I had an idea a while back that there should be a sub-cap class of ship that could field fighters (my thought process being a single “flight”). This was before the Carrier/Supercarrier revamp, though. Which…actually makes the idea more apt than before.
Fighter mechanics are interesting and rather different than Drone mechanics, such that someone getting to use them the first time really has no translatable skillset. Whereas gunnery ships can progress from Small to Medium to Large to XL weapons as they move from Frigates/Destroyers to Cruisers/Battlecruisers to Battlecruisers/Battleships to Dreads, and similarly, from Logistics Frigates to Cruisers to (Nestor…) to FAXes, there is a disjoint moving in Drone boats from Battleship to Carrier. Even special types of ships have ladders, though they generally don’t go as far (e.g. CovOps -> Recons -> Blops or Interceptors -> Interdictors -> Heavy Interdictors).
…and I happen to be a Navy guy and a fan of historic ship and fleet formations and engagements.
So, with this in mind, I think it would be neat to add a single Fighter tube ship to the game, most probably a T2 Battleship class under the historical nomenclature of Escort Carrier. Something to straddle the line between, say, a Dominix and a Thanatos. The ship class would work similarly to a Marauder, but with its damage being focused on its Fighters.
However…as with most ideas that seem good, I’m curious if there are likely ways that this could be exploited that make it a bad idea. For example, large fleets abusing the assist command, etc.
I just think it would be neat to have a smaller Fighter platform for people to train up the fine art of deploying and using fighters without the need to go full on Carrier. As it wouldn’t have a Fleet Hangar, Ship Maintenance Bay, or Jump Drive, such a ship wouldn’t compete directly with Carriers, either.