Yeah, I got that kind of vibe from Drakona's post as well, that she is eschewing SP in favor of using the ship classes as a way to bring new players in for the purpose of preparing them for the competitive scene. But I don't believe the devs have that in mind. I think their primary interests are the SP and story, explaining the origins of PTMC and the mechs, and, above all, a variety of ship classes specializing in roles for team-vs-team play. I'm not sure how exactly co-op will fit into it, but this would be an excellent question to ask of them. And prior posters here are right: the devs are very
receptive and responsive to questions and concerns from the community.
The concern amongst the hardcore anarchy players is that, thus far, the available material makes the game seem more focused on this ship classes and team-vs-team play, and its hard to see any place for them in this. They want to see a game where the flight and weapons dynamics conform to the original Descent games, with strafing, trichording, using your ship, terrain, and weapons fire to control the space around your opponent and dictate their moves -- in short the "dance" that you can sense Drakona gets misty-eyed about when she describes it in her posts. They'd like to know that there will be a place for them to test their dogfighting skills against one another in anarchy, and that it will feel
true to the original Descent they know so well. Drakona's post is trying to convince them that the devs do understand and appreciate the core Descent "physics" that make its PVP so interesting, and so they will be able to enjoy D:U even though it's not specifically a game meant for their niche.
Personally I consider myself somewhere between a casual Descent player and a hardcore competitive player. I started Descent the year it came out, immediately fell in love, and mostly spent my time in the SP campaign or co-oping with a few friends. It was maybe in the last 5 years that I engaged in the anarchy scene, mostly on D3 servers or D2X-XL with some other HLPers (oh man those were good times). And let me just say, I know full well what it feels like both to be the ace pilot and the cannon fodder in that environment. My friends who play casually tell me that I'm essentially untouchable, and any anarch between me and them is very one-sided. But when I play on some D3 servers, with people who have apparently been playing every day since at least last millennium, I get my ass kicked. Fast.
They pull off dodges and place weapons fire with such quick, smooth, thoughtless precision that I swear it is dark magic. It's beautiful. It's also perfectly infuriating and guaranteed to make any normal person who joins quit out in 60 seconds or less. (I stuck around, continued to get pummeled, but managed to have some fun (if even in a masochistic sense) and picked up some new skills along the way. But I totally get why most people would want no part of that, or of a game that focuses around that community. I don't think D:U will be like that.
ed: Did I say 5? I meant 10. I keep underestimating how much time has gone by. 20 years since D1!