The following does not require any changes from the devs in any aspect of the game, apart from applying the following proposed multipliers to what already exists or may come in the future.
There will be five settings for the player to choose from:
Very Hard, Hard, Normal, Easy, Very Easy and a number of factors will be affected: Costs, Research and Satisfaction.
All costs -50% / -25% / 0% / +25% / +50% (from VE to VH). Costs means building, operations, salaries, trainingn, penalties, etc.
So a medium asphalt stand will cost 450.000 in VH, 300.000 in Normal and 150.000 in VE. Rent earnings from shops would be halved and penalties doubled on VH. The same for money earned per completed flight and so on.
NOTE: Obviously, as with the current difficulty setting, this only hinders initial development. After a certain point one will make so much money that even on VH it will not matter. This is why it is important to make similar adjustments to the airport rating system (see below).
Research costs should respectively be -100% / -50% / 0% / +50% / +100% (from VE to VH).
So, a research project that currently (normal) requires 2 admin staff and 24h, will require 4 admin staff and 48h in VH and 1 admin staff and 12h in VE.
NOTE: Personally I feel that research is too fast anyway and needs rebalancing so that the player will have to make strategic choices, but this is for a different vote.
This will apply to passengers, shops, catering, airlines, etc… The player will have a permanent bonus or malus of -20% / -10% / 0 / +10% / +20%. In other words, if on normal you achieved a 70% rating, with the same airport you would get a 50% rating if playing on VH and a 90% rating on VE.
NOTE: I am sure the devs have a few things in mind, because right now satisfaction levels don’t affect the contracts one gets from five-star shops or airlines.
Why it should be implemented:
Because the current system is very rudimentary and because it does not require major changes to the game.