"They have high damage output, but they rely VERY heavily on their opponents not paying attention, and even their preferred prey - a lone Artillery Cruiser - would destroy them almost instantly if you're actually aware they're coming. Their health is low enough to more than balance their damage potential. "

Have to disagree here. I have hit a corvette with the primary weapon of an arty ships, and they keep flying. Missing 3/4 of Their health sure but with in seconds they back at half health+ and are warping in towards you. Switching to flak cannons sounds great but their damage can not offset what a corvette puts out even when it's at 1/2 health and you power up shields or weapons. Maybe I just need more practice. My cpt. Is lvl 11 though so I feel like I have the basics and concepts down...

My main issue with maintenance costs, is if you are in a vulnerable ship, the corvettes ensure you are scrap. Losing money each game because you can stay on the field long enough to earn credits, will ensure that at higher tiers (3+) you will have less and less support ship players. I don't mind dying in game, and I should receive less credits if I do poorly not because I am target, but don't penalize people for playing those ships.