Horemvore: very interesting! But my experience is . . . otherwise. First, in the busted game, they all used beams all the time, regardless of module. Second, in my tests, I unlock all techs. I see them with kinetics, missiles, and beams. But in at least one test, the assault fighters are role "interceptor" and the interceptors and guardians are role "guardian" even with every tech unlocked.
I wonder if anyone else has encountered what you're describing? Is this new? I've used carriers forever, since 2015. I know they get loadouts based on your tech level. It's beyond comprehension that the role would be determined that way. Essentially, guardians are not fighting and contribute nothing to my fleets, even when I set my carriers as "capital" ships to eliminate anyone in the support role. Which also incidentally gets them killed. I guess it goes without saying that calling them "interceptor drones" and having them produce guardians isn't a great thing either, even if it's by design.
I'll do more tests tonight and we'll see what happens. Thank you!