Escort carriers/battleship sized fighter platforms

(Dior Ambraelle) #1

People seem to move threads here from the old forum so…

The idea of escort/pocket/light carriers pops up regularly. Battleship (most likely marauder) sized fighter platforms, faster to learn and cheaper to produce than normal carriers, and able to move and operate basically everywhere. I would give them the ability to fly light and support fighters, two squads at a time and have 4 fighter launchers.

The problems usually come when these ships are either OP or useless without exclusive roles.

Historically these discount carriers had support roles:
1, ensuring air-superiority
2, providing air support where normal carriers can’t go
3, serving as back-up carriers

I think these roles can be translated to the game too:
1, currently no carriers have bonuses to space superiority fighters, so this role would be perfect for them, they could counter the structures’ fighter defense anywhere or help carriers focusing on the combat by keeping enemy drones and fighters away
2, because of their “small” size these ships could move through hi-sec, or even wormholes, to support a surprise attack
3, this one was tough, but I think I found an amazing option to serve as a “back-up” next to other carriers: the fighter bays can be assigned to be used by carriers and super carriers. So while a fighter squad is refueling on a carrier, another quad can launch from the escort carriers, meaning that the carrier won’t lose damage during fighter maintenance. This mechanic would also allow faster switch between fighter types.

Of course these ships won’t be too impressive on their own, their primary job is to help carriers in fleet battles.

Something for those who like fighters
(Cade Windstalker) #2

Didn’t this get completely done to death on the old forums like twice?

  1. That’s because Space Superiority Fighters are already incredibly effective, benefit from the basic bonuses Carriers get to all Light Fighters, and are balanced around this. If you create a Battleship sized vessel with better than normal Space Superiority Fighters they’re going to chew through Fighters at a ridiculous rate and that’s not really needed, considering they already pretty easily kill any Fighters they get a whack at.

  2. This isn’t really a thing. Surprise attacks happen but not in this way and they’re generally more a function of getting anything into position undetected, not a function of ship size. In fact it’s often easier to move a larger Jump Capable ship into position since they can bypass choke points. For reference see the Rorqual killing dread-bombs of recent months.

  3. So… skynetting. Letting fewer people do more work. Why is this at all desirable? Also the existing carriers are balanced around the existing refueling times and mechanics. Plus you’re giving up another pilot just to do this. Oh and that’s without getting into the probable difficulty of implementing something like this…

You also forgot to address cost at all. Generally a T2 Battleship costs about as much as a Carrier hull already, less in many cases, so what’s the advantage here? Why would you ever use a ship that takes just as much time to train into as a Carrier but is less effective, unless it’s to abuse the fact that you now have Fighters in High Sec, so you can even more effectively camp war targets from safety…

Also, historical note, the actual reason for the existence of Escort Carriers had and has little to nothing to do with places normal carriers can or can’t go, or ensuring Air-Superiority. They were simply a cheaper way to get fighter cover into fleets during a war where resources were a major concern. The whole reason for existence of Escort Carriers was to provide air support to fleet groups, or simply the ability to move large quantities of aircraft over water, without the expense or time required to build a full Carrier.

This is reflected in many of them being converted from liners or merchant ships.

That’s why there are currently no more Light or Escort Carriers in service with any navy. The few navies that field Aircraft Carriers field full sized ones because without the pressure of wartime production there’s no reason or need to field a sub-standard ship.

(Unseen Spectre) #3

Given what has already been discussed about escort carriers in previous threads, I was thinking of a somewhat different idea. Depending on your point of view it may be good or bad – it is just an idea and may not be viable at all.

My idea call for a different way to deploy fighters requiring several people to make it effective and relying on the ability of fighters to warp.

Basically, the idea involves two types of ships, a support carrier and squadron control ships (my idea is a frigate but could be another ship class (but a relatively small ship).

The support carrier:

  • T1 battleship sized ship.
  • Battleship targeting range.
  • It has a fleet fighter bay for light and support fighters.
  • Has a fighter bay to be used by the carrier itself.
  • Has one launch bay to be used by the support carrier itself.
  • Can launch support fighters.
  • Can mount medium (cruiser) sized weapons.
  • Has a drone bay similar to an Orca.
  • Has a ship maintenance bay large enough to store to squadron control ships. No fitting service though.
  • Can use battleship specific modules such as e.g. micro jump drives etc.
  • Bonused for medium sized weapons (damage application, not damage) and drones (similar to an Orca). Another bonus could be for the racial support fighter.
  • I would love to see the support carrier launch light fighters, but based on previous feedback, I do not think this is viable.

Squadron control ship:

  • I assume frigate sized.
  • It can control one fighter squadron.
  • It can warp the fighters along when it warps itself. Cannot make jumps through gates though.
  • Bonuses etc. to be determined.

The idea is that fighters are deployed from the support carrier fleet fighter bay to the squadron control ship which then warps off to the target leaving the carrier behind. If the squadron control ship is destroyed, surviving fighters return to the point where they were launched. In case it is used for ganking, it will be the squadron control ship that needs to deal with concord, not the support carrier.

Fighters can also be taken from the fleet fighter bay to resupply ordinary carriers.

An idea for a new support fighter could be a resupply fighter that could re-supply fighters in flight and repair surviving fighters, i.e. not replacing destroyed ones.

As such this is just an idea with many issues that are not clarified. And of course there are probably a lot of possibilities for abuse.

Anyway, this is just an idea. It may not be viable at all, but please let me know what you think.

(Pestilen Ratte) #4

I don’t get it. Isn’t the Dominix a BS class carrier?

It can be easily fit for logic, too.

(Dior Ambraelle) #5

Fighters aren’t capital drones anymore. They use completely different mechanics and need micromanagement.

(Sethyrh Nakrar) #6

Escort carrier are normaly crappy ships. that are based mostly on cargoships, that can do nothing alone. Fleet supporter, like real carriers, whom should do nothing by them selves alone, anyway. Which obviously doesn´t work in this game in any way…at least not in PVE…

(Gian Bal) #7

Nope and nope. The only way I see this working is if you give all battleships of this class the ability to have 2 squads of fighters, 1 in the launch tube/in space and the other in the hangar bay. And this would need to be limited to those anti fighter light fighters. It would mean the battleships would be able to somewhat negate the effect of having a carrier dropped on them and would be able to deal with frigs a little easier but a competent carrier pilot could just drop anti fighter fighters too and kill the bs’s. However I like this idea because it actually makes it more viable to field battleship fleets because if someone drops a carrier blob into say 100 battleships, instead of them just going pop whenever the fighters reach them they can just start massacring the light fighters with their anti fighter fighters.

(Amarisen Gream) #8

Updated some numbers and stuff!

I think I’m one of the ones who started this topic before.

Big issue as Cade said, cost vs viability. The game would also need to make changes on the easiness of getting in to capital ships (so that this class of ship would be viable) and/or a major rework of the way the War Dec system works so these are not abused in high-sec.

Gallente Light Carrier - Uses the Hyperion model - heavily modified to put in fighter tubes.
Named “Vesta” From the Roman gods - (I don’t think the names taken already)

When developing the “Vesta”, CreoDron used the best features from their founder “Old Man Darieux” as well as new and improved tech from their deep research in to combat drones as well as repair drones. The first step in creating the “Vesta” was creating the CreoDrone Fighter Bay Support System (CFBSS) which not only allowed the support drones in the hanger repair the fighters, but they could in turn be used to repair the parent ship as well. With multiple secret test of the system on the Thanatos and Nyx platforms, a hard truth was found. The CFBSS wouldn’t be able to fully keep up with the demands of fighter support and local ship repair without massive increases to the support systems drone supply, making the whole project worthless when compared to just using local repair tools or remote repair. The Dominix was also considered as a possible platform for the CFBSS, but the ships potato like shape wasn’t idea for launching and receiving of the fighters. The Hyperion became the go to ship, when the lead engineer found the doodles for a retrofitted version in the trash.

Build cost would be ~750-900 million. Built by CreoDron. The building materials would include the need for a single CFBSS. A BPC for the CFBSS can be acquired from the CreoDrone LP store.

Lock range 300km
Two fighter tubes - with enough room for one extra squad in hanger.

2 Hard Points -
Able to fit Defender missiles x2 (Seeing a need for fleets to have anti-bomber support Defender Missile Hard points were added)

Shield - 2000
Armor - 10000
Structure - 2500

Light Carrier Skill Per lvl:
5% increase in fighter (edit) optimal range and tracking
5% increase in passive (edit) ship armor repair (CFBSS system at work)

Gallente Battleship Per lvl:
edit: 5% increase in Fighter HP
edit: something something balanced

MJD range increase to 250km, 2-3x warm up, 5-8x cool down time. Longer warm up for longer range, but locks the module for 9-15 minutes.
50% reduced cycle time for Defender Missile Launcher.
25% increase defender missile velocity.
Ship has Passive Armor Rep (CFBSS perk)

As I’m just bad a math, I would see this ship capping out at like 800-1000 DPS, if even that high. The ship would be there to support other combat ships in fleet.

(Cade Windstalker) #9

Just kinda want to comment on this specifically, because you already got my bit on the concept as a whole.

1% per level damage is a worthless bonus. There’s a reason damage doesn’t go lower than 5%, you get more than 5% total damage out of a fourth damage mod which is the most anyone ever fits to a ship. If it’s not balanced with a 5% per level damage bonus then either don’t give it a damage bonus, give it application or something similar, or the ship shouldn’t exist.

Sorta the same deal with the scan res. That’s the sort of bonus CCP started baking into the hulls because it’s so amazingly underwhelming.

Also currently Fighters are immediately repaired to full HP upon returning to the hangar, so your whole concept is kinda bunk there.

Some more here.

MJD cooldown by default is 3 minutes. It’s only 60 seconds on Marauders.

Defender Missile Launchers can only be fitted to Destroyers. The reason Destroyers are the counter to Bombers is because that means you have something fairly small and squishy that the Bombers can potentially kill and that will likely be killed off by a successful bombing run as the defense factor in your fleet. If you can mount that on a Battleship class ship, especially two then that kinda goes out the window. If you can kill the Battleships you probably don’t need the bombing run.

Also reducing Defender Missile velocity does basically nothing barring some weird edge cases or the fleet somehow being spread out more than 30km, which is unlikely on anything but a Region gate jump.

(Amarisen Gream) #10

Thanks for the feed back. I figured my numbers where crazy off. It was just an idea.

I know they can only be fitted to Destroyers - this idea was to try to mesh the peoples desire for a fleet support ship that isn’t based on logic or ewar.

If that is so, it would mean the ship would be locked out of its MJD for say 9-15 minutes, which I would say is a good trade off for a longer jump range. Plus the increase to the warmup to jump.

On the fighters - as I wouldn’t want these ships to be major DPS. Their job is to be long range support - so maybe no damage increase but tracking/application.
I’m not really sure what the Gallente BS bonuses should be. I was trying to move the ship into a new passive armor rep system. So no rep bonus. no armor resist. No armor HP bonus…

yes. but that bonus isn’t for the fighters, it is for the ship’s passive repair.

(Cade Windstalker) #11

We already have those though, there are tons of T2 utility ships that aren’t Logi or Recons.

Putting Defender Missiles on something with Battleship levels of tank is a generally poor idea because it makes it incredibly hard to remove them or generally make any sort of decent use of a bombing run. You might be able to fake out the pilots, but at that point you’re saying a ship is balanced because people make mistakes, and that could apply to any ship no matter how OP.

At that point I’m wondering what the us-case even is for something like that. Even assuming you don’t just get probed down, you could burn twice that distance with a regular MWD fit Battleship, or you could just have a 10km/s Inty burning out warp points for you and jump 200km every 20 seconds.

Part of the niche use of an MJD is that it lets you boost to a point you can’t normally warp to.

Light Fighters already have great application on their main guns, and they really don’t need an application bonus to their rockets, since that makes it incredibly easy to volley Logi Cruisers with even a few ships on the field. That’s why CCP nerfed rocket application so heavily in their first balance pass on the new Carriers.

Passive repair is a shield trait. Armor doesn’t need it and there’s really no point in trying to introduce it. This is one of those cases where it seems like you’re just trying to make a new thing for the sake of making a new thing, not because there’s a good reason for the thing you want to do.

Then see above. Reading through it seemed like the system was to passively repair fighters, since the thing talked about drone repair.

(Amarisen Gream) #12

Gah. It was an idea. Thank you for your feedback. At least I tried to work out a ship idea to add to this thread vs what everyone else did which as not to provide a proper example.

(Dior Ambraelle) #13

Personally I blame the attack battle cruisers for giving us the idea of oversized weapons. And since the fighters aren’t drones anymore, the concept is actually more reasonable now than it was about 10 years ago when someone did concept art for them.
Unfortunately it’s much harder to figure out how it could work than explaining why it won’t work. I still think that a ship like this can work, even if the latter group is right.

(Amarisen Gream) #14

CCP probably needs to see with the rest of their ships fit in. AF are still the red-headed step child, T3D can do so much more. Interceptors are to strong wth the ability they have of being immune to bubbles and then having 200-350 dps if fitted for it. IMO a lot of the Sub-capitals work, but the whole group plus their weapons and bonuses need a major look as some ships ether do to much or step on to many toes… T3C are much better than before. I am looking forward to the dedicated balance team.

(Cade Windstalker) #15

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the effort, but this sort of thing is pretty much a cycle of ideas and criticism. The better feedback you get the better your own ideas can be before you need outside criticism.

Yup, it’s always harder to design something new than to pick it apart. That’s why Game Design work takes so bloody long.

It helps if you keep in mind that there are uses for ships beyond PvP, or beyond a particular brand of PvP. There are ships that get very very little PvP use but aren’t actually in a bad place because they have some other role somewhere else in the game.

(Amarisen Gream) #16

I am a carebear. I hardly do any combat based PVP. So a ship’s PVP/PVE is always on my mind.

Current small ships - interceptors are to strong between immunities to bubbles and the DPS they are able to shell out. T3D are better than AFs, which have pretty much died. But this isn’t the tread for that conversation.

(Cade Windstalker) #17

This isn’t really correct. It’s not that Interceptors are too strong, it’s that they’re frustrating to deal with and hard to actually catch and kill. They’re actually quite easy to kill if you can pin them down or if they have to stay on grid, which is why you never see them comprising the bulk of any objective based fleet. They get used for harassment because it’s quite easy for them to disengage if something that can actually kill them shows up.

(Amarisen Gream) #18

But if you reduced their damage and alpha, they wouldn’t be able to used as effectively for a gang fleet to fly in, kill something and then wig out once more stuff shows up to counter them.

Reducing DPS/Alpha for a ship that should be used for TACKLE not DPS would alter the game play around them.

Just because they are easy to kill if you can catch them, doesn’t mean they should have the DPS of an AF which job is to DPS and get tickled for 2 seconds. Reduce their combat damage by 50-75% and we’d probably see a healthier use of them.

(Cade Windstalker) #19

They already have pretty piddly alpha, and 300 DPS is both pretty low and being pretty generous. Most Inty fits that are actually practical will be around or below 200.

Yeah, but it’s pretty intentional that they aren’t just tackle ships. They’re not supposed to be completely single use. That’s why CCP buffed their combat capabilities when they reworked them.

AFs already have better DPS and vastly better tank. In a one on one fight an AF will stomp an Inty into the ground pretty much every time. CCP aren’t going to make Inties completely useless for combat, and anything short of that is going to see them still used the same way they are now, for harassment and casual roaming, because they’re fun to fly.

IMO that’s not really a problem. If there is a problem it’s the lack of direct counters or things that allow you to catch an Inty.

(Dior Ambraelle) #20

Interceptors by nature are designed to catch things, not to be caught. Shouldn’t they be their own counters?