Today I was chatting with some fellow fleet mates about how you can spend an entire afternoon(~4hours) playing STO without feeling like you accomplished something. You most likely hit your dilithium refinement cap and maybe even managed to earn a handful of Flarks, Rarks, or Omarks along the way. At this point the only thing to do is contribute all your rep projects and a few fleet projects, watch some meters fill and some percents raise and then that character is pretty much spent. Sure you can go Grind some more so in 20 hours you can repeat this all over again but that only makes the next days "dead" time come faster. Then the list of things to do, or worth doing, is pretty lacking.
So how can we fix this?
My suggestion is to add some sort of visual progression so that we can feel like we have done something. Something maybe worth screen-capping and sharing.
So here's my Idea:
STO has quite a few mini-games we have encountered throughout the episodes. You have the data chip game, the Dil mining game, and you could even consider the dialogue choices a game. The recent anniversary mission showed that we can even assign tasks to our ground team. Exploration missions can provide a randomized map with or without NPCs. the Foundry showed us what players can do with a built in map editor. Now we have a rep system that lets us contribute and manage resources on projects that ultimate lead to a reward. Epohh tagging show cases a nice transition from player action into doff assignments that provides a substantial reward after a few days, so why not put all of this together?
Imagine this: You warp into an unknown system and after a Sensor scan discover a nearby asteroid is rich in Dilithium ore. You report it to Starfleet and they offer you a deal, harvest the ore and you can have a cut of the final haul as well as anything else of interest you happen to discover. You agreed and maneuver your ship close to the asteroid and have your Science Officer(or you can do it if you are a Sci Officer) conduct a through scan to determine where the richest deposit is located. Next your Tactical officer(or you) uses a controlled Phaser burst to cut into the asteroid exposing the vein of Ore. Now you head down to the surface(with your Boffs) to begin extraction. Upon arrival, several tasks need to be done, the Phaser drill needs to be setup, Sensors need to be calibrated and mechanical harvesters and transports need to be constructed. Just like the Anniversary mission you assign these various tasks to your bridge crew with the option of doing one yourself. Everything is setup, the mining lazer is blazing away and the unrefined ore is being harvested and transported onto the ship. Now the map should look like a mini adventure zone much like New Romulus with stuff in motion and people working. Now the captain needs to go around and check on various tasks or optional assignments. (Captain, the sensors need to be re-calibrated, could you assist me? Cue Data chip mini game. Or: Captain, there are several Dilithium deposits near the surface that a hand lazer could reach, would you like to assist with the extraction? Que Dilithium mining mini-game. Or: Captain, stray asteroids or approaching the mining site endangering the workers, could you man the Point defense system and destroy them?)
Once these have been completed the mining site is secured and operating at full capacity and you get your first cut. This entire process should take about the same time as an average daily mission(15-20 min) and give a reward equal to your average daily mission. (1440 dil) and maybe more if you did well on the side objectives.
At this point the hands on part of the event is over and the doff and rep system kicks in. Doff assignments manage stuff like the continued operation of the mining site as well as the delivery and refinement of the harvest ore. The Rep system is what you will use to send supplies to the site as well was monitoring overall progress of the site. While the doff assignments and rep assignments are in progress you can visit the site to maintain and expand it as well as complete the daily assignment for your reward. (this is a daily and can only be repeated once every 20 hours)
After about 3-4 days the Mining site will be exhausted and you get your full reward.(Maybe a nice chunk of Unrefined ore, or maybe a smaller chunk of refined ore. Remember how the final rep project ended?)
This would provide stuff to do much like the current dailies we have but we also get to see the visible progression of the mining site WE established and we get to see it grow and eventually we get a reward for our work. The main goal of this whole process would be to give us the same rewards we would get normally, with a bonus for seeing the whole thing through. Unlike the other dailies we would a first hand visible representation of our progress, something tangible so we can feel like we did something.
Anyway this was just an example, please feel free to post your ideas and suggestions.
I suggest you stop playing after you hit the dilithium cap. Go out and enjoy a late afternoon walk, have some coffee, visit the nearby DIY store to finish that house improvement project you started 3 years ago.