A fleet is a social entity. The ships and equipment earned by advancing the starbase is only a tiny incremental improvement over things that we can get on our own, between random drops from STF missions and C-store vessels. People make fleets because they want other people to play with, people that they can come to know, respect, smacktalk, boast, and hang out with. The end goal is not to own a weapon that is 0.1% better than something that requires minimal effort, it's to own a weapon that is 0.1% better and being able to stand with your friends and say "Yeah, we did this".
Duty officers have zero social aspect whatsoever.
When you make every project require dozens of duty officers, time-gated by recruitment missions and made annoying by having to play "doff roulette" for hours trying to get the kind you need, that is all individual time. My fleet mates can't help me grind for doffs. The social aspect of starbases is the fleet marks, awarded for completing and doing well on team-based missions. But every single project we've had, we've finished out the fleet marks requirement and thrown some cash at the batteries or whatever it needs, in a single evening... and then the project lingers for days while we tortuously search for the duty officers we need. 30 quartermasters? Seriously?!
Starbases should require more resources that are gained by playing with your fleet than they require resources which are all personal. I can't speak for every fleet, but for us, we don't even bother with fleet activities unless we need the marks and that lasts for all of an hour or two and then it's back to grinding for doffs. Playing the missions is more fun than grinding for doffs.
Ideally, projects should be an either/or proposal where you can use either resources gotten through group activities for fleets with really active members, OR resources gotten through individual play for fleets with more casual/timezone-challenged members.