Yes I've always wanted to see more of that kind of thing. A bit flaw in STO is you're never on the frontier proper. It is more DS9/lateTNG in that you are never too far from a Starbase. Should have the option to go on a long deep space voyage where you progress through a series of missions far outside Federation space where you have the chance to make lots of new First Contacts etc. If you complete the series you get a reward for doing so (a huge one of you played on elite as you had no access to starbase shipyards & medical facilities) and return home. You have the option of quitting and coming home early but you get no reward.
To gather these missions, some would be Cryptic designed but the bulk could be gathered from foundry authors who could 'submit to exploration' and if it fits the criteria they put it in and they're given out to the players at random when they accept a '5 year mission' deep space exploration series.
I've been wanting exactly that for a while now, i want to go deep into space, Find new stuff, no starbases, ( unless part of you mission is to build one) and no backup
It would make me feel a little more of an explorer, rather than a Military Captain , i mean STO's federation is more Militrised than i have ever seen in the shows, even compared to DS9 dominion war era
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An exploration zone reserved for Foundry missions will be very good, if that's really so. I'd prefer it if they all were - why not? Can always mix them in with random missions if there aren't enough to go around - but even one will be great, I can see myself doing a lot of those in future.
I like CaptainHunter's suggestion of having two available categories to submit your mission for, instead of one - one for really quite well-charted areas like Delta Volanis or the Rolor Nebula, one for genuine unexplored deep space where the Federation don't even know what planets there are - it refines things that little bit further.
A whole deep-space-exploration arc, as Isthisscience suggested, part Cryptic episodes and part Foundry missions... that's ambitious, but it would also be darn brilliant. REAL Star Trek stuff. I'd be the first in. They're talking Delta Quadrant for the new season, why not do the thing in style? OK... it probably won't happen, too much new coding for one story arc, arranging that you can't go back to home space without aborting the mission arc for instance, but it would be great if it did. They could have a Foundry Challenge - or several - to collect suitable missions to string together.
As for the vetting system - fair point that just letting authors nominate their own missions might invite cheats, but couldn't they just adapt the Review Content tab to cover that, have each Foundry mission appear in exploration zones only after a few players have confirmed that it fits the bill? No extra expense.
Seems to me we almost have a working plan here. I wonder how much of it will be like what we eventually get?
'jacking the time filters and the feedback system to let people have some control over the length of missions they get into and weed out "is this a random encounter like scenario" besides the "like / dislike" systems would also expand the idea while providing the devs with feedback on the kinds of things people may be looking for in such content.
I can't remember details of anything that was said but considering it hasn't been announced for season 8 take everything you have heard with a grain of salt, actually with a large mound of salt as plans change.
I do remember hearing they are planing on building on the current gateway with something like Neverwinter's proffessions. Though I have heard nothing to tie that specifically to Founders of the Federation sectors or any other type of content.
I have a feeling this was mentioned during the STLV dev panel but I'm not sure. I'm re-listening to it to verify.
OP has a brilliant suggestion. The current exploration missions are not very good and they are limited in scope and content. There are some bombad big Foundry Missions which are at least equal if not superior to nearly everything included in the PvE storyline. Not dinging on the Dev team here. They have all of STO to work on and maintain. Plus they are on the clock. So they have deadlines and like most people at work they probably wear about six different hats. (Let's see. It's Tuesday so I'm QA for new ship weapons today.) Foundry authors have an advantage in the fact they have time enough to care for getting one mission, or a series of missions, just right. And most times, when it's right, it's very right.
Foundry Missions would be a very welcome addition to the standard, "Drop out of Warp/Beam to the Planet and shoot/scan everything." things which currently pass for exploration. A potential hiccup I can see is keeping farming/accolade grinding missions from being selected. Another which just occurred to me while typing this is a mission which is very good and recommended may not come up for the next player in line for First Contact duty. Both are minor but like most things in STO, it is the minor annoyances which seem to spoil the game experience most often. But then again, not having everyone have identical exploration experiences would add something to the game would it not?
Good Foundry Authors are an underutilized and unappreciated resource. There are some excellent story tellers among them who can keep a player on the edge of the seat for a mission and when it is complete, the player sits back and says, "Wow! Excellent! More please!" Having Foundry Missions come up as a part of exploration in STO is something pwe/cryptic is missing the mark on. I'd like very much for the first person far enough up the food chain to make independent decisions to read this thread and at least start acting on, in a positive manner, the OP's good idea. Guys, if you let us, we'll gladly help you make STO better. After all, it's our game too.