I think the irony is that if the number of people quitting small fleets because of the costs joined into 1 fleet you'd probably be hitting T4 by now.
Personally my fleet has trouble getting fleet marks but then we're a smaller fleet now as more than 50% of our players left when season 7 nerfed STF's through the floor. Some have come back but we're down to 5 off and on players from about 13+ regulars.
We just had the upgrade to T3 shipyard and we filled the dilithium requirement (365k or something) in a few days between 4 of us and no we didn't buy dilithium, we can just complete 3 STFs in 20-30 mins.
So yeah if anyone is interested PM me and maybe we can have everyone join 1 fleet of like minded, determined people =)
Small fleets, are quite simply not supposed to progress as quickly as larger fleets are. This is the system that Cryptic has set up and how they seem to want it to work. They are going to do nothing to change that, unless they change their basic design principle first.
And quite frankly I tend to agree with them at least a bit.
I don't think a 5 or 10 person fleet should progress as quickly as a 25 to 30 person fleet should. I'm not saying that a 10 person fleet shouldn't be able to progress, but it should take them some time to do so.
I've been suggesting that Cryptic should make smaller projects that small fleets can do faster, but in the general scope of things will take the same amount of time. With the time/resources it takes to finish 1 normal size project (and get the same rewards), you'd have to do 3-5 of the smaller ones. Granted, larger projects should be the better reward for the time/resources spent since you're commiting so much, but that's just me.
Reasoning? Momentum and morale. Even if its the same amount of work in the end, it would be more encouraging for smaller fleets to go through multiple projects in this fashion than to stare at the massive requirements for the current projects. That would encourage more people in the fleets to contribute since its not so daunting. Meanwhile, fleets that are large, efficient, or have a high level of participation would still be better off picking the large projects, since they'd have the better bang for the buck, so to speak.
For example? Support Local Systems II (500 engineering XP) requires
600 Fleet Marks
12 Engineering or Operations Duty Officers
500 [Water Purification Systems]
So, a mini-version could be Supply Refugee Convoy (100 engineering XP)
150 Fleet Marks
4 Engineering or Operations Duty Officers
125 [Water Purification Systems]
You'd have to do this 5 times to get the same XP reward as the bigger Support Local Systems project, and you'll have to spend:
5 more hours in completion time (25 vs 20)
150 more Fleet Marks (750 vs 600)
9,000 more Dilithium (45k vs 36k)
8 more Duty Officers (20 vs 12)
750 more Provisions (3,750 vs 3,000)
125 more Water Purification systems (625 vs 500)
After all, what *really* matters is the various types of XP earned. A fleet that has given up working on projects, regardless of size, earns no XP at all. If Cryptic wants dilithium to go into starbases, then making some more bite-size projects would help out. If they want more Dilithium bought with Zen? It would help out with that, too. If they want more fleets engaged in the system, this could do it since I think people will be encouraged by having more forward movement.