My thoughts on how to make crafting better. Many people (no that doesnt mean everyone) would agree that the crafting system is not a crafting system at all. I am sure that Cryptic did not have alot of time to get one in and this is why we have Memora Alpha. Thats ok, that does not mean it cannot be fixed.
Obviously a full fledged out crafting system would take time to develop. Im willing to wait for a decent system if Cryptic is willing to make one <--- that is not an ultimatum. Part of it is already there. I feel my ideas will fix the crafting system as well as give people more content to do... including fleets
First, we already have a type of harvesting system that goes hand in hand with crafting. You could actually keep that part of the system in place. I hope that it could be improved upon though. What I think could improve the harvesting is if you changed just a few minor things. One thing is the lines in space. I think its great that its has a graphic that looks decent. I also think its great that we can use our scan function to find them. What I do not like is the lines in space. Make the actual graphic larger so you can see it from a distance and remove the lines altogether. The second thing you can do to improve on that is to put them in more areas. Open areas that is. I dont like that I only seem to find them in areas that I can only zone into if I have a mission. You could make exploration more persistant and a bit better and put them there. That is a topic of another discussion though. You can also put them in areas like the Sol system... any area that is open to all. Obviously, I dont want them clogging up space and all over but there can be a balance for that.
Next we have the crafting itself. We all know what it is currently, so I will not describe it. What could be done is to have recipes that allow you to build things like other MMO's do. We can have an advancement system for crafting like other MMO's do and have different crafts. All that stuff is obvious. The types of crafters we can have are:
1. Weapon designer
2. Armor designer
3. Ship designer
4. Materials designer (couldnt think of a better name atm)
Weapon designer would make all ground type weapons and ship weapons. Armor designer would make all body armor as well as hull plating for ships. Ship designer would make the schematic for the ships and make schematics for starbases. Ship designer would also make engines for ships. Materials designer would make clothing and uniforms. Materials designer would also make all the various consoles for the ships. All of these things can still be made in memory alpha. They would just have to make a ui for the interaction portion.
Ship building. Ships will take a ton of resources to build. They would also need parts from every craft trade. This creates a dependancy for every craft class. Anyone would be able to assemble the actual ship but would need all the parts from all the craft trades and the schematic itself from the ship designer. This also applies to starbases. Starbases would require a lot more resources then a ship would. There could be different tiers of starbases just like there are different tiers of ships. I will not describe in this post how to implement starbases because this is about the actual craft trade. I will say that I think it can be done using the existing instance technology that is already in game. Starbases could be limited to instance neighborhoods much like the way housing is done in Lotro. I know that is brief but I dont want to get into it in this post.
I think a system like this would give people alot more to do as well as to encourage more economy. It would also give fleets a way to have the starbases that have been asked for.