Actually, my Fleet (the Spanish Fleet, btw), its about to reach tier 4 although we started the construction of our starbase two month after season 6 was launched, and yes, we have new members every week also.
My point is not "recruiting or not recruiting". Its the fact that upgrading the starbase is not worth the effort at all (appart from recruiting purposals). For example: Why bother upgrading a so called starbase that doesnt function as a proper starbase or outpost, cause the game kickes you from there every time you do something?
I'm in two fleets a private fleet and a maxed out fleet. I have a personal fleet with my other half and we have 22 toons. We are at tier III and working on tier IV. The only reason we are where we are is because I have been on medical leave most of the last year and my partner works from home. We started one month after the starbase program began. We were in a larger max fleet with two alt fleets but because of all the hoopla on allocating provisions we decided to start our own.
We have decided to not focus on the starbase at this point because of the game just being a total grind if we do and just stay complete at tier III until there is something of value in the higher tiers besides bragging rights. We have contemplated selling provisions for dilithium contributions say for ships or advanced fleet gear or elite ground gear to move projects forward.
As for the embassy the cost triples each tier and so we are most likely done after tier II for the same reasons. We will still add holdings in the future and level them to where it makes sense but after that forget it. Large fleets are nice but fleet politics are ridiculous at times.
I don't want to see the content disappear but since the thought behind the SB was to complete in 6 to 9 months, I think now that we see how difficult it is to meet the requirements, it's time to make some adjustments to allow some small to mid fleets achieve their goals as well.
I hate that it means discounting the work of larger fleets or even my own work thus far but if it took the large fleet I'm part of with 500 members 8 months to complete tier IV and thats really only halfway to completion then it's time to evaluate project requirements. BTW, this fleet I speak of is one of the oldest and largest in the game and probably avgs 25+ people on at any given time so it's not like they don't play.