Tier 4 is the best tier, because you already have all the modules, and you can face toe to toe with tier 5 ships. The real game begins in rank 11.
People who stay alone in tier 3 are just farmers and people afraid to learn new metagames.
I agree to the first part of the sentence.
I hear a lot, that T5 is uncomparably strong to T4, but when I look at the ships and play SQ, look at the item levels of ships of players, it tells me a different story. It is true, most of the T4 ships, even R11 and upward, become somewhat unimportant down the line. However some configurations you can do in T3, do not work with T5 ships at all, because they just have the wrong slots and bonuses.
I think what should happen is a change in Metagame, because everything in T5 is just a lot faster, gets a lot more damage, and the implants change the dynamic of the battle, while also becoming a lot more situational.
But there are a lot fewer ships in T5, creating a lot of holes, one could exploit in bigger battles;
Now I am a T3 dweller (but I do play SQ now from time to time), and I disagree about your second standpoint. I am neither afraid to learn a new metagame, nor “farming”, I actually enjoy T3 because it is what it is. I own most of the golden ships, and all DLCs, and have enough purple item stock in T3 to try new fits in their optimum whenever I please, and it is a good tier to wait up to people who are slightly less interested in a daily play. I don’t think this should change at all; T3 should stay awesome and competitive for bigger public battles, and the daily gameplay of squads against each other is just awesome. It brings out almost every role and class and also tells you a lot about different philosophies of fighting. Having it centered around the Styx as the main healer of the tier, which relies on heavy tank, is also the metagame defining factor of T3.
In T5, T-Rex, Naga, Grizzlies, etc. offer way more movement based gameplay, while the big heavy stone, the Minotaur, becomes somewhat of a shadow of the Styx, mixing up the gameplay yet again.
This is just an example of a change I noticed, but yet again, a fully purple Minotaur is still worth a shot in my opinion.
T4&T5 have so much ways to make a ship really powerful, that team play becomes essential. This also means different setups, tactics, etc.
Now I think that what really is the problem, is, that a part of our community has the opportunities in T5 to fit ships, as I do in T3, but this group is actually a minority across the player base, while a large amount of players is slowly getting there, but mostly focusing on getting their T5s up first. It is logical, but leaves T4 somewhat unexplored, and has only a few different established metagames - not to speak about the difference in skill levels.
Because lets face it: you have to synergize up ships completely, and fit them with all-purple one day to unleash their full potential; and if this full potential includes carefully built fits, you cannot recognize the ship’s worth truly.
The similarity to Eve is here: some Eve ships just make no sense without full skillset for all submodules of that ship, and having some rare items. Because the optimal fits will not work by some small factors if you don’t use them. You can of course cheat by swapping modules, but you could pay in a 1:1 if the other one has what you don’t, especially since every fight is auto-aimed; SC’s fitting system might be a lot more simple, and still needs microbalancing probably later in those two techs, but it basicly boils down to one day only being able to compete, if your fits are all purple.
I doubt, there are hundreds of players atm. who can fit anything in T4 and T5 fully purple and play it in big battles; but there are those in T3, which is why T3 also feels so much more balanced, atm.