Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Capital Ship Gap
So ignoring the way that CCP dropped the ball on the mothership/supercarrier changes for Dominion, let's talk about what should be done.
The graph above reflects my opinion of the four combat capital ships effectiveness in combat and logistical (i.e. moving stuff, jump portals, repairing POS shields) roles and it reflects the problem with the current mothership: its effectiveness is not much superior to the carrier and dreadnought but its cost is far greater.
Side Note: I think this is because the original cost of the mothership took into account the supposed power of the clone vat bays, but they are virtually unused for a variety of reasons.
There are two ways to address this disparity: make the mothership more effective or bring the price down.
CCP tried the first on the test server with a huge hit point buff and fighter-bomber drones and it was well received by the playbase but for whatever reason was not acceptable to CCP. Then they proposed the second by making motherships effectively tier II carriers and lowering the price but the playerbase howled in outrage (especially current mothership pilots whose asset would drop in value by half with no recompense).
So now CCP has backed out of any changes.
What's the right answer? I propose two strokes to solve the issue.
1) Introduce new ships called supercarriers that would represent what CCP Nohz tried to do in the second phase of mothership changes.
These would be tech II carriers costing about 7 billion, have superior stats to regular carriers in terms of hitpoints but still be limited to +1 drone/fighter per level, can dock, have bigger ship bay and corporate hanger, same jump range, and can use Fighter-bombers unlike normal carriers.
These ships would be feasible as flagships for smaller corporations and alliances and fill the price point gap between Dreadnoughts and Motherships.
2) Change motherships by removing the ability of clone vat bays and introducing a new capital module for motherships only called Teleportation Device or something else suitably sci-fi sounding. This module would allow for ships in the fleet with a new high slot module called a Teleport Homing Device fitted to be transported immediately to the mothership as if they jumped there.
In essence the Mothership would be able to act as a focal point for a fleet, bringing in new pilots arriving on the scene or pilots reshipping from so many light years away. This would give the ship the intended role of the clone vat bays without all the downsides that made it pointless to use, and in protracted conflicts would be an important driver in a fleet's ability to maintain numbers.
As well, Motherships would be due a hitpoint buff and perhaps the ability to use fighter-bombers.