It is frustrating having to make do with the limited props that are available. I don't know that all custom interiors are necessarily "ugly", but there are serious limitations, which are a major struggle to overcome. The lack of decent lighting is by far the worst. Not having a decent ceiling is another.
I believe it is a lack of priority. I hear the team that was building Foundry up and moved to NW, so that leads me to think that they are indeed understaffed, otherwise they probably would have just hired a new team to do NW, or, they felt that since the original Foundry team working on STO was better fit for the job.
And, really, it don't matter how stuff is rendered. Rendering doesn't ilmit on what can/can't be used. It just means quality of the 3D image. A smart developer would store the virtual modules/components on a database, which could be transfered over with ease. Though, indeed, the issue would indeed be coding, as the coding on the Foundry server and the live server would probably be different, they'd have to 'revert' the code on the live server components to work on the Foundry.
It seems to be it all boils down to the fact that Cryptic doesn't have a particular 'pet' project. They work on one thing, to where it can practically stand on its own, and move on the next. I play their Blacklight, and its the same issue. Lots of problems that could be worked on that. They have no particular style or theme. They do it all. SciFi and fantasy, and what else they might have in the works. I wouldn't be surprised if they had a sports game in the works, or some sort of social game.
From my perspective, the state of the props stems from a few problems during the launch of the Foundry:
Although we had a very nice guy named Mapolis (and others) who added all kinds of really interesting props and effects, there was never much of an attempt to put in things that fit together or to provide a comprehensive set of essential props. Part of this was that the devs just didn't know how we would build. The platforms and primitives were a quick afterthought based on some player feedback. They never intended us to basically throw away many of the maps they gave us and just build in the sky.
At the time of launch, there were also no triggers, so there was little planning as to how we would need to use props in conjunction with triggers. So, almost no "pick-ups" like medkits, etc., because (at the time) there was no way to pick up and "carry" items. Then, when triggers came, there was little to no effort to add in props to use with triggers, like a brig and a brig door that fit together. I think most of the non-programming stuff had shifted to NW (because there were already so many, many delays with STO Foundry launch, like 4 months late).
There was also no kind of checklist of needed locations like:
Props for Engineering, like a warp core.
Props for Sickbay, including sickbay map.
Transporter pad for..
Now as soon as the Foundry team moved, the nice guy and others who did this stuff moved with them. By looking at some of the things from NW, it looks like they planned ahead based on watching us build. So, that game has more foresight, especially with stuff like an interior builder.
It seems like nobody on the STO team knew how to do any of this stuff, after they were gone.
State of STO's Foundry: We have a random collection of props, most of which don't fit together. There are obvious things missing, so we build our transporter pads out of klingon barrels, and other sets, like sickbays, have to be built from scratch.
Now, does the STO team have the ability to fix a lot of this? Yes, but no. Yes, they have someone who could probably crank out a carpeted floor primitive in no time. Does that person have that assignment? No.
Every team is assigned to do things unrelated to Foundry props, although they are encouraged to maybe add something every once in awhile (when they have nothing else to do after bug fixes).
This means that, unless priorities change from Dstahl, nobody will have the job of fixing the library, updating it, or making it rational. The art team will make stuff for whatever the next thing is, not revisit the old thing and add stuff.
So, we pretty much have what we have, and I'll be surprised if that changes, beyond a few more random glass panels being thrown in, or a few stealth additions. Usually, it has nothing to do with what we're requesting. It's more like if a dev is making something and has extra free time, maybe that thing will get added.
From the dev blog, it seems like, just to add a new npc group of Mugatos, our Foundry producer had to learn how and do it herself by unconventional means.
That's where we are.
In my opinion a proper transporter pad is almost the #1 needed asset.
Play more STO Foundry! (You can thank me later.)
A TIME TO SEARCH: ENTER MY FOUNDRY MISSION at the RISA SYSTEM in the SIRIUS SECTOR
I would love just a few more Klingon assets. As it stands now we have one wall type and a door panel! No wall doors, no different types of walls, no turbo lifts, no transporter pads, no medical beds, etc...
I really do hope the purported room builder gets ported over when Neverwinter launches. All we hear is talk talk talk and plans plans plans on a myriad of things but never any real movement. My fears are this game will not last long enough afterwords to get much use and enjoyment from it.