So, the two new Flagships get auxilliary craft in their final version. This got me thinking:
What about a new form of mission revolving around long-term ground missions. For example: As a Fed player you get sent into deep space to explore strange new worlds. You may need time to explore every thing there is, escessive studies on ressources/biology/geology you name it. To do that you are required to pick a away crew consisting of BOFFs and DOFFs and (optionally) you. When you decide to join the ride you get to land your auxilliary craft on a planet, establish a campsite for stretched-out recon and exploration missions revolving around your new baase of operations. Collecting samples, finding underground caverns, strange life forms, intelligent beings etc.
The Klingon side may get the order to invade/fortify a world. Pick your troops, get your craft on the planet and construct defensive positions and fight resistance you encounter.
Your main ship will leave orbit and gets a kind of big DOFF assignment and won't be available for a while.
Alternatively, you sent your craft and personnel on the planet leading to a huge DOFF assignment during which your aux craft, BOFFs and DOFFs aren't available. You can however pass by and beam down to your camp. You could as well leave your campsite and return to your ship and let your crew complete the assignment, however aborting the one your ship does in this process.
While I think this is pretty much doable with the current game set-up, being missions taking around 1-2 hours, we could expand the idea and actually found colonies, solve problems, pass by later.
To me, this is what core ST should be, exploring strange new worlds. This is the type of MASSIVE expansion this game needs to survive, as current zoned space is nothing more than a traffic jam of ships sitting around doing de nada. Instead of "coppin a squat" like a fat person at a Golden Corral, we need higher-class ships(Capts and above) assigned new missions w/ building out player-controlled Fed/KDF colonies/bases, think EVE meets Warhammer Online w/o all the tricky economy questions. Once there, they can build out, explore and protect the planet assigned. It'll add a new layer to the game experience that'll please many in the community
I dunno, it sounds great in theory but you are suggesting such sweeping changes to the game, they mind as well make Star Trek Online 2.
IOW, it's likely never to happen, at least anytime in the conceivable future (and I'm talking like 2 years out here).
I know the changes sound radical, but they aren't really. The Ground camp is just a big ground map with your ship in it (static) and some NPC crew doing things. from there you can do different tasks on the map. In the meantime, a DOFF mission runs simulating your main ship or vice versa.
Getting this camps constantly is another thing, however and that won't work. But hey, I can dream - at least for STO 2