Note: This topic is a used as a link generator to support twitter contact to our STO Community Rep.
Before I get into details about the title of this post, a little history about my thought process is required in order to put it into perspective.
After reading the latest (and oft delayed) State of the Game post by Zinc, my head was rolling with how many times Zn refers to listening to YOU, the USER. Having done closed & open betas for other MMOs and comparing those to how I do beta testing for the professional software I use, I realized that there really is not a convenient way for users to talk directly to developers without having to filter through a bunch of non-value information.
Most certainly there are several options to report bugs: in game tickets, contact a GM, forum, and the My Account section of the website. But, the only way to provide feedback to STO developers for possible future enhancement requests seems to be the forums. Let's face it, the forums are full of adolescent minds and weeding through them is a full-time job and often a valuable contribution will be lost in the filtering process. (Note, this is not a jab at teenagers; most of the adolescent minds trolling the forums are probably 30-something year old men.)
Then the idea occurred to me to have an invitation only event. The invites could be random or could be based on positive contributions by members to the fora. If random, there is still the potential for adolescent minds; but with a smaller group the conversation could be steered back to productive professionalism or the member quickly booted from the event. If based on forum contribution, a lot of people with interesting ideas - like myself - would not be chosen because of lack of posts. Personally, I rarely post simply because I prefer not to expose myself to trolls. But just looking at all the threads about a death penalty shows that there are some GREAT ideas floating in the minds of the users that may not come up in a developers' feature mapping session. (Mini-games, I looking in your general direction.)
How does one participate in this event?
Originally I was thinking Google Wave because the instantaneous conversation format would be perfect for this brainstorming type session. But then all the invitees would be required to have a Wave account.
The most probable solution would be to create a private forum and select only certain members to be a part of the group that has access to the forum. Because this is an EVENT, the forum would only be active for a limited amount of time at the discretion of Cryptic. Small group of participants, no trolls, easily moderated, private (must agree to NDA). It's the perfect recipe for a productive brainstorming session and the future State of the Game.
Please don't post any replies. This was just a link place holder to get in contact with our Community Rep. Of course, the Rep can always let me know they actually read this.