Hi! Thanks for the answers.
1 - Primer ends when you destroy all other vehicles. Also, I didn't say "the text should be gone by 5 seconds", I said, while you're showing the text, the deceleration of the game is immense. And it kept throwing me things like "It feels good to speed up and ride along the ceiling, right?". yes, it feels good if you let me go full speed on the ceiling without stopping the game every 4 seconds!
You can show the player the text/info and let them go full speed even though they are 5 years old. That way they will get accustomed to receiving visual feedback while maintaining control of a vehicle that can go as fast as 600km/s. You can add an element (a panel) to the UI that will show all of the info and the required steps to finish the tutorial (closer to the middle of the screen of course). Like you said, getting the primer done may be a miracle, but it doesn't give the total feeling of the game with all of these bus stops.
2 - Announcers can keep you in track of your inventory (weapons), other players' movements/attacks and a lot of things. If done incorrectly, it can be cheesy, yes. But if you do it right, you get announcers like in Unreal Tournament 2004. And the reason I said that you need one is because, the game, while plays very very good, has a very deep lack of sound-space. There are a lot of bad things happening in your sound design, like the music track trumping EVERYTHING. A missile explosion is subdued by the drum n bass (or house, or whatever the music track is). I don't feel the gravity of that explosion, I don't feel, pretty much anything. There's not a single sound that is gratifying. Watch a round of UT2004 and tell me that it doesn't give you the joy to watch. Like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzsWcYwxdjA
Let me put it this way: When a missile is about to hit me, I don't feel any kind of haste, fear or tension. "It's just a missile" is something you don't want and this game feels just like that.
I got a little off-tracked but the problem remains the same, the sound design of the game doesn't provide the "oomph" feeling so it feels monotone. You can fill the void with taunts and announcer like UT but it'll still feel off.
I think every different pickup needs a different sound to accompany them. So you distinguish the pickups the moment you pick them up and you'll have no need of looking away from the center of the screen. Players should keep their focus on the middle of the screen if you're making an action oriented game. You don't want them to split themselves from what's going on in front of them.
3 - I disagree with you on the "massive tank sized vehicles that weight 10,000 kilos" part. They sure look giant but when I got thrown off like a kilometer vertically and ragdolled all over the map, I don't feel that weight. I don't feel that weight when I go 600 to 0 when I hit a relatively slim concrete wall without even denting it. Or going almost 90 degrees vertical with just 100 km/s. Sorry but I don't agree with you on the part that they are tanky.
5 - I think it was a glitch; I tried every map again (10 min ago) and it was Skytrack. I was able to pass the railings and fall to the void before but now I couldn't. So either it got fixed in the meantime, or it was a bug/glitch.
Sidenote: I get the need to slow the fast going players down to make firefights great again but the solution shouldn't be "let's punish them for going too fast!" in a racing game. Let players punish them by giving them "Blue Shells" that can catch up to them in a fixed amount of time so whereever the leader is, I don't care, I'll drop the bomb on 'em and I'll pass them.
I think the game also needs a "gravity" notification (like a small arrow) on the UI, telling me which way is actually down. Aliens vs Predator did it before. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YObPcndL6Ec