Ok, so literally I just had this idea. The concept for having these non-Starfleet faction starships to be so rare is because CBS didn't want a game about The Federation to have every Tom and Jane flying in Jem'Hadar, Ferengi and Cardassian cruisers. So make them super ultra rare, and have only a small number of them in game.
SO, my idea is do the same thing. But instead of having a special ship, we get an "upgrade token". This token can be used once, on any Starship we have in our inventory. It will boost it up 1 tier. People will pay BIG BUCKS to get their T5 Akira's, Connie's, NX's or Type-F shuttles (I don't judge).
Crazy idea, I know. But if the name of the game is revenue for Cryptic. This is definitely one thing they should consider. People get their ships they want, and Cryptic get $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ in the bank for it. AND it prevents the game from getting full of T5 ships that shouldn't exist... Per se'.
I know I'd pay for as many boxes as it took to get a T5 NX.
Well, yeah, that's what the token would do. It would boost all stats and create another boff slot. All the way up to T5. I guess to make the coding easier, they would have to be all universal boff slots. Or you just place what slot you want where.
Obviously we aren't talking 5 Commander slots on a ship. It would allow for 1 Commander, 1 Lt. Commander, 1 Ensign of 1 class. 1 Lt. Commander of another and 1 Lieutenant of another. You make it how you want.
This would be the whole point to spending a ton of cash to get the boxes to get the tokens to upgrade the ship how you want. And also making it so there are very few of these custom ships in game as opposed to making a T5 Connie available and everyone going crazy for one.
The problem is that lockbox ships should be rare while upgrades are standard practice. There are a few episodes where the Enterprise has to be put in the Shipyards to upgrade a few key systems. Dilithium purchase, C-Store purchase, Fleet purchase, or EC purchase would be acceptable methods to upgrade your ship.
In fact, there is a thread that indicates you can purchase some T5 versions of lower tier ships through Fleet Starbases. Which ships will be available has not been finalized yet, but will be available in Season 6. So basically, you or a fleet member with the proper authorization will set the Fleet Shipyards to create X number of ships. Fleet members donate resources to complete this ship creation project. I think your fleet's military level determines the types of ships your fleet can build. Higher level means more ships available. Then you purchase the ship you want with Fleet Credits which can be earned by contributing resources to fleet projects.
While I agree with you on making them "free" for us. Star Trek Online is a business, and needs revenue to stay in business. Cryptic and Perfect Worlds would/should exploit any source of potential income they can get in order for us to keep STO in development and keep on getting updates. If they begin to lose money, the game will suffer and eventually shut down. Nobody wants that. So therefore the community should support STO any way we can.
But I shall keep my eyes on dev reports for season 6.
I'm not requesting a T5 Connie. I requesting a method in which we can pay to upgrade any ship to a T5. It would take a lot of money and thus would weed out a lot of people who don't want it, thus limiting the number. Making it acceptable numbers to CBS.
With Fleet Shipyards coming in Season 6 and Cryptic's tendency to release T5 refits like the new T5 Akira, your point is kind of moot. Sure it is technically not an upgrade, but trading in for a better model. However, people can use an RP reason like they sent their ship to the Utopia Planitia for a couple of weeks or months and their old ship was upgraded.
My guess is that T5 ships from the Fleet Shipyards will have updated stats and refits will have updated stats and extra abilities compared to the originals. After all, paying $25 for a ship should give something extra like an extra skin and ability or two. As far as any ship to Tier 5, we will have to wait and see.