This is probably going to take a while, so please bear with me (and eventually some gramatical errors, sorry for that in advance)
Playing the first couple of Games in the T1 Ships felt like alot of fun.
Even when you had to face some T2 Ships right at the beginning, they didnt feel all too powerfull.
T4 have been an issue back then, but this issue is resolved by now.
The Research towards your first T2 Ships felt very fast, only needed like a couple of games with the T1 Ship and you are done.
Nobody did buy any Parts for the T1 though because why should they, if they could "ascend" rather quickly into the T2, which pay off alot more.
Then the "Grind" towards your first T3 Ship starts, and this is where you start to feel a big difference.
Suddenly it takes alot more Research XP and Credits, which you partially spent into your T2 Ships because you believe those are the best ones in Recruit Fleet...
Until you have to suddenly face off some T3/4 Veteran Fleet users, if you have no T1 on your Recruit Fleet.
Matchmaking aside, i finally achieved myself purchasing 2 T3 Ships, it somewhat felt great, but it was also a tough decision to make, since they are somewhat expensive at the first look, but still manageable.
And this is when i suddenly realized... T3 are somewhat similar to T1, probably noone goes full-research on these Ships.
Everyone is trying to advance towards T4 Ships as quickly as possible, even if it means farming Credits in Recruit Fleet Battles.
The overall average Credit Reward isnt any different between Recruit and Veteran, so why would you want to risk Maintenance Cost, which eventually takes almost all your earnings, when you just grind up your Credits without such risk?
Also, which is probably my main criteria currently, is the fact that players falling behind the "top geared" players are in a very big disadvantage.
Simply because the casual one may just have entered the Veteran fleet, while the other players had alot more time to grind up to their max-custom-loadout T4 Ship they desired.
Dont get me wrong here, it certainly is a big achievement once you have a T4 Ship equipped with all the gimmicks you want.
But having to face off Level 35+, sometimes even maxed Lv50s as a Lv15 certainly doesnt feel fun.
This may mostly be caused because there are only that many Players queuing up in Veteran Fleets.
Another issue is the fact that Levels are impossible to read, a new player would not know what this fancy icon with tripple-X next to some players Name would stand for.
I only know roughly what it means because there was some sort of List displaying all Icons for each Level on the old progression.
That should be pretty much everything i have to say.
The gameplay itself is amazing, but the progression is at some points very rough and unforgiving.