Season 6, my science officer hits L45 about midway through it, by her 3rd STF she was rocking low-tier (mkX) borg-proc weapons in "Normal" STF play after one weekend. This fed a race of sorts to try and gather MORE borg-proc weapons as the Mk x and XI were more available from the Omega store, than anywhere else (at lower cost!)
Season 7, my new Engineer (first purchased character type-a Joined trill, and at the time there was an intent to eventually buy Ferasan) and I'm reluctant to take her into ANY STF's-she's gimped compared to her peers who made L45 before the changeover, and access to better tech is almost nonexistent in spite of qualifying for MkXI.
this is a problem-it's a disincentive to touch the more difficult/challenging material for new alts, even a disincentive to creating and SPENDING MONEY ON new alts, additional character slots, z-store races, you know, those things Cryptic sells us to make money and add variation.
The Rep system is GOING to stay-no amount of fan raging or icy condemnation is going to change this...but.
maybe it should not be something gated for access at Level 50? Maybe the passives, at least, should be available-to-be-earned at, say, Level 30 or 40, so that when your new alt gets to where they're allowed to play at the big-people-table, they're not gimped for the first three months after they hit that magic place where they are allowed to use MkX gear and run STF missions?
the F2P model is based on getting new players in, getting them interested enough to buy things, (like character models, costumes, ships, lockbox keys, and Dilithium) and...KEEPING THEM INTERESTED ENOUGH TO BUY SUBSCRIPTIONS.
Gating to only L50 with a system that's clearly NOT pleased your top-end base is probably not the best move for a major change like this.