this is probably the worst balance idea ever, but i think its time we should consider a change such as this to finally stop with this “Carriers are opressive” nonsense.
Capitals and Supercapitals were originally intended to be situational rather than usual. they represented the epitome of shipbuilding and power in a game where people were still struggling to form a seasoned fleet of with battleships and thus seeing one of these things was a novelty and something to recognize.
fast forward to these days the economy and the skill injector system allows people to invest into capital ships with such an ease that even Titans are used to gatecamp or even farm anomalies. Rorquals provide a large influx of prime materials for supporting the production of other capital ships and the ISK generated by players is more than enough to buy cheap carriers or dreads for a few billion (fit included, or so people say).
this should be more than enough to warrant taking a look on how Caps and Supers are envisioned in this game. the fantasy of the single titan surrounded by smaller vessels should now be considered a “small gang” compared to what can be achieved by players, it is evident these ships arent as “unique” as they were before.
thus the whole system must be reworked.
The other end of spectrum:
ever since the changes to warp speeds battleships have become a rare sight in general. being close in speed to the capitals that come above them these lumbering ships have been replaced by Battlecruisers and other medium vessels like HACs which can get close in tanking potential while remaining much more agile.
this doesnt stop Rattlesnakes, Machariels and other high profile ships of this size to excell in some activities but for the most part Battleships are struggling to get good fights and this leaves a gap on how the progression advances in terms of ship sizes.
from Battlecruisers and down we have seen a lot of iterations to ensure certain classes dont become as annoying, albeit there’s still a lot missing in order to properly bring some ships into great use. in general most of the roster here is usefull in its own way, only things like ECM boats or logi frigates may required some revisions to ensure they can do their job properly.
Ending the Gap:
with the high end of subcaps struggling to be competitive and caps and supers being increasingly easier to obtain. it is obvious that the old classification of Subcap and Cap (and Super) have to be removed. Capital Ships as a skill could still exist (or not, depends on what players think) but this classification should stop and instead a single progression should be achieved.
The New Progression:
each ship class would still provide to the general progression of T1 going specialized with T2, generalistic with T3 or upgrade with Pirate/Navy.
increasing in size should mean an almost linear increase in stats. to fulfill this idea the current caps and suppers would get their main stats reduced in orde to put them in a proper position above Battleships. in addition to this, Battleships could receive some buffs to further empower them over Battlecruisers and closer in stats to true capital ships.
What About Capital Modules?:
with caps and supers no longer having the stats to support current fitting and power requirements. Capital modules would get a proper adjust not only in CPU, Capacitor or PG requirements but also in overall power.
imagine a meta where Battleships can do the same crazy stuff as cruisers can do right now. fitting Capital Batteries, Oversized ABs or Capital Shield Extenders (Stealth buff to Nightmares, Machs, Rattlesnakes and practically all the Caldari and Minmatar battleship roster). this not without fitting restrictions to balance their use.
this may sound gamebreaking to some, but that’s how it happens with current subcaps (not much for frigates due to their anemic stats and number of slots but yeah) and could help a bit to ease the pain of the Battleship enthusiast.
HAW weapons along with Doomsdays and Fighters would still be a force to recognize but their overal DPS would still be somewhat controlled so it would apply properly to Battleships and Battlecruisers, decent DPS towards Cruisers when applying grapplers or application mods and struggling against Destroyers and Frigates no matter the fighter squads used. (this is only assuming that current capital weaponry deals too much DPS compared to the tank of caps and supers after the stat squish).
there would still be some restrictions in terms of what modules could be used. for example the Doomsdays, Clonevats, and other of these special modules would still be limited to capital ships. but this should be a marker for what each size provides.
rather than being just an inverse proportion between tank, damage, application and agility. moving to larger sizes would provide access to new functionalities that other ships in the same classes dont provide. (we already have these in the case of Microjumpdrives, Stasis Grapplers and current capital modules), perhaps each ship size would have special utility modules that provide extra functionalities to the fleet.
Tech still follows the same typical graph seen from the rebalances
increasing in ship size provides increases in overal stats at the cost of mobility but also opens new functionalities due to size specific modules that provide extra utility to each of the base classes from Frigates to Titans.
caps and supers (and their modules) receive a stat squish to put them in a more linear progression from current subcaps
battleships receive buffs to bridge and balance that gap between Battlecruisers and Capital ships
some capital modules are still restricted to capitals only, but Battleships can use some of the regular capital modules with their proper pros and cons.
What can be Expected:
seeing that Capital ships are overal nerfed in power they may not be as sought for the big nullsec battles. HOWEVER, they still provide the same functionality they had before (Triage, Doomsdays, Clone Vats, Maintainance and so on). with the economy supporting loosing them without much penalty they are now balanced with the rest of ship progression in the game. they arent no longer the I Win button they were considered a decade or so ago, rather, they are the end of the line in terms of the general ship progression instead of something apart from the rest.
with Capital Mods being avaliable for use by Battleships, it is possible that some clever individuals find crazy ways to carve further use of this ship class into roles that were extinct or never really existed. agility issues ensued, Battleships may become more popular for big fights compared to whelping capital ships. but the utility provided would be in a much different way as what Carriers, Dreads or Titans would provide for fights of this scale due to the class specific modules on the new progression system.
Battlecruisers and down would probably not notice the effect of this changes but much like the larger end of the spectrum, each ship size would AND SHOULD, receive their own niche modules that could help tip the tide of the battle, which modules those would be? i dont have the brain to think about it atm but something would come sooner or later much like how Microjump Field Generators appeared.
i dont think this proposal would change the current issues with Carriers but i honestly think this is just a consequence of a much larger issue which is still basing the balance of ships on that old format. the economy and the more SP invested pilots of today have broken that vision and as such we have to move further and cut the progression of ships from the smallest to the largest into a proper line. with new things to differentiate the diverse amount of ship classes we have and those that will come in the future (hopefully).
with this i end the OP. now you can downvote me or something.