So today I unlocked the Honor Guard type 2 uniform parts and immediately started lamenting the fact that I couldn't use my TOS Season 1 sash with the KHG outfit. Actually, after looking at my character I realized that what I really wanted was to just put the fur collar and cape on my character's existing KDF uniform without using any of the other KHG parts. This reminded me of a whole series of issues that have been tickling the back of my mind for a while.
Both as a player and as a Foundry author, I have a love-hate relationship with the character editor.
On one hand, I love love love the level of customization that Cryptic has given us with their excellent and user-friendly editor.
On the other hand, I constantly find myself banging my head against the outfit portion of the editor. We all know what I'm talking about:
Can't customize KDF Renegade BOFFs
In-game editor unpredictably resets your toon's facial sliders and choices when you click on the uniform slot type drop-down menu
Can't import many uniforms into the Foundry/edit many pre-made uniforms already in the Foundry without losing many components
Impossible to do simple and 'obvious' costuming choices like putting comm badges on civilian clothes
Impossible to create many uniforms seen in-game due to parts being in different slot types
The in-game issues and at least some of the problems with the Foundry all trace to a single root cause -- the "slot type" system.
Now, I understand what Cryptic was thinking when they implemented the uniform/off-duty/formal wear setup, but the benefits (a very small number of really ugly combos are impossible) don't seem to surpass - or even approach - the problems. The Renegade BOFF problem alone is a serious issue that negatively impacts many KDF players' gaming experience.
I want to propose three solutions that I think could really improve quality of life and maybe even reduce the long term labor burden for the dev team. Let me present them in "good/better/best" order:
Good: re-enable the /costumecreator.setslottype command as it existed prior to the 2/14 patch. That is to say, allow the user to manually select his or her slot type, but do not accept costume save attempts for mix-and-match costumes or costumes created in the 'override' mode.
Advantages: easy to implement, doesn't change the actual costume options, reliably and consistently fixes the Renegade BOFF problem. I can verify that last part, because prior to the 2/14 nerf I used this workaround to customize my Renegade Human.
Disadvantages: doesn't address any of the other issues except for Renegade BOFFs (and facial feature reset if used to work around the bugged drop-down menu). Not part of the user interface, so doesn't help new/inexDarkOrangenced players.
Better: re-enable the original functionality of /costumecreator.setslottype, allowing players to manually switch to the 'override' mode and mix and match costume parts from different slot types. Note that when this worked players were still restricted to costume pieces they had already unlocked.
Advantages: fixes 99% of the in-game issues I cited above and provides a workaround for the only one it doesn't (the drop-down menu resetting facial features). Doesn't require changes to the user interface.
Disadvantages: Not friendly to inexperienced players.
Best: Dump the 'costume slot type' system entirely. Re-categorize every uniform part in the game as "uniform" and then disable the selector drop-down.
Advantages: fixes all of the in-game issues I cited above. Streamlines the character editor in a way that is friendly to new players.
Disadvantages: labor burden for devs - at a minimum, someone has to go through the database and update all the slot type tags, and someone would also need to update the UI to disable the drop-down picker.
What do folks think? Am I crazy? Am I missing issues that would make this infeasible? Cryptic folks, what do you say, can we do this? Think of the public relations benefits of being able to say "hooray, we fixed 100% of the costume problems and gave you a ton more customization at the same time!"