CCP have been planning a reworking of capital ships ever since the unveiling of the new Aegis Sov system, and have gone to decent lengths to make sure that players who actually use cap ships are heavily involved in crafting these changes. One of the planned changes that really piqued my interest was the splitting of the Carrier group into two different ships: Carriers, focused on fighter DPS, and Force Auxilary, focused on capital logistics. This only interested me because I had planned to train up to a Carrier at some point in the future specifically because of their logistical role. Plus I like drones, so it stands to reason that I'd like fighters too.
With the most recent Patch That Shall Be Nameless, new skills for the Force Auxiliary ships were introduced along with new skills for Light Fighters, Support Fighters, and Heavy Fighters (renamed fighter-bombers). CCP's initially announced plan was that anyone who could fly a triage carrier currently who also started training any of the four racial Force Auxiliary skills would have all of their carrier and triage related skill points refunded when the Citadel expansion hits. It seemed that the idea was to force people who could currently fly a ship that could do both remote reps and DPS into choosing whether they would rather fly a ship that could do remote reps or a ship that could do DPS. As a non-cap player looking in, I could see the reasoning for forcing such a decision, but it certainly flew in the face of CCP's philosophy of "if you could do it before, you'll be able to do it after". Adding to the problem was the fact that CCP announced this forced choice before unveiling exactly what the stats for the new ships were going to be, forcing those interested in them to basically train blind and I can understand the frustration with that. Thankfully, CCP Larrikin calmed everyone down by announcing that CCP was rethinking it's plan for the introduction of the Force Auxilary (FAX) ships.
The change came in the form of a new dev blog which not only introduced the four new ships, but also a collection of new capital focused modules and a healthy explanation of the planned nerfing of combat refitting. Rather than forcing players to choose what to train, the whole focus seems to now be that players will have to choose what to undock, which makes much more sense in the grand scheme of things. Curent Carrier pilots will still be able to fly logistics and dps roles, just not at the same time, and fitting these ships will now be a hard choice before undocking, not something that continuously changes over the course of a fight. I'm very agreeable to both of these decisions because I think they fit in well with the way other ships operate but still retain the unique qualities of Carriers. About the only thing I don't really understand is why the FAX ships have a bonus to Warfare links. It seems like this could have been another place to differentiate Carriers and FAX with Carriers retaining the ability to fit links and FAX maybe giving a bonus to support fighters. Otherwise, I think CCP have done well here.
In any event, I'll definitely still be training to fly these ships some day and I look forward to how CCP tackles the rest of the Capital group.