Alright, let's get down to this.
[quot quoting="post"]Should there be more strike craft variety in the game?[/quote]
Maybe. It depends in particular what said strikecraft offer, and what kind of role they would perform. Is it something already fulfilled, but in a brand-new way, or is it a totally new concept?
[quot quoting="post"]I think it might be fun.[/quote]
Oh certainly it could. But, unfortunately, opinions don't count for as much as actual suggestions.
[quot quoting="post"]Fighters- standard general purpose, could be divided into light/med/heavy...
Bombers-standard, could be divided into light/med/heavy...could have limited shots[/quote]
This is called redundancy. Not the good kind of "we have four of this piece of equipment so if one breaks we have three backups", but the bad kind of "we have three versions of this unit, but only one is really good, so the other two are superfluous".
Really, the current SC types are good; they don't really need that much tweaking, because they do what jobs they have pretty well. Admittedly, fighters probably need to be buffed in order to balance out bombers, but that's a balance issue, not a role issue.
I also read the thread you put up about limiting the number of shots a bomber squadron can make, and I have this to say:
1) It's a terrible idea. Like Darvin said in that thread, it doesn't fix the problem, it simply adds unnecessary
2) It would add unnecessary micromanagement, and would add little to no depth. In other words, it's a feature that's
3) It would be a major change to the engine, something that's been stated as very unlikely to come.
[quot quoting="post"]Fighter/bomber-cross between the 2[/quote]
This could be good. I like the concept; but, the problem is how do you make it good without eclipsing the roles of the separate fighters and bombers, as well as not being a useless unit.
First and foremost, it could never be as good as either fighters or bombers at their jobs. This is because if it was as good as fighters or bombers, then no one would really build fighters or bombers.
To be worthwhile and different, I have these ideas:
1) it's either slower or faster than a fighter, but it should have less maneuverability than a fighter.
2) it's tougher than a fighter, as bombers are traditional tougher than fighters. it wouldn't be as tough as a bomber
3) perhaps instead of a single, forward antifighter weapon, it could have several, weaker antifighter weapons in each
direction. obviously, the forward antifighter weapon would have to be the most powerful, to ensure proper flight and
targeting behaviour, but that's only common sense.
4) perhaps the fighter-bomber has some special ability that let's it kill frigates faster, or disables other strikecraft for a
[quot quoting="post"]Stealth fighters-only visible right before, during, and after firing unless you have the correct detector (new ship type) in the area)[/quote]
Sadly, this is a terrible idea. Not the basic idea of stealth units, which is interesting but not really fitting within the lore, but the operation of this unit. Here's why:
1) It requires a specific unit (the "detector" you specified) to be countered. That in itself isn't too bad, but it is bad in
this case because no other unit can even try to counter these stealth fighters.
2) I never play multiplayer, but even I can see the absolute brokenness and balance headaches this is going to cause.
3) This would require some significant changes to the engines, mostly in how squad-based entity abilities work. Not
likely to happen, as said be an actual member of the IC devs.
[quot quoting="post"]Long Range fighter/bomber - can make 1 phase jump but can't jump back, carriers must go to the system to recover them, and they have limited fuel and/possibly weapons after the jump. Techs could increase the number of phase jumps they could make[/quote]
This, on the other hand, I love. It would probably pose some not insignificant balance challenges, but I believe it could be worked out. Limited fuel/weapons won't be possible within the engine, but there's the small matter that these independent squadrons wouldn't be able to replenish their numbers.
Say you've got a squadron of these LR F/Bs, and you phase jump them into a gravity well with some enemies. You go kill some, but they've got some flak frigates/fighters whatever of their own that counter strikecraft. So, the squadron's got, say, 6 fighter/bombers. Two get shot down.
Those two can't be replace until either:
1) the carrier jumps in, OR
2) they dock with the carrier.
The idea of having a techtree item to increase the number of consecutive phase jumps these units could make is also quite clever; it offers a way to buff them by increasing their operational range.
There's only two problems I can see with it:
1) It could possibly allow carrier support to gravwells where you can't actually launch fighters. Say, a plasma storm.
2) It would likely require some pretty hefty changes to the engine. However, these changes aren't nearly as great as,
say, limited ammunition or that stealth fighter idea you put up.
Bonus points for positing a concept that would provide some awesometastic bonuses to modders.
[quot quoting="post"]Planetary bombers - bombs planets[/quote]
Interesting idea, and already semi-doable via modding. However, I don't think we'd see these, unless they were the sole domain of say, the bombardment specialist capital ships. Note that I doubt we'd get these, as bombardment is already the domain of siege frigates and capital ships (particularly siege capitals).
The way this can be implemented via mod is to have an area-affect ability on a bomber squad; the ability does damage to planets. Simple and effective. Not pretty, not particularly clever, but elegant in it's simplicity.
[quot quoting="post"]Space superiority fighter-super great at destroying other strike craft, but not good at much else[/quote]
I'll grant that this is a pretty interesting idea and one that would appeal to many SC-lovers among the Sins community. But we already have flak frigates. Let me explain:
1) Space Superiority Fighters are, as you say, intended to kill SC, and only SC. They would logically do so very well.
2) Flak frigates already do this. A flak frigate isn't as good against bombers as, say, fighters, but that's more do to
with existing balance and game design.
So really, SSF's would only be flak frigates by another name. And they'd still be countered by flak.
[quot quoting="post"]Planetary fighters - fighters that can be based and launched from a planet[/quote]
This is another novel idea you've got. I like it, a lot. It also likely wouldn't be too difficult or drastic to implement. My advice to you, is to pitch this idea to the Ironclad devs.
[quot quoting="post"]Specific niche strike craft that get a bonus only against certain ships...counter frigate, counter cruiser, counter, capital ship...this is probably not doable, but I put it in here for the sake of conversation and to help spur ideas.[/quote]
Also a terrible idea. These roles are already fulfilled by various frigates, which are generally better than strikecraft because they are tougher and more flexible, and have more damage in general.
Granted, something like this could probably be done with, say, fighter-bombers, because you could give fighters bombers an anti-fighter weapon, and a weapon good against light frigates, and against support cruisers. That would also be an interesting method to differentiate them.
[quot quoting="post"]Also, if fighters/bombers still have unlimited weapons, what about allowing them to be armed with 1-3 shot weapons such as torpedos/missiles/etc. that do extra damage, but won't be refreshed till they land on the carrier again?[/quote]
Bad idea. This would add unnecessary micromanagement and complexity. Now, that's not to say you couldn't have something similar, like, say, 1+ abilities on an SC squadron that have long cooldowns but offer a pretty beefy combat advantage. So, instead of having a "limit", the carriers now have an ability that reduces cooldown time on the SC, and only the SC, abilities.
Minor nitpick: don't use "refresh", because it makes no sense. The correct term is "rearm", or "resupply".
[quot quoting="post"]What if one race or faction specialized in strike craft and had a much larger selection then the other races/factions but had a reduced selection of other ships (for future games/mods)?[/quote]
You can already have something like this. Simply mod a new race with a bunch of differently-equipped carriers that are all equipped with a variety of strikecraft. Some squadrons would be "universal", while others wouldn't.
Note that the "future games" part is really not likely, as Rebellion is highly likely to be the last Sins title. Or rather, the last "Sins 1" title. Who knows if the far future holds a sequal?
[quot quoting="post"]Specialty strike craft that fired weapons that do things such as slow down enemy ships speed, or reduce their rate of fire, etc...you could do a lot with these.
You can already do this, through abilities. Whether via an area-effect squad-based ability, or through a linked ability like the Sova's heavy strike craft.
In fact, I once did my own personal little mod that made a "Sova Strike Carrier". It had a couple of passive abilities that applied to it's squadrons and offered various, not insignificant, raw-damage bonuses against various targets.
So this is something that has more to do with, "would it be fun and would it fit the devs' vision of the game", more than "would this be possible".
[quot quoting="post"]The amount of squads allowed on each carrier would still be limited so you wouldn't be able to carry everything on every carrier.[/quote]
Well, duh. Of course you'd still limit the squadrons per carrier. If anything, you wouldn't actually change a thing about carrier squadron capacities. So a cruiser carrier would still only be able to field 2 squads (3 for Advent), but instead of just fighters or bombers (or mine squadrons in the Advent's case), they'd have a few other squadrons to play with. By definition, only capital carriers would be able to field at least one of every squadron type, because cap carriers can go above five squadrons.
Currently, in original Sins you have a limit of only 2 squadron types per unit. In Entrenchment and Diplomacy, you have four. It's likely that in Rebellion they'll keep this, but there's actually room for a grand total of five squadron types. So a capital carrier (and generally a fairly high (4-5+) level one at that) would be the only vessel capable of fielding a full complement including every type of squadron.
[quot quoting="post"]What are your thoughts?[/quote]
You have them, as above.
EDIT: forums have problems with rapid-fire quoting of a single post. *facepalm*