Let's start at the reasoning for why a type of new loot, which I am going to suggest be a random drop much like the prototype tech was in STF's post-F2P and Pre-S7 be added.
Let's first talk Post-F2P, the STFs were changed up, they were split up from one long story driven "mission" to 2 parts, one part space one part ground, and given random chance loot in the form of rare or very rare prototype tech drops that you could turn in for gear. This made a lot of people play the STFs, new STF channels were created, and people got on board with a drive and passion to play each STF, ground and space, in order to get these loot drops. There was a reason to play every single STF because each one dropped a specific piece of tech you needed to trade in for the gear. It made playing important, and there were a lot of people grinding STFs. Each one was unique, and you had to play them all to get a full set.
Now come to Season 7, the reputation system was added, all loot was removed, and now all you need are Omega Marks and BNP's. The thing is, you can get Omega Marks with any STF, so you don't need to play the hard ones. All you have to do now is play the easy STFs (like just infected space) and ignore the rest and get lots of Omega Marks. There is no longer a need to play every single STF like there was before. There is also less of a need to play a lot of them because with just one or two Elite STFs you are setup for the next 2 weeks with plenty of Omega Marks to setup Reputation Projects. Therefore, a LOT LESS people are playing STFs all the time. There isn't that need to play every STF as much as possible.
A way needs to be devised to give us a reason to play each STF, there needs to be introduced a random chance tech drop like before, but something different this time that is appealing, and not found in the rep system.
My idea is, Kits. Kits have been pretty much ignored since the game has been released. Mark X very rare is the top kit. Now, in the past, old timers will remember this, Khitomer Accord used to drop a kit randomly called the Borg Science Kit. So, why not create some brand new kits, in each career, that are Mark XI and Mark XII very rare's. Similar to the blue and purple tech drops we got in STFs prior to S7, the Kits can drop in Mark XI or Mark XII versions. Mark XI can be in normal STFs for example, and Mark XII in Elite STFs.
In addition, these kits can be beefed up for STFs, introducing new powers that are directly invented by the Omega Force to combat the Borg. Or, they can be sort of an assimilated Borg kit, that has powers meant to deal with the Borg. Also, these kits can have a new visual affect added to the player, if you chose to show your kit, it can make your character have some new visual effect or something.
With these kits dropping randomly like the tech drops, it would mean having to grind the STFs to get them. Each STF can drop a different career. For example, Infected can drop Tactical, and Cure can drop Engineer, and KA can drop Science. This could only be on ground, or both space and ground, OR, introduce something else unique for space, and leave the kit drops for ground.
This would give people reason to play STFs again, a lot. Now you would get Omega Marks for the rep system, a little dilithium, and a random chance for that rare or proto Kit drop that can only be obtained through playing STFs. STF'ers would feel special, because they would be the only players who have the Kits, it would be the only way to get Mark XI and Mark XII Kits.
Make this happen, and I guarantee the passion will come back for STFs, and you will have fixed a big problem that S7 has introduced.
"Would you mind not standing on my chest? My hat's on fire." - The Doctor
Well there is a reason the new leveling system isn't overflooding with anything but passive stats and old gear.
Any new ability = new animation.
Albeit you could just be smart about it, using existing animations like the tricorder scan could do expose or heal or whatever. You could just swap the color out of items and animations really.
Anyway since they stuck with budget coding it doesn't look like the have all that much time on their hands.
Not that I don't like the idea, maybe kits for ground would make more sense to me and then keep consoles or weapons or both in space.
But yeah any kind of drops worth playing for would be a huge improvement.
i'm going to 1-up your suggestion and add certain crafting materials for all stf maps. expand the crafting system by letting people craft mk xii v. rare items such as consoles, weapons and other equipment.
have cge drop sci kit parts
have ige drop tac kit parts
have kage drop engi kit parts
have into the hive drop ground weapon parts
have onslaught drop space weapon parts
have cse drop tac console parts
have ise drop engi console parts
have kase drop sci console parts
require 5 or 10 parts per mk xii item. have them drop only as optional loot that can be rolled on.
Well, not to rain on you're parade but the chance to get another kit wouldn't motivate me to do any number of STFs - but this is personal opinion, I'm happy with the kit I have and I don't think I'll change up.
BUT I do see this suggestion as a valid one.
It wouldn't be out of place to have 3 special kits available for each career, that are specifically tuned to fighting Borg. And each of them would come with brand new abilities.
The Engineer for example could slow the adaptation times on any Borg that engages the group, or hack into specific drones to take control of them so they turn on other drones.
The Tac Officers could have the ability to throw Collective Static Grenades as standard, or a group buff ability that automatically remodulates weapons within a 30 sec time frame and adds a little power to weapons, real handy when being overrun.
As for the Scientists, they could have something along the lines of the Nanite Health Monitor - but instead of just healing it also grants immunity against Borg nanites for a few minutes. Or perhaps they can cut the link from the collective all together on specific drones that stuns them for a time.
Those ideas are just off the top of my head, but it'll be easy to come up with better abilities for such kits.
This is an excellent idea, but with an awful implementation, sorry Doc. Doing it your way means you get all the tacs trying to run an instance together, a team of sci in another and a team of engineers in another.
If we want to promote the careers to work together, then surely having all of them able to drop from each instance would be better?
I do like the idea of self-crafted kits too, but only if we get to decide which abilities we want on them.
Why not simply add them to the reputation store as experimental kits. Basically, you give an old kit either a new power or switch an underperformer for something more useful. Like my old favorite the Borg kit, could be a MK XI experimental, then you can get something better at MK XII or an upgrade (MK XII version). They could mix it up the graphic some without making new ones. For instance, give tactical the Experimental Photonic assault kit (complete with science glowies), or engineers could get the experimental Combat replicator kit, which looks and functions like the tactical grenade belt kit.
..and like children playing after sunset, we were surrounded by darkness." -Ruri Hoshino
Well implementing new random rewards for STFs basically nullifies the claimed reason for the rep system. Not that I'm against it but really I would fully expect we get STFs pre-s7 back and do away with the retarded omega rep, put drops in the borg store for EDC to guarantee us our drops, and go from there. OR, even having BOTH. You know, like the newest switch aroo gear can only be got from omega rep.
But that means giving us back our full dilithium rewards in STFs. Goodluck with that.