I think I'll just close with this : when you see someone close a match 30 / 0 who wasn't using a HAV, do you think: 1) CAMPER! 2) they had a good fitting deployed 3) Jonathan Wendel plays Dust ?!
Just for the record, I've seen players do that with pure Militia fits, and with Militia/Standard gear. Not Advanced. Not Prototype. Sometimes without camping.
Yes, high-tier gear gives a player an advantage - so do well-allocated (or lots of) skill points. As you play for longer, you get better at the game, you learn the mechanics, you learn the idosyncrasies of the game. You also earn SP, which you can spend to get passive bonuses that apply even to your Militia gear.
None of that makes the game pay-to-win like the TC is claiming though. It's a good free-to-play model - you play more, you get the better skills/gear. You spend real money, you get just as far with less time invested.
There are a few items which you can buy with Aurum (the microtransaction currency that you have to spend real money for) which have an actual advantage over the ISK-bought equivalents - but at the EVE Fanfest (which is on right now), the devs have specifically and directly stated that this ISN'T intentional, any gear with stats in any way superior to the ISK equivalent is going to be changed for the next build. They've also asked that players inform them of such mistakes in future so they can fix them promptly.
As for the disparity in gear, that's hopefully going to be partly addressed by the inclusion of Planetary Conquest mode and the revamping of Faction Warfare, both of which are going to pull the higher-level players from public matches. If the game's matchmaking is improved for public matches as well, new players will be more likely to see balanced fights.
There's also a "Gladiator suite" coming - a set of features intended to develop a DUST eSports community. A lot of people are giving feedback in this regard, and I've seen at least a few suggestions that skill and gear restrictions will be a necessity for anything like this to be valid in the eSports scene. There are a lot of changes that CCP have made based on player feedback, and I don't see that stopping any time soon, so hopefully, they know what they're doing, or soon will.
how do you know if someone is running militia only or a starter fit ? I've never seen any info like that in game, unless you watched uploaded videos or something.
The best I've seen with a starter fit was 16/2, and I know it was a starter fit because it was me. I suck at this game, so 45% of that outcome was entirely luck, either managing to flank people who had poor or no backup or pick people off who just finished engaging a team mate, 45% was due to good squad, having a heavy serve as a human shield, a logistics repairing and an incredible sniper who actually knows how to team play, highlighting opponents out of our view and doing fire support when we're engaged. Only a portion of that remaining 10% was due to whatever skill I may have.
there is no love lost and no empathy among fellow forum users, only schadenfreude and the never ending road of vainglory