Incoming Transmission from Starfleet
The Priority One Fleet Project
Hello Priority One Podcast fans!
As many of our listeners are aware, Priority One Podcast decided to join ranks with many fellow STOers and form our own fleet. Our initial intention in forming this fleet was to chronicle the formation and development of our fleet so that you, our listeners, could benefit from our experiences and feedback.
Now, we are well aware that many of our members are currently in a fleet or in many cases, may even be fleet leaders. Therefore, we decided to create this monthly blog as a reference tool for all STO fleets. Please note that this blog is in no way intended as a recruitment tool for the Priority One Fleet. Since its inception, Priority One Podcast has always been grateful to serve you, our listeners, and STO players, It is our sincere wish to continue to provide all of you with the most informative and entertaining STO podcast that we can deliver.
During the coming months, we will publish blogs with subjects such as how to start a new fleet, efficient tools for managing your fleet ‘out-of game’, maintaining/growing fleet-activity, multi-faction fleets, starbase projects, etc. We hope you will find these blogs to be useful for starting and maintaining your very own fleet.
So without further “Ado” (no, that’s not the sister of DS9’s famous changeling), here is our first P1 Fleet Project Blog.
STARTING YOUR FLEET
Step one: Command Structure
“Building a solid foundation for success.”
As is the case in many endeavors, starting one’s fleet can be a daunting task. However with a bit of solid preparation and a lot of thoughtful planning, you too can create a fleet which not only fulfills your wishes, but also the short AND long-term needs of your membership base. So, before we jump into game and start begging strangers to help you register your fleet, there are some very important details to iron out so you can “hit the transporter pad running”.
Why do you really want to start a new fleet?
Is it for the bribes of gold-pressed latinum? Are you doing it so that all the Dabo girls will jump on you as you walk down the corridors of your very own starbase? Are you starting your own fleet so that you can order all your fleet members to scrub-down every EPS conduit with their sonic-plasma toothbrushes?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, you may want to reconsider. The truth is, if you want to start a new fleet, personal gain is one of the last things you will acquire in this endeavor. If you really want to start your own fleet, you are about to embark on a journey of servitude, or rather controlled servitude.
Many people start their own fleet because they have a group of real-life friends who play Star Trek Online. Others register their fleets as crossovers from other games (ie. World of Warcraft, or even some non-MMO’s). In many other cases, people start their own fleets because they’ve already been part of an existing fleet, and quite possibly, they feel they may be able to provide a better (or more successful) fleet structure. All of these reasons are not only viable, but also will have a profound impact on the way you set up your fleet.
One thing is for sure, if you’re starting your own fleet, it’s because you want to have a direct impact on the way that your affiliated fleet performs their activities both in and out of game…..but remember….you are not alone!
Deciding your fleet’s management structure.
One of the first exercises you should do is draw up your future Organizational Chart.
Obviously, on the top of your chart will be your “fleet leaders section”. Ask yourself, what kind of governing structure do you want?
A one-person dictatorship? A governing council of multiple leaders? A 100% pure-democracy?
For our power-hungry, Ferengi despots, the dictatorship structure might seem like the best option. For those Betazed players who are so focused on everyone’s feelings, an all out democracy might seem like the proper thing to do. However, with a little Picard diplomacy and a little Kirk charisma, you can hopefully combine all three under the structure of a true council.
First, if you’re starting a fleet with real-life friends, your council structure may already be decided. Also, if your crossing over to Star Trek Online from another gaming guild, then once again, your fleet structure may also be somewhat pre-determined.
However, if you’re a one-man show, trying to start a fleet from scratch I strongly recommend using various STO types of gameplay to your advantage when deciding fleet structure. Keep in mind, as you are the person who will be registering your fleet….maybe even starting a website and establishing a user forum for your new fleet, you will always be recognized as the proverbial Grand Nagus for your fleet. Still, you must be willing to delegate. Also, do you envision growing your fleet to be a large fleet or maybe a small fleet?
Star Trek Online offers many different ways to “compartmentalize” your fleet structure. For potentially large fleets, you may want to structure your fleet leaders under different factions… ie Federation/Klingon/Romulan. For smaller fleets, you may want to structure your leadership based on gameplay types… ie STF’s / PvP / Crafting-resource mgmnt. Yet another way to handle your fleet management structure might be to divide your fleet with regards to different time zones. This can be particularly useful with international fleets.
An example of a successful fleet structure:
The following is a sample org chart which you may find interesting…
Now, look at the “Fleet Leader” section…notice how the original fleet leader has “chief admin” as responsibilities. This makes him responsible for everything that is website and forums related. Obviously, as a Fleet Admiral and a founding member, he potentially has a say on anything and everything. He also has the authority to incur new fleet directives as well as influence existing fleet activities.
What’s even better is that the actual in-game activities can be managed by fellow admirals:
In this particular structure, one admiral oversees everything related to PvP and inter-fleet relations, another admirals oversees the majority of PvE action, while the third admiral oversees everything related to crafting and managing Starbase growth and production.
Notice how this structure obviously reflects three major components of the gameplay in Star Trek Online. Also, as we continue to the next step down on the org chart, notice how we become more specific with regards to responsibilities in-game. This can continue for quite some time…Let’s take the wing of “Admiral of Resource Development, for example. Reporting to this admiral are 2 people: Crafting Resource Specialist and Starbase Project Consultant. Theoretically, you could add a dilithium/energy credit manager, maybe an anomaly specialist, even some kind of disciplinary function (ie JAG). In other words, knowing that your command structure can be expanded upon is also very useful.
Remember one very important point when developing your fleet structure: If you want a successful fleet, you need to recruit and maintain active members. By properly organizing your fleet, you can address this issue quite efficiently.
Why do people join fleets? Many reasons…to make it easier to acquire goodies in-game, to make it easier to access end-game content, to complement their in-game experience with game-parallel social structure, or maybe to because they also would like to have an impact on fleet decisions which determine fleet activities in-game.
By taking the time to thoroughly develop your fleet’s structure, you are showing to all recruit candidates that you a.) have a solid plan for in-game activities and b.) virtually every member of your fleet has specific responsibilities which, in turn, helps insure an fleet-wide philosophy of inclusion and cooperation. In essence, your fleet structure can be a fantastic tool to insure that everyone in your fleet has something meaningful to do.
This greatly facilitates recruiting new members and also helps keep existing members busy with fleet-related, in-game activities….a great recipe for success.
The Priority One Fleet structure:
Now, as promised, we wanted to use the Priority One Fleet as an example to help new or existing fleets. Many fleets have their challenges. Priority One Podcast has been in service long before our recent endeavor to start a fleet. Having stated that, one of the very first things we did upon making the decision to make a “Sacrifice of Angels” and to go all “Fleetie” was to create an organizational structure. Our preference is to slowly fill positions given that our fleet is still relatively young and we want to make sure that we get to know our members a bit before throwing them into a pit of Cardassian Regnars.
Here is our current Org Chart…
As you can see, our current fleet structure addresses different, yet highly relevant facets of STO gameplay. Also, given that our fleet is still very young, our structure allows the flexibility to create new positions which would certainly require much more duty-specific responsibilities. As we continue to recruit new members as well as getting to know existing members, we will continue to create new roles within our fleet so that everyone can have a chance to participate in the growth and daily activities of our fleet.
Again, the emphasis here is to have a well-thought-out, flexible plan for your fleet. If you’re starting a new fleet, it may be wise to develop your plan before going to Earth Spacedock to register your fleet.
This way, you can start recruiting at Warp 10, instead of blowing up the proverbial “NX-Alpha”.
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