I'd been getting pretty frustrated with the loop of 'get in Apex, wait forever, reach settlement, die immediately', and I almost stopped for the night, maybe even till the next Alpha phase. But… I exercised some patience, made some informed decisions, and did one last mission. This is what happened.
Got the Maverick suit, which is pretty much required for doing anything interesting on foot. Remembered to bring extra batteries, because I knew I'd be using my tools a lot. Picked an 'find item at empty settlement' mission, but expected to find hostile NPCs there, so I also bought the biggest assault rifle I could find.
I touched down on the planet, and immediately went into scout mode. It was pitch black on the surface, so I looked for any enemy NPCs flashlight beams. Sure enough, their flashlights gave away their positions. Using the rooftops to my advantage (night + lowgrav + jetpack = I'm the goddamn Batman) I easily crept up on a couple of them, then zapped them with the overcharged Energylink. Bam, instant silent takedown. Kills your suit battery, but that's what the extras are for.
Long story short, the rest of the session was me playing cat-and-mouse with the enemy squad. They eventually spotted me, so I had to use my wits to get around their flanks and away from their killboxes. Ran out of ammo and batteries pretty frequently, so stumbling across refill boxes for both saved my ass multiple times. One by one, I whittled down their numbers until the whole squad was dead, gaining relatively hefty bounties for each kill.
I never did find the item that the mission required, and soon ran out of suit battery searching for it, and soon after that ran out of oxygen. Side note: Dying of cerebral hypoxia in this game is, quite frankly, terrifying, and I do/don't recommend trying it.
So I failed again. The difference was that this time I actually had fun doing it. It felt fair. It felt like something happened in a universe with a story, not just a player in a video game fucking up a mission. And this is only the "alpha".
Anyways, stick with it, I guess. I know everyone's got their issues with the current phase, and a lot of it is legit criticism, but for me, this single experience justified my alpha purchase, and as long as 1.0 delivers more of the same, it'll probly stay that way.