2021 Address

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State of the Federation Address
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2021 State of the Federation Address


Hello, friends and fellow simmers, to 2021’s State of the Federation Address. We leave behind 2020’s tumult and uncertainty, and we look -- as always -- to the bright beacon of Star Trek’s hopeful future.

In character, it’s now 2398, which means that a new century is almost upon our characters. The canon Star Trek universe has been busy as well, with the first seasons of two new series (Picard and Lower Decks) and the third of Discovery now behind us. We’re living in the midst of a Star Trek renaissance, with more to come, and it’s one of the most exciting times to be a simmer with Starbase 118.

2021 is our 28th continuous year of operation. That’s an incredibly impressive achievement -- when the first Starbase 118 sims happened in 1994, Star Trek: Voyager had not yet begun to air. Now, twenty years after Voyager’s crew returned to the Alpha Quadrant in the Star Trek universe, our characters continue to boldly go where no one has gone before.

2020 was a year of growth and transformation for the Starbase 118 fleet, as ships, crews, and commanders both new and experienced launched for new adventures. Our group awards in the summer were the biggest yet, and we gave out the first 25-year member award to our group’s founder, Fleet Admiral Wolf. Speaking of the summer months, the Starbase 118 fleet recorded its greatest sim rates this year, which you can read more about below. The motivation and dedication of the whole fleet is certainly a force to be reckoned with.

However, 2020 was also an incredibly difficult year for many, with many of our simmers affected by global lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, political turmoil, local and international protests regarding white supremacy and additional civil rights violations, and more. The year at large was one of the most divisive in recent memory, and yet the Starbase 118 fleet continued to serve as a safe and supportive haven for our diverse, global membership. We persevered through some monumental struggles and stand ready for what challenges the new year brings.

-- Tony/Commodore Aron Kells

A Look Back at 2020


Despite the ongoing issues there are around the world, 2020 has been a successful year for the fleet. We launched two new crews, welcomed back former commanding officers to new posts, and launched newly designed ships. Our fleet is flying strong now, complete with ten ships and installations, and a healthy spread of crew across our community. Let's take a closer look at what happened in 2020:

  • We kicked off the year in some style by smashing our donations goal for both 2020 and 2021 in one fell swoop in March. If you'd like to know where we are at the moment in the drive, have a look!
  • Everyone fell victim to the April Fool's prank launched by Fleet Captain Roshanara Rahman - Red Alert: The Starbase 118 Miniatures Game! following great sadness that it wasn't real.
  • The Embassy of Duronis II — after nine years of simming — concluded their story and transitioned to the USS Thor.
  • Fleet Captain Aron Kells returned to command the crew and vessel USS Thor.
  • During May, we opened up award ceremony nominations all year round for submissions to encourage higher participation from crews.
  • We had a record participation in a very special 2020 Writing Challenge, to which we congratulated Commander Geoffrey Teller for his winning submission!
  • In June, we celebrated the 2020 Awards Ceremony, a yearly festival of exciting awards given to nominated members of the fleet and each crew, including a spectacular award of 25-year Length of Service to Fleet Admiral Tristan Wolf.
  • The crew of the USS Eagle bid farewell to the Intrepid class vessel and moved operation to the much anticipated USS Juneau, remaining under the command of Captain Oddas Aria.
  • The USS Arrow, under the leadership of Commander Randal Shayne was commissioned and launched in July.
  • Fleet Captain Kali Nicholotti returned to launch the USS Resolution, drawing volunteer crew from vessels throughout the fleet.
  • October brought with it the 10th Annual Halloween Avatar Contest, with the USS Gorkon winning for the third year in a row, and the USS Arrow coming in second for their first year debut.
  • The USS Atlantis was decommissioned at the end of the month, and the fleet launched the USS Chin'toka as Captain Mei'konda returned to command.

For their continued efforts in delivering excellence to each of the ships under their command and the wider fleet in all the out of character work they do, we also saw a number of commanding officers receive promotions in 2020. Jalana Rajel of the Constitution-B, Sal Taybrim of Ops, Aron Kells of Thor, and Quinn Reynolds of the Gorkon completed their five-year mission, and received their promotion to Commodore. Congratulations to them!

In recognition for his dedication to the fleet, Commodore Aron Kells resumed his seat on the Executive Council. Fleet Captain Roshanara Rahman took up the position of Executive Council Magistrate, and Captain Oddas Aria was appointed Captain-at-Large.

We also bid farewell to Rear Admiral Toni Turner, who after a long career and dedicated simming history, retired in April 2020.

Simming

Sim counts were a little troublesome this year following Google’s decision to abandon the ability users to track post counts through Google Groups. To counter this, Captain Oddas Aria created the Starbase 118 Statistics Generator, allowing each ship to continue accurately tracking their post numbers -- the tool was dubbed Project Aria in development, and we profusely thank Captain Oddas. The tool began more accurately tracking our sim count in July and continues to be invaluable as we begin simming in 2021.

The data line below describes a story you may be familiar with, as the consistently high sim count begins roughly the same time as many lockdowns for COVID-19 worldwide. It is possible this is responsible for our longest consecutive run of high sim averages ever, occurring across April, May, June, and July. However, we ultimately saw a steep decline for August and September.

2020-sims-month-average-year.png

The fleet averaged 208 sims per month in 2021, making it our best year of sim quantities in the last five years. Thank you to everyone who stuck with us during these difficult times.

Applications, Training and Placements

Though the application rate for the fleet is lower than most years, we saw an improvement from 2019. Further, this year proved to be our most successful year with regard to the percentage of applicants who graduated and were placed on vessels or installations.

2020-applications-and-graduates-per-year.png

The fleet saw an average of 11 applicants to the fleet per month. Of the 129 applications submitted this year, 91 cadets graduated and were placed. The fleet concluded the year with a 71% average pass rate, which exceeds the standard Academy goal of a 60% yearly pass rate.

Taskforces

We ask each fleet ship and taskforce to report in with an update on how they did for the year which includes questions about challenges, accomplishments, and goals for next year. Below, you’ll find the retrospective information for each taskforce in 2020. It is important to recognise just how long this list of taskforces is, and how much we’re engaging our members and helping our future staff develop skills. It’s quite an accomplishment and cements the fact that we are a community and not just a game.

Training Team

This team is perhaps the most important in the fleet. All prospective members undergo a week-long training mission before they’re placed aboard a ship or installation in the fleet, so the effect that the Training Team can have on all new members, and therefore the fleet, is significant.

While classes have run smoothly, COVID has had a major impact on further development of the training team. Last year's development goals of creating additional small class scenarios, auditing participation quarterly, and investigating fresh ways to deliver training feedback went unfulfilled. We were unable to recruit additional statisticians during the year, and we are down to one member of the statistician team.

Some trainers failing to meet their volunteering obligations (all trainers agree to volunteer for one class a month) continue to persist, though it has improved since the last SOFTA. The abrupt departure of Captain Thoran caused minor disruption and has reduced the number of commandants available to oversee classes to three. Fleet LOAs and departures over the year have shrunk the training team roster; while we have still been able to staff most classes on the first volunteer call, a core of trainers are being called on several weeks in a row.

The change to Discord channels earlier in the year resulted in cadets being given inappropriate/inaccurate advice by some members of the fleet, causing some confusion in cadets which training team members had to remedy.

  • Cadet feedback on the training program was overwhelmingly positive.
    • 98% of cadets rate their application response time as fast or good.
    • 98% of cadets rate their training wait time as acceptable
    • 100% of cadets considered their training officers engaging and helpful
    • 94% of cadets considered the tutorials helpful preparation for simming, the remaining 6% were returning members who considered them a helpful refresher.
    • 100% of cadets rated staff contact as at least one of the following: great, courteous or efficient. 97% rated it as all three.
    • 97% of cadets considered training fun and educational.

Some selected feedback comments are:

  • "I was really grateful for the support that I received. Especially with my falter in my confidence. It can be pretty daunting to push yourself out of your comfort zone, especially with limited knowledge in the matter at hand. But when I stumbled, the training officer was there to support me."
  • "The training staff was excellent! I appreciate their interest in the class's preparation and students, and their participation in the sim. By writing alongside the students, they created an environment where the students could learn from their tips, tutorials, and by their example."
  • "The staff chosen for the training were very helpful and approachable. The professional and pleasant interaction throughout the training was certainly noteworthy."
  • "The training team and the other volunteer members that played as Cadets were simply amazing. The staff was so welcoming on discord as well, unlike other groups."
  • The training team was able to pivot to accommodate large numbers of cadets in the middle of the year, coping with large and/or multiple classes in a week.
  • Turnover in the team remains relatively small, with the primary reason for people leaving the team due to absence from the fleet rather than the team itself.
  • The team retired the role of Cadet Steward role for lack of use. Not a training team achievement, but a reflection of excellent support and mentoring programs aboard ships, as newly graduated ensigns no longer reach out to the steward.

The Training Team is always recruiting and is open primarily to members who are ranked as lieutenant commanders and promising full lieutenants. If you are interested in joining the Training Team, speak with your commanding officer!

The (Image) Collective

This team handles the creation and manipulation of all images that StarBase 118 uses, from character portraits to ship banners to new badges and awards.

The Image Collective’s primary challenge was regular participation of our members responding and tracking image requests, especially those sent through means other than the forums (such as DMs). We have set up a Discord bot to scrape the request forum and post to Discord when an additional request has been submitted. Once a request is complete, that thread is archived; thus only unanswered requests show in the main request forum. This makes it easier to tell if any requests have gone unanswered.

Further, we set up a tracking channel in Discord for our members to post their work, regardless of the source of the request. This also helps us ensure our watermark and logo are present on all image requests, and acting as a source of inspiration for our artists.

  • We started a Trello board to track projects with the group, especially larger projects like updating ship logos.
  • Ran a roll call of the group, pruning members who were inactive, no longer with the group, or wished to resign. The current active roster stands at 8 (including facilitators).
  • Alieth has graciously offered to take up the management of our DeviantART profile, uploading select projects to enhance visibility for the group, to massive effect.

Federation News Service

The Federation News Service (FNS) continues as a successful spinoff of our community, helping to create a shared universe of stories that reflect 118 canon and may be used by simming groups around the world.

The Federation News Service team’s primary challenge for 2020 was to create a routine posting schedule and improve our efficiency in how we edit articles. While we had a dramatic increase in membership in 2019, it wasn’t sustainable, and we have drastically cut back on our active members to those who contribute to the running of the team regularly. While we planned for multiple plot arcs to kick off during the year, we couldn’t sustain the momentum behind a plot to keep it running through the first half of the year, and with a huge backlog of articles to schedule, it seemed counterproductive to continue to add to the growing pile.

With that in mind, we made a conscious effort to edit our existing stock of articles, increase our efficiency of editing the monthly mission reports, and create a monthly reliable posting schedule for the site. We achieved this goal and we’re happy with the result.

Recognising we also required some topics to be discussed in real-time, we set up a channel for the team in Discord under the Taskforces. This has helped us flesh out articles and talk about projects we’d like to run while opening up the floor to those who aren’t part of the FNS but have good ideas they want to contribute. We’ve also used this as a broadcast channel for our contributors to know when articles are scheduled to be posted.

Recently, we have also started a Trello board to keep track of our ongoing projects and new article submissions. Editing and drafts will still go through to the Google Groups as well, but assigning tasks will be easier in Trello and we can implement checklists, monitor due dates and sequencing, and coordinate more efficiently with team members.

  • Achieved 12 months of regular posting of one article per week to the FNS primary site.
  • Trained 2 x new regular editors for the FNS monthly ship reports.
  • Achieved 12 months of on-time, delivered edited FNS monthly ship reports to the News site and cross posted to the FNS site.
  • Implemented a new badge recognition program separating Editing from Writing and awarded badges accordingly to those who had achieved them already. Kept up-to-date records of contributions for 12 months.
  • Encouraged article writing from all members by opening up discussions on existing articles, a Discord channel for the team, and regular updates to posting schedules.

Wiki Operations and Administrators

Wiki Ops handles the ongoing maintenance and improvement of our wiki. While everyone is welcome and encouraged to edit and contribute, the Wiki Ops team curates and helps make the experience more enjoyable and streamlined for all. The Administrators of the wiki are those members who have sysop rights on the wiki. Admins are generally tasked with keeping everything in order on the wiki and ensuring that there is no vandalism or inappropriate posting.

The wiki struggled to maintain interest in long-term projects over the course of 2020. While Wiki Operations and Admins have been frequently powered by four individuals, it was difficult to encourage a large, stable group of editors to engage with wiki activities and updates. This may be due to the impact of COVID-19.

Wiki Admin and Ops were unable to create guidelines regarding wiki vandalism, which would have addressed the blanking of pages.

Wiki Admins discovered a functional error with the many divisions available in the 2019 Crew History template used by the fleet universally. To correct this error, one of the attempted fixes involved having to remove individual pages documenting Diplomacy or Intelligence divisions, which often only listed three or four officers over a five-year period — they were merged under ship Command divisions, but given separate subheadings. To prevent long hours attempting to fix templates to include the vast array of colours and headers, further variations to the red, blue, gold, green, and grey roster headers and pips/collars will not be specifically supported from 2021 onward. While our current Crew History template now allows for all colours and labels without issue, we cannot guarantee new templates will include this feature. Purple, white, black, etc. collars or crew history headers will no longer be supported by new pip/collar and crew history templates. Going forward, Wiki Ops and Admins officially recognise Intelligence and Diplomacy duty posts coloured as Command Red. Medical/Counselling and Science must utilise a single blue colour but may keep their separate headings. Engineering, Operations, and Marines remain unchanged. Please understand, this is to save us many unnecessary hours of breaking templates to fix templates.

Over 2020, the combined efforts of Wiki Ops and Admins allowed us to:

  • Re-establish the Featured Articles section of the wiki for the use of general membership. Players may now nominate any article of their choosing and require three supporting wiki users to promote to Featured Article status. The first Featured Article of 2020 was The Shoals.
  • An initiative led by Wiki Operations resulted in the categorisation of approximately 1,400 pages and files.
  • To combat the removal of the Image Collective watermark, all images by the Image Collective are uploaded and afforded their own category, so Wiki Admins can verify potential image re-uploads.
    • Enlarged the instruction not to crop attributions from images on the file uploader. It is now impossible for users to miss.
  • Began updates to the Intelligent Lifeform Index pages. This includes:
    • Replacing old images (often sourced from the 1990s) with new image manipulations from talented members, The (Image) Collective, or new Star Trek media such as Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Lower Decks.
    • Adding simmed encounters and sourcing sims with the referencing tool.
    • Adding information sourced from new Star Trek media or Memory Alpha/Beta with referencing.
  • A new Crew History template was created so it functions more like the crew roster navs. This allows for all combinations of subdivision pages and colours. See how it functions here.
  • Added two players to the Power User group.
  • Wiki Event player achievements were created to encourage users to participate in the wiki. This has seen the creation of four achievements (sometimes achievable only within a time limit set by Wiki Ops) that relate to:
    • Categorisation
    • Adding information to articles needing expansion
    • Participating in Featured Article discussion
  • Wiki Operations are pleased to announce the arrival of the Star Trek: Picard rank pip set, available to all ships and officers for all rosters, professional history pages, and character bios.
  • Released 118Wiki:Edit Summaries to help users leave appropriate edit summaries.
  • Created the @tf.wiki role on Discord for use by the general membership. This role will allow members interested in wiki activities to receive pings by Wiki Operations regarding new initiatives.
  • Released 118Wiki:Frequently Asked Questions, which will cover the basic wiki questions for new members upon arrival.

Appreciations

To celebrate the continued quality of the community and share with a wider audience, we have renamed the Top Sims Contest to Appreciations. As there is no team assigned to this, a general overview is provided.

  • As with all things that change over the past year, the Appreciations once had a Discord group with a feed from the forums dropping links into this, however, they gained little traction. Changing the feed to post directly into the #officers-club Discord channel mushroomed the attention and traction posts to Appreciations get, and are shared amongst the wider community. This has seen a sustained and lasting increase in the number of posts made into the Appreciations.
  • In 2020, Appreciations received 211 submissions of appreciated sims and appraisals for quotes from our game.

Community News Team (a.k.a. Newsies)

This team compiles and publishes the weekly newsletter that all active members receive. With two active members, it’s also one of our smallest teams.

  • Current Facilitator: Commodore Sal Taybrim
  • Active members: 3

Keeping more writers active long term proved to be the biggest challenge for the Newsies team this year. Most news team writers are active for only 1-3 months and then go AWOL from the team. We also have some members who only wish to write articles and interviews for their ship and will go silent after they have completed those articles.

We now have an active Trello board and created new templates to cover a variety of standard articles, which makes the article writing process much easier for new members.

Department of Veterans Affairs (DoVA)

This team addresses the concerns of longer-term members (that is, those who have moved beyond the rank of ensign) with a focus on the satisfaction and retention of those members.

As with most things in 2020, the challenges of real life seemed to have had an effect with scarce activity on the team. Of the three 2020 goals, none reached completion. However, other issues and proposals were discussed.

Three proposals/ideas were discussed: a proposal for a "support fleet" akin to maintaining a reserve of dedicated players who could be called upon to populate an NPC ship, a command school for commander and captain training, and offering a pathway for members who want to support the fleet as staff members but cannot or do not want to become captains.

Community History Team

This team is dedicated to ensuring that they preserve the long history of our community. Primarily, that work now takes place on the wiki, though they have a great wealth of sources to draw from, including old groups, past sims, the forums, defunct sites, and interviews with current and past members.

The Community History Team struggled with direction, but rebuilt enthusiasm in the 2020s latter months. The team will seek more members to tackle the large workload in the coming year. This year, the Community History Team:

  • Started working on a new fleet-wide OOC community history project, which will cover things like ship de/commissions, Captain and First Officer assignments/personnel changes, major awards issued, fleet-wide campaigns and storylines, and more. Lieutenant Commander Genkos Adea has been instrumental in getting this spreadsheet started, and we will soon call upon other members of the Fleet to help fill in gaps.
  • Continued issues with the functionality of the archive has made it difficult for members to compile and complete crew histories, but we have suggested several changes which we believe will make it much more user-friendly.
  • Completion of crew/award histories for the following ships:
  • Compiled 2020 awards
  • Added writer IDs to our spreadsheet of award winners

Chat Team

This team is responsible for putting on monthly chats, including special chats.

  • Current Facilitator: Lieutenant Commander Serala
  • Assistant Facilitators: Fleet Admiral Tristan Wolf
  • Active Members: 2

The biggest challenge the Chat Team has had this year was member participation. There are only a few members listed on the roll, and of those, only two have been active since August. When Commodore (then FltCapt) Sal Taybrim stepped down after the Trivia Chat in July, Lt Cmdr Serala and Capt. Theo Whittaker stepped up to be co-facilitators of the team. Two other junior members joined, but neither of them has been active since joining. Capt. Whittaker has recently filed an LOA, leaving Serala running the team with input from FltAdm. Wolf. This is going to be the primary focus of the facilitator over the next year: involving the entire team and keeping them engaged in team activities, especially since this was one goal for 2020, which was to keep 5 members on the team.

Another of the team's goals was to hold three (3) special events, including the Annual Trivia Challenge, a Watch-Along, and one other event. The team held three events, with the third being another Watch-Along, though the team is exploring other ideas for the third event in 2021.

The third goal set last year was to ensure that we covered all communications bases each month, and the team could easily meet this goal thanks to the Trello board set up by Flt.Adm Wolf for just this purpose.

  • The Chat Team had a very successful Trivia Chat this year, including images that had to be identified. One challenge that was addressed was how to relate these images to visually impared members while not giving away clues. This was addressed by relating information to the contestant(s) in a separate message.
  • The team held two Watch-Events, one in March and one in September.

Poll of the Week Team

Poll of the Week has been a source of intriguing inquiries, ponderous proposals and thought-provoking examinations. Though the team has transformed over the years, the goal has remained the same; continue to create questions that spark thought, debate, or ideas that might not have occurred otherwise. Sometimes, the polls simply ask for preference (“What was your favourite episode in season X of Star Trek and why?”).

  • The team saw an increase of interest from the fleet and increase of members this year, swelling the numbers to four active members, or once per week of the month, making rotational posting and coming up with new ideas a little easier on the team.
    • This met our goal in 2020 to increase numbers from 2 to 4.
    • Scheduling is now done on a rotation, with a reminder email going out to each of the active participants when it’s their week to contribute (on Mondays). Posts should be uploaded to Trello by Monday/Tuesday, ready to post on Wednesday to the forums, and scheduled on Thursday for the news, significantly reducing the delay for the POTW to be submitted.
    • We established a Trello board for easier tracking of poll questions, adding in drafts to pick from when ideas are dry for the month or week, or easy selection of polls to run if we need one at the last minute. We run this from a template base which guides how long the post needs to be and all the details from each submitter. It’s run really well this year, and definitely a project type we will continue to use in the future.
    • We’ve also started a new series of polls called “You are the Captain Now” organised by Zhanyt Lafizatar which presents a scenario and asks you to choose a response (an almost Choose Your Own Adventure-style) asking what you would do.

Podcast Team

The Podcast Team handles The PADDcast, an out of character podcast that gets a real-world, wide release. The release schedule for The PADDcast is monthly, so this is an active team in terms of specific deadlines and tasks, but individual tasks are typically small time commitments, typically no more than you'd spend on writing a solid sim.

The podcast team has had several changes in leadership, and the show weighs under an unclear purpose. This has understandably led to confusion and frustration in the ranks. The skills necessary for podcasting are substantially different from the skills we typically associate with SB118 (ie, creative writing). Podcasting is intimidating, and so is speaking into a microphone.

The team is under new direction and expects to deliver its first episode with the New Year. This year, the Podcast team:

  • Was reformed under fresh leadership.
  • Re-conceptualised the podcast.
  • Had new logos designed by the Image Collective.

Advanced Starship Design Bureau

This group builds a new starship creation tool/game called the Starship Designer. The ASDB also maintains and expands the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards ASDB Technical Database, which provides specifications and design histories for Starfleet starship classes and small craft.

The biggest challenge facing the ASDB has been one of participation, both of members and facilitators. The time of the facilitators - both members with extra responsibilities outside the ASDB - has meant the ASDB has often been put on the back burner. Likewise, other pressures on the time of members of the ASDB has meant goals have taken longer than expected.

Facilitators gaining, and maintaining, the support of the members of the ASDB to complete goals - or to suggest goals - has been an ongoing challenge. The specific goals of the ASDB, writing up specific classes of vessels, were not met, however, we met other challenges posed to the group head on.

  • In February, we internally reviewed the USS Juneau / Juneau class of ships, which was ultimately approved by the Executive Committee.
  • During July, the ASDB gave feedback on the new USS Chin'toka, a retrofit of the Akira class.
  • In September, we provided some early preliminary feedback on the USS Ventura, a California class vessel based on the Lower Decks series.

Social Media Team

The Social Media team is not yet 12 months old, so perhaps the biggest challenge the team faced this year was simply breaking out into its own. As an offshoot of the Publicity team, the Social Media team focuses on reaching members and visitors through established social media channels, lending to the idea of an active and robust community. Being its own team means that more focus can be put on these channels, creating a more constant stream of content that all can see and enjoy.

The team is small but has generated the consistent flow that was originally set as a goal and meeting one of the two social media-focused Publicity goals from last year. While there is more work to be done, setting the framework for the future and getting set up was very successful and will help mark the road for the coming year. The Social Media Team:

  • Devised the scope and launched the Social Media Team as an entity separate from the publicity team.
  • Fulfilled the social media goal the Publicity Team set last year of posting 15 posts a month on Facebook and Twitter and 10 a month on Tumblr.
  • Developed and created an ongoing pool of posts members submitted to post on social media sites, offering a variety to members and visitors alike, further enhancing the overall experience.

Special Commendations

Each year, we ask taskforce leaders and ship captains to nominate members for special commendations.

Samira Neathler

As one of the fleet’s most hardworking members, Samira is commended not only by her ship, the USS Gorkon for being one of the most reliable, and creative members onboard, including running the Quote of the Month now for a full year on time every month, but also by the taskforces she is a reliable and creative member of.

The FNS commends Samira for her tireless efforts in editing the news items each month and diving into the archive of articles to edit and polish those which can then go out on the schedule. She is also commended by the training team for her unwavering devotion to each class she takes part in, taking pride in her efforts to train and graduate new members of the fleet, and provides a dependable simmer for each class she takes part in, regardless of the role she plays. Keep up the fantastic work, Sami! We’re all incredibly proud to have you with us!

Serala

The departure of the USS Atlantis' CO this year was very sudden, resulting in the relatively new Lieutenant Commander Serala having to take command of a ship with brief notice. Despite these difficulties, Jim, Serala's player, held his ship and crew together until we could assign a new Captain. Jim is a splendid officer who enthusiastically took on the many administrative duties of a first officer, as well as a Captain when his ship was placed in a hard place. Jim made my transition to Captain of the Chin'toka extremely smooth, and his character Serala is deep, intriguing, and has tons of potential for growth.

Since joining the Juneau as a Medical officer when the Juneau was in need, Serala (as Karise Indobri) has been a vital voice on the ship's staff providing feedback on both story and players. When her primary ship went through turmoil, it was expected, and understandable, that her dedication to the Juneau would take a backseat, or at a minimum her participation would - but it did not. Her dedication to the Juneau increased, and for that, the Juneau's CO could not be more grateful. Both Captain Mei’konda, Captain Oddas Aria, and the Starbase 118 fleet are very lucky to have Jim on board!

Lephi

Finding one's place in Starbase 118 can be a laborious process. As new Ensigns, we place our fresh Academy graduates aboard ships with more than a dozen active writers, and it can take some time to develop the confidence to push the plot forward..

Daphne, the player of Lieutenant JG Lephi on board the USS Chin'toka, has found her place exceptionally quickly. Besides being a top quality writer, particularly for her relative newness in the fleet, Daphne is social and consistently welcoming in the Chin'toka's Discord channel, bringing a constant, delightful warmth to chats. It is highly important to recognize Daphne for this, because she serves as a wonderful example for other new and veteran members of the Starbase 118 fleet!

T'Lea

T'Lea is one writer that gets pointed to by their CO for newer players to emulate. Full of realism, spunk, humor, detail, and hitting all the notes for a complete sim, an absolute joy to interact with.

Besides her writing skills she has been a pleasure to have on the staff, mentoring players and adding the little twists of ideas here and there that have given the Juneau missions an extra flair. Fun and interesting, the Lt. Commander is often sought out by her crewmates to make things work, and for good reason.

Genkos Adea

Throughout the year, Genkos has been a stalwart member of both the Training Team and the FNS, supporting both commendably. The FNS cites his monthly help in editing news articles, and bringing ideas to the taskforce facilitators for new articles, and his ongoing volunteering in the Training Team has ensured cadets receive a top-notch training experience when progressing through the academy.

Facilitators and the Academy Commandant alike commend the commitment of Genkos Adea, and thank him for his reliable support during 2020.

Artinus Serinus

This year has been an exercise in chaos, and in direct contrast to it, I wish to recognize Lieutenant Artinus Serinus, AKA Joseph, for his steadfast and unwavering contributions. He has gone above and beyond in his dedication to the Arrow and the fleet as a whole, and for his unwavering support, I am pleased to recognize him here today, and thank him for his resolve and enthusiasm.

Nalni

Lieutenant Nalni has consistently submitted above the minimum requirements each month, providing a consistent series of interviews that help round out each month's news cycle. They are the most active and reliable Community News Team member throughout 2020.

SOTFA Committee

The Executive Council would like to recognize and thank the members of this year’s SOTFA Commitee for coordinating and compiling the final address: Sky Blake, Jo Marshall, Randal Shayne.

Additional Ship Commendations

These players’ COs identified them as participating with notable and sustained excellence over the course of the year. We join their COs in recognising their efforts and their dedication in assisting the operation of their ships.

Additional Taskforce Commendations

Without the dedication of these talented members, more than one of the teams below would have been in dire straits. Their team facilitators selected them for special recognition, and we recognize and celebrate all the time they volunteered to make these teams and the whole of StarBase 118 into a better place!

Looking ahead to 2021


From the Executive Council

To quote Fleet Admiral Vance from Star Trek: Discovery, "The past is the only light with which we can see the future." Thus, in that spirit, we begin the Executive Council's report with an assessment of what's been done to meet the goals set for last year and what still needs to be done.

Report on Last Year (2020)'s SOTFA Goals

  • Capitalize on the excitement of the new Star Trek: Picard series through publicity efforts and possibly IC simming events to generate buzz with both existing members and Star Trek fans excited by the show who might then want to check out a Trek RPG.
    • The Picard Committee was assembled. A draft report and then final report was released.
    • After a discussion in the Captains Council , the Captains Council passed CC2397-16, which states that Picard and all new Trek going forward will be considered 118 canon by default. Any individual contradictory new events or revelations from the new shows remain open to debate and consideration by the CC to determine how best to integrate the information.
  • Continue to streamline administrative workloads to address CO and fleet staff sustainability.
    • The Project Aria sim tool created by Captain Oddas Aria was introduced as a new and powerful tool for COs to monitor their ships' simming activities and rosters. Captain Oddas is continuing further development to allow the tool to be used for the Personnel Department's needs along with the CAL's functions of keeping records of overall fleet activity.
  • Improve training of new ship COs and staff on proper roster management for the health of their ships.
    • Reminder emails have been sent about the importance of roster management as well as modifications to the roster and monthly ship report forms to ensure keeping rosters updated is a priority for COs and FOs.
  • Reassess and discuss current command candidates and efforts to train up-and-coming commanders.
    • Potential commander and command candidates are now regularly assessed by their COs and reported to the EC and the rest of the fleet's captains, which greatly assists in making decisions when new command opportunities open up.
  • With many COs tending to step back after about a year in command, look at ways to extend that and provide more support in those first 12 months.
    • All new ship launches have biweekly check-ins with the EC.
    • A discussion on CO vacation time/official leave was started. Final guidance documents need to be drafted
  • Look back on the success of Reddit recruitment drives and whether they're viable to repeat. Previous drives brought in a massive influx of cadets, which was challenging for the academy and the existing ship rosters to handle as we weren't prepared for such an enthusiastic response, but with some warning it could be a really useful way to bring in new members (who might find things a little easier now we've changed our script format).
    • An audit of academy records is needed.
      • How many Redditors have continued with the fleet since those drives? While we have had several high profile players recruited from these drives advance to prominent positions in the fleet, what does the data show about the overall cohort?

Challenges and Opportunities in 2021

The fleet continues to face several challenges as well as opportunities going forward:

  • Low application numbers
  • Attrition of new members, especially those that might have joined due to pandemic lockdowns but are unable to sustain their interest or commitment to simming.
  • Discord's culture for immediacy causes issues when expectations for quick answers or responses clashes with the fleet's long-standing preference for careful deliberation within its councils before making any final decisions.
  • We have a need for more supporting fleet staff to assist COs and relieve the burden of fleet administrative tasks from our captains.
  • We lack information about the demographics of our player base, including racial diversity. While we will always respect our members' right to disclose or not disclose such personal information, from what we do know, we have few Black members and players of color overall in the fleet and fleet staff. We lack information about these players' experiences and what unique challenges they may face in regards to participation in our game and reaching their aspirations of becoming fleet staff and future leaders of the community.
  • As more new Star Trek shows are launched, both new and old fans may wish to look for roleplay opportunities.

Executive Council's Fleet Goals for 2021

To tackle some of these challenges, the Executive Council has set forth the following goals:

  • Track and routinely check-in on the status of our yearly goals.
  • Continue to find ways to streamline administrative workloads to address CO and fleet staff sustainability.
  • Re-examine the role of Commanders and the commander promotion process to see how they may serve in a greater supporting role for the fleet, especially for those Commanders who wish to support the fleet but do not have interest in serving as COs themselves.
  • Create a taskforce to examine the diversity within our fleet and ways we can improve the player experience for our Black members and other players of color in particular, following on our legacy of creating a safe and supportive simming community for our LGBTQ members.
  • Ensure that Project Aria's maintenance can be handled by several people across the fleet and that supporting documentation is added to our library of reference materials.
  • Examine how to capitalize on the success of the first season of Lower Decks, the third season of Discovery, and the excitement for Strange New Worlds.

Taskforce Goals

The following goals have been set for the fleet's taskforces by their facilitators:

Training Team

  • Build on the success of last year's writing challenge by creating a scenario challenge; encourage submissions from around the fleet for small class scenarios, and work with CC and image team to come up with reward badges.
  • Evaluate existing training team members for suitability to join the statistician team, and increase the team by 2-3 members to a total of 4.
  • Carried over from last year, once the statistician membership has increased, implement quarterly audits of participation to assess trainer participation (both ensuring trainers are meeting their volunteer requirements and that badges are awarded on a timely basis).
  • Recruit an additional 3-5 members (or more, if possible) to the training team by asking COs to look over their rosters and nominate suitable crew members.

The (Image) Collective

  • Bring new tutorial videos and posts next year.
  • Maintain a medium level of quality from our members. This can be achieved by offering mentorship and education to new members. Aforementioned tutorials would go hand-in-hand with this.
  • Creating more interior and exterior art for our ships. This would help with promotion when tied with our DeviantART uploading.
  • Upload ten times per month on our DeviantART account.
  • Maintain a roster of at least 5 active team members.

Federation News Service

  • Recruit another editor to the facilitator team.
  • Kick off story arc projects designed to give writers more direction in articles to write. Target is to run one project through the year, with an article a month dedicated to the story arc (12 articles), or two projects (6 articles each).
  • Increase submitted articles by one per month per writer. The focus on FNS project story arcs should support this.
  • Achieve an article a week on the FNS for 12 months (52 weeks), not including monthly ship reports.

Wiki Operations

  • Recruit two new Power Users.
  • Create at least three new Wiki Events.
  • Categorise at least 1,000 uncategorised files.
  • Encourage general users to add content to pages needing expansion, especially so by using the referencing tool.
  • Spruce the Intelligent Lifeform Index
    • Update existing ILI pages with information from new Star Trek media.
    • This includes adding new images to species portrayed on the new shows.
    • Include more user-generated media in subsections.
    • Standardise all ILI pages to allow for expansion under the Template:ILI format headers.
  • Create a tutorial for Template:CrewHistoryNav.

Community News Team (a.k.a. Newsies)

  • Increase core membership by at least one more active long-term article writer.
  • Leave only 4 days each month without articles across all teams (only one day per week)
  • Create at least one more template for a standard article to supplement Lower Decks, awards, and ship interviews. This should focus on other taskforces such as wiki pages, image team, social media highlights or another area that will support the fleet.

Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Ensure that there is at least some activity/discussion within the group once a month.
  • Create rules page compiled from Constitution and Terms of Service.
  • Create a viable proposal for a non-command pathway to staff membership to submit to fleet administration for consideration.

Community History Team

  • Increase active members from 9 to 15 by the end of 2021.
  • Ensure that all active ships have someone on their staff responsible for keeping their ship's crew and award histories up to date.
  • Complete OOC Fleet History, with guidance which events should be added dictated by Admiral Wolf.
  • As functionality of the archive improves, continue to make progress restoring ship crew and award histories.
  • Track down badge recipients for things like the trivia contest, SJAS author badge, awards ceremony badge lists, JSCE author badge, SFMJ author badge, etc. and add these to the ship's award pages where awarded simmers were stationed.
  • Have a “this month in history” segment on the Community News every month.

Chat Team

  • We are going to increase the size of the taskforce in an attempt to increase member participation and retention. This will be done through various resources including the Taskforce Coordinator and Announcements.
  • We are also going to find ways to keep members engaged. The area that needs the most assistance is finding topics to discuss during the monthly chats and members will be invaluable in that regard.
  • The team is also currently discussing a third idea for a special event to be held, in addition to the annual Trivia Challenge and Watch Along Events.
  • Make sure all communication bases are covered each month: Newsletter, forum, worldtimebuddy, community news.

Poll of the Week Team

  • Maintain the consistent schedule of posting on a weekly basis throughout 2021.
  • Recruit to increase membership to 6 active members.
  • Begin discussing branching expansion ideas, such as a Choose Your Own Adventure and You’re the Captain Now scenarios regularly.
  • Increase the bank of draft polls we have to ensure every week has a poll ready to go regardless of if the rotational member is available.

Podcast Team

  • Begin the year with the release of the first episode of the SB118 podcast, the PADDcast
  • Maintain a consistent release schedule by meeting all episode release deadlines
  • Recruit at least 3 new members to the taskforce

Advanced Starship Design Bureau

  • By February 2021 we will present a final, complete, write-up of the Galor-class, a Cardassian class of vessel, solicit feedback on the forums, and incorporate it on the wiki.
  • By September 2021 we will present a final, complete, write-up of a Federation class vessel from the Picard-era of ships (2390s) that has been featured on screen, solicit feedback on the forums, and incorporate it on the wiki.
  • By December 2021 we will present a final, complete, write-up of a Romulan class of vessel (24th century), solicit feedback on the forums, and incorporate it on the wiki.
  • By the end of December 2021, develop a more structured way of getting work completed, involving allowing members to sign up for work, take ownership of it, and present it to the group and fleet at large.

Social Media Team

  • Continue posting 15 times per month on Facebook and Twitter, 10 times on Tumblr, and add in Instagram with at least 5 images per month posted there.
  • Further integrate members from simple content generation and compilation to further focusing members who specialize in specific channels and handle posting as well as curating content.
  • Expand membership of the Social Media team by adding at least 2 more active members.
  • Reddit has proven to be a social channel that had great success in bringing in potential members in the past. It is the goal of the Social Media team to put together a more finalized approach to this, and put it into play.

Team and Taskforce Recruitment Status


  • Training Team: OPEN to new members
    • Rank Required: Lieutenant (with CO approval) or lieutenant commander (and above)
    • How to join: Hold the rank of Lt. Commander (we sometimes accept Lieutenants who sim exceptionally well and have shown strong OOC abilities);
    • Been an active, full time simmer for at least 120 days since graduating from the academy;
    • Demonstrate good simming ability;
    • Demonstrate the ability to interact with others responsibly and communicate effectively.
  • The (Image) Collective: OPEN to new members
    • Rank Required: Lieutenant JG
    • How to join: Contact the current facilitators via Email or Discord.
      • We will ask potential members to edit a request to gauge their skills or look at prior work if they offer any.
  • Federation News Service Team: OPEN to new members
    • Rank Required: Lieutenant JG
    • Requirement: We do ask you submit a tester article here: https://fednewsservice.com/submit/
    • Special Note: Membership is also open to non-SB118 members. If you know people from outside our membership who may be interested, please put them in contact with this team’s leadership.
  • Newsies Team (aka Community News): OPEN to new members
    • Rank Required: Lieutenant JG
    • How to join: Players can contact the facilitator via Discord or email, or contact their ship command team. Must be willing and able to use and access Trello. Should have solid writing skills and a good grasp of grammar.
  • Calendar Team: OPEN to new members
    • Rank Required: Lieutenant JG
    • How to join: Contact the taskforce coordinator via email or forums message.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs: OPEN to new members
    • Rank Required: Lieutenant. Additionally, you must have been a member in good standing for at least one year prior to joining.
    • How to join: Contact the team facilitator via email or forums message.
  • Community History Team: OPEN to new members
    • Rank Required: Ensign
    • How to join: Contact the team facilitator via email or Discord. Staff members may also recommend officers who may be a good fit, and the facilitator will initiate contact.
  • Chat Team: OPEN to new members
    • Rank Required: Ensign
    • How to join: Contact the team facilitator via email or Discord.
      • Special Note: Must have an active Discord account.
  • Poll of the Week Team: OPEN to new members
    • Rank Required: Ensign
    • How to join: Contact the team facilitator via email or Discord.
  • Advanced Starship Design Bureau: OPEN to new members
    • Rank Required: Lieutenant JG
    • How to join: Contact your CO to have your approval forwarded to the facilitators.
  • Social Media Team: OPEN to new members
    • Rank Required: Ensign
    • How to join: Contact the current facilitator via Email.

Fleet Stats


At present, the fleet consists of the following vessels:

The Executive Council

The Captains Council

Captains and Above

Commanders

Observers


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