(For some reason I have my best ideas listening to Smashing Pumpkins...)
I had this idea for revamping the crafting system. I imagine it to be a pretty huge change, but I think it could really add a lot to the game.
Firstly, the power scaling of all objects would need to be changed from a 0-100 to a 0-1,000. This gives a lot more diversity options to what a console or power can do.
Second, Each console type would have a set list of ingredients to make a base white console. A success rating would then determine whether it could be further improved to either uncommon, rare or very rare. You could add extra ingredients to improve your chances up to a set limit.
Thirdly, you choose the upgrades you with to imbue your console with. Each different upgrade would have its own ingredients list. Upgrade would include (+X defence against polaron), (+X damage against covariant shields), (+X turning rate), etc.
Currently a mk XII Phaser Relay has the following stats.
Common +24 damage
Uncommon +26 damage
Rare +28 damage
Very Rare +30 damage
Under the new system, regardless of the upgrade limit (whether it can go up to uncommon, rare or very rare) all mk XII Phaser Relays will have a bonus of +240, (This is because of the 0-1,000 scale.) Depending on how many upgrades the item can have, you can either imbue it with extra damage upgrades OR qualities, such as extra damage against certain shield types, etc.
Now, here's the big part of my idea...
Each improve you make can have varying degrees of success, depending on the quantity of the ingredients you put in and chance. If you try for extra damage, instead of going from (common) +240 damage to (uncommon) +260 damage, you could go to any number between +241 to +260.
This will result in HEAPS more variation, greater customisation and an exchange that will increase in demand.
i like this idea, but the major problem that has plagued prior crafting systems is how to unlock different levels of crafting? will it be like the old ones where you got points to unlock different items that you could make? or will it be drastically different? such as a system where you would have to go on missions to unlock certain recipes and these recipes are unlocked when you go up in rank.
I think that a toon should have to do a short missions series (one or two missions) where the character learns how to craft. After that they can craft any item of their level. Sound too easy? Of course it is!! Each player should have a crafting skill. By crafting items this skill increases. What does it do? Well, this crafting skill should give bonuses to your crafting outcomes, such as the percentages involved in the rarity of the item you construct, or the percentage bonuses to damage, protection, etc.
This skill should be hard-capped in order to prevent people from having absolute guarantees of crafting perfect items. When you go up a level this skill should suffer a drop of sorts to reflect the fact that you have to increase your skill in order to craft items of a higher magnitude.
Crafting items of a lower level should incur penalties to your skill level and percentages of success to prevent characters from boosting other toons or fleet mates. I suppose you could rationalise this by saying if Da Vinci spent too much time drawing simple stick figures to teach his pupils then his master art would have suffered.
I think allowing an item to break on a multi-upgrade system would be a bad idea. People would get VERY resentful if they've created a mk XII very rare item and have already upgraded it with high stats twice only to have it break on the final upgrade. (I'd be as mad as a cut snake if it happened to me!!)
If you wanted to make it interesting, you could have the exploration clusters produce the recipes, either by random drop or random mission.
Another interesting idea is that you could break down particular objects, essentially reverse engineering them, to obtain items that can be used in the construction of other items. For example, you would break down a plasma weapon to obtain an ingredient that would make shields plasma resistant. In order to promote balance, any items obtained during break down would be bound immediately.
Given how sensitive Cryptic is over database space, I'm not really sure they'd want a model which mirrors the one in SWG, with near infinite number of options for all the items in the game.
A success rating would then determine whether it could be further improved to either uncommon, rare or very rare. You could add extra ingredients to improve your chances up to a set limit.
So basically throw enough mats at the wall hoping you proc the crafting success. **** did this with their augmentation system, though that one did "break" and sent you back to square one of an un-augmented item. It's not a wonderful idea, even without having progress reset.
Plus the problem with a crafting system is, it's not really Star Trek is it? That said, a (much) simpler system to allow crafting of specific items which already exist in game would be welcomed, like [Dmg]x3 ect.
I'd be happy with being able to fill the (up to) 3 buffs on my stuff with what I want. We'd of course need more options than the 4-5 we have now for various things. And have the options be balanced so you actually have to consider what would be best for you. Right now, there a some buffs I consider worthless, so wouldn't bother crafting those buffs on something.
Sometimes I think I play STO just to have stuff to rant about on the forums!
Oh, I understand that high level crafting is not as Star Trek as many other aspects of the game, but in order to have a complete game not everything can be completely Star Trek. Some of it has to be pure MMO.
One thing I've noticed is that STO has more and more focus players. I'm not sure what else to call them, but I'm referring to players who play the game less as a whole but rather highly focus on a single aspect. Examples are the people who focus on PvP, foundry creation, STF and DOFF missions. I think that starbase-crafter will be a new type of focus player, too.
A high end crafting system will provide another aspect of the game for the regular player but also create a new niche of focus players. I can't think of a better thing as it's these players who really learn the game and share their knowledge and experience with the rest of the community.
Another benefit is that highly detailed systems like this provide platforms for future expansions of the game. I really believe that starbases have been created with enough depth that the system will not only continue to be expanded but also aid new systems to be created and existing systems to be enriched. A high level crafting system will do exactly the same.