In other words, Cryptic will satisfy their desire to fleece their customers for every last bit of money they can get by carrot or stick. Even if it goes against their former platitudes their Money based items would remain COSMETIC additions that had no impact on gameplay.
Oh right, refer people and now you get:
A coveted skin
PLUS an extra power,
PLUS a holographic BO,
PLUS a new Tribble,
PLUS the ability to instantly warp to them,
PLUS a damage buff / XP Buff for flying with your referrals
Want to produce an incentive to get 5 people without using a ship to get it ?
Refer 5 friends and get:
Free Extra Character slots
Free Extra Costume Slots
Free Extra Ship Slots
Free PRE-ORDER bonus items / Uniforms.
Since the PRE-ORDER items are essentially worthless beyond the starter ranks and the Uniforms remain cosmetic. That would have no effect on gameplay and give no specific advantage to anyone.