Twelve years ago, Ensign Mal Avatar was assigned as the H/C/O officer to the USS Kodiak-A. Avatar, the first PC of Starbase 118’s resident historian, Glenn, rose up through the ranks to become a captain and captain-at-large to the Executive Council back in 2005. Nowadays, you’re more likely to recognize him as his newer PC, Ra-Uleyra, or via his ongoing history projects, including the Fleet Timeline and the Family Tree. In his capacity as historian, I was able to ask him several questions about the group’s history, the lineage of captains, and plenty more about the 20-year-plus timeline of StarBase 118.
You can also find part 1 here.
A: The number one reason why a ship disappears not long after creation is because the CO left the group and the crew disbanded. The longevity of a ship is often based directly on the longevity of the commanding officer. There are also cases where a particular ship may stick around because of the name or also because of nostalgia. When a captain selects a ship and chooses to pick a historical ship, he/she might choose one simply because of the name or the class.
Q: Based upon what you’ve seen in your history projects, what are the benefits of having a group of mostly established COs? Of having a group of mostly new COs?
A: I don’t see it as totally black and white. Turnover in the ranks is not a bad thing as it grants new opportunities to different players to have their turn in the captain’s chair. However, too much turnover at one time can be extremely disruptive. Ideally there is a balance made up of healthy turnover combined with some stability.
A: Yes, I am very familiar with the community history team as it was something that I tried to lead, but unfortunately real life has prevented me from taking on the role that I would really enjoy. As for the fleetbook, this is something that I am far less involved with. (Interviewer’s Note: If you’re interested in the group’s history and would like to help with either project, your assistance will be greatly appreciated!)
A: Probably the creation of the old UPDS, which was succeeded by the wiki. Prior to the UPDS, which was our first character profile database, it was very cumbersome to keep track of the players in the group. The creation of the UPDS, allowed for a standard profile to be made available for all to see and to act as the source of background information for a character. Prior to this, players would regularly have to email the group their bio. In some cases, individual ships would maintain their own website which might also keep track of the bios. The completeness of this information was ultimately up to the diligence of the webmaster and the captain.
One of the developments that I would enjoy see coming out of this work would be the creation of a group Hall of Fame where we can honor past players based on their accomplishments and voted on by the councils. Something like what Major League Baseball does up in Cooperstown, NY where a player must be retired for some time.
A: I think that there are a few that come to mind right off the bat such as Elinor, Hollis, Anassasi, and Rocar. Wolf’s eligibility would be up for debate since he is still active with the group. There are probably a few others as well that are worth of consideration.