A STO vanity store would be selling stuff individually rather than in packs.
I don't see how that makes a difference. The quality or quantity of the items is irrelevant. And the items are grouped for convenience's sake.
Non the less, they were still items that appealed to the vanity of the player. Even the ships, for the most part, were that way. They did give a slight
advantage, but it was totally negligible and could easily be compensated for with skill--you even told me you preferred using the standard AV Escort to the MVAM.
Most people buy the current ships to be/look different form others (i.e. vanity).
But these new ships (especially collectively) go well beyond that. They are total faceroll cheese and skill can only go so far. In fact, they'll probably only promote laziness and poor play.
And I can absolutely guarantee that it won't happen. Any MMO developer knows that the absolute best gear has to be purchased through hard work and hard work alone. That's why we have to constantly run STFs, collecting EDCs and prototype techs just to get those rare Mk XIs.
But as I said, you'd need both the dilithium and the Tech. While every MMO developer may know that new content is important, all F2P companies know that MMOs are ultimately about gear and it still sells the best.
In fact, every F2P game ended up in a situation where people pretty much had to pay if they wanted the best gear.
In some cases, it's a content thing. Turbine, for example, likes to make you pay for the new stuff. In LotRO, you just had to pay a strait up fee to unlock the dungeons. In DDO, you got normal and hard for free. You had to pay for elite and epic (where all the purple stuff was).
PWE has traditionally done it with some kind of in-game customization mechanic. For example, a new dungeon comes out and you run it over and over with your mage until the kickass purple staff drops. You win roll and be on your merry way. But that's only HALF the battle, because said staff is weaker out of the box than the green one you picked up 10 levels ago and customized.
So now you have two options: you can whip out the credit card, make a few clicks, and instantly have the best fire crits on the server, OR
you can spend hours and hours (probably twice as long as it took to get the damn thing in the first place) grinding out the stuff you need to make it equally as powerful.
Since they can't really introduce a new mechanic into the game, I figure they'll do it via crafting.
Say they launch of set of STFs that, instead of the Borg tech you get a recipes for each of the items and special unique mats to use in conjunction with the regular Tier 6 and Rare mats and of course the ones you buy with dilithium.
It would just be that the # of special unreplicable materials you'd need would cost several weeks' worth of 8k a day grinding. So people would be tempted to just buy some with c-points.