I have noticed that it is much harder to get "good" mission recently. I am spending way too much time looking for a good mission for my DOFF rather than flying missions. It seems like missions that pay out with good rewards are much harder to find.
I don't want to waste hours looking for missions. I wish they would make more good missions available so I don't have to spend an hour looking for missions.
I've been seeing far less frequency of some previously common assignments as of late. Mostly in the personal section where they have gone from common to nearly rare yet remain unchanged as far as the tag goes, like the dosi and contraband assignments. They've done this ninja adjusting before on more than one occasion. Asylum assignments were hit with a serious nerf. As of late I've been seeing the personal assignments taking a hit and now the relocate colonists assignments have become rare when before I could do it daily, though if I'm not mistaken they have added a new version of that for the clusters. I think they also have nerfed the leafs/nite/incense/etc trading assignments to be far less frequent.
It's becoming annoying because once you are as advanced into the system as I, there's very little to do than repeat assignments that offers rewards. But I also have stopped playing so much so my lack of finding assignments could be related to the sector updates or location. But I don't think so. Even in the past few months I was able to log in at whatever time and these assignments I name above would always be available, day in and out, and now they aren't. Logic dictates that they were adjusted(or broken.)
When I run out of DOFF missions to fill the 20+ slots (and I've maxed 10-11 of the categories on most of my level 50 characters), I usually do the following:
I view the main window and note the amount of CXP I have in each category, then I go looking for missions that will reward the most amount CXP in the categories that are nearest to the magical 110k level.
Doing this gives me the ability to trade in the excess CXP for fleet marks at my fleet base. These missions take 8 hours and you want to save your best possible DOFF for the turn in to maximize your chance of getting a critical which raises the reward from 75 to 100 marks. The missions DO take up one of the 20 mission slots you have available.
When NONE of my categories are close to the 110k limit, I go to the department head window and go through each department looking for mission suggested by my dept. heads which give the most CXP for the most efficient trade off of time / DOFF required.
For Example: Engineering department usually has a mission to send two officers to try out an EV suit for 400ish CXP with a relatively short completion time (save "resolve" officers for this mission, it helps). Medical has a semi-regular mission that requires Nurses (three helps, higher quality Nurses w/good traits = even better results) which gives over 1k CXP for a relatively short completion time.
I browse the departments using this method and after a day or two, those 101-104k CXP levels will rise quickly, moving toward the 110k level. Pick and choose, if the Engineer EV suit missions isn't available, check Tactical or Security for high CXP / Low-Medium completion missions for Military and Espionage.
The only departments that you cannot use this approach with are Colonial (notoriously small CXP rewards, but low DOFF requirements with quick completion times) and Trade. Trade has no department head suggestions, but you can keep it moving by doing the Contraband turn-in missions and supplementing the CXP while in sector space.
I think the OP doesn't have a problem with filling 20 slots, but with the design (fail?) of assignments showing up illogically.
While some players say that they don't get the alien artefact assignment at all or other nice ones, I don't have such problems. However... A few examples of my own I find odd. Just a few...
Strike against fugitive network... Appears usually 24 hours after it's done. But sometimes I need to wait 48 hours (yes, I browse all sectors for it!).
Very Rare instigate defection is not very rare at all. It's not rare, it's probably uncommon as I'm seeing it every few days unlike BoFF recruiting very rares and such. On this however I'm not complaining, I'm complaining why others like BoFF recruitment are not more frequent? Also in two months of playing I've seen (and done) Ferengi cultural exchange only - ONCE. It was marked as ultra rare, but probably should have been marked as "near impossible to get".
A rare that behaves like ultra rare is Jem Hadar stash in Zenas Expanse. In 15 days I've seen it appearing only once.
A rares that behave like uncommon ones are Earth, Vulcan and Andoria asylums. They are probably rare in sector space, but on the land (of corresponding planets) they appear every couple of days. Again, as we get a mass of useless refugees because of the stupid design, those three frequent asylums are not a bad thing, but why are other asylums "rarer" then?
One of assignments mentioned in previous posts... Inspect freighter... Um... How come it actually has a cooldown at all? What, there is only one suspicious freighter in the whole universe daily and we can inspect only that one?
And I could write more.
Dunno how, but there is no real "standard" cooldown that would apply to all common, uncommon, rare and very rare assignments - again I feel, it's pure luck and yet another critical miss in design where everything in the game is plain random and just another case of gambling. I'm more and more asking myself why am I still playing this game as I'm not a gambling junkie (devs probably have a gambling addiction so they can't understand what am I talking about here).
And too add to willy's post... The aid in military zone with 20 hours duration that requires three nurses (green ones with resolve will still crit it often) is not the only great frequent assignment to "grind" cxp. There is "establish listening zone" assignment in every nebula/expanse you've colonized also easy to crit with just green doffs (with good traits).
I like to run 6 or 7 collect artifacts missions. They are 20 hours long, and often give particle traces and sometimes alien artifacts. The traces are worth selling in the exchange and the artifact can be turned into a console. I just got a very rare mk 12 phaser relay worth 37 million!
I've noticed the rare "assist with dilithium mining" assignment that offers 250 dilithium and 1000 on crit has stopped showing as frequently as it was in the past.
And if I hadn't actually done it myself I'd swear "reclaim borg drones" came straight out of Aesop's Fables. I was only able to do it by getting an invite through one of the doff call chat channels. And the reward for a crit is hardly worth it, an uncommon borg security officer.
I've only seen the cultural exchange twice, Betazed and Trill I think.
While I'm complaining...
A crit on rare Contact Gorn Seperatists should award a gorn doff. It doesn't.
And a crit on Provide Sanctuary to Anti someone or something awards a common doff. Yay...
Edit: I sold my vr mk 12 phaser relay for 32 mil in Aug or Sept. I didn't delete the email from the exchange for a month