Welcome to Basic Training, recruit. The Vast Empire's Navy thanks you for choosing to enlist with us, and we hope you enjoy your time here.
Basic Training is exactly what is sounds like: on this page you'll find all the basic information that you need to know to be an active member of the Imperial Navy, whether you choose to role-play/write as a TIE-pilot in the Starfighter Corps (or, SC), or as crew member aboard a capital ship in Fleet Command (FC). The goal of Basic Training is to teach you everything you need to know to participate in the Vast Empire, as a club and as a literary rpg, but don't let the "school" vibe of these pages discourage you; we're all here to have fun, and these guidelines exist only to maximize everyone's enjoyment.
So, to launch your fun and exciting career in the Navy, read on...
The ComNet is the Vast Empire's forum, on which members write stories, and through which they communicate with each other. Before you do anything else, you must register your presence there with the Academy's training staff. This is accomplished by creating an introductory thread on the Naval Academy ComNet board; if you haven't done this already, do so now. Simply click on "Post New Topic," and write a brief message saying hello, and identifying yourself as a new recruit for the Navy. Someone will be along to help you shortly.
The ComNet is central to VE life: everything from your initial training assessments to your participation in stories to routine announcements will be posted somewhere on the ComNet. We recommend that you take a look around the rest of the ComNet, even while you go through training in the Naval Academy board, and familiarize yourself with the various sections. As a member of the Navy, the two most important boards for you will be:
- The Navy Main ComNet - This is where all OOC ("out-of-character," or "out-of-context") activity takes place. These include discussions of active stories and announcements of transfers/promotions/awards.
- The Navy Story Board - This is where all IC ("in-character," or "in-context") contributions are made. All stories are posted here, whether personal, squadron-level, ship-level, or involving multiple units; all fiction competitions are run here as well.
Once you have passed Basic Training (and either Starfighter School or Fleet School, depending on which Navy career path you choose - a choice we'll cover in just a moment), there is really no need for you to re-visit the Naval Academy board on the ComNet unless you become a VENA staff member, or are taking an advanced course. But feel free to drop in from time to time, to check for updates and say hi to the new recruits who follow in your footsteps.
Outside of the Comnet, many of the VE's members talk to each other via IRC, a form of instant communication similar to MSN or AIM but on a larger scale. Members of the VE access IRC in one of two ways: via the Javachat client (which is accessible by clicking the "Java Chat" link in the "Logistics" section on the left of the main page), or by downloading an external client called mIRC.
Whichever one you chose, we do recommend that you get onto IRC. Chat allows for more efficient planning/plotting of collaboratively-told stories, and helps build a sense of community. You're also more likely to get noticed this way, as you are in constant communication with your leaders. We understand that this mode of communication is not for everyone, but we do encourage you to use it as much as you are able/comfortable.
Also, regardless of whether you decide to download a program, or use the javachat, you must abide by the CoC (Code of Conduct), which can be found here. Violating these rules or creating problems will not be well-received by the Ops (Operators) of that channel, and may lead to punitive action.
Information on how to connect to the VE IRC servers can be found in the Main Comnet board.
There is an age warning that goes with IRC; if you are underage, please make note of the following:
- If a member is under 13, he/she must have a parent’s permission to install and use mIRC.
- If a member is unable to secure parental permission, or there are some other extenuating circumstances preventing his/her use of IRC, the member must notify a member of the Academy's staff of the situation.
Those are the basics, recruit. We do recommend that you familiarize yourself with the whole VE family of websites by following the links from the Vast Empire main page, now, and take this opportunity to ask questions on the ComNet about our club's many features, such as the First Galactic Bank and Imperial Center Store, or the On-Line Roster. By getting answers, you'll be better able to personalize the VE experience and have more fun, and you'll simultaneously be meeting other members.
Career Paths: Starfighter Corps (pilot) or Fleet Command (crew member)
With the preliminaries over with, you may now proceed to the next step: beginning the career path your in-story persona will follow. You may choose to start your Naval service as either:
- a TIE-pilot (as a member of the Starfighter Corps), or as
- a crew member (a member of Fleet Command).
Your responsibilities and opportunities for advancement, as well as your access to other members for story collaboration, are absolutely equal, regardless of which branch of the service you choose to join; the only question is whether you want to write primarily from a starfighter cockpit or mostly from a warship command deck.
NOTE: For balancing reasons, Fleet School may sometimes be closed to new members. At present, though, FS is OPEN.
Starfighter School is where the real training begins for those who want to be starfighter pilots, while Fleet School is the basic training course for those who want capital ship duty. The Chapters listed on the SS and FS main pages will teach you how to be an effective member of the VEN, and the Academy also employs several Trainers, who will guide you through these Chapters one at a time. One of these Trainers will identify himself/herself in response to your introductory thread you posted on the Naval Academy board, and will give you instructions. Follow your Trainer's instructions to advance through the Chapters of your chosen School. As you proceed you will need to read over the information in each Chapter, complete any Assignment listed, and post your work to your introductory/training thread on the ComNet. Your Trainer will review your efforts at each stage and then clear you for the next step. Once you've completed all the Chapters of your chosen School, you will graduate from the Vast Empire's Naval Academy, and you will be placed in an active squadron, or aboard an active capital ship (again, depending on which branch of the Navy you choose).
So, if a Trainer has already greeted you in your introductory thread, and you have chosen which branch interests you more, you should click on the appropriate link above to begin your career in the VEN - Starfighter School for potential pilots and Fleet school for capital ship candidates. Good luck, recruit, and have fun!