First off I'm well aware that Captain Gecko has said he regards Neverwinter's crafting system as the bare minimum for a crafting revamp and that he wants to incorporate DOFF and Reputation systems into the revamp. That said, this is an idea I've had for using the DOFF system to craft gear as you level up.
Mission rewards level with the character up to level 40
Missions are "upgrades" and use white quality items and data samples as input. No dilithium costing until the Reputation section opens up.
There are persistent versions of the missions always available from on-ship DOFF contacts that will attach a random modifier. Memory Alpha/Qo'nos forges will have DOFF contacts that allow you to specify which modifier(s) you want to attach.
You are initially limited to faction specific damage types and the basic armors, engines, shields and deflectors available from ground and shipyard EC vendors.
DOFF assignments will be available from various specialties that grant new recipes that can be used to convert standard items purchased from the EC vendors into new variations - such as standard white quality space shields into resilient or covariant white quality space shields.
These crafting and crafting-related DOFF assignments do not grant player experience, only commendation/crafting experience.
There is a way to upgrade the lower-mark items purchased at the vendors (uneven marks numbers) to the higher-mark level available to the captain's level (even mark numbers).
Somewhat of a loose framework and I'm sure I didn't do the best job of conveying what I was thinking, but...anybody else hope to see something like this? Or even just have questions as to what the hell I'm going on about?
...and like Neverwinter, will they destroy crafting in one fell swoop by making everything BoP? So even if you craft something you cannot use, it's yours.
In NWO, the only thing worth crafting are the gemmed shirt and pants (purple gear, with 1 enchant slot). They sell well, but cripes, to level 20 levels of a profession just for that? I'd rather sell every crafting component in the auction and buy the shirt and pants from some fool who wasted his time leveling their class profession.
Right now, the only professions worth leveling are Leadership, Alchemy, and whatever new one they'll come out with soonish.
I hated crafting in Champions, do not like it in Neverwinter, and I'm just going to ignore it in STO. Sure, I'll grab all the materials I run across, but they're going straight to the Exchange (AH).
Question for you Canis: how would this be different from the various "EXperimetal Upgrades" misisons that already exist?
For one thing you'd know what damage type you're getting. For another you'd know what mark of weapon. For a third they're persistent and always available with the possible exception of you already using one. Also, if it were up to me (which it isn't) there'd be no "explosion" you're guaranteed at least a green quality output. (Is it obvious I'm mostly looking at this from the perspective of weaponry?)
Currently the "Experimental Upgrade" missions will grant a random mark level, a random quality level, and a random variation of the item you're experimenting on. In this the only randomization would be in the quality level and modifiers granted. Everything else is known.
I'd also like to point out that this is supposed to be a proposal for a system to be used while leveling. It's not intended to cover end-game gear. Because the Devs are on record as wanting to do a crafting reputation system and [i]that's/I] end-game only.