Arioch wrote:so you can increase their survivability and overall effectiveness without necessarily making them one-shot-one-kill monsters.
That's not the problem.
The problem is that in the current paradigm either fighters are worse than missiles, either they are better than missiles, because they aren't different from missiles - they deal damage not instantly, they have to close in to deal the damage, they are finite.
There are three ways:
1) either they are different - let's say missiles are finite, but fighters are infinite, however to launch the full squadron again you have to wait for the previous to return; or let's say fighters do not have to close in that much, giving them PD weaponry with the same radius as ship's
2) either they complement each other - let's add all the carriers a missile rack and make the fighters follow missiles closely behind, fighters will hide behind the missile/torpedo screen and protect the missiles/torpedoes from antimissiles, if they are made better than PDs and aren't useless like now
3) either fighters are more versatile with different support modules on the carrier giving them this or that boost or ability
All these ways require new mechanics and are quite labor-intensive.