Cryptic do not care about the size of any fleet, just that they soak up Dilithium and encourage people to buy Zen with RL money. They dont care if any individual works hard or if they ride on the backs of hundreds of others, their business is selling Zen. Full Stop.
The problem is, that as more and more small fleets fold and big fleets become even more prominent, they will adjust the costs of all new content to "be appropriate for" maxed sise fleets. I.E. the next fleet project will cost a lot more!
Call me Cassandra, but mark my words, when big fleets are the only business in town, they will still want to drain away everyones Dilithium, they cant do that just with the price of the goodies.
Given their comment at the Vegas Conn, that much is true. They outright said people should join big fleets. Which was a kick in the groin for us small fleets.
They just don't realize how hard it is for small fleets work to advance our fleets, we work significantly more harder than all the large fleets put together. So why do we have to open our pocket books and get on our knees and beg for end-game fleet holding goodies?
This is pretty much the heart of the matter and why we want equal footing. This isn't classic sandbox MMOs where large fleets are needed for raids. STO is more or less a single player game that you group together once in a while.
It's a stretch, but be nice if Stahl's word actually came true that they will help small fleets, like they should've on Day 1.
I am building my holdings with one other person. I have a t2 SB, t2 embassy, and am working on my t1 dil mine. I have chosen to stay that way. I enjoy the pricavy and the lack a drama. Infact I feel sorry for those who want to leave but stay because they now feel invested. What I have found works best is to align yourself with a large fleet. I have the ability to invite myself to their starbase at any time. I use my own provisions to get all the elite gear and ultra rare gear from their starbase. In fact my elite gear is cheaper then what they spend for their elite gear because I have lots of provisions since I don't use them all and a T1/T2 provision (Still used for elite gear, etc.) mission are a lot cheaper then the provision mission of t5 starbase or a t3 mine/embassy.
The sad thing is it's almost cheaper for large fleets to make smaller fleets just to get provisions to invite to their starbase and throw it away then to provision the expensive t5 missions. (Have you ever considered selling your provisions to larger fleets?)
Lets look at some numbers. At t2 15 Starbase Engineering Personal Requisition Provisioning Costs
600 Fleet Marks
40,000 Refined dilithium
400 Data Samples
250 [Industrial Energy Cells]
At t5 the same 15 Starbase Engineering Personal Requisition Provisioning (normally in groups of 30 and not 15 at this point) Costs
600 Fleet Marks
50,000 Refined dilithium
500 Data Samples
313 [Industrial Energy Cells]
Larger fleets sometimes goes though more of certain types of provisions because they have a couple hundred players who suddenly want 7 fleet weapons on their ships for example. There is an opportunity for smaller fleets.
Even though I have the mk xii kit/consoles and the elite ship pieces I am still building my starbase now just for kicks because in reality I have the rewards for building it anyway and the freedom of being independent. I call that the best of both worlds.
Despite all the angst over fleets, I have yet to hear one good idea to address the issue that wouldn't be exploitable by large fleets while making it easier on small fleets.
"Devs fix it!!!!" is not a solution.
Set a per character cost, as opposed to an overall cost. Similar to the Reputation systems, each character has to earn and turn in a set amount of Dil, Fleet marks, doffs, whatever, to access each tier and asset of a fleet starbase.
If you have 10 characters in a fleet, or 600, the cost PER CHARACTER is the same. New person joins, they then have to contribute at each level and tier to access that aspect of the starbase.