I like the way you think with regard to corvettes as scouts and saboteurs, as well as the lack of stealth operations capability in Sins, but I think scout frigates (with a few researchable upgrades) would be better suited to filling that role. I mean, the Arcova can already plant explosives, and all scouts are able to phase jump through inhibitors. Give them a stealth ability (operating like the Diplomatic Immunity ability given to envoy vessels) and they'd be able to deep strike with no problem; give them a sabotage ability (unique for each faction) and they'd be able to do their thing.
Just completely hypothetically:
- Arcova: Timed Explosives becomes able to slow production by 50% at a given factory for X minutes.
- Seeker: Culture Jamming (LOL): Shuts down a given trade or refinery, nullifying its income, for X minutes.
- Jikara: Nanophage: Reduces tax income at a given planet by 10% for X minutes.
Back to corvettes:
Within the Sins mythos, corvettes are an intermediary between strike craft and frigates in terms of both health and damage. They are beefier than fighters, weaker than frigates, they have shields, and their weapons package allows them to do decent damage to everything.
To give corvettes the abilities necessary to deep strike AND sabotage would outmode scouts completely; in addition, it simply wouldn't solve the CPU overburden problem.
1) Making corvettes smaller was an oversimplified explanation about making them have a smaller impact on the CPU(as well as making them physically smaller). By making them physically smaller so they have different zoom use you have a justification to reduce poly counts on corvettes (just like strike craft, the players wouldn't be zooming in on them so much).
You'd have to reduce corvette polys by a helluva lot to make a significant impact on CPU performance. I'd rather just limit their numbers.
2) Okay I can see where this would be a problem if you don't have the game programmed for this yet. Another solution would be to add a special corvette only carrier that looks/named in all respects like a regular carrier so that A) players can hide their strike craft/ bombers/ corvettes and carry an unknown surprise. Keep the carriers tech level 1 and keep them countered by LF. This would definitely give carriers a new mode of play(surprise!), and it is justified considering the pains that have been taken to limit them in rebellion.
Why go to the effort of creating a special corvette carrier, when regular carriers will do the job just as well?
As far as this discussing being arbitrary is concerned, what definition of arbitrary are you using?
I"ll make an assumption and go with number 2.
1. founded on or subject to personal whims, prejudices, etc.; capricious
2. having only relative application or relevance; not absolute
3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (of a government, ruler, etc.) despotic or dictatorial
4. (Mathematics) Maths not representing any specific value an arbitrary constant
5. (Law) Law (esp of a penalty or punishment) not laid down by statute; within the court's discretion
There hasn't been a dev who has communicated what is on or off the table concerning corvettes, so a dev who provides effective communication about this would be instrumental in assisting in solving the issue so that there is no arbitrary conversation.
My apologies: I didn't intend to imply anything about you or the devs.
By "arbitrary limit," I meant a "throw-up-your-hands" solution wherein you apply, say, a 100 headcount limit for corvettes because you couldn't think of any other self-regulating way to limit their numbers.
My argument here is that Sins already has several built in self-regulating methods to limit the number of strike craft, namely:
1). The need for a balanced fleet, which calls for allocation of specific amount of supply into certain kinds of ships and their counters
2). The economic limitations imposed by increased supply caps
3). The relatively large supply costs of carriers and capital ships
Here we have a systemic method by which players are limited in the number of carriers (and therefore strike craft) can be employed. If corvettes were strike craft built and housed by carriers, then their headcount would be limited by game mechanics already in place, thereby reducing CPU overburden.
All you have to do is balance their DPS and health accordingly.
For example: the average TEC fighter, with no upgrades, has:
- 71 hull (426 for the squadron of 6)
- 2 armor (type: very light)
- 2 anti-light DPS (12 DPS for the squadron of 6)
Likewise, the average TEC bomber, with no upgrades, has:
- 118 hull (590 for the squadron of 5)
- 3 armor (type: light)
- 4 anti-veryheavy DPS (20 DPS for the squadron of 5)
If corvettes were available as a kind of jack-of-all-trades one-man-squadron superfighter with shields and a special ability, targetable only by flak frigates and fighters, they would appear, hypothetically, as follows:
- 250 hull
- 100 shields
- 4 armor (type: light)
- Three weapons systems, 18 DPS total:
- Autocannon: 8 anti-light DPS (can target fighters and bombers?)
- Laser: 8 anti-heavy DPS
- Missile: 4 anti-medium DPS
You'll note that, in total, the corvette has only 250 hull and 100 shields, exactly as they are now and somewhat less than a full fighter or bomber squadron; a large group of fighter squadrons could kill one in one pass. This is intentional: they can't lose DPS the way a fighter squadron does, AND they get shield mitigation.
Their DPS, however, has been buffed so that they are now somewhere between fighters and bombers; but unlike fighters and bombers, they are capable of taking on LRFs, light frigates, AND "caster" frigates with impunity. Their shields give them unparalleled survivability against flak, since shield mitigation and shield regeneration give them durability. I should also note that the listed DPS is misleading, since they deliver all their damage in one "alpha strike" burst before coming around for another pass (during which time their weapons reload). It's possible that a single pass by two or three corvettes could destroy a Cobalt.
This is only a suggestion, of course; but I think it could work.