Star conflict is free to play so that means that it will be grindy to play for free but still an enjoyable experience(this may be a liberal use of enjoyable). I think the best way to show my problems is to do a tier by tier analysis to focus on the bottlenecks.
Tier 1 this tier is where new players experiment with there ships and get accustomed too there ship roles this tier goes by the fastest with few problems in either credit or synergy. So tier 1 is probably maybe a bit too short but otherwise no problems here
Tier 2 This is the excitement tier where player unlock a good variety of new weapons and modules this tier is much slower than tier 1 but isn’t that much a grind. synergy and credit cost do start to increase by a very significant amount, but ultimately this isn’t the problem.
Tier 3 This is the tier of tears the grind to end all grinds the bottleneck of star conflict. Sure the cost aren’t that bad but synergy cost grow to much higher numbers, and ship cost increase almost exponentially especially in between tier 3 and tier 4. The bottleneck starts when new players grind out pvp for synergy but find it extremely difficult, because tier 3 is the pvp tier. So this means newer players are going to be frustrated and may even be shunned by the former tier4/5 players. What happens now is that many people play pve and stock up on credits which inevitably gets spent on green equipment to do better in pvp. What happens now is that the credit stock pile is depleted but the next ship is available for purchase. Now what happens is either a perseverance to tier 4 or quitting the game.
Tier 4 this tier is the promise land the gold at the end of the grind I think this tier is done pretty well but doesn’t offer to much in the way of new items
Tier 5 this is the ghost tier no one plays it cause of problems which are very evident
So in all there is a casual player bottleneck at tier 3 the people who play the game at most 2-3 hours every day. of course every tier is more expensive then the last but for tier 3 the cost increase far too much. There are players who will have no problems with tier 3 but they are mostly hardcore dedicated players. This is why the player base isn’t growing that much as virtually every causal player gives up at tier 3.
Fixing this would be simple just reduce the cost of tier 3 or increase the income the secant is to make tier 5 what it should be pvp for veteran players and they can and have been telling how to make tier 5 better cough cough ecm cough cough