To the members of Bravo Fleet:
As we begin a new year in Bravo Fleet at the end of a very successful 2021 for our organization, I want to take the time here at the start to thank each and every one of you for making this possible. In the end, Bravo Fleet is the sum of its parts and its parts are you, the membership. Bravo Fleet is something we all do part-time to keep our mind off of things going on in our lives, to interact with others all around the globe with many shared interests, and it is easy to say that many of us are friends. So keep kicking ass, and let’s have an even better year in 2022 in our little corner of the internet!
In this report, I want to outline what we can look forward to in 2022 as a club. Over the past few years, we’ve done a lot of new things for not only Bravo Fleet, but for the Star Trek club hobby as a whole. We started doing things no one in our little niche had been doing before. Because of that, we’ve seen some exponential growth from where the fleet was when I took back over in June of 2019. Additionally, we’re seeing far more writing than Bravo Fleet has seen in many years with all of our different offerings available. We’re pushing out meaningful awards and promotions to active members, rewarding them for our time with us. We’re doing a lot. This year, I want us to focus not on revolutionizing even further. We just spent a few years doing that. This year is going to be about repeating the processes we’ve introduced and refining our ways. Getting better at all the relatively new things we do. Making ourselves the best we can be and offering everyone stuff to do throughout the year!
Starbase Bravo RPG – January 2022
One of the first big things we’re going to do is introducing a new (old?) way to write within a roleplaying system: Starbase Bravo. I’ll let the wiki article that David has already put together speak for itself:
Starbase Bravo is an ongoing open sandbox for members of Bravo Fleet. Open to everyone (pending completion of the New Member Program), this space is meant to provide people with an opportunity to write character development stories and organic plots to their hearts’ content, without relying on direct game manager intervention like a traditional RPG. Members start off in entry-level enlisted and junior officer roles and gain access to higher level positions by posting with others. The more Duty Ribbons you earn on Starbase Bravo, the greater access to ranks and positions you earn. Though meant primarily as a collaborative writing space, this is also a place where members may write solo stories about junior officers, though those posts do not count towards their advancement within the sandbox.
It will essentially be a continually ongoing, perpetual open sandbox RPG. We’re hoping it’ll be the first of many, and that the ones that follow may be far more open than Starbase Bravo will be at launch. I don’t want to give away too much right now, but expect to see an announcement from David on this and a launch sometime in January 2022!
First Campaign – February 2022
Last year we had our first-ever Campaign, the Archanis Campaign. Archanis was a huge success for Bravo Fleet, and we had loads of people writing even more loads of words. This year, we’d like to run another. The story is likely to be something a little closer to home, and a lot more… Trek! Right now we’re looking at running it in February-ish. The first Campaign ran for 10 weeks and turned into a bit of a marathon and there was some noticeable burnout by the end. This time around, we’ve been discussing perhaps a bit shorter, more focused of a Campaign. Look for more information on that as the time gets closer.
Fleet Action – Summer 2022
Our second annual Fleet Action, Echoes of the Tkon, was also a resounding success. But we also learned a lot of lessons related to it. This year we would like to run the Fleet Action much earlier in the summer so that it’s also ending in summer. With that in mind, similar to the Campaign, there was noticeable burnout towards the end of the EOTT which was almost 2.5 months long by the end. This time around we’re likely to have shorter phases or fewer of them. We aren’t sure which yet… could be both! We’re also looking to target a much more streamlined storyline to allow the writers who are partaking in massive amounts of wordsmithing to have a more focused path to take towards the end, narratively. Look for more information start to come out about this years Fleet Action around the start of Q2 2022.
Second Campaign – Fall 2022
Well, if we’re having a “first Campaign” that means we have to have a second! Yup! Right now the Lore Office is gearing up this year to actually have two Campaigns by the end of the year. Similar to the first one in size and scope, the second will take place sometime in the Fall of 2022. This Campaign will also be the end of our triple hit for the year for big events, and how we’ll essentially close out the year!
Other “Quick” Hits
- The Bravo Fleet map is something that has gone through many iterations in the past. Since I joined Bravo Fleet, there have probably been at least 20 Official versions of the Bravo Fleet map, and it seems like it gets remade at least once a year. But those maps are graphical in origination, requiring a graphics artist and a .PSD file and a lot of energy to go into them. The current one was made by KyleB, who I can attest to him having to put many hours into completing it for Bravo Fleet. One of the things I’ve been wanting to do, and Emily and I have talked about doing, is having an interactive map. Without getting into too much detail about how it works and such, the idea is that you’ll be able to scroll through an interactive browser map and click on various points of interest, objects, planets, etc and tie into/link to their corresponding BF wiki articles! The database can be updated by multiple people and will reflect the ongoing changes in Star Trek and/or Bravo Fleet canon. This is something we’d tentatively like to launch over Summer 2022.
- When the Action Medal tiers were originally developed for competition awards, the idea behind them was that you would win the tier of the award that was reflective of the “audience” that was available to participate in the award. First tier was fleet-wide, second tier was TF-wide, and third tier was TG-wide. Since the competition system went into place we have only had fleet-wide competitions resulting in two of our Action Medals never being awarded even once! Because of that reality, the OCS has recently deployed an announcement in their year-end report which has updated the tiering for the new year based on the “level” of the person creating and judging them. This will purely be something that the OCS has to track, and nothing that the general membership needs to track in running or submitting to a competition, just something to be aware of. The new tiers are as follows:
- Tier 1 competitions created and judged by the Bravo Fleet Senior Staff.
- Tier 2 competitions created and judged by members from Bravo Fleet Command.
- Tier 3 competitions created and judged by Bravo Fleet Members.
- Our numbers have been steadily increasing for membership all year. When we implemented the AWOL system, we were able to vacate non-active members out of task forces and allow task force staff to better focus on members who are active. We’re still bringing in several new members per week. If we keep up our current rate and are able to retain much of our active membership we have now, I anticipate we’ll have to open at least one new task force this year. My ideal number for a task force size is about 30-ish, give or take. Once our current task forces all start pushing 40, we’ll look at a new task force. A new task force will also open up new opportunities for members who are looking to move up and be more involved as a leader. I can’t say when, or even if for certain that will happen, but it is something on my radar for 2022!
- I have recently informed the rest of the Senior Staff that I will be seeking to renew my term as Bravo Fleet Commanding Officer in June of 2022 for another year. There are still some projects I want to see through (map!) and I want to continue to repeat, refine, and acclimate everyone to the processes Bravo Fleet has in place now. I also informed them that this will likely be the last term that I seek. By the time that term ends, I will have been BFCO again for another 4 years. When I first took over, I didn’t even want the job. Many of you have heard that I was literally the last person in line (by my own design, hehe) to be asked when the time came. I felt that if I had said no, at the time, there was no one else. I took that opportunity to really change things in Bravo Fleet, and I’d like to say and think that it has been for the better, and Bravo Fleet has greatly improved as a result. At the very least, I can leave knowing that Bravo Fleet is a far less toxic place than it has been in any year past. However, 4 years is a long time to be doing something. Also, I have to ask myself how much I have left in the tank for changes, innovation, and keeping things fresh. I think for leadership in what we do, being able to come up with new ideas and new things to do is important at keeping members engaged. If, at the end of that term, I think I have more to bring to the table, I’ll evaluate it in my decision. That’s a problem for a year and a half down the road…