The introduction of 'Ranked Battles' was needed for the competitive community. After the loss of Rampage and Domination, and the lack of availability of Team Battles, Strongholds and Clan Wars were the only positions for that competitive nature, the latter only available (effectively) for consistent players, and for new-comers this is not appealing, and more so for clans that are coming to that stage. Strongholds, after the re-balancing made in 9.18, have become significantly more accessible AND more rewarding for all participants, however, there is still a lack of availability in these, as Stronghold legionary selection is more focused on WGR and language, meaning that there are still several people left out in the competitive core.
'Ranked Battles' (from my experience only, you are welcome to leave yours below) are very capable of satisfying this need. I personally quite thoroughly enjoyed 'Ranked Battles,' and certainly look forward to them in the live server. Of course, there are still some negatives with the gamemode, but as a community, we can certainly find fixes for this.
-Limiting accessibility to people with Tier 10s and only allowing Tier 10 vehicles creates a more common sense that you will have a good team more often, limiting "Absolute Victories" or "Absolute Defeats," very much unlike 'Random Battles.'
-Being the only way to earn Bonds (for now) lowers the P2W scene, a healthy introduction.
-Extremely enjoyable: despite being placed with randomly assorted players, intelligent play is actually rewarded, and given the fact that you will more than likely be positioned with players who are not-so-new, means that teamwork will properly flourish.
-The degree of SBMM is acceptable. Having a +1/-1 based on "Chevrons" and not Vehicle Tier (for obvious reasons) further limits the chances of being placed with less capable players.
-The rewards system for reaching new ranks provides an excellent amount of rewards for successful players, and with the increase that will be made when added to the live server will entice more players to join the gamemode.
-Vehicular MM is not very on point, although on the test server this is understandable. On the live server, the conditions for forming the teams based on vehicles need to be stringent likewise to the standard 'Random Battle' MM.
-The number of Bonds earned per season (not sure if this is subject to change) means that it will take an incredibly long time for them to be useful, with the exception of extra crew skills, even so for very well performing players.
-Following the normal currency system makes the gamemode less enticing for players who are at/below average as they will constantly lose credits, then putting additional strain on everyone else.
-In regards to earning Chevrons, most missions on the live server follow the requirement of 'Top 10 by Experience Earned', and it would be much better if Ranked Battles followed this suit.
-Also, a (potential, again) new system for Chevrons and the earning of them.
-First to Third: 2 Chevrons, 5th to 10th: 1 Chevron, 11th to 14th: 0 Chevrons, 15th: -1 Chevron (if XP earn is <200, 0 if above 200 XP.)
-First: 2 Chevrons (if XP earn is >450, 1 if 450 XP.), Second to Third: 1 Chevron, 4th to 5th: 0 Chevrons, 6th to 14th: -1 Chevron, 15th: -2 Chevrons (if XP earn is <100, -3 Chevrons)
-To accompany this, the number of Chevrons per rank may need to increase. 1 for the first rank is fairly standard and should remain.
-(+2/-2) Chevron Rank MM as a reserve if games begin to take some time to find, then expanding to all ranks, but +1/-1 is priority.
The addition of War Bonds gave 'Ranked Battles' a purpose, more other than a show off zone. The ability to purchase "new equipment" (not really new, but we'll give you some marks there), then extend upon them with additional equipment boosts or crew skills is an excellent addition. There is however that forever lingering presence of Game Balance, and so some method will need to be added to keep the equipment from breaking 'Random Battles' to a permanent extent. Additional crew skills are relatively not bothered by this, as matching skills can be trained, especially so through premium vehicles respective to the tier 10 that the player is using. The equipment however will need to incur some setbacks (trade in/off scenario) to make them a tactical decision to use in 'Random Battles'. Most important however, they should not be altered for 'Ranked Battles,' and the use of this equipment by other players should be an expectation when joining the queue for the gamemode.
To simply put it, so long as the new equipment (directives should be fairly okay, but this should undergo some monitoring) is either unable to be used in 'Random Battles' or has a drawback, it should maintain some level of balance and order.
-(Already under investigation) I have noticed that with every iteration there is up to a 2 hour sync period for the CT wallet.
-The cursor may not disappear if the player enters the Esc Menu, then leaves, during battle, and it will sit idle in the center of the screen until it is removed by pressing Ctrl.
-The minimap is sometimes unresponsive. Not sure if this is to do with Latency or is a genuine game bug.
Additional Notes (for readers)
Please feel welcome to leave your experiences with the 9.19 First Iteration below. I am trying to make a general post that combines everyone's life easier, so I will be expanding on this, and giving credit where due to anyone who contributes.