What are the possibilities of adding a line of shuttles to become part of your ships inventory? There are so many designations of shuttles to use for many different reasons. It can be stored onboard ship for when you require it....
---- Mission Ideas ----
Racing - A nice simple one, players take part in head to head races much like PvP. Races can be anything from simple point to point or time trial. This also allows for options such as obstructions (Navigate through an asteroid belt).
Away Missions - Sometimes beaming down to a planet is not optional so you would use a shuttle. Guide your shuttle to the surface through a selection of weypoints (Rings Maybe) to ensure a smooth and safe landing. Missing a weypoint means turbulance and damage to your shuttle. Could also add a time limit to complete the decent and land at designated point.
Diplomatic - Ferrying a VIP from one planet in a sector to another. Can be done via your ship but this is also an option.
---- Further Options ----
Not only would the above missions be great but there is also the option of upgrading specified parts making it quicker etc much like your ships but for the benefit of racing etc etc... Also could become a usefull option in battles where your shuttle could become either a repair option (Fixing hull damage), Shield Option (extending its shield over a small part of effected ship when yours have been drained in one area) and a Tactical Option (acts as a stand alone figther for 20 seconds).
I agree fully with you here. Shuttle missions would be awesome. I'd love to see the races. Also. it'd give Cryptic a reason to design a shuttlebay. And personally, I wanna see my shuttlebay already!
PS: Besides the Delta flyer, you guys should make it so that we can walk outside on the tailfin of the ship.
If you look at the "Happy Anniversary, STO!" video on the front page - at about 1:58 minutes in - you can see what appears to be the Delta Flyer on the inside of a Romulan Space Station (from the new weekly missions). Hopefully, more "interior" space maps will be created, like this one, for the puropose of shuttle away missions