imo random pairings are a bad idea. Using ratings for pairing makes it more likely that the strongest player will win which is what tournaments should be about. Random pairings only make it more likely that a weak player will score highly or a strong player badly, and intoduces an element of luck. This is bad imo.
@the anti-chess.com rant
imo chess.com is more appealing to the lower-rated players because- the training software is geared at weaker players, also at higher levels there are more cheaters due to the lack of an option to make a computer account.
also i think premoves should not be stackable but i dont care much either way
I think that rating should definitely be a factor in first round and every other round pairings. The #1 player should get paired with the guy in the middle the #2 player should gets paired with the (middle - 1) a.s.o. Here the lowest rated player is expected to loose and get an easier game and the highest rated player to win and get a harder game. The only time you get a harder game is if you win. With this systems if you keep winning the games it should get harder and harder as the games progress. If you think that those with a higher rating get an easier games well this is a misconception. For instance if your in the top half of the draw you should theoretically get an easier game in the first round than the top board. In-fact if the games go 'to form' the highest rated player should get the hardest game in every round (except those in the lower half of the draw in round one, the ones in the bottom half of the top half of the draw in round 2 [anyways you'll only get one game harder than the top board]). The only time you play harder opposition than the top board is when you keep winning when you are expected to loose. So you should only get harder games than the top board when you're improving. If you are improving you'll have a higher rating in the next draw, with all the perceived benefits this brings.