I was so annoyed when I logged on this morning only to find that now 5 Contraband was needed. And before anyone jumps on me - I know it's been on Tribble - I just hadn't been on Tribble for a long time.
To be honest, I do feel that effort had to involved - if you wanted to accumulate dilithium that way then you had to accumulate the EC to pay for the Contraband off the exchange (and therefore had to earn it somehow) or else use DOFF missions (hardly efficient at 1 Contraband per mission) - it still immersed you in the game.
I had intended to try and collect enough to pay for a ship via the CP to Dil Exchange. Unfortunately that was already hard - and now almost impossible.
Obviously, this will impact (and depend on) game economics - but we'll see if the ZENil rate changes or whether Contraband does come down on the exchange.
But I do think it's just another way of encouraging people to spent nearly ?18 on one ship and limiting their non-monetary options...