I love STO, I really do ... but as with anything, nothing can be perfect.
There are some flaws with space, and some things that really are a pain , such as this one , , mentioned in this post. and this method could really help in that area, and make the game more realistic
I think we need to scrap the level system. We all start with Miranders, and we gain ranks with the experince points, but instead of a Level "10" battleship being dust to a Level "50" frigate , the Frigate will always be weaker than to the battle ship. As you progress through the ranks, Starfleet gives you harder and harder missions (IE: with tougher ships)
Your thinking weapons. With weapons, the damage difference between MK12 and MK2 should not be phenonomal. As you gain in ranks, StarFleet trusts you to have better weapons (+ equipment) and better starships. This way, a LT Frigate probably will lose to an Odyssey but it will not be just some space dust that needs my MK12 Phaser to vapourise. The Skill system could give margional boosts to perfermance , and/or allow Ship improvments (such as +15 energy damage)
This is closer to what "real" Star Trek might me like.
The problem with your idea is that some people simply love playing, to use your example, frigates. They do not want to be space dust simply because they love ship X instead of ship Y. The game has become very homogenized - where every ship is viable at end-game no matter when it was made. It's bad for canon but it's great for fan-boys who want to be like whomever - and fan-boyism is why we spend money.
As far as the Level System, it's just a number. You can easily just pretend that you were given a promotion and new ship due to your exceptional service rather than because you hit a level mark.
STO is about my Liberated Borg Federation Captain with his Breen 1st Officer, Jem'Hadar Tactical Officer, Liberated Borg Engineering Officer, Android Ops Officer, Photonic Science Officer, Gorn Science Officer, and Reman Medical Officer jumping into their Jem'Hadar Carrier and flying off to do missions for the new Romulan Empire. But for some players allowing a T5 Connie to be used breaks the canon in the game.
Too late for it. We can easily accept it if they changed it in closed beta, but 3 years after launch would cause too many problems. People have become too comfortable with how the game is currently setup and such a major change would irritate a bunch of people. It is just like getting rid of the other ranks and only have Captain available. Sure it makes more sense from level 1 to 30 since having a Lieutenant in command of a ship is difficult to get around, but people like being an Admiral and want more Admiral like content.
i disagree, the OP wants the lvl system to be scraped and powers/abilities to be normalized across the board with more experience players just having more access to better buffs and gear
this system doesn't really work out side of the TF2/COD models
Gotta disagree there. There are plenty of games that dont have leveling. We already have a rank system, so the use of a secondary leveling system is unnecessary and redundant.
What value do Mk IV guns provide to the mutliplayer game, exactly?
It's a holdover from when single-player games used leveling to stretch out content. Its presence here is just ... oh every game has to have leveling system ... its one of the reasons STO is primarily a single-player game, and not an MMORPG