We all knew that season 7 was going to be bad for fleets and increase the strain upon them. Season 7 was a knife gut shot to season 6 and Cryptic intended it to be.
Once clickers were removed this increased the strain 1000%. Season 7 was going to bring in competition for dilithium. Clicker removal made fleet marks a problem for fleets as well.
Even if players can go buy zen and convert it to dilithium there isnt a lot of replacement for fleet marks. And many players just do not like the fleet mark missions. For fleets under 25 active players the grind is horrific.
The common recurring thread for the last few seasons has been to drop something that would result in people needing to buy more stuff ie doff packs or to increase the grind.
It would be nice if they would release a season that made the game easier and more fun for the players. Constantly increasing the grind does not make it more fun for players. Holding more carrots to chase 6 inches in front of my nose does not mean Im eager to attend Mule Day if Im the one pulling the wagon.
I really dont think most players fully understood the screeching braking action of fleet progression once clickers, fleet marks, and dilithium was sharply curtailed in the game.
A lot of small fleets or groups of people had dreams of splitting from a fleet - opening a new one - and progressing. I think it was good for the game. Thats probably dying now. Even some of the larger 350+ member fleets that Im in are scratching their heads about sucky 7. The smaller ones under 15 members active are just almost resigning themselves to punting dreams of fleet base progression. It aint going to happen - ever. Even the guys that buy $100 worth of zen a month cant bully up enough fleet marks to move their starbase projects forward.... but wait ... might not be long till someone comes up with a fleet mark for zen exchange .... lol ....