Warning: This post is going to be part genuine curiosity/player asking for help and part venting/angry ranting. I dont know how much of each it will be. I apologize to any readers in advance.
Recently got my first Tier 4 ship (JA Artillery Cruiser, Onager), and played a few games in it. The stock grind is kinda tough since I am so used to the set up I had on the previous Tier (gameplay shift). As a player of two Wargaming titles (World of Tanks and Warships) I normally don't mind having to use a stock vehicle in order to gain exp and get it up to spec. However, here I am starting to not like the grind among other things. Going through the first two tiers i had fun, playing different vessels, researching modules, and trying the different game modes. Once I got to Tier 3, things got a little messy. The power difference between Tier 3 and 4 in Veteran Fleet games is insane. Tier 4 has access to a lot of options and some are difficult to counter without another Tier 4 vessel. To stand a decent chance against a fully upgraded/tuned Tier 4 ship with an experienced captain, you need to bring in anther Tier 4 vessel that is researched to some extent. Tier 3 vessels lack the modules to counter certain Tier 4 modules, and stock Tier 4 vessels sometimes don't match the play style of their capatain. Teamwork is helpful, but it works for both sides. Also the exp cost jump between Tiers 3 and 4 is crazy. 40,000 exp minimum to research a single module at Tier 4, compared to approximately 12000 exp minimum a tier lower. Considering that you need to use the ship you want to research modules for, and earnings of around 2000 exp a game (Onslaught match, active participation, no battle bonus or premium), that means around 20 matches for a single Tier 4 module. It gets worse if you want multiple modules changed and/or have multiple ships.
The point of this post is to ask why is there such a difference between Tier 3 and 4? The power and cost differences make sense in some ways, but also don't make sense. Before the changes to Fleets, poor Tier 2's had to face Tier 4's. WIth current system Tier 4's can either be the bottom tier (Legendary Fleet) or the top (Veteran Fleet). And since there is apparently a small population for Legendary Fleet matchmaking, most Tier 4 captains head to Veteran matches just to find a game in a timely manner. Tier 2's never had any business to see a Tier 4 ship, but Tier 3 has to. People used to (and sometimes still do) complain about Wargaming giving players 10 tiers to grind through, but here we have too few tiers.
TLR - Tier 4 ships are painful to get up to spec from stock. Tier 3 ships have trouble taking down Tier 4 ships at times. Tier 4 ships have access to way more stuff than Tier 3 ships. Veteran matches slowly stop being much fun due to grind at Tier 4 and matchmaking being run by RNGsus.
PS - Again sorry if ths post got a bit ranty, but seriously what's with the differences between Tier 3 and 4. Other tier jumps aren't that drastic.