Department heads and their assistants, as well as the Commanding Officer and First Officer, are collectively known as the "senior staff." These are people who have a great deal of In-Character authority and responsibility, as they lead their respective departments and the station as a whole. A lot of people assume that, because the Star Trek TV shows have generally had the senior staff as the main characters, the same must apply here. We have a lot of new players claim to want a senior staff position, or even just a higher rank, because they think it's the only way to "have fun" or "be involved." This simply isn't true!
For one thing, activity and RP matters more to us than one's position or rank. Someone who's active and gets into a lot of scenes and has good story ideas will get plots and even episodes based around their character, whatever their rank. There's no guarantee that being senior staff will make for more RP, more fun, or more screen time. Also, there is no OOC authority involved in being a senior staff character. While we'll generally go along with what those characters order, most big decisions still need to be run by staff unless one is also a staffer. Promotions or demotions can't simply be handed out, as staff needs to do this through code--but, then, such things should go through the Captain anyhow.
The point is that senior staff characters are no better or worse than any others--they're simply different. You can have a lot of fun playing a "normal" Security Officer as well as the Chief of Security--it all depends on your character and your RP.
So what if you are a senior staffer? Well, if you are, we're going to be a little bit stricter on activity rules, @mail reading, and the like. This is because your character does have IC authority over others, and those folks may need to get your approval to do things. Also, if you're a senior staffer we expect that you be around and RPing, providing IC leadership. While anyone can be super-involved and anyone can have fun, there can ultimately only be one Chief Engineer, and being a Chief does provide unique RP opportunities. It's only fair that this position go to someone who's active and committed to the game.
How to become senior staff? There are a few ways. When a position opens up, we'll go through a two-step process to fill it:
Continued in: 'cg dephead2'