I have an alt that I'm leveling up (Science) who's at LtC 9 right now.
I have recieved several, random, "Aid The Planet" missions while exploring in several sectors...except Delta Volanis. Funny thing is, it's the only sector that I have an unfinished mission arc in...the original (ie., first) " Aid The Planet" mission ("Needs of the Many").
I have run about 20+ series of completed exploration missions in that sector and have yet to get an "Aid The Planet" episode there.
Curious (raises a Spock-like eyebrow).
So what happened to Outreach Missions? I haven't found one in months now.
While some ppl hate them, I quite like them; it's a Trekky item. I like blowing stuff up as much as anyone else, but by the lore of Star Trek, more sciency and aide missions are in order.
However, the frustrating part of Outreach missions, is their design: when once finding an Aide the Planet Mission, players have to leave the system to acquire the commodities needed by the planet, or spend hard-earned EC to replicate the commodities to satisfy the need, then and there. In either choice is a waste: of EC or time. And if players stock their bank or inventories with commodities "possibly" needed, in case they find an Outreach Mission, chances are they waste space, and wind up ditching them or selling them.
Here are some suggestions:
I'd like to see Outreach Missions offered by Outreach Agents, (Hosa/Temev et al), in two ways:
(A) simply as DOff missions undertaken then and there: send a few DOffs and the commodities, and viola! Success or failure. (Diplomat/Security & Quartermaster DOffs?);
(B) as a daily mission: "Starfleet has received a long distance request for aide, but communication has broken down": go to planet X, with commodity X, deliver cargo, and discover the problem causing the shortage: (e.g.: one of three mission types, which one discovers upon arrival),
(1) negotiate or fight with a blockading fleet to cease/destroy a blockade;
(2) fix equipment on the planet's surface that caused the shortage;
(3) investigate reasons why the said commodity is in shortage, resulting in either a known or unknown cause: "known" being pirates/raiders; and "unknown" being "corruption/pests".
So if pirates/raiders, the mission would involve raiding a base or ship, if corruption or pests, then a little detective work and extermination/arrest, or do I mean arrest/extermination? ah, no matter...
Each of these mission types could involve a very short DOff mission of a a few minute's duration:
(1) envoys fail or succeed in getting blockade to cease (where failure, fight them);
(2) engineers fabricate parts for repairs; (which you would then install at a few locations perhaps)
(3) scouts discover the whereabouts of a pirate/raider base/ship (which you would then go to to beat up the baddies).
Accolades, titles, items drops and Dilithium could be rewarded.
Outreach needs some attention, because as it is, they rarely come up/are a hassle to do, y'know? they're a bit "yawn", but there is potential in Outreach missions for interesting play or at least that they become easier to find and do, and be streamlined.
The first option outlined here is the easiest to do, and even by this method, changing Outreach missions to a few DOff missions would make them both locatable, and would not involve several screen loads to complete. They would be missions offered like one gets DOff missions from the Ferengi Trader on DS9, or from Security Officers.
The second option would be well-cool, buuuuuut y'know? "I wish..." and what is actually a third option, combining DOff missions within a mission, is just pure and absurd fancy of superlative degree I believe.
But seriously, I recommend changing the Outreach Missions into a few DOff missions offered by an Outreach agent, cos trapesing around the joint or spending EC is a hassle, and for players that really don't like Outreach Missions, they don't waste their time entering a system to just to dump it and bail. Outreach missinos aren't much as it is anyway, so changing it to a DOff system would satisfy everyone.