Since the “rating patch” a lot of t3 veterans moved to higher tiers, this had 2 consequence:
The remaining veterans farmed hard the usual newbee population and they keep doing that even now, after months.
The lack of games played by full veterans made the matches less balanced: something that farmers loves a lot.
As you said, r7 ships with less active slots are weaker than regular or premium r9. Even for a skilled player is not so easy face a veteran in full purple with an r7 white/green.
Until “rating patch” your theory was right but now it’s just nonsense, you can’t pretend by newcomers from t2 to suddenly become “squad addicted” or intensive training dudes just because ther’s still someone that doesn’t want to move to upper tiers. I will repeat myself: you can’t pretend that a guy, with a fresh new silent fox, had to improve himself all of a sudden otherwise he will be farmed by guys that are still in t3 cause: "it’s fun! (to farm) “I payed for my golden ships, i want to use them”, “t4/5 is so unbalanced i don’t want to play there”.
Those are the usual excuses we used to hear from veterans going in t2, the problem is that now the new t2 is t3…
You can’t be serious when you say: “in t3, you can kill anyone if you set your mind to it”. You can’t pretend that from someone fresh new in a r7/8 ship. Just let’s be honest: the only reason why it can be acceptable to see now veterans in t3 is the fact that in certain hours: higher tiers are empty. Other than that: just BS.
its not the new t2. t2 still has the “one guy farming”, as you may well know from new-account-perspectives we encountered. it is even worse now than before.
of course a silent fox has it hard at start, which is why i wrote it. this was never different. in fact, the silent fox was known in t3 to be like that, and all r7 entries have been like that. and before the cruise engine, the silent fox didnt even have a late-tier usage. what was always perplexing is, how many people actually stay at that ship even if they have other options…
i merely wrote, that it is nonsense to assume, players leave because of this. and it is.
also it was always like this; i cannot remember t3 being any different before the patches, except, that people play even worse on all tiers now, which makes it feel like vets are a lot stronger in those tiers; and that two years ago, t3 module difference was a lot harder, and you could only purple if you are lucky, not by working on it.
also, t3 has at least two distinct queues, if you may be aware. r7&r8 matches are usually strongly mixed with t2 pilots, t2 bots, and unfortunately, 3- or 4-squads used by vets to get games, which is the buggy behaviour we all hate. there is still a r9 queue in place, where you usually land as a veteran, if you get yourself some golden ships, but, you can also land in a r7&r8 match.
they might have changed that, but it still feels like it.
i agree to your personal distaste in people playing t3 over their time, if they are playing full hardcore, etc. and not moving on, feeling it is easier to play, because “in t3 you can still win matches without actually trying”; but it is hardly “1 guy only” matches, and usually, it is only easy if you do not solo.
also lets face it: you are hardly there. i do solo there quite a bit, and i take weaker ships on purpose.
however i also agree, that since t3 isnt that mixed anymore, it is also easier to get a really unfair game; it really depends on the “older guy” how he behaves. I still dont believe, players leave of getting farmed. they leave because its easy to progress in ships, but really hard to module up, and therefore, players with goldens/purple fits do not even have to play strong. also there are quite a few people, where i whish, they would stay a lot longer in t3; I will still try to queue more t4&t5 personally; but i dont think its wise to make t3 a nubzone, and the decisions, which made most population leave t3 actually left it in a very imperfect shape. so i do also believe, that some players who play there, should not play 100% hardcore like their life depends on it, and focus more on support play to give others the chance to grow. and also help others by showing how to survive, instead of “look how fast i can kill u all”.
Otherwise, its a hard topic to agree upon, but even if someone claims he leaves because he gets farmed, I am not sure, if that is the only reason. Could be so much more, like missing knowledge, missing teams, or still t2 mindsets of play.