In my first post one of the devs mentioned that they are trying out ideas for crew moral. I've created this post to voice my ideas on the topic, and give other's the opportunity to do the same.
Some Most of the actions you might take and choices your forced to make are morally complex, or downright evil. You may not always have the luxury of choosing to be the nice guy. This has a lot of consequences, and one of them is the moral of your crew. If you do things that don't sit well with your crew, they may become deserters and disappear.
At the moment, the only possible consequence of displeasing your crew is desertion, and when they decide to desert is decided by chance at the time you make the decision they dislike. You are warned when the crew is at risk of desertion before you make a decision. At least, this is how the system works to my knowledge, I may have gotten details wrong.
So here are my ideas for how the crew moral system could be expanded and improved on.
1. Continuous crew moral: Instead of having the crew's desertion chance be dictated by chance and at every relevant choice, how about the crew has an overall moral that changes for better or worse over the course of the game? Improve your moral by making choices they like and by being a competent leader. Decrease it by doing the opposite. If you have great moral, then they should be more likely to stick with you even through the occasional bad choice. And if they do leave, it will be in fewer numbers.
2. Moral gauge(ing): At the moment, you don't know how likely it is that people will leave you. With or without the aforementioned continuous crew moral, it may be a good idea to give the player an educated guess about how likely the crew is to desert for a given choice. Like how you get an estimation of how suited a hero is for an expedition. Speaking of, perhaps the ability to get a sense of the crew's disposition could be locked behind a hero skill.
3. Other consequences, and benefits: Desertion is nasty, don't get me wrong, but poor moral can manifest itself in many worse, and more insidious ways. Insidious ways that make crew moral a much more fun and interesting thing to fear and manage. From poor performance, to theft, to sabotage, to betrayal, and even more. And if you have great moral, then you should *benefit* in a number of ways instead. Implementing this would probably require continuous crew moral to work.
4. Choice justification/spin doctoring: For added depth to every choice, the ability to explain the logic and reasoning behind your decisions to the crew to mitigate or even reverse the bad moral would be an excellent addition, abet one that would add a great deal of extra work for the dev team. I thought this one up when I encountered some pilots who were resting on a planet. You could get them to join you as a squadron if you explained your mission to them in a way that they liked. Depending on what you say, the impact to moral could be unaffected, worsened, lessened, or even changed to positive. It could also change based on your situation. For example, you could explain an evil action as necessary for resources, which the crew will not like, but understand if you're in a desperate situation. However, if you're loaded to the gills, they will hate you even more for giving such a lame justification. This is another place where, if you have the right hero skill, you could narrow down the right possible choices a bit.
So those are all my crew moral ideas, for now. I leave it to the discretion of the devs to decide whether they like any of them. But what about my fellow beta testers? Any ideas you'd like to add? What do you think of mine?