Pursuing A New Canon

With the Consortium reduced to a relatively minor group it is time for Task Force 9 to pursue a new canon. As some of you may know the concept for a new canon has been in the works and in recent months the Task Force Senior Staff, in consultation with the Bravo Fleet Command Council have been working on a draft proposal. This proposal serves to outline where we envision the canon as going, but as with all things the canon belongs just as much to the Commanding Officers and members of Task Force 9 as anyone else.

It is for this purpose that we will be forming two committees. One committee will be focused on a general overarching exploration canon culminating in the discovery of a previously unknown foe, that threatens the very fabric of the Gamma Quadrant and perhaps even the galaxy at large. A second committee will focus on the general expansion of the Federation inside the Gamma Quadrant following the fend of Jenkata.

Initially these committees will be opened to just the Commanding Officers of Task Force 9. At some point in the near future members from Task Force 9 will also be invited to participate. It is our hope that by opening up these committees at the early stage of canon development we may be able to transform them into long-term institutions that can serve to enrich the Task Force and its story.

I will personally be chairing the first committee, JamesG will be chairing the second committee. COs, and members later on, will not have to choose and can be part of both.

State of the Fleet 2017Q2 Report

The BFA is pleased to announce that our Report for the Second Quarter of 2017 is complete. This report covers events in the fleet from April 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017 and summarizes changes that have occurred in the Fleet, ranging from task force story updates and departmental information to changes in our rules and procedures, as well as feedback from our Community Survey.

Here is a brief overview of the report:

The second quarter of 2017 saw continued growth and additional changes for Bravo Fleet.

Following the governance changes implemented in the first quarter, Bravo Fleet settled into its new structure while fine-tuning governance and the Bravo Fleet Management System (BFMS). In addition, the new Discord channel proved widely popular among the community.

The amount of sims available to our community increased by 13%. Additionally, Fleet chat usage increased to 154 participants (43% increase), and over 430 characters have now been added to BFMS (23% increase).

Several negative trends have continued, primarily the community’s dissatisfaction with the forums, Hall of Honours, and Academy. To quantify these concerns, Bravo Fleet sent out a survey to the Fleet membership to determine which areas to invest in most heavily moving forward. 48 members of the Fleet responded to the survey, and its results have guided and will continue to guide the Bravo Fleet Admiralty’s decision making.

On the whole, the Bravo Fleet Admiralty is pleased with the progress made this quarter, and a forward outlook section at the end of this document details plans for the upcoming quarter to address several areas of continued concern.

The full report can be accessed here.

Monthly Reports Update

On behalf of the Bravo Fleet Admiralty, I want to thank all of our Simm COs for their diligence in getting their monthly reports in on time. I know for many of you this seems like a nuisance, but they really are quite effective for our TFCOs and our leadership in many ways. Not only have we been able to identify problems and work towards solutions with individual sims, we’ve been able to recognize sims and players for their efforts, whether that recognition comes through awards or writeups on the Infobase to be eternally etched into Fleet Canon.

Today, the BFA would like to announce a very minor bylaw change concerning the Monthly Reports (Bylaw 1.2.2.8). This bylaw previously read:

Simm COs shall file a monthly report to their TFCO, in the form prescribed by their TFCO, no later than the 4th of each month.

The bylaw has been changed to the following:

Simm COs shall file a monthly report to their TFCO, via the Bravo Fleet Management System, no later than the 5th of each month.

This is merely a bit of housekeeping, mandated per our Constitution which requires all changes to the Constitution and Bylaws to be announced to our membership. Still, our COs can benefit from having an extra day to submit their reports, and can now enjoy a standardized method of delivery.

Again, to the COs in the fleet, we thank you for your diligence in getting these reports in on time. We look forward to seeing what all our sims do this month!

Changes to Player and Command Limits

As the month of June ends, the Bravo Fleet Admiralty is pleased to announce a couple of By-Law changes related to character and command limits.

In regards to the character limits, the BFA took a critical look at Bylaw 1.2.1.2:

A player in BF is allowed to be an active member of no more than 6 simms across BF. Anyone who posts to the simm at least once every 3 weeks is considered an active member of that simm and should be reported in the CO’s monthly report. At the discretion of the CO, a player may control or ‘own’ secondary characters or NPCs on the simm but the player must designate which is his primary character for purposes of promotions, awards, and simm reports.

A player in BF is allowed to be an active member of no more than 6 simms across BF. Anyone who posts to the simm at least once every 3 weeks is considered an active member of that simm and should be reported in the CO’s monthly report. At the discretion of the CO, a player may control or ‘own’ secondary characters or NPCs on the simm but the player must designate which is his primary character for purposes of promotions, awards, and simm reports.

With changes in the treatment of NPCs, PNPCs and writing styles on our simms in recent yearas, the BFA has determined has voted to abolish this By-law completely. This means that Bravo Fleet no longer enforces a six character per player limit.

In regards to the regulations regarding multiple commands, the BFA reviewed By-Law 1.2.2.6:

  1. No CO shall command more than one simulation in each part (defined below) of Bravo Fleet.
    1. Notwithstanding the above, a CO may command a non-Starfleet simulation in addition to their Starfleet command, or vice versa, in each part (defined below) of Bravo Fleet. The following condition(s) must be met:
      1. Twelve months of active command experience.
      2. Active growth and steady mission progression in current (Starfleet or non-Starfleet) simulation.
  2. Bravo Fleet main and each affiliate are defined as distinct “parts” of Bravo Fleet.

As Bravo Fleet has not had affiliates for several years, and as the BFA has been overriding the rule on multiple occasions, the BFA has updated the By-law to the following:

  1. No CO shall command more than one regular simulation in each Task Force of Bravo Fleet.
    1. Notwithstanding the above, a member of the BFA may command a fiction simulation in addition to their regular command, or vice versa, in the Task Force they command.
    2. A CO, upon approval of the TFCO and BFCC, may hold an additional command within the Task Force. The following condition(s) must be met:
      1. Twelve months of active command experience.
      2. Active growth and steady mission progression in current regular simulation.

This revision allows existing COs a path towards an additional command, as well as officially recognizes practices exercised over the last few years to approve additional commands.

TL;DR

  • Bylaw 1.2.1.2 removed.
  • Bylaw 1.2.2.6 revised.
  • 6 Player Ban Lifted
  • It is now easier for COs to have multiple commands throughout the fleet.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Named

Several weeks ago, the Canon Workgroup, as prompted by MossKai1701E and members of the BFA began work on naming the Starfleet Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was the Workgroup’s goal to name these as NPCs that can be utilized by the fleet at large for whatever story purposes our players needed.

It is my pleasure to announce that this procedure has been completed, and that the list is now live on the Infobase (which can be found here).

Over the next few days, bios and pictures will be showing up, as well as a bit of a cleaner look to Starfleet’s Departments that are listed there. Thank you for bearing with us, and we hope you will enjoy using these characters.

New Fleet Server Infrastructure

Following an outage last week, the Bravo Fleet Admiralty has several announcements regarding Fleet internet services moving forward.

Core Infrastructure

Over the past few years, Bravo Fleet has added a number of new Internet services to keep up with the growing needs of the community. These services have placed additional load on Bravo Fleet’s web host (NetGeezers, administered by Darian), which in turn has led to slower response times and several outages. In an attempt to address this, the Bravo Fleet Admiralty began piloting a new cloud-based cluster on Digital Ocean earlier this year. For the past several months, this cluster has supported the Bravo Fleet Management System and Academy.

I am pleased to announce that, as of last night, our new infrastructure now also supports the Infobase, Relay Station Bravo, and Fleet email, and, come this weekend, we will be moving DNS services to a globally distributed cloud to avoid losing domain resolution even if a server goes down.

We hope this provides a noticeable speed up to the Fleet services, although we are aware of a few outstanding issues (such as the forum not sending email) that we will be resolving in the next few days. Feel free to report any issues you encounter with these services in #help on Discord, to internet@bravofleet.com via email, or by opening a Service Request through your BFMS account.

Simm Hosting

Earlier this year, we also introduced a new sim hosting solution. Since February, this host (bravofleet.games, administered by aio) has supported bravofleet.games sim sites. As of yesterday, it is now also supports several bravofleet.com sim sites (starting with the USS Nomad, the USS Vindex and the USS Triton – a big thanks to them for serving as guinea pigs).

Over the next few days, we will be migrating the remainder of the bravofleet.com sim sites over to the new host. This will require no work from you but will cause about an hour of downtime for each site (possibly more or less for individuals based on their ISP given that this migration requires a change to DNS). If a CO does not want to move to the new host, please let us know as soon as possible, and you can work out your own arrangement with NetGeezers or another hosting provider.

As far as the new hosting service goes, if you encounter any issues, please submit a ticket at http://support.bravofleet.games.

Acknowledgements

As we transition to new infrastructure, the Bravo Fleet Admiralty would also like to take a moment to thank Darian Caplinger for supporting, for more than half a decade, Bravo Fleet’s core internet services and cumulatively more than fifty sim sites through his hosting company NetGeezers. While it pales in comparison to what Darian has done for us over these past few years, in recognition for his contribution, the Bravo Fleet Admiralty has voted to award Darian with the Community Recognition Ribbon.

TL;DR

  • All core BF services (BFMS, Academy, wiki, forum, email) have been migrated to a cloud-based web cluster.
  • Issues encountered with core BF services should be reported in #help (Discord), to internet@bravofleet.com (email) or via a Service Request (BFMS account).
  • All sim sites with bravofleet.com URLs will be migrated from NetGeezers to AioCorp over the next couple days.
  • Issues encountered with sim hosting should be reported at http://support.bravofleet.games by submitting a ticket.
  • Darian Caplinger awarded the Community Recognition Ribbon for his selfless support of Bravo Fleet’s infrastructure for the past half decade.

Community and Task Force 38 Update

First and foremost, on behalf of the Bravo Fleet Admiralty, I want to thank this fine community its patience and understanding as make several leadership changes to best support the community we all know and love.

Today, I am privileged to announce that JonM has been appointed as the Task Force Commanding Officer for Task Force 38, a lateral transfer from his previous role as the Bravo Fleet Internet Officer. JonM understands the frustrations of the COs in the Task Force and has pledged to offer not just more lasting solutions but also a richer and more stable ecosystem for the current sims and for anyone wishing to explore the Delta Quadrant. JonM will take up command as Admiral Michael Drake. JonM will continue to serve on the Command Council, while the BFIO position will be left open for the time being.

Following Adren Bahrat Noth’s departure from the Community Relations Officer position, the BFA has been tasked with refining the position and developing its purpose in this new era of simming. As of yet, we have not selected a permanent replacement as the department itself still is undergoing some adjustments in its mandate. To that end, we are appointing Fallon as the Command Adjutant for the Community Relations Office. Fallon is already hard at work on the soon-to-be-released starter kit for Players and COs and has some other great thoughts to move the Fleet forward. Fallon already holds the rank of Commodore and will continue to function with that rank during this time.

Please welcome JonM and Fallon in their new roles!

Governance Changes Announcement

From time to time, Fleet responsibilities have a way of pulling us all from the core reason we’re here in the first place: writing. It is thus with bittersweet emotions I announce Adren Bahrat Noth (Community Relations Officer), Leah (Task Force 72 Commanding Officer) and Kai1701E (Task Force 38 Commanding Officer) have each independently decided to step down from the Admiralty to refocus on their sims, the USS Equinox, USS Cairo and USS Nogura respectively. Collectively, these three have served over half a decade on the Bravo Fleet Admiralty, and, while we’ll miss them on the BFA, we look forward to seeing where they take the stories of their sims going forth.

In Leah’s place, the Bravo Fleet Admiralty has appointed Solaris (aka. S’iraa and Teh Kitteh Overlord) as the next Task Force 72 Commanding Officer. Solaris has a long history with the Fleet going back over a decade. Over the years, he has served as Task Force Commanding Officer, Fleet Chief of Staff and Fleet Commanding Officer, among others, and we’re excited to have him rejoin the Admiralty with his former command character, Vice Admiral S’iraa.

As far as Task Force 38 and the Community Relations Office go, the Bravo Fleet Admiralty is still in the process of evaluating next steps. We should have an announcement regarding both positions in the near future.

In addition, I am pleased to announce that the Bravo Fleet Admiralty has approved an update to Article II of the Constitution by unanimous vote. Taking into consideration the feedback of the Rules Work Group from earlier this year, last month’s Fleet-wide Survey, etc., this is the first of a number of updates to our Constitution and By-laws planned for the next couple months. We’ve also made a minor procedural update to Article V Section 1.4.

A Change in the Bravo Fleet Command Council

Real life constraints are an ever-present specter that get the better of us all from time to time. I am afraid that, on account of such constraints, Tom (Admiral Anatole Lazarus) has decided to step down from the Bravo Fleet Command Council and the Bravo Fleet Admiralty. I would like to thank Tom for his long service for the Fleet, including his recent return from retirement to help us pilot our new governance model. His influence can be felt across the Fleet from the work groups and other methods of community empowerment to much needed improvements in our rules and procedures.

In Tom’s place, the Admiralty has appointed greenfelt22 (Vice Admiral Zachary O’Connell) to the Command Council. Over the years, greenfelt22 has served many different roles across the Fleet, most recently pioneering the new Logistics Office. During his time in service to the Fleet, he has organized a wide range of initiatives, worked tirelessly and effectively to support the Fleet’s services, and provided a strong yet moderating voice in discussions. We are all excited, in times moving forward, to have greenfelt22 serving the Fleet in this new capacity.

While on the Bravo Fleet Command Council, greenfelt22 will also retain his duties as Logistics Officer.

State of the Fleet 2017Q1 Report

In seeking to provide more transparency and clarity regarding the state of the Fleet, I am pleased to announce the release of the State of the Fleet – 2017Q1 report. This report, covering the period of January 1, 2017, to March 31, 2017, summarizes changes that have occurred in the Fleet, ranging from task force story updates and departmental information to changes in our rules and procedures, as well as statistics on the Fleet’s various Task Forces and committees.

Here is a brief overview of the report:

The first quarter of 2017 was a period of great change for Bravo Fleet.

Following the departure of the Bravo Fleet Commanding Officer at the beginning of January, the Fleet implemented a number of community and governance changes aimed at adapting and responding to the needs of its rich and diverse community.

In parallel to these changes, the Fleet also launched the new Bravo Fleet Management System, new chat services on Discord, and made a large push towards improving the consistency and clarity of the Fleet canon and story.

From a quantitative perspective, the first quarter of 2017 has shown a turnaround in several trends, including an increase of 29% in the total simms, 700 comments from 25 participants in the Community Work Groups, an increase to 107 participants in Fleet chat, and use of the new Bravo Fleet Management System to track over 340 characters. Several negative trends have continued though, such as limited general activity on the Bravo Fleet forums and community dissatisfaction with the Academy and Hall of Honours.

On the whole, the Bravo Fleet Admiralty is pleased with the progress made in many areas, and it has included a forward outlook section at the end of the document detailing plans for the upcoming quarter to address several areas of continued concern.

The report can be downloaded in full here.

Star Trek Turns 50!

“Space, the final frontier…”

These words, transmitted for the first time on September 8, 1966, launched a global phenomenon. Fifty years later, after 13 movies and over 700 hours of television, Star Trek continues to boldly go where no one has gone before.

We at Bravo Fleet wish to toast the science fiction franchise that has brought us all together. Without the infinite backdrop that has inspired our stories, we would never be able to partake in creating our own stories. Here’s to 50 more wonderful years!

Happy 50th Anniversary, Star Trek!