So I took a break around the time Thor left because the grind was starting to get a little tedious and boring, figured I'd come back when maint. was gone, so here I am.

First impression so far has been a little rough. As usual, since there were patches I had to remap all my controls, so I started off with a proving grounds match to warm up and make sure I had everything where I needed it. Oh great, there went my Vet fleet BB...ok, that's not too good....let me play a Recruit match then so I can test the waters.

Jump into Recruit, end up in a losing match halfway through with 2x SOS guys on the other side. Teammates ramming me left and right, preventing me from even positioning myself where I wanted to be, and naturally we got torn apart. While I normally have no personal issues with SOS, this match they decided to throw in a "get wrekt" at the end, because I guess they felt special for having successfully clubbed some seals? I don't really know, first time I've seen one of them be a tool. If I had been a new player, this would be a pretty awful first match experience.

Even as a returning player, the match didn't feel too good. Back to Vet then I guess where at least I should see better players and I have OBs, a fleet of IVs, etc. First match, after 8 mins of waiting- got a DN dev on my team, only 2 top tier guys on the other team I recognized. I went healer, managed top score, but we got destroyed by those 2 top tier players regardless. It just felt bad. Like really bad. Not fun in the least. What happened to this game? It was always grindy, had it's issues, but now it just feels absolutely terrible to play. I managed to grind out 4x T4s, bunch of OBs, and have a decent KDR, and this was all back when we had maintenance. Now it just feels like a different game.

I guess I know now why Thor left....

I haven't played since the new system was implemented, but prior to BB I regularly got top score in Vet with a T3 healer, and usually saw healers on top. I plan to get on tonight and do some messing around, so if anyone wants a mid-range player's perspective, I'll update this post with my findings. I'm not at the level of Smoker or any given SOS pilot, but I'm not a newb either, so it should give a fairly balanced perspective.

Basically if I can still get top or 2nd in a Ceres, I can't see how it'd be an issue for anyone playing at least moderately intelligently. Guess we'll find out in a few hours.

EDIT: Ok, so I only had the heart to play one Vet match in my Ceres due to the fact that it took me 8 mins to get that match, and so far the game feels absolutely terrible to play compared to a few weeks ago. Horrible, horrible match, team got devastated, but I still managed top score in the Ceres. So there's your answer, if a fair-to-middling player on his 2nd match back from a long break can still manage top score, healers are fine. Rest of the game seems to suck right now however....

While everything already posted is absolutely true, in the defense of the higher tier players- they do that in Vet matches too. Some people are almost always going to get 15+ kills a match, consistently. There's always at least 1-2 players on a team feeding, simply because they aren't that good, and any good player is going to go for a soft target.

Again, this^ is completely aside from the other points, just wanted to point it out.

I believe Valk meant to say "non-healing" not "none healing", thus the confusion in the last two posts.

I'm just going to point at EVE online and what happened when they did this...the major corps make up the bulk of the council, and have basically warped the game to suit their needs. The little guy, ie the average player- got screwed, and I don't know anyone who still plays. I know it's still going, but it's not what it used to be.

I personally have no issues with the top clans so far in DN, but this sort of thing has a history of not being in the best interests of the majority of players in the games I've seen it in. Then again, perhaps with the way things have gone so far in DN, no stone should be left unturned, they could certainly use the help....

Honestly OP, there's a ton of things wrong with this game, mostly with how the devs handle their business, and the balance between T3/T4 isn't even close to one of the major issues.

It sounds like you're just not very good, speaking frankly. I own a lot of T3s, spent more time in them than anything else, as I wanted to have a good selection of T4s rather than just specialize in one. I've never, ever had an issue competing with T4s, and I don't see it occur much in matches for anyone except the newest of new T3 pilots, or just bad players.

There's so much wrong with this game and their dev process so please- find something legit to complain about and maybe learn to play a bit, for your own good. Sorry if that was harsh, but you seem a little entitled and like you needed it.

The devs here do listen, and do respond, it's just an extremely, extremely slow process compared to most games.

I've seen changes that players have requested go into effect already, but the devs have no sense of urgency, and fail to see how that impacts their playerbase and overall success. I don't think they're doing it intentionally, I just think they're overwhelmed. Plus they like to keep things close to their chest so they can "surprise" us, which just leads to people not playing or leaving because we assume we're being ignored.

I've seen worse devs, devs that really didn't care, or were openly hostile to players- we get none of that here, just a feeling that they can't keep up with the pace. Maintenance, for example, is the single largest issue in this game, and it's taking months upon months upon months for them to even announce a change, and the change is still in the works, meanwhile, a lot of us have lost motivation to actually play the game while we wait. I'm not sure the devs fully realize how bad that makes them look, or how short people's attention spans are.

I hope for the best, but my hope fades a bit each day I check for updates and find better things to do with my time.

So as often happens with DN I am forced to eat my words...

This time I thought this event was a good idea, but now I gotta take that back. I hope the devs do glean useful data from it, and learn from their mistakes, but that's about the extent of the usefulness of this event.

As far as events go, it's not checking any boxes for me. It doesn't really encourage me to play more. It doesn't seem winnable by anyone who isn't already on that board, or gaming the system and abusing the lack of rules, which has for a fact been occurring in several cases. It doesn't give me ammunition for my argument for playing DN, when it comes to friends who got bored and don't want to log in any longer.

To be honest, the grind has gotten to me, which rarely happens. Friends won't play anymore until maintenance is officially dead and gone, other games give me a lot more for a lot less, and thus are feeling much, much more rewarding to play, and it's really depressing to see people feeding and abusing this event, when I've slogged through the hard parts of this game with nothing but 5 T4s with barely any modules to show for it.(that part is my choice, if I focused on 1, I could have more modules, but that'd be boring.)

Please consider invalidating this event, since you're basically just giving free GP to the upper 1%, several of whom are abusing the system, which I've witnessed(not naming names, and not a blanket statement, some of these guys are legit). Try again, and come up with an event that pulls people in, gives them a reason to play, and rewards everyone at least something for their efforts.

If people are getting bored out of your beta, what's going to happen on release? Make us want to play, that's the whole point of a F2P game's marketing strategy, make us want to be here, want to spend money. Right now DN feels a bit like punishment, and it's not taking much for people to convince me to do other things. I love this game, and want to continue loving it, but right now it's at a particularly stale stage of development, for as long as maintenance removal keeps being put off, and this event is not doing a whole lot for the majority of players.

Some changes, some announcements, an event you'll be just missing, and much of the same.

To sum it up briefly, Thor left 6ft, on good terms from the sounds of it. Maintenance will be removed and replaced with a different, hopefully better system, sometime around patch 1.8. A progression system was added with rewards ranging from XP, credits, to GP- this is basically contracts but on a larger scale, and better implemented, though still with some bugs. There's been a map added, possibly two since you last played, both decent, though the most recent is the most popular thus far.

Also there's the Ceres Awakens event, which ends on July 13. It's a leaderboard-style challenge with it's own game mode and GP prizes.

Queue times are alright, mostly for TDM and the Ceres mode. Rewards got accidentally boosted for a week or so, and then patched, and overall I feel like the game slowed down a bit after that. Then the event started, and it's picked up again, but we're still in kind of a holding pattern until the maintenance removal patch, which I think everyone is pretty much holding their breath for.

While the OP says he has 20 years gaming experience, it also seems like he has maybe 20 mins of Dread experience.

No offense bud, you're just talking out the wrong end of your body on this one. Most of your points aren't actually that. Balance is one of the higher points of DN, the team comps you're worried about don't really happen or cause issues, healers are under-utilized, and you make the game sound 100x harder than it actually is.

I'd say either spend another week or two actually learning the game from players that know it, then come back with actual informed opinions, or move along to something else if it's not your bag. Your post though definitely misses a lot of marks. There are things wrong with DN, and things that need to be addressed before launch, but none of them were the issues mentioned by you, it's like you're playing a different game.