== Your Character ==
Once you've chosen which department you want to role-play, you need to think about your character. If you're new to simming, you're not going to want to write your character as a cranky old space admiral. Write your character to be an extension of your own personality, thus making it easier to write. A good character should write him/herself, and you're just along for the ride.
As a new player, you're likely going to start out as a very junior officer or a very junior enlisted person. Either way, not much is going to be expected of you at the start, and your positional choices will be fairly restricted, after all, no one's going to expect an Ensign to run a massive starbases engineering department - but it does happen.
A good idea would be to write your character biography before you even post your first log. This way, you have a good idea what your character's strengths, weaknesses, abilities, likes, dislikes and reactions to certain things will be long before you have to think about them. Our command team love good bio's!
== Your Arrival ==
Once you've done your bio, you want to arrive on the Enterprise. This can happen in a number of ways. My advice to you would be to wait a week or so, and read the logs that are being posted, so you have some idea as to what is happening on the SIM.
Alternately, you could ask the CO or XO what's happening. You need to make sure that your arrival post suits what's happening to the sim at large, else you're just going to cause problems for your command team. :(
If the ship is in deep space, and no where near anything or anyone, a good idea is to write your arrival as having been on the ship the whole time. This works easier if you're not a department head, as general officers can just appear without causing an issue. If you do become a department head from your arrival, you can write it as a promotion from the ranks to the new role. This would need to be done in tandem with the CO or XO ideally, or at the very least, with their knowledge.
Otherwise, if the ship is docked or something like that, you can do a general arrival log - where you rock up to your new posting as a bright eyed, bushy tailed replacement or new assignee. This is how 99% of people arrive on the SIM at the start, and therefore a fairly agreed way for crew to arrive.
Once aboard your new posting, you should do a joint log. If you're a departmental assistant, you should present yourself to your Department Head. New Department Heads should report to the XO. Most people report to the CO, which whilst an accepted method, isn't really a realistic approach. The CO is a busy person, and probably shouldn't be wasting his time greeting every new Ensign who comes on his ship.
Again, the Command Team will make its views known on this, if you ask. Since the XO is the head of personnel on a ship, if you're going to report your arrival to anyone, make it the XO.
== Duty vs Personal Logs ==
There are two types of logs that you can write;
* Duty logs - these are logs describing your day to day duty's as a Starfleet officer. This can be about anything that's related to your position, the mission you're on, the away team you're on, or even a meeting between people.
* Personal logs - these can be about anything, and I do mean that. Personal logs are usually written about off-duty activities such as holodeck time, time alone in your quarters, dates, romances, going to the bar, etc etc. Whilst these are acceptable logs, and often fun to read and write, command teams don't want you to do only personal logs. They only serve as character development, not plot performance.
== Character Development ==
Every log you write, every joint log you participate in, every action you do - develops your character as it would develop a normal person. Every success & failure has an impact on your person.
As you write your character, they become more complex and detailed. Their successes will add to their skills and ego, and failures the same in reverse. Its important to remember these influencing impacts when writing your character. Also note down important events in your biography - this should be updated regularly, to give people an indication of what your character has done.
It also allows for realistic promotion time as well. Once your character has achieved life-skills, usually a promotion isn't far behind. After all, you can't be a Lieutenant Commander and have no idea how your department works.
== In Character Consequences ==
Now, this is important, and something a lot of people forget.
For every action, there is an equal and/or opposite reaction
This simple sentence is very important to remember, because it is vital to the in Character universe. Everything you do will have consequences, be they positive or negative.
I cannot stress enough that if you write your character doing bad things, bad things will happen to your character as a consequence. Insubordination will lead to brig time, demotions and courtmartials. You might think you want to write a character who is insolent and rude, but you need to get the balance just right, or you're going to end up simming from a penal colony!
Same is true with arguments with other players. If you throw a punch, and you punch a senior officer, you're going to get into serious trouble. Fighting amoungst peers, even without the rank issue, will land you into a world of problems with your superior officers.
On the reverse, if you do nice things, good things will happen. It really is a balancing act, and a case of using your intelligence to work out what is going to be realistically acceptable. Whilst this isn't the military, Starfleet is a military organisation, and does run on lines of strong discipline.
== Subject Lines ==
When you write a log, when you're using Nova, you must utilize the title section. You can ignore the others, but the title MUST be used. It also has to be used properly.
Every log, without exception, needs to be in one of the following formats;
* SD 24YYMM.DD | Duty Log | CO | Capt. John Smith
* SD 24YYMM.DD | Joint Duty Log | XO & CSec | Cmdr. Jane Jones & Lt. Eric Blake
* SD 24YYMM.DD | Personal Log | Ens. Mary Rose
* SD 24YYMM.DD | Joint Personal Log | LtJG. Vic Valance & Ens. Sarah Fondor
You must list players by precidence of postion then rank. Postion always overrules rank.
You can put names to your posts, like "A day in the life" but only after the complex formula above. For example;
* SD 24YYMM.DD | Duty Log | SFCO | Adm. Malone | "These Days"
Failure to follow these rules can lead to OOC reprimands being issued by your command team. Please avoid these simple mistakes.
++ Note: Nova automatically puts the Stardate into the subject line, so you do NOT need to put it in on a Nova post. Only on Email posts (if any SIM does this arcaic method of posting).
== SIM Requirements ==
Every single member of the crew is required to produce one quality log per week. If you are unable to do so, you must notify your Command Team as soon as possible via the command address - or onsite PM system. This will be marked as an Excusal.
If you fail to log, and you don't inform the Command Team, you will be marked as Unexcused. Three Unexcused, and you will be dropped from the roster, and forced to reapply. You may be subject to forfeit of your Dept Head position if that is the case, and you are a Dept Head.
If you are going to be away from logging for a while, contact the command team, and we will place you on Leave of Absence (LOA).
If you are unable to meet the one per week requirement, but want to stay aboard, we can accomodate that with a system called "Beta Shift". This puts you on a one-log-per-two-weeks requirement. However, Beta Shift Officers cannot become Dept Heads, and will not advance in rank as quickly as regular officers.
== Promotions ==
To advance in rank, you must log each week. For each active week, you move one week closer to your next rank promotion. The guide for promotions can be found here.
Begging for promotions will only delay your advancement in rank. Promotions will usually occur at the end of a plot, and are done by the command team. This goes for awards as well.
== Other Stuff ==
For more help please see Starfleet's helpful SIMmers Help