When carriers first started receiving heavy nerfs back in 2017, they were an unbalanced mess, a clear “I Win” button against even moderate sized subcapital fleets. Since then, change upon change has been piled on to take them down a notch, but as tends to happen it’s gotten to a point where the ship class has been nerfed into the ground and is no longer in a usable state for PvP.
Carriers are the bridge between capital and subcapital warfare. They should apply perfectly well to and wipe the field of battleship fleets. Cruisers and battlecruisers should give them a bit of trouble, but with sufficient numbers a carrier force should still prevail. Frigates and destroyers should tear through fighters and these ships should be absurdly hard to kill with fighters. Carriers should be viable ratting ships, but not the be-all and end-all.
Undo the March 2017 Sig Radius Increase to Fighters - This forces fleets of larger ships to utilize dedicated fighter killing ships rather than being able to blow through them with their main weapons. Fighter sig radius is probably the single biggest issue with carriers at the moment.
Make Space Superiority Fighters unable to damage anything but drones and other fighters - This removes their ability to easily kill frigates and dessies.
- As an extension, disproportionately buff the lock time of carriers vs. drones when using the NSA - This makes SS fighters a viable counter to Guristas and other drone-heavy fleet comps.
Increase the Explosion Radius of Light Damage and Long Range Attack fighters by 25% - This cements their purpose as anti-battleship weapons by reducing their application to battlecruiser-down ships.