MindsEye your gettign way off course.
The balance was almost perfect before and they were just 2 problems.
Flak was to inefective againts strike-craft that it wasnt very reliable. And flak has gotten that boot via a range increase and the all banks firering.
The second was that people only built fighters because if you had enought of them you could take out anything. To fix this it should have been only as simple as to lower the % of dmg the fighters do againt not appropriate targets. While leaving it as it is againt apropriate targets.
But what they did wrong was nerf the carriers them selves. I did some calculation and a 75% build penalty is equal to rought 50% of a carrier prebuff. Remember when carrier only had 1 SC for TEC and Vasary and 2 for Advent? Well current carrier are only woth 50% of those in current version.
And it'S the fact that carriers are useless that generates the LRF spam. Why because if the carriers are useless their is simple NO counter to LRFs other then more LRFs.
BEfore the carrier nerf the game was almost perfectly balanced. Even if someone spamed carriers you could still wipe the floor with his NOOBASS so it wasn't a problem. IT could be dealth with intelegently and by using apropriate counters. In that time i would be seing almost every type of ship beign used by skilled players depending on the situation and strategy used.
NOW IT'S LRFs.
Peoblem is easy to see since the game when from near perfect to the worst it has ever been. 1.04 was the worst this game has ever been and 1.3 entrenchment toke us right back to it on a FREIGHT TRAIN.