Community News

Dancing With The Stars

Have you ever compared the skies and stars to dancing? In many books and stories I’ve read, heavenly bodies have been depicted as undulating in a coordinated array of motion, as if swaying to some unheard melody that only they can fathom. ‘The stars danced in the sky’ seems to be a popular description among many fellow sim players in the various games I’ve played over the last decade. So do stars really dance? Perhaps they do. At the very least, they play music! Okay, the stars may not play music, but a black hole did – well, a single note anyway.

Back in November of 2003, astronomers actually heard a note coming from the Perseus Galaxy, a massive cluster galaxies located a mere 250 million light years away from earth. What sort of note? Using technology along with gold old fashion music theory, Dr. Andrew Fabian and a team of colleagues at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, England determined that a note detected from the cluster was, in fact, a B-flat. Don’t expect to be able to hear this celestial tone – it rings out at about 57 octaves below middle C. That’s over a billion times lower than the lowest note the human ear can hear.

So next time you gaze up at the stars and see them gleam and prance in the night sky, it may very well be to a tune that only they can hear.

You can read more about this musical cluster by heading over to Nasa’s website.


New Academy Graduates

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Raissa Moonsong and Nicole Fullmer!


June plot summary for the USS Apollo

After the alien vessel’s AI, Rapture, made itself known on the bridge of the USS Aegis, NCC-74323, Lieutenant Commander Sundassa Faranster spoke with the ambassador of the alien species, and agreed to assist them, asking them to send over details of what was needed.

While they waited, Sundassa worked with Lieutenant Commander Jalana Laxyn to organize a team that would go to the other ship, consisting of their Engineer, Lieutenant JG Eileen McCleran, Nurse Ensign Dial. Since transporters didn’t work with the alien ship, they had to rely on a shuttle and their HCO Lieutenant JG Patrick McLeod to pilot it.

The team on the Aegis continued to try to scan and get answers about the strange aliens while their away team shipped out. Ensign Ar’jin working on deciphering the scans of the ship.

Once the away team got over there, the away team separated to get the work done, while Laxyn went to meet the Elder. While Laxyn was with the Elder, the Ambassador took things wrong, attacked and imprisoned some of the away team, causing a lock down on the ship, and the Aegis crew was left to negotiate the return of their crew mates.

The captured team escaped during negotiations and made their way to the shuttle bay with the assistance of the AI and some of the aliens, while the Elder offered Laxyn use of his emergency escape pod.


20 years of simming: 5 big changes in the past 20 years.

Last month, StarBase 118 celebrated its 20th simming anniversary! Simming – and Star Trek – have come a long way since 1994. Today we take a look at some of the biggest changes in simming between then and now and how those changes have formed our game today.

1: Changes in the Trek Prime canon

In 1994, Next Gen was coming to an end, Deep Space Nine was getting started and Voyager was an exciting proposal. The biggest decision a sim needed to make when starting up was whether they were going to include the Borg as an enemy or whether it would be a plain old ‘explore the galaxy/threat-of-the week’ style sim.

Since then we have watched the Dominion War devastate the quadrant, multiple major changes in politics with the Klingon, Romulan and Cardassian empires, the explosion of the Hobus Star, the development of the Delta and Gamma quadrants, the revelation of Section 31 and a myriad of new races come to life on the big and small screens. Sims today need to not only recognize the changes in canon, but pick a time in canon to play in. Sims, like SB118 that have built stories while canon was changing needed to talk about how they could incorporate the changes in Trek canon with the story lines of their own game.

All in all, the later Trek series and the Trek movies brought a newfound complexity to Star Trek, and became a point of discussion and sometimes dissension between fans. It has made our simming games more complex that they were in the past, often times including long term political plotlines and overarching story elements.


June plot summary for the USS Victory

Life has been hectic for people newly stationed to the USS Victory, NCC-362447. With the sudden transfers to the newly re-commissioned USS Victory, the crew has had little time to get acquainted before being sent to the tempest sector on an urgent mission. What made this even more interesting was that the sector was galactic south of the enigmatic Tholian holdfast.

With a top secret mission to investigate a planet whose coordinates were given from an ancient alien data cube on Duronis II, it is believed that it could be the key to understand an alien menace that has only been hinted at in the information extracted from the cube.

Upon arrival to the planet of Paksos II, they find a long dead civilization, ancient stations in orbit and to make matters far more volatile, a Tholian patrol corvette that arrived to threaten the USS Victory if it does not leave immediately. Only time will tell how this new crew will escape the perils of this mission.


Round 19 of the Top Sims Contest now open

The Top Sims Contest is now accepting nominations for Round 19 until July 27th. Nominating a great sim is easy, and only takes a minute:

Visit the Top Sims Contest page, start a new topic, and paste the sim into the text field!

It’s just that easy to share a great sim with the entire fleet. The winning sim will go on to the fourth run-off round, where it will go on to compete against the other run-off winners to determine the best sim of 2014, as determined by you. So get out there, and give the writers in our community the recognition they deserve.

And keep an eye out for the third run-off round, opening soon for your voting.


Promotions for June, 2014

The staff of UFOP: StarBase 118 would like to take a moment and recognize the officers — please be sure to congratulate these folks when you see them in the corridors of your vessel!

Excalibur

  • Ben Livingston to Commander

Darwin

  • Jack Corbin to Lieutenant
  • Clio Margariti to LtJG

June plot summary for the USS Excalibur-A

The crew of USS Excalibur, NCC 41903-A watched as the actions of Lt. Vitor Silveira were scrutinized by a panel led by RAdm. Jaxx. Lt. Sal Taybrim and Silveira both offered their testimony under the direction of LtCmdr. Katy Orman, representing the prosecution, and LtCmdr. Brek, leading the defense. The charges: reckless endangerment of the ship and undefined entities, dereliction of duty, attempted murder, and involuntary manslaughter of FltCapt. Kalianna Nicholotti. By the end, the tribunal was convinced of Silveira’s innocence of all counts except insubordination, and demoted him to the rank of Lt JG.

Other members of the crew explored Erscyne station, taking in the sights and sounds of the Bakalostii, a marketplace on the station. While they were observed to be outsiders by some of the inhabitants, there were no incidents and the first steps toward more friendly relations were established.

By order of StarFleet Command, FltCapt. Cascadia Rainier took command of Excalibur. After a tour of the ship, she met with the First Officer regarding personnel matters. In that regard, Lt. Rune Jolara was ordered to the post of Chief Counselor. A petition by Scott Walker, civilian, to a role in the ship’s counseling department was also considered. Having received new orders, the ship now prepared to set out for its next mission.


Changes to the telepathy/empathy rating system

Do you play a telepath, either as a PC or PNPC, or know someone who does? If so, then you’ll certainly want to know about the change to the T/E rating scale.

The T/E rating scale has been, for many years, a handy guide with which to reference your character’s telepathic and empathic abilities. While that remains true, this new change, which was approved by the Captains Council on June 21st, corrects a common misconception regarding the T/E rating of 0. Under the old system, a rating of 0 meant that a character possessed simple ESP. However, many writers used a T or E of 0 to refer to a character without any telepathic or empathic abilities, creating some confusion around the rating’s usage: On a given character page, would 0 correspond to a lack of ability or to ESP?

As of June 21st, the 0 rating has been clearly defined to refer to a character with no telepathic or empathic abilities whatsoever. 0+ will now be used to refer to those characters who possess simple ESP.

For more on playing a telepath or empath, you can check out the Basic Rules of Telepathy and Empathy.


The Beginning of the Beginning…

While the new Trek movies that comprise the ‘Reboot’ have been nothing short of epic, they are lacking a very important aspect of the overall Star Trek experience. At the very center of the entire franchise has always been the idea of the original Enterprise and their five year mission to seek out strange new worlds and civilizations. It is that central heart that the new movies have been missing.

But thanks to the changeover in directors, fans will soon get a taste of what that five year mission might entail in the newest Trek timeline. Once again, all of our favorite Starfleet officers will take their places on the most iconic starship in history. Once again, they will strike out on a mission to explore, but this time they will not only be taking the original generation of fans along with them for the ride, but they’ll be taking a whole new group of younger adventurers and dreamers too. If the original series and their exploratory adventures had plenty of real world effects, perhaps it is time we see the impact Star Trek can have on society today.

The details of the plot aren’t entirely in the open yet, but the news is making things a bit clearer as the movie is transformed from script to reality. Learn more in this article on the next five year mission of the USS Enterprise.


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Today’s Stardate

239107.24 - stardates are the way in which the current date is formatted within a sim. More information.

Fleet Activity List

Looking for something fun to do? We have a whole list of fleet activities that are looking for members like yourself! You can participate in our monthly Writing Challenges, our Top Sims Contest, a Guild (for Readers, LGBT players, and those who play Vulcans), help recruit new players on our Publicity Team, or help write the Community News. Check out the Fleet Activity List today to see where you can help!

Simming Tips

Spectacular Tip #15
"In real life, we are mostly endowed with shortcomings more than strengths. What makes us human is our ability to overcome these weaknesses to be great. Show us how your character does this in their own way." -Tracey Townson

Inspiration

"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory." -W. Edwards Deming