Bridge Officers are basically tools; an extension of your character. And if that's all you see them as then the rest of this post is probably not going to interest you.
There are many MMOs to play to satisfy the gamer in me, but this particular MMO happens to be one based on Star Trek. Now, I like Star Trek, so I'm all too happy to immerse myself in the more ethereal aspects of the game. And while I'm aware of the gameplay aspects of BO's just as much as the next person, I also choose to look at them as my crew.
I spent time using the tools we have available to develop what personalities I could for my officers. I have a particular type of crew in mind, and I've been working towards building that crew, sometimes even at the expense of ignoring the better stat-choice. But in the end it's hard to ignore the fact that rarer BO's have superior base stats compared to the officers you've been developing since the start of your career. Even if you train them in the right skills they'll still have weaker traits than their rarer counterparts.
I have found myself thinking "Well, with enough time and effort I can eventually replace my old Andorian tactical officer with an ultra-rare Andorian tactical officer, who can be tailored to look exactly the same and given the same name..", thus essentially upgrading my officer with an improved version of himself while doing my best to "keep the same officer" (but not really). But whenever I think about this I think of all the bridge officer points I've invested that will be lost and... well, it just makes me want to hoard my BO skill points rather than use the to upgrade a crew that will eventually be replaced by rarer versions of themselves. But that's just not any fun either.
Are there other players finding themselves in this same boat? If so, how have you dealt with the dilemma? I keep hoping that maybe I'm overlooking something simple. I thought, if anything, that at least my liberated Borg officer would be with me through the end and a safe place to invest some BO skill points, but even she is starting to look like a relic compared to some of the more epic officers floating around.
I have rationalized the the eventual replacement of certain bridge officers by imagining them taking a command path in their career. Star Fleet is at war and senior officers are becoming harder to come by. My chief engineer will eventually be the captain of his own ship (I will eventually recreate him as a PC).
I think I've allowed myself to grow accustomed to bridge officers of the TV series sticking around the same assignment for years. This is understandable considering that NCC 1701 was on a 5 year mission, NCC 1701D and E were flagships (the holy grail of assignments). It seems natural that good officers would move on to other ships bigger assignments with more responsibilities. By the time I make admiral it will make sense to have a more stable crew with better officers as the creme rises to the top....
Besides...my tactical officer is getting a little tired of being on a science vessel and frankly her attitude is bordering on insubordinate. =P
You do know that these rare officers can train your existing officers with their superior skills, right?
Their superior skills, yes. But not their superior traits. For instance, your older bridge officer might have a trait like "Resilient (Basic)", but that epic BO has "Resilient (Superior)", which provides a larger resilience bonus.
But whenever I think about this I think of all the bridge officer points I've invested that will be lost and... well, it just makes me want to hoard my BO skill points rather than use the to upgrade a crew that will eventually be replaced by rarer versions of themselves. But that's just not any fun either.
From my personal experience as RA5, I can tell you that BO skill points are a non-issue. I have now well over 100,000 BO skill points completely unused, with my Crew maxed at everything...