Wow I just looked at t3 ships. I have 2000 xp and it takes 20000! How long does that take to grind? Is this like the For Honor system where it would take someone like 900 hours and $749.00 for all the unlocks? I like the game just don't know how many can hang in that long to unlock the ships they want.
I can give you a preview. I've been playing part time (hold down a full time job with wife and kids). I started about mid January, shortly after the last wipe. This means I was constantly against very experienced pilots who were working to regain their favorite ships. In the beginning I was rarely higher than 7th.
I started with a Founders pack ( Hero ships, 3000 gold, elite status for 30 days and I think some silver). Since I am new to gaming, my reflexes were non-existent (little better now). I worked my way through what was 3 tier 1 ships, bought all the tier 2 ships and all available modules. With tier 3, I played those ships that I favored and passively leveled the rest. I did not buy all the available modules, just the ones that seems worth it to me.
I've gotten 9 tier 4 ships and could get the rest if I wanted. I play Onslaought exclusively ( so I can score some points against usually superior pilots). I've got 588 matches in and spent almost 87 hours in matches (probably almost that waiting for matches).
I've maintained Elite status since joining, bought in 30 day increments. I've bought enough GB to buy Elite and to buy 300,000 silver. I don't know the actual cost, but it is probably around 70 - 80 dollars with the Founders pack included.
The road ahead is long and somewhat arduous. New tier 4 ships are like leveled up tier 3 ships with some more hit points and a somewhat higher damage rating. Feels about the same. Module costs are about 3x what they were for tier 3.
Personally, I have no interest in tier 5 ships. I'm balking at the costs to level up my tier 4s, to be able to score top 4 regularly.
The game play is engaging and challenging, but I struggle with the feeling of being fleeced by the maintenance costs at tier 4. MM frequently puts me on the team that is down 2 or more tier 4 ships, and I suffered with being put in Veterans matches with a recruit fleet for about half of the games I played as recruit. That said, I've only been on the winning side about half as often as the losing side. Not encouraging as I look ahead.
That said, If you have lots of gaming experience, you should do relatively well. I had two grown sons that started with me and they were fairly successful. They became disenchanted far sooner than I, and play games now that are more fun for them. Many others have chosen similarly.