What is ROE?ROE stands for “rules of engagement”. It’s a concept borrowed from military lingo by players of Star Trek Fleet Command on iOS and Android to describe a set of player vs player rules that regular players have adopted as a community convention for playing the game.
Much of the online content you find in Google searches about ROE is from the PC version of the game which is similar, but not exact to the mobile game. This article is specific to the mobile OS version of Star Trek Fleet Command
Rules? Says who?In these play-to-advance free-mium games it can be hard to keep progressing in the game without spending tons of money. To combat that trend and to advance the interest of ALL players, ROE was established by players, for players, so that we can all get through the grind aspects in the game while not completely nerf’ing player vs player action in the game. ROE allows us to function for day to day activities the game requires, while still keeping the PVP aspect of the game intact.
ROE is not a rule as defined by Scopely (the games developer). As such, it has no formal representation in the game itself. Instead, it is convention agreed upon by the most active alliances on your server. The rules are established by a vote of admirals from those alliances and published in a common place. Players self police themselves with the consequences of retaliation and alliance backing when players violate the ROE. Disputes are handled between admirals of the involved alliances.
Why should I follow ROE? It’s not part of the game!ROE is a convention for players, by players. It is to your advantage in the long run to benefit from the protection ROE gives you.
Often new lower level players think they don’t need ROE and "it's dumb", it just limits them etc. That is because those players below level 18 or so have not seen how demanding the game becomes and do not understand what is ahead of them.
It is true that some alliances and groups of players do not acknowledge or follow ROE. Those alliances generally advertise that on their alliance info block (click on the Magnifying Glass in a Player's Detail page). Those alliances do not get the protection of ROE from other players. Some alliances are so powerful they chose to reject ROE and do so by pure strength.
Well what are the Rules of Engagement/ROE?The accepted definition of ROE may vary server to server. Star Trek Fleet Command has dozens of separate instances/servers that a player is assigned to when their account is created. Ask in Galaxy chat of your game for a pointer to where your servers definition is posted.
For server 32 the Agreed upon ROE is as follows: (as of Dec 2019)————————————————-
Survey Ship Hits
- If a survey ship is on a zeroed node, send a warning message before attacking.
- If a survey ship is over the protected cargo, it is free to hit.
- If a Survey ship is under protected cargo and is not on a zeroed node, it is protected by RoE and can not be hit. (Exception if a survey ship is involved in base raid, base defense, or has otherwise engaged in PvP combat (other than an attack within ROE that clears a mining node) then they are fair targets.)
- Warships are not protected by RoE.
- Stations are not protected by RoE.
- If an alliance or player is labeled KOS by your alliance, they are not protected by RoE.
- Only Admirals can call KOS.
- If you are attacked outside of RoE, you may retaliate outside of RoE once within the same 24 hours you were attacked.
Swarm/System Event Space
- Any ship over protected cargo is free to hit after a warning.
- Any ship under protected cargo is protected by RoE.
What is zero node, protected cargo, OPC, etc?
- Nodes are the resource spots in the game where your ships gather resources such as trilitium, parasteel, etc. ROE applies to all resource node types.
- Zero node is a node that has been depleted to zero and stays at zero until the current ship leaves the node or is destroyed.
Zero Node Example
Selecting the node shows 0 resources available - This is a zero node
- Protected cargo is the amount of cargo your ship protects and you do not lose when your ship is destroyed. The amount of space is shown by the split in the bar that fills up in your ship’s status panel. It can also be seen in the details tab about the ship. The amount will vary by your ship’s class, level, and the crew assigned to it.
Split in Ship Details
Portion to left of split is your protected cargo space
Protected Cargo Details
As seen from the Manage Ship page - Under Details tab
- OPC - “over protected cargo”. A ship that is carrying more cargo than its protected cargo limit is referred to as OPC. You can tell if a player's ship is OPC by checking the possible rewards for defeating a ship. If any resource types are shown (not including chests!) then you know the ship is OPC.
Over Protected Cargo Example
This ship shows Decoded Data Resource as a reward - so this ship is OPC
- UPC - “under protected cargo”. A ship that is carrying LESS cargo than its protected cargo limit is referred to as UPC. You can tell a ship is UPC by checking the possible rewards for defeating a ship. If no resource types are shown (not including chests!) then you know the ship is UPC.
Under Protected Cargo Example
This ship shows no resources in the Rewards panel, so this ship is UPC
- KOS - Kill on Sight. When a player is declared KOS by an admiral, it means all players from that admiral's alliance are free to ignore ROE constraints and attack the named player in any circumstance. Being named KOS is normally retaliation for repeated problems with a player
- Reset - Refers to a player leaving a node that is zero'd so it resets the resources amounts available and quickly returning to the same node. When a player is in process of resetting a node, courtesy is to allow the player to complete the task without interference.
- Warships - All ship types that are NOT surveyor class ships (ships with the inverted triangle icon) are considered warships and are not protected by ROE except in special cases (refer to ROE above)
- Swarm Space - Systems on the map that exclusively have the Swarm Hostile ship types. Swarm space normally has special exceptions for ROE protections. See ROE list above.
- Event Space - Systems on the map that are tied to a special (usually timed) event from the game developer. The event usually names key systems where activities must be performed. Event space normally has special exceptions for ROE protections. See ROE list above.
What do i do if someone doesn’t follow the ROE?First, communication is key! Don't try to make every kill into WWIII or complain endlessly. Pick when to make an issue of things. Your reputation in the game is not trivial.
- Check your log and see if you were OPC. If you show any resources lost in the fight, you were OPC and the hit was allowable in most normal circumstances. Refer to the ROE list above.
- Check your inbox for any messages that you were on a zero node. Players should message you prior to hitting you if you were on a zero node. This helps avoid confusion over why you got hit. Courtesy is to wait a few minutes after sending the message before hitting someone on a zero node. This also helps establish time between timestamps when addressing disputes.
- If you believe the kill was not ROE-compliant, take a screenshot of your log details for the battle.
- View the player's profile and check their alliance details. See if they advertise following ROE or not. If not - accept that and react as you and your alliance see fit. If they do follow ROE...
- Message the player and challenge then why you think it was out of ROE. If you act like a jerk, don't be surprised if you get attitude back. Listen to the player - sometimes simple timing issues lead to mistake kills, or fat-fingered something. 'Do unto others...' and message them proactively if you hit someone mistakenly as well. Try to clarify if the hit was intentional or within the rules. Note that many newer or lower level players (under Level 18) are not familiar with ROE. Point them to their alliance for support if they are unclear, or help them by pointing them to resources to help them understand. If there is a dispute, take screenshots of your chat for future discussions.
- If you still believe the hit was not within ROE - server32 ROE allows you to retaliate once within 24hrs and hit one of the player's ships ignoring ROE protections.
- If the situation escalates, or you have repeated problems with a player, look at their player profile, view their alliance details and message their admiral explaining your dispute with the specific player. If you can not get a reasonable response, escalate the issue to your own admiral.
- Platforms like Discord are very helpful to share supporting information (screenshots) between players. Inquire if your alliance and/or server have a Discord instance where files are easily exchanged. Use screenshots to capture details about your exchange in a dispute. Your battle log to show who attacked who, timing, your chat log, etc.
How do I avoid being called out for not playing within ROE?
- First, follow the rules for your server's ROE
- When attacking OPC ships, nothing extra is needed as your battle log (for both parties) will clearly show where the attack was and if a ship was OPC
- If a ship is on a zero node, make sure you send a message to the player BEFORE you attack. Be courteous and give the player a few minutes before attacking. (I normally give 1-2mins.. usually my transit time, plus the time as I'm looking at other nodes in the area)
- It can be helpful to take a screenshot showing the node as zero before your attack, just in case someone disputes it later
- Avoid risky behavior that can lead to mistakes
- Don't set to mine a target when your ship is outside the system. Instead set the ship to warp near the node, and then switch to the node once the ship arrives
- Do not set to attack targets from 'long distance'. A lot can happen in 30-45 seconds. Move near the target where you can see it and watch your ship come in before you set it to attack the target