1. Posting Content
The USS Arizona uses novel-style, third person prose to relate to the reader the content of given character's contributions to the overall story. To this end, there are several inclusions and exclusions to posts that we ask players to make.
1.1: Because a given post may take place in multiple locations throughout the duration of the piece, we ask that players include location denotations to make it easy for other players to figure out where certain events take place at a glance to make for faster reference to established content in follow-up posts. This shall be done in the following manner;
=Actual Location, General Location, Celestial Location (if applicable)=
I.E.; =Starfleet Command, San Francisco, Earth= for posts taking place on a planet.
I.E.; =Captain's Ready Room, USS Arizona= for posts taking place on board a vessel.
1.2: Because of the nature of this simulation, certain symbology will not be used to denote items like telepathy, intercommunication traffic, and so forth. For portions of a post that utilize telepathy, the use of italics or single quotation symbols, i.e. '...', are acceptable. Any traffic using inter-connectivity equipment such as ship to ship, ship to personnel or person to person will be done with simple quotations i.e. "..." after denoting in the material that such a method is being used.
1.3: Because of the standard of quality the simulation aspires to, players are asked to attempt, whenever possible, to adhere to the proper grammar and punctuation standards which appear in all written forms of communication. This means, in brief, please put the capital letters in their proper place i.e. the front of the sentences. Place comas in places they need to be for a natural pause etc. and not every other few words. And ensure that all sentences end with either a period (.), an question mark (?), or an exclamation point (!) where appropriate. The ONLY exception, of course, is placing a coma (,) at the end of a spoken sentence i.e. a bit of dialogue rather than a period.
The Commanding Officer reserves the right to edit any post, whether it be a solo post, joint post, or joint post in progress with the CO, any and all grammar inconsistencies they deem appropriate.
2. Posting Rates
The USS Arizona command staff understands and appreciates the fact that most players have obligations that extend beyond the simulation. And while we do make allowances for it as best we can, this is a game that is dependent on participation. With that said, we ask that players devote at least 2 posts per calendar month to the simulation, whether they be solo posts or joint post. The use of the personal log system in an attempt to make this quota is strongly discouraged as it adds nothing to the overall story we are trying to create.
3. Non-Player Characters (NPCs)
3.1: NPCs used in this simulation are created within the contents of a post written by our players. As such, the manifest shall be populated only by those NPCs that have been named (or shall be named in a post or joint post in progress) by a canon simulation post. This means that populating the manifest with random names simply to make the department look more full than it is will not be authorized. Should a department be populated by 'ghost' NPCs, the Commanding Officer reserves the right to remove this NPCs should they not be named in a post within one (1) week of their creation.
3.2: NPCs shall be divided into two classifications. The first classification shall be termed 'unlinked' NPCs. The Second shall be termed PCNPCs. They are defined and governed as follows;
3.2.A: 'Unlinked' NPCs: These are NPCs that do not belong to anyone in the department specifically and are free to be used by anyone from any department. Unless otherwise specified by the Commanding Officer, NPCs of this nature can be treated in any way the storyline sees fit to use them, up to and including serious injuries and death.
3.2.B: Player Controlled NPCs: PCNPCs are non-player characters linked to a specific person's account. As such, they will be treated, for all intents and purposes, as an alternate player character for the purpose of using them in a post. This means that these NPCs will be under the sole control of their owner in terms of what will and will not happen to them. The Commanding Officer alone has the right to involve such characters in plots that would cause serious bodily harm or death to these characters though it will only occur after having spoken to the originator of that character and only serve in the best interests of the ongoing story.
4. Player Removal Guidelines
While it is the goal of the simulation to provide a place where all players feel welcome and wanted, however there must be a policy in place to remove players that join the simulation but contribute very little to the overall game. The following shall be the process for removing inactive players;
4.1: Inactive players are defined as those players who fail to report their status to the Command Staff and/or fail to post to the simulation in a span of time that stretches beyond two calendar weeks from their last post.
4.1.A: A player on LOA is exempt from this policy for the duration of their stated LOA. If a player asks for an LOA for, as an example, three weeks, the time during the LOA would not be counted against the individual. However, at the end of the expressed length of LOA, should the individual fail to alert the command staff that a continuation of the LOA is required, two weeks after the end of said LOA, the player will be considered inactive.
4.1.B: Once a player has been labeled inactive, they shall receive via private message or email written notification of their status as an inactive player. Any person so labeled will be given one week from the initial correspondence to either provide a mission post of acceptable length or request an LOA for a defined period of time. Should a player fail to respond, they will be removed from their position and placed on the inactive roster of the simulation.
4.2: Players removed from their positions in this manner may return to the simulation, however their characters will not be allowed to return to their former positions should they hold Department Head or Assistant Department Head roles. Any Department Head removed in this manner shall be mandated to assume the assistant role regardless of a vacancy in the department as a condition for their reinstatement given their record of inactivity. Should the player show renewed activity in one month's time, they can be considered for resumption of the position of department head should it be vacant.
4.3: Those players who are called away from the simulation due to military deployments, medical issues that would prevent activity because of the nature of the illness or injury, and other circumstances beyond their control expressly explained to the Commanding Officer may be exempt from removal. These players, however, will be asked to step down from department head roles for the duration to allow other players a chance to assume the roles. Once the player returns to full duty under this clause, they will be allowed to return to their duties as a department head should they feel that they can reasonably return to a position of responsibility. This is at the player's option, though they may resume duties as the Assistant should they not feel they can return to their former roles.
4.4: Shore Leave will not be counted as part of this removal rule. It is not the policy of the Commanding Officer to enforce mandatory fun on anyone. Should a player chose to take this time as personal leave time away from the simulation for the duration and return after the active mission begins, this is perfectly acceptable. However, should a player fail to post after the start of the mission, they will still be subject to this policy.
5. Recognition Guidelines
5.1: It is the policy of this simulation that individuals within this group are fairly and equally rewarded for their efforts. To this end we have established a large number of awards from which we can use to recognize the efforts of our members. Awards shall be the primary methods of recognition for this simulation.
5.2: Award guidelines are included in the descriptions of all awards currently in use. It shall be the policy of the Command Staff to review the performance of the crew after each mission. No award shall be given prior to mission end unless otherwise specified in the description for an award (i.e. Newcomer Award).
5.3: In cases where an individual shows incredible dedication, creativity, and participation within a given mission, a commendation may not be sufficient to accurately express the gratitude of the Command Staff for such actions. In these extreme cases, the Command Staff will discuss the use of a promotion in character grade and rank to adequately reward an individual for their efforts.
5.3.A: Promotions shall be governed as follows;
5.3.A.1: No character/player who has joined the simulation after the start of the current mission nor any person who has been promoted after the end of the previous mission shall be considered for a promotion. While the Command Staff recognizes that new people can have a great deal to contribute to the simulation and indeed may deserve accolades for hard work and extraordinary effort put forth with the goal of making the simulation successful, it would be in poor taste to simply hand out a promotion to a new player regardless of their contributions while ignoring long standing players who, cumulatively, may have contributed much in their tenure to warrant the same. It would also, in the opinion of the Command Staff, be in poor taste to promote a player directly after they have already received a promotion. It is not in keeping with realism nor does is promote an environment of fairness and equability.
5.3.A.2: Promotions shall be given based on a number of factors, weighed evenly, to determine suitability in a given situation. These criteria include, but are not strictly limited to; mission participation, character development, character interaction, plot development, posting quality, and overall mission impact. Each term shall be explained below.
Mission Participation is defined as a quantifiable contribution to the mission in progress. This can include having posted a large number of substantial posts, joint posts, or mission ideas that made a positive impact on the mission.
Character Development is defined as having spent the time to develop one's character in such a manner that they become 'real' to others. This can include insights into their daily lives, their personal relationships with others developed in a realistic manner, or any other derivation there of that makes the character feel more like a person and more accessible to everyone.
Character Interaction is defined as a player's ability to get others involved in plot threads, sub-plot development, and other such items. This is just as much an evaluation of how well a player gets along with fellow writers as it is about how the character they write for interacts with their shipmates.
Plot Development is defined as a player's ability to react to and develop storyline tags given to them by both members of the crew and the Command Staff. This means that the player themselves determine a course of action and sees it through to the most logical conclusion within the boundaries of the mission. Guidance from the Command Staff as to the viability of the idea is acceptable, however asking outright what should be contributed to the storyline based on the tag is not considered developmental in nature.
Posting Quality is defined as posts contributed to the simulation that adhere to the acceptable length criteria, which is at a minimum 3/4 of a page written in a word processing program. While it is understandable that posts can not always run pages long when written alone, it is the opinion of the Command Staff that posts that do not span much more than a few paragraphs do not give enough detail and depth to warrant being considered of quality. We would much prefer that a player contribute one long post every two weeks than post once an hour and the posts be small paragraphs of little impact.
Overall Mission Impact is a general opinion the Command Staff has of a player's contribution once all other factors have been evaluated. It shall be this criteria that determines whether a player is given a promotion or not. Even if the player does not receive a promotion, s/he will more than likely be awarded those commendations that the Command Staff deem they have earned through their tenure.
5.4: The Command Staff reserves the right to issue as many commendations as they deem fitting and appropriate given the above criteria, as well as the right to forgo promoting any player/character on the simulation should it not be in keeping with the plot and performance in the mission. Promotions shall never be given to any player who asks for one, as it is in poor taste to request an accolade that one might not have earned. Requests made to have a character NOT be promoted will be entertained if there is good cause, whether because of plot or character developmental issues that might arise from such an act. No player, however, shall have the right to deny a commendation, as they are not awarded in character and are simply a way to show appreciation for hard work and excellent writing contributions.
5.5: The Commanding Officer reserves the right to take unilateral action when making a determination on who will and will not be given a promotion. Regardless of who may recommend a person for a promotion, it will be the ultimate responsibility of the Commanding Officer to approve and make such a promotion a matter of simulation canon. The Commanding Officer may delegate this authority to the First Officer, but no other delegation of this authority will be made.