Hey there Devs!
Just wanted to say thanks for finally communicating this all to us. It was great to finally get some in depth clarity on the whys for many a thing.
I wanna say I really appreciate some of your reasoning and it makes sense. Like how to best introduce new players to the game. I agree that the relatively small sandbox of t1-t2 with less going on makes it safer for them to enter. As there not going 0 for 10 every game against much more tricked out opponents. There foes are mostly using the same things they have or can see and (important here) quickly access. As t1-t2 can go fairly quick. I always feel bad when I see someone who is clearly a new player getting absolutely smashed. Before 2.0 or after. So I appreciate the logic being that part of the tier system.
I also am glad you've noted the power difference between tiers and are planning to tone it down. I know when I fight t2 and t1s with my t3 it feels like a cakewalk to destroy them. And I know what its like to fight t4s as a t2 and t3. It just isn't fun. If healing wasn't a thing it might kinda work for several t2/t3s to take down a t4 with focused fire. (not saying healing should go away its a great extra tactical element) but when combined with a t4 it gets really out of control. Or maybe the Kochei/Kali is just super super broken.
One thing I want to touch on about your comments on tiering up fast is this. Upon entering 2.0. I was someone who wanted my Dreadnought back. I didn't go for the Invictus I used to fly because it was locked behind to many ships I didn't enjoy. I kinda like healing. I would do it when my team needed a healer before 2.0. But I have never EVER enjoyed sniping. Not in this game, not in any game really. Just not my flavor. So I strongly dislike having to play that ship to unlock my beloved Dread of yore.
SO! I opted to go with the closer Nav. I also got to play the Destroyer I didn't get much of before 2.0 because credit shortages. But the Trader ship of it was fun. Though it had a bit of an issue and its what the Nav has as well that is my main point in this paragraph. Immediately after getting the Nav, I was disappointed. Because it has 2 snail speed shots. No other weapons but those. Its extremely hard to engage a corvette in any capacity and is just generally underwhelming when people evade your fire so easily at even medium ranges. So the big reason I'm power leveling as best I can up the tiers. Is to get to the point pre 2.0 where I have a dread that can fire a full volley of shots. (4-5 turrets) going off at once so I can enjoy that same fun experience I had before!
This kind of brings me to one of your points about wanting people to spread out and play several ships. First, I imagine if I was a brand new player today. I would not want to play a Dreadnought. It was my #1 before 2.0. But if I got to the Nav and thats all it was. I would change to another line. I really disagree that its (old player bias, or however you put it) that has me seeing it this way. I know what it used to be, and thus could be. Thats whats motivating me to not buy all the modules in t2 and hurry through the tiers as fast as possible to get Dread that plays in the way I know a Dread can play and is a very fun experience for me. If I didn't already know that was possible. I wouldn't even give it a chance. I'd probably be a destroyer corvette or healer (still don't like sniping!) but I'd be quite sworn off Dreads from that experience. And I hear the Gravis aint nothing to great either...
That was long but I have a bit more to say on it in regards to fleets. While I understand what you want to do. Having players all have diverse portfolios as it were of options and having experienced them all (though Trader ships afforded them a similar experience didn't they?) I don't understand why you would be against something that players found fun.
Because that was basically it. You may have had a particular vision for your game and how it would be. But the people who came to play it found something else, different than what you intended. But they still enjoyed it! They found a way you didn't expect to love and enjoy your game. Why would you want to tell them to have fun a different way? You could be totally right and your way is awesome. But if they were already having fun. Then your game worked! Why wouldn't you be happy enough with that. That they were already enjoying your game in some new unexpected way. I'm surprised that you kind of 'struck gold' but weren't happy because it wasn't where you thought they would find the gold?
And to touch on another players comments in this thread. I play a lot of FPS. And in them I very much enjoy multiple classes or load outs. Before this patch I had the same ship with several different module configurations because "I generally enjoy this one the most" with its broadside module. Then I had one with more anti corvette armaments so if I wound up in a game with irritating or good corvette players. I could deal with them. Part of it was being financially restricted to only owning 3 or so ships. But part of it was I came to really enjoy one of those ships (Invictus) and adapted it to fit different environments so I could perform my best in each engagement. So I really liked having variants. Because I didn't know what every match would hold. And it gave me several ways to enter one with the ship I enjoyed playing. Whether it was the ships looks. It's speed. General gameplay or abilities. Or heck*** maybe I just really liked the 4 gatling gun like things on the Valcour and watching them blaze off was a blast. Just because its 4 gatling guns. That was the whole joy, nevermind if it was good or bad or w/e it was fun to watch it work.
So, I feel the fleet diversity thing is like a "smart tactical approach" that a experienced (and maybe wealthy) player would take. And while it IS a good thing to do... That player generally adopts that approach to win. Not to have fun. But to win/be effective. In my experienced as many tiers of skilled players in games. I've often found that while there is the case of "I'm crushing the enemy with power, and that is fun to me" I.E. Your ship is very effective and makes it easy to kill others while it is difficult for them to kill you. But you don't exactly enjoy the ship itself. Just that it dominated a match. But otherwise, I have often found there are certain classes/types of whatever throughout games that people enjoy playing. They might suck (because the game isn't fully balanced) but are simply fun to play. They may accept the fact they're probably going to lose, but its fun anyway. And they're a skilled player that could dominate the match if they simply played something else. They're just choosing not to because the weaker thing is more fun.
So what I'm getting at is. The fleet diversity thing seems more of a smart tactical approach that we should all take if were ever to join a pro E-sports team. Absolutely, great idea for that. But sans that. If you can get players to have fun. You won! You have succeeded at game development. Sure made patchs and changes to keep things fresh. but basically your done. Go on va-cay! So if you found a way (even on accident or unintentionally) to provide a lot of fun to people. Even though it wasn't how you wanted them to have fun.. why not let them?
I'm worried your taking a smart tactical approach to the game design that sounds good in theory (because it is) but is disconnected from the human concept of general fun. If you can get someone to lose a game terribly and enjoy it. Thats a friggin amazing accomplishment right there. Most games lose people to weaker players being crushed by better players (which is not fun for the weaker players) and then the better players turning each other into the "weaker player" and effectively picking each other off. Until they all quit playing. (And end up at the next game only to repeat the process over, but that's another thing).
I read through all 7 pages and replies. So I certainly hope you read through mine. But I have definitely typed more than enough for anyone to chew on for one post so I'll just stop now and hope I'm still heard. Thankyou.
P.S. You guys are cute for censoring the word H.E.L.L. and making me use heck lol.