Max playercounts were something we did question in the summit, but the reasoning behind it was sound, and obvious effort had been put in to make sure that it was not a safe space to PvE, with the fact that gates were used, alongside the necessity to move from system to system.
The ready-fit ships are mostly being used as a continuation of the tutorial system in order to introduce newer players to the next level of their race’s ship line and provide some idea of what they do, whilst retaining the fun that can be found in adapting and upgrading a ship over time (something that tests very well with new players).
The ‘special purpose’ system is so that rewards can be managed independently of other systems and I don’t really see why this is a problem - mission standings are also a special purpose system, as are FW levels and FW missions.
As to why FW hasn’t been adjusted, that’s something we’ve talked to them about, the key problem is that it’s not in a good state for newer players and to get it in a good state will take a significantly larger amount of time than creating Resource Wars, which also appeal to a much larger section of the potential playerbase. Resource Wars are also fairly unique in that they encourage social gameplay in newer players, which is something that the game sorely lacks, and will help these newer players find a place within groups that will help them to explore other aspects of the game (ideally).
I know that’s not what you want to hear re: FW, and honestly it’s not what I’d like either, but I understand the prioritisation here from CCP, which is to make sure they retain more of the incoming players over working on something that - currently at least - is mostly used by a small number of enfranchised players, especially given that a large % of new players aren’t interested in PvP until they have found their feet in terms of income streams.