Maf: Starfleet Battles Player Experience

Perry Jones
11 min readAug 8, 2022

Maf: Starfleet Battles — Players enter the game in game year 1988, World War 3 ended the year before.

All players except for Starfleet Captains begin with a frigate and 1 million Helvatica Dollars/Stellar Credits.

Starfleet Captains begin with a destroyer.

Initial campaign for each player (including Starfleet Captains) will be a battle against pirates in a nearby solar system. Players will use their frigate (or destroyer) to protect an NPC group who are mining asteroids in the area.

Game play begins in the solar system where the battle will take place with players spawning inside of their ship just outside of a space station in the system.

The Executive Officer of the ship (Game AI) will instruct the player on how to raise and lower shields, overcharge shields, propulsion and weapons, manuver and fly the ship; turning left, right, up, down, slide left, slide right, barrel roll, etc.

Players will be instructed how to identify, track, target and target lock enemy ships and distinguish between enemy ships and friendly ships.

Navigation is easy with players being able to access a local map (solar system) with a hot key and zooming in to their specific location or zooming out (using the mouse wheel) to cover the entire solar system. Game AI will instruct players on these procedures.

Moving from one point in a solar system to another point in a different solar system is equally easy by using the map to designate the point, planet, moon, space station or asteroid belt to move to. Players right-click on the location they choose to travel to.

The Navigation Computer will lock onto the destination and assess fuel required while the Combat Computer will estimate threats at the destination and monitor any possible threats approaching the ship. If the ship does not possess enough fuel (only a problem with early years in the game), the Navigation Computer will so inform the player.

In the event of destruction of the ship and/or death of the player, ship and player will respawn at the same location they initially spawned — just outside of the system space station.

Players will have three battles to complete at this stage.

If the player wins the first battle, the pirates in the second stage will be slightly more adept with slightly more capable ships. If the player loses the first battle, the second battle will feature slightly less capable pirates with slightly less capable ships.

The third battle is a progression from the second, honing the combat and navigation skills of the player.

Upon completion of the third battle, players will be instructed to return to the space station from which they spawned. This time they will need to dock within the station.

This is easy as the Executive Officer will instruct the player on how to bring up and use the Communications HUD which is used to contact other players, NPCs, game Agents and Station Traffic Control to request clearance to dock.

Station Traffic Control will instruct the player to place their ship in automatic pilot (as instructed by the Executive Officer) and allow Station Traffic Control to dock their ship. This will be the same procedure for nearly all stations in the game, Traffic Control will assume command of the ship and dock the ship into an available bay.

Upon docking, the Executive Officer will instruct the player how to power down systems and open the hatch to the docking bay.

All player-characters are neuro-chipped. This provides player-characters to communicate with Station Communications via ship’s radio or NetCom (Network Communications) which exists nearly everywhere in-game and permits the player to communicate with everyone and everything just by thinking about doing so, (this also activates the Communications HUD) (use a hot key).

The players’ neurochip will instruct the player how to rise from the pilot’s seat, (or bridge Command Chair), stand, walk, reach, move, stoop and grasp and manipulate various station objects as the player moves through the station.

Players may also explore the interior of their ship investigating the different areas and functions of their ships. Ships’ NPC crew may or may not assist the player when the player is researching that crew members section but will always assist the player and answer questions when asked.

The neurochip (Game AI) will inform the player that they do not yet have a permanent residence further informing the player that none is required, the ship can be their home. But if a residence is requested, apartments are available at this station or any other station in the game as well as at buildings in most cities.

Farms, ranches, single-family homes, mini-mansions and luxury mansions on planet surfaces are also available. Moons and asteroid belts may have habitats where players may lease residential space. Residential space may also be rented at motels, hotels and casinos and tents may be set-up at campgrounds, in some forests or along certain beaches where tents and overnight camping are allowed.

Players may design and build their own residence when they have the skills and have purchased the land to do so.

In 1988, the first game year for new players, a year’s salary is $540,000. Players begin the game with $1,000,000 which they may spend on body enhancements (tattoos, marks, greater strength or intelligence, etc. or one level up in skills) or on personal weapons or equipment or on Skill Books.

Or players may spend for ship enhancements, i.e. stronger armor, hull, stronger shields, upgraded sensor suite, extended range communications, enhanced propulsion, personalized interior or exterior, etc.

Players receive an annual salary appropriate for the role they are playing. This salary is divided into 12 equal sums paid monthly beginning on the day the player creates an account in the game. Additional credits are awarded by completing activities within the game or by selling products or services on the Market.

Players also begin with 4 NPC “friends” whom they may call on in an emergency, to “crash” at their residence, to participate in an FPS scenario, ask for a short-term loan, be their “wingman,” etc.

After learning how to fly and fight their ship, use the maps and communications and move and manipulate their avatar, players are then assigned to any of five different Training Tracks.

Players request their initial Training Track but must complete all five before moving further in the game. Each Training Track is independent of the other and players may complete each Training Track in any order as they choose.

The five new player Training Tracks are; Mining, Exploring, Ship Combat (against increasingly stronger and more capable NPC opponents), FPS in an urban setting and Industrial/Business.

Exploring will generate new space for players to visit and the player will learn how to manuver their ship around obstacles, conduct a survey of the solar system and any planets, moons and asteroid belts within the system and conduct a deep survey of one planet, assessing its annual year, rotation period, axial tilt, number of moons if any, flora or fauna, hydrospheric percentage if any, and presence of intelligent life, if any.

In the Industrial/Business Training Track, players will be instructed how to access and view the Market (goods of all kinds) and the Stock Market (equity in-game businesses).

Players will learn how to buy a one-use blueprint for a product, use a manufacturing facility to build that product, acquire the raw materials from the Market for production and how to list and sell their finished product on the Market.

A blueprint must be created or purchased to manufacture anything in-game. The creation of a Blueprint requires the Research Skill, character Intelligence and or Coding Skill, the Blueprint Objective (To create an original Blueprint (or Blueprint Copy) for “”), and the expenditure of time appropriate to the end product level plus Skill Points and Experience Points. The greater the amount of Skill points and Experience points assigned, the greater the odds of finalizing an effective and efficient Blueprint.

An Original, non-enhanced Blueprint may be created with up to 100 “runs” with up to 5 units created per run. There is no upper limit to the number of runs an Original Blueprint may have. A Blueprint Copy requires one fifth time and Skill Points to create, no Experience Points but is limited to 20 runs and 4 units per run.

Blueprints may be sold on the Market with the use of a Production and Sales License.

The Mining Track will instruct the player on how to swap out ship modules for mining modules, travel to a moon or asteroid belt, survey that location for the minerals or ores to mine and use their ship’s or hand-held mining laser to mine. Players receive a Mining Contract at a station and when their cargo hold is full, return to the station to deliver their cargo to the Contract Maker.

For the Combat Track, players will be assigned a Contract by a corporation or individual or receive orders by the government to clear an area of pirates. Players will swap out ship’s starting modules for upgraded weapons modules, upgrade their Sensor and Communications suites and may purchase more powerful weapons or engines as they choose — if they have the skills to use these.

FPS will feature the player being assigned as a member of a 5 man squad to clear an area of enemy NPCs. Players will be awarded a set of personal armor, boots, a basic personal shield and several weapons which they keep upon completion of their assignment.

Players will be assigned a location to clear. They will ingress to this location by boarding a dropship which is carried with other dropships to the planet, asteroid or moon, arriving, egressing the dropship, entering a vehicle and driving within a kilometer of the combat location. Players will then need to enter the location without being killed by enemies or any dangerous alien animals which may be in the area and may interfere with their travel to the location.

Upon completion of this task, players receive credits appropriate for the difficulty, and in addition to their assigned weapons, several personal low-level (low-skilled, low-damage) weapons of their choice, and one ship weapon or enhancement, (railgun, torpedo or rocket launcher, phaser, laser, missile rack, ammo, rockets, missiles, enhanced energy source, mining laser, shield, armor, life support, expanded cargo hold, specialized ore hold, enhanced drive system, ECM suite, sensor suite, communications suite, etc.)

Ships are destroyed when their shields, armor (if any) and hull have dropped to zero on the Ship’s HUD. Electromagnetic weapons will damage shields and when shields are damaged or destroyed will damage ship’s electrical systems (anything powered by electricity), weapons and propulsion, but have little effect against armor or hull.

Heat damage will affect missiles, rockets and unshielded drones, but have very little effect against shields or shielded objects or personnel.

Explosive damage will affect shields, electrical systems, propulsion systems, weapons, armor and hull.

Weapons may be configured to attack any one of these specific areas (EM, heat or explosive) for extra damage.

In all of these Training Tracks, the player will be instructed how to manually dock and lift-off at a station without automatic docking and how to land their ship safely on a space platform and the surface of a planet.

Each of these Training Tracks will also expose the player to more pirates. Except for the Combat Track, the player can choose to fight or flee as they choose.

In each Training Track, specific skills will need to be acquired and learned to complete the Track. Skills are acquired with the purchase of the appropriate Skill Book from the Market and training that skill to the level required to complete the Track. Skills are learned at the rate of one point per real-world second. Up to five skills may be learned simultaneously, but only if they are in different tracks.

Skill Points are obtained through the completion of the Training Tracks, in-game experience (hours played), defeating opponents, exploration, bounty hunting, FPS, et al. Skill Points may be applied to purchase Skill Books, to level up an existing skill or add a new first-level skill if the player possesses the Skill Book for that skill. Skill Point packages consisting of one or more skill point neurochips of varying amounts of Skill Points may be purchased on the Market.

Missions, Tasks, Quests and Epic Arcs are all available for players to acquire, enhance, hone or perfect skills and add experience.

A Mission is any single action the player must complete to obtain some form of reward. This reward usually consists of increased trust by the corporation, government or individual who created and or assigned the Mission, payment of credits, skill points, and possibly other rewards such as a Skill Book, ship shield, enhanced engine, weapon, personal weapon, neurochip, etc. For high-risk Missions, a player may receive a ship.

Tasks are also a single action activity that a corporation, government or individual may request. A Mission is higher risk than a Task. A Task has lower risk and less rewards than a Mission. Ships are never rewarded for the completion of a Task.

A Quest combines a Mission with some form of Exploration and Retrieval and combat against pirates, NPCs, or other players. Several Missions are rolled into one Quest. At the completion of each stage (Mission) of the Quest, players receive appropriate rewards for the Mission/Quest, difficulty and skills required to successfully complete that stage.

Epic Arcs are associated with a Training Track and a Storyline and may consist of multiple Quests and Missions. One or more ships may be awarded during the Epic Arc and a ship is always awarded upon the completion of an Epic Arc.

The intention of an Epic Arc is to sharply enhance a players skills along a specific Training Track (there are many-not just five) and further a Storyline.

Players meet (in-person or via NetCom) with an Agent within a station or city building to receive any Task, Mission, Quest or Epic Arc.

Players may create Missions, Tasks, Quests and Epic Arcs for other players to complete. The game will provide all awards for the completion of the activity.

Designing players will be awarded 100,000 credits for each Task they create, 1,000,000 credits for each Mission, 10,000,000 credits for each Quest and 3,000,000 credits for each Mission and or 20,000,000 credits for each Quest within an Epic Arc IF the Epic Arc adheres to a Training Track And a Storyline.

Players may also create Storylines.

A Storyline is any background or backstory regarding the history of a person, place, state or activity within the game. Players receive 40,000,000 credits for each accepted Storyline. Players present their Storyline to game moderators who will then assess whether or not the submitted Storyline is appropriate for the game.

Players may buy or sell any object, piece of equipment, neurochip, weapon etc, in-game on the Market or by Contract or outside of the game. In-game, initially, 1 USD = 1,000,000 Stellar Credits or Helvatica Dollars. 1 Helvatica Dollar will always equal 1 Stellar Credit in-game.

Prices on the Market will vary according to in-game supply and demand and may be affected by external player buying activity as well.

Any item listed for sale on any market within the game will be simultaneously listed on the Helvatica (Kila Vas) Market. Purchasers will need to travel to where the seller has deposited the sold item to acquire that item.

A player may sell any item they purchase on the Market or any market without the necessity of a Production and Sales License.

After completing all five Training Tracks, a player must obtain a Game License in order to complete certain activities within the game or receive in-game income from most sources within the game.