Q) Will we allow pilots to exchange their Carrier for Force Auxs? #1 A) Yes, but we havn’t determined the mechanic for this yet. One possibility that has been raised is that on patch day, any carrier with a triage module fitted will be turned in to a force aux. But this is still very much something we want to get your input on before we nail down the final plan.
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After Monday's post talking about my thoughts on the pre- and post-Citadel capital battlefield, my friend Stalence of CalMil alliance Templis CALSF contacted me and mention that at EVE Vegas there was mention that CCP is looking into ways to convert Carriers to Force-Auxs as players desired. He wondered if the same process could apply to blueprints so that my spare Archon BPO could become an equivalent Amarr Force-Aux.
This is not the first time I've heard that it was suggested that current carrier pilots would have some way to choose to keep a carrier or get one of the new ships in exchange, but I really have a lot of trouble seeing how the heck that would work out. There are a lot of factors in play as this is not a straight up conversion of one class to another like the tiericide and ship balancing usually is.
1) How would you pick one over the other? The presence of a Triage module was suggested, i.e. if one is fitted then it becomes a Force-Aux otherwise it stays a carrier. Seems clunky and might confuse returning players after the patch who go looking for their beloved Chimera and find some other ship instead.
2) If the ships have a disparity in price (i.e. raw price) will players get reimbursed the difference for switching/not switching?
I assume that if the slot layouts change on a carrier or are different on an exchanged Force Aux, the existing bad modules would be inactive until refitting. And all the drones would either go in the Fleet Hanger or to the player's home station (or put in redeemable items?).
Overall its doable, but it seems very clunky. Personally I think it would be better just to leave the current carriers alone (barring stat and layout changes) and let the market take care of the transition to the new Force Aux. Yes, that means there will be a couple weeks where no one has capital reps but I don't think that would be such a big deal. If it is a deal-breaker, just release the blueprints for the new ships 10 days or so before changing carriers.
Personally, I am going to want to have both ships on hand most likely so unless there is a strong financial reason to convert my Thanatos if CCP offers some sort of auto-exchange, I'll keep it and buy the new Force-Aux when it comes out.