I have an idea i think that would involve very little altering of the game and provide a very big improvement to ships in the game.
Instead of ranking the ships as this is a game not "reality" lol, where rank restricts ship classes like miranda vs. soverign as an example, why not leave class of ships open for all ranks? so an ensign can command any type of ship...but at his ranks level.
Example on Miranda or Soverign, as an ensign if ships are opened for any rank...or if not, i start with the same number of weapon slots and device slots etc. So a soverign as an ensign has 2 forward and i aft weapon etc.
This way i can "build" my ship the way i want as my career grows.
If the ship classes are locked by rank like now then let us "upgrade and retrofit" our lower class ships to grow with us.
For example. as it is now i have a v.a. toon in tactical. i like the miranda class alot but i cant "take it with me" as i rank up.
This new idea would allow the ships to rank up with the layer as they grow. so i start with say 2 fore weapon slots and 1 aft right?
Well let's say as i rank up i add another forward weapon slot for 3 and 1 aft for 2 total on my Miranda? so instead of starting with 2x1 its now 3x2 at lt. 4x3 lt.cmdr etc.
So no matter what ship i have i can always level it up..whether or not ships are open to all or rank based like now.
Rather than have a ltcmdr rank or ensign rank station for engineer vs.science etc., make all stations on ship level up with the BOFF rank so it starts as an ensign but grows to captain...once u hit admiral...see spocks rank star trek 2.
So a Miranda that starts out as 1 slot for each class why not level the ship to a point when player is an admiral the miranda can have 4 or more BOFF's at 5 slot capt. level per BOFF? Look at the screens and computers on the bridges? They have some wall stations that can "fit" more than one "tactical console" upgrade etc. so why not have more consoles for your ship as it grows?
As it is now i can only level my BOFF'S and myself...why not do the same for our ships? Basically this idea gives the ship a skill tree as we level up to add more weapon slots, add more consoles etc.
I like other classes to so why not allow the ships to have "class kits" for these ships? Lets take the Galaxy class for example. instead of making it a cruiser and the intrepid class a science ship lets have kits that will allow these ships to swap roles like a galaxy ship getting a "science computer core" to convert it to a science ship" and a "tactical core" for it to have stronger weapons than a ship that has "science core" Basically it allows the captain to COMPLETELY design and spec their ship for the role they want. The "special kit swapping core's" alter the ships primary function as a science, engineer or tactical role.
A "computer core" will allow ship to have ..say for science core...longer range sensors...say 50 km range and more anomalies per mini game...say 300% more per scan. Also you get an extra pair of science stations with stat boost for boff skills.
A tactical core would have 20% bonus weapon strength or 75% cool down reduction for weapon recharge and an extra pair of Boff tactical stations.
An "Engineeer computer core" gives the ship better Aux power "50% better, extra pair of boff stations for the ship, and stronger repair abilities. Basically a core will change the rolle of the ship and its "swapable" like dragging and dropping its icon in the slot. so if i'm a science captain but in a BIG BATTLE i can swap my science core for a tactical core and in the pause swap the engineer core for repairs. if i needed to.
Basically this all means:
A captains ship can "grow" with his career and its role...science, tactical etc. is changeable on the fly based on the mission via the "role swapping computer cores". and the stations on the ship are all universial so you can have all engineer,science tac. or any combination. All stations rank up with the BOFF from ensign to 5-spot captain BOFF station. once any ship is at its rank limit of boff stations the core adds 2 extra slots for its type...example:
Miranda class for an ensign has one of each class boff station but a sci core adds 2 more science BOFF stations, so player has 1 tac 1 engineer and 3 sci. IF player "turns on" the tac computer core" he now has 3 tac 1 engineer and 1 science boff stations. all he has to do is swap the boffs or pre-assign the boffs to a core so when it is turned on those stations are manned automatically.
I will make another post for the ships interior bridge and how this will fit in it will be called "Give Us A Bridge Editor" here in federation game play forum