Probably because minerals and other resources are in such ample supply, they'd want to avoid hoarders saving all their stuff to get really high-leveled stuff.
Or, perhaps we just haven't found the right NPC yet. *shrug* Hell if I know.
That makes no sense. We're all hoarding these resources already(and those who aren't, should be). If they haven't introduced higher tier crafting, then the day they do will see a dramatic collapse of the uncommon and rare item market.
If you read the text from Romaine (the lady you can upgrade the first set of stuff with), you have to turn in a bunch of stuff before the other vendors unlock.
I have not, as yet, been able to unlock them. And now that I'm level 18 I'm not even getting the right stuff to drop as base items, nor do I have any idea how much, if any progress toward this goal I've made.
So honestly, i'm not even sure it's working, judging from the quest text what you're supposed to do is clear, make a bunch of low level stuff to be able to make higher level stuff but how much you need I don't know.
Frankly I think the 'crafting' system is utter ****. Its wierd, clumsy and apparently non-trackable.
To be perfectly honesty, I think I'm just not going to bother with it.
I prefer to say that it's not fully there. In OB i tried like i don't know to upgrade things to unlock something...was just a fail in the end. So i'm hording my resources for the day it fully unlocks (suppose release) or until more details have surfaced
Someone worked out in Beta that it requires upgrading 63 items with Romaine to get other officers to open up for you. Now the only real problem with that is that you have no idea how many items you have done so you can't plan for it at all and just have to keep going back, upgrading a bunch of items and then checking the others to see if oyu have unlocked them. Too cumbersome to be efficient.
And then you run across little problems like it not allowing you to continue upgrading items after you have done 4 of them. I upgraded 4 Mk II Personal shields and suddenly it wouldn't allow me to upgrade any more. I had all the required items but nothing.
It seems the crafting systems was sort of tacked on at the last moment from what it feels like.