Comms?: A role I was unsure of including, communications officer who deals with ... well communications.
- Flight Support: When I thought on it I decided that they could possibly be a sort translator/diplomat when you contact other vessels or aliens, a higher ranked comms will give you much more diplomatic and persuasive conversation options when dealing with them, or know exactly the best way to threaten a Graqf into surrendering. Possibly they would also need time to translate alien languages before you could communicate with them (higher ranks would translate faster).
- Independent Tasks: Eavesdropping and spying on transmissions between other ships and letting the captain know about that secret attack on Planet Z, possibly this lets you pick up extra 'missions' without having to poke around so many space bars.
- Away Team Role: Again, no idea.
OTHER CREW ROLES
Pilots: If any one has played Battlecruiser Millennium you had a number of smaller fighters and shuttles aboard your ship, basically pilots would fly these. Since these aren't part of what I consider the 'main' crew I didn't think they needed a role beyond that.
Steward/Cook?: The only other one that came to mind, would I suppose improve crew morale depending on their rank?
Thats all I have for now, any thoughts/suggestions?