Perhaps something like cs where you get kind of a fixed amount every round but if you performed well you get slightly more and the points you spend are lost. I just remember the early gameplay when all you had was weenie ships the best.
The flare was powerful but avoidable. We mostly used it to block pursuit and to lock off spawning points which was useful against spawn campers.
Lastly I miss the teddy bear and that satisfying ship hit clank.