I propose that supercaps should have a monthly operating cost in order to present a strategic choice to alliances as to how many they should use at one time.
How many Titans and SuperCarriers are there in Eve Online? I’m guessing thousands if not more and this has become a problem in the eternal epeen race that is EVE. Titans are the new battleships, while BS’s were meant to be the heavy hitting ship fleet class while SuperCaps were strategic assets that were only available to the major alliances.
Now, rather than CCP blowing up every SuperCap in the game (a drunk Jovian did it), I have a different idea on how to put some sort of ceiling on SuperCap creep that keeps going on. It’s not making them weaker or easier to kill, in fact you can make them stronger. Rather, it’s to take a real world analogy and apply it EVE.
The modern day equivalent of the Titan is the aircraft carrier. But why doesn’t the US (or any other country) have a steadily growing fleet of aircraft carriers that would be in every port eventually? That is because aircraft carriers are extremely expensive to maintain, crew and service. The ship cost itself is a minute fraction of the total lifetime operating cost of the ship. In EVE, all we have to pay is the upfront cost and then the ship is free to operate (other than jump fuel of course).
What I propose, is that all SuperCaps should have a maintance requirement bill that needs to be paid every month in order for them to be active. For example, an alliance would have pay 1.5 Billion ISK per month for each Titan they have in service. (These would be individual bills, not a lumped sum bill) If the bill is not paid, the Titan in question shuts down in space (or dock) and goes inactive until the service bill is paid and it is reactivated again. This would present a choice to an alliance as to the amount of SuperCaps they can afford to operate at any time.
A major alliance can have 100 titans going for a major operation, but if they put that many on the field, then their cash reserves would rapidly dwindle, making a quick victory a necessity. Or they can activate a fewer number of titans and keep ISk reserves ready for the long haul, or to activate additional titans (or Supercarriers) as needed.
Lastly, the SuperCaps will have a reactivation period where the bill is paid, but the ship cannot be used. It takes time for personnel to be recalled, supplies loaded and systems checked and readied. So for a Supercarrier, it can take 10 days to activate, while a Titan would take 15 days to activate. This would discourage rapidly turning supers on or off just to save on the cost of operating them. You can turn them off, but realize that they could be out of action for awhile and you are left vulnerable, making the number of supers active an important strategic decision that an alliance would have to make. On the flip side, you can have a 3 day grace period for example, where you decommission your super, but it will still remain active and the decision can be turned around so that the super can dock up or if there is a sudden surprise attack or the war suddenly swings you can reactivate your ship with out the activation period.
Anyways, these are some ideas which I think can bring an important strategic layer to how supercaps are used.