The goal of the program is to encourage like-minded people in the same geographic area and time zone, or online friends, to join together in creating either local get-togethers or online meetings to support each other’s fandom in an enjoyable environment.
In addition, the Ship of the Line Program (SLP) aims to encourage crews to work together in achieving levels – reminiscent of a video game. “Each level earned is kind of a mark of pride for the ship,” said Admiral MilesPrower Dagger, who has been developing the scheme. “Each level has a set of requirements to be met in order for the crew to advance. The crew has to work together to achieve it.” None of this is compulsory, however.
Dagger – who is UFS Deputy Commander -wants to ensure that everyone has a chance to engage in their fandom in a way that makes sense to them. “If people want to participate in some other way, they can just stay at Level One of the SLP and still be a commissioned SotL with the same rights and privileges as the others.”
Naturally there are a few regulations about starting a ship of your own. “Those wishing to start a ship will have their own goals to some extent, but for UFS, the most important perspective potential commanding officers should have is that their ship is meant to provide something to other UFS members, to give them a place to gather, to do things together, and enjoy themselves,” Dagger said. Thus providing regular activities and opportunities for participation are crucial.
New Ships of the Line might exist in an online format like a blog, forum or email exchange, Zoom chats, and so on. Or they might be a group that meets locally for coffee, attends scifi movies or comicons. Or they might be ships or stations that are based in virtual worlds like Second Life and 3rd Rock Grid. The new SLP also allows for the establishment of provisional ships in games, sectors and grids where a potential CO needs to market their idea to others in order to gather enough crew to meet the requirements for launch.
Another cool aspect of the SLP is the permitting of ships who wish to roleplay outside of the current UFS timeline. “A ship might want to exist in the TOS era and conduct missions in the Alpha or Beta quadrants, for example,” Dagger explained. “They can still take part in Task Forces set in other eras, if they wish, by temporarily roleplaying as another class of ship in a different time.”
For more information on the Ship of the Line Program – expected to be launched this month – check out this LCARS for a Preview of the SLP. Watch the UFS Forum for the official announcement. And prepare to ‘engage’.