But that time was long ago.
Now, if you go to any region, you’ll find a carrier ratting. Several, likely. At any given moment, I’m sure there are thousands of carriers being used. Isn’t it time carriers should be allowed to travel through gates? We have a perfect model in black ops battleships, which gain the ability to jump, without any tradeoffs. Why not do the same with carriers?
But, unlike blops battleships, I propose we add a penalty. Any time a carrier jumps through a gate, its capacitor resets to 30% (unless it was below that). Yes, the same capacitor level as happens following a jump, when fully skilled.
What does this mean?
1) If a carrier pilot is only traveling a few jumps, they would likely use gates to conserve isotopes. This would create great opportunities for PvP. Carriers are very slow and, even if they cloak off the gate, they won’t be able to align and warp off (after decloaking) before they can be pointed. With a 30% capacitor, they will be susceptible immediately upon jumping the gate. Gate camps would fetch fat prizes.
2) The galaxy would be truly unified. There are some areas of the galaxy which are connected by stargates, yet are dozens of light years apart. SF-XJS in Tenal and HB-5L3 in Cobalt Edge is one example. Why should an alliance be limited in its expansion because of such a huge gulf, which prevents sharing of capital ship resources between regions? It’s the reason Razor voluntarily gave up on Cobalt Edge, and why Insidious Empire will never extend beyond CE into Tenal. Those limitations seem silly to me.
3) The loss of capital ships would generate content for PvPers and increase the demand (through replenishment) for the production of additional capitals. Out of necessity, this would boost activity in null and low-sec (since capitals can't enter high-sec, except for industrial caps).
I see no reason to prevent carriers, in particular, to be allowed through gates. It’s use as a ubiquitous ratting ship – despite the risks and cheaper alternatives – makes it an ideal target for roaming gangs, which makes all sorts of content, both for the exploders and producers of ships. The mechanic preventing them from using gates is archaic, and more appropriate for the still-expensive supercarriers and titans, but let’s eliminate this silly limitation for carriers. If freighters and orcas can jump gates, why not carriers?
Some may argue that this will only increase force projection, but there are very few areas that would be affected by this change. The risk of jumping gates with a carrier and the annoyance of long align and warp times will make pilots use gates only when necessary. What can be gained - an increase in capital kills and an increase in cap production margins through increased demand - outweighs what would be lost.
That sounds like a win to me.