I think it should be a balance of both, ie it is based on team size * level.
Oops I misread that one. Yeah, respawn should definately depend on both level and team size. I usually save up my points so I can spawn almost instantly, and the default skulk is strong enough to do quite a bit of damage if used properly.
As for not getting kills when going against 20 marines... well, that's when you get together with your 20 alien buddies =D... you still get experience so long as the kill happens near you.
...webbing up your hive it makes it really really hard for Marines to win in Combat...
Ouch, I hadn't thought of that... though aliens need
some way to speed the hive's regeneration, web + jetpacker = dead jetpacker. However, though marines can gain the ability to heal a base for only one level point and can still participate in combat, aliens have to sacrifice all combat for the rest of the game if they want to gorge... x_x
Too bad if you drop a sensory first, there's still a good chance the aliens on your team will be so mad at you they'll attempt to get you kickbanned.
Dammit. As you say, way too many people try to play NS like a formula. When someone doesn't do something exactly
according to that formula they act like it's the end of the world. "You got double before a hive", "You got a hive before double", "You got move before def", "You got def before move", "You got sense first", "You got put down a chamber before an RT", "You only built one IP", "You built two IPs", "You upgraded weapons before armor", "You upgraded armor before weapons"... and on and on.
Granted there are stupid things you can do ("why am I the only one on my team of 10 who dropped an RT?!?"), but many times people are just too set in their ways. Also, the suprise of an unusual expansion can frequently throw off an opposing team expecting a more conventional plan.