Incorrect, it absolutely is needed and here's why:
No not to make it harder ot punish bad play or incentivize skilled players or alienate carebares etc etc, the reason is the frickin' exchange. Everyone in this game keeps all the money they make in circulation because absolutely nothing removes it from circulation consistently. Unless Cryptic things ground combat is so hard that everyone blows through cash buying hypos, the currency will inflate exponensially as all money spent on the exchange stays in the system.
This game needs a dp that removes energy credits and heres the best suggestions as it's straight from cannon:
ammo consumption. - When you die your weapons lose 10% charge causing no impact on them, however when it's down to 0% they drop to half damage until their "power cells" are replaced which can be done through your replicator for a modest sum of credits. Then you can go to your ship's replimat and hold up the spent power cell like sisko and say "this is not something to be thrown away" and make a row of them displayed proudly on the wall. Straight out of canon, no uneccesary time wasting, just what the doctor ordered.
and here is what it boils down to. the money. yeah, sure, forget the fact that we're paying 15 bucks a month on a 60 dollar game. I simply don't make enough EC because I don't play *that much*. I'd like to just log in, play a few missions, log out, and not worry about losing progress with anything just because i got zerged by klingons, or in PvP because people don't know how to work together. I have a hard enough time making credits as it is.
and if its going to be about the money.... think of it like this:
People are selling things on the exchange for far more than what the product is worth. up to 10 times the value of the item for sale. I've seen, no crap, a mk4 disruptor array for 30k. F-that. It's not worth 5k. It's these A-Jacks that are screwing up your ideal economy, not combat. Leave the Death Penalty out, fix the exchange, and we'll be fine