I'm swiftly approaching my first Capital specific skill training and it's time to talk a little about my initial thoughts about Capitals (Caps) and what I think will need to change in the future.
When I started playing EVE I did some research about the ships, empires, and general background. It's something I do for pretty much every game I play. As I was reading one of the ship classes that captured my imagination was Carriers. The thought of sending a flight of fighters out to engage the enemy conjured up images of Battlestar Galactica, Wing Commander, and Space: Above and Beyond. Once I started playing and found out the reality of the game I realized getting a Carrier was something a long way into the future.
The future is no longer a long way away though. I should be flying a Chimera or two by spring of next year. I could have made the transition to capitals faster but I took some good advice to work on the basics before even thinking about caps. Thinking about caps is something I've been doing a lot of lately and I'm looking forward to the experience.
Why the Chimera? I know the Archon is the preferred carrier at this time due to the superiority of armor fleets versus shield fleets. The problem is I won't fly Amarr ships so the Archon is out. Next are the Thanatos and Nidhoggur which I considered but the Thanny seems to be about dealing damage and I prefer a support role. The Nidhoggur was tempting due to the ability to provide increased reps, but the weaker tank and bad reviews made me decide against it for now. Which leaves the Chimera, a solid choice for shield fleets but generally considered inferior to the Archon, but I'm ok with that.
I primarily see my carriers used for support instead of fighter platforms, but simply having the option to launch a swarm of drones or a flight of fighters means a lot to me. When I envision carriers on the field I think of a fleet comparable to modern day wet navies. Carriers surrounded by support ships of various roles providing overlapping defensive fire and offensive punch.
The sad reality of EVE though is capitals are unable to compete anytime Super-Carriers and Titans (Supers) are on the field and because supers can go everywhere Capitals can go there is a disproportionate risk level to fielding a Capital fleet. Should Supers ever be removed from the equation I think the smaller groups and alliances could have more fun knowing they stand a fair chance in a fight.
I'm not advocating the removal of Supers from the game, rather I think Supers should be limited to 0.0 space only. This means low sec becomes a way for small groups to get PVP experience, work with Capital fleets, and have the opportunity to prepare for a move into Null sec at some point in time.
One day I hope to be sitting in my Chimera, a blue nebula in the background and a planet sitting off the starboard quarter while my Alliance mates are surrounding me with more Carriers, Dreadnoughts, Battleships, Recons, Battlecruisers, Interceptors, Destroyers, Logistics, Heavy Interdictors, Command ships, and Bombers while we engage a hostile fleet of similar variety. I want to be able to say I was there when our Bomber wing warped in on the enemies flank and disrupted their formation while we closed the distance picked them apart through superior piloting and leadership. I want to watch as my fighters join the cloud of drones attacking the hostile fleets sniper squadron while I provide shields to our close range Battlecruisers.
The idea of Capital centric warfare is a driving force for many people playing EVE and I only hope the future allows the dream to become a reality.