I was going to post this in the arty thread in gameplay, but I figured it would get more discussion here. Apologies if my post contains callbacks to that thread, but these ideas came from reading people's posts inside it. (I'm not endorsing all these, just highlighting his post) flasche's post made me think of something along those lines that might bear some discussion at least. I know flasche gets a bit sweeping with changes and I think moving everything to the infantry, while I understand it, is a bit...I dunno doesn't fit the game. It fits a game, but probably not Empires. Anyway, it made me think about something else, which is time-based unlocking of tanks. It requires a lot of remodeling of the system (doesn't everything?), but what happens if you could give the infantry the ability to choose their *own* tank through a sort of 'reinforcement' system? Where a tank is requisitioned - say it takes 600 seconds to get a medium tank, and after that amount of time, the tank can be 'picked up' at a vehicle factory. Since researching requires only time these days, that wouldn't be so bad, but here comes the more advanced and tricky part. We base our research around timings. Okay, firstly, I'm going to focus only on tanks, since if we diverge it gets a little more complex - and my best ideas, ironically, have been ones that were simple and didn't take into account coding time etc. So, if we had a player who could requisition a medium tank after 900 seconds waiting time (yes that's different from above) to begin with, we could have a research option that instead of unlocking mediums, reduces the reinforcement time. So at default tech 0 = 900s, tech 1 = 600s, and tech 2 = 300s. (for those of you who want to calculate that, it's 15min, 10min and 5min) So with this system, you could start the game, choose a tank to requisition, and then start playing. 15 minutes later, you get your tank, and then as research increases and the game continues, you get to be able to unlock tanks faster. People joining wouldn't lose out, either. For lights, it would probably around 8mins/5mins/2mins. For heavies probably 20/12/8, the research costs balanced around that. I didn't mention research costs. They would probably have to be turned to resource based again, perhaps removing all time limitations to provide true freedom, with the time requirement instead on the player's end. No longer will they have to wait for the commander to unlock what they deem necessary for the situation, instead you can use the tank of your choice and play the way you want to. A side effect is it initiates a "penalty" that applies to the player instead of the team, which may help with suiciding tanks (not that that happens much these days), but also generally smoothing gameplay out a little more. Throwing in the rest of research here, well, it's probably good as it is now. Or perhaps even better as it was before - with both time and resources going into it. It's debatable whether or not we might need some boring standard medium/heavy variants for regular drops, I'll leave that to the discussion. People might also want to talk about whether a tank requisitioned costs anything. I would say, no. If you relate it to time and have the amount of time on a cost basis, that would probably be enough*. Again, it might be a good idea to still have the loadout weapons and armour cost resources, but have the base cost of a tank removed. *Though if you wanted to be a little trickier, you could have a "complete now" function that would cost res comparative to the time left. Hmm..my customary wall looks more like bullet points this time. Oh well. Anyway, what do people think?