The Mandate - Post-Funding Update #38
In this update for The Mandate more information about ship layouts, service branches and coat of arms is provided.
Now that we have an idea of the ship layout let us discuss the service branches. There are a total of six of these and they are important for crew progression and specialization. Above you can see a representative from each service branch as well as the name and colour of each service branch. The officer does not represent a service branch but prior to his promotion he may have served with one of the service branches but more on that later. Keep in mind that both the headgear and colours for each service branch are not finalized. None are wearing combat armour as this would be too bulky and restrictive for normal ship operations. Finally we are discussing internally whether the name “service branch” or “department” is the correct term to apply or whether we should use some other term.
So what gameplay impact do the service branches have? Well, fresh recruits start out as "enlisted" and only have a few basic skills. They may be assigned to operate vacant consoles in a room and each room is operated by one service branch (with a few exceptions like the bridge). Consoles grant enlisted experience points over time and eventually they will qualify to become specialists. Upon becoming a specialist the enlisted joins one of the service branches and can learn new skills. Each service branch has unique skill types which corresponds with its focus area. There are skills that affect both space combat, boarding combat, away missions etc.
Initially as captain you will probably be "hands-off" and not concern yourself with individual enlisted or even specialists. However as individual crew members level up, you will get more and more influence over their career and education. You may wish to review individual dossiers and check not only skills but also personality traits that may make somebody especially suited for a particular role. Each character has several personality traits which are revealed over time as they become an integral part of your crew. Certain situations and events may also trigger hidden personality traits (positive or detrimental).
Ultimately it is up to you as captain how you manage your crew and how to get the most out of them. Both senior specialists, senior warrant officers and commissioned officers are valuable. You need to train all types to replace battle losses and also grow your fleet. It is up to you to select who will stay as specialists, who will become warrant officers and who should become junior commissioned officers (and later on full captains). We believe the approach outlined above will feel organic and intuitive. You will make the decisions that really matter but not be bogged down with pointless, repetitive micro-management.
SP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development