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Discussion Bridge Officer Radios - Security channel?

Discussion in 'Suggestions & Feedback' started by SierraKomodo, Sep 13, 2020.

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  1. SierraKomodo

    SierraKomodo Command Keyword Detected Developer

    So, bridge officer radio access is in a bit of an odd, inconsistent spot right now. On the one hand, the bridge officer's encryption key only has access to command, exploration, and engineering. On the other hand, due to specific access flags on their ID cards, bridge officers can also access the supply, service, and security channels on any shortwave radio or intercom - Which is commonly used by basically every bridge officer regular to always be on the security channel.

    I want to remove this inconsistency, by doing one of two things:

    A: Remove the bridge officer's ability to access radio channels they don't have on their encryption keys
    B: Adding the radio channels they can set shortwaves to to their encryption keys.

    There's already a PR up from another person proposing removing the security channel access, but I want to take a more thorough approach and merge that with my upcoming plans to overhaul how accessing radio channels works in general.

    So, what do you lot think - Remove the channels from shortwaves or add them to the encryption keys?
  2. SierraKomodo

    SierraKomodo Command Keyword Detected Developer

    Side note, general admin consensus is to just give bridge officers all channels so that's going to be the likely outcome - But if anyone has any arguments against that I'm open to listen.
  3. Kozak411

    Kozak411 Chef

    The role of bridge officers, when they aren't piloting, is mainly to assist the XO and CO in coordinating departments and relaying information - this is why some frequently XO and CO mains dish out their spare headsets to BOs. Removing the security channel from their shortwaves doesn't do anything but hurt their ability to do their jobs, especially when XOs and COs aren't awake, and in the end doesn't really accomplish much of anything if the BO will end up with access from the Captain/Commander anyways.
  4. Kozak411

    Kozak411 Chef

    Giving BOs all channels, on the other hand, facilitates better communication and will, imo, make the role seem more respectable to the many people who shit on our "Bridge Bunnies". The only thing I'd worry about is that Staff Heads have access to the BO lockers currently - there's very little stopping an overzealous Lieutenant from nicking an all-access headset if those are made to spawn in the BO lockers.
  5. Kozak411

    Kozak411 Chef

    A final note; BO is sort-of the "trainee command" job right now. While I'm all for giving BOs more appropriate access and radio channels, giving the trainee role too much could encourage some less than desirable play that could effect command in the long term.
  6. Albens

    Albens Sol Gov Pilot

    Before I answer this, I'd like to point people to a thread we had a while ago.
    My post, here is of use aswell.

    Something I've said elsewhere;
    Some quotes from the thread in question;
    I've refined my viewpoint since this time;
    Bridge Officers are the direct and immediate delegates of Command.
    Their job is to facilitate the will of Executive Command.
    Every action is done under someone else's Authority.
    They do this by;
    Informing Executive Command of Ship status, information, and situations.
    Facilitating departments with information and orders as dictated to them by Executive Command.
    Performing specific, actionable tasks as dictated onto them by Executive Command.
    And, one very misunderstood role of high importance;
    Formulating plans, coordinating responses, and alleviating workload off of Executive Command under the capabilities and initiative of the Bridge Officers on a specific player basis, based on their competence and level of skill.

    Our current system where the BO's have to grovel to One or Two specific Command players, who uncommonly often have brought their own agenda to the CO/XO slot, believing it acceptable to force their IC-interpretation of another person's job as the definitive version of that slot- for the remainder of the round they picked CO/XO.
    Simply said; it's unfair to the 3 players who picked Bridge Officers to have their enjoyment of the round killed by a player with an agenda in an Executive role, who demands they become ornamental for the next two and a half hours.

    What do I believe should happen?
    This above point is the pendulum in action; if we do not maintain Bridge Officer's balance now, it will swing back the other way, in due time, and go further.

    BO's should get every net but Security and Medical.
    Command, Exploration, Engineering, Science, Supply, and Service.
    These are all channels of low-skill, that allow a new Bridge Officer to refine their skills and capability by delegating, facilitating, and coordinating basic duties under a low-stress environment.

    We must enable high-skill play from Bridge Officers, but not expect it. Doing so will kill the role, in time.
    Security and Medicals keys are to be placed into an access-locked locker or box, on the Bridge or in each locker; a BO of competence may only need to grab the box/locker, go to any Line Officer, and request they unlock it.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  7. Albens

    Albens Sol Gov Pilot

    As an addendum, the above needs to consider the below.
    BO's that are not ornamental, and can function, but who were unable to be empowered by Executive Command is a likely better alternative than BO's empowering themselves and acting outside of what is acceptable.
  8. Albens

    Albens Sol Gov Pilot

    Going to preempt a common response;
    Having Bridge Officers on "your" net does not undermine your authority, or ability to lead a department.

    They are there because they were empowered by Executive Command.
    So they could do as Executive Command wants.
    Under the Authority of Executive Command.
    They are either; Facilitating the flow of information, or implementing what Executive Command wants done. (Under their authority)

    If you have issues with BO's actually undermining your authority or ability to lead, it is either because; Executive Command instructed them to do so (as is their right)
    or they're being naughty and it shouldnt reflect on the whole slot.
  9. Hunter Martin

    Hunter Martin Bartender

    I really don't see any reason to give them the extra channels, or really more than just command.

    A MAA needs to relay something to command, they could either tell their boss (COS) who raises it to command, or they repeat it in security hoping that a BO is there to elevate it to command.

    If a department needs to relay something to someone else in another department, they've got
    1. General.
    2. Emails.
    3. Holocalls.
    4. Snail mail.
    5. Two legs and a pager.
    If a Captain needs to delegate something, there's no need for them to delegate it to an XO to delegate it to a BO to delegate it to a head of staff. I have a supervisor for my supervisor at my workplace, but the manager is literally down a single hall from my work station. Even then: The head of the ship is just a Captain, it'd be another thing if the head of the ship were the Commandant of the Expeditionary Corps or Secretary-General, but they really are just a manager with fancy buttons, and there's a smaller gap in them speaking to the head of a department or the XO doing so than either to a BO (Captain: O-6, Head of Staff: O-3. Hell, the same amount of medical outranks you as there are below your rank).

    If you did need to pass something down, it's less efficient or smart to do it with BOs than yourself, just check to see how many mechanics and events are obscured by people telling you what they heard from a person who was playing in a different department heard from a person it happened to and found relevant enough to summarize in OOC or the Discord.

    Really, I see a lot of parallels between the BO, CL, SEA, and AI, in that their real job is to facilitate RP with a section of the crew, and most of their gameplay mechanics are concepts another person with actual authority should probably be doing instead. They get a degree of power and a wealth of complaints, wherein the defense is typically "Well, I play them right!"

    Ideally, BOs are there to give the Captain and Commander some company in the bridge, and prevent them from needing to add three tablets to their loadout to keep-up with the events on the ship. Giving them more power than that is really just taking either agency or interaction from other players.
  10. antonkr

    antonkr Sol Gov Pilot

    Some comments as a longtime CO main.
    Firstly it’s obviously a balance. Swing too much in one direction and BOs go over the heads of senior enlisted in departments such as security and order silly things. Swing too much to where we are right now and BOs become useful for the first 20 mins and then go to cryo. Personally I’d prefer the formal because it is easily corrected IC. Frankly if I had the option of giving every single one of my BOs full access at round start Id do it too. Lockboxes tor some keys are an ok idea but I personally see myself opening them for everyone that requests under the pretense of loyally trusting all of my BOs, or the second it hits blue.
  11. Hubblenaut

    Hubblenaut Research Director

    My personal opinion on this is that communication between command and departments should, if possible, always be made through the department head. When Bridge Officers try to directly give orders and effectively bypass the presence of a department head, it'll be just, or even more so, confusing as the XO or CO trying to give direct orders.

    That said though, time has shown that a lot of Bridge Officers will handle their access to more comms responsibly and use it foremost to gather information from different channels to update the XO and CO with what is going on.
    In case of a department head not being active, it has also been shown to be efficient to place one of the BOs in the department's head place to act as a communication bridge between command and departments.

    I ultimately don't think that even stripping the Bridge Officers of their radio access will change a lot though, as XOs and COs will hand out their spare headsets to them if they prefer to use the Bridge Officers as departmental communication pieces. My only real concern is what was mentioned above by Kozak already, which is that spare headsets in the Bridge Officer's lockers would be accessable by any head. Maybe Bridge Officers will finally require their own access type.
  12. Gysilian

    Gysilian Assistant

    I'm not into forums usually nor contributting to game development but this subject interests and influences my and probably of much more other people's gameplay. I am and this is the view of a CoS main for information.

    In my opinion, as they are now, bridge officers are assistants to command for day-to-day matters and to execute simple actions like announcements.
    The time I played shuttle pilot (for about 15 rounds non-stop), bridge officers were my main interlocutor with command and the bridge. I imagine deck technicians also call to them about questions requiring command. They are the main interlocutor and liaison of the bridge to the exploration and supply departments. Those department possess an atypical chain of command (with pathfinder in practice leading exploration and deck chief supply) and do not have a direct access to the bridge if it wasn't for bridge officers. I think that removing exploration and supply from their accessible channels would be a mistake, leaving those departments without anyone else on the bridge than CO and XO. I support them having access to non-emergency department channels (exploration, supply, service, science) to handle day-to-day business on the behalf of the senior staff.
    In the best of world, bridge officers would respect the chain of command and know when it is right to overstep it. The departments that answer to emergency situations (engineering, medical and security) are mainly managed and directly ordered (my experience in security) by their heads. I do not think it it worth somehow corrupting and adding clouds to the bridge officer role by adding them those comms channels and possibly leading them (bridge officer is a training role for command players) to believe they are to order those departments. I am not entirely sure about engineering channel because it is an emergency department too that mostly manages itself but in the same time is directly linked to Torch's movement capabilities. If a bridge officer is competent, I think it is best to allow (by CO or XO) them a more complete access to ship comms than making it a generality that in much cases only lead to chain of command violations in the name of speed or efficiency or whatever. Bridge officers overstepping chain of command is something I do not wish to deal with more than already and that can be easily avoided by Albens' idea of allowing CO, XO and heads to provide bridge officers with a complete comms access when it is necessary and if they are competent. Bridge officers somehow needing medical and security comms access to assist command on an extended or even light antag round is a myth because those departments do not need so much command officers even to relay information. If a medic or security is required right now, common comms exist and are faster than heads or even BOs as information relay.
    So I think Albens' idea of enabling good play from bridge officers without forcing it is a good idea. Give bridge officers comms of service departments and let the senior staff (which is often teacher of bridge officers) decide if it is appropriate to give them more, emergency departments comms.

    Edit: Fixing a visible and evident flaw such as having security access and more on shortwaves without the encryption keys in headsets is not forcing a viewpoint into a gameplay, it is correcting what is already visibly decided. Otherwise give them the keys.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  13. SierraKomodo

    SierraKomodo Command Keyword Detected Developer

    So I've read over everything, but just want to mention - Spookerton's told me we're not giving BO's access to all channels, which means the end result will either be giving security to BO headsets or stripping security comms from them entirely.
  14. Kozak411

    Kozak411 Chef

    Our BO mains will end up with security comms either way; I'd sooner say give it to all of them and then correct poor play than punish everyone for poor play.
  15. Deadmon_Wonderland

    Deadmon_Wonderland Game Administrator Unathi Species Maintainer Laser Tag 2019 Participant

    So the thing is that when you're playing Captain and XO, having access to every channel means a lot gets lost through the cracks. Having BOs that can sit and listen to information helps with both the Captain and XO not needing to monitor the chat every waking moment.

    While I think that the shortwave restriction is fine, it's essentially a loophole that should get fixed. That being said. I think there stands a argument that BOs should have access to all channels. At the same time it stands to argue that they don't need access. I think it would be best if their radios stayed the same, though adding service and supply wouldn't be the end times. XO and CO giving all access at their discretion is imo the best way to go about this though I wouldn't be opposed to them having all comms either.
  16. Ithalan

    Ithalan Senior Enlisted Advisor

    Instead of giving the BOs access to the channels on headsets and handhelds, maybe just stick intercoms for those channels on the bridge? It'd reinforce the Bridge's role as the ship's communication hub too, rather than just being the place where the ship is piloted from and a convenient collection of consoles. BOs can monitor and/or coordinate on those channels then, but they have to actually be on the bridge to do it.
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