We will preface this by saying that this is going to be a long, detailed announcement. We highly encourage people to read this through and really take it in. It matters.
Think of this as Bravo Fleet v2.0! In many ways, Bravo Fleet will still look the same. In many ways, it will look different.
It isn’t often that I make announcements talking about “I”, since I usually go out of my way to make sure people are aware this is a team effort by using the term “we” and “us”, but I do want to talk a little bit in the “I” real quick. This project has been a personal endeavor of mine 10+ years in the making since I first pitched it in 2009, has gone through several iterations, long brainstorming sessions, been invented and reinvented several times, was going to be done in Bravo Fleet, out of Bravo Fleet, and finally is being completed.
In a personal reflection, I wish that I was surrounded by the people I am now, who are very open to change, back in 2012 when this was on the brink of happening once before. I cannot thank the current fleet staff enough for all of their hard work and dedication to make this happen over the past 10 months. When Bravo Fleet went through some really devastating splits and infighting last spring and early summer, myself and a few others saw Bravo Fleet heading down a slippery slope to collapse and we stepped in. It was never my intention or desire to be BFCO again. However, when it became apparent that someone would need to step up and everyone else declined, I was… I was drafted, I tell ya! As much as I gripe about it, I’m happy to help support the community I love, and things have been far more enjoyable this time around. Part of my agreeing to take over was that things in Bravo Fleet needed some change to ensure long term stability and growth long beyond myself or anyone else really being around. We’re finally here, and for that, I thank everyone who has been involved.
I think the best way to show everyone the new model is to walk everyone through the process from join until activity! We cannot stress enough that if you already have an account, you do not need to create a new one. This walk-through will help explain how and why the new system works, however.
The first step is to create a fleet account. Once you do that, the system will email you and you’ll create your password. Once you’ve got your account and password, you’ll see your dashboard:
“So what do I do now?” is likely your next question.
The answer is pretty wide open from there. As a new member, you’ll get direct guidance from your task force staff. We can circle back to your user dashboard:
Now, we expect there will be quite a few questions from current members, so we’ll try to answer the most common ones we expect. (See Below)
Chief of Staff Updates
We have a few updates that come from the Office of the Chief of Staff (OCS) that have been touched on in other announcements, but we want to put them in a central place for easy reading!
The first big change is that the Player (now called Simmer) and Sim of the Month/Quarter/Year (which you may have heard us refer to as the XotY awards) will no longer be task force based, but Bravo Fleet wide, with Post of the Month being removed entirely. There are a few reasons for this. The biggest was that the pool that each task force was drawing from wasn’t particularly diverse, so the same people kept winning over and over again. The other, and honestly biggest reason, is that no two task forces were using the same criteria or method for choosing their winners. Now, the winners will be chosen by a standardized method through the OCS after nominations are sent in by the TFs staff. The previous monthly awards at the task force level will remain in BFMS as “legacy” awards that will still show on your dossier.
We had previously talked about the new rank structure that is active in Bravo Fleet starting now. We are actually adjusting that rank structure a bit. It will now be:
- Cadet Freshman Grade
- Cadet Sophomore Grade
- Cadet Junior Grade
- Cadet Senior Grade
- Junior Officers
- Lieutenant Junior Grade
- Lieutenant Commander
- Command Officers
- Fleet Captain
- Senior Captain
- Flag Officers
- Rear Admiral
- Vice Admiral
With the rank of Fleet Admiral reserved for the BFCO (or its historical equivalent). We have also kept our promise to our current members regarding starting ranks:
- If you had an account on BFMS as of the relaunch and this announcement, you’ll have been given the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade.
- If you are a current sim CO or department staff member, you should have been given the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
- If you are a current TF2XO you were given the rank of Commander.
- If you are a current TFXO or CA you were given the rank of Captain.
Nothing will change regarding ships and unlocks starting at lieutenant commander, or the requirements to get to those ranks. Bluntly? If you’re a warm body that is at least remotely active, making it to lieutenant commander is very easy. There are many members that will be earning promotions in the next few weeks based on the activity they’ve been doing these past few weeks, already.
We’ve also developed an improvement on the rank structure that a separate announcement will detail more specifically. However, we did retire a lot of awards that we didn’t feel really fit into the atmosphere we wanted. Those Legacy awards were all transferred into their equivalent award in the new system. So you may see different awards on your dossier, but fret not! You have not lost any.
In other matters, the OCS has been thrilled to see members’ engagement in the Osiris Initiative RP event these past two weeks. This is a success we hope to expand upon in the future. As such, the OCS is happy to issue the following promotions for the following members who over the course of the event proved themselves deserving of recognition – and one of those precious, elusive starships:
- AnnatarYoung (as Raksha Chandra)
- AllenK (as Raan Mason)
- Arcticblast (as Jonas Flanigan)
All three will be given the rank of Lieutenant Commander at the launch of the new model and should already see this reflected on their dossiers.
Frequently [Expected to be] Asked Questions (aka: tl;Dr)
- Do I have to be a user on BFMS to be a member of Bravo Fleet?
- I’m a current CO and I command the USS Lollipop. As a user, am I forced to stick with that ship?
- The Lollipop was just commissioned. It’s a good ship. But the answer is no, you aren’t forced into that ship as a user. You can create a completely new character separate from your sim CO character and just pick a whole new ship. For many sim COs, we’ve defaulted to their sim commands when we put everyone in the system. But you can easily request a new one by using the “Request Ship” feature on your dashboard.
- Is my user rank the same as my character rank? Does it affect my sim at all?
- This is one of the more complicated questions. The answer is really dependent on the situation Bravo Fleet is currently in. Bravo Fleet has a lot of current members who will be starting at all different ranks. The OOC/user rank is separate from the IC/character rank. We expect as time progresses that the two will become more in sync and merge, especially for new joins, but for now, the policy is that they are separate. Some people have expressed already that they plan to start off by having the two be the same for them. Others have expressed the opposite. The OOC rank has absolutely zero bearings on sims. If you’re a commander as a user and want your sim CO to be a captain? Go wild.
- How do user ranks work?
- I’m glad you asked! Our wonderful Chief of Staff actually did a really in-depth announcement about them that can be found here!
- I think my user rank is wrong based on that announcement. What do I do?
- Panic. Once the panic wears off, you can email the Chief of Staff at firstname.lastname@example.org and explain your situation. We had a lot of people to assign ranks to, and have tried our best to double-check. But we’ve no doubt missed a few. I cannot stress enough how hectic it has been trying to get everything done in time!
- I was assigned to one task force and would like to be in another. How do I change that?
- We have a form for that! In your dashboard, you’ll see a “Submit Transfer Request” button. Click that, fill it out, sit back, sip some Romulan ale, and wait!
- I don’t see myself on any task force page and my dashboard doesn’t tell me I’m assigned to a task force. What happened? Am I banned? Is this the end? The darkness is closing in! Help!
- Fear not, there are a few reasons why this might be. There was a large percentage of people who responded to the email that went out a bit ago to everyone who signed up on BFMS who indicated that they might return someday. Another group of users didn’t have any characters associated with their dossier, which is required to be assigned to a unit. All of these people are in a unit known as the “Reserves”. You can simply create a character (if needed) and submit a transfer request to the task force of your choice.
- Why can’t I just transfer to Task Force 64 or Task Force 99?
- As previous announcements have indicated, we’re keeping TF64 and TF99 as non-user, sim-only task forces. Given the nature of both of those task forces, they can’t sync in line with the BF Main task forces and their canon.
- So if I’m a sim CO or a player on a sim in TF64 or TF99 I have to be a user in one of the other task forces?
- Correct. TF64 and TF99 do not support users at this time.
- What if I’m signed up on a sim website for a Bravo Fleet sim but not on BFMS? Does that still count?
- As far as Bravo Fleet is concerned, if you aren’t on BFMS, you aren’t a member. Simming is just one of the things we do now, not the only one. So we’re trying to take ownership of our responsibility to our members in awarding them properly for their time here (through awards and meaningful promotions), offer them more activities, and let them show off the cool stuff they’ve earned through us! Part of that requires all members of all current sims to have a dossier/account with BFMS.
- We’re jumping to 2399. What part of the year is it?
- April 2020 will coincide with January 2399. December 2020 will coincide with December 2399. From there, Bravo Fleet will return to a 1:1 ratio for real-life years to in-story years.
- I’ve noticed some of the awards on my dossier have changed or gone missing. What happened?
- As part of the relaunch, we’ve revamped the award system within the OCS (as described above). “Legacy” awards were transferred to what we believed was the closest equivalent in the new system so that when you had an award to show off on your dossier, people would know about the level of work that went into earning it. No one has had a single award taken away from them unless it was replaced with an equivalent, direct-comparison one in the new, current system.
The Raptor’s Wings Relaunch Event
Many of you participated in the Osiris Initiative pre-launch event which was to help build up some excitement for the relaunch and update everyone on some 2399 canon. Now with the relaunch we welcome you to the first official Bravo Fleet-wide event (Fleet Action) titled: “The Raptor’s Wings”. This event will be three (3) separate weeks of varied competition events with a week in between each, for a total of five (5) weeks long!
The year is 2399 and Starfleet is beginning to branch out into the galaxy again led by the illustrious Fourth Fleet, codenamed “Bravo Fleet”. Bravo Fleet operates several task forces all throughout the galaxy, but galactic politics have been focused on the Romulans for over a decade. Following the Romulan supernova which destroyed the twin worlds of Romulus and Remus, the former Romulan Star Empire collapsed, leaving the Romulan people fractured and broken. Within Romulan space exists three main factions:
- The Romulan Free State, backed and defended by the Tal Shiar. They also possess and largely operate out of the former Borg cube known simply as “the Artifact”.
- The Romulan Star Empire, still clinging to life with support of the bulk of the former Romulan Star Navy, are operating largely the same ships from a decade previous, and led by the same praetor who was running the Star Empire during the supernova a decade prior. The Romulan Star Empire operates out of Rator III.
- The Romulan Republic, supported by a democratic ideological shift, and led by former members of the Romulan-Vulcan Reunification Movement. The Romulan Republic is defended by a smaller portion of the former Romulan Star Navy, who operate mostly newer, smaller ships that take a direct design lineage from the past. This is the preferred faction of the Federation. The Romulan Republic operates out of New Romulus.
Within Romulan space, in between the big three factions vying for domination of Romulan space, are minor drug lords, crime bosses, and self-anointed mini-emperors. Some of these are tolerated, some embraced, and some battling with the three larger factions depending on the situation.
Officially the Federation does not recognize any of the three main Romulan factions as the head Romulan state; however, the Federation is not shy in its embrace and preference of the Romulan Republic, but does “embrace” all 3 factions in some type of working relationship.
Each individual will earn five points per event they participate in towards their overall score for The Raptor’s Wings event. Participation is defined as a valid submission for an event. Simply signing up for an event or uploading an unqualified submission will not count. You have to put in the effort in order to receive the reward.
Additionally, the top three individuals in each event will earn placement points. First place will earn three points, 2nd Place will earn two points , and 3rd Place will earn one point. Events will have modifiers based on their perceived difficulty/level of effort required: modifier for fiction will be 3, modifier for gaming will be 2, and no modifier will be added to puzzle and trivia events.
Grading formula: (Placement Score * Event Modifier) + Participation = Event Score
At the end of the competition, the individual scores for all three weeks will be added up, and the top three individuals will earn stars.
The task force with the most points earned by its members will also receive a prize, and of course, bragging rights.
The first week, just as the other two weeks, of The Raptor’s Wings will have 7 competitions per week. The first week will have:
- Tal Shiar Logo (Graphics)
- The Romulan Bad Guy (Fiction)
- Romulan Mythology (Fiction)
- Word Search
Good luck to all participants, and more importantly: have fun!
Saying Thank You
In conclusion, I want to say thank you to all the people who have made this possible. But one thing about being brought back into service as BFCO is that I get to do really cool things like… this!
There have been a lot of people who have been involved in this project over the years. Too many to count, and I am endlessly grateful to you all. But there are some specific people who have really poured a lot into this project this time around and done a lot of work behind the scenes to make this happen. I want to recognize them for their work.
The first is David, the current TFCO of TF38; David somewhat reluctantly agreed to step back into the TFCO role when we were determining what to do with 38. I won’t lie, there had been some discussion of completely shutting 38 down and revisiting it at a later time. It was almost empty, the canon was all over the place, it was a mess. David came in and, until recently, almost single-handily rebuilt 38 from the ground up. We gave him a direction we wanted to go, and what we were looking to get out of 38. It was a vision he shared with us 100% and he ran with it. Now, 38 is one of the most active task forces and David has built a powerhouse of a staff in their little corner of the galaxy. But David has gone above and beyond his own corner as a TFCO and has done invaluable work throughout the fleet to prepare for this relaunch from assisting canon in other corners, to being one of the main drivers of the ships review that is currently going on.
The second is Tia, the current Loremaster of Bravo Fleet; Tia came on board immediately during the rebuild last year and has been methodically hacking away, mostly by herself, at the forest that is Bravo Fleet canon to see what trees really stood. She has done a phenomenal job of trying to figure out what has worked, what hasn’t, what is viable in our strive to be accessible to new members, and what is making each task force the best possible product we can offer to our members. It hasn’t been an easy job, and she’s mostly been doing it alone in conjunction with the staff of each task force. We’re largely where we are today with our canon because of the efforts of Tia, and those efforts are going to carry on in the coming months.
The third is Cath, the current Chief of Staff of Bravo Fleet; Cath also came on board immediately during the rebuild last year, but she was initially the TFCO of TF72. In that role, she was specifically tasked with training someone up to take over as 72CO. She did a great job, and then when the need for a new chief of staff opened, she was the first person in mind. A little hesitant at first, once the role was explained, she was eager to jump in and learn, then put her own ideas forward and twists on how we’re doing things. She has been awesome in all aspects as chief of staff and has been a massive help in getting the BFMS ready for the relaunch in time.
Therefore, for all their hard work, dedication, and drive, I am promoting all three to the rank of Rear Admiral, effective immediately. There are many other people who were involved, and continue to be, who I plan to reward in the coming months (I have to spread the love around all year, not all at once! It isn’t easy, ya know!).
And finally, a few days ago I convened the BFA in super sekret in order to have a vote. The BFA unanimously passed my request, which required a 2/3rds majority, and I’m happy to say that our newest recipient of the Bravo Fleet Medal of Honor is Emily! The Medal of Honor is an award bestowed only to people who have had the utmost dedication and service to Bravo Fleet. Over the past year, Emily has been right at my side in all of the management and planning of Bravo Fleet and this relaunch. She’s spent many late nights working on aspects of Bravo Fleet, brainstorming with myself and other BFA members on how to create the best product for our members, how to expand, and how to ensure the long term stability of the fleet, to name a few. On top of that, she has been the sole coder for the new BFMS updates which essentially stem from me going “It needs to do this, can you make it do this and look like this” and she’ll give me a “Maybe?” and then come back 4 hours later with it doing that and looking like that. She is someone who I didn’t know my last time around in Bravo Fleet as she wasn’t yet a member, but I wish she had been. Her drive, dedication, and shared vision with me to make this relaunch possible has been incredibly helpful, and now that it is done, gratifying to see all of her work come to fruition.
Congratulations to these four, and thank you again for all of your hard work.
To all our members, thank you for joining us on this journey. If you see anything out of place or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us or your TFCO.