So, was thinking about this for quite a bit, watched quite a bit of replays from ladder matchmaker (turns out, that was as addictive and fun ), and studied my own matches. In short here are some timers I`ve managed to hit in some of my own games.
Ok, so by min 4 or 5, I was already starting t2 tech, and was done before min 6, while also investing in mass points upgrades, to have around 40 mass per sec, reclaim excluded.
By 7:50 t3 was started, 9:30 was done with 68 mass per sec. That was enough to start producing units fast enough to deal with all the threats around.
We see there, timing for t2 units to do something on the battlefield is 3:30 min. Take into account, t2 starts being much more effective in a critical mass, that can deal with spam well enough, and that makes attack window even shorter. Small enough numbers are easy picks for Commanders with overcharge. That is 1/3 of the game stuff we are skipping than, or rushing over if you want to play optimal.
While numbers can varry depending on the harrasment, reclaim etc. they would still not change drasting enough due to fairly low`ish costs of tier upgrades.
To put it in perspective tier 2 mex upgrade is 900, while t2 tech upgrade was 1170, and tier 3 is 3810.
Even tier 3 units take a while to mass up, and by that time, experimentals start to come out. We have all seen some fast monkeys in our matches.
So I kina feel incentivised to rush to be competitive, and I think game would be better for it if we are not skiping huge chunks of its content. Though this is only my 2 cents on it, it just how it feels for me.
Maybe make the bass and / or build price of each tier upgrade higher to make it an investment since it does offer huge upgrades overall?