STO: T’Androma Returns With Thoughts On The Care And Keeping Of Duty Officers

June 3, 2013

One of the features I’m just now trying for the very first time in Star Trek Online is the Duty Officer system, due to the fact I left the game shortly before they put it in. So, ever since my return to the game a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been playing around with DOffs and DOff assignments on my main character T’Androma, familiarizing myself with the mechanics.

My initial impressions? I’m rather pleased at how well they implemented it.

Okay, fine, gross understatement. The truth is, I’m totally addicted, and it’s become as instinctual as breathing to check my available duty officer assignments as soon as I enter into a new space sector.

The thing I love best about the system is how it completely immerses you into this leadership aspect of the game, putting me at one with my power-tripping Vulcan by actually making me feel like a big important starship captain delegating my legions of puny underlings to do my bidding. One of the first things I did was set up T’Andy’s team of department heads, so that her Chief Science Officer (and secret lover) is also the First Officer. Being involved in a torrid affair with the boss lady has got to have its perks.

Some of the scenarios and their outcomes also really crack me up. It all goes back to what I was saying about the system feeling so detailed and immersive. The dispassionate emotional landscape of my cold Vulcan heart notwithstanding, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of guilt the first time I lost an officer on an assignment that resulted in complete disaster. Nonetheless, logic dictates the mission was still a success, in that the incident taught me a valuable lesson: always read the assignment information carefully and try to better match what they require! Still, pretty damn sure that won’t be my last “red shirt”.

Another time I just about fell out of my chair laughing when a duty officer received serious injuries after confronting an unruly crew member during the personal assignment “Confiscate Contraband from Crew”. I know I’m probably a terrible person for finding it funny, but it was so hilariously outrageous and shocking at the time to find out it is actually possible to fail so utterly and pathetically at such an innocuous sounding mission. Now, of course, my question is: where can I get the option to have this unruly crew member flogged?


  1. The Duty Officer system adds so much personality to the game! In my head, I’m constantly coming up with stories to explain or justify what happened. I’m convinced that two of my crewmen have a healthy three-dimensional chess competition going — if only because their traits are perfect to constantly send on game assignments! Or, you know, having my Jem’Hadar security officer interrogate a Vorcha, or deliver a captured changeling into custody; my Romulan captain has a terribly developed sense of irony.

    And yes, the disastrous failures are absolutely hilarious. “How did that particle scan go terribly wrong?” I yell, then think back to every episode of Star Trek where exactly that happened. (Also, you can only lose common-quality bridge officers; uncommon or better only get sent to the medbay. So at least your larger investments are protected.)

    (Also also: remember that there are recruitment missions for more duty officers at Starfleet academy; there’s on NPC who gives ~5, two day missions on a two day cooldown, and then there are NPCs sprinkled across the map that give officer exchange missions targeted at some of the more important worlds of the Federation (Vulcan, Andoria, etc.).)

    • Hey, good to know that info about uncommon or better quality Doffs…I wasn’t too concerned because I wasn’t going to do anything to put them in unnecessary risk anyway, but it’s still comforting knowing I’ll never lose them permanently.

      Did not know about the recruitment missions at Starfleet either, thanks! I should go around looking around the entire map one of these days for these special missions.

  2. Every so often under Development a “Discipline Crew Member” assignment will pop up so you can save your offending duty officer for a flogging! 🙂

    • Awesome! These STO devs, they think of everything! 😀

  3. No surprise that Sleer is your Number One. I picked Rowan’s Tarah, of course. I was messing around with my duty officers yesterday evening as well, and got the recruitment missions AyAitch speaks of. You can buy crew with zen, too, if you’re in that much of a hurry.

    Reading the results is fun; I didn’t realize at first the flavor text was that detailed.

    • Wow, I can’t believe you remembered the name of my officer after all this time! I’m ashamed to say I barely could 😛

      I was sorely tempted to buy the zen to get the Doff packs, had to ask my husband to practically hold me back. Maybe in a while when I start to get a little further into the assignments!

      • I’m not sure they’re any better than the ones you get from recruiting at the academy, just faster.

      • Don’t buy doff packs from the zen store unless there is some cool promotion going on (they’re not generally worth it).

        One thing I didn’t know about at first was the colonial chain missions that are in each of the exploration zone. They are fun and each one ends by rewarding you with a rare doff and a repeatable that gives a very rare doff when you crit.

      • Thanks for the colonial exploration heads-up. I was wondering if those were worth the time and effort anymore.

  4. I enjoyed the duty officer system greatly. I also love how they made a combat system for the cosmetic ship that carries your duty officers through the galaxy, and how your DOFF department heads can even beam down with your captain and shoot stuff with phasers like real Star Trek TV shows. Great attention to detail.

    (I have two level 50 captains, neither of whom has completed the Klingon conflict mission arc.)

    • I haven’t even had a chance to look at that cosmetic ship yet, and that thing with the department heads, thanks for the reminder! They really did go all out with this system, I’m very impressed and happy with it.

      • I think the joke was that the DOFF system is the actual “game”, and our ship and our bridge officers is just sweet, sweet icing.

  5. Wait, is that the Khan emote? That’s totally the best use for it, ever.

  6. I love the Doff system, and by far, I have my personal favorite Doffs… Go dismantle an abandoned oribtal minefield? Sounds like the perfect job for Holo-William Shakespeare! Host a game of poker? That’s definitely Edmund Edmund Laughinghouse’s department (which will inevitably end in complete failure).

    Protip: You can only lose the white doffs. The more dangerous the mission is, the more you should send in your green or blue doffs as you can’t lose them.

    • Do we know if that’s true of Klingon executions? I couldn’t bring myself to execute an officer last night; not because I’m soft, but because I don’t have very many in the first place.

      Also, I received an officer last night that is almost the spitting image of my Captain (that resembles me), and shares my own RL surname. It was weird.

      • I don’t know if it’s true about the Klingon executions, I don’t play that side. But I’d be so tempted to do it, everything else be damned.

        And holy crap, that’s kinda weird in a very cool way with the RL surname!

      • I’m pretty certain that there are some missions (Klingon executions, colonization efforts) that remove DOFFs regardless of their color. However, only white DOFFS can die in unfortunate, completely unforeseeable accidents.

        Also, the Klingons have had their storyline completely fleshed out, and their beginning missions are now much more compelling than the Federation’s. Honestly, rolling a Klingon makes a lot of sense these days — even if all you plan to do is do DOFF marauder missions for contraband.

      • I know it’s silly, but I don’t want to drop my Orion Sla—Captain, because I got an extra ship once because of a glitch and I don’t to lose it. ><

    • LOL @ Holo-William Shakespeare!

      And yes, I love that you can’t lose uncommon doffs or higher. Sometimes I’ll go for assignments that don’t have as high a chance of success as I’d like, but I’ll go for it anyway with green doffs and above, because I know I won’t lose them if I fail, but if I succeed it’s worth the shot.

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