At present, we have preset kits to select from, and generally they're enough to get the job done. But most kits have at least 1 ability you're just going to ignore because it doesn't do what you want the whole kit to do. So here's my suggestion: customizable kits. Here 's a possible implementation of this:
Crafting custom kits
Keep the current kit designs, but add the construction of custom kits as part of the Memory Alpha crafting system. Take existing kits, use a certain type of Anomaly Data to extract a "component" (the component you want to extract determines the Anomaly Data type) that contains one of the abilities in the kit. Allow the creation of a custom kit (varying Mks with appropriate component slots) "rig" which would then be used in conjunction with the created component(s) to craft the full kit. Each standard kit could only yield a single component, the rest of the kit is destroyed in the process.
Alternative (as suggested by Matt_Dravis)
Components are created separately from kit "rigs" via the use of traditional crafting components (and potentially new components created in the disassembly of existing kits) and recipes which are learned from certain vendors or discovered via research projects which the player initiates. Potentially add certain component designs to STFs to promote end-game content. In this method, ability components could not be extracted from kits.
You cannot create the kit until you have enough components to fill the available slots. Once crafting is complete, the kit is permanently set to those abilities, they cannot be switched. If components are created by extracting them from existing kits, perhaps allow the recovery of a component from the custom kit in the same fashion that components are extracted from normal kits.
Custom kits can only be crafted by their corresponding profession; Engineer players can only craft Engineer kits and components, Science players can only craft Science kits and components, and Tactical players can only craft Tactical kits and components.
To avoid people just spamming a single ability repeatedly, prevent the installation of the same ability component in more than 1 slot (i.e. you can't install 2 or more Stasis Field components, regardless of ability rank).
As an extra bonus, add in an aesthetics portion to this idea: each "component" adds distinct parts to your kit's appearance.
Good idea. I tend to only use one kit ability myself because the rest isn't what I need. So I switch through 3 kits, each with 1 ability I like, and 2 - 3 I never touch. For me, it would fulfill the purpose of saving inventory space if I could modify a custom kit and put the 3 abilities I want together.
Also, having the components show different visual changes sounds good.
You know the ability to create customized kits is the kind of idea that would make the crafting system into something worth my time, as opposed to currently where it's just a reason for me to make some money on the exchange by selling data.
I hadn't even considered a Crafting implementation. Perhaps keep the standard kits in the game, but make custom kits and components available through the crafting system?
This. You're on to something here.
I bet it would be a great first step toward a revamped memory alpha. You could actually control what skills are on the kit by what samples are used at which area to make the kit (science, engineering, tactical). The base kit type used could also factor into it.
Quality of the craft could come in with the level of the kit. A standard craft could be mark IX quality, while a high quality craft could net you a mark X level kit.
What you're suggesting sounds absolutely delightful and a bit similar to the CoX Invention system on the crafting side. From the discussions I've been reading, it would also make playing an engineer actually worthwhile. It would certainly make the game far more appealing to me, much like the Invention system in CoX did for me.
+1 to crafting kits (and kit components). To me, this makes the concept of crafting more meaningful than simply trading in old for new (i.e., Memory Alpha at present).
The same concept should be applied to other ship and ground components (e.g., weapons, deflectors, etc.).
Make each career (Tactical, Engineering, Science) responsible for its own relevant components and products. For example, Engineers can only craft/modify Engineering Kits, etc.
Regarding other components (both ship and ground), these should also be limited by career. Tactical can craft/modify weapons, Engineering can craft/modify shields and armour, Science can craft/modify deflectors and consumables (i.e., foodstuffs and medical supplies).
Engineers should still be the ones to -supply- the initial consumables, but Science should be the only career able to modify them due to their fancy bio-chemical training, etc.
Again, all of this should be player-produced, not vendor trade-ins. Required materials should be a mix of anomaly data, lesser products (e.g., white, green, blue items), and even a mix of different crafted items (e.g., specific components crafted from other materials, and then components merged into the final product).