You're not bad, I am having the same issues here. Maybe a little too hard right now but I do feel there is a change in balancing especially in rewards and scrap.
Probably tone down the heavy focus on RNG and enemies. Enemy squadrons are just way too overwhelming and after 2 or 3 jumps I just got crushed (but hey maybe I am just bad). I certainly feel more disadvantaged than the enemies (which compared to FTL, I was still disadvantaged but it felt organic enough to progress; whereas here I just find it hard for being the sake of hard - making it less enjoyable along that fact)
Focus more on lore per sector (like sector progression based on factors or a combination between two?). I am finding the lore part of the game the most enjoyable (and a great selling point too!). I think ALT SHIFT GAMES have nailed the story part and just the atmosphere is beyond perfect. I find that this is the most important part of the game, and it is definitely what drew me in to backing this project and buying the game. This aspect definitely sets it apart from FTL.
I love this game, and it has sooooo much potential, but I think the game needs more of handle on new players not in terms of controls, but better interfaces and more balanced enemies but slowly progressing with the player to the point that in later sectors it is challenging but enjoyable (to achieve that aspect of being hard but enjoyable game).
Its frustrating because I can't enjoy the game's lore and story because of the issues stated previously.
Keep up the good work, this a unique project and by far a very promising game