How can we rework Fighter Squadrons?

Let me start out by saying that I sincerely like the fact that Squadrons have introduced an Active aspect to Fighter gameplay. The ability to control your fighters more or less similarly to how you’d control a ship is quite nice, and fun. I enjoy having the ability to give my fighters the Command to engage targets, quickly burn into range with their MWDs, and launch a missile volley for a solid, sudden strike. This all helps to make fighter gameplay more engaging and interesting.

With that being said, there is a MAJOR downside to the Squadron mechanic, in my eyes. This is the fact that, despite being made up of multiple craft, you can target the entire Squadron, ECM, web, and apply damage, all at once. To be clear, you damage and kill 1 fighter at a time, but you don’t have to re-target any consecutive craft. The damage just proceeds down the line, from one fighter to the next, though EWAR applies to the entire Squadron.

This simple fact makes defanging a carrier exponentially easier than defanging something like a Dominix. With drones, you can only lock, EWAR, damage, and kill one at a time, leaving the rest of the unmolested drones free to go about their task of attempting to kill you horribly.

So, this brings me to a bit of a cross-roads, in terms of solutions. On one side, you have simply changing the mechanics to lock and engage a single fighter at a time, but Idk how exactly that would work with the Squadron mechanic. Are the fighters within a squadron considered individual craft, like stacked weapons on a ship (which are individually rendered and calculated), or are they more or less treated as a single entity? How would the go about allowing you to only lock and engage a single fighter at a time, when the whole squadron is represented by a single icon, in space, and on the overview? Would you just lose lock on that squadron and have to re-lock it? Doesn’t sound ideal, but idk how else to go about it. Thoughts?

The other option would be to apply the Squadron Mechanic to Drones - I can hear the screams, already - for the sake of consistency and balance. Another option would be to simply buff fighters, specifically their hitpoints, though I’m not particularly a fan of these options, as neither actually addresses the root cause of the issue.

There are good aspects of the Squardon mechanic, as I have pointed out. Having to actively control your Fighter Craft is definitely more fun than simply clicking “engage target,” and is something that I, personally, wouldn’t mind seeing applied to drones, as well (btw, there are visible icons/buttons to Launch and recall fighters…this would be immensely nice to have for drones, as I tend to forget the hotkeys and right-clicking is a bit tedious). But the fact that you lock, web, ECM, etc an entire squadron really kind of defeats the purpose of having “swarms” of fighters. And, given the cost of Fighters, the Isk and time invested in training to use them, you’d expect it to be reasonably harder to defang a Thanatos than a Dominix, which isn’t the case in my experience (solo, small gang to mid-sized fleet engagements, mostly).

I also know that squadrons were implemented as a way to help with TiDi in huge fleet fights (another reason why a similar mechanic might be good for drones). So, I’m not exactly sure what can be done to address my issue, which is why I am here, putting my thoughts out there to be ridiculed by you lovely folks.

Carriers aren’t exactly loved, these days, so many folks seem to look at their issues as “Not my ship, not my problem.” I honestly think Carriers are getting into a good place, but I see this as the biggest thing still standing in the way.

Sorry for the wall of text, but I feel strongly about this and look forward to the helpful and insightful input that y’all will provide.

Best thing would be to go back to 15 drone carriers.

Best days of Eve.

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Fighters are fine. Defanging them is now a realistic option.

It’s drones that need to become like fighters.

I’m not opposed to this, honestly. Anything that brings the two in line and shows a legitimate progression in threat and survivability is fine by me.

*Adendum - Defanging Carriers and Drone ships should be a realistic prospect, but it currently feels too easy to do. And they are really the only weapons system that you can actually eliminate in the middle of a fight. I wouldn’t mind the Squadron concept applied to drones, but I’d like some of the flaws to be ironed out, as well.

Fighters are essentially corvettes/frigates, so should be separated for targeting purposes.
For the carrier pilot, however, they should remain in squads for purposes of control.

Should take more than a small gang to kill a carrier. 27 fighters should be able to take out 10 frigates fairly easy.
Or 18 fighters and 9 support. However you handle your carrier pvp. I like high dmg, so max fighters for me.


100% Agree

First thought when engaging a carrier is always, “Kill his fighters.”
First thought when engaging a Dominix is always, “Should I take this fight?”

Tbh I’ve never seen a dominix in pvp.

That statement seriously blows my mind

Most of the pvp I’ve seen has been fleet ops that have specific doctrines. None of them have ever used a dominix doctrine.
I don’t go on roams, so I’ve never seen a dominix ratter have to pvp.

Well yeah, I mean if all you do is boring-ass null-sec fleet warfare, you’ll never get to experience interesting things like a Vindicator/Falcon combo breaking up a gate camp, a Kestrel baiting a CNR mission runner and then killing it, or a smartbomb Typhoon taking out an entire mining op.

I used Dominixes a decent amount for wormhole and high-sec war PvP. The ability to select your damage type on the fly is really helpful.

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3…There are 3.

Are Carriers fun to fly and battle with? I’ve never got to fly one but looking at getting me one.
What are the drawbacks?

Why even? A Domi has 15 drones. A carrier has 27 fighters mashed into 3 squads in space and then at least one refill. You can kill the 5 in space domi drones much faster than the fighters, you can outrun the drones of the Domi, too, while fighters MWD after you.

It’s definitely not fun. It’s doing the same thing again and again and again and again. CCP turned the 1 click repetitive task into 5 different repetitive tasks. That is not fun, that’s just stupid.


Pvp battle?
I’m not sure. I’ve never been tackled, and my alliance won’t accept me into the cap group to deploy with them.
I use it primarily for ratting until such time as they finally decide I’m worth using.

You’re right lol. Shows how little I use the support drones.

Alright, to your first point, those three active Squadrons are Targeted, ECM’d, Webbed, and generally EWAR’d as a unit, drastically reducing, or even completely nullifying the combat effectiveness of all the fighters in that squadron. Given that you have only three Squadrons active at a time (in an ordinary Carrier, anyways), it’s incredibly simple for as few as three ships to inhibit and/or nullify the combat capability of all 27 Fighters that you have active. To do that with a Domi, with a full Drone bay of 15 Heavy Combat Drones (you forgot to mention that they are heavy drones) you have to lock, web, and destroy each drone, individually, while the Domi pilot can simply immediately launch fresh drones to take the place of the destroyed drones. It can also field up to 75 Light combat drones, 37 Medium Combat Drones, or a combination of drone sizes and damage types.

Fighters also have a Sig radius of 110m, which balloons 500% when using the MWD, making each of them as easy to target and track as that Dominix, which has a Sig Radius of 465m. Their MWDs can also be turned off by Scrams.

As to your second point, I vehemently disagree. It’s no more repetitive than flying any ship that uses guns or launchers as its main weapons. Fighters were, and drones still are, far too passive of a weapons system. I fully support making their use more of an active endeavor.

The drawback are a huge sig radius, slow warp time (unless you use mwd trick), being stuck there if you use the networked sensor array, easily bubbled, needing a cyno in another system, keeping at least 100m worth of fuel in your ship, fighters easily taken out, slow targeting (unless you use networked sensor array), high cost and you get endless ■■■■ from your corp/alliance if you die.

I have an idea guys, use a ship with guns, they cant shoot down your bullets.

To each their own, m8. Feel free to do just that.

Why? Carriers are not the thing that cost so much to be considered such in my eyes.

These ships need support, like carriers in RL, they should never be solo pownmobiles.