So other than it having less health then a Negvhar, whats the carriers downside?
Depends on the carrier. Vo'Quv has only 3 weapon slots forward and 3 aft. The kar'Fi has 4 forward/ 3 aft, but has slightly less health then the Vo'Quv. The missing weapon slot/slots are generally made up for though with the fighters and frigates it can launch. The Kar'Fi is getting slightly reduced damage out of their frigates because of the added weapon slot basically.
And while their hull strength is about the same as any other ship in the game, they're science centered, meaning that they have practically zero ways to heal themselves, short of being driven by an Engineer.
The reduction in the number of waves was done as a first step towards getting spam under control. Yes, mines, Photonic Fleet, and many other things are going to be looked at as well.
With the exception of Kar'fi Frigates, since the Kar'fi is getting an additional hanger, Carrier BoPs and fighters were strengthened both in damage and defense to compensate for the reduction in the number of waves.
By the numbers, I think it's in the right ballpark, but numbers do sometimes lie, so if after collecting data and listening to feedback from people who have tried them there are issues, we will certainly consider changes as necessary.
The intention, however, certainly was not to weaken carriers or strengthen them, but merely to give them more options and greater control.
Hey Heretic... can you guys please enhance the tooltips (show DPS for each weapon system the pets have at a minimum... maybe also show their max flight speed / shield / hull strength)? Thanks!