Long term we'll want the AI to be able to properly assess the respective combat uses of both Carriers and conventionally Armed ships (and actually I envision multiple military ship subtypes that would be somewhat specialized for different roles), but I don't think we'll be able to pull that together for 0.4.7, so I think we need an interim fix/workaround that can go into 0.4.7.
Near term, I see two potential workarounds/fixes, neither very satisfying but both much better than ignoring the issue.
- Continue to allow them but have the CombatRatingsAI substantially reduce the combat strength contribution that it calculates for them, and probably also modify the CarrierShipDesigner adjusted rating downwards a bit also, especially if there are no direct fire weapons on board at all (perhaps adjusted down to zero to prevent that case). The idea being that Carriers could still be built so long as they have at least some Direct Fire weapons, and the AI can get their benefit in ship-to-ship fights, but the AI combat calcs would not be relying on fighters to attack planets. It's not clear how easy it would be to get this balance to work out OK without the AI effectively just giving up on Carriers, but we can try.
- We just disable the AI from using carriers at all. Not a happy choice, since Morlic has put a lot of effort into enabling them, and it sounds like they be useful enough that not being able to field them would be a competitive disadvantage, but it would be very easy and at least it would prevent the AI from misusing them and wasting resources/time.