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AmoryBlaine

TCFL ranking system

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We will probably add pilot as a legionnaire specialization the same as engineering or medical to fit in the existing hierarchy. No promises.

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By solidifying everyone as legionnaires, you can stamp on top of the organization that it's a volunteer force. There isn't a need for there to be a specific part-time volunteer role. Now, any of the roles can be part-time, allowing for more characters to be TCFL and use their resumes to do something other than just shoot a gun.

Additional ranking provides a better comprehension of the organization. By pushing ranks like Prefect and Legate higher up the totem-pole, you allow for the existence of more intermediate ranks between them and the standard squad. This better communicates the size of the TCFL, something that currently seems extremely small- a Prefect is a lot farther up in rank than a squad leader. These fancier titles also give a bit more flavoring to the organization, fitting well with their aesthetic.

The breaking up of team command between a shuttle leader and squad leader allows for co-op leadership which suits the larger size of TCFL teams. It also makes sense given we have a pilot, whereas no other ERT has one. I'm also in favour of adding cameras to the squad helmets so the pilot can see what's going on.

I only want the Latin names on the wiki, and in some item descriptions where it fits. The in-game ranking would in my version be as follows:

Lgn. -> S/Lgn -> L/Lgn. = Aquil. -> Pfct.

This is more straightforward and lines up better with the naming conventions of the NT-ERT. Given you are making things straightforward for random players, this will much better explain how the squad works.

S/ for Specialist, L/ for Leader, Aquil. for the pilot, Pfct. for the guy who only spawns in events.

The TCFL's aesthetic currently is much more Roman than it is militia-ish. The armors are all very crisp and clean, despite it being construction gear. Even so, the heavy armor does make one think of Roman soldiers, heavily armored- they even have big shields. The gold accents and clean shiny blue seem very Romanesque. Given the TCFL offers citizenship for those who serve, it draws a lot more on Romanization than it does plucky militia-ism.

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We have amazing timing, we went back and forth within minutes of each other then left the thread for hours and now we're both posting within minutes of each other again. We are psychically connected. I bet you are also an ascendant scorpio.

Anyway the pilot already exists, which I was not aware of at the time. It is a special ghost role.

https://wiki.aurorastation.org/index.php?title=Tau_Ceti_Foreign_Legion#What_do_I_do.3F

They were added here to update this small lapse in documentation.

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11 hours ago, AmoryBlaine said:

By splitting the authority between two leaders- the pilot- Aquilifer- and the squad leader- Decanus- you get more ideas and situations playing out. Sentinels already act as an inner police force.

Hi I just want to cut in here and point this out as a GIANT RED FLAG. This sounds like powercreep in more ways than one.

In gameplay. Response teams are a conglomerate of 2 - 5 guys meant to mobilize fast, arrive on the station fast, and unfuck whatever situation is already fucked. Introducing someone with authority other than the squad leader will lead to dick swinging matches that do nothing but waste time. Specially when you consider that the shuttle is literally a, "Push button and go" type of deal. The team needs to mobilize fast, and two leaders sparring it out is not the way to encourage that. Specially when the second one could well be shot and the game would continue just fine.

Now for the status quo. The fact that we already have a role called "Pilot", IMO, is a really bad idea. The shuttle is a worthless mechanic, simply serving as an explanation of "How we got here," and dedicating a man to dealing with it is bad gameplay design. It would be fair if the shuttle mechanics were the same as Bay's, or more complex. But they're not, so there is no shuttle piloting to do, ergo, there should be no pilot role. IMO the role should either be renamed to "Exosuit Pilot" or completely removed.

Why the renaming? Because names matter. Role names are the first and most clear way to communicate information about the role. "Exosuit Pilot" would clearly communicate that this man is to drive an exosuit. Thaat is it, no questions asked, no confusion to be had. A "Pilot", even if we write into a wiki or into the description that he's actually meant to do more, will always be viewed as, among other things, being attached to the idea of piloting a shuttle. So to remove confusion, again, either nix the role entirely (and leave exosuits to legionnaires), or rename it to explicitly be the "Exosuit Pilot". Do not waste a player or time on a mechanic that does not exist.

Finally, since we're on the topic of names and what they communicate. Regardless of how believable you consider the present rank structure, you have to admit that it communicates the player's position in the rank structure very clearly. Volunteers are the scum of the earth, legionnaires the regulars, and prefects (the ones with the fancy name) are the leaders. Simple and clear. Going full chub Roman introduces an element of, "Well. Am I above him or below him in this structure?" And yes, we could go through the trouble of explaining this shit in a wiki post or in some description. But: ERT is not common, ergo majority of the playerbase is not gonna read about it "Just because"; and people are unlikely to read or adhere to descriptions as well, specially when they're incentivized to very quickly grab the ghost spawners, for fear of timeout or someone beating them to the punch.

Summa summarum. This is a bad idea because it's power creep. This is a bad idea because it's needlessly confusing, while the present situation is very clear. Rename pilot or remove.

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Posted (edited)

I feel like I'm going crazy reading this thread. What alien finds the ranks "Volunteer, Legionnaire, Prefect" more immediately understandable than "Legionnaire, Specalist Legionnaire, Lead Legionnaire"? Sure, volunteer can be recognized as probably below the other two, but Prefect is an archaic word most people will have to google. The only time I've ever heard it actually used is in Harry Potter. The new system literally spells it out- basic guy, basic guy with specialization in something, lead guy.

 

On top of that, the more I think about it- specifically after Skull's descriptor- the more having all volunteers be this weird segregated rank from the rest seems bizarre to me. To someone less informed on the subject it could almost be seen like the professional military is recruiting ill-suited, disenfranchised volunteers just to throw up as meatshields in front of their actually trained soldiers, with promises of citizenship and scholarships. That sounds like something NT, their direct thematic counter, should be doing- way, way far off from the supposed intent of the TCFL's design. Integrating volunteers throughout the ranking structure instead of a weird second class soldier makes far more thematic sense.

 

I also find it hilarious that it's being called confusing when it's literally a template copy of NT ERT, which has been tried and true for years and never had significant confusion by any measure.

 

As for everything else in the thread I don't really care about it enough to comment. 

Edited by Doc

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Why not make Volunteers part-timers that aren't qualified to respond to space-related stuff, and instead are joined up with the Legion to respond to stuff Biesel-side? Legionaries can then be the career-driven TCFL members that deploy on the station in an emergency. Specialists are the ones that do things other than shoot guns, and Lead Legionary works to establish leadership.

This is entirely not what Doc just said and I am totally not pretending this is an original statement.

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1 hour ago, Doc said:

I feel like I'm going crazy reading this thread. What alien finds the ranks "Volunteer, Legionnaire, Prefect" more immediately understandable than "Legionnaire, Specalist Legionnaire, Lead Legionnaire"? Sure, volunteer can be recognized as probably below the other two, but Prefect is an archaic word most people will have to google. The only time I've ever heard it actually used is in Harry Potter. The new system literally spells it out- basic guy, basic guy with specialization in something, lead guy.

tbf I did not make note of Amory's submission of a boiled down structure for ingame use on page 2. It handles half my point about names being important, tho the other half remains (the half regarding the name of the current "pilot" role).

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I don't, really see how having two heads on this snake is powercreep. One of the guys is a heavily armored in-the-field squad leader. The other essentially sits on the shuttle, or interacts with the crew while the others do their jobs.

In my mind, it doesn't hurt to give them access to helmet cameras for team overwatch. The pilot can't really do anything for the team but talk or fly the shuttle, and TCFL teams tend to be larger than NT-ERTs.

As for their- the pilot's- existance, I don't see the issue there. Currently, they're of no consequence. They exist to bolster the appearance of the TCFL, and provide an extra role for ghosts while not really adding more firepower- just a guy that can be talked to by the crew without a likelihood of them running off to fight things. It feels right, it looks right. Shuttle has pilot. It can't really be abused or something. My suggestion still keeps them in that auxilliary role, just allows them to have a bit more inclusion with the actual operation.

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