Both the power creep and the ongoing watering down of the factions is not doing anything for my excitement.
At this point having real factions doesn't even make sense anymore.
Every race/faction should have a starting world/base with some exclusive tutorial content and then it's out into a sandbox galaxy with faction neutral missions.
Access to certain systems would then be restricted for certain species and ships unless they have advanced in diplomacy enough.
Honestly, what you want was only done by the first generation of MMOs such as UO, EQ1, AO, DAoC back in the 1990s. Very few subsequent MMOs have even dared to do this unless they had a massive budget. Quite simply, it does not make financial sense to create content that only half your players cannot see.
So unless you can give Cryptic $10 million and a year to make new STO zones, what you are asking for is quite impossible.
Actually, not really in that none of those first generation MMOs had tutorials per se (some did add actual tutorials later in their lifecycle) - and with those, the reason you stayed in the 'newbie area' until you reached a certain level, was because if you ventured into a higher level area, a MOB near the zone in point would insta-kill you. And those games had tangible death penalties like loss of XP (usually a few hours worth), so you REALLY wanted to avoid death.
If you want to know what changed the MMO market to the WAY more casual-friendly/non-restrictive model; it was the fact that:
- Blizzard did a study that showed lees then 10% of their playerbase ever made use of end game raid content (imncluding the content that required players to unlock access to said Raid areas); and further less then 2% fully completed/finished the Raid content fully.
So, they started catering more to the 90%; and saw a boost in subs and retention; and other MMO developers, seeing this trend, followed suit.
That's why now, in any MMO, not only is there a 'hold my hand' tutorial, less locked content, no real death penalty - and of the 'locked Raid' content; the stuff needed to unlock access and progress through it is WAY lower. The few attempts made to 'bring back' the old 'EQ' style game (one notable one was Vanguard: Saga of Heroes) have ultimately (and V:SoH just did as well) either failed hard; or retooled content to current MMO market trends. (Even 'EvE Online' has taken steps to make elements of their game 'less harsh' - and it honestly remains one of the few 'old school'/'hardcore' MMOs (although it's really PvP based with little PvE at all) still around.)