And this one may be a bit long-winded so here goes.
The one thing I always wish I could do in XCOM is decide where to put down my transport craft. This also resolves to my other issues which was that XCOM teams had the best tech in the world, but absolutely no intelligence resources, such as tactical maps. Even the regular U.S. forces have VERY detailed maps of just about everywhere in the world. Or can get them real fast or use sat-imagery. (Ooooh... A possible research or base item.) So being able to see the battlefield, just not the entities on it until in visible range, would be a good thing.
From this mini-map you could then select where to put down your transport vessel. If there will already be a mini-map then it's just a simple pre-use of it. That would be a regular "set down/pile out" insertion technique. You can set down anywhere on the map as long as it's on the ground and there's enough space for the transport.
Now, to expand on this idea, you could make more advanced deployment techniques available through new research/items/map availability.
Some ideas are:
Air Assault Deployment- Just like the Army. Transport flies over the selected insertion area, and soldiers rappel out. Sounds like they now have no cover to start, but also you don't waste TU's getting out. Another bonus is that troops could land in places the transport could not, such as a building roof-top, etc. Danger is that mission aborts may not be available, or you would have to select where to land the transport, and wait somewhat random number of turns before the transport could be there. If enemy get in the way, it would cancel and you would have to re-issue the abort with a new location or set transport to hold while you clear the LZ. This technique could be dangerous to the transport as it could be damaged by enemy fire during insertion/extraction.
Airborne Deployment- Another Army favorite. This time instead of rappelling at low altitude, troops parachute out at mid-altitude. You select the drop zone on the map, and troops try to land there. No danger to the transport during insertion, though troopers may drift some during landing. Still need a clear area as troops landing on trees/fences/etc may take from a bad landing. Mission aborts are as Air Assault.
Glide Suit/Grav Chute Deployment - Which ever of the two makes more sense to you, but the premise is the same. In this case, it's a mid/high altitude drop like airborne, but now you get to pick where each individual soldier is going to land. Some drift may occur, but not common, and never as much as airborne drops. Mission aborts as per Air Assault.
Since you are playing a commander role, I think initial troop deployment should be an important part of any mission. Should you deploy well, things go better. Deploy poorly and you may be up a creek. But at least the player can only blame themselves.
Edited by Darquewing, 21 August 2009 - 07:40 PM.