My biggest gripe with DCS for a long time (so #1 for fixing on my 'wish list) is that it's a mile wide and an inch deep. Rather than just hi-fidelity aircraft models, I'd like to see ED focus on the product more as a game in terms of its roadmap. For example, pick two or three different decades and concentrate on those in terms of modules, maps, and so on. WWII is an obvious choice for one of them. Yet I still have to ask, why a map of the Marianas, rather than the Solomon Island chain (The Bismarcks) where so much more fighting took place, in diverse scenarios, for so much longer?
We've got Korean war vintage aircraft, but no Korean war map.
We've got Vietnam war vintage aircraft, but no Vietnam era map.
The Persian Gulf map is great- the portion that is finished. I'm still a little incredulous that the mapmakers managed to miss the island of Bahrain in its entirety. What we also lack for that map are sufficient Iranian, Saudi, and Iraqi assets and modules- again, a lack of depth.
We've got a LOT of mid to late Cold War vintage aircraft, but no maps that go well with any sort of Cold War scenario, and very few CW era naval units. The Caucasus map is pretty but in terms of realism is severely limited for any realistic large-scale East-West conflict. In reality, no western navy would put any substantial naval force into the Black Sea expecting it would survive against Russia. True Cold War (or east vs west) hot spots (map locations) should include Germany, the Med, Norway, and the Kola.
What ED has done so far is analogous to this: created the best chess pieces ever made, the best backgammon board, and the best D&D dice, and called it a game while announcing the upcoming release of some awesome checker pieces and a new, custom made gameboard for Monopoly to go along with the existing assets. What I would like to see are aircraft, maps, missions, and non-player assets that are era / conflict specific with one another. If you want to make something like the P-40 Warhawk, great. Make the Nakajima Ki-43 to go along with it, some Japanese bombers, theater and era -specific liveries and asset packs, maps of Kunming and the Burma Road, and produce the "Flying Tigers over China" campaign for DCS. This has been achieved to a degree with the Normandy / Channel maps and WWII stuff that is out so far, and needs to be done in other eras. Once a particular conflict/era is fleshed out and playable, move on to the next one.
Janes used to be good at creating not just study simulations, but simulations that were still polished, fun games to play. What I think ED should do is pick a past conflict like Korea or Vietnam, or a spot on the Earth for 'The War that Never Was' or something like that, make a map or two that's feasible for the era, and begin fleshing them out in terms of modules, asset packs, and campaigns. Third party module-makers should then be challenged to participate in that same milieu. Modules, particularly aircraft, need to be released in more finished states when they go into early access, and they need to be concentrated on, finished, and polished before the devs dive into the next project. For example, why develop and release the F-16 before the F/A-18C is even close to finished? (We know the answer- because a new product means a flood of new money, even when it's released in a beta-state.) But people will also pay for the other things that make it a game as well. You can carve the prettiest chess pieces in the world, but you still need a gameboard to use them on and opponents (real or AI) to play against or they are just decorations. The Super Carrier module is great, but there isn't much out there in the way of opposing (or even allied) naval units, civil shipping, and so on. And I'm sorry, but user-made mods don't count in that asset tally.
Just my .02. The work being done in DCS is incredible, but if you want to broaden the player base and make a study sim that people want to stick with, it needs depth in terms of maps, missions, and assets- not just aircraft so detailed that we can argue about how the cockpit labels are smudged. It doesn't need the 'mile wide, inch deep' approach. It needs to be about a quarter mile wide and deep enough for diving. ;)