The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II which is no longer valid.
The carrier was originally replaced by the tempest during the development of StarCraft II but was brought back due to "an emotional connection with the original unit." Although it keeps the structural design of the tempest, the 'light' color scheme has been maintained.
- Manufacture Escorts
- Carriers may manufacture up to four escorts.
- Strike fighter escorts cost resources (and about one second) to build and lasted only 45 seconds, but added a decent amount of firepower to a carriers attack. A carrier could have a maximum of 4 escorts. Escorts were given attack orders to focus-fire on whatever the carrier was attacking and they could be destroyed independently of the carrier or each other. The cost for these escorts would be significant enough to where players would not want to just have the max number all of the time, as that would bleed one's economy needlessly. Thus, players would have to pick and choose their battles in where they wanted the full force of the protoss fleet present.
Heart of the Swarm DevelopmentEdit
The main issue with the carrier is that its role effectively overlaps with the colossus. Both are siege range units, but the colossus is splash damage, is a lot faster in coming into play, is less of a risk to bring out, and because of how common colossi are in protoss games, counter units such as corruptors or Vikings are already available, making carriers even less viable. The carrier could be buffed to address these issues, but it was decided that a more effective solution was to provide a replacement via the tempest.
In the end the carrier wasn't replaced by the tempest.
Legacy of the Void DevelopmentEdit
At some point the carrier had a "bombing run" ability that ordered its interceptors to rapidly bombard an area with attacks. It is unknown if this ability was intended for melee or campaign gameplay.