I have done zero MP in RoF. Not likely to, either. Im not angry or disappointed about it. It just doesnt sound like my cup of tea ...
Mainbrace, I hear you. I was 'you' not too long ago, but one morning, very early, I don't know what got into me I just tried multiplayer. I didn't get shot down for a while, but when I did, it was my fault for not paying attention to my low 6. While pissed off (mostly with myself) I learned that lesson, and moved on.
Perhaps I've always had some romantic notion that I would have survived and succeeded to be an ace in WWI. Well, that first kill (of me) put an end to that, but I got back up and persevered. I do not have all the experience in all the airplanes that some have, and maybe I'll make a fool out of myself every-now-and-then when I left-spin a Camel, but so what...
Yes, TrackIR is worth the money if you fly SP or MP, it doesn't matter. There are freeware versions too. Spend the money if you have the chance, or work to get FaceTrackNo IR running. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. Seriously.
OK, I have no idea how many hours I've flown in MP, I'm sure there is a statistic somewhere (there always seems to be...) but I've shot down 5 people, so I suppose I'm an online 'ace' now. Well, that doesn't mean much because the real high end stats will frighten you. What means more is that I can survive, and that took a little time to learn those skills.
If things go right I've found that many times I can join up with unknown people in small groups of 2 or 3 to forge a loose alliance and then go hunting. You don't need to be on Teamspeak, but it can help. Some people argue against TS, but it is a facilitator.
If you are challenged by the AI, then by all means keep going and having fun in career beta, or Pat's campaign. But know that playing with people is a lot of fun too, and presents its own challenges. When you start having a nagging itch, then give it a try. Just jump on a server with just a few people, and fly around keeping your eyes open. Survive first, then attempt to make a kill, but don't get down on yourself for being killed if it happens. It's OK, because you'll then be in good company.