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My understanding is that the Tempest was always intended to replace the Carrier. The Tempest was originally developed for Wings of Liberty and shelved in favor of the tried & true Carrier. When the Carrier saw relatively little use in the Wings of Liberty metagame, the Tempest was brought back for Heart of the Swarm and at one point during the beta replaced the Carrier entirely.

Why did Blizzard opt to leave the Carrier in?

Also, from a balance/tactical perspective, what different roles do they fill?

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closed as off topic by Frank, Blem, Matthew Read, Michel, Fluttershy Mar 15 '13 at 21:14

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"Why did they design it this way?" questions are not a good fit for our format here. –  Sconibulus Mar 15 '13 at 20:50
    
As @Sconibulus said, these types of questions don't work well, because the only authoritative answers can be provided by the devs. –  Frank Mar 15 '13 at 20:52
    
I read this question as "Are the roles of the tempest and carrier different" and answered that way - I can edit the question if that is what @ObliviousSage meant. –  Resorath Mar 15 '13 at 20:54
    
@Sconibulus: Is it a legitimate question if there are actual dev comments on why the decision was made? Note Arremer's answer. –  Oblivious Sage Mar 15 '13 at 20:56
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@ObliviousSage: No, the answers can't determine whether the question is on-topic or not. =/ –  Ullallulloo Mar 15 '13 at 21:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is what blizzard developer commented on similar question,it answers to why they didn't remove carriers.

"I think it is VERY unlikely that we will cut Carrier again. It was just not a cool move. If we had followed my first idea of cutting units and replacing them with new units across all 3 races then I think it would be on the list to be cut. But we didn't do that. No other race got any cuts.

To cut JUST Carrier is weird. And a little mean to our Protoss players.

I don't think Tempest and Carrier are currently in conflict. I believe that Carrier is something that (in theory) could be massed. The current Tempest is something that you use strategically in smaller numbers to control the battlefield and force engagement. Or at least that is my current theory. =)"

Source discussion

More about tempest development

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The Carrier is great at long range bombardment of targets, however one thing is suffers from is the interceptors get shredded against any kind of local defense. For example, you can siege a Zerg base from a coast where a pack of Hydralisks can't reach the carrier, but they will quickly take out the interceptors making the Carrier quite useless.

Thus the Tempest was born. Being able to target units at extreme (siege) ranges does nicely take over the role of the carrier. However, to balance both the Tempest and the Carrier, the Tempest does significantly little damage for a unit of its cost and tech requirements. This is because it has the main advantage of range. The carrier however still does a good amount of damage but is more effective at closer ranges where the body of the carrier is a more attractive target than the interceptors. These two ships have very different roles as a result.

In the beta, the Tempest did a good amount of damage as an intended replacement for the carrier - however careful balancing has prevented any unit in the game from being removed.

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