I've just done 2 random arena style space battles, in which I have been soundly 3shot by the same guy in an escort about 30 times total within half an hour (over 2 games).
Could the pvp in this game be any more inaccessible? I honestly see no reason to bother putting in any effort into researching whats going on and why I seem to be getting so owned. When the TTL is so short, learning to play well seems more like a job than a game to me. Utterly pointless to queue up for games when you're just going to get destroyed with no chance to actually have fun.
Yeah yeah, I'm a noob. Thats klinda my point you know? Whats the hook to keep me playing? Why should I bother to learn this complicated game when its just a chore to learn and not fun to play while you are doing so?
Well, everyone was a noob at one point or another (hell, some of us still are). The difference is whether or not you will stick it out and learn or just quit. There has always been a steep learning curve just going from PvE to PvP.
It won't be easy but if you ask the right questions and try you can close that experience gap.
It's the experience everyone has once they reach level 50 and enter any random PvP. Before I got there I thought I was playing pretty decent, and suddenly it seemed like I was playing a different game. I couldn't damage anyone in my escort, I couldn't tank for a second; all I seemed capable of was blowing up in humorous ways.
So I turned to read the forums, got a decent build for my tactical, tried things out a lot, got some better gear. That all just helped improve my performance incrementally. The best way to learn about the game, I've noticed, is to just play PvP and, if you see someone who is really outperforming whatever role you're trying to play, ask him for advice. I don't know why or how but so far I've only gotten nice responses and they've pretty much taught me to play so that I actually blow something up once in a while or don't die as soon as someone charges their phasers. Regardless, I still die ridiculously fast, but now at least I sometimes do that to others as well, and I can manage to survive as long as I'm not up against pro's.
It's true that if you don't have P2Win consoles, tier 5+ ships, and high level STF gear, you're at a disadvantage. But teamwork, skill and knowledge means a lot more than gear. You need decent gear, but without knowing how to use everything correctly it won't matter a bit. Teamwork is probably the most powerful force in the game, but in random PvP groups its very rare.
You will have to spend some time figuring things out, however, either by playing and asking around, like in the OrganizedPvP channel, or just by messaging people, or by browsing the forums. However comprehensive some guides are on the forums (there are guides for pretty much any type of ship/captain) they won't tell you everything you need to know, and they'll be outdated in some cases. People are always the best source of information simply because they are the most up to date. A lot of stuff changes pretty fast, and sometimes there is a single bug which can change your entire PvP experience vis a vis certain players.
Cryptic could do a lot more too help people learn the ropes...
Tutorials would be nice... Proper skill tips... Updated Load Screans?
You did take the time to create a post though so it must mean something too you... take a few more min scroll down the first 1-3 pages of the pvp section and look at the cruiser / escort / sci threads you see, and do 20 min of reading. You'll learn something that will help I bet.
Without any match-making algorithm and the stark contrast being buffed and unbuffed and the low difficulty and complexity level of PvE, the transition from PvE to PvP is brutal.
If it feels like work to you, it may be questionable whether it's worth the effort, really. But maybe it's not that bad - maybe it's just a challenge you have to beat, and beating it will give you satisfaction and joy. The challenge can be overcome - you may not necessarily become the best, but you will learn to hold your own, and you will know fights that will end with you winning because you understood your build and knew how to work with your team mates.
its not inaccessible to new players, new players don't learn how to pvp when pvp is simple. leveling to cap and and then trying it is an absolutely terrible way of going about it, you get absolutely slaughtered because its 1000 times more challenging then any other content you have been exposed too. its the reason there are so many butthurt pvp haters on the forum.
leveling to cap is a good idea, you get a good feel for the whole game. then make another character and start pvping as soon as you can when its simple and you only have 3 to 5 station powers to keep track of. try doing the majority of your leveling with pvp, and when that character gets to level cap you will be awesome at it, and about 7000 times better at everything in the game then you were when you caped your first character.