The point that seems to have been missed here, and that I must stress is that strikecraft are the only unit in this game that cost nothing to replenish once lost. No other unit can recreate itself indefinitely at no cost to the user.This is why carriers have been so hard to fix. They couldn't be balanced in the first place. Have you ever played a game where strikecraft were free? NO. IT DOESN'T WORK and is unsensible in terms of balance.
Before in 1.1 strikecraft were too poweful. Now they're god awful. There's so much guess work with how you balance a unit like this. There are cases where it will replenish its ranks mid battle because it has huge antimatter stores. There's also when it's been jumping so it is in an enemy gravwell and has no antimatter. Not to mention build penalties.
Is there honestly someone out there who's going to tell me it's fair that I can jump 10 carriers into your gravwell, take out say 10-20 long range frigates of urs, then jump out and regenerate my losses for free while you must pay to replenish your losses?
The problem and flipside to this arguement is that there is flak burst, halcyon bitch slap of doom, and magnestize. Capital ship abilities what will absolutely decimate strikecraft. With that said, I will yield to the fact that even though I've never seen strikecraft costing nothing to replenish work, that perhaps there is still a way to salvage the current system.
Strikecraft, long range frigates, and light frigates are all linked in this nexus of imbalance. Making fighters cost cash would take effort to program, but would be so much easier to balance than they are now. You want the guessing game and annoying imbalance to leave this game? I'm telling you taking the guess work and X factor of antimatter out of the equation makes balancing the unit way easier.
@SS: The Vasari ability makes cost go up X2 and refresh rate go up X2, so that's not weakend. If anything, it's stronger. The Cobalt Sabatoge Reactor ability does 100 damage and disables abilities, so strikecraft wouldn't be built...period. Still strong. The only race squirreled here is Advent. Disipcles literally steal the antimatter, so yes, disciples would be somewhat less effective against carriers.
The weakness of light frigs doesn't come from the fact that the ship is too weak. It comes from the fact that LRFS are ungodly strong against them and that against their ideal target (heavy armor), they only get a +50% bonus when it should be +75% or +100%. Weakening them against carriers is the least of our worries in balancing them.
Make Strikecraft cost $$$ (i'm debating this one, it could work, but it'd definitely need to be done right in practice), give light frigs a bit of a buff at their purpose, lower LRF health, balance the illum, balance the enforcer, up repulses antimatter cost, balance flak accordingly with the new adjustments to fighters, up the carrier's speed back up to 500 (why in the hell was it lowered to 450, lrfs can catch them now), keep the cost of strikecraft relativley low (make stricraft only 1/2-1/4 the cost of the current carrier)and you know what.....this game just might be balanced.
C'mon devs. You wanna sell Diplomacy you'd better balance Entrenchment first.