Had this thought last night and thought I'd start a thread on it. STO's developers have their own idea about what the "ideal" look to a starbase is, especially considering their "Featured Specials" that keep coming out (most of which I don't agree with so far), but what is it everyone else is looking for? Chances are, like me, they are looking for something very specific. So here's my 2 cents and please feel free to add yours as well.
Federation: My family's fleet is 232nd Division, Starfleet Corps of Engineers. What does this mean I'm looking for? Direct access to the Industrial Fabricator and Shipyard complete with workshops, clutter, maybe even a hyperactive Bynar, Borg, or something. Huge cargo bays! An R&D center. A holodeck dedicated to testing ideas. And the outside should look more like the shipyards with areas for repairing and retrofitting ships. Most of all, it should look "tinkered with". Nothing should look like standard Starfleet issue since everything has been touched by one bored engineer or another :-D
Klingon: On the KDF side my family's fleet is the Orion Free Traders. Let's face it, we're all marauders in the end. So why have the KDF symbol EVERYWHERE? I'd love to get rid of it. I'd love to have a starbase that looks more Orion than Klingon, or at least look more trader-stop than military. Give me a Dabo table or two, holographic dancing girls (Orion and Vulcan and they could be made by a Special that involves collecting those greens and blues and contributing them to the station), holosuites, an auction arena, a larger brig. How about being able to open the station to the public once a week and give fleet members the opportunity to open their own Duty Officer run store? My primary reason for avoiding most of the Featured Specials entirely so far on the KDF side is a lack of anything generic. It's all Klingon. Speaking of which, what's with the fireplace in the mess hall with no fire? No fire = No FUN! Roast a targ over it (the island boy in me talking :-D)! Otherwise it's just a boring piece of fluff on the side of the station.
A Biosphere with green gras and trees (the lounge is actually big enough to accomodate that), playable games like 3 dimensional chess, dabo tables, holodeck missions...like the one on bajor where you need to defeat the changeling (combat simulator, incorporate the foundry, yes i wanna do my foundry daily on my fleet base...make that possible)
visible docked ships on the outer hull...that represent the ships that are available in the shipyard or a freighter.
my ideal starbase interior would use the textures and design philosophy used to create the odyssey's aquarius bridge.
the current ops floor would be a separate area of the main floor of the starbase. the bank, exchange, and mail areas would be in another area of the main floor. there would be another separate area made to look like a true ops room, similar to what ops looks like on ds9. connected to that area, would be a hallway leading to a briefing room with a long conference table.
ground weapon requisitions and starbase operational asset vendors would be in an armory.
ship weapon and requisitions would be found in the hangar/docking area of the starbase.
the hangar/docking area of the starbase would be on another floor. where the fleet's starships can be seen being serviced and resupplied through a giant window similar to the shipyard area of earth spacedock.
another floor would be the crew floor. quarters for the fleet leader, officers, and members. with a separate recreational area on the same floor.