So, in light of the latest entrant to the ranks of the NIF... I think a discussion and some formal ground rules need to be laid out regarding character species and vessel limitations.
As it stands, the rules make no exceptions to the species a character can be and, so long as it exists in Star Wars canon it's official (so until we see Tinkerbell-esque fairies somewhere, they won’t be legal characters). Admittedly, what denotes canon could be vague and ambiguous at best since most people consider pretty much anything found on Wookieepedia to be official SW tech/fact/etc. I myself am one of those people too and there are things that are inconsistent with other bits of info but that's beside the point.
The rules are clear regarding Force Sensitive characters (1000+ word bio requirement), Dark Jedi (existing character in the NIF already at a minimum rank of 3, a master must be available to take on a student and must also express a willingness to do so. There's also details that the DJ has to be an entirely new character, but I digress...). Freelancers just need an existing NIF character already...
Beyond smaller details (such as credit starting limits and then pay scales and rates), there are very few other restrictions...
So, with poor Vali's plight, I think it's time we establish some sort of basis or upper limit for things.
I used the term "upper" because for freelancers, it says in the database (member manual) that freelancers (privateers) are able to start with a ship up to (and including) frigate size but people are free to pick a ship smaller than that. Now, there are some "unspoken" restrictions to the type of ships available. For instance, I made a pirate with a Vibre class assault carrier as the ship. It's a corvette so well within the only criteria set by the admin for a line I cannot cross. However, Ace expressed a desire for a more detailed bio explaining how I came to acquire this ship. I complied and showed it to him and he accepted (all very behind-the-scenes stuff but I suppose if someone had a problem at the time of posting, I would have heard about it by now). Did I have to put in the extra work? Not necessarily, as I could have simply pointed to the rules and asked “where does it say I can’t?” but I think we all know I’m not the sort of person to do that.
Right now, the system is pretty much a post-it-and-if-admins-have-a-problem-they'll-let-you-know type set-up. It’s not a bad system and with the relatively few numbers of people and low activity we generally experience, I think it works well since the admins usually have time to pick through each bio and post and respond to the demands of the board and not fall behind in their own lives/posts/etc.
It was mentioned that the Anzati were a species off-limits to PCs and allowed only for NPCs. I vaguely remember someone talking about this, probably in chat, but it must have been so long ago because I was mulling over the idea of making one a year or so back. (It's in the scrap pile with countless other ideas for reasons that would only waste time talking about here.) Regardless, if my memory is that shoddy, there's probably a bunch of other people who don't even know about this ruling at all...
The upgrades for said ship also suffer from a lack of actual rulings. I could make a new freelancer and give him a VCX-700 and fitted with a few extra laser cannons and enough engine, manoeuvrability and avionics upgrades to turn it into a starfighter.
There is now a ranking system with the freelancers that limits the type of tech they can possess but that doesn't change the fact a person could still kit out their YT-1300 with fifty-thousand worth in laser cannons right at the start.
So, all that said...
- What are the limitations of vessels going to be? This should include size (starfighter, subcap, capship), type (corvette, frigate, etc.), and maybe even every specific type of vessel (marauder, DP-20, Halcyon).
- What are the upgrade limits going to be (if any)?
- How will we account for starting credits? What direct motivation is there for person A to stick with a YT-1300 while person B has a fully tricked out YT-2200 yet they both have 10K credits starting? Even more extreme than that, give person B a frigate.
If there is such a list, I think it should be public knowledge then, don't you? Why wait for someone to post and then come down on them when we could instead advertize "this is what you're not allowed to do/have"? Wouldn't that be a more proactive approach?
To conclude, the system, while not necessarily broke, could use some patching up. Maybe not right now, but at some point in the future and the sooner the better because it’s my experience that, whenever something like this happens, though it has never happened before, the odds it will happen again soon are increased tremendously. That’s my effort to kick off these discussions and put in my views.
Thanks for your time!