Suggestion: Warp Speed
Okay, I'm really bothered by the "warp interface" between systems, and I've thought of a way that you could seamlessly transition between instance zones and warp space. This idea isn't likely to be original, and I think I remember seeing similar on the Beta forums, but here goes.
When a ship is IN SYSTEM, they plot a course for a destination or just "Leave System". In either case, the ship is deposited in WARP, where the player sees the ship moving through the streaking stars at a coordinate location outside of the star system they are in. If they select a destination, they travel from the coordinate of the star system to the destination for the time they are at Warp. Otherwise, they just sit in this moving star field, not really going anywhere unless they provide a destination. Ships that are in "fleet formation" (in a Team), should always spawn in Warp together.
The Warp Interface is the Map Interface currently used while "in warp", accessed by the Galaxy icon on the Minimap, and considering the marked improvement of the System Map, it would work well for this purpose.
At Warp, players should be reminded to take the opportunity to check in with Starfleet for any updates mission changed, etc., as well for Fleet Action opportunities. Additionally, unlisted "distress call" missions could be received in this way and enemy signatures can be detected (randomly determined based on the quality of the ship's sensors), and the player can be given the CHOICE of staying on course or changing course to investigate. Load screen would be... the player's ship traveling through Warp...
Additionally, players can use the Scan function in Warp in order to detect trading vessels, pirates/enemy craft, anomalies in space, and you could actually have just empty space instances, where there's nothing but a stranded trading ship in need of supplies/an space anomaly/a small group of enemy craft/etc.
Now, no need to do the bridge view. You can make load screens totally invisible, you provide tools and incentives to check in with Star Fleet, you give us something else to do with the nearly useless Scan feature, the Galaxy actually starts to "feel big" (really important), it gives you new ways to get players onto missions, it provides you a way to do "random encounters", AND it feels like Star Trek!
It's just a suggestion.
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