This looks good, and i'm glad Cryptic is actually listening to the boat load of complaints over crafting. Just as long as it's cheaper and doesen't bash common and possibly uncommon gear i'd be happy. We're already getting a lot less dilithium then we expected for our marks & emblems, so we need to make them stretch.
I like the idea with the patrols, I think it will help add that feeling of exploration that sometimes lacks from the game.
And the crafting change is quite a subtle one, but think its definitely an improvement for the better, it'll be interesting to see how it changes things.
The big change is that we are going to make it so that instead of directly spending Dilithium in high end crafting recipes, players will use Dilithium to craft material blocks. Then the material blocks will be used in the final recipes. This adds a step to the crafting, but since we will be making the material blocks tradable, it makes it possible for guilds and friends pool their Dilithium for crafting purposes.
Thank you for listening. This helps give us a stop-gap that we can handle until crafting can be retooled after F2P launch.
The Crafting compromise is still far from where I'd want it to be, but at least fleet crafters can still work.
I hope you realize that people can't play horrendous sums of Dilithium to level up their Crafting, though, and retain a way to improve your crafting skill without spending a lot of Dilithium.
You don't need to use dilithium to level crafting, there are plenty of items to craft that don't use it - consumables, schematics, kits, odd level items up to Mk VII, . Granted they may not be cost effective to make or attractive to buyers, but they do grant research skill.
I look forward to seeing the crafting changes on Tribble and giving further feedback. It seems like a step in the right direction, but as always the devil is in the details.