Welcome aboard. I went lifer approximately 500 days ago...give or taken. I've had mixed views when it came to certain decisions of the devs/management concerning game mechanics and content. Yet, I hope, in time ...this game will become what I had hoped it to be when I first went lifer.
I will laugh when in a couple of weeks they bring life sub back to 200$... I am sorry to break this bubble, but are you guys aware that being a gold player actually grants you no benefits at all? So you just give them money because you like the game. Its very noble, but not enough for me. If I can play the game as silver player and still benefit from every game feature without paying a dime I WILL.
I did once an annual sub and then paid for another month when came back. But I feel that I am only paying them to get 400 cryptic coins in the end of the month. This logic doesn't make sense, since everything else not counting cap limit increase is absolutely the same.
There is NO incentive to be a gold player other than a noble "I want to support the developers because I like the game so much" reason...
I understand how getting life sub would benefit in the beginning of STO, but now? I don't even understand why should I pay for a month at this point in STO. There will be much less content released than before, main focus will be on F2P and cryptic store to gain revenue through selling items in store. And EVERYTHING in game is available for free. So Why getting life sub NOW? I fail to understand the logic. Sorry I may not be as noble as OP .