Just sort of sprang to mind while rambling in an attempt to cure insomnia; the Tackler and Covert Ops classes feel like they need to be swapped around.
Consider: Fighters are meant to be powerful ships, focused primarily on heavy damage, with moderate survivability and speed. Good all rounders, in other words. Interceptors are meant to be fast but fragile, able to fly in, perform a task and then extract before serious pain gets sent their way.
Now consider the two classes - Covert Ops is more or less pure damage, with White Noise to stop lock-dependent counterattacks and another to help it make a quick exit. Tacklers have a wide range of shiny toys to help them weaken enemies, deal damage and get out of dodge before the pain kicks in.
Lets just break them down in detail, and maybe you’ll see why the Tackler should be an Interceptor, and the Covert Ops a Fighter. Consider:
Special Module - Plasma Web. Deals direct damage over time.
Plasma Arc - Lots of direct damage.
Orion - Damage boost for a short time.
White Noise - Temporary protection from target locks from a single target to help ship escape.
Chameleon - Temporary protection from target locks from all targets to help ship escape.
Self Destruct - AoE damage (at the expense of your life).
Special Module - Increased speed and damage.
Shield Overload - AoE damage (at the expense of shields).
Overdrive - Increased critical change (ie: more damage) for a short time.
Engine Overdrive - Increased speed to help ship escape.
Combat Reboot - Temporary invincibility and immunity from debuffs to help ship escape.
Diffusion Shield - Increased survivability.
Valkyrie - Damage boost for self and allies for a short time.
Hull Aura - Increased hull resistance (so ship lives longer) for self and allies.
Shield Aura - Increased shield resistance (so ship lives longer) for self and allies.
Engine Aura - Increased speed for self and allies to help ship escape.
Command’s a bit of an oddity, but all three classes fit the same general theme - get in, inflict pain, get out. All three have modules to help them do that. In this setup, Covert Ops becomes the assassin fighter; it maximises damage up close at point blank range and has modules that help lock down potential dangers and keep enemies in check until the job’s done. Gunships are solid all-range fighters, but at the expense of having no crowd control beyond their dakka, and an emergency shield pop. Commands don’t have much in the way of direct damage boosts, but they’re also (in theory) the hardest fighter to kill, making them an ideal choice for defensive engagements and wearing enemies down via attrition.
In this trio, Covert Ops counters enemy ships that rely on abilities to stay alive; Gunships overwhelm high survivability targets; Commands can tank high DPS targets.
Now let’s look at Interceptors. How does the Tackler fit in there?
Special Module - Cloak. Invisibility allows for sneaky ambushes or quick escapes.
Target Painter - Debuffs target to make them easier to kill.
Engine Suppressor - Slows target to make them easier to kill.
Inhibitor Beam - Disables target’s afterburners to make them easier to kill.
Sentry / Heavy Sentry - Deploys a stationary drone that can harass targets that are otherwise preoccupied.
Special Module - Microwarp. Rapid redeployment allows for sneak attacks or quick escapes.
Spy Drone - Prevents enemies cloaking and debuffs their healing to make them easier to kill.
Parasite - Drains enemy shields to make them easier to kill. Also heals the Recon’s shields.
Cloak - Invisibility, mainly for quick escapes.
Micro-Locator - Deploys a stationary drone that prevents ships in its aoe from cloaking, making it harder for them to make surprise attacks or flee from attack.
Special Module - Metastable Field Generator. Makes ship temporarily invincible and then disables all enemies in range upon deactivation.
Energy Drain - Reduces target’s energy and replenishes ECM’s energy. Low energy = less / no module use.
Stasis - Briefly unplugs the keyboard on target ship, making them easier to kill.
Ion Emitter - Disables weapons and active modules, preventing enemy ship from dealing damage and making them easier to kill.
Weapon Inhibitor - Reduces damage caused by enemy ship, making them less dangerous.
See the pattern here? Tackler, Recon and ECM are all primarily about making enemies vulnerable. Of these, the ECM arguably has the best debuffs, but has no direct damage abilities to speak of. Recons can wreck shields, but otherwise their debuffs play the long game - killing enemies by giving away their position or denying them vital healing. They can also redeploy far more quickly. Tacklers, on the other hand, can redeploy more safely due to their long cloak. Their module setup also fits the bill, with the emphasis not on direct damage, but making enemies vulnerable to damage. There is also some overlap with the ECM, giving them a nice synergy.
I honestly think this way round makes a lot more sense. It might also help with the balance issues that plague the CovOps class in higher tiers - by moving it to Fighter, you effectively make it a larger, but slower target. This in turn makes it more vulnerable, and so more balanced.
I doubt it’s a suggestion we’d see implemented, but I’d hope people give it some thought.