Beyond Elite - A Discussion on Rankings

With any ranking system, there comes a time when you finally reach the peak, and there's no where to look but down. So where do we go from here, and how could FD make progression more meaningful. Should there be a Prestige system, where your peak rank cycles through a numeric range that awards insignia appended to your title? Or another way? There are quite a few people out there who have Elite x 3 (let's not talk about CQC...).

Progression (and consequently ranking) doesn't need to be about money, or ships, or titles, but it needs to be about something, whether it's a personal target you set, or whether you progress purely by gameplay, I'd like to hear more about how FD are planning to account for this area of design. If you look back on the last twenty years of gaming, you'll see this conundrum has been handled in any manner or ways, but the point is that it was handled. When players inevitably reach Elite.. what next?
I'll be shot for this, but I feel there should be 'challenges' you'd need to get the next rank, as well as the current requirements. So for example find a system worth at least [x] credits, kill an elite corvette in a viper mk3 with fixed loadouts, mine a total value of [x] in one trip etc etc. Especially for combat it would really start to be about actual skill. Merely 'extending the grind' via a prestige system does nothing for me. Never liked the concept in any game...
I don't have a clue if there are plans to change or improve this in any way, but I would like to see ranks have some kind of meaning in the game world, and perhaps grant you some extra benefits that would make sense with the rank.

For instance, if you had a high rank in the Federation, and arrived at some new system that has factions aligned with the federation, then your initial faction rep would start at friendly instead of just cordial. Or maybe authorities from a federation-aligned faction could have, up to a point, a little bit more leniency when you mishbehaved. Or they would be quicker to come to your aid, when flying in fed ruled space. Stuff like that. Something that would reflect your faction "status" in the game world (good and bad), other than just being a counter for unlocking ships.

As for the elite ranks, I honestly don't know what cold be done about them, they currently grant access to better missions, not much I can see being done here as those ranks have little ties with the rest of the game world.
They missed a trick with the Search and Rescue page, new rank (removing that CQC abomination) for rescuing stuff!!

Hey, lets have a poll about it too! ;-)
I propose a monthly ranking of the most beautiful ships in the game.

A top 100 for example.

All the ships in the game would be available in a list with a picture of the ship in real time.

The Cmdrs could assign a vote on their favorite ships.

Only ships with a certain number of votes could be in the top 100.

Of course a Cmdr could only vote once a month on the same ship, but could vote for several ships.

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