Poll of the Week

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Poll of the Week: Best Shore Leave Episode?

For all the work they do exploring and saving the Federation from endless threats, it seems our beloved crews don’t get anywhere near enough shore leave. But when it is shown, the results is excellent television.

With the first episode to fit this bill – aptly titled “Shore Leave” – a precedent was set. “Shore Leave” itself is often lauded by fans as a fun romp, and a standout of TOS’ first season. “Captain’s Holiday” features uptight and work-addicted Jean-Luc Picard become embroiled in a time-bending adventure on Risa. “Family” from TNG’s fourth season, follows the events of “The Best of Both Worlds”, and gives the audience a rare and cherished glimpse of characters dealing with the consequences of previous events. Incidentally, this is the only episode in all of Star Trek canon that does not include a scene on the bridge. Enterprise follows this trend twice – once with the episode entitled “Two Days and Two Nights” in its first season, and another entitled “Home”, which features Enterprise crew members dealing with the personal issues following the conclusion of the Xindi conflict.

While there are other episodes that mention or feature shore leave, these are those predicated around it. With that in mind, which shore leave episode is your favorite?

Head to the forums now to register your vote. Be sure to drop a comment in the thread below the poll!


Poll of the Week: À la carte

If you are looking for something to eat on a ship with replicators there is no shortage of options. Starfleet replicators have a massive library of recipes from across the Federation and beyond. It doesn’t matter what a Starfleet officer could want. Whether as simple as a piece of toast for breakfast or catering a dinner party for members of a dozen alien species, the replicator can provide. Simply push a button and ask for whatever dish is desired. And if on the off chance there is a food not already in the database the replicator pattern can be created and uploaded to the database.

However, everyone has their own preferences for food. Everyone has foods that they prefer not to eat if they can at all avoid it. It is unlikely that many people could go through the entire replicator database and not find some foods that they would dislike.

This week’s poll asks you what dishes would not be found on your character’s table. What types of food can your character not stand?

Click here to head to the forums and register your vote in the poll now. Be sure to comment when you’re done!


Poll of the Week: Which Position Carries the Most Risk?

Let’s face it: Space travel is a risky business. Swimming through a void specifically designed to kill any organic life as we understand it is no mean feat, and that’s not even mentioning the various dangers that the political climate can bring to bear. If the vacuum doesn’t boil your character’s blood, the Romulan disruptors pointed at them will. If the hostile natives don’t run a spear through their body, the flesh-consuming bacteria they picked up will finish the job quick enough.

No matter what position and department they fill on a ship or a station, there is always immense risk. But while some of that risk is universal, others are more specialized. A security officer is the first line of defense against enemy incursions. A doctor runs the greatest risk of infection by plagues, due to their exposure to them. Engineers constantly effect repairs in dangerous and less than ideal circumstances. Counselors deal with potentially violent or disturbed patients.

This poll asks you which duty post/department carries the most risk overall. Head to the forums to vote now!


Poll of the Week: Reunification

In the distant past, Romulans and Vulcans were one. Romulans did not exist for centuries of Vulcan history. Only during the Age of Surak did the Romulans begin as their own people. They refused to adopt Surak’s philosophies about logic and emotion. These Vulcans who “marched beneath the raptor’s wings” left the planet on a long odyssey. Eventually, these wayward Vulcans would find their way to Romulus and form the Romulan Star Empire.

For the longest time Vulcan and Romulus remained separate. They went on divergent paths of history and developed their own unique cultures. The Vulcans joined the Federation and continued to follow the logical path of Surak’s teachings. Meanwhile, the Romulans became an expansionist military power built on extreme paranoia and mistrust. Despite their common roots the two civilizations didn’t seem to have much in common. This hasn’t kept people on both sides from desiring a unification between the Vulcans and Romulans.

What form would this reunification take? For most Vulcans, the idea was to have peaceful diplomatic discussions with the Romulans. The Romulan Star Empire saw the goal of reunification as the conquest of Vulcan. Reunification remains a dream for many Romulans and Vulcans despite the barriers to unification. What do you think about the prospects of a reunion for the two powers?

Could Vulcan-Romulan Reunification work? Click here to head to the forums now and vote for your choice.


Poll of the Week: Which civilization had the best emblem?

Emblems, flags and symbols are ubiquitous in the universe of “Star Trek.” Civilizations across the galaxy, be they powerful empires or miniscule entities, are easily identified by their particular sigil of identity. These designs are generally eye-catching, descriptive and easily discerned from one another.

The Federation’s has undergone several changes over the shows and movies, but all have maintained the peaceful colors, olive branches and starfield that exude an air of serenity and cooperation. The brazen, barren trefoil design of the Klingon Empire strikes perhaps the opposite note, effectively displaying their imperial approach and aggressive stance to their allies and enemies alike. The Romulans employ a wide-winged raptor, announcing their commitment to their roots and a desire to dominate. The list goes on and on, and for the eagle-eyed viewer, it can provide a seemingly endless source of interest and world-building potential.

This week’s poll asks you to tell us what your favorite civilization emblem is. Consider aesthetics, effectiveness and uniqueness in your answer, then vote in the poll and be sure to comment on your favorite!


Poll of the Week: Most Challenging Position to Sim?

No matter what ship you write on, what position your character fulfills, or what department they’re attached to, he, she or ner has an important role in the smooth operation of the vessel. We’d not get far without helmsmen or engineers, exploration would be a drag without our scientists and specialists, and the crew would certainly falter without the skills of the medical and counseling staff.

The shared usefulness of these departments, however, is where their similarities end. Each has a different expectation, a different goal, and different challenges when it comes to simming for them. Finding a way to engage an engineer in the plot without having something break can often be something of a struggle. Coming up with a way to keep a counselor relevant in a given story is another often-cited problem. A medical officer needs some degree of understanding when it comes to the art of healing- not exactly an easy prospect when a writer’s only aid is a knowledge of biology, and a few loose threads shown in canon. The same might be said for a science officer. The rest have their own obstacles.

With these limitations in mind (and others that you’ve encountered in simming for a duty post) which department is the most difficult to sim for? Give us your vote, and let us know your reasons in the comments section below!


Poll of the Week: Pre-warp nostalgia

In Star Trek, the characters often reference art from their respective cultures. This could be as simple as a passing reference to a novel or something as complex as playing out scenes from a play on the holodeck. Data was a fan of Sherlock Holmes. Worf was known for being well-versed in all things related to Klingon culture. Multiple members of the Enterprise-D senior staff played parts in classic plays from Earth during their downtime. Star Trek is full of references to classical music, Shakespeare, and literature. However, one aspect of culture seen much less frequently is the modern-day literature, art, and music of the Federation.

Whether it be Worf’s Klingon opera or Data and Picard playing out a scene from Henry V, most of the culture from the Federation that we see is historical and not current. With art from Earth it makes sense for producers to reference well-known classics like Shakespeare. But even when dealing with alien art we always seem to see art from that world’s distant past. While a few episodes do give us glimpses into the bestselling holonovels and popular culture of the 24th century, it seems that most people are content to stick with the classics from centuries ago.

What do you think about the lack of modern culture in the Star Trek universe? Is it just a trick to limit production costs or a major missed opportunity for worldbuilding? Head to the forums to cast your vote and let us know what you think!


Poll of the Week: What Would You Character Do After Starfleet?

Many cadets enter Starfleet Academy with high hopes, boundless aspirations, and a plan to excel in their field wherever possible. The vast majority are successful, but very few seem to give consideration to what happens after their time in Starfleet, after their career has reached its peak.

It’s well into the 25th century (or even the 26th). Your character is a captain, or perhaps even an admiral, and for whatever reason, they have decided to finally retire from the active fleet. They are still in relatively good health, and despite technological advancements and the usual political and social machinations that have always presented threats the the United Federation of Planets, our great civilization has enjoyed an unprecedented period of relative peace and calm. Without the weight of those pips, they are free to do what they will in a galaxy seething with opportunity.

How would they spend that time? Would they focus on family, settling down to be among loved ones in waning years? Would they explore on their own, seeing parts of the galaxy they hadn’t been to during their tenure in the fleet? Maybe they’d consult for Starfleet, or teach at the Academy. Or perhaps they’d enter the private sector- leaving Starfleet might not be the end of a career.

This week’s poll asks you what your character would do after their Starfleet career. Head to the forums and vote now. Be sure to drop your thoughts in the forum thread below the poll!


Poll of the Week: Help out the FNS

The Federation News Service is a spinoff of our game, wherein a team of writers help bring the rest of the Federation – mostly what happens outside of Starfleet – to life through news stories.

With an influx of new members lately, the team has been pumping out new stories like crazy, from feature articles to editorials and more! But now we want to know what kind of stories you like reading best so we can calibrate what we’re publishing.

This Poll of the Week asks what you’d like to read more of: Current events across the quadrant? Editorials and opinions on matters affecting the galaxy? Perhaps you prefer in depth cultural analysis, or reports on the actions and stances of other galactic civilizations? Or maybe even a completely different angle?

Head to the forums now to input your vote, and leave a comment if the choice you were looking for isn’t listed. We’re interested in hearing your opinion!


Poll of the Week: Ready for Command

Captains and first officers all start somewhere – most of the time at the rank of Ensign! With time and experience officers climb up the ranks, and may one day find themselves sitting in the center chair.

There are captains who have come from every Starfleet background imaginable. Captain Picard was originally the flight controller aboard his first command, the Stargazer. Before serving on the Enterprise Captain Kirk worked on a phaser crew. Captain Janeway was a science officer during her early Starfleet career.

This week’s poll asks for your opinion on which duty post you think would best prepare a person for a command role. Is there a specific duty post that provides unique experience that would be useful to a member of the command department? Maybe experience with multiple departments is better and makes for a more well-rounded skill set? Do you think that no department holds the advantage?

Click here to head to the forums and register your vote now. Make sure to leave a comment once you’ve voted!


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