Actually, my math on both gold subs and C-store purchases shows that their income is going to be reliant on people having as many VA 1 alts as possible and our ability to really maximize the dilithium economy is also going to be reliant on having as many VA alts as possible.
In some ways, whereas this game has historically focused on a small number of alts, the new system really pushes everyone back into the City of Heroes playbook which says, roll as many alts as possible... with the added push to do dailies and dilithium conversion on each alt.
That makes sense; very few people are going to spend C-points they bought with real money (or that someone else bought with realy money) on something they're going to outlevel -- moreso if they're going to outlevel it faster. (Which makes the idea of at "+1" ship at any tier other than T5 even more hilarious.) The real money, as you say, is going to be on VA (and later FA) level gear and ships. Which.. makes sense. People are going to be spending most of their time at the VA+ levels, so might as well make sure there's stuff for them to buy at that level.
I disagree with the evaluation that this will encourage alts, however. Part of why CoH encourages alts is because of the sheer diversity of powersets and archetypes. Even when Cryptic handed it off to Paragon, there were two factions, five archetypes each faction, and each archtype had at least six primary powersets and at least six secondary powersets. Even with the fact that many of these poewrsets were duplicated between archetypes, that is an immense amount of customization and a large number of very different play styles (an ice tank will play differently than a regen tank or a stone tank.) STO... not so much. There's only three classes. If they really wanted to encourage an 'alts alts alts!' mentality, they'd have set up non-respec-able space skills (e.g. a Tactical officer serving aboard Science ships; an Engineering officer serving aboard Cruisers; etc.) That would encourage people to level up characters in different classes. But they didn't do that (thank the Great Bird.)
Then again, this might be to encourage people to purchase additional ships so they can try them out. =P
I can't possibly think of a faster way than 1 hour and 42 minutes from out of the tutorial to ensign 51 on some of my toons. Oh and by the way. the record still stands at 1 hour 28 minutes out of academy to level 51.
But I really think they mean slowed it during the lower levels, where it was always too fast. Then you had to grind, grind grind through the higher levels to hit the right points.
however, this whole grind2win abortion of an update prompted me to make those extra toons and get them as much geared up as I could, even if that meant spending all the 250 vet emblems if I needed to.