New player perspective here. I've only played for about two weeks now.
I've recently bought two T3 ships (Gravis and Fulgora), and the maintenance fees have completely, utterly stagnated any progress. I just simply don't make enough money from the average game to warrant playing at all. I can understand ~15, maybe even ~20% in fees, but ~80%? I don't have that kind of time. And, it's demoralizing. I don't even feel accomplished by winning a game anymore. The gameplay is enjoyable, but no longer satisfying after the match; it feels short-lived and somewhat hollow.
I'm just trying to represent the feelings of what I expect most new players to feel. And, consequently too, I think I'll just quit the game. It's a shame, because I've really been enjoying it, but now it feels like a chore. It doesn't help that I've felt ironically underpowered in my T3s after upgrading to them, but that's a different issue.
Hopefully some developer can see this. I'm not trying to be passive aggressive, but rather I want them to know that this problem is paramount, and that they're likely losing most new players due to not fixing it. I understand how development cycles may be predetermined and that maintenance (and tier differences) aren't on the table for now, but my rebuttal would be that the game will suffocate if they don't become priorities soon. There won't be a game worth developing if the opinion of the game is squandered.
To put more perspective, many of my friends and I decide if a game is worth downloading by their Reddit pages and forums. Reddit especially tends to give me an honest consensus of how the community feels about the game and its issues. If enough people are unhappy, I'm guessing it'll convince a non-negligible amount of newcomers to not even download the game. That almost happened to me, I just wanted to try it out anyways and didn't run into these issues until T3.
This is all just one man's opinion though. So, especially the other new players: what do you think?