Before I start I just want everyone to know that this is not a "should they/could they" kind of idea. It's just one I had while playing and I thought it was a cool one and i wanted to share it. I'm hoping it will just start a discussion about ideas, not what the devs should, shouldn't or can't do.
So I was starting a new toon. I chose alien because I wanted to make something cool looking and give her an interesting personnel record. I was skipping the tutorial and it occurred to me. My toon is just an ensign and yet...she commands a whole ship? How does that work. And that got me thinking. You realistically shouldn't command anything until the rank of Captain. I mean how can you captain a starship while not being a captain? Makes no sense.
And that's when the idea really took off. What if instead of immediately being given a ship, you had to serve aboard one until you were promoted to captain? Now here me out. This could be a complete revamp of the tutorial, so all new characters would have to start out this way. Or it could be like an extended prologue sort of deal.
There would be 3 commands, each one corresponding to the class you chose. So tactical officers would serve on for example, an Escort or a battlecruiser. Engineering would serve Cruisers, and Science to serve on a science ship. Now, while serving under a command, depending on your class, you would fulfill different duties:
Tactical: you would be doing a lot of combat missions, such as defending the ship, maintenance on weapons, tactical training, etc.
Engineering: Doing repairs, maintenance on the engines, or even crafting batteries, etc.
Science: Maintaining shields, research tasks, med bay missions.
Universal: This would be the introduction of a brand new Away Mission System.
The Away Mission System would be the perfect excuse for them to re-introduce Exploration. But also new things like archeology, research tasks, combat missions, and the return of Diplomatic Missions/First Contact. Not only that, this would also allow them to revamp ground combat, as well as actually give them a reason to make more bridges and introduce ship interiors. Especially for missions that involve defending the ship you're on.
Now when you reach Captain rank, you would then be granted your first ship, and they would include everything from T1 to I think T4 (T4 is Captain, right?)
Then the game would go on as we know it now. Only these new systems would still be there, BUT!!!
When doing away missions, you could have a choice: Play as yourself OR as one of your BOFFS. If you choose yourself then its a regular ground mission like it is now, but if you choose boff, could be a very different experience, and would allow you to get out of your own class once in a while without having to make an alt. And then of course rewards would be based on performance of tasks.
Not only would this be, I think, a more realistic Star Trek Experience, I think it would be more fun as well. Also, that sense of accomplishment at actually having to really earn that first ship. It would be a longer start to the game of course, more story driven than combat, but I think it could be fun and have more of that RPG feel.
Now please feel free to give feedback, add your own ideas. Just please try to keep it positive, if you hate this, that's okay, just move on and don't derail the thread please.