One feature I would have loved to have seen in CoX's Mission Architect was the ability to set story arcs in the outside world instead of being confined to the AE simulation area. I'd like to propose a few ideas to allow player-created content to feel more like an actual part of the game in CoT.
Allow players to assign content to contacts throughout the game.
Rather than only being able to choose a contact that merely replaces a holographic model, allow players to instead choose an actual contact in the game to offer their story arc. In other words, players would have to visit the actual contact wherever they can be found in the game to initiate the mission. This would allow player-created content to feel more like part of the game rather than just an isolated simulation given from a glorified kiosk.
Allow contacts to suggest player-created content.
I think it would make player-created content feel more natural and approachable if contacts offered it to players as part of their usual mission offers. In my opinion, the ideal implementation would allow every contact to have a standardized "menu" that allows players to access and search for all player-created content the contact is assigned. Contacts could also suggest specific story arcs based on ratings, popularity, or developers' choice.
This has the added benefit of encouraging exploration by allowing players to stumble across contacts in places they wouldn't expect to find one. In addition, if players could flag their missions such that they were hidden from a central mission repository, then players could plant "hidden gems" in out-of-the-way places that intrepid players would have to discover for themselves.
Allow non-contact NPC's to serve as contacts for player-created content.
This would allow players to create content for certain creative purposes that the devs would not have foreseen. Maybe that bum that always hangs out in the alleyway across from the hot dog joint actually needs a hand. Maybe John Shopkeeper needs help with some business-related perils. Maybe that inconspicuous clerk in city hall needs a hero to confide in.
Whatever the case, this has the potential to make the whole city feel more alive when players realize that almost anyone they come across might offer them an interesting job. This would encourage players to slow down and interact more deeply with their surroundings, especially knowing that NPC's could offer new content at any given time.
Allow players to choose specific entry points for their missions.
This would provide a higher level of immersion for player-created missions. For instance, if a mission were to take place in a power plant, then the author could choose the front door of the game's main power plant as the mission entry point. Of course, an option to choose a random entry point in a specific zone would also be useful if the particular entry point isn't important to the story being told.
It's my opinion that these suggestions would make player-created content feel less like a compartmentalized activity and more like traditional MMO content.
What do you think?
P.S.: I apologize if some of this has been brought up already. I was feeling inspired and just started pounding keys to float my ideas out there.