I recognized the League idea. Winning!
Though I think it has a better home in the Starship: [Winged Creature] setting. But then I would.
I think the tech-leading-to-smaller-starships thing could go either way. I could see smaller, more specialized ships in the Federation's home territories, and fracking huge
expeditions launched to more remote areas. The analogy no longer beinger a navy cruiser, but a capital ship that launches smaller ships to explore the remoter regions of a system.
I think the "lower decks" idea is interesting as a way of providing focus in a setting that huge: a squad-level planet-reconnaissance party that (frankly more believable than having the bridge officers going downplanet) takes the big risks and makes the immediate decisions.
It might also be more interesting to lift the "we only land on class-M planets" rule, which originally was budget dictated. Have our players exploring nebulae made of pure booze, the outer atmospheres of gas giants, the coronae of stars: why not? (Given the right CGI.)
One thing I'll give Voyager
props for is that it lifted the "ship must always be named Enterprise
" fetishism, which always seemed to shrink and impoverish the setting. I don't think the ship should be named Enterprise
-[random letter of the alphabet], and I'd can the idea of tying in the Kirk family for the same reason. (And has
any other member of Kirk's family actually cast a long shadow? Wouldn't we have heard some hint in TNG Trek if they had?)