I'm strongly aversed to tiers for two reasons:
- Reason #1: Robocraft.
- Reason #2: Star Conflict.
Both of these games are slowly dying. Both used to be absolutely fantastic games. Both now have awful reviews on Steam and aren't a whole lot of fun to play.
People have already cited the reasons why. Tier systems divide the playerbase. While this is a good thing, to a certain extent, as it separates the best players from the newest players, you don't want this separation to be so cut-and-dry and complete. Why?
Because new players learn from old players. Think about it. If you were on a team, and 3 players were veterans from ye olden days of the Alpha, 1 player was a mid-level who'd joined the game a few months ago, and 1 was brand-spanking new, AND the other team had the same composition (a job that Matchmaking should be doing), would you feel the game was unbalanced?
No! The teams are evenly matched. It doesn't matter that the more experienced players are matched with a newbie. That newbie's going to learn a whole lot from those vets, and so's the midlevel.
Tier systems prevent this kind of learning. So long as the matchmaking creates even teams, it doesn't matter whether or not high-levels and low-levels are mixed.
As the playerbase becomes divided, what you end up with is a big concentration of players at the endgame, who love the game and have played it since the early days, and a big concentration of players at the earlygame, who have just joined and are trying the game out. AND, a big gulf in the middle with very few midlevels. Because, you're either progressing towards the endgame, or you're trying the game out, deciding it's not for you, and leaving it behind. Because of this bottleneck, player retention goes down. Less players reach the endgame because it's so far away, and they get bored of the game because they're playing with the same people over and over again in the midgame, and they feel like, once they reach the endgame, they're just gonna get slammed by the folks who have been there since the beginning of time.
I would personally prefer horizontal progression. Make it extensive. Excessive. So many options, so, SO many options. Most of them are cosmetic. Some of them involve shifts in stats that allow you to tool your ship exactly to your preference.
Tiers... I feel like tiers would slowly kill this game. And I don't want that to happen. I like this game, it has a lot of potential.