Yes there is a disparity between the amount of Dillitium we get when we rank up, and the cost of a ship, but, it is still "work-in-progress"... This is only the first build on the F2P server... Obviously the economics still need some tweaking... & other ways of earning Dillithium are going to be added...
As for the amount of XP that is being earnt through the mission arc, that has been temporaily raised for testing purposes only... All this was explained in the patch notes... (apologies for not providing a link)..
There is a "work-around" ... Get the tier 2... Save the Dillithium until you reach RA, then you'll have enough for that tier... At the time of posting this, I daresay the "backroom boffins" are sorting this out anyway..
My advice... Chill out, fellow Captains... & don't panic...just yet....
Just go and play ant Perfect World F2P game and you will find the exact same thing - Its great to a point - then it costs to do anything and it is made so you must buy equipment/buffs/potions etc. to be able to compete or even just play.
So really no surprises here,
just sit back and watch the game nosedive into oblivion,
F2P will not work in STO as it does in a fantasy game.
I don't see what people's big hangup is here. You're either paying a flat rate ($15/month whether you need it or not), or you're paying a little bit at a time when you want a little bit more (which could be daily, could be months before you find something you want to pay for, depending on the individual). You're going to be paying no matter what. Free to play is not ZOMG FREE GAME FOREVERZ, they could not support the game that way.
So instead they let people pay what they want to pay. Some will pay more, some less, but they're not under an absolute mandate to PAY $15/MONTH OR NO GAME FOR YOU, so guess what? More people play, and when there's more people playing, there's a bigger chance that a much greater number of them will pay for some $1 or $2 doodad than would pay a regular subscription price when it's an option rather than a requirement, and in numbers that outmatch what they can take in from a non-F2P model.
Also with a F2P model, there is a much larger impetus on the devs and producers to put out more content, which is a boon to both the company and customers. Instead of relying on the small but steady stream of revenue from a subscription model and putting out mediocre stuff when they get the money for it, they've got to keep pumping out content to keep players in-game and ready to buy stuff, as well as put things out that people want to buy. Let me say that another way: Instead of them spending money when they gather enough of it to give us stuff, they have to put out stuff or else they get no money from us. How is this not a plus for us?
Well, I decided to just skip the commander level ship, as suggested by the majority of players in-game... and really despite NEARLY having my ship atomized in just about every engagement, I have managed to get up to cmdr 6 and I just finished up 'the doomsday machine'. So if the missions keep up the solid XP then I wont have to wait long to get my blessed captain ship!
It really is just a let down to have to approach the game this way... working AROUND the system just so I won't have to grind the stupid satellite repair mission over and over.
Every mission, big or small, is supposed to provide you with Dilithium.
The fact that it isn't isn't so much a bug as it is they haven't gotten that conversion done in time for the beta, but it'll be ready for release.
The thing is, though, it should have been ready now. At the very least, they should have made sure that one got the amount of dilithium they needed to procure a new ship upon promotion. As it stands, you only get 80,000 units going from LtCdr10 to Cdr1, and a new T3 ship costs 100,000 units; you are short a full 20,000 units. This is a huge oversight on the part of the devs. Especially considering that the new Dilithium economy is apparently one of the things we're supposed to be testing right now. It strikes me that it might have been better off if we just kept receiving free ship tokens upon promotion, to at least ensure we get our new ship whenever we get promoted, instead of having to wade through a system that as of late, isn't even functioning properly.
Completely ridiculous, like captain Kirk had to buy his own ship. Totally not Startrek like, buying your own ship. Never seen that in any of the movies and series. You work for the Federation so you should get a ship from the Federation.