I just wanted to chime in on a few things
1) The grind as it stands is balanced in a way that you are not upgrading faster than your skill level will be able to handle a ship. Is it a bit slow now? yes. But too fast and you will have T5 players who don't even know how their ship is supposed to be played. This has already been said so I wont rant on it too much.
2) I noticed that you touched on the fact that you had to play a different ship to unlock one you wanted- I have a few things to say to this. For starters, this is actually a good thing for many reasons- one, it allows you to be forced to play ships that are out of your comphort zone. Maybe you will find something you like- I for one thought I would hate the blud, but had to play through it to unlock the Koshei. The more I played it, the more I started to like it, but also the better a player I became, as I learned how to handle slower, tankier ships that I don't normally play. Now I am well suited to support my team if we are running light because I am more comphortable with heavy ships. The second reason is that it forces other players out of their comphort zone as well. If you were never forced to play certain ships, then everyone would gravitate towards the same thing because they might never try the ship out and find that they like it. The game would become boring. That is why all the "what is the best ship?" questions are so hard to answer- the best ship is the one that you like, and you might never find what you like if you never play it. I am a huge artillery main, but I had to go through the JA destroyer line to get the ship I wanted- I used to think I wanted the vindi, but since I was forced to play JA, I actually ended up liking it a bit better. I'm no help to my team as an artillery main if three of my teammates are already rocking the svarog, so I can now better suit them as different classes. I was forced to become a better player. If you really dont like a ship, you can always free xp your way through it as well.
3) Overall, the grind is not that insurmountable. I noticed you are only a week in (about a week and a half maybe now)- trust me when I say that the grind is not bad at all if you try and have fun. Don't think of upgrades as the gameplay, think of them as milestones. Heck, if you really need to, try upgrading multiple ships at a time. That way you can play what you feel like playing, and playing the same ship over and over again is a non-issue. Right now, I have a few ships left for me to grind- I filled my hangar with four of them and switch off every time I play- I also added my Onager in there, even though its fully upgraded, just so I can have fun if the grinding gets boring. Just hang in with it, it only took me about a month, maybe two, to get my first T5. It is really not that bad, and is definately worth every second I look forward to hearing what you have to say about the game after unlocking your first T4!
Good luck grinding, and have fun doing so! o7
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