I think there should be an auto-resolve option for random encounters, or maybe even the ability to skip them entirely, as nh Fallout 2. Auto-resolve feels more old-school, though, and it's a smart way of reducing potential grind while not making it too easy on the player. The game could show me a percentage representing my chances of success, thus keeping it fair while still having that element of randomness.
In addition, it would be cool if I could choose to automate combat and then take over at any point if I don't like what's happening. Dragon Quest and Tactics Ogre PSP both do this excellently. In the spirit of keeping that element of chance in play, I'd enjoy seeing the game hew closer to the DQ system, where I can only step in after a turn is finished. If, say, pne of my PCs bites it during the turn, I then have to deal with that in the next turn. I'm thus punished for not keing a tighter leash on my squad withput feeling like the game just did something unfair.
To be clear, if possible, I'd love to see both the quick auto-resolve and the more complex automation system built in. Also, I should be able to pick and choose which squad members I want to maintain control over.
Recruitable NPCs should always be automated, although you should maintain a limited amount of control over them, Fallout 2-style. They can go against your orders, but it would be good to have them bark what they're going to do instead, maybe, so you feel like they made a deliberate choice to disobey you instead of just seeming dumb. I haven't played enough of Fallout 2 yet for this to matter, but Fallout 1's NPCs aggravated me for this reason.
Also, positioning should matter. Otherwise you get Ian submachine-gunning the player to death "accidentally" even though he's staring at the baddie and facing away from the player - and yes, that did happen to me once, and it would've been funny if I hadn't had to redo two hours worth of content because the game had no autosave.
Also also, there should be an autosave. Optional, of course.
Hmm, maybe I should also post this in "Combat Mechanics"?
EDIT: Yeah, I think I'll do that.
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.