So after trolling the forums a bit recently in here, and trying to get an idea of some of the issues people are having with GSF, along with my own observations from playing, there's something I'm hoping BioWare will look into that might help mitigate some of the issues that people are having.
The staggered release for GSF made sure that the subscribers that like to play simply have a LOT more experience than the f2p or preferred person going in, and usually better upgrades (I'm all for subs getting perks that others don't, but we already got earlier access and get additional fleet/ship req and the 3rd ship to start). And as a result, the people who have been playing together for a while are starting to just roll through all the newer players coming in in a way that isn't either fair or fun to some eyes. I've always been a "take your lumps and learn" kind of person with games and such, but not all people are like that. If they go into a match and get 0 kills, 2 assists, and 10 deaths, multiple matches in a row, they bail on it, or at the least, we start seeing the "bail on premades" threads pop up.
There are a few people I run with fairly regularly who are wanting to learn more, and trying to, but outside of experience in a match, there's not really too much to teach them, unless they can find streams, watch them, and learn that way. But it's frustrating sometimes, because I can see some of what they're doing during a match, and see why it might be "wrong" or why they're getting lit up from behind or whatever the case may be. But it's in the middle of a match, and I can't "show" them.
So it's got me thinking... In the ground game, in most areas, you can challenge someone to a duel. Friendly or not, it's a way for someone to sharpen PVP skills without having to go into an actual PVP match.
Why not do something like this for GSF? It would be AMAZING if I could take some of the people wanting to learn into a 1v1 PVP environment, not to humiliate them, but to teach them with 0 pressure. You could start doing things like "follow the leader" or have sessions where theoretical player B can try to keep me from getting a missile lock on them without blowing up in a panic, etc. Just to get them experience, and a feel for maneuvers at high speeds with objects around them.
The tutorials are fine for learning how to maneuver in a very basic way, or how to fire your blasters, but if you're in a dogfight, the skillset needed is way beyond basic, especially if you have an "ace" on you. And computer controlled pilots simply won't give you the skills you need to survive in real PVP environment.
So simply from the perspective of being able to help out clan mates or friends who might want to get into GSF but are intimidated by the sharks in the pool, it would be a great way to let them get their feet wet with no real competition, and could certainly serve as a sort of "flight school". I don't want req for this, that's what the actual matches are for, but we'd also have the added benefit of being able to challenge those "aces" to 1v1 deathmatches just to see who the better pilot actually is (Grunty! Where are you?!)!
You could use the tutorial maps, or the TDM or even domination maps. In some ways, the more space to fly in, the better, so I'm certainly not advocating for a series of 1v1 maps, just a way to fire up some kind of instance with the 2 players on opposing teams (maybe make it possible to do 2v2?), and let them use the space how they wanted. Either as a real challenge, or flight school.
There are so many things that the tutorials CAN'T teach you that other pilots could, and so many things that have to be seen because it's hard or impossible to explain. Having a system like this in place could, with an active enough community, give lots of people a much better experience than going in and getting rolled in a solo pug queue when you come up against a set of really good pilots with voice options.
It also seems like the sort of thing that could be done with a minimal code change, since the major systems should already be in place, you'd just need a way to spawn an instance for the 2 or so players. It might even be enough to just have an option clicking on their portrait, like the "Challenge to Duel" we currently have. Beyond that, it's just spawning an instance that's closed to all but the 2 players involved, just split them so they're on opposing "teams".
I'll also note that it would be a GREAT environment for testing things that might be bugs, and being able to get a reliable set of steps to reproduce said bugs (like testing to see if the rail sentries actually do ignore LOS for shooting at a target, as I currently believe they do. At least, once they've started charging the shot.).