Coming back to the game for the first time in years (since OBT), this is really the only thing I noticed that I didn’t like. I already have ships all the way to T5, and I decided that I wanted to start from the bottom and max synergy on all my ships. T1 was a breeze. If the whole squad died but me and I was in a scout, no problem. Still zipped around and got it done.
But then I finished maxing all my T1 ships’ synergy and moved on to T2 ships where I got thrown into T3 PVE. I like to think I’m a pretty good pilot. And I can survive so long as I’ve got a good squad - sometimes I can survive in something like a scout even without the squad. But, take a mission with a cruiser for instance - there’s no beating it before the cruiser gets to the target. Doesn’t matter what T2 ship I use - there’s no way to do enough DPS if the squad dies. Frigates can’t use coil mortars yet which makes them almost useless against the turtles or taking out the engines in time. Fighters, I can survive in something like a tackler, but if I’m up against a cruiser I usually run out of time cause it doesn’t do enough DPS (sometimes I make it, but rarely). Really need the bubble gun (singularity cannon). And don’t get me started on something like a T2 scout. I might be able to duck and hide to survive, but there’s no beating a mission without the rest of the team. And this again, is with blue and purple modules that I’ve had since OBT.
What I remembered of PVE back in OBT was that no matter what ships I brought, I could contribute to the team and if necessary, I could beat the mission on my own, but it would obviously take a lot more time. If I was in a scout in Blackwood Shipyard, I’d be tearing up the enemy scouts and slowly eat away at the boss. If I was in a frigate in the Dreadnought mission, I could protect the little ships and get the beacons capped and if everyone died in round 3 I could find a place to hide to wear down the launchers (again, racing the clock). But being in T2 ships in T3 missions that require better weapons/modules than your ships are capable of equipping, makes me far less useful and incapable of beating a mission on my own if the team doesn’t make it (with few exceptions).
Mind you, I’ve played PVE in every tier over the past few weeks since coming back. And I could finish any mission in T1, T3, T4, T5 by myself if need-be (most times). But flying T2 ships I’m a cripple throwing stones in a gunfight.
I agree that it’s best to be in a good squad if you’re running the tier - and perhaps as long as you join an active corporation you can get a group of T3 guys to fly with you and pick up your slack. But, in the same token, who likes being a leach on the other pilots and their time? If you’re flying a random mission with strangers and you’re a cripple T2 not capable of supporting the team, you let the rest of the team down and waste their time when they fail because of you.
Anyway, that’s my two cents and a +1 to bringing back all five segregated tiers - no matter how unlikely it is that they’ll actually do it.