Systems Designer Jeremy Randall explains that the team wasn't happy with the original Crystalline Entity encounter and thus brought it back to the drawing board to make it more engaging. The reworked event now has new features and allows players of all types to participate. The Tholians are now involved as well, although their role is somewhat of a mystery.
As part of the reintroduction of the event, Cryptic is running a three-week promotion where players can earn crystal shards for defeating the entity. One shard can be earned per day, and it takes 14 shards to complete the project. The reward for doing so is 50,000 dilithium Ore, 1,000 fleet marks, and a unique crystal shard space non-combat pet.