Your time and efforts on these forums the last few days has been greatly appreciated. We rarely get this level of transparency and insight into the thoughts of the designers, and as passionate as our responses may become, we are thankful that you took the time to be honest with us.
It's easy to be passionate about a game we have all made into an online community. Most of that passion stems from our greater understanding of how the game works and flows, and just how much potential it has to make the leap from "almost there, but just missing the mark", to one of the best available MMO's in it's genre.
We recognize and accept that, like any MMO, Star Trek Online has to cater to the largest group of players first: the casual players. We don't think that you're mistaken in that mentality. However, we do feel that in balancing the game around casual play, you make it impossible to balance the game at high-end levels.
Most casual players eventually start to evolve to become more interested and invested in the game. Instead of having a diverse, stable end-game for more skilled players, the game starts to funnel them into a place where they realize that the options for success are actually very few. There aren't many things that work exceptionally well when facing off against an actual challenging opponent. It becomes frustrating to the evolving casual, because it isn't much fun.
What the casual player didn't realize before was that it would benefit them more for designers to balance for a stable end-game, and then work backwards to ease the slope of the learning curve for the casual players. They don't realize that balancing for the casual player is what leads to such a huge imbalance when playing with or against more highly skilled players. The casuals play a game where every ability is effective, so when a higher-skilled player who knows better comes around, they get absolutely crushed. This is why casual players often feel that high skilled players must be hacking. This is why there is so much complaining about skilled players sharing the same queues as casual players.
This is exactly why PvP and end-game PvE are where they are now.
This is where our community can help you!
It has become apparent to us that the developers feel that PvP and PvE are two completely unrelated entities. But they're not. PvP is actually a huge indicator when it comes to the parts of PvE the developers are constantly admitting may need some reworking.
An example (from your own admission in another post) is the technician duty officer, where you feel the recharge rate might be too high. But you're worried that changing it will have a negative effect in PvE. And you should be worried. What you're figuring out now is what the PvP community has known for a long time: Cruisers are as good as other ships in the game only after you effectively DOUBLE all their bridge officer abilities with technicians. Without technicians, no one plays a cruiser outside of a healing role (which right now is a role that isn't needed for PvE) because they just aren't good ships.
This isn't a new discovery, and anyone following the bleeding edge of PvP would already know this. And this is just one tiny aspect of the game that top-level PvP has insight into. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that PvP is the best testing ground in the game for balance, as it offers the most difficult and challenging opponents. Not only that, but our community rigorously tests EVERYTHING to understand if it can provide an advantage.
We can help, we want to help, and we are a free resource just waiting to be tapped. Star Trek Online needs only minor changes to go from a casual-only game to a serious contender in the genre. Believe it or not, we want that more than you probably do.
It doesn't begin with us telling you what to specifically change. It begins with you starting to ask us for better understanding of where the game is now, and accepting that it's in a pretty tough spot.
We're ready to go.
And if you stay as involved as you've been so far, we're glad to have you around.