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  1. This post is mainly directed at Chris, in that it is his decision ultimately. Introduction The current system where aircraft are recovered after some time fixes a lot of very difficult balance problems quite nicely and simply. Often the best answer to a problem is the most simple answer available, and this one does it quite elegantly, as far as the alien alloy aircraft are concerned. As far as the Condors and Foxtrots are concerned, the realism begins to fade and flicker. No "human" aircraft can be recovered after a crash in a state able to be repaired. These two aircraft have no alien alloys in the construction, and thus don't have that "get out of jail free card" that explains why they're recoverable. Hopefully this solution adequately fixes this. Description My solution is to make Condors, like Foxtrots, require a manufacturing project. (bear with me, it'll make sense in a moment.) So, we first start by adding two items, available for free from the funding nations: an F-16 Airframe and a MiG-31 Airframe. These are "purchased", or obtained, through the "Buy Aircraft" menu (where the Condor currently is purchased) and the airframes are stored in the hanger itself. The airframe takes X days to arrive (balancing will decide). Also, the airframes can only be ordered if there is an available hanger. When an airframe arrives in a hanger, you can begin a short manufacturing project that costs money to outfit the airframe for Xenonaut use. This would be time spent adding the special armor plating, changing the avionics out, etc. Part of the money cost for these manufacturing projects should be noted as being making tons of spare parts for the aircraft, allowing repairs to be much more rapid than they normally would be. After the manufacturing project is finished, you have a shiny new Foxtrot or Condor, ready to fly. Once this plane is shot down, the game follows the current aircraft recovery mechanic: there's a "recovery time" where the plane is at 0% HP, afterwards it repairs from 0% HP up normally. What the game tells you what is happening is that upon the plane destruction a new airframe is ordered. The "recovery time", waiting to begin repairs, is actually the "shipping time" for a new airframe. Once the plane enters "repair time", that's the flight crew outfitting the craft for Xenonaut use, using the spare parts from the previous aircraft. The reason it doesn't cost money this time is because they already have the parts ready, and just need to bolt them on, as it were. Reasoning This attempts to keep the current balance (planes cost significant money and time to get) and also explains the aircraft recovery system for Condors and Foxtrots. It also (this was initially unintentional, but I like it) removes the Condor being magically fully outfitted for Xenonaut use. I mean, they would ship an F-16, not an F-17. We, the Xenonauts, make it from an F-16 to a Condor; it's a specially built plane for UFO hunting. They wouldn't manufacture these and have them waiting to be purchased. It also gives the Foxtrot a shipping time, which is lacking in it's current form. Currently, we just magically, instantly receive a MiG-31 airframe from the Soviets. Really, both the Condor and the Foxtrot's acquisition methods, how we get them, are kinda messed up right now, in that both don't make much sense. Condors are already outfitted, but take three days to ship here. Foxtrots arrive instantly, but have to be outfitted. Why not make both of them require a shipping time and an outfitting time, like it really would be? Conclusion So, there's my idea. If you would, Chris, just say a few words on what you think of it. I think it'd keep the balance quite nicely, since you could still make the planes cost $XX,000 through the manufacturing project, eliminating the issue of making a game where aircraft are unrealistically inexpensive. It also standardizes the way aircraft are obtained: the first two aircraft are mostly finished (since they're based on real planes), we just need a short manufacturing project to finish them up. The next aircraft require a much longer manufacturing project because we can't simply order an airframe for an aircraft that doesn't exist yet. It all makes sense, and it keeps the balance. So, what do you think?
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