I am not a PVPer. The only PVP I do in any game is to complete some objective that helps me in the game as a whole. For Star Conflict, you must do a fair amount of PVP to get through the introductory quests. I have no idea how much PVP one must do because I would rather leave the next quest in that series undone than do more PVP. So, perhaps it would be better to have two sets of introductory quests. One for PVE and one for PVP. I'm not saying give double rewards. Just pull the PVE quests out and give another contact that progresses through those.
I want to like this game. It has many aspects I like. Whilst not being fond of shooters, it seems MMOs are going that direction. I'm sure plenty of people will disagree, but give me tab targetting any day. That said, I like the flight physics. I enjoy space combat games and it can be annoying when "space combat" is really "basically 2D combat". It is also nice to have different ships with different roles and being able to customise the ships.
Here is probably my biggest problem with the game: Level progression. I don't play all that much. I am Rank 4. I don't play all that much because I see things I am interested in experiencing (like the free-move space area), but it seems like the time investment for me to even see if there are more aspects of the game to like is too high.
I have done very little Rank 4 combat. Every time I try a PVE mission with Rank 4 ships, it's a massacre. It seems all players are as outmatched by the NPC mobs as I am. My Rank 4 ships do not have too much gear and I understand that ranks 4 through 6 are all the same tier, but how do you expect to retain players when advancing in rank makes you effectively weaker? I have fleet rank of 9. So, 9 ships mastered. I do reasonably well in the first tier with a mix of Rank 1 to 3 ships. I now have some purple quality gear for those ships. But none of that matters. Rank 4 is a different tier and so it is like I'm starting over, but this time the lowbie ship is even more outgunned than Rank 1.
Instead of advancing my rank, I have instead focused on mastering ships (hence 9 ships mastered and only Rank 4). My thoughts on this is that it will give me more synergy to level up ships and give me items/currency to help me get the next tier ships better able to go into combat. However, that means I am "stuck" in the first tier despite having ships in the next. That does not encourage more play. This may come as a surprise to many, especially in the PVP community, but games are supposed to be fun. If it feels like a job, you'd best be getting paid to do it and certainly not the other way round!
I've looked online. I've watched some of those intro videos. The closest I got to advice about going up in rank was a vid that said I would want to save up about 1mil for the next tier ship so that I could equip it. That isn't even good advice because at best that gives you a Rank 4 ship with all green gear. I have that. It doesn't help.
So, how about a useful guide on a strategy to increase rank? If the useful strategy is "master every ship in the previous tier before moving up", then that is fine, but that is FAR too grindy for me and I'll bid the game adieu. If the strategy is "get others to group with you that can skate through the content", that is NOT useful. New players rarely get into a game with a full, helpful support network ready to powerlevel them. If the strategy is "just pilot the Rank 4 ships with green gear until the repair costs make you go down a tier to earn more money or you get higher Rank ships", the game is horribly flawed and I have pity for the kind of person that would wish to bother with it. You get so few points when you fail a mission that leveling a ship that already takes more points to level would be counter productive. You would be better off just using the lower tier ships and saving the synergy to level a ship you never pilot (see? horribly flawed).
I am not saying the game is bad. I am saying that there is no clear way for a newer player to progress in the game without significant headaches. Maybe I am missing something. I would be glad if I was, but I can't seem to find any information that would help me discover what it is I am missing.