Yep, absolutely. Gold and premium time will be returned for Early Access. We're going to do another wipe after EA most likely, so you'll get it back again once we transition into full release.
Reason for a second wipe is that we're making sure the progression isn't too short. We had people finish some of it within a week! So we'll be seeing how that balance goes and making a call on if we need to adjust it again before we launch.
Maybe we could have individual progression trees per platoon, so you could individually grind out platoons for a specific build or something, but I don't know.
Increasing the grind massively (so there is more to progress through) seems deterring since many upgrades like the grenade launcher CROWS are really nice, but are at the end of the tech tree. Maybe perhaps more CROWS options at the start instead of just the GPMG/HMG combos.
The way the MBT's are at the moment is down to how I initially balanced the game, which was to just nudge very slightly in different directions. Especially when it came to damage.
CROWS on the heavier armor is massively overpowered at the moment and needs some heavier downsides, which will most likely come in the form of buffing a lot of the other upgrades. Armor upgrades for example only give 10-20% extra health, they could potentially go as high as 50%.
As for your earlier comments about range, it's definitely something we're still examining. There's a good chance we'll add range indicators prior to EA to help convey what's going on better. We're also looking to make some changes to how units act when they're engaging targets in cover, giving ranged units some slight advantages. For now, we're looking at accuracy debuffs to bring the range back in line. The design philosophy with this game is "reward preparation" so we want to arrive at a scenario where if your ranged units are in the right place at the right time, they win. If they're not, they get minced.
Glad to hear that we are buffing competitors instead of just nerfing CROWS (I'm a large proponent of buffing to make other options viable instead of just nerfing x thing).
I also wonder if speed configs/builds need a buff, since as of now, all speed does is help your armor for example, get to the front line faster. But the health loss in exchange for speed is just massive, so once your armor moves to the front, it just gets shredded.
Is speed just intended for getting to the front? Or could there be a better utilization of the speed configs that i'm not getting? Since other configs (especially CROWS) are just more useful.
Another potential balance issue is the rifle squad undermount grenade launchers, which basically make a 5 man rifle squad a more versatile AT squad after you changed the damage type to AP.
After that, enemies who kept on sending in riflemen could not only counter your infantry, but easily take out your heavy armor as well, except they could keep sending in low time riflemen compared to a high timer tank.
That's what I've been able to come up with; my "concerns" about balance are really hard to place, since I have no idea what your "ideal" balance is; whether x unit should be stronger/weaker/dominant/etc. compared to y unit.
In general, my feedback has been geared towards eliminating "crutch" setups to allow for more variety in the game, although understandably, some things will be stronger than others, but as long as it's overall balanced and isn't a "necessity" to run anything, then that's as far as my feedback can go.
Crutch setups [possibly] include things such as: Rifles Ready to Go, High Spirits, CROWS, undermount launchers, offensive supports (defensive ones are rather weak atm).
All these are either a strong pure benefit or are a necessity (read: easy pick) to counter the enemy.
The first two operation cards, unlike the ones like roadworks, or the one that increases outpost supply, instead of as you said "taking up a slot will be the downside" for pure benefit cards that give a small benefit, these are ones that give considerable benefit at little drawback.
CROWS is necessary to increase firepower, undermount launchers to counter enemy vehicles, offensive supports since other setups (excluding unit stacking ones) like defensive ones aren't viable.
Just some examples.