Just wanted to post my thoughts on the development of the game as I see huge potential but of course as with all things Trekkie very difficult nonetheless.
My vision really and but no means am I a critic of the game as so far I have enjoyed the start of the game and I am impressed with the constant updates and episodes and new features being brought into the game.
Eventually though I would like to see the game expand and grow as I am sure everybody does. The direction I would like to see the game go in is for it to be player driven on the whole and I will explain what I mean by that.
Firstly, by player driven I mean that every empire in the game when they open them up should have real players belonging to them, yes we have that now but what I mean is that Cryptic decide at present for example that the Federation are at war with the Kilingons. What I am suggesting is that it is players that should decide this, the players that belong to those empires, the players that protect there own space if they are Romulan or Cardassian or Federation. the players who use diplomacy to solve their problems or force through battle if your a Klingon player. I mean player driven, its the players who decide who they go to war with and who they fight with and who they make peace with. Which players do this? Well this is the hard bit. They would have to be elected or members of the empire's council and voted for by the current player base for that empire or minor race. As that is the other thing I would like to see the opportunity for players to make either their own race or join a currentl in game race like the Breen or Deferi for example and be able to settle on their planets or in their area and build up their own colony and expand the race for themselves. Again, this is called player driven, you may have heard of a player driven economy well it gives the players more freedom and power to have a snese of ownership about how they play the game and of course keeps them coming back for more.
Exploration, to boldly go where noone has gone before. This means that space is vast and unexplored mostly. There are no maps unless somebody has gone before you and already discovered it! As players we shold be able to go out there on exploration missions with no start and no ending. You should be able to find a system explore it and deal with what ever you find there. If its nothing then thats fine as that is the essence of exploration but then if you get blown up by some super power that nobody in the federation has ever seen go tell your friends you discovered something! Sounds good? Maybe not for some but to me that is what Star Trek is all about, the unknown, the unplanned. Ok, we still need to have captains patrolling sector space to ensure that the orion's and Klingons dont overun federation space during times fo war now that we do have right now in game thats's fine. For those of you that enjoy pvp would you not want to represent your empire by fighting against your enemies in times of war and actually seeing the results? For example Klingons at war with Federation Klingon fleet attacks Fed fleet just inside fed space near the neutral zone and wins. Therefore Klingons take that space as their own.
My suggestions here you may agree with or not, all I offer is ideas that may take some time to implement but will no dooubt be rewarding to players and make it realistic and keep people coming back for more and also make it more personal.
Revamped exploration like you describe sounds interesting to me. I think that would be awesome for endgame. Once you reach VA, or whatever max level is, you can just take off and explore. I'm not sure if this would have mass appeal, though.
As for your first suggestion, I am not at all interested in open PvP or elected councils. I just want to blow stuff up.