I think we need a dedicated mission or system in game to test ship and BOff builds and load outs. Afterall, shakedown cruises are Star Trek cannon. I think it needs several components and this is just a bare bones outline stream of thought:
A straight generic target for testing DPS.
Say five targets in a row you could vary your distance or powers on as desired.
A shielded target that doesn't shoot back or apply defense.
Say five of these as well.
Then level appropriate enemies in escalation that would apply their own powers on you(much like a patrol mission but more controlled).
Example: For VAs 3 borg probes, then 1 borg sphere, then 2 borg spheres, then 1 borg cube. Have them be set to your level so 50 for VAs
At the end of the mission you would get a report you could print screen to save for your reference with things like damage done/type by you to each target and abilities used, damage done/type to you, and other relevant info.
I know there are bits and pieces of all these things I have suggested in game and that you can read your combat log for dps. I just want to see it all brought together in one place. It is very hard to do true controlled testing of different load outs even in patrol or deep space combat missions and it is kind of unfair to be working on your builds in stfs or during pvp. People argue all the time on the forums about the damage they do and how best to do it. If everyone had the same exact targets(stationary and then enemy) to check their builds out on then they could more easily compare notes. Adding level appropriate enemy targets at the end would help you see how your new build might hold up in PVE to see if that new skill your BO trained is worth it. I look at the Odyssey shakedown cruise anniversary mission as a good idea that needs to be expanded and have depth added.
I think this mission could also be limited as only available every 20hrs or pay to utilize through ECs, dilth, or CPs so it wouldn't be constantly abused. I also don't think it should give any rewards, loot, or experience points after your first run...just maybe an accolade for optimization or something if you repeat it...or say if you run through an escort, cruiser, and science ship.
I could also see a separate mission that could be built to test engines and piloting in a star system(not sector space). It could have an obstacle course and you could test times or even race opponents. The mission could be giveable from Captain Yim at Earth SD.
Thoughts, feedback, any ideas to get developer attention on this....I just think they could implement it so easily with mostly existing constructs...maybe someone could make a foundry mission??
I made a rudimentary combat scenario simulator in the foundry once, but that was a long time ago and it's no longer up there.
My advice would be to make a foundry mission where you can go into combat with a few different foes. Mine was set up as a training mission where you would face several waves of enemy ships from various factions and before each wave you'd get a brief description of the capabilities of the enemy fleet.
If you can't make such a mission ask a friend with a spare foundry slot to do it for you (I'm a silver so I would if I could but I can't).