Heya, I've thought a little bit about this and I hope that my idea can have some sort of Cryptic feedback. I'm aware that the lockboxes are a Perfect World Item and that many players in the Star Trek Online Community feel that they're not what they want, at all. Including me.
I have come up with an idea which would use the lockbox image but with a much more "hopefully" positive outcome for those players seeking other faction ships. "Ship Boxes"... now wait "rage and flame all you like" BUT! these boxes should be at the utmost a rare drop but nothing so rare you never see one like the current Gold Ferengi Lockboxes, but they should have a much more successful outcome. opening a box with a Master Key should grant a random drop containing something along the lines of these - Ship Creation Chip's or Blue Print - "sorry for the crappy use of paint Hubby helped" anyway collecting these chips will go into creating a ship like this - "another crappy use of paint" - Cardassian Keldon - .
Each ship Blue Print once changed into its Hull using the Blue Print and Schematic Chip, will have a set type whether it being Science/Cruiser/Escort, when building with the "Weapons/Engine/Shield/Deflector Chips it will be set so you won't be able to say put a Cruiser Ship Console Chip on something as small as a Cardassian Hideki. <- will probably be a tiny Escort.
So lets say you pick up my "Imaginary" (Ship Box) and you open the box and you get 1 - Engine Chip, then say you find another one and it contains a "Romulan Bird Of Prey Blue Print", you know that when you get a "schematic chip" that you'll be able to create a Romulan Bird Of Prey Hull to which you can add the Engine Chip, then the other chips on my crappy paint picture.
anyway the idea is ok-ish but I believe that each Chip that you get from my "imaginary" (Ship Box) should be trade able including the box itself (<-- or have the box bound but not the chips and blue prints).
now heres a bit more of my idea!, say the boxes are put in and you want the Romulan Bird Of Prey, you will only be able to obtain the Romulan Bird Of Prey Blue Print from (Ship Boxes) looted from Romulan NPC's and vice versa for any other ship Blue Prints like Breen Chel Grett Cruiser or the Cardassian Keldon.
(sorry for the wall)
P.S. (Edited because I'm useless at putting info E.G. forgetting)
I love the idea's put forward here, the chance to get a blue print for a ship then building it up with other drops is a great idea, only thing i would have maybe gone with, would be to have 4/5 ship designs that have set console slots, ability slots etc but that each ship would require a set number off blueprints to finish the construction.
At the moment i refuse to spend any money on keys with the horrible RNG system, if the boxes were harder to come by but offered a part towards a new ship then i could see me spending money to open them.
with let's say you also able to trade 3-4 same ship blue print's for 1 you are missing then it makes it worthwhile even if you get a bad box (same ship part) you can still work towards completing the ship you desire.
To be honest anything has to be better than the flood off boxes at the moment, but your ideas give a good spin on something that's not going to go away.
Iceash I'm glad you agree, plus I was going to add more to my first post but it was already a little bit of wall so I paused... but I was also thinking, with the boxes and the chips/blue prints, with each opened box instead of having just basic chips I was thinking rare and very rare chips with maybe a +2.5 to maybe +5 to whichever the Chip belongs to, so you could get a very rare shield chip that gives a +5 as a passive to shields.
Same with the weapons, engines, deflectors and even maybe random +X passives for the consoles, say a Cruiser Console Chip with +2.5 to Aux or Engines or +2.5 to all kinetic/energy damage, they would have to be really low +X stats as if you start going high you'll have some nasty ships out there.
I also like your idea of having to get say 5 blue prints to create the ship hull, that would make individual ships pretty rare too, even maybe having blue print variants, making connecting individual blue prints harder <- that sounds real nasty, but it would make seeing a rarer ship a rare sight... instead of seeing 10 Ferengi D'Kora Marauders outside DS9 >_< ... also, we still haven't any idea what type of systems we will see implemented with the Fleet Star Bases there could be a Ship Crafting system added in, which would make my idea a very good way to go.
Well i finally found where i can post my idea about the boxes. Okay...first off, i think players should be able to go into their options and under the "controls" tab should be an option that lets you turn on/off lock boxes for any loot bags that are personal/bound/not team shared. now for team situations have it so that it auto declines for lock boxes. If everyone in that team has it turned off the boxes doesn't drop.
Now in an STF its basically the same idea: auto declining lockboxes and for the reward bag, yes i know its a "Mystery lockbox" I am including that hence why i keep saying "lock boxes", but take that lock box out of the bag and replace it with either an item, salvage, or tech. cause there are some people who are sick of seeing these boxes around in their loot invintory and banks <I am one of these people>.
I like this idea because i spent for about 500 C-Points on a armor that was worse than what i had with 1 lobe crystal. not to mention some of the items in lobi crystal shop is 300 crystals and the most i got out of one lock box was 30.