Cruisers just seem too good in their AA role in order to make a favourable mass tradeoff likely. Sure, you can get a favourable tradeoff with no enemy ASF presence, no bulwarks, and a lot of torp bombers; but that's essentially requiring your enemy to do everything wrong while you build lots of torp bombers you might never have a good opportunity to use.
So, what if cruiser AA traded off most of its DPS for a large boost in range?
UEF cruiser has 500DPS AA missiles with a range of 75.
It could instead be 200-250DPS at a range of 120.
This would add a lot more depth to the interaction between air and navy.
On the one hand, it would be pretty easy for a torp bomber strike to get a favourable mass tradeoff on a typical fleet with no air support, although a fleet with lots of cruisers could still be tricky.
On the other hand, although now reliant on air support, cruisers would provide much better support to air units.
ASFs would have to give cruisers a wide berth unless they're targeting something valuable enough to justify a few losses, giving your air units far more room to operate in.
The long range AA would also give you an edge in both sending and defending against bombers and scouts.
First of all, fallow this thread for balance guidelines https://forum.faforever.com/topic/759/balance-thread-guidelines
Second... Air would be too dominant across-the-board with your proposed changes.
If anything cruiser need a buff because torps are too easy to be mass efficient with vs navy
I suppose there is no way to make carriers automatically launch aircraft fast enough to intercept torpedo bombers?
Sad aeon cruiser noises.
The meta is already way too tilted in favor of frigates and torp-bombers. If you cut half of the dps of a cruiser, i guess only UEF and Sera would make them, for the missile ...
Trust me, cruisers are not too good in their anti air role. Especially because the can be mass efficiently one passed by torpedo bombers. Mass efficiently killing a unit that is supposed to be countering you makes the unit pretty weak. There is a reason you see higher level players spam hover flak on setons. It is just so much mass efficient and cannot be torpedoed. You can have more than 10 mobile flak for a cruiser. In a large asf fight I would even consider 10 well positioned mobile flak more devastating than a single cruiser.
Early on a single cruiser can be very punishing to air, especially against stratbombers. But guess what: Don't suicide your stratbomber into the cruiser. Just as don't fly your gunships over mobile FLAK.
500 dps is not that much if you consider the mass cost. An ASF has 400 DPS at 350 mass and is much more mobile than a cruiser.
If anything cruisers need their AA buffing, not weakening. Mass for mass torp bombers do reasonably well against them (depending on the faction cruisers in question - e.g. cybran are worse than aeon for AA), even though logically you would expect an AA focused unit to do very well against an air unit.
maybe having cruiser dealing aoe would be a good idea. Would buff them against Torp, while we can reduce the dps a bit to make solace more of a thing. Also they won't eat the air exp alive like they do now.
Sometime you nearly prefer having hover flak to protect your navy (at least your hover) than cruiser....
Cruisers doing aoe removes possible micro potential from torps where you try to dive in to snipe 1/2 key units and get out because torps alwqys stack onto eachother