Does it make sense for Admirals/Generals to be crafting their own equipment?
To make crafting more Trek-like, and provide new ways to play, I propose we be able to create civilian characters. This could be the new "faction" instead of Romulans. Let's leave them until the Klingons get more content.
Players would still play their Federation and Klingon captains but do their crafting as a separate civilian character. These freelancers would have their own ships, trade, gather resources, and defend themselves against hostile species (including other players).
Materials for crafting should be just that, raw materials. The current system of crafting has us upgrade existing items with "anomalous data". Materials such as metals, crystals, etc. would be more appropriate and can all be taken from Star Trek canon.
These materials could be obtained in various ways:
- gathering on planets or asteroids
- traded from alien civilizations in exchange for other items, or in exchange for services (cargo hauling through dangerous space, mercenary work, etc.) We already do these kinds of services in game now in Fed missions. Again, a civilian doing these things would be more like what happens in Star Trek.
- taken from rival crafters in certain PvP zones
- a crafter's exchange
Crafters may ally with either the Federation or Klingons and "level up" by means of reputation. I thought about the possibility of being neutral but that would make things more complex and too much like EVE (which I've read about but never played). Perhaps it could work, but Star Trek is really more about the Federation, Klingons, etc.
As an affiliated crafter you gain reputation with your faction by crafting items for them and by performing civilian specific missions. Increased reputation gives you access to more advanced technical schematics that you can then craft new items from. Reputation gains from merely crafting would be limited, missions would be required to reach certain thresholds. Failed missions would result in a loss of reputation.
Lastly, PvP missions may be required to gather certain resources that are protected by the enemy faction. The civilian ships would be weaker so in the mission would be protected by allied Fed or Klingon ships.
This rethink of crafting would definitely make things more interesting, not only when playing as a civilian but also when playing as a Fed or Klingon. These captains could then focus more on what they do best, explore new worlds and defend against enemy forces. A part of that war effort would be to support the civilian crafters who in turn support their affiliated faction.