500 zen is about 70,000 dilithium. You can earn 70,000 dilithium in as little as 9 days on a single character.
Oh, I'm sure you can.
But at this point, I'm not terribly interested in grinding. I'm having fun just flying around doing the episodes and the occasional red alert borg attack thingy.
I do need to get some fleet mark action going on though. I'll do that tonight instead of lvl'ing up my new Romulan.
I let myself get rushed into grinding in another MMO and now I'm tired of that game.
I am going to take my sweet time and savor this game as long as I can.
Honestly you don't need C-Store ships or Fleet ships to do any content in the game. I have characters which are using the free ships and mission reward gear doing the end game content. The only grind I really did on the characters is to repeat certain mission to get the Mk XI version of the gear/equipment. Most episodes are repeatable and their rewards scale with your rank. You can get quite decent Purple and Blue quality gear from the game for some really nice builds.