Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Carrier Fighter Skills

Previously:
Carrier Testing
Carrier Fighters
Carrier Modules and Bonuses

In the last post of my Carrier series I'll quickly go over the carrier specific skills that were added/changed from prior the release.

Before the Citadel expansion, there were two relevant carrier skills, Fighters and Fighter-Bombers. The former unlocked and improved Fighters and the latter unlocked and improved the heavier supercarrier only Fighter-Bombers.

Upon the expansion your skill level in the Fighters skill was maintained but the skill no longer directly unlocked any of the fighters. Your skill level in Fighter-Bombers was transferred directly to the new Heavy Fighters skill.

Fighters - Allows operation of fighter craft. 5% increase in fighter damage per level. Doesn't allow you to use any fighters but is the blocking skill to all other skills in this post.

Light Fighters - Allows operation of the two light fighters types, the general purpose Attack fighters and the Space Superiority figthers. 5% increase in light fighter velocity per level.

Heavy Fighters - Allows operation of the two types of heavy fighters, the Heavy Attack and Long Range Attack fighters. 5% increase in heavy fighter damage per level.

Support Fighters - Allows operation of support fighter craft. 5% increase in support fighter hit-points per level.

Fighter Hanger Management - This skill is surprisingly important. It gives a 5% bonus to Fighter Hangar size per level.

First off, the base carrier fighter hangers range from the smallest at 55,000  m3 of the Chimera, 60,000 m3 for Archon, 65,000 m3 for the Nidhoggur, and 70,000 m3 for the Thanatos. That seems like a lot of room until you look at how much space each squadron takes:

Space Superiority Fighters (800 m3 per fighter x 12 fighters / squadron) = 9,600 m3
Attack fighters (1000 m3 x 9 fighters) = 9,000 m3
Support Fighter (3000 m3 x 3 fighters) = 9,000 m3

Just putting one of each squadron type in a base Chimera, for example, takes up over just half the hanger space. Ideally you want to be able to put out three squadrons of attack fighters or three squadrons of space superiority fighters depending on the scenario so without spares you want to use 9600*3+9000*3+9000 (can only have one support squadron in space for a carrier) = 64,800 m3. That only works for the Nidhoggur and Thanatos out of the box and that pretty much precludes the hope of having any spares to replace losses being available in your hanger.

Having Fighter Hanger Management trained to IV gives a 20% boost to that base size which gives the following hanger sizes:
Chimera: 66,000 m3
Archon: 72,000 m3
Nidhoggur: 78,000 m3
Thanatos: 84,000 m3

As you can see, it makes a large difference to the capacity and gives the carrier pilot more options in terms of what fighters that they can carrier with them to battle. This effect is also important on the larger hangers of the supercarriers with the larger heavy fighters with their larger volume per squadron (6 fighters per squadron x 2,000 m3 per fighter = 12,000 m3 per squadron) and larger number they can launch at a time (5 squadrons at a time, max 3 Light fighter squadrons, 2 support fight squadrons, and 3 heavy fighter squadrons).

In addition, the skill unlocks the use of the carrier-only modules Network Sensor Array and Fighter Support Unit, so all told its pretty much mandatory to have it trained to at least level IV before undocking.

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That's it on carrier basics. Hope you find these posts useful.

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