Ha, rely on me to start a thread and then vanish for days. Sorry.
Crypticarmsman: That posting was just a starting point. I said nothing about PvP for the simple reason that I know doodly-squit about PvP. Suggestions? If we were planning this, where would you like to see PvP in there? Let's pretend we're hammering out a plan for Season 9 ourselves, and see how much of it sticks. In fact, my original intention was to edit the posting according to what other people suggested, but that's not going to happen, because due to circumstances beyond my control I have to be out of the game for weeks. So it's over to everyone else.
Lincolninspace: hmm. Good plot ideas. The trouble is that changes to existing systems (foundry, PvP, exploration) aren't naturally box-office. So we need a way to make them be, to keep people playing and thus keep the bottom line stable - but that hasn't to take up so much time that there isn't time to make those changes. That may be an unanswerable question; but there are a lot of inventive people on this forum, to say nothing of on the Dev team, and it may not. (I once heard somebody say that the two most important words in selling anything are "New" and "Free".)