Cadet Orientation/Frequently Asked Questions
My forum account isn't approved – what's going on?
Please give us at least 48 hours to approve your forum account – if you're not approved by then, you can ping us on the #Academy channel on Discord. Usually we do it much faster, but it's not instantaneous.
How do I get the Cadets role on Discord?
If you join before your application is approved, and your character name matches your application, we'll usually give you the Cadets role pretty quickly after approving your application.
If you joined Discord after submitting your app, and/or your character name does not match your application, you'll need to DM FltAdml. Wolf or Quinn Reynolds with your email address to confirm your identity.
How long is training?
6-10 days, depending on how often the group sims.
How will I know when training has begun?
First, you'll receive an automated e-mail from the Google Groups system notifying you that you've been added to one of our Academy lists. Then you'll receive an e-mail entitled "Roll Call!"
Can I change the duty post I applied with?
If training hasn't yet begun, you can use the Contact form to reach out to the Training Team and request a change. If training has already begun, go ahead and sim with the duty post you've been assigned – you'll be filling out a form during training with your "final" duty post preference, which will be used to actually place you on a ship after training, so you'll have the opportunity to set a new preference before training ends.
Who do I send my "bio" to?
Your bio will be reviewed by the Commanding Officer of your training group. During the training group, he or she will send out a tutorial which explains the specific format we use for bios, and ask you to send in yours to the group. It will be reviewed, and then sent to your permanent Commanding Officer once you graduate from training.
In Trek, sometimes exemplary cadets start out as LtJG officers once they reach their ship. Does that happen here?
Everyone begins as an ensign when they transfer to a vessel.
What's the history of the USS Centris-A, the training vessel?
Her fleet page tells the brief history.
Can I change the e-mail address I used to submit my application?
Sure can. Use the Contact form to reach out to the Training Team. Make sure to let us know what email address you used to submit your application, and the character name, and what you want to change your email address to.
Why does my post show up in Google Groups but not in my inbox?
If you're using Gmail as your primary inbox, the posts you send to the training group (and to your ship) will only show up in your "sent" folder – you won't receive a copy back from Google Groups of the post you sent. But you can use the link at the bottom of the emails you receive from Google Groups to go to the Google Groups page itself, and see if the email you sent arrived.
Can I play an enlisted crewmember, instead of an officer?
Yes, talk to your Training Officer about defining that in your bio. You'll then confer with your Commanding Officer upon placement about this, as nearly all other players start at the Ensign officer rank in character.
What is simming?
Simming is short for “simulation,” and basically just means Role Playing. Our group is a Play-By-Email Role Playing Group (PBEM RPG), which means that people’s contributions to our game are done through e-mail. We use Google Groups, an easy and popular service, as our e-mail servers.
How much do I have to pay for this?
Nothing. Our group is entirely volunteer run, and playing within our group costs nothing.
Do I have to sign on at a specific time?
No. You can sign on any time of the day to get your e-mails and respond.
How often do I have to sim?
We require an average of three sims a week, amounting to about 12 a month. You can sim more, of course!, but simming less may pause your promotion progress or prompt your captain to ask you to sim more. During training, we’ll ask you how often you plan to play, and you’ll have the chance to decide whether you would like a faster or slower playing ship.
Do players have any say in determining the plot?
The story is generally established and guided by the ship's Commanding Officer, often with input from the ship's senior-ranked members, but all crew members play a vital part in guiding the direction of the plot once it's started. During training we'll teach you how to help move the plot forward and contribute new pieces, and directions, of the story!
Can I join more than one ship?
Our group's focus is on quality of simming. As such, we don't want any simmer to overstretch themselves and have their simming drop on their primary vessel. In our experience, people often under-estimate the workload of taking on a second character.
But once you've reached the rank of Lieutenant, you may start a second character on another crew.
At any point, even before you've attained the rank of Lieutenant, you can ask your captain for permission to play other characters on the same ship.
And you're always welcome to swap out your character for a new one if you find you're not inspired by the character you created during training.
Is this community welcoming to women, LGBTQ people, and people of color?
We take seriously the challenging of ensuring that our community is a welcoming place to people often marginalized in role-playing spaces, particularly those that are online. Here are some links that might be useful in helping understand our ethos:
Where can I find out more about the ships in your fleet?
Our fleet overview provides links to all the information you'd want about our fleet.
On the forums, what does this mean, and how do I change it?: "Salt this, buddy!"
Some of what you'll find around these forums might seem a little cryptic. Remember that our organization has been around since 1994, so there's lots of history here!
This particular "in joke" originated around the time our forums were established around 2002. (You can still see some of the old forum posts in the "Jupiter Museum" archive forum.) We had a number of prolific forum posters who played Trill characters. If you've watched any of the episodes where Trills have had their symbiont removed, you may have noticed that they looked a bit like a slug. Someone once joked that you could kill a Trill by "salting the slug," and a long-running joke was born.
The text "Salt this, buddy!" is your forum Member Title. There are instructions for changing your Member Title, Signature, and forum Icon in this thread, which is in the Board Administration forum.
Is the "Federation News Service" (FNS) considered canon?
Yes, anything written by our members for the FNS is considered part of our universe's extended world building and can be considered public knowledge and referenced in your sims. In fact, this is encouraged and one of the intended uses of the FNS itself.
Are Writer IDs "permanent"?
Yes, you are issued one Writer ID that's tied to you – the player – as opposed to your character. They're intended to help us track players across multiple characters and ships and ensure that you're getting credit for awards, taskforce participation, and the other ways your contribute to our fleet.
Ask other questions
Our staff and other members are happy to assist with questions about how our site works and what's next in your journey toward Ensign and placement on a Starfleet ship or base. Just open the chat room and enter the #Academy channel to ask.