This is the response to what I have found many players complain is lacking in the game of Elite Dangerous. An actual story driven campaign to excite player involvement in the game.
I myself have put over 800 hours into Elite Dangerous. I get it. To some that isn't all that much...but to others its actually a lot. Yet so many of those hours feel empty. They feel as if I'm forcing some kind of meaning into something that should already have that meaning. Why is it that missions feel flat? Why is it that a bounty hunter mission or a ground attack base mission feels hollow or simple? Why is there not a greater feeling of accomplishment?
Frankly that is beyond the scope of this post. There are many things that affect the sort of empty feeling that nothing matters in Elite. YET I WANT TO OFFER A POTENTIAL REMEDY.
WHAT IS THE 87th NAVAL FLEET
Bluntly? A Federation military squadron. Yes. Fundamentally this is a recruitment post. (Empire/Alliance/Independent players keep reading. I'd like to set up an opposition squadron to have fun with too)
But are we like other squadrons? No. No we are not. I have personally been part of squadrons on Inara and on Discord. Federal Republican Guard, Federal Republic Command, Federal Liberal Command, etc etc. It seems so strange that all of these squadrons felt very objective driven. Play the BGS (Background Simulation), play powerplay, take a PvP stance against other player groups. EVEN some dedicated roleplay groups felt strange because they felt dead, with little direction. Just acting as a mere shell for people to say they were roleplaying in. Yet there was little sense of group cohesion.
This is when I realized I wanted to provide people with a genuine alternative.
A military squadron with actual story based content. Objectives not aimed at fulfilling some checks on the BGS or powerplay, but story objectives that might not be rewarded with in game rewards but that serve the purpose of our story.
Hence the 87th Naval Fleet.
A Character Bio. I have uploaded a template that I borrowed from another RP heavy discord. Filling this out helps everyone in the squadron gather a context for what you stand for and how your commander has been shaped by events in the galaxy.
Ideally you'll log in once a week.
Ships? Fly what you want. Hell even Cutters. I have one. Call it an undercover Federation vessel. I don't care. Its a story. There are a million reasons why the Federation could have Cutters in their fleet. Hell maybe it was an Imperial vessel inherited from an Imperial System navy that flipped to the Federation. Kinda how East German and Poland forces became NATO while still operating Soviet equipment...
In-Game Participation? ... I have a job. I have a real life. I'm not a streamer. This is not EvE Online. I'm not expecting you to be on call in case we get attacked at 3 am. No. But once a month it would be nice if most of us gathered for an ingame operation of a couple hours. Perhaps more often.
Discord Participation? ... Again I do have a job...BUT I do check Discord daily. This is a source of character development and roleplay beyond what is in Elite. Responding and participating in the Discord really helps with character development and in discussion of galactic news from a Federation perspective. I'm pretty creative coming up with discussion in the Lounge channel of the Discord. Helps get everyone involved more with the squadron.
So...What do you all do?
A bit of everything really. We're trying to build numbers right now. It's difficult to do anything with 3 people. We have a few more members but many seem inactive. WHICH IS FINE (I'll explain later in expectations BUT I DO NOT EXPECT EVERYONE LOGGING IN EVERY WEEK).
But we need members to make what we want to do to actually work.
Interstellar Initiatives (Golconda was a big one!)
MILITARY PATROL MISSIONS.
We want to do all of these. Notice how some of these aren't exactly rewarded/objective driven in Elite Dangerous. But in the 87th...they are. How and why?
Well think about it. We want to have scenarios where we advance the Federation's mission portfolio. But we don't want to do it for no reason.
- So if we have members from the 108th Heavy lift wing (87th Naval fleet branch) doing some mining, we better have escorts. We better have those escorts protecting the miners all the way through. Perhaps chatting about the state of the galaxy or forging friendships.
- Perhaps the 118th Tactical Fighter wing is going to clear out imperial forces in a conflict zone that is trying to get a foothold in a federation system. We're going to need wings operating and supporting each other in teams strike teams consisting of 2 pilots each.
- Seems like there are some special Alliance Forces...elite commanders. Better send in the 6th Wing, 66th Squadron to engage these commanders in PvP combat then.
- Oh? THE GOLCONDA NEEDS AN OUTPOST BUILT?! Send in the 108th to haul supplies. Send in the 118th to Sanitize the Space. SEND IN THE 6th 66th TO INTERDICT IMPERIAL COMMANDERS AND STEAL THEIR SUPPLIES.
- Hmmm...that base in this Federation system...its aligned with an independent faction. Let's..."encourage" them to join the Federation Commercial Charter. Let's rough them up a bit shall we? 118th...Ground assault Authorized. Have a few pilots fly Air Cover. Have a few pilots land ground forces. Wipe them out. All of them.
We want to be ready to incorporate fleet carriers when they enter the game. We want to be able to be able to influence the world of Elite Dangerous in a Federation manner. BUT that means having rivals. Imperial Pilots, Alliance Commanders. Please. Stand against us!
The 87th Naval Fleet has a Discord and an ingame squadron.
We support a friendly Player Run Faction, TerraLite Industries. A Federation Corporation on the edge of the bubble. We're looking to help them as part of our mission. We allow other Federation officers of other groups to hold a representation role in our Discord. TerraLite is the only one at this time.
118th Tactical Fighter Wing - PvE, General Combat/Escort, Ground Assault, All rounders.
108th Heavy Lift Wing - Hauling. Mining. Powerplay hauling (if we touch on it). Thargoid Rescues.
6th Wing, 66th Squadron - PvP pilots. We currently don't have much things that involve PvP...but we'd love to put PvP into a more prevalent role.
ADMIRAL - is me. Alexander Sepulveda. I'm in charge of overall organization and leadership. BUT THIS IS A GROUP EFFORT! I can't possibly plan everything. Please do take initiative in reaching out to suggest things we as a squadron should get involved with.
REAR ADMIRALS - are basically equivalent to me. Just show passion with the project. Show deep interest in the whole effort and you can have this position. I just want people in this role who want to take part of the overall story crafting of the group and direction.
CAPTAINS - Each wing will have its captain. They court-martial as they see fit, order wings around in the absence of an Admiral or Rear Admiral. They report to the Admiral and can issue wing wide orders. Again these positions are available to whomever feels they could have fun with them. Feel you want to drive the story? Sign up.
LIEUTENANTS - British and American pronunciations welcome! Canadian pronunciations also welcome (which I'm told is just a British Pronunciation with an American accent). They lead a strike team of two pilots. A wing should have at least one LT. They will command strike teams or Wings as seen fit.
ENSIGNS - You're part of the 87th. Follow orders and participate in the Lounge and contribute with ideas!
Just give us a shot. Imperial. Alliance. Independent. FEDERATION.
Whatever your allegiance or even squadron allegiance, we'd love to have you in the squadron to at the very least show support for missions and doing activities with other pilots driven by a desire to give context and meaning to their time spent in Elite.