John Valdivia

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Poll of the Week: Diving through Bureaucracy

You are captain of a starship, and you receive a request for medical supplies: A plague has been declared in a Federation world not far from your position. The world has been quarantined, but they need those supplies as soon as possible – millions could die within days unless something is done.

The nearest starbase has the supplies, but they refuse to release them without authorization from an admiral who just happens to be out of range on a sensitive diplomatic mission.

You’re so far out on the frontier that it’ll take days for a subspace message to reach Starfleet Command.

But there is another way – you have full access to the base’s systems, as a captain in Starfleet. You could easily beam out the supplies and be on your way within minutes. It’s not procedure, and it may put you in serious hot water with the brass.

What would you do – risk serious repercussions or wring your hands? Join us on the forums for this week’s poll and let us know!

This is a new question from our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favorite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!


Poll of the Week: Happy Birthday

When we create a new character, we put a lot of thought into the process. Some parts usually get more attention: Species, gender, department. Cosmetic details might be given a lot of thought, even if they have little effect on simming outcomes – the fact that the character has brown eyes helps paint a picture, but probably won’t be helping the crew survive on a barren planet in an ion storm.

Yet one thing that seems mostly random is birthdates, even when there’s a whole industry – astrology – currently built around deciphering what someone’s birthdate means to their personality. There’s even some science behind it: People born in summer are more prone to mood swings!

So how did you pick your character’s birth date, and does it have meaning to you? Join us on the forums and let us know!

This is a new post in our category Simming Questions. Here we will be asking questions about our community, our characters and our writing, and how you interact with it all.


Poll of the Week: Mutiny in the holodeck

You are the captain of a starship and, while walking through the corridors, you hear a ruckus coming from the holodeck. As you apporoach, you find a couple of engineers trying to reason with a mob, varied in all shapes, species, genders, clothes and ages. And very angry.

After trying to understand what was going on, you finally get an odd explanation: These holodeck characters, even though they are not supposedly self-aware, are requesting rights to control the holodeck – who appears or disappears and what their environment is.

The engineers look at you for what to do. The characters have taken control of the holodeck, but it could be forcibly deactivated from the outside. Do these characters have rights? Should they be listened to?

Your decision could have far-reaching consequences for holograms and Starfleet personnel – what will you do?

This is a new question from our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favorite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!


Poll of the Week: Simming family

All characters we can encounter, both in simming and in other kinds of fiction, are partly defined by a large number of relationships they have. Friends, lovers, coworkers… and family. If we think back to Star Trek, we can remember several characters with differing relationships with their families.

Some had not talked to them in a long time, while others did regularly. Some had their families living far, possibly in their home planet, but maybe elsewhere, whereas some had their families living with them in their quarters. Some had close relationships, while others were distant, even confrontational.

And these family relationships were also defining for characters, with some even having turning points in their lives that were either affected by their families, or affected the way they interacted with their family.

The same happens to our characters. Some have their families close by, while others have them far away in their home planets. And some sim them regularly, while some almost never interact with them. Which are you?

Vote in this poll of the week and let us know how relevant family is for your characters.

This is a new post in our category Simming Questions. Here we will be asking questions about our community, our characters and our writing, and how you interact with it all.


Poll of the Week: Feeding love

You are the captain of a starship, and you are called for an urgent diplomatic intervention. You go to the home planet of the Mantisar (a fictitious species created for this exercise, do not look them up). They are not members of the Federation, but they are allies. In this case, a human couple in their sixties has called for your intervention.

Once you arrive at the planet, the humans explain the situation. Their son Marcus has fallen in love with a Mantisar female. They had been together for years now. The problem is they have now decided to get married. And, in the insectoid culture of the Mantisar, they wedding night celebration ends with the male being eaten by the female. It is their tradition, and Marcus has agreed to go on with the ceremony.

However, Marcus’ parents hope you can use your authority to prevent it from happening and bring their son back to safety. The wedding is that same day, so there is no option to get a new diplomat and brief them on time. It is your decision.

Will you try to avoid the wedding? How forcefully? Come to the forums to let us know!

This is a new question from our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favorite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!


Poll of the week: Star Trek videogames

Star Trek long-ago invaded popular culture beyond just television and movies. Another place it’s won the hearts of fans has been in the videogame medium.

Of course, not everyone plays videogames! But many among us do partake, so it’s time we gave them a little focus here on the Poll of the Week!

It’s impossible to talk about all the Trek games that have ever existed, so let’s boil it down to genres. Which are your favorites? Here come some ideas, with some examples, but of course the list is way longer! Maybe you liked Real Time Strategy videogames? (Armada, New Worlds). Or maybe shooters? (Elite Force, The Fallen). Graphic adventures? (25th Anniversary, Justice Rites) Ship simulators? (StarFleet Command, Bridge Commander).

Did we mention your favorite? Do you want to tell us about some other videogame you loved? Come to the forums and join the discussion!

This is a new poll in our category “General Trek,” where we ask questions about Star Trek scenes, characters, starships, and in this case videogames.


Poll of the Week: Simming death

When we are simming, we are writing about the life of many characters. Every aspect of their life, sometimes. Their adventures, that’s true, but also what they do on their free time, what they have for lunch of how they have decorated their bedrooms.

Inevitably, those characters will at some point be confronted with death. The death of others, sometimes secondary characters that have barely appeared, specific to a mission, whose death is a way to add drama (an involved civilian, maybe?), or to give closure (a villain beyond redemption?).

But sometimes, very rarely, it is our own characters who are dying. Possibly not main characters, but maybe secondary characters we have known and developed for years. Those who started as a minor NPC and evolved to have a small piece of our heart, and of everyone on the crew. Sometimes, a player can decide to give such a character a definitive ending. It is something rare, but I can think of examples. And these moments, if written properly, are sure to leave a deep mark on every player that has known them.

If you had to sim the death of a character, how would you do it? Come to the forums to discuss it!

This is a new post in our category Simming Questions. Here we will be asking questions about our community, our characters and our writing, and how you interact with it all.


Poll of the Week: The fooled Samaritan

Pirates. Bandits. A huge galaxy like the one we inhabit must have its share. And rumors say you are headed their way.

You are the captain of a starship, and you are patrolling an area where several ships have disappeared in the last months. According to intelligence reports, all ships disappeared while responding to false distress calls, coming from holographically disguised pirate ships. You don’t know what happened after they approached, but they suddenly dropped out of contact.

As you patrol the area, you receive a distress call. Coming from one of the ships that disappeared last week. They were effectively attacked, and left adrift. The distress call has been, apparently, on automatic since then. You are eager to help, but then a thought crosses your mind. Could this be one of the fake distress signal? Could you be about to become a new victim?

What would you do? Let us know in the forums!

This is a new question from our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favorite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!


Poll of the Week: Your new character’s rank?

As we simmers grow our skills, our characters also gain experience and are shaped by the way we write them. Sometimes, their experiences are rewarded with a promotion!

But sometimes it’s good to start a new character – a fresh, clean slate. Here in our game, members are allowed to start new characters at their current OOC rank, or any rank below. Some folks choose lower ranks to start again, while others choose to start a character closer to their highest achieved rank to continue their progress.

So, when you create a new character, what do you prefer? Tell us in the forums!

This is a new post in our category Simming Questions. Here we will be asking questions about our community, our characters and our writing, and how you interact with it all.


Poll of the Week: Wesley’s captain

Most of us will remember Wesley Crusher’s storyline throughout The Next Generation. A powerful alien, apparently with knowledge about the universe that far exceeded what any human had ever possessed, offered him to leave Starfleet behind and join him in a voyage of discovery like no one had ever imagined. If you don’t know what Wesley decided, I won’t spoil it. But let’s see it from Captain Picard’s perspective.

You are the captain of a starship, and one of your crewmembers is offered a choice, by a powerful alien. He could share his powers, learn everything the alien had, but he would have to leave everything behind. And, of course, there is no way to ascertain whether the alien’s words are true. It could as well be a trap, and this choice lead him to a painful death.

The crewmember is considering it, and is convinced that the alien is, at least, trustworthy. You are not convinced, and worry about the consequences, but also the moral issues involved. Even if it was grave danger, would you be in a position to stop them?

Finally, the crewmember decides to go.

What will you do? Head to the forums and vote in this poll of the week!

This is a new question from our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favorite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!


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