The crew used to take care of repairing damaged subsystems or hull damage, repelling boarding parties, joining on boarding parties (which, if successful, damage an opponent's subsystems), and so on. Players were not able to interact with their crew on a daily basis, but their status was visible, so captains did not have to worry about getting caught off-guard.
The crew could be injured and killed during a battle, but also healed. The speed at which they were healed depended upon the player's medical equipment and items, and the skills of his/her Science Bridge Officers. Injured crewmen did not contribute to a crew's overall readiness.
The size of a crew was dependent upon the ship. Small ships had as few as 30 crewmen, whereas large Cruisers had a crew complement of 1,000, while some of the larger Klingon ships boasted as many as 4,000 crew on their ships. Since the crew repairs damaged subsystems and the hull and affect other areas of game play, ships with larger crews can repair themselves much faster, and more confidently launch boarding parties, than ships with a smaller complement.
Crew Status[edit | edit source]
Crew status is represented by a line of 18 small icons, as shown below.
When crew are injured, a portion of the icons will be orange, as shown below.
And when any crew are dead, a portion of the icons will be dark gray, as shown below.
Actual impact on gameplay[edit | edit source]
To sum it up: very little.
Partly because mechanisms related to inflicting and mitigating crew damage seem to be severely flawed, and partly because a ship being on Red Alert has its crew related / derived functions all but shut down. Because of the reasons detailed below, most players tend to completely ignore crew, and using any crew related consoles is mostly just a waste of a console slot.
Crew damage[edit | edit source]
The crew appears to be extremely vulnerable to damage, mostly from weapons dealing kinetic damage (torpedoes and mines), but also from beam weapons and anything else to a lesser extent. A single torpedo hit can take out 20-30% of the crew, and in cases you can (and often do) lose 90-95% of the crew in a matter of seconds.
There are items such as the Emergency Force Fields Engineering console and the [Jem'Hadar Resilient Shields] which supposedly provide protection against crew damage / loss, but they appear to be largely ineffective; there's no noticeable difference between not having any and using a reasonable (or even an unreasonable) amount of them.
Crew regeneration rate[edit | edit source]
When not on Red Alert, crew regenerates at a noticeable, but still rather slow rate (5-8 crew / second on a ship with a crew complement of 2500). When under Red Alert, however, crew regeneration gets effectively shut down (1-2 crew / second on a ship with a crew complement of 2500).
The Biofunction Monitor Science console, and certain Nurse/Medic duty officers, supposedly increase the crew renegeration rate, but their effect is barely noticeable even when not on Red Alert, and they are practically ineffective while on Red Alert. The only noticeable effect behind adding the console is that crew will stop dying, but will still succumb to injuries that prevent them from functioning.
Crew derived effects[edit | edit source]
Your current able crew level determines the hull regeneration rate of the ship, and also, supposedly, the subsystem repair speed.
However, when on Red Alert, the "natural" hull regeneration gets all but shut down, so it doesn't really matter how much your regeneration rate would be, since it barely works when it would actually make some difference (3-8% / second out of combat versus something like 0.1-0.3% / second in combat). Given the amount of damage you can and do normally receive during combat, you need some form of "active" hull repair to counter it, and compared to them, the natural hull regeneration that occurs during combat is practically non-existent.
The same goes for subsystem damage/repair. Disabled subsystems can be repaired in several ways, much faster than waiting for the crew to do it (and even without doing anything, they come back online fairly quickly even when almost all of your crew is gone).