Updated Fri, Mar 12, 2010 by Medeor
Starting a Fleet in Star Trek Online is about as easy as any game I’ve seen. It only requires a group of 6 (you plus five) and a quick chat with the Fleet Administration (right next to the Bridge Officer Trainer in the Earth Spacedock). That's right, it is completely free to start your own fleet. Apparently the FA didn’t get a cool name like Mora either. Once the fleet is created, the whole accoutrement of guild tools opens up. These include banking, special uniforms, and other social structuring for guild, err fleet enjoyment.
Keep up with the latest news and happenings in the fleet.
Beyond naming the fleet, there are two things everyone does when they start a new guild/fleet in any game. First, design the tabard or uniform. Second, start doling out ranks to your buddies, while snubbing a few people along the way (you know, just to keep them honest). In STO, you have some excellent options, but sometimes they get spendy.
Just like real life, it’s always fun to get more storage. The fleet banks start with one tab of 48 slots available. This seems reasonable, especially considering there are eight tabs a fleet can purchase. The hiccup in grabbing those other tabs is the cost. Over 1.2 million credits per tab. Ouch. I’m sure later on that will be nothing but as a LC it seems like one heck of a lot of money.
The bank has all kinds of deposit and withdrawl rulesets that can be put into place to better manage the inventory.
It all looks fairly straight forward and if it goes sideways there is a great log of transactions. Funny note here, since STO is a “single name and game server” architecture when it comes to naming conventions, it would be a lot harder to hide for people who want to steal the bank and run off. We know where you live.
Fleets gain access to a uniform clothing facilitator as well. The uniforms can be created for all kinds of purposes (ground battle, special get togethers, etc.) and each uniform can have fleet ranks assigned to them. You don’t want a brand new player off the street wearing the same uniform as the veterans, right?
A couple of quick pointers for gaining uniforms as a new fleet member, and how to show them off. First off, the tailor in Earth Spacedock, Ghemik Telur, will set you up with your fleet approved uniform. It’s a bit tricky though because you have to start a new uniform or modify an existing one, and then click “next” a few times until the top of the dialog box will show a “Fleet Uniform” line with a drop-down arrow. Pick the one you’ll go with and have a ball. The uniforms can get expensive though so watch your wallet.
Once acquired, it’s time to show off the new looks. Go into the character status window and then right click Armor and Kit in turns. When highlighted, an option to “Hide on Costume” will be available. Go ahead and turn that off so your fleet uniform can be fully enjoyed.
STO caters to many different fleet agendas. There are the typical fleets of small to midsized groups of family and friends, up through larger fleets already planning what to do for endgame (and right now, they need to be a bit creative). The largest divider I’ve seen in terms of fleet structures is PvP and PvE. Nothing is more divisive (except maybe the death penalty) than comparing PvE fleets with those gnashing their teeth, aka PvPers.
Many fleets are also using STO as an excellent gateway for role players. Some fleets have made special channels so that they won’t disturb or be disturbed by the rest of the fleet. Other fleets are primarily Klingon (which would go back to the PvP/PvE discussion since Klingon fleets almost have to be PvP on principle.
In one of our pre-launch interviews, Stephen D’Anegelo, Programming Lead, Star Trek Online (Cryptic Studios) offered up some very interesting information like the current 250 player cap per fleet. The fleet I’m in doesn’t have to worry about this yet, but we’re working on it.
Speaking of fleets, how is yours doing? Is it a small to medium guild that is growing, staying stable or starting to drop off? Are you part of a Klingon guild hell-bent on destruction or are you out in DS9 getting your role play on? Let me know if you have any things you’d like to add about guilds, or if you have any questions.