I've played Artemis several times now with a crew online, and had a go at operating each of the various consoles available. The other evening, I was discussing the comms position with a crewmate, considering posts that we had read regarding comms and its apparent lack of stuff to do for the comms officer.
When we talked about it, we were of the mind that actually, to function as an effective comms officer, you have to do a lot more work than has been discussed on these forums. We even considered that the comms officer would need access to the captain's map to really do the job properly, as you have to maintain full awareness of both enemy and allied vessels, as well as the position of your own ship. Playing at level 5 and higher, we came to the conclusion that the comms role can provide a player with a challenging an immersive role, which can have real consequences in game.
In battle the comms officer needs to quickly ask damaged ships to surrender, getting enemies out of the game. They need to know which enemies are damaged and disabled to do this. Obtaining a surrender means another enemy is out, and you haven't had to waste time and energy destroying them, or risk them rejoining the battle as their systems repair.
Not only this, comms has to take care of allied transport vessels and combat capable vessels. Keeping transport vessels out of trouble can be a hard enough job! Getting combat capable vessels in the right place at the right time is also challenging. It would be a waste just to leave them and not utilise them.
Finally, the comms officer has the job of organising munition production and informing stations when docking. A relatively simple task, but heaped on top of all the other responsibilities, one that must be carefully managed, prioritised and dealt with.
All in all, from our discussion we figured that comms is a much more hands on role than we have been led to believe through reading the forum. It takes two minutes to learn all the functions on the console, but to really master it and become an effective comms officer, it'll take real skill.
These are my thoughts on the matter. I decided to post it here to pen up a discussion about comms. I'd like to hear what other people have to say, whether they agree or disagree.
Why does comms get portrayed as being an easy role where most of the time you just sit there doing nothing? If you asked me I'd ask "Why would you sit there doing nothing when you have so much to do?!"
[Last edited Oct 31, 2012 18:49:47]