This discussion could easily fit in the "Balance" thread, but I thought it would be useful to deal with it separately. You can skip down to the bullet point questions if you don't have patience for long-winded posts. First, a little discussion of base Civ5 as I see it. Folks should know that I really think Civ5 developed into a great and well-balanced game, at least after it had time to bake for a while with patches and expansions. You shouldn't take my attempts to do something different as necessarily a negative assessment (although I may complain about specific parts of base game). Base Civ5 moves at a pretty steady rate. You get techs and policies every x turns, more or less. The only exception is the specific game mechanic where settling too many cities shuts down policy progression (which you all know I hate). Thankfully, that particular mechanic was toned down in BNW with addition of ideologies and removal of the "Complete-5-Policy-Branches Victory". Other than building too many cities, there are few things you could do (that is, playing in any sensible way) to really change these rates a great deal. Well, but you don't need to change it a great deal. If you have a 20% lead on AI for rate of techs, you will win by one VC or another. There's no need for base game to limit techs because, to put it simply, finishing tech tree = finishing game. I originally conceived of Éa as a "perpetual game" that could, in theory, go on forever, perhaps with players coming and going over time. That's not really what happened and it's no longer a goal or principle to adhere to, but it may explain some of the way it works. Within this perpetual world, players could specialize in techs and policies but never complete all techs/policies or even a substantial fraction of them. Hence KM and CL systems that make it near impossible to complete either. So even though I'm not attempting to make a perpetual game any longer, we still have this system (which evolved rather than being designed) where Victory Conditions are not strongly locked to completion of any "tree". It's true that getting a tier 7 tech is more or less equal to victory, but that's an unusual case rather than the rule. But that leads to the problem that a player can stagnate in techs/policies before they have won or lost, which likely leads to boredom. To some extent, this is inevitable given the open nature of the VCs. The way it is intended to work, however, is that in most games someone should be wrapping up victory as that inevitable stagnation sets in. There might still be that occasional game where victory was not certain or quick, but in that game maybe you are still interested because, against all odds, you think you can squeak out a victory and you are determined to fight it out to the bitter end. The way I see it, there are two things that can sustain interest in a Civilization game: continued progress of some sort such as in techs, policies, exploration and/or expansion, or you don't know what's going to happen and you want to find out. Almost all of my experience with base Civ5 is that it is sustained by #1 alone, and even that only for techs/policies (more on exploration below). The goal, which may be an impossible dream, is to see Éa sustained by both #1 and #2. There are a lot of different ways to try to do that. For example, simply throwing in more stuff (e.g., Enabled Policies) can allow longer/more sustained "progress", although there are limits to how far we can go with that. I think everyone agrees that Civ (all of them) have endgames where you know the outcome but it just goes on and on and on forever (how many players actually finish games?). So one thing I'd like to work toward is the principle: When victory becomes certain, it should also be quick. Notice that I included exploration in that list of "continued progress of some sort." This is probably my greatest disappointment with each new incarnation of Civilization. I always know all or most of the significant world by, say, 1000 BC, with some but not very much effort at all. It's as if the Egyptians sent out a reed boat that mapped all the shoreline of Africa, Europe and Asia, and maybe even the Americas. Even when there is a deep ocean barrier, my experience with Civ5 is that with Astronomy I build and send out one Caravel plus one land unit (a lingering scout or horseman) and complete mapping of the rest of the world very quickly. It's even worse put in terms of game hours. I've literally timed this before: 2 hrs to essentially complete map of land areas, 20 hrs to finish game ... so the exploration phase of the game finishes with 90% of game time left to play. And that (for me) is similar to having tech or policy progress stagnate. It's the end of an element of the game which happens to be very sustaining for me. It's inevitable, of course, but the timing is not. (On top of that, it's extremely unrealistic and unhistorical. And on top of that!, Civ5 punishes so severely for settling those new lands that I've been psychologically traumatized to no longer feel rewarded by finding new juicy, unoccupied city sites, as I used to be in earlier Civ incarnations.) So that gets us to the key points of discussion for pacing in Éa, When does tech stagnation happen? When does policy stagnation happen? And are these stagnations abrupt, asymptotic, or something else? When is your entire starting continent, or your "Africa/Eurasia-connected continent complex," fully known? When is the whole world known? When is your civilization growth-stagnated -- i.e., no longer growing sideways or up? When can/does a player (human or AI) achieve each of the Victory Conditions? What is the proper relationship of the above to each other? All of the above questions, at each game speed / map size combo. Getting the pacing right is basically a case of Dead Reckoning: I make course adjustments based where we are now and projections (that are not entirely accurate), then we see where we are after adjustments, then repeat. I don't really know the timing for anything after, say, turn 50 or thereabouts, so I'm entirely dependent on player feedback. Of course there is no single answer since every question depends on how you play. But even so, there could be a "what's typical" answer, which is what I'm really asking for. There are a lot of things that can be adjusted to speed or slow the timing of each item relative to the others, or to adjust for game speed and map size. And VCs can be reworked in any way we want, not just threshold levels but qualitatively if needed. It may be a long, long time before these are balanced properly to have a good overall pacing with many different play styles.