In all honesty any good loot i recieve goes towards my fleet bank for members, not that there are many of em left playing these days, but if i get the tech drops from stf's well then i use them appropriately for my main character as he is the only 1 i use for stf's at the moment until i feel the others are ready to do them,
by the way love your picture and you make great missions kirkfat and i also use your training videos for making foundry missions, still learning and havent released one yet but using your ideas has really helped me to learn some nifty tricks, thankyou..
Honestly, as embarrassing as it is to admit I do it out of a (maybe false) sense of accomplishment.
It's sad really, but it's one of the few things to keep me going in game. I hope they eventually add new, interesting content soon enough as well as develop pvp a bit more. I actually love PvP, more than getting loot, but doing the same maps and goals over and over and over and over again is getting extraordinarily boring.
Mostly you worry about loot if it is gear that will be helpful for you. Either an upgrade of something you need, or a new piece that you want to experiment with.
Also, Loot in general is a form of payment for your services. Loot can be sold either at the exchange or at vendors for EC that can be used for other goods or parts that you want.
As for why grind for it... That is the point of the game To get the best of the best gear for your ship and crew. To be one of the FEW (thousand) that even POSSESS such amazingness. So yes, it is partly about the shinys.
Me Personally? I use loot for to top off my consoles for my ship, keep my crew in top notch shape, and to contribute to my fleet. But this is an MMO, so you can do what ever you want with your loot.
I'm a min/maxer and have been for many years in other MMO's as a raider,for me its always been about:-
Having gear that allows me to kill faster than other players
Having gear that allows me to complete group content solo or take part in instances I usually wouldn't be able to.
Prestige, having the very best gear looks great (yeah, epeen ftw, lol)
The problem in STO though, is that the content is so easy I don't need better gear, sure I can do elites, but all I get from that is more loot which I can't use as it's not as good as what I have, I can sell it, but it's not like I need EC either, so the point is kind of lost. Also, because we have so few STF's, does it really matter if I get better gear just so I can run the exact same place?
So loot will always be 90% worthless other than quickly selling/discarding it for a bit of EC.
Look at a game like Battlestar Galactica Online. It is just a browser game but has more players than STO. One big reason for this is that loot drops constantly, nearly every kill gives loot. Loot includes ammo, fuel, cubits (credits), weapons and really everything the game has.
Cryptic make STO boring.
On reaching VA, there is very little loot that matters. That is poor gaming design in my opinion.
I hope MechWarrior Online has ammo and fuel, probably will. That means there is always a reason to be picking up loot and boxes can be forgiving then. In STO boxes are in our faces, we get too many boxes over anything that is usefull.
Why do we not get drops for combat pets, which we can get elsewhere, so why not in drops?
Why does STO not drop c-store credits as drops?
Why does STO not offer dilithium in drops?
Whats this big thing with mission reward and completion Cryptic seem to have got very attached too. Rather than allowing us to just play, blow stuff up and do it until the sun goes down then comes back up again. Without caring about mission objectives but rather aiming for dailies for killing or even looting itself i.e. collect a certain amount of dilithium in one day to get 25 c-store credits.
Aw man I could go on forever but Cryptic will never make STO the ultimate fun. It's fun, it's good but it seriouslys lacks a buzz and finding your inventory full of stuff you have to discard is all part of the boring parts.
I bother with loot cause I sell it, usually to the replicator (unless its green or better gear or commodities those go on the exchange). I made like a half a mil off 5 contraband that I had sold on the exchange. What do I do with the EC, dump it back into my PC, Boff, and Ship gear.