Yeah. Theres no point for the progression system in ranked.
Yeah, I feel like this system was done completely ass-backwards. In singleplayer, it provides a neat rewards system and sense of progression; In multiplayer, it imbalances things for new players.
I understand the devs intent here. They even said on the open beta post that they want progression to open up new options without causing new admirals to lose because they don't have the necessary skills/upgrades. It's a much better designed system than BFG1, and in theory should work well.
Unfortunately, in practice, most of the strongest skills/upgrades are level 9 and 10. For example:
- Micro Warp Jump on IN factions
- Traktor Kannon on orks
- Void Lurker (a weaker micro warp jump) on nids
Shockin' Zzaps (lances slow targets) on orks
- Kommando Training (running silent on all ships) on orks
- Higher turn rate and big red button speed on orks
- Synaptic Relay (morale can't go below 100 on any ship as long as you have BCs in the game) on nids
- Mass Recall on necrons
- Slaanish's Promise on chaos
- Experimental Thruster Manifold (+speed and turn rate) on tau
These skills/upgrades have a MASSIVE impact on their faction's ability to win. And people who are new to the faction and thus already at a disadvantage can't use them! The things I listed need to be made available within the first 5-6 options, and some of the weaker skills/upgrades on each faction should be buffed to bring them up to the level of these skills.