I have been hinting in a number of my posts as to what the future could hold for everyone in this game if it goes full swing Perfect World Model but I have not laid it fully out. I played Perfect World International for quite a while and learned first hand exactly what their model is and what it entails. I have been seeing some of that model leaking into STO's test server practically unchanged. So here is a preview of the worst case, but not completely unlikely, scenario of what could be to come:
The skill revamp will simplify things but will nerf your overall power. This will not effect PvP that heavily because everyone will be nerfed equally there. It WILL effect PvE heavily however and the disparity between Players and NPC's will grow. The NPC's will be made stronger while the players are made less effective. Why? Because in order to be as powerful as you were BEFORE the change you will need to buy C-Store Items. These can be new ships with new consoles, healing devices, stat boosters, and things to reduce the sting of defeat.
It seems likely that they would make the best drops only obtainable under Elite Difficulty and that eventually the only real way to fix your ailments when you die will be through Dilithium or the C-Store.
You will be able to Level Up at a reasonable pace but you will not be able to outfit yourself with proper ships or gear without buying Dilithium from other players with C-Store Points.
All items/Services that can be unlocked for Individual Characters only will be. You will see a lot more items that can be gotten via a random fashion. Basically any way they can package items such that you spend a relatively small amount of RL money to buy a CHANCE to get the item you want from the package.
Future sales of cosmetic items will be sold piece by piece if possible. You do not get a full uniform but instead you can buy the boots, the belt, the pants, the shirt, etc all individually.
Many items you purchase from the C-Store may well become trade-able to other players in-game. (That can be a good thing... Leave it up to you to decide.)
There will likely be introduced some form of elusive end game item or items that are truly Godly but are unobtainable. These will be there to make you strive to get them even though for a single person to do so could take the likes of 40 years. (... I am not joking... They had that in PWI... We did the math. )
Travel will be made as slow as possible and likely a bit more dangerous with C-Store remedies for both problems.
Crafting will be eliminated altogether, made useless (that is as it is now), or made to produce "Random" results which may on some rare occasion be useful but usually be useless.
Customer Service will be strictly reserved for billing issues.
Bug fixes will come even more slowly and from time to time they will be allowed to stay with the excuse that either they cannot be fixed or that they are working as intended.
Pay to Win in PvP will be standard and there will be a lot more PvP influence as well as open PvP but it will NOT be balanced or made better in any way.
If Star Bases do come out they will be able to be Captured by other Fleets and all your effort put into them taken out from under your nose.
Prices in the C-Store will universally rise but there will be sales where they are brought back down to near or exactly the same price they are today.
I could go on further but I think the general idea is fully stated. Now all of this is the worst case scenario and none of it has been promised or said to happen by any of the Devs. If we are lucky we could see this stuff never happen to STO but considering who is in charge and who owns the above Model it seems unlikely.
With that, I just say watch what is going on with Tribble and when they finally unveil the final product check to see how much of the above got filtered in. At least you cannot say no one told you what to expect now