The recent BoN announcement has sparked some complaints on this forum about the fact that we are revisiting a number of planes (P-47, P-51, Spit, Fw-190, Bf-109) that have already been modeled at in the series. I want to provide a different perspective on this that also explains why, in my humble opinion, this is exactly the direction that the dev team should be going.
Like many (most?) players of this sim, I am a dyed-in-the-wool history junkie. I would have happily pursued a career in history had there been any money in it. One of my favorite aspects of WWII history in particular is the extreme pace of technological change and advancement that occurred throughout the conflict. I know both from reading about it and listening to stories told by relatives who fought in both the ETO and PTO that the conflict's participants were constantly having to adapt to new equipment types and variants at a rate not experienced before or since in the annals of warfare.
I really enjoy simulations that allow us to gain some (fortunately limited) insight into that adaptation experience as a result. Whether starting with a Type IIA and progressing to a Type XXI (or, if I'm being realistic, a Type VIIC) sub in Silent Hunter 3, or starting with a Bf-109E7 and moving through all subsequent variants until ending with a Bf-109K4 in BoX, the "hands-on" aircraft progression experience in careers is what has kept me coming back to sims for the better part of 30 years. I learned so much about the Bf-109G just by switching from a G4 to a G6 in my recent BoK campaign, for instance; the cockpits were almost identical, yet the flying and combat experiences were quite different.
I am very happy that BoN is up next since it will complement, rather than contrast against, the recent BoBp release. Progressing from Razorbacks to Bubble-tops in an Allied campaign, for example, or adding an additional Fw-190 model in the 12-month gap between BoK and BoBp, is what the simulation career experience is all about. I would love to see the Allied career expanded until we can follow the progression of P-40s in Sicily/Italy up through conversion to P-47s and ultimately P-51s, much as we can currently do with Luftwaffe and VVS units.
Don't get me wrong - it would be great to be able to do something similar in the Pacific; I have fond childhood memories of starting the AotP campaign in a Wildcat and concluding it in a Bearcat. Before then, though, I hope that the dev team will continue to focus on giving us the extended career experiences for the theaters that it is already developing. That is where IL2 BoX truly shines.