The cost of getting DOffs is going up considerably tomorrow via the upgrinder, making upgrinding the most expensive way to get DOffs and assigning a cost to DOff assignment requests, as I understand it.
Cryptic doesn't seem eager to go back on the increased prices.
The player argument is that the new price doesn't match the value.
So maybe the solution is to buff Doffs...?
Say, make Doff color quality have more influence on success rates, increase the number of active roster slots, buff underpowered DOff active roster powers, and fill in the gaps by making sure that ALL Doffs have active roster powers of some kind.
Also, maybe we could have some added special assignments for DOff to BOff conversions for certain species of DOffs and these could award BOffs with space traits, which are currently in short supply. (Currently, only humans, Lib. Borg, Letheans, Saurians, and vet human BOs have space traits.)
Maybe something like a higher step on the DOff upgrinder where we can drop in 5 purple DOffs and get a veteran bridge officer ( with vet space traits) of a random species for 25000 dilithium and specific species for 30,0000 dil and 5 purple DOffs. (Maybe rare chances for android, Borg, Caitian/Ferasan, Aenar/Blue Orion.)
That continues the existing price scheme for upgrinding but at least provides a final reward that helps justify it.
Buffing purple DOFFs in general is probably not going to happen because there are still plenty of zen/dilithium-free ways to get them (asylum, officer exchange, colonial support, instigate defection, ...).
That said, your proposals to make more unique upgrinder DOFFs are compelling. By increasing demand for the upgrinder, it might become a popular dilithium sink, which will (indirectly) increase zen revenue. If there's a business case for your idea, it might be worth a Dev's time to actually design and implement.
Maybe also have an "extreme DOffing" gear set and costume unlock.
The gear would be, say, shields, armor, and weapon targeted at DOffing rather than combat and getting the set could unlock a kind of formal wear/admiral costume. With powers based around things like creating commodity fabrication bunkers and such.
Maybe a Gorkon look for Klingons and Federation President uniform for Feds.