so I have zero experience with the old version of ADA
I did some spreadsheeting for the old ADA about a year ago, similar to what I've done recently. The basic premise of the ability is that each squad gets 1 extra member, so the ability is more useful if you have more squads. This means that higher-level capital ships (the ones that need this ability least) get the most benefit, while lower-level capital ships (the ones that need it most) get the least. As well, Advent squads are pretty large to begin with, so you'd need over 7 squads for the old level 1 ADA to give you the equivalent of one extra strike wing in numbers. For that reason, there was literally no reason for lower-level Halcyons to grab this ability.
However I would question whether there are any AEA Halcyons around in this version
I'd say this has more to do with the sheer dominance of bombers right now. Bombers both threaten capital ships and force them to stick to the edge of the gravity well, and your own bombers aren't affected by EAA anyways. I think EAA is perfectly fine, it's the bomber/LRF dominance which is suppressing "front-line" capital ship utility that's the issue.
The old ADA may have been backweighted, but it wasn't weak, just not as good at low levels
That's exactly what "backweighted" means, it was incredibly weak at the lower levels, but became decent towards the higher levels when your squads began to max out.
The current version is a 50% boost at the second level.... Extra strikecraft seems to me to be far better than having a capital with 2 extra squadrons at level 3, especially the Halcyon with its TKP
I just punched in the 1.18 values into the same sort of tables I did for the old 1.17 ADA. It seems that the extra squad that 1.18 gave to all carriers did really help the old version of this ability. It's still much worse at level 1/2, however.
If you're maxing out ADA, then old ADA catches up at level 3 and pulls ahead slightly at level 5 (in terms of sheer numbers, new ADA still has the advantage of extra build speed and more finesse in that you can micro each squad individually). If you aren't maxing it out and are leaving ADA at level 1, then new ADA remains superior for longer, not being passed until the Halcyon hits level 6 or 7 (again, that's just numerically, and by that time you're running out of other skills anyways).
The biggest difference between old ADA and new ADA is actually build speed, that the Halcyon can build strike craft more quickly with a higher level of ADA. I think that staying power is a cool ability of the Halcyon, and the problem is more that carriers and their strike craft are so dominant (and, in fact, are only realistically countered by other carriers with their own strike craft). This naturally makes any ability that boosts a carrier's primary role invaluable, and that's the problem, not the strength of the ability.
I strongly believe that ADA is balanced as is, and any changes should be directed at the strike craft or the capital ships themselves, not their abilities (scramble notwithstanding...)
So I have to say that I strongly disagree also- the overboosted Halcyon is the major reason for the appearance of the dubious substance-improved Skirantra.
The reason for the Skirantra buff was more to the fact that carriers were and are the dominant fighting force, so even a slight disadvantage in performance of your carrier with respect to the other factions was a huge handicap. This wouldn't be an issue if carriers weren't the end-all, and a slightly tweaked 1.18 scramble bombers would have been nice.
Personally, I'd like to see scramble lose a lot of its maximum duration (so you can't build up huge swarms) and get to keep its multi-launch to compensate. I think quickly being able to get fresh bombers on the scene should be the advantage of this ability. I think reducing its duration to 60 seconds (its cooldown is 35, so this would mean no more than 2 sets of scramble active at a time) would be a great place to start, especially anticipating that there may well be a general bomber nerf.
So at least you would agree that LF are preferred opposition for capital ships? There were aspects of the scout/disciple option that improved the game.
Yes, I'm with you on this one.
The Ironclad response was a surprise, to claim that they never intended to have scouts fight LRF, and the changes they made to scouts might be another consideration for reversion by a community patch
I'm with you here as well, although I do agree with the point that large scout swarms made it very difficult to apply non-illuminator LRF, so some tweaking has to be done, but I think scouts do have a very important role to fill in the early-game.
Personally, I don't think reverting to the more ancient versions of the game is a good idea. I think that 1.181 (with 1.191 bug fixes) is the best place to start balance-wise and there's very little if anything I'd want to revert to earlier versions from that patch.