A lot has been mentioned on this subject, I would like to express a few of my own observations.
When playing as a single, random player you are at a serious disadvantage. Personally, I prefer to play random, I like the ever changing dynamics, and having to change tactics during the game. In my opinion it is much more difficult, and challenging.
But there are serious flaws with the way teams are created for battles in regards to random single players. I have witnessed this, experienced this in 2/3s of the game, I kept an excell sheet specifically for this reason.
When a squad of three or more Anax of the Belt (3 star general?) team up against randoms, they have a tactic and strategy already figured out, they communicate privately with each other and can behave as one. But that's not the real issue, the real issue is when you look at the teams, compare them, this is what you find.
Most players that reach the level of Anax of the Belt, are in a squad or play in squads. If you do, you have a very high chance of winning unless teamed against another squad, which very rarely happens. Because you are a squad of 3 star anax players, and because most randoms are not that highly ranked you get a team of organized, top players against inexperienced, lower skilled players in lower tier ships. This means, unless those players join a squad, their stats are going to be incorrect, skewed, very low. They will acheive their goals 2/3s slower, their grind is much harder, they have a much more difficult path to grow in the game.
And yet the game allows for both squads and single players. The game allows it, but rewards only those who play in squads. Personally, I prefer playing with other singular players, I don't like the mob mentality. It seems that the devs wish to FORCE players to play in squads. Heavily rewarding those who do, and discouraging those who do not wish to play in squads.
My experience has been hard won, I have only played in squads a few times and didn't like the dynamics, nor the easy no challenge wins. I am not the type of person who will join up in a squad, just so I can ride the coat tails of the mob mentality and statistically benefit from that type of group while having very little real talen of my own. Below average players can join a squad, and eventually score much higher in stats than the best player who plays as a single random.
At least in your stats, so we all can see and keep track, it might do us all well to add how many of each type of squad you have played, random or organized. In doing so, we can all see for ourselves just how skewed this game is, how unfair. I have kept track of myself using an excell spreadsheet, but it would be nice to have it in game.
Until the devs fix this problem, I would suggest anyone who enters into a random squad for a battle, to hit the tab key. If you find the other team has more highly ranked players, and it's obvious you are not going to win because your squad is all lower end players. Hit the escape key and choose go back to hanger, and que again. Interesting enough, I have just recently done this and found 12 games, in a row, that were made up of a squad and randoms. Each time I was the only Anax on my team, while the other had 4 on average, and many times 6. I have to believe those are squads, I find it hard to believe that the problem would be in all randoms but the devs messed up the math. I would have lost those games, and it would have been negative against my stats.
I have also noticed when checking other peoples stats, that those who belong in organized squads, but are poor players, have very high stats. It's obvious these players only have good stats because they are riding the coat tails of their teams, not because they employ good tactics, or are good pilots, strictly because they belong in a gang, an organized squad.
You can imagine for new players, they might play awhile until they can play veteran, then they loose over and over and over unless they squad up. Repeatedly, I wish the devs would drill through the data so they could better understand this dynamic. Under those circumstances, new players will quickly realize that they have a miserable grind before them and choose either to squad up, or quit, or the very few who keep on fighting the grind anyway. But most quit, outright.
If Greybox and the devs want to make this game a success, they must address these issues and make things fair for those who do not wish to play in squads. If the real intent is to force players to play squads, because that is the only way you will be rewarded and accumulate good stats then Greybox and the Devs should express this, force people to be in squads so that things are more fair. Only allow squads evenly matched to play each other. But that means long que times. Really, the only way to make things fair would be to give the percentage of difference in skill and damage as a buff to the team that is lacking, so that DPS and defense are equal. OR to give squads a different map to play and only allow randoms to play certain maps, and squads to play other maps. I think giving people an option to play singularly in random squads means you must also make it equally fair for them, if you are accumulating stats.
Make things fair, or you loose players like you already are. Make them fair, and you will make the game far more interesting and fun. After all, hollow fake wins because you are in a squad fighting lower skilled random players will become boring after awhile. Specially when everyone knows it's not your merit that gained you your stats, but simply because you played with a squad against a team far less skilled. Hollow wins will cause people to leave and look for a more fair and challenging game.
Of course there is also the issue with OP Tac ship exploits, but that's another discussion all together different.
Fact is, unless Greybox and the Devs fix the issues that plague this game, it will never become nearly as fun or engaging as it could be. Pretty graphics and new maps are great, and the Devs have done some wonderful work, but instead of trying to make problems look pretty, the problems should be solved first otherwise it's just fluff. Fix the issues, it's just coding a few extra math equations, maybe a few hundred lines of code, and you fix a major issue with the game. At the same time, you will be generating more income because you will have a larger player base.
This is NOT Eve online, this is a totally different animal. We need a much larger and far more dynamic pool of players. But that will never happen so long as these blarringly unfair team creation problems exist.