...sorry if this has been posted before but I couldn't find any threads on this topic...
Jake Soloman says in a lot of interviews that the game starts out as being about people being abducted. He's obviously talking about civilians. What do you think of the idea that once in a while, during tactical combat, one of your soldiers can be abducted? One alien might physically or psionically capture one of your guys and disappear with them off the battlescape to leave the rest of your team to finish off the mission.
That soldier would then go MIA or presumed KIA.
Then, some time later, perhaps you either go on a mission to retrieve him / her, or you find the soldier unconscious in a subsequent tactical mission, or during an interaction with a funding council nation, they return him / her to you (with the hint of wanting a future favour, of course, to introduce a little strategic fun).
You could then debrief this soldier by "researching" him / her and perhaps learning a little something about the aliens.
From this point, there could be many consequences. Either you learn something vital about the aliens which enhances X-Com's position in the war, or the soldier's statistics could change (e.g. bravery, or whatever they are calling it in this reimagining), or they could actually become a sleeper agent and turn on you, either in tactical combat or in the strategic realm (e.g. in the ant farm view, perhaps you find him snooping around somewhere where he / she shouldn't, or he/she inhibits the efficiency of some facility. Perhaps there are more base attacks because the soldier has planted a beacon.). Or perhaps the morale of other soldiers rises when he/she is around because "we got Joe Blow back, good as ever."
Of course, if the soldier is made into a sleeper agent for the aliens, the player will quickly learn in future games to sack abducted soldiers after debriefing them. So to make it interesting and make it a replay-able mechanic, I think the consequences will have to be randomly selected by the game and/or the potential benefits will have to be substantial to make it hard to automatically sack the soldier or turn them into cannon fodder.
Just my two cents. What do people think?