Could T1 Interceptors be further differentiated?

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One of the interesting things about Supcom is that it has a pretty unique way of differentiating factions-- it's not completely asymmetrical like Starcraft where the factions only really share a worker unit and the rest of their units are drastically different. Yet it's also not like some other RTS games where the factions are mostly identical aside from some unique units or abilities. Instead each of the four factions share unit roles (Like frigate, Strategic Bomber, MML) that have moderately different stats that allow every faction to pursue flexible playstyles while also making them have slight unique advantages here and there. Of course there are also some unique units to further spice things up like mobile stealth for Cybran or T3 subs for Seraphim, but that's not relevant here. I'm talking about how the game has different stats for universal units that all 4 factions share-- like T1 arty, T1 Tanks, T1 Bombers, T1 Frigates, T1 Transports... yet aside from about a 15 hp difference between the UEF and Cybran T1 interceptors (with Seraphim and Aeon in the middle) the T1 interceptors are so boringly identical. And due to the DPS of interceptors the HP differences are all lost to overkill anyways.

Apparently in vanilla Supcom they felt a tiny bit different (the UEF intie was pretty much equally effective but it had a lower rate of fire that one shot other inties) but come FA even that was done away with. I know that this is probably for game balance, as the air game is super important at all parts of the game, but even at T3 the ASF who ostensibly need to be more equally balanced are more unique-- the Cybran Gemini has stealth and missiles. I'm not asking for differences as drastic as Mantis vs. Aurora, but couldn't we at least make the stats of the inties feel different? Give the Cyclone back its weightier, lower ROF cannon?

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I think it adds very little and makes early air openings even harder to balance and deal with.

Looking at T2 things are already much better with an air fighter and 2 significantly different fighterbombers for UEF and Cybran.

The similarity between ASFs has bothered me though, I would like this suggestion if applied to ASFs.

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The cyclone does have a high alpha and low rate of fire weapon, that's why it's the best interceptor.

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UEF and Sera inties are also a bit better at low count intie fights and killing transports.
Cybran and Aeon inties deal 48 damage per volley, so they need 7 volleys (>288 DPS) to kill UEF and Sera inties (295 and 290 HP) and 6 volleys to kill the rest (285 and 280 HP). UEF and Sera inties deal 50 and 51 damage per volley respectively, so they can kill any interceptor in 6 volleys.
This also means that C/A inties need 11 volleys to kill a T1 transport and U/S inties need 10 volleys.

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@valki said in Could T1 Interceptors be further differentiated?:

I think it adds very little and makes early air openings even harder to balance and deal with.

Well, sometimes the little things add flavor and depth. For example, does the fact that the Sera air scout has brief vision on death do all that much? No, but it adds to factional diversity and is a cool feature for little effort. And the changes I am proposing would not make early air harder to balance at all. I am not asking to make the interceptors weaker or stronger than one another, they of course should have equal effectiveness. But how can we make them feel different?

The similarity between ASFs has bothered me though, I would like this suggestion if applied to ASFs.

I wouldn't be opposed, I really enjoy the privilege as a Cybran player of having the stealth ASF but the other factions don't really get anything to compensate. (Please don't give UEF ASF Jamming though...)

@thomashiatt said in Could T1 Interceptors be further differentiated?:

The cyclone does have a high alpha and low rate of fire weapon, that's why it's the best interceptor.

@mazornoob said in Could T1 Interceptors be further differentiated?:

UEF and Sera inties are also a bit better at low count intie fights and killing transports.
Cybran and Aeon inties deal 48 damage per volley, so they need 7 volleys (>288 DPS) to kill UEF and Sera inties (295 and 290 HP) and 6 volleys to kill the rest (285 and 280 HP). UEF and Sera inties deal 50 and 51 damage per volley respectively, so they can kill any interceptor in 6 volleys.
This also means that C/A inties need 11 volleys to kill a T1 transport and U/S inties need 10 volleys.

Well it seems that all inteceptors are already not created equal, albeit by a very tiny degree. I don't want to make them so that microing different factions' inties is in any way different, so I wouldn't touch range, speed, accel or turning radius, firing angle, or DPS. Rather, I'd make small changes to their flavor that don't change combat effectiveness.

Stuff like:

UEF interceptors have an extra minute of fuel. (6:00 instead of 5:00)
Cybran interceptors can land on water instead of having to hover and waste fuel (possible in the engine? If not, then alternatively they could have double fuel recharge when landed)
Aeon interceptors have 30 vision radius instead of 28.
Seraphim interceptors give 20 energy storage per interceptor, just like engineers give varying levels of mass storage.

Also, I was unsure when making this thread as to where it belonged-- "Suggestions" vs. "Balance Discussion". I'm not actually advocating for the balance to change, I want interceptors to be equally effective. They are not OP or UP. I was just wondering if it would be possible to make each faction's interceptor more interesting and unique. One might say that any tweak made is so minor that it won't matter, but I think that is a good argument for making the change. It won't hurt anybody.