Its obvious that Cryptic being overstingy with fleet marks and dilithium hurt the game.
Maybe they honestly believed that people would "earn" more dilithium if they made people work harder for it. Obviously that hasnt been the case and dilithium keeps rising in value.
Fleet marks have been especially problematic. Every fleet in the game has seen sharply reduced progression. Frankly most fleets are stuck.
Increasing payouts for dilithium mining is nice but it still wont be popular. Its boring and you could triple the payout and there still would be more fun and more efficient ways to get dilithium. As a time gate its a fail. As a fun mission its a huge fail.
Reducing investigate officer reports from 3 missions to 1 will help a little but not a whole lot. It now becomes the most efficient way to get fleet marks and you dont have to do the boring Cryptic missions over and over and over to get the marks. Certainly there are player made missions better than Cryptics grind missions. The problem is that Cryptic is still trying to gate players time and tell them what they have to do. Some people dont like foundry missions. I honestly doubt players will rush to do foundry missions to ease the fleet mark crises for fleets dead on projects.
Certainly this isnt going to bring back people playing with alts as they might do 3-4 foundry missions a week if they feel like it but the people that alted 8-10 characters a day for the log in bonus mission were the ones pushing fleets forward.
Cryptic seriously underestimated how much fleets depended on the daily log in bonus for those marks and the dilithium. It hurt the game and it hurt their revenues. They are trying to backpedal a bit here but its not enough. People are not playing their alts anymore and many are not logging in daily to get their log in bonus.
Say what you want about calling the log in bonus an exploit or laziness or whatever ... but I will tell you this. People liked being able to log in, contribute to their fleet, chat, say hi, and do something positive that helped themselves and others without huge needs of time and effort. Most people are nice in this world when it doesnt cost a lot. Time gates and work make it less fun to be nice.
Cryptic made their game too hard and out of reach for most players. You can do well with 1 toon or maybe even 2-3 if you try hard but its more work than fun and few people have enough time to work to make a great toon and then have leftovers to share with fleets and friends. STO is segregating players from the Whales that buy Zen to those that they feel should be pushed out of the game. I did not ask or want Cryptic to go free to play but I will dern well tell you that if you are going to offer something to someone as a free gift that you better well let them enjoy it.
Todays changes were a step in the right direction but a long way away from the journeys end of making this game fun again. This was a bandaid on a gushing wound. The Log-In bonus needs to be restored or mission rewards need to be increased 1000%. Removal of the log in bonus to the STO economy was like what would happen if the Fed raised interest rates to 10%. Todays action would be what would happen if the fed then lowered them to 9.5% ... sure it helps but more needs to be done.
Cryptic knows it made a huge mistake when they took away the login bonus which is the reason they did todays backpedal.
Just quit inching backwards.
Admit your mistake and return the log in bonus and quit calling it an exploit. It was and is an important part of the game.
I disagreed with your assessment of pvp (I think that if anything certain builds need to be nerfed... like escorts and caitians with Ops kits). But in this assessment I think you're spot on. Fleet marks are a little too hard to get now.
Dilithium, thankfully, has been made much easier to collect these days. What's exasperating me is the fact that dilithium still hovers around the 100 dil per Zen mark. However, you can blame your fellow players for that. They set the prices.
Still, the current system has burned out my fleetmates and makes them reluctant to contribute to fleet projects.
People would log in do a clickie mission and get 50 fleet marks and 1440 dilithium. Cryptic encouraged this for a year, allowed it for a year, and added 50 fleet marks to the process. Lots of people formed fleets and started advancing them. Then Cryptic decided that this little log in bonus was an "exploit".
People come to MMO's to achieve and accomplish. When its easy and fun people are happy and when its not they find something else to do.
The log in bonus gave small fleets a chance to advance. People say oh it was too easy and it was an exploit ... but I cant name you a single fleet at tier 5 including the mega majors. So it was never "too easy".
Also people played their alts and inactive players would log in and get their clicky bonus and then log out. It gave people a reason to show up, to play all their alts, to help their fleets.
In the past you used to could buy $10 of zen and get 400,000 of dilithium on the exchange. Now you get 100,000 dilithium on the exchange. Its going to fall further. Maybe this helps people who never buy zen and convert dilithium to zen but its terrible for the people who bought zen and throw some of it into fleet projects.
Cryptic is saying you need more dilithium if you want to enjoy this game. And we want you to have less dilithium so we are going to give you less. If they both tell me I need dilithium to enjoy their game and they want me to have less of it ... Its fair to suggest that they do not want me to enjoy their game.