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Vareth Kio

Starfleet Academy Years

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Hey everyone. Okay, so here's my first real question...

I read through all of the articles located on the Main Website in the Pre-Training area when I first joined. I noticed that the article for Starfleet Academy mentioned the timeline for classes and length required to complete degrees. I also read through the course lists on Starbase 118's wiki to confirm this (Standard 4 years plus 5th year cruise, 8 years for a doctorate degree, etc). It all made sense until I saw that many of the character profiles do not follow this system. Many people seem to have advanced degrees or multiple degrees without all of the time required to complete them. I even saw a doctorate degree at the age of 19. I'm not sure if I am missing something, if the timeline on the site is outdated, or if those were simply mistakes on account of the players...

Thanks in advance! :)

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My charactor had her doctorates from a different institution. Went through the normal Academy program, although it wouldn't take much for her to obtain an advanced degree from Starfleet via subspace (online) courses while serving on her ship.

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It depends on if the characters profile has not been updated, and/or when it was created, and/or if the user read everything correctly. I saw an officer who graduated the Academy at the age of 20, when something else states that the youngest you can graduate is 22.

It also depends on the species - different species, different education styles; my character dropped out of High School during her Grade Nine (at the age of 15) to focus on Gymnastics, yet was still able to enter the Academy - Terran education would have made this impossible, or at least in Australia.

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I'd say it depends on the writer and how much attention is payed to creating the character. I saw that and noted to have to pay attention. Later scratched when chose the species. I started working on my character in January and joined in March, so you can guess how much of over-analyzing was involved there. If characters are active, I strongly believe it will be changed along the way. If not because they noticed it themselves, somebody will point them how illogical it is.

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There is a lot of debate in the fandom as to how exactly the Academy works. For medical officers, the waters are even murkier. Is Starfleet Medical part of Starfleet Academy, are they two separate schools, etc. Ask four people who sim MO's and you will get four different answers.

For me, I decided to have Velana attend the Academy with a medical major and then do four years of internship and residency afterwards, before she went on her cadet tour and got her commission. It took her eight years from the time she entered the Academy before she was assigned to the Indy. It seemed to make sense for her, although others might not agree.

The fact is, yes, if you are playing a character with an advanced degree or a specialty, you should take time into account during character creation. Rarely in this world will a 20 year old have two PhD's in completely different areas. Still, there is always the desire to create extraordinary people who are wise beyond their years. It's a balancing act; trying to make them special without making them...well...Wesley Crusher.

And that is no disrespect to the Crush. I have loved him since I was ten. But that doesn't mean he wasn't a Mary Sue. And let's be honest, no one really likes a Mary Sue.

Edited by Velana

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Was it my character you noticed at 19?  That is a good question.  Education was big for his family, and a lot of focus was on that.  He then entered the University of Betazed ahead of schedule, and then graduated with his doctorate at 19.  Scholastically, he is brilliant in all fields, except for science(and engineering).  Betazoids are geared toward psychology, so while it may take a Terran longer to get a degree in that field, it is fairly easy for Betazoids.  From there he joined the Academy but spent 6 years there completing the standard classes, and 2 years additional for other minors and to take enough classes for his degree from Betazed to be recognized by StarFleet.  He finally graduated at 25 from the Academy.  So, graduated Secondary School(which would be the Terran high school, Betazed only has 2 types) at the age of 15, graduated college at 19, and graduated StarFleet Academy at 25.

The difference comes when a character gets an education before the Academy.  Different species have different standards.  Betazoids go to school all year round, so there is no break.  This allows them to complete school at a younger age. (That is how I have designed that aspect of them)

So in the end he was 25 when he made it to his first ship. wink.png

That help?

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Was it my character you noticed at 19?

To be honest, I can't remember who it was... I had about 20 profiles open lol. Okay, that does explain a lot. I was just worried that my character would be a year or so too young to graduate even though I worked it out mathematically (he's 28). And then I saw the other profiles and that just confused me even more!

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Alucard took the "Wesley Crusher" education path. He recieved training on his father's ship, so was able to test out of a lot of courses at the academy and thus accelerate the first few years. He also joined the academy a year early, at 17, which naturally moved everything else up a year.

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Finding the balance is all about coming up with reasonable (and, yes, logical) ways that the extraordinary could happen. There are child prodigies in the world and it does make sense that Starfleet would want them. I have no problem with that. I just want to be sold on it, you know? I want to know that there's been thought put into it. And I guess I want to see flaws, too. Child prodigies who spend their formative years memorizing equations and learning five different languages usually aren't star athletes with amazing people skills.

It's like when you design a character for a table-top RPG. You can give your character Intelligence and Perception +10, but that's not going to leave you many points for Strength or Charisma.

Edited by Velana

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There are child prodigies in the world and it does make sense that Starfleet would want them. I have no problem with that. I just want to be sold on it, you know?

Well, I don't think I'll have any issues with that. My RPG characters are always very ordinary... Some might even say boring, but I prefer to develop stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. After all, that's kind of what Star Trek is all about.

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That's my thing too Vareth ,ordinary person doing something extraordinary. :-) My charactor is quite intelligent, but she won't whack people over the head with it. She works behind the scenes and lets the work and result to speak for itself.

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Our characters kind of have to be at least a little bit on the extraordinary side, otherwise they wouldn't likely be as interesting.

I've always assumed Starfleet Academy to be a lot like any other University, but with the additional emphasis on skills one would need to serve on a starship, that way one could graduate and be posted as young as 22-23.

That said, there's a lot of things you can give to a character if you have a way to justify it.

Edited by Liam Frost

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My charactor is a Vulcan and is about 80, since they have a different maturation rate they can enter Starfleet later,have more degrees upon entering.

She does have some extraordinary traits that will pop up of needed.

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Not to get uber fatalistic, but I think there's also an element of environment when it comes to StarFleet officers. I mean, think about current day and how many children live in poverty, how many children grow up with parents addicted to drugs or alcohol, how many children have to deal with sub-par schools. All those kids don't get a chance to develop into the best people they can be -- some overcome environment, but many more could be much more if their environments were more hospitable.

Now fast-forward into the Star Trek universe 300 years and look at the fact that there's no poverty, everyone has enough to eat, everyone has access to education and computers 100x more intelligent than what we have today. Everyone has the opportunity to perform at a higher level than we do. (At least, Terrans and most of the member worlds of the Federation. There's that second tier of planets like the one Tasha came from, where life is much harder...)

So I think that StarFleet selects the people who are smart, funny, kind, and honest, which does make it difficult to stand out as a character. But part of the challenge of Star Trek simming is finding a way to humanize people in a utopia and find the humanity inside them that makes them interesting.

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Precisely Admiral. :-) Earth and Vulcan would probably be similar in the department of most if not all citizens have what they need to develop, its what they do with it.

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