So, now that I've actually played the game, I can see for myself what everybody was talking about. And, yes, corvettes are, indeed, as powerful as I anticipated.
With regard to jumping Orkulus starbases, Mecha-Lenin provided a neat but imperfect solution: only permit starbases to move into friendly gravity wells.
Personally, I feel that negates one purpose of jump-capable starbases -- that being, they can be used on the offensive.
Consequently, I propose the following: Orkulus starbases can only jump into friendly gravity wells or gravity wells occupied by friendly culture (lore reasoning: the telemetry necessary to permit an Orkie to jump is contingent upon above-average communication between the target and the destination, hence: culture).
This means that your offensive reach is limited by the extent to which you and your allies have spread culture, making culture wars a big part of limiting the mobility of the Orkulus.
On the other hand, this doesn't prevent players from stacking multiple Orkies outside a given gravity well before sending in a suicide team to kill any culture generators in the system. Consequently, I feel that no more than two Orkies can occupy a given gravity well at any given time (stars excepted).
- Orkies can only jump into friendly gravity wells or gravity wells occupied by friendly culture
- No more than two Orkies can occupy a given gravity well (no more than three can occupy a star)
With regard to corvettes, I feel the following issues need to be addressed:
- Easily attainable critical mass capable of unstoppable alpha strikes
- Owing to damage type, armor type, and the array of units they can target, they simply replace light frigates, long-range frigates, and, to an extent, flak and fighters
- Maneuverability makes them very difficult to hit
- As Volt and others have suggested, corvettes need their own armor type that is vulnerable to very specific weapons
- Corvettes need three different damage types for their three weapon banks, instead of all three weapons doing composite damage (note that the following damage types do not overlap with fighters or bombers):
Corvettes should no longer be able to target strike craft
Light frigates and corvettes should be balanced in such a way that light frigates have more health and shields per unit cost than corvettes, and corvettes have more damage per unit cost than light frigates (but less damage per unit cost than long-range frigates). So, hypothetically, the relationship would look something like this (values might have to be weighted to accommodate the critical mass factor where corvettes are concerned):
- Bank 1: Anti-medium
- Bank 2: Anti-heavy
- Bank 3: Composite
Fighters need to be able to speed up and slow down faster; they also need to be able to turn faster; both of these will allow them to target corvettes more easily
- Light frigates: 1.2 health per unit cost, .9 damage per unit cost
- Corvette: .8 health per unit cost, 1.1 damage per unit cost
- Long-range frigate: .9 health per unit cost, 1.33 damage per unit cost
This doesn't address corvette speed and maneuverability, but it might be enough; if not, perhaps corvettes should move slower as they take hull damage?
Of course, if this solves the corvette problem, we still have to deal with bombers. Though the fighter change will help allay the problem, I feel that each faction should have an "anti-strike craft alpha strike" ability. The Vasari and Advent already have one (Jam Weapons and Telekinetic Push, respectively), but TK Push needs a range buff to be effective.
I suggest baking anti-strike craft alpha strike capability into the Kol Battleship's Flak Burst: in addition to damage, it temporarily lowers strike craft accuracy by W/X/Y/Z% (Volt suggests that these values should stack with multiple bursts; I don't see the point, since your second burst will probably kill the strike craft anyway).