Currently you get a ship and you are stuck with its seating arrangement. And that seating arrangement is one of the things that can make boffs seem fairly inept
And while we could change the bridge office powers to fit within the framework, what if we merely changed how the framework works? Fundamentally, instead of boff station layouts imposing an arbitrary use-wall, why not give the use-wall meaning?PROPOSAL: Change how boff stations on ships function.////////
- Replace boff's space powers with items that can be installed on ships which provide a specific power. Let the boff "enhance" the output of any given installed piece with their "training" levels in different areas.
Pros: is the current dog with a new skin, so other thank the expertise sink and not being constrained by how many boffs you can keep.
Cons: see pros. It is not much of a change in spite of itself.////////
- Let players use any power a boff has. A player can activate and place on cooldown however many powers a station has up to the numerical value of the station's rank (EN = 1, CMDR = 4).
Pros: More powers available for use. Using powers becomes a matter of ideal timing instead of merely "ideal layout is ideal." Makes the number of professions layouts offer more important than ranks offered. Snaps power creep back so hard it thinks its a first year cadet again.
Only requires minor adjustments to the current system. Ships become more flexible without homogenizing the purpose of focusing layouts. Easy to fine tune once installed. Does not interfere with phasing out the rather superfluous "trinity" concepts.
Cons: People who think it is power creep to balance a playing field.////////
- Let players use any power a boff with the activation consuming profession-specific ability points. Let the cost equal the numerical value of the power's rank which is returned when the natural-cooldown has ended. Profession ability pools are the sum value of all station's ranks for any given profession (EN adds 1, CMDR adds 4) with universal being universal.
Pros: same as #2 save for what is needed to implement it.
Cons: more complicated back-end logic than #2.Cons for all three: People who do not like change and stagnation generally.