Short version: planes that spot that cannot attack and use a cool down and duration based consumable, instead of rocket armed planes.
The common consensus is that the carrier rework is not good, to say the least. One reason why this is thought is due to the cv being able to near constantly attack ships. (Correct me if that line of thought is wrong.)
Now compared to other ships the carrier seems rather overly offensively orientated: cvs lack the smoke of destroyers, hydro or radar or utility of cruisers, health of battleships. Now if the cv had one of these it would just be dumb, a smoke capable carrier is just annoying and a battleship health cv would be little more than a piñata once spotted and attacked.
However if the carriers had spotter planes instead of rocket planes, or some form of reconnaissance plane, then the cv becomes more strategic and supportive rather than just a hive filled with angry bees.
From this line of thought, carriers could have planes in the 1st slot that carry no weapons but have the role of spotting enemy ships.
One idea could be to have hydro or radar buoys that are dropped like bombs or torpedoes; requiring aiming, that emit a zone that spots enemies and torpedoes. (They would either have to have long duration and short range or short duration and long range in order to allow enemy ships to leave the spotting area.) this would mean that parts of a map could be locked down by aircraft spotting, but would be static, and countered by aa or by moving elsewhere.
This would mean that although destroyers and hiding ships (smoke or cover based or other) would be seen more than the current style, the only damage would come from other ships attacking them. The cv would take a slightly more passive role but would have planes and consumables that it can set and leave, in order to deal with the rest of the battlezone. It would also necessitate more team play as the cv would have planes that work more in the lines of hydro and radar, rather than the current way where the cv can be more focussed on their attack runs to the cost of allied air cover and spotting.
Historically there seems to be a fair few planes that can be used in game to represent this role, although the current plane classes could be used as is.
If the planes were to use hydro or radar in some way, not necessarily a consumable like all other ship types, they could also be different according to nation to give different playstyles that would be in line with the rest of their nation tech tree.
Spotter planes/ spotting planes rather than rocket planes would hamper the Royal Navy carrier line and cruiser line, and all destroyers, but it could be a solution to the current cv problem that is not a complete rework but shift to the side.
If you have read this far then thank you for taking the time.
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