Ship Class Idea: Escort Carrier


(Rena'Thras) #1

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. :slight_smile:

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.

Any thoughts?


Something for those who like fighters
(Old Pervert) #2

The idea of a single fighter on a battleship comes up with regularity.

The same answer applies.

A single fighter tube would be easy to defang. The amount of volume that a fighter wing takes up means you’d never be able to justify having at best one refit.

We shoot your fighter, then you’re left with a substandard ship taht cannot fill its role.

You can’t assist fighters to other players?

All in all, this is a ship without a role. It would be easy to kill, it would lack any and all of the features of a carrier that make a carrier viable (locking speed, locking range, 3 squads with lots of extra flights, massive mobility via jump drive).

Then you have to consider that these can’t escort anything. They’re the slowest subcaps in the game, with no jump drives. Other ships would be waiting for them to arrive.


(DrysonBennington) #3

I like the idea of Escort Carriers.

Here is one from the Japanese Imperial Navy during WW2 that would fit the role you are looking for.

The Escort Carrier would have two tubes to launch two fighter wings from for a total of 4 fighters plus one fighter wing in reserve bringing the total number of fighters to 6 carried by the Escort Carrier.

The Escort Carrier would be designed for speed above everything else. It would have nearly triple the velocity of a standard carrier but would have less over all EFH and resistances compared to a standard carrier.

An Escort Carrier would have high slots comparable to a cruiser and could only fit medium sized weapons. Bonuses for close in range fighting would support the Escort Carrier defending itself from other fighters and frigates and ships smaller than a battleship.

The Escort Carrier would have faster align times, comparable to a battleship, along with faster warp speeds as well that would be comparable to a battleship.

The Escort Carrier would have limited locking ranges of no more than 200km at max. Its fighters would have a range of no more than 250km.

The Escort Carrier would also not fit any triage modules as it would be considered a front line combat vessel sent in ahead of the main carrier task force to secure an area or provide blockade support along with Dreads.


(Rena'Thras) #4

Well, are you thinking PvP only? Or PvE as well?

Marauders are typically used for PvE, not PvP, correct? But they are useful in PvE, which…is why they’re used. It’s what role they have.

Ratting Carriers are a thing - killboards are awash in ratting Thanys, after all. :slight_smile: This would effectively be a ship to use for rating or Incursions, much like Marauders, but with Fighters.

In the way that Marauders are kind of downscaled Dreads (complete with their own kind of Siege module), Escort Carriers being downscaled Carriers would work in a similar vein, and have a similar purpose.

…then, if the Nestor serves as a template and CCP introduces some kind of Battleship class of Logi as a baseline ship, it would bridge the gap between Logi Cruisers and FAXes, and we’d now have a Battleship bridge to all three base types of combat Capitals. :slight_smile:


(Old Pervert) #5

A light fighter has a volume of 1000m3, with 9 in a squad. That means a light fighter squad takes up 9000m3 of space.
4 extra squadrons of fighters means you need a fighter bay with a volume of 54,000m3.

The Thanatos with 3x FSU II has 87,500m3.

In other words, your tech 2 battleship has 61% of the fighter capacity of a capital ship.

So… your battleship is roughly the size of an Orca.

Wait… wait… .what? Triple the speed of a carrier with “less EHP”? After establishing the approximate size of this behemoth, you want it to somehow pack enough speed to be as fast as a battleship? With “less than a few million EHP”?

So… even though a Thanatos has to fit 3x FSU II to get to its 87k fighter bay (unmodded they have 10k), you expect your escort ship to have the free slots to also fit guns?!

Honestly, I could quote the rest with increasing incredulity, but at this point I’m left asking… what the ■■■■ are you smoking? Did you even consider the actual numbers? Or are you just sitting on santa’s proverbial lap, asking for a pony and a unicorn?

Truly I don’t mean to be rude… but seriously… Think about this.

For PVE, a single fighter isn’t going to give you any noticable dps increase. All it’s going to do is expose you to the occasional lost fighter, with the net gain being travel time between your targets for your dps application. A single fighter without fighter bonuses is useless. A ship with fighter bonuses will not, unless it is made by the Guristas, have gun bonuses, which means its dps output will be anemic at best. It would be a terrible choice over a marauder.

The problem with this is your escort carrier will either be vastly useless for pvp (which is the only time you need any of that crap, excepting incursions where gun ships will ALWAYS be the first choice) or so vastly overpowered that it breaks the meta (for examples, see the post above yours).


(Rena'Thras) #6

I hear this argument a lot, but it’s a False Dichotomy (either/or) logical fallacy, isn’t it? That there are only two possible options?

I do agree that it could be difficult to balance in a general sense, though. But yeah, I was thinking incursions or ratting would be the general niche. But, second point:

Why is breaking the meta…bad?

The meta for a while was mass Ishtars with everyone assisting their drones to a fast locking Interceptor or the like. This was generally seen as a poor state of things, and was eventually nerfed in steps to un-meta it. Considering the different types of ships in Eve, there are a lot of niches that can be filled, an changing (not outright breaking) the meta is not an inherently bad thing on face value.

Again, I do agree it can be hard to balance. I’ve been around gaming long enough to see that adding ships/classes/etc to games can sometimes do nothing and sometimes be ridiculously OP/UP and waves of nerfs/buffs follow. But I’ve also seen it done where things don’t really change.

Like when they made Marauders pocket-Dreads, I remember people saying it would be a worthless ship, but then they got picked up by players and used in incursions, ratting, and a weird sort of specialized siege platform against POSes in places that Dreads can’t go (non-Capital WHs, High Sec), and didn’t break the game/meta, but also slotted into uses.

…I guess my question/threat was more wondering what the overall downsides would be, HOW it could be game breaking (e.g. how could it be abused or used to break the meta and how could that be addressed to prevent that), etc.

.

I should also point out (on the “no gun bonuses” point) that Domi’s also has absolutely no gun bonuses, but is still quite useful. A T2 Domi (I know, the Sin, but you get what I mean) that uses Fighters instead of Drones…


(Old Pervert) #7

(edit: holy fuck I’m long-winded tonight)
A fair question, and I concede that I often wish to break the meta. It was a very poor choice of wording on my part. Taking a second stab at it, it is my belief that this ship would either be utterly worthless or so utterly OP that you’d never use anything else.

The balance would be all but impossible… it would have to be less damage and tank than a marauder, in exchange for the mobility and lack of siege otherwise it would invalidate the marauders - another ship known for having no common pvp application. The niche would be direct competition with the marauder, with none of the benefits.

It has no advanced tank, it has less damage, it has no tractor bonuses… it’s made for ratting, without ratting bonuses.

The fighter squad would be prone to getting damaged, which in turn would severely affect your dps output. Any reasonable fighter bay would be unable to support much in the way of spare fighters on a battleship hull, meaning that once it got defanged (either in non-consensual pvp or in a “woopsie” moment) your ship would be completely neutered. That’s a poor design philosophy. Carriers having 3 means they can blap the small crap before they do any meaningful damage. 1 will most definitely not work well.

Overall, I believe the answer to your question of HOW it would be game breaking would be that I simply cannot see it being made a “you might want to fly this” kind of ship without making it a “you’re stupid for flying anything else”.

Consider for example ratting carriers. If you CAN fly one, you should be, barring campers and what-not… unless of course you have a super or you can boson rat in a Titan. The reason that they’re so good is of course their massive EHP, and the superb fitting capabilities.

I don’t ever fit anything resembling tank on my thanny; pure DPS, tracking etc. Rats never leave a scratch on it, partially because I’m warping in at 100 and aligning out. The NPC caps can sure dent it up but I’m in warp before that’s even on-grid. That’s why it’s great… it’s risk free (if you aren’t stupid), it beats the hell out of the rats, and apart from basic fighter management the only thing you have to watch is local.

Now consider this battleship. It will need to fit a tank like any other battleship, which leaves its dps on-par with any other ratting battleship… perhaps slightly higher (which invalidates virtually all drone boats… why rat in a domi/myrm/vni/ishtar/geddon with 650 dps when you can rat with a fighter for 900 + burst?.. and why have fighters if the dps will be the same as a drone boat?).

Then, you’ve probably invalidated any missile boat (bye caldari) because travel time is travel time… a fighter travelling once to a target is way better than all the volleys travelling. You’d use gallente drone boats but these do more damage (if not more, then why have them over drones?).

The end result is a chaotic pull in every direction… you need to nerf it to avoid invalidating half of the ships in the game, yet you’d need to buff it to account for the fact that it’s only real source of DPS would get killed quickly by rats.


(William shawn) #8

I don’t think this is a terrible idea in and of itself, but it does run into some bottlenecks.

1 is fighter size and relative fragility. This means that the ship has to have a role bonus to fighter health. THis in turn means that the bonuses to Fighter DPS have to be smaller to prevent it from being a better carrier than the carriers. If it’s t2, I’m not super-worried about it being better than T1 ships at drones/fighters.

the 2nd is role confusion. T2 ships are supposed to be the best ship for their role. T2 cov ops are supposed to be cloaky, T2 interceptors are fast, etc. This on the other hand, is very confused about what it’s doing, and seems to be less a escort carrier, more along the lines of the japanese converted carriers, which ended up being neither an effective battleship, nor an effective carrier.

If you want to have a CVE, ask for an actual CVE. A slow, big, relatively fragile BS that has the advantage of being full of angry bees, but not as full of bees as a full on carrier.


(Erethond) #9

I would love a T2 BS that uses fighter. Or even some kind of drone using marauder.

Although there could well be competition for the PvE niche with marauders, that is not necessarily a bad thing. There is competition between T1 drone boats and gun boats for PvE, so why does the marauder have to be alone in its T2 PvE ship role? Another ship could have the same damage, more range, less tank, different mobility, different weapon systems.

Marauders can easily be the “best PvE gun/missile, short range boat”, which they are, with bonuses that are intended for shorter range operations (like bastion modules: you don’t need that unless you want to facetank a pocket. At range, NPCs do little-enough damage that you barely need a tank, let alone a bastion tank).

So why not have a ship that does what the marauders don’t? Long range drone/fighters PvE. Let the ship be specialized in fighting at range and now the tanking bonuses are not needed and it can actually be as flimsy as a T1 battleship. Instead, make it mobile (and maybe get a bonus to MWD or afterburners instead of MJD) and with excellent damage projection through drones/fighters, at the cost of damage being dealt by destroyable.

Currently, drone pilots have little better than a dominix, unless they want to move onto hybrid boats like a rattlesnake or navy-domi. With a pocket carrier, there is now something.

As for the crazy storage issue, can’t you have 2 tubes, but limit bandwidth? This way, the pocket carrier can have two squadrons of, say, 5 fighters, or 3 squadrons of 3. It’s more fun to control than 1 squadron of 9 fighters and allows for using a variety of fighters (some for small ships, some for big ships?) without flying multiple full squadrons which would be too powerful. Fighters still individually take damage, right? So less fighters per squadrons would not make them any flimsier, but recalling a partial-squadron that is taking damage means you lose less damage than if you had only one full squadron.


(Raybra Brahms) #10

This idea has been brought up before in exactly this type of idea, if CCP cares it is already in the works, if not your post isnt going to change anything.


(Dior Ambraelle) #11

I think in an ideal case the ships would work like rock-paper-scissors. The reason we have Machariel… I mean meta (sorry, I always mistake these 2 words) is because one ship of it’s class clearly outperforms most others in many situations. Also, shifting the meta once in a while usually benefits games.

Regarding to ratting, I think the chance of the NPCs aggroing the fighters instead of the control ship could be increased a bit.


(Old Pervert) #12

Shifting, yes. But gently. This would not be a gentle shift… I still maintain that the ship would be either dramatically over or underpowered. I can’t see it ever being balanced… and adding something that is overpowered is not a good shift. Adding something that is underpowered means there will be no shift.

Wouldn’t affect current ratting carriers. The only rats that can track them are destroyers and frigates… to an extent cruisers. All of which would utterly MURDER a single fighter squadron, which lacks the ability to distribute fire on 3 targets at once the way a carrier can.

Ratting carriers always shoot smallest to biggest for that exact reason. They can blap the small things 3 at a time, to keep their fighters safe. This battleship would do 1 at a time, which I can promise will mean lost fighters. Given the cost of fighters, this will have a substantial impact on ratting income, which will in turn make them be not used for pve.


(Erethond) #13

So… if it can be over or under-powered, why can’t it be somewhere in between? Sure it might be a tough spot to find, but ship power relative to the meta should be a continuum, not two discreet possibilities…

If you think that 1 full squadron would be too slow to destroy small enemy ships, what’s your counter argument to 3 partial squadrons? Same DPS, can kill small things faster since it limits overkill. You also lose less DPS when one (partial) squadron has to be recalled because it is taking damage since you have 2 other (partial) ones still blasting things. Or do you need 9 fighters to kill a frigate?


(Krysenth) #14

OP, you’re asking for a ship with Capital features while NOT being Capital in size and skill. Pretty sure your last thread ended up a solid No.


(Krysenth) #15

In fact, OP, your last thread is STILL ACTIVE. You should probably be amending your idea/suggestion there instead of posting what is probably a duplicate thread.


(Dior Ambraelle) #16

That is my thread, Rena’Thras and I aren’t the same person. The forum does have a search function though…


(Kira Hhallas) #17

Wait, i can remember we had a thread about same idea some years ago…

A Carrier with Fighter is not more than a big Ship with better Drones …(remeber it ? some time ago ?)
I fact, you Need a Orca with more DPS und 400k Tank and no jumpdrives …

oh wait… a orca is not realy cheaper than a cheap carrier…
and… you can fly a Carrier with BS lvl 3 … so if you like you could fly a carrier with 40Mio SP…
Orca will Take 30Mio SP …

So … a Orca in a Escort Carrier role is not realy wanted… before we get one of these carriesr, i want to have a Mining Dread with Capital Mining Strip Miners …


(Dior Ambraelle) #18

This idea indeed pops up regularly, I’ll take it as a proof of this makes at least some sense.

Now this isn’t true. At least not anymore. Fighters were capital drones, but they were reworked to be a completely different thing.


(Old Pervert) #19

The inherent weakness to fighters is built around having multiple squads. If you buff it enough to remove the inherent weakness, you end up with an ungodly overpowered ‘something’.

As said, they can attack 3 targets at once. They’re killing the small stuff literally 3 times faster, thus preventing their fighters from taking enough damage that they’re actually losing fighters. Yes they’ll take some damage, but not enough that they’ve lost a fighter. Start killing the small stuff at 1/3 the speed, carriers will absolutely lose fighters too.


(Erethond) #20

I find it hard to believe that the (applied) dps of 3 full squadrons is needed to kill frigates fast enough to defend fighters adequately. Is that really what you are saying?

I would expect that full squadrons would be overkill for frigates and actually a waste. If that is the case, we can reduce squadron size to a fraction of max size at which overkill no longer occurs without hampering the ship’s ability to kill frigates (if a frigate has X ehp, anything more than X alpha is not helping, you can only kill one per salvo). On targets with more ehp which can withstand multiple salvos, this would be toning done max dps, possibly to marauder/pirate BS level.

If you do need full squadrons and full carrier dps to deal with frigates, then yeah, this idea cannot be made to work since full carrier dps on a bs with less investment and skill requirement can’t really be done. I just find that… hard to believe.