Here is a topic that has been discussed time and time again with all small fleets. How can PWE expect small fleets to reach Tier 5 Star bases? The answer is simple...it is not their problem. The only concern PWE has is the business aspect of the game such as expected and actual revenue that STO and other games are producing. I am sorry but it had to be said. If I am not mistaken Cryptic has the responsibility of maintaining said expected/actual revenue for STO as well as its development. Obviously, both development and revenue go hand in hand. The better the game the better the revenue and vice-a-versa.
Since the introduction of the Star Bases many small fleets, like other larger fleets, have faced the "the star base grind". Unlike the larger fleets, the small fleets do not have the same contribution capacity. The result then becomes the long slow grind for the small fleets as they work towards their tier 5 Star Base. Let me point out that before Star Bases entered the picture a large portion of the STO community had complaints that there was no end game content. Unfortunately, we still do not have end game content but we do have "the star base grind". Suddenly the whining and complaining of the lack of end game content have dropped significantly. We humans can be such an entertaining lot.
Borg gear has always been what players have sought for since launch. The player was rewarded for accomplishing the STF with some item specifically designed for fighting Borg then it was modified into an if-you-are-lucky-random-drop system. The introduction of the Omega and Romulan Mark system has been long over due. Modeled after the Star Base build for fleets the Omega and Romulan Mark system allows everyone to get better space and ground gear for STF's and some PVP. Some players have discovered that some STF components can be creatively used for PVP kudos to these creatively intelligent players. So now, we have the "Omega and Romulan Mark system...grind". Even though this "grind" is short lived, it does interfere with the "star base grind".
So now, we have no end game content but we do have two sets of grind. Even though each system differs from one to the other both require Dilithium and Energy credits. Now the "grind" becomes a daily repetitive routine. Did I mention that our dilithium farming has changed significantly since the arrival of the Omega and Romulan Mark system? Dilithium farming was dramatically reduced until the STO community banded together with outcries of protests. Since then Cryptic modified the dilithium reward system to a still disgruntled but tolerable level. Yes, we all have read the articles stating that we have more than enough options to gather the dilithium however the casual players that do not have the time to achieve all the farming objectives like other players are at a frustrating disadvantage. Those that do have the time can farm for dilithium and energy credits to hearts content. This means that the casual player is at a greater disadvantage then others in regards to the "grind". Okay that is my plug for the casual players.
Now most fleets have a star base at a tier according to their fleet size in relation to their contribution capacity of regular and casual players. Larger fleets have either reached or completed tier 5 and yet the smaller fleets are still grinding away at their star base. Some fleets have developed a few alliances with other like-minded fleets that have put alts into the smaller fleets in an attempt to increase their fleet contribution capacity thus increasing their "grind" kudos to those players who are so willing to help others.
Taking in consideration of the aforementioned discussion, I propose that a function be added to fleets whereby two fleets have the option to merge and consolidate the 2 Star Bases into one progressed Star Base. Here I define "progressed Star Base" as 1 to 1 ratio of increase. Therefore, if a tier three Star Base is merged with a tier two Star Base then all the fleet xp points and its resources will merge in a 1 to 1 ratio. Considering the amount of fleet xp points and resources is much higher at the next tier this should not be problematic for PWE. Such functionality would be advantageous for smaller fleets to grow not only in size and contribution capacity but in the progress of the Star Base as well.
It would be ill responsible of me not to point out that there are complications from said action in that people will be people and as a result there maybe some behavioral dynamics. Therefore an in depth discussion of command structure and permissions should be discussed before such a merger takes place. At times, a kind of leadership will reveal itself to all sometime after the merger is complete and not always a positive and/or mature in action or leadership.
In conclusion let me just say that there are many benefits and repercussions to any fleet merger but having the choice of merging fleets and the respective Star Bases should be a viable option for the fleet and its members.