The one with pretty much everyone can agree on is that STO is really missing the exploration of new worlds or even discovering ancient civilizations, really anything scientific. I came up with a great idea for a mission or even a string of missions, but unfortunately the Foundry is too limited to create them, so I'm posting this proposal hoping one of the devs might see it and take a liking to the idea.
Back in the Romulan storyline episodes there was a mission where you gathered some encrypted data and had to take it back to your ready room to decipher it. This was a really great addition to that mission and something really different.
We have all of these clusters/nebulae/unexplored spots on the map, but lets face it other than multiphasic and a couple of daily missions there's really no point in going there. The Iconians are known to have had a vast reaching empire, and then there's the "First Federation" for the TOS series. Well what if there was an even more ancient civilization that stretched across known space, but their remains haven't been discovered yet?
mission pre-start story:
The Federation outpost near the "Insert cluster/nebula name here" has begun to pick up a faint energy signature from the far reaches of the cluster/nebula. Upon futher analysis they determined that the energy signature is artificial in nature, but don't have the resources to investigate futher.
Starfleet command and the Daystron Institute are working on a co-venture to the "Insert cluster/nebula name here", where an artificial energy source has been detected. There is very little information about this region of unexplored space, but to the best of our knowledge there are no inhabited worlds in that region. Your orders are to take the "insert player ship name" to the "insert cluster/nebula name" and investigate. It'll take the closest deep space science vessel nearly two weeks to reach there so for now you're on your own.
upon warping into the "unknown system" (this would have to be a dedicated system/map) Ancient solar powered defense platforms of "unknown origin" charge up and begin firing heavy tetryon beams and antiproton cannons (yeah these things are supposed to hurt and hurt bad)
Once the defense platforms are taken care of you locate the energy signal on the planet and beam down.
Mission part 2:
Upon beaming down you find yourself in the town square of a large ruined city. It is your mission to track down the energy signal, and collect artifacts and clues about who this civilization was and what happened to them. Collecting plant samples, data storage containers, a sample of clothing that survived in a shop (perhaps an off duty costume reward it if's a hidden or hard to find sample), a sample of some remains, various artifacts with writing, etc.
Mission part 3 "the energy source":
It what appears to have been some type of government or scientific facility you discover the energy source to be emanating from some type of holo-projector that mysteriously has reactivated. The system is badly damaged and barely function so the universal translator can't function. You're only choice is to realign the holo-projectors circuts (new mini-game) and hope you can make the system stable enough to download the holographic construct.
Mission part 4 "Constructing a language and the message":
After you're science team has had time to look other and catalog all of the artifacts recovered from the planets surface they give you their preliminary reports. Unfortunately the universal translator is still having trouble deciphering the alien language, bu tired from all the endless combat of late you decide not to wait for the science ship to come and decide to give it a crack yourself. "Insert nice long challenging deciphering the alien alphabet puzzle here". Once you've deciphered the language you input the holographic construct with the appropriate translation matrix, only to find out you're holodecks were severely damaged in the initial combat with the defense platforms. You head back to ESD for repairs and to use the holodecks at SFA to finally hear the message, only to find a larger puzzle and a new unknown sector to explore.
The general premise is to have a 2-3 part multi-mission each mission with harder and harder puzzles, with the final end goal possibly being an alien shuttle/fighter as a reward. (with a possible c-store larger ship tied in, one that both factions could use) This shuttle has to have some heavy hitting teeth to it thou, 4 fore, 1 aft and can mount cannons in rear (hit n run style, but high hull no shields, point defense system. 2 universal crew, 1 tac, 1 eng, 1 sci, 1 device slot)
Would love constructive feedback from everyone else to as to what you think, what you think could be added/removed. and if something much more exploration and discovery oriented like this is something you'd like to see.
I've always wanted more Star Trek-style missions, ones where everything doesn't rely on "go here, shoot this; go there shoot that", which is what a lot of missions in STO seem to focus on. I'm really into the story aspects, so this mission sounds like it would be really interesting and probably give me my Star Trek fix
It's too bad that it's a little out of the Foundry's range, maybe Cryptic will notice this and take it into consideration, that is, if they aren't busy thinking up any more lockboxes.
Well, jeez, now I want to go play this mission. Looks like I need to go "explore strange new worlds" to come close :/