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Simming Help and Advice

Welcome to the simming help guide. Here is a very brief guide to assist anyone with their role playing within UCIP. Lets start with some useful advice.

Choosing your SIM

Choosing your SIM is possibly the most vital step you can take. Each SIM is different and offers an array of possibilities for you as a player. The first question you have to ask yourself is, do you want to play on a ship, starbase or colony? Most people choose ship, but there are advantages to the other types too. I'll try and break it down a bit for you.

  • Starship - a starship is a vessel of varying size and role that goes places and does things. I can't really make it any simpler than that. If you're interested in a starship, I would suggest researching the different SIM's mission roles and purposes, and pick one that suits your style. Some SIM's are combat ships, some explorers, others are less specific. It pays to do your homework here, as a wrong choice can leave you a bit high and dry.
  • Starbase - a starbase is a fixed installation or facility that serves as a focal point for Starfleet operations in any given area. Starbases, whilst fixed position installations, offer their own brand if quirkiness and role playing fun. Able to support much larger departments than their starship counterparts, thus enjoying a much greater tollerance for higher ranked players within their departments. Starbases can also offer much more role specific departments as well, such as fighter groups, marine battalions and other groups not normally found on starships. You also have the option of going off-station for various missions on attached starships.
  • Colony - a colony is similar to a starbase, except this is focused on a planet, not in deep space. Its similar to a starbase in all other regards as well, and can be a welcome change of pace. Marine units tend to be their largest on colony based SIM's, going as large as Divisions in some places. Colony's are very challenging on a role player, but can be a lot of fun once you get your mind into it.

Your Character

Once you've chosen where 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. CO's love good bio's, and on some SIM's won't promote you until you write one - so its good to get it out of the way first.

Your Arrival

Once you've done your bio, you want to arrive on your SIM. 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 your 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 its a starbase 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 or her 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.

Summary so far

Well, if you follow this general advice, you should be able to join a SIM without any real problems or issues.

We're now going to cover simmer etiquette.

Duty vs Personal Logs

This is a very brief topic, so it shouldn't take too long to grasp.

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. Command Teams prefer duty logs to personal logs.
  • 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 arguements 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 utilise 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).

A Guide to Abbreviations

On inspiration from Cmdr. Aurora Cerrdwen of the USS Atlantia, I'm going to publish below a comprihensive guide to abbreviations for positions and ranks for subject lines. Please try to follow this guide.


Position Abbreviation
Commanding Officer CO
Executive Officer XO
Second Officer/Second Executive Officer 2XO
Chief of the Boat/Command Chief COB/CC
Yeoman YMN

Flight Control Department

Position Abbreviation
Chief Flight Control Officer/Chief Helmsman CFCO/CHelm
Helmsman Helm

Operations Department

Position Abbreviation
Chief Operations Officer COps
Operations Officer Ops
Boatswain BWN
Quartermaster QM

Security Department

Position Abbreviation
Chief of Security CSec
Security Officer Sec
Master-at-Arms MAA

Tactical Department

Position Abbreviation
Chief Tactical Officer CTac
Tactical Officer Tac
Gunner GNR

Strategic Operations Deparment

Position Abbreviation
Chief of Strategic Operations CSTRATOPS
Strategic Operations Officer STRATOPS

Engineering Department

Position Abbreviation
Chief Engineering Officer/Chief Engineer CEO
Engineering Officer/Engineer Eng
Engineer's Mate EM

Science Department

Position Abbreviation
Chief Science Officer CSci
Science Officer Sci

Medical Department

Position Abbreviation
Chief Medical Officer CMO
Medical Officer MO
Nurse Nur
Counsellor Cns

Intelligence Department

Position Abbreviation
Chief Intelligence Officer CIntel
Intelligence Officer Intel

Fighter Operations Department

Position Abbreviation
Air Group Commander CAG
Wing Commander WCO
Wing Executive Officer WXO
Squadron Commander SCO
Squadron Executive Officer SXO
Flight Leader FLDR
Fighter Pilot FP

Marine Department

Position Abbreviation
Division Commander DivCom
Regiment/Brigade Commander RegCO/BrigCO
Battalion Commander BattCO
Battalion Sergeant Major BSGTMAJ
Company Commander CCO
Company XO CXO
Company First Sergeant CFSgt
Platoon Commander/Platoon Leader PCO/PL
Platoon Sergeant PSgt
Marine Mar

Specialist Roles

Position Abbreviation
Starfleet Commander SFCO

For accepted abbreviations of ranks, please see the Starfleet Ranks page.

Thank you for reading, and I hope this guide helps.