Seeing as, for example, there are massive threads in the Art of Star Trek Online forum section listing bugs for things like uniforms and ships. How about the devs responsible for fixing them (if there is actually anyone allocated to this) make a blog/interview/whatever stating that they at least acknowledge they exist and how far along they are with actually fixing them?
You could do this once every few weeks/months and at least people wouldn't feel like they're banging their heads against a desk trying to get these things noticed.
I always think more developer-community interaction is marvelous and I will always encourage more.
One thing I'd like to see in STO is an adaptation of Planetside 2's brilliant Roadmap feature. For those who haven't seen it, it basically plans the future of the game and is heavily focused on community involvement. It takes the form of a forum discussion and many topics are discussed for implementation in to the game.
The key thing is that you can 'thumbs up or 'thumbs down' any topic and also make suggestions on how the individual idea/enhancement/design can be improved. It also gives the devs something to strive for so that they can focus on the more popular or in demand changes. They can respond by amending the ideas for discussion and also give approximate timescales for completion.
If something needs more attention you bring it forward and the less popular ideas can move back on the 'roadmap'. If things are not ready to be implemented for the given approximation, you as Devs can move it back and give a new timescale. It's not a bad thing either because the honesty and transparency about the dev process really helps the community understand what you've been able to accomplish already and no-one minds a little slippage.
This feature really works and it's a great way to engage with your community and involve them in the development of their game that they've invested in. It also roots out unpopular changes or makes you go back to the drawing board or even tweaks them ever so slightly so they're a big success.
I've had my own ideas put in to Planetside 2 through this system and I'm proud to say my suggestions made a difference in a game I play and love.
Cryptic/PWE, you really either don't get it, or don't care, as long as it looks like you care. I really do hate to say that, but it seems true. What is needed is for you to react to events and lead into changes. For instance:
The whole server mess at LOR launch. We never got a full answer on that. What would have made me happy is a dev blog from your server guys saying this is what happened, this is what went wrong, and this is what we did to fix it. With details, so those of us who know severs can say, of yeah, I can see that. Admit to the problem, and say what you did to fix it. This is how you win points. Anytime a situation like that comes up, you much put something out thtat reacts to the event and in detail, not just a one line from you Branflakes, because that's not your job to know what is wrong with the servers.
On the other hand, lead into changes. For instance, the blog on the dilithium mine today, told us nothing except that there is a dilithium mine, that it will give discounts, and that it will look pretty. All of this is alread known to those among us who care about the game, and you rush to download the latest patch for tribble just to see the new shiny. And known in more detail. This blog could have been made as soon as the decision was made to go forward with the mine. Today is when you make a post in the forums saying, hey we finally got the dilithium mine up and running, go and let us know what you think. That is what generates buzz and makes people come back each day to play. As it is now, its an anoyance. Another case of yeah Cryptic, so coming out next patch full of bugs as usual?
That is what you must do. Lead the change, and react to the bad news.
Players should be able to submit questions into a queue system where other players can +1 them or -1 them. Any question over a certain threshold MUST be answered, and the top five or ten questions should be answered in high detail. This will allow you to cut through the junk and answer stuff people care most about.
Additional Suggestion: Have costumes and ships as a mini-ask-Cryptic that occurs separately from the main one.
A great thread to see pop up. More communication and information is always a good thing and I look forward to seeing more!
My suggestion for a 'segment':
Unsure what to call it, but something like Dev journeys or Dev war stories
Things the devs have done in the game that have, or have not, worked out for what ever reason. The thought and design process as to why and how things were done. This comes from listening to some great podcast episodes or forum threads where a dev is allowed to go into detail about something they've done. Why it turned out the way it has, why some things did or did not work out etc.
For example, Cryptic Cats UI overhaul journey. Borticus's investigation on fire at will and weapons modifiers being applied correctly. Captain geckos struggles with introducing ship armor slots. Tacos info on wind being present even in interior maps, etc
Hearing about these on pod casts/forums is extremely fascinating I find and gives great insight into the problems and their solutions which for me as a player gives a much better understanding on the systems in the game and how they work.
Thing is, the community has to stir an issue up enough for a podcast to attempt to even approach a dev (if they can even get a hold of them) and talk about said topics.
I'm sure there's many things devs from different departments could talk about that the community wouldn't know or notice otherwise. Or that Cryptic want to go into more detail on for the communities benefit.
Perhaps someone from art department can talk about challenges with outfit clipping on toons, maybe a dev has been working on weapons/ship balancing, or doing something to the doff system. Maybe network engineers talking about how they worked through the recent network overloads after LOR launched.
Hearing about such things, and in depth, will give the community knowledge of things that are being done that we perhaps otherwise would never know unless we kicked up a stink. Is possibly another way to show/tell what else Cryptic is doing behind the scenes besides the big ticket news items.
Dislike the forum theme? Try THIS. Dislike the STO home page? Try THIS. Devs, need Fleet Orion Marauder and Dacoit please! :-)
I stopped reading Ask Cryptic when it became apparent to me... at least.... that the feature was answering the same general questions with the same vague answers.
Scrolling down one would find page after page of "Still no word on ___?" and "You are avoiding questions on ___" and "Why did you tell us the same thing you told us last time."
In order for this to work we need answers to questions -- not the same vague answers to the same 20 questions every month. If the devs can't give us a concrete answer besides "Well we are working on it and it will be awesome!" or "soon!" that question should not be selected for answering.
Ask Cryptic should not be a tool for generating buzz, Cryptic generates enough buzz with blog posts and twitter. Ask Cryptic should give real concrete answers to questions asked by the playerbase.
the second is similar to the monthly engineering reports that was in the 1st year of sto along with the ask cryptic. ask cryptic was around the 1st of month and engineering report was around the 15th of the month