The F2P release notes kinda support the idea that staying gold isn't the smartest move for most monthly subs. It looks like Silvers will have a way to create their own foundry missions and the EC cap for silvers is 100 Million EC and even then that limit is upgradeable via the Cstore.
The F2P release notes kinda support the idea that staying gold isn't the smartest move for most monthly subs.
I think the message Cryptic is trying to send is that if you are a subscriber without a Lifetime subscription but you see yourself buying Cryptic Points to spend in the store, you might as well buy a Lifetime subscription and enjoy the 400 point monthly stipend. It'd be like paying for 30 months of subscription, yes, but after that you get a monthly stipend of points equivalent to $5.
No one is making promises however that the Gold/Silver feature matrix won't change after the F2P transition to include — in case of Gold subs and exclude in case of Silver subs — additional features that weren't in the game when it went F2P.
I suppose a lot of people would buy Lifetimes if it was publicly declared by Cryptic that Gold accounts get a 75% increase to get the best items from grab-bags. And Cryptic won't even have to do any extra work and too many changes to the game!
Here's an XBOX LIVE Arcade game that you can download entirely for free, but if you want more classes (i.e. more gameplay to experience) you then have to buy them as DLC. If you examine what both CO and CoH are doing in their F2P editions, you'll see that gameplay for free accounts does not include all power-sets.
Perhaps none of these models fit STO because STO's gameplay is already restrictive enough — since there are only 3 classes and 3 types of ships, the gameplay matrix yields about 27 combinations and this isn't up to par with neither CO nor CoH. However, in my opinion something should be done to encourage players to consider subscribing (either monthly or buying a Lifetime) and not just by limiting their inventories/slots.
The problem with games like Champions and CoH though, is that the restrictions don't encourage people to sub, they just encourage people to stop playing the game. The aim with STO's F2P is to treat the F2P crowd as actual humans, who just want to pay for the game a different way. I think they can find better ways to promote gold accounts than just making the silver ones undesirable, because that will just drive people away.
Zombies are one of my least favorite species of the Galaxy. I must destroy this one and remind you Humans to open a new thread if you need to post on a topic that has not seen the light of day in over 30 days.