If you look at Dave Ramsey's recommendation for getting rid of debt, he uses what is called the Snowball Method. He admits it isn't ideal mathematically, however, its easy to understand and it works for people mentally. This idea, this mentality, works for exercise and fitness goals, weight loss, etc. Have a plan, go one step at a time, and you'll get there. That's the problem with the current system - you're presented with these large, gargantuan projects that can be summed up with one word: Intimidating. As such...
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 committing 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
- 20 hours
- 600 Fleet Marks
- 36,000 Dilithium
- 12 Engineering or Operations Duty Officers
- 40,000 Expertise
- 3,000 [Provisions]
- 500 [Water Purification Systems]
So, a mini-version could be Supply Refugee Convoy (100 engineering XP)
- 5 hours
- 150 Fleet Marks
- 9,000 Dilithium
- 4 Engineering or Operations Duty Officers
- 10,000 Expertise
- 750 [Provisions]
- 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.
That's just my opinion, mind you.