I have been toying with this idea for a while. Thought I would put the framework down and allow the community to help flesh the idea. This is not intended to be a demand toward cryptic that they must do this. But some constructive community feedback on an idea which I think has promise and would potentially provide some extra depth into the game.
As you increase in your career, your older ships serve no purpose, as they do not scale or grow with your exploration. Your bridge officers enhance their prowess, but it does not show in the older ships. Why would a commander be any less accurate at the helm of a t2 ship then a t5 ship. You can put the biggest baddest guns on any ship, why not let officers use them.
Limited customization. if i want to fit a cruiser class ship as a gun boat, let me, let me put the tactical officers on my bridge and go to town. I wont turn like an escort, but i am happy.
There are more, but at writing this, I could not properly draft them into words for this forum.
This prompted me to think, why can't our bridge officer consoles be actual components that we buy or upgrade.
I put together a rough grid that explains my thoughts.
Give each "bridge officer seat" a value based on a white loot module value. In my grid below, each seat has a value of 3 points. So for a newbie ship (t1) you would have 4 seats with a value of 3 points each seat.
At a T5 ship level, you would see you would have 1 seat at 12 points, 3 at 6 points, and 1 at 3 points.
White modules would give us the current skills on our boffs as they are today.
Now, if you find a rare, or extremely rare seat, you could allow higher level abilities for less points. (see grid 2).
What this would also do, is allow you to fit the ship the way you want to. What if you want 4 tac officers and don't care about science or engineer bridge officers. Go for it, in my opinion you would gimp your ship, but all the power to you.
Not sure what you mean by your questions. Considering I am not advocating anything with the skill trees, this is more of the ability to customize and upgrade what bridge officers you could put on each ship.
The skill cool downs I believe already account for the stacking of powers. For instances, if you have 2 torpedo powers, there is an internal cooldown already. At some point, you will get diminishing returns for stacking to many of 1 type of bridge officer skill.
I believe that number is 2 currently if they are ranked at 9 points. As a result, I believe the scale/balance is already in play currently.