I'll stay with suggestions, since I don't expect you're going to change the tier system after putting so much developement into it. So here's an idea to improve it.

Currently there are only 15 valid end game ships. Once you get all Tier 5 there is no reason to ever play anything else.

So add one unique Module to every Tier 4 ship. Something not available on the Tier 5 version. Sort of an "Experimental variations". These could be new unique modules or even off class modules that would make the Tier 4 version an appealing alternative to the Tier 5. This could even attract people into a tree of research they were not interested in. If you told me there was a Tier 4 Destroyer that could have a Bomber Bay, I'd definitely check that out, and once fully invested in it, I'd pick up the Tier 5 also even if it did not have the bomber bay, just to have more options.

You could also use this as a "Rock Paper Scissors" sort of fix, offering Tier 4 versions that could be strong counters to certain Tier 5 ships if you chose the right match up. I'd love to see a completely Anti-Corvette load out for a Tier 4 destroyer, that could be chosen when a corvette player is dominating.

Doing something like this could expand your end game ship variety to about 30 ships.

If you had time, you could even do this to Tier 3 ships as well.

I really don't like being forced to Grind for weeks to research and buy a bunch of ships I will never play initially or ever, once I grind past them. I will just grind for months with the hero ships till all tier 4 stuff is unlocked, or I may get bored and just move on to another game.

Ships becoming worthless, is just a lot of wasted work as a game designer. It's taken a lot of companies a while to realize that you "Don't make content that becomes irrelevant". You need to design to keep all content viable at all stages of the game, or you are throwing work away. Blizzard finally learned this with WoW, as all content now scales and adjusts with the player to stay relevant at all times. It provides more gameplay depth, if all ships are scaled to be even and viable in the end game experience.

I'm happy to pay the cash to get to the end game ships and modules I want to play, but even that is not possible as you can't buy to skip ahead.

Would be awesome if they could let us mess around in the Training mission versus the A.I. or even just open space versus A.I.

Minimizing waiting on the queue is really important. Even when launched there could be low user based time zones that may have Queue issues.

I encourage you to not have too many different modes you can Queue up for, as that will spread your user base over too many separate game types and make the Queue times slow for everyone. Blizzard has always been successful with fast queue time because they refuse to go beyond 2 queue choices for most games.

Another option is to have a FAST QUEUE choice, which will place a player into any game of any type that they are qualified to enter. This would help fill in spots in certain game modes that maybe waiting.

Just started checking out the beta yesterday. Really enjoying it so far. Was always a fan of Honor Harrington series, Battlestar Galactiva, Babalyon 5, etc. This game definitely scratches that big ship space battle itch.

Look forward to seeing you all in space, and firing a missile salvo at you!