This reddit thread imo does bring up some valid points, especially the following comment:
It's a great shame that the devs apparently have sacrificed the main story in order to appeal to the Japanese market. And I agree that other nations could use more oath skins, non-oath skins, SR shipgirls, and retrofits.
Honestly I would have thought a Chinese company of all things wouldn't bend in that regard, but I suppose money is the great motivator here.
I personally think service record should play a great role in the overall power of a shipgirl. It is rather disappointing that ships like Noshiro or Ryuuhou—which had rather lackluster service records IRL—become powerhouses in AL while workhorses like the Kongo class or Nelson class fall to the wayside. While I realize that certain ships like Yamato and Iowa will more likely than not end up being tier 0 regardless of service record due to their fame in popular culture, I don't think less prominent ships that don't have service records to back them up should be arbitrarily made powerful in favor of ships that weren't famous but had better service records. I would be more than a little upset if Johnston isn't a tier 0 destroyer.
As for PvP, although I don't care much about it, I do think more builds should be viable, instead of the rather staid Nagato-Amagi-FDG-Azuma-Yukikaze-Juneau meta fleet. It's absolutely infuriating that one could theoretically bring a 13k strength fleet against said meta fleet with no equipment (!) that adds up to around 9k power and still lose.
With regards to suitability to the later worlds, I honestly don't mind if one faction is stronger than another as long as every faction is capable of doing world 13. As it stands some factions are basically incapable of fielding two 3-3 fleets with submarine support and clearing 13-4, something I think every faction should be able to do.
As for individual ship abilities and skills, I honestly don't care. It's honestly imo a good way for the devs to fill in niche roles and diversify fleet builds.