So, thanks to these changes, we'll see some changes in how supercaps are being used in EVE, sure. But significant change? I'm not so sure. The main problem with supercaps in EVE is still this:
And that is not changing in the slightest. See all those little frigate-looking things scattered among the dozens of Titans and super-carriers in that image? Those are Hellcat Abaddons.
I'll grant you that a few niche supercap players are going to be hurt by these changes. RaidenDOT comes to mind, for instance. They're far too reliant on supercap-only tactics. PL's tendency to escalate to their supercaps only when they're in trouble will also likely have to evolve. But the bulk of supercap users are already pretty familiar with the need for controlling the sub-cap battlefield before they commit their supercaps. Really, the only significant change we're likely to see is a reduction in hot-drops against lone or small groups of targets, particularly solo hot-drops. And the change that will reduce that is the fact that you'll be able to pin hot-dropping ships to the grid indefinitely by aggressing on them. This, even more than the 20% EHP nerf, will make hot-dropping super-carriers much more killable.
All that said, the ability for supercaps to resist attacks from sub-caps hasn't been changed that much. In a time when every supercap pilot has a full set of Slave implants, a 20% reduction in supercap EHP is nice but not particularly relevant in the big picture.(1) Titans can't doomsday logistics ships and command ships, that's true, but their standard guns will still be working and tracking fine. Super-carriers are losing their drone bays, but those that carry fighters, supported by Target Painters, are still going to do very decent damage attacking sub-caps. Super-carrier fleets will start inviting along Thanatoses to carry spare fighters to drop and abandon. Those groups that use supercaps for sov warfare had sub-cap support fleets before, and they'll continue to have them, and in the same ships.
In short, the only reliable way to counter a large supercap fleet is still going to be "a bigger supercap fleet". With the changes in this devblog, CCP hasn't changed the calculus of large fleet battles against supercaps very much at all. And annoyingly, they haven't changed the ability for supercap fleets to project power in the slightest. There isn't a single change to jump ranges, costs, or effects.
As for dreads joining the fight against these "nerfed" supercaps? No. EVE News 24 syndicated the post I did focusing on dread changes. In it, I asked for information about how dread capital v. capital ship fights used to go. The comments on that post have been really educational in that regard. But even if we see larger numbers of dreads in EVE with the five minute siege cycle, I can't see dreads taking on super-carriers and Titans. Particularly given that the Titans are going to be looking for new DD targets now. ;-)
To summarize, the major impacts coming for supercaps, in rough order of significance:
- The doctrine for using supercaps en masse hasn't changed, nor has the doctrine for attacking massed supercaps.
- If you aggress a ship, it will no longer disappear after 15 minutes as long as you keep it aggressed. That should reduce the number of small-scale super-carrier hot-drops since such hot-droppers will be taking the life of their ship into their hands.
- Super-carriers are losing all their drones, but more importantly, will only be able to carry a full flight of either fighters or fighter-bombers, but not both. We'll start to see more "support carriers" making up the difference by carrying extra fighters.
- Titans will be looking for new DD targets, which will continue to keep dreads from showing up for cap fights.
(1) I'm not even going to cover what this change does to the poor Wyvern and Hel. It's not inconceivable that a Hel owner somewhere in the world slit his wrists this week. ;-)