I don't think the extra "spike" of having the other half of your deployable wings available from the start to be worth it.
Not exactly correct. The dread loses in pet damage because it cannot replace lost pets or completely swap pet types on the go.
Considering as all that extra damage you're going on about is just going to impact the shields and not do much.
You do realize pets do AI type damage right? They do not get damage the same reduction when hitting the shields. Look at the combat log and see the bops/todujs/whatever hitting the target's shield for thousands of damage whereas your own torpedoes hit for barely a few hundred.
In that which matters, that extra spike at the beginning will pale in comparison to what's needed, long sustained high DPS. And if both carrier variants will only be able to deploy the same exact number of ships in total, the Dread will win out in the DPS fight every time in situations that matter.
Once again, too much focus on weapon damage as if it was the only thing that mattered. You cant truly expect a science ship to compete with a tac ship (which is what the VoQuv is in comparison). Sustained DPS .. yes, the dread does have an advantage on that. Its why it is the dreadnought variant. The carrier variant has different boff slots and console slots which makes it more of a science ship.
As far as both deploying the same # of wings: The carrier variant can replace losses constantly and quickly whereas the dread is limited to replacing two at a time. You may have not noticed but in a VoQuv right now, any pet but the bird of prey (which survives longer) tend to lose half of their numbers on every kill they make..simply because the system is not set up to have the pets escape the blast on their own and the 'attack new target' order has a delayed response (pets stop in midair before heading to new target) which lets the explosion catch them.
The VoD'leh carrier, with its smaller armament loadout would be fighting as a carrier. Aka controlling the pets. Any competent carrier pilot knows how to use the attack/recall cycle to have the pets DPS triple and keep them effective. With 4 wings launched at once and with the ability to replace all 4 at once the carrier maintains its pet dps the whole time whereas the VoQuv variant cannot.
More importantly, the ability to have two or more different pet types ready for launch at any time. This is a benefit that is underestimated.
Remember: Carrier variant has sensor analysis. Has lt cmdr science (not tac). Can launch 4 wings at once. All these things help pet damage. Pet damage which is enhanced by the faster launch ability and the multiple pet type launch ability.
Combine that with the flight deck officer bonuses and you can glimpse how darn good a carrier variant would be for team support and damage assist via pets.
Carriers normally have weapon systems, striping it down leaves it defenseless against other carrier attacks. More fighters would mean more dps, and I really doubt they will sign on to 4 bays, since that would make its dps far beyond what a science ship should put out. Also in my experience its not that hard to shoot down a fighter, and if they added this I bet the would add more fire at will attacks from npc as well. And replacing dead fighters isn't hard, if you run it science, you have power to auxiliary, and a Doff to speed up the bays. Having 4 just means less work, heck could just ask them to make it auto deploy like the wpns auto fire, and you could go afk during fleet alerts while siting above the star base.
Using pre-f2p stats is like remembering about when MTV played just music, its a noble thought, but its a thing of the past, just like what ever it was your grandparents complained about to you. The game has been reworked, and changing it now would mean re-balancing everything. Because if they gave you an army of fighters, players would complain about there ships next, or yours. And with F2P its about profit, more people raging about a ship for the faction that is the minority in sales, and pop, means less time for them to be reading about the newest fed zen item.
I Own and run both the Vo'quv and the Kar'fi and haven't had much trouble keeping up with the bays at all, in fact I have more trouble judging where they are when I am sitting on probe duty and too lazy to turn them from attack to return. As far as I can tell the Vo'quv is already the most powerful science vessel, and probably one of the easiest ships to run, especially when defending, you just park the beasts and pop some grav wells.
The game has a set system already, I would rather see a new ship then 2 variants of the same ship meant to
fill the same role. Bad enough when I do fleet events and more then 2 other vo'quv's show up with mine we honestly don't even move for most the event. We just launch the bays, and fire are beam arrays, while turning at a full stop. Making one essentially 2, and striping off weapons just makes it more of a sit in the corner, and let the pets and other players worry about the rest kind of ship.
Instead of a second one, I would rather see a tanking, engineer carrier. One that is built for engineers, closest I can find is the flight deck fleet variant, and its hull is pretty weak for a tank ship, but it does sport engy console slots, and a bay. Every time I mention that as a ship I want for my tank, people tell me to get the Vo'quv, since it is practically a tank...