Oh it certainly is at the higher tiers planes fall apart. But that's where all the balance issues really lie. IJN DDs are perfectly fine until you get to Tier VI, and then it gets progressively worse. Some of them are downright downgrades from their predecessors (Mutsuki being one). Cruisers are generally fairly durable until about Tier VI. And then there is interesting BB progression (not exactly a bad progression, just that it changes character so many times).
But you don't get to Tier VIII-X in a carrier by trying to take out escorted BBs. You simply don't. There is a high degree of attrition among planes at all but the Langley-Independence level. And those don't suffer much because they are relatively tame themselves (their fighters being unable to handle their own bombers more or less).
But yes, carrier tiers are incredibly different. An Independence will wipe the floor with a Langley, and so on upwards. It is probably an issue with AA. If AA increases as much as it does, planes need to follow suit, and if the planes are suitably tougher, then fighters need to be that much more dangerous, and then a downtiered carrier will walk all over a correctly tiered carrier.
But the fact remains that carriers are by far the hardest class to play and master. That's why there are so few of them outside Tier IV. So when you get to Tier VIII, you only have the hardest core left, the guys that can make your head spin. And yet they don't really dominate because all a cruiser needs do is press a button and he messes up aircraft in a massive radius, and kills large number of them at the same time. The latter I'm fine with, but the butchering of accuracy is simply too good. And it isn't as if the CV player can just pull back, most non-destroyers have such long range AA that to do that when the cruiser activates his ability you will lose your squad(s) for nothing (some might make it, but they will die on next approach).
It is just cheap in my mind. Especially when so many are so poor at plane avoidance. Most people only begin to avoid once the torpedoes have entered the water. I can't understand why such people need to have their hands held. I always chase the bombers and make their aim a problem and I only die to them if the carrier guy is exceptionally clever, I'm already low on health or he has mastered the multiple prong attack. The latter isn't even that effective. Last time I faced it I suffered 1 (one) hit on my BB, and shot down 7 planes (out of 12). Tell me that is fair to the carrier... I was alone because my cruiser buddies thought it clever to run the other way just before the attack. All I had to do was point my bow at the bombers and force them to circle me inside my AA zone. A bit of rudder and speed control and I negated all his work, which is considerable. And BBs are the only really viable targets for carriers, just try to torp a destroyer and you will understand, carriers tend to be far away and well protected and cruisers... I have been over them already.
But I have come to understand that many players don't think carriers should get any real hits in. And if they don't then they are a problem for the team. Easy to complain about one way or the other really.
MadMat says so many things ...