I recently bought 2 t3 ships and find a bit different issue.
Yes i know my Gravis can't fight with t4 destroyer , but i could support friendly t4 ships , they tank i provide aditional firepower etc.
Imho real problem is in MM that does not care about tier distribution. You are veteran ? so you are good to go does not matter you have tier 2 or tier 4 .
And we get matches like that where you have mostly tier 2 ships and few tier 3 against mostly tier 3 and few tier 4 .
This is when you feel greatly underpowered in t3 ship .
Make MM that it will distribute players equally so for example both teams get 3 tier 2 , 2 tier 3 ships and 3 tier 4 ships and it will be ok. Now teams imbalance is puting in huge disadventage one team , then you remember that you will have to pay huge maitenance and playing t3 becomes a nightmare
Team balance is really important, however, what is in my opinion even more important is player's fun. Playing tier 2 ship in mixed bracket of tier 2-4 is not fun al all...while tier 4 are king and big boys on the battlefield, tier 2 players feel like useless bag of points for your other team. Even if they will do best what they can, they wont earth many points, they will be mostly farmed by flankers or brawlers..so where is the fun for these players?
No tier 2 should be never ever mixed in veteran bracket. Tier system itself is bad enough, making tier 2 players suffer is just stupid. Last several games..I just can't even force me to play, when my recruit fleet is forced into veteran game. I just can't. Just afking in the corner for whole match.