Not really helpful at all, but here are my musings:
*Weapons:- A common complaint about UEF primaries was the lack of energy usage. I don't know if the Rapier has been adjusted at all for multi but I found it drained my bar after prolonged usage, which is a good for thing for such a powerful gun.
I wouldn't go as far as saying the Grimler is overpowered but it is incredibly effective. I must have gotten a 75% kill rate with it. I'd recommend a slight nerfing, perhaps to it's speed. The Javelin is the very first aspect seeking missile I've ever used that actually hits human players. It actually works well at close range ( <1000 metres) and it'll kill things if they have <40% hull most of the time.
The Sidhe is f*cking brutal! I loved using it! I would suggest lowering it's effective range to <350-400 metres as I was able to hit things above that range and get some good damage done. It's really dependent on accuracy which makes it balanced well and why it would probably be useless in dogfight.
EDIT: Actually increase the spread to make it less accurate, I didn't have much trouble hitting things.
*Craft:- I didn't actually fly the Lao Tze but watching it I noticed it looks like it has a lot of inertia: it slides it's back end quite a bit when turning, like the GVF Horus. I cannot for the life of me hit the Atlanta, it's so godamn small and manoeuvrable! The Uhlan is awesome, it has a good gun setup, generous payload capacity, good manoeuvrability and it's freaking tiny. I'd pick it over the Kent.
Multi is too fast-paced to make accurate judgements, but reverse thrust seems to have gotten nerfed real bad. I was 400 metres from the Diomedes in Stained Mars Red and going at full throttle, reverse thrusting did not stop me smacking my face into it.
I guess the fear is the power it has in dogfighting, but I found the Atlanta's reverse throttle ability was powerful enough even without an afterburner, I got raped and raped others with it although in the latter case we outnumbered the other team (TvT). It might be the ability is just fundamentally game altering, bearing in mind in both those situations it was the host doing the raping. (Sara raped me, I gently raped others).
*Missions:- Stained Red Mars is gonna become a favourite thats for sure. It's well done and seems to be balanced appropiately for the time being. I'd suggest making the spawn point for the Nyxes as a distance value away from the player as I got the jump on them when they arrived. Other than that it was fun! VA is gonna be a requirement, I didn't get a look at the messages at all.
Not sure what to say about TvT, Tev vs UEF in particular. Some people have said the UEF is overpowered, personally I thought the Tevs were more dominant. Having been on the winning side of both I'm going to hazard it's probably balanced for now, except for the Grimler issues.
While we never did finish Escalation I found the weapons weren't what they should be. The craft choice was good, but the weapons weren't. I got more kills with the hellfires on the Scimitar than the crap on the Herc II. The Herc should have Prom S and aspect seekers, while subsequent craft can have Balors and dumbfire or heat seekers. The Herc is so slow it won't matter. The craft choice is what makes the difference imho. If you give them decent, but not overpowering weapons then the craft will create the whole 'escalation' effect.