With Cryptic, and its heavily instanced game, there is an opportunity to do something that I feel would be rather amazing! As a player follows along the story line, effects on the Universe can be made to be seen along with that progression. Cryptic can lock out certain instances of the same places, but with changes. Let me explain!
Letís just say the Starbase 24 fleet action was not something that you could do over and over again. Letís just imagine that you took part in the battle, and saved the Station. Once a successful completion of the mission, Cryptic could lock you out of that Fleet action mission, and progress you to another instance of the same place, but after the Battle.
Cryptic could then let you go to the damaged Starbase, which would be another instance of the same place but with changes made.
You could get missions to deliver Medical supply drops, part drops ect. In time you could see the Starbase restored and useful. Another place of commerce. Etc.
In this way a playerís progression through the Story line would actually feel and be progressive. You wouldnít have these endless battles going on that are nothing but pointless grinding. And Cryptic can do this by making use of Instancing. By locking and Unlocking Instances as the player develops and progresses.
In the past I advocated a sort of progression for Star Cluster Explore missions. Take Delta Volanis for example. You would enter your own area in the Delta Volanis cluster, effectively unique to you. There would be 2-3 minor races and a rough story seed. Maybe they are at war with each other, maybe they have some economic hardship. The missions you do and their outcomes could slowly change the star cluster.
Think of the Star Cluster like a small sandbox within the greater Trek universe. We could not expect to have much affect on the public sectors, but we could have personalized Star Clusters. That might help add some impact and consequences to the outcomes of various mission.