Staff Crew Member:
To repair ship damage and enhance ship systems as needed; to inform the captain about ship statusAbilities:
To direct damage control (damcon) teams to damaged sections of the ship; to redirect ship power to enhance ship systems, and coolant to prevent them from exploding.Expectations from other players:
To receive instructions from the captain to redirect power; to be told which sections to repair first in the event of multiple system failures.
The top left of the display indicates ship status, such as how much energy you have, how many torpedoes, and the status of the ship's subsystems (as a percentage).
There are two main sections of the screen for Engineering; the center (showing a massive framework of your ship) and the sliders at the bottom.
This section shows you which sections of the ship are damaged (red). Picking one of the glowing triangles accesses that damage control team. Direct them to any red sections of the ship to begin repairs.
Cursoring over each of the nodes tells you which system it relies on. A destroyed node means that part of the system is offline. If all the nodes are destroyed, that system becomes inoperable until at least one node is fixed (and then at a very reduced rate).
Repair teams can only move through active sections of the ship, so they must repair the inner nodes before repairing the outer ones. This can add to repair time.
Repair teams can also take casualties, resulting in slower repairs of individual nodes. Repair teams may be replenished by docking.
Skilled engineers will direct repair teams to the middle of the ship when in combat, as it prevents them from taking too much damage early on.
It is also possible to turn off auto-direction via the menu at the top right. Repair teams will thus await your orders to repair anything.
Engineering is also responsible for altering the sliders at the bottom of the screen to change the power settings of each of the ship's systems. The more power provided, the better the system performs. 100% is normal power; this can be boosted to 300% power.
At maximum power, however, ship systems produce heat (the small rectangular gauges). If these are full, the system begins to take damage, ultimately resulting in it becoming inoperable until repaired. While it is always a bad thing, overcharging your shields to this point is less of an issue if your ship is attempting to retreat and needs to hunker down; if the shields fail you'll take damage anyway, after all.
To help combat heat, units of coolant may be applied to make the ship systems run smoothly even when overcharged. Assign units of coolant by clicking on the gauges that are next to the sliders; yellow pips mean that coolant can be applied to the system, while white indicates coolant is already in that system. While coolant can never be lost, it can be obtained if the captain is willing to direct the other officers to obtain more. Shuffling coolant around is necessary to avoid unnecessary heat buildup.
Coolant enables a system to be run at 20% additional power without heat gain (to a maximum of 260%).
Rather than spend a minute or more mucking around with various sliders and coolant in combat, skilled engineers have a variety of presets established so that power and coolant can be transferred immediately upon demand.
These presets are best set up while docked.
Since a common command from the captain will be to raise beam weaponry and forward shields together when in combat, an experienced commander will have this established to a preset. To do this, establish the sliders and the coolant to where you need them to be, then press Shift-1. Now, when the captain orders combat readiness, all you have to do is press the 1 key to jump immediately to this configuration.
A few recommended configurations:
- Normalized power: One pip of coolant for each system, and all systems at 100%. This helps cool your systems down, and prevents excess power loss. Use when travelling normally.
- Overcharged sensors: 260% to sensors, and coolant to match; best used when docked to give your science officer super-fast scanning speeds. Since you're docked, you'll replenish the lost power rapidly anyway.
- Right Into The Fireworks: 200% to beams, 160% forward shields. Use when your captain plans to go to guns against opponents, or when torpedoes just take too long to reload to use.
- Swiftly and Gracefully: 180% to impulse and manoeuvring. Use against smaller, agile opponents, like fighters.
- To Boldly Go: 260% power and all coolant to warp drive. Putting all this power to warp drive makes it more efficient. Use to get from point A to point B rapidly.
- Artillerymen and Targets: 200% to torpedoes and 120% forward shields; use to help your weapons officer lob torpedoes at long range against targets from a distance.
- High Energy Turn: 300% power and all coolant to manoeuvring. Use when the captain needs the whole ship to snap to a given heading in an instant.
- Fortified Hull: 300% power to forward and rear shields: for when you need to take hits and buy your helm a few precious seconds to get away.
- RUN AWAY!: 300% power to rear shields and impulse, 0% power to everything else. Use only if the warp drive is inoperative.
You are encouraged to establish your own configurations. Just remember that powering down systems that aren't in use means a lower energy demand, and less time spent in dock and fewer torpedoes sacrificed. On the flipside, a powered down system will do nothing!