So Defera is nice! And it seems like its working to create missions on that planet, and aswell it is available as social planet.
Why not make every planet or system that is in the STO-Universe available to enter / beam down. You know all the places we have visited during our missions. Make them social areas aswell. I would like to go back to P'jem or the Briar Patch.
It should be possible to access them like we can on Defera.
Actually it's not. You can use it for roleplay reasons which many people really like to do. And it wouldn't be too much of effort to jus duplicate the planet maps without any enemies (maybe put in some living critters at least), and then it's already purrfect for roleplaying. You can imagine the rest.
I think slowly expanding the list of visitable planets is a good way to go. But I think they shouldn't be content-free. Some kind of mini-missions, vendors and mini-games should be provided. I would love if there was a reason to go to every planet eventually. The Deferi Outpost 3 has a very... lucrative trader, for example.
Andor and Rura Penthe might be the only place to acquire certain melee weapons and cold resistant armor.
Vulcan might have a "meditation mini-game" that allows you, if succesfull, to recover injuries at no-cost.
Risa might have a small "damsel in distress" mini-mission.
Just creating a bunch of planet surfaces with nothing to do there but roleplay is weak. It could even hurt roleplaying attempts, since the roleplayers would disperse over all those planets and wouldn't find each other unless they purposefully organize for it - hindering casual or spontaneous roleplay.
Actually it's not. You can use it for roleplay reasons which many people really like to do.
what roleplay reasons exactly? not much to 'roleplay' on an empty planet
And it wouldn't be too much of effort to jus duplicate the planet maps without any enemies
a game developer you clearly are not. it would take ALOT of effort to do this. the enemies would be the easy part as they would be generated by a spawner. alot more work goes into creating specific planets (and this would have to be the case for this to work, you can't use a randomly generated instance for most things like this) than you think