Hello everyone! This is my first ever comment on this forum, but I have 50 hours of battle time, (and probably much more in waiting for a legendary match). I'm with this game for months now, spent a little bit of money to experiment, I followed many updates, and I grinded till some T4 ships. I love the core Dreadnought experience, when everything is in place. But it is a rare occasion... Now I feel it is time to voice my opinion.
First of all: If you make a patch, you should prioritize the most important issues. Crosshairs and the new fonts are nice, but they were quite alright before, meanwhile there are some big problems, your fans are telling you constantly about, and you only made situation worse with the latest updates. I appreciate your good will and intention, but the way this goes right now, it is not something I want to spend my time or money on.
Matchmaking: limiting tiers to enter a match are a good direction, but your player base is too weak for now, for to work that in legendary. Meanwhile there are players, able to get 10+ kills with stock T3 ships, so why not let them play in legendary? Because they can't right now, and there is two reasons for that: too few people has the necessary ships. T5s are way out of reach, and stock T4s aren't just good enough for average skills. The other reason is, that you have to wait 10+ minutes, which is a feedback loop, because after that time, the battle bonus timer on veteran expires, so many people will just cancel their legendary matchmaking and play veteran.
And this issue connects deeply with the second big problem:
GRIND: dreadful word, and it is indeed, the most frustrating part of your game. With every update, things stayed more or less the same: it takes eons to grind for even a single module. And because of that, people leave your game, or just stay in veteran, with their precious t3s (because they've worked really hard for that) and try to enjoy the game, without mindig progression. And that is why you have so few people playing legendary. Because only the hardcore players are able to reach the necessary equipment to play there. And even if you unlock a T4, or a T5, the module costs are a joke, compared to the rewards. People are completionists, they have to feel, that they CAN sometime in the forseeable future reach the maxed out T5 fleet. You can't make people to play your game longer, and spend more money on it, by trapping them in blind grind. You have to let them progress, and if you see, that your hardcore fanbase will soon reach endgame content, then you release new content (T6?). That is how a F2P game works, it is constant gameplay development and content creation, and you should've been prepared for that, coming out with open beta. And if your players enjoy progression, and love your content, they'll spend money on the game, to reach their interests sooner.
But right now, with the latest patch, you disbalanced veteran match for inexperienced players, and made the grind harder for everyone, with separating xp and score. They were perfectly fine the way before, the problem wasn't that. The problem was, that the reward system was inconsistent (or at least seemed to be) and even with top performance, you needed a lot of game, just to get one single T4 module. I understand that a nerf was necessary, because if you only reward good players, they'll have better equipment, and they gain even more ground against amateurs. But the solution is not this.
- Make a T6 fleet, and let them into Legendary, and make an "Insane" arena only for T6s
- Let people get T4 ships, and T4+T5 modules faster, with more rewards from daily contacts, xp for ribbons, weekend events, etc.
- Give more reward for solid, middle level gamers, less for cannonfodders, and a bit less for the top ones as before, but still give much, much more. So an xp reward should be like this: players with less than 400 points should get just a base reward. Players between 400-1200 should get a very solid reward, money and xp enough to get a T4 module after 3 matches. And players over 1200 point should get exponentially better reward, so someone with 1500 would not get too much more as the other players, but if the rare occasion of 3000 points happen, that guy should get the possibility to buy a module straight away.
- Make a ranking system, where players get an actual rank, based on how they fared before with those ships in their fleets. Make this system visible, and make events, like ranked weekends, challenges, so players can up their ranks.
- Respawns: Make an arena wide map for the respawn screen, where you show allied ships, and like a fog of war, the area controlled by enemy ships. If there is place to warp in a safe position into neutral space, then do that, but if the enemy is too widely spread, then let players decide to warp in into danger close, or wait for another players to do it together (or let some neutral space clear up)
- Balance: corvettes are fine the way like that, problem is with anti-corvette armanent. Flaks are just too short ranged. A player should be rewarded, if he has the instinct to change to secondary, if ambushed by a corvette, but mostly it happens out of range, so he get killed. Meanwhile the corvette pilot is happy to score a kill, but feels not that succesfull, because all he did, was staying out of range of flaks. It should more of hit n run attacks, so let just the corvettes do big damage (even bigger), and be fragile as they are, but make flaks more effective. And the other classes? Just look up a statistics, which ships score better. My tactics for grinding was, that I looked up, who killed me more, so I grinded to get that ship, and used their tactics. But I think there isn't really a big problem with balance, the problem is choice: If you got a Goliath torpedo for starter module, you have to learn it, it is impressive against tanking teams, but quite suicidal if you don't use it properly. Now, you can say it is bugged, and has to be balanced, but why? I seen lot of people using it quite succesfully. The problem is, you don't really have much choice, because you have to grind for its second version, then for the next weapon, so customization is just an illusion, because first, you have to play a lot, something you may despise. And with 4 modules, in a clumsy ship, you cannot handle, it is just annoying. Make more options availibe out of the box, and people wont cry that much for balance.
- Paid content: make it more unique. I really like the hero ships, and the paint jobs, but let place for even more customization. Also the Elite status, and the money and free xp conversion rates, are just robbery. If you ease it a bit up, more people will use real money.
I really hope this game will head for good direction, because the core values, and gameplay are already fantastic. I wish great succes for the developers, and patience for the players!