I wish the patrols were repeatable as some of them can be fun to do. And, as well with the idea, surely patrol means a repeatable task. Some days nothing happens while other days they do. So perhaps the patrol could be circle the planet x times. Deal with any problems as you see fit. If you complete the cycle without killing anything great. If you have to kill stuff to finish it great. Have the mobs randomly choose to spawn, so that you could repeat the same patrol but the 2nd time have someone to fight or a request from the planet for assistance.
Explorer Mission example
Okay, the planet needs aid in the form of Radiation Particles, go searching in the surrounding space fields to find them and return here when you have. Thank you. Oh, while you were gone a band of marauders came and attacked and kidnapped some of our scientists. Could you go rescue them please. Thank you. Talk to freed lead scientist. Thank You for rescuing us, it has delayed our research on the artifacts around the planet could you help us out a bit. You would ? Great. Leave the planet with a bunch of loot for killing the guys who had the scientists, only to have their friends waiting in space for you to fight your way through.
Grammar aside ( as I am typing fast rofl ) did you see what I did there. Now if only they could mix and match the different missions to build a storyline that varies significantly. Yes it would ultimately be repeated but once they have a library of individual missions with the flexibility to merge them into bigger ones it could be cool. The more missions to randomize and merge the more variable they would be and unexpected. And as usual take into account of the people in the area and respond accordingly.
Well thats my idea. I know it would make my gameplay more enjoyable but I sure won't quit over it if it is not wanted or never implemented. I love the game for what it is. And if there is some way our ideas can improve on it then its a bonus. Especially at such an early point in its life cycle.