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Reduced FOW/Pre-planning.

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I think that for a special forces unit to not have drones/UAV's scan the area prior to actually landing troops there is a bit unusual. If the map was entirely visible so people wouldn't find the edge and go "Oh, wait they are the other way." but the fog of war was still in effect to keep the element of surprise for the enemies that would be handy.

I would love to see if people agree with me or if it's just me who wants this.

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The game's outset takes place in 1979; we were far from developing reliable unmanned aerial vehicles for much of anything at that point in our history.

That said, there's not really any reason the troop transport du jour wouldn't perform an orientation flyover, or why the troops wouldn't have any idea at all what the terrain looked like, or where the enemies are. It's one of those things that's necessary, but there's no real apparent explanation other than assuming the special forces troops and pilots have no idea what they're doing.

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I see drones as a very valid research line considering that it was already being developed and the aliens drop finished models in your lap fairly early in the game. They would be bulky, take up tank sized space on the drop ship and possibly be reduced to scouting/smoke generation (rather than huge weapons). But just as worthy as laser weapons, plasma research and the psionics that didn't make the cut either.

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First, I agree there should be some way to scout out land missions beforehand, and bring up the concept when I talk about G-Men in this thread: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/7242-Simple-Flavor-Requests

Secondly, there is plenty of room to add in some fantasy to this game, albeit based on reality. Did you all know that during the Cold War, America was working on actual flying saucer tech? Here's the declassified design: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/research/saucer-full-of-secrets-pics-from-declassified-military-docs#slide-5

And don't forget some of the stuff that was in MGS 3- Snake Eater. A lot of those designs for the "outlandish" military tech in that game are all based on real cold war prototypes that actually existed, either in the USSR or the US.

For example, here's the Hiller VZ-1 Pawnee, a flying platform that you could put a scout in to perform recon in the game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiller_VZ-1_Pawnee

Similarly, there's the ones the Russians had in MGS-3 which are based on real designs, that look like this: http://metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/Flying_platform and which are similar to the Williams X-Jet, a real flying platform from the 1970's: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williams_X-Jet

So yeah, "UAV"'s are silly perhaps, but not a historically accurate replacement for them. That's totally do-able.

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