Much as I do not expect this suggestion to affect Civ4, I would like to see Civ eventually evolve toward the use of "natural mechanisms" in its game engine. Before I explain the use of this term, allow me to explain my general philosophy: Currently, Civ is a game in which the player is the civ he controls, allowing him great control over many aspects of his civ. For practical purposes, however, a number of elements are abstracted to rein in micromanagement. The overall product is a balanced game with a unique perspective. I suggest, however, a trend toward more concrete definition of the player's role in his civ, particularly as the government/leadership of his civ. In doing this, many gameplay options in which there are conflicting agendas (such as with factions, civil war, nationalism, religious affiliations, and so forth) become available because the player is not controlling everyone, only a particular side. Otherwise, such conflicts are awkward and difficult to work into the game, since the player's ability to control his civ becomes unclear and/or contradictory. By including these "other identities," the game now acknowledges that the player actually plays a certain role in the game, rather than simply is everything in the game for his civ (note now the player is the government of his civ, not the civ itself). This allows the player to reduce his involvement to that of the leadership of his civ, and leave all of the mundane work to the actual civ itself (controlled by the computer). Micromanagement consequently diminishes. With these changes, the game environment shifts to that of a dynamic, living world. In Civ, the world is barren in the beginning and only populates with the deliberate efforts of the players manipulating it. In this new philosophy, the players guide a world that already exists. While the world may start fresh and (largely) uninhabited, the world can grow and change on its own, sometimes with the help of players and sometimes to their surprise. Finally, I would like to see the conversion of hard limits to processes such as feedback inhibition, used in biological and chemical systems. These models often employ logistic functions in which limits are reached gradually and in a non-linear manner. The initial conditions ("reactants") and products of game processes should essentially convert back and forth as they seek equilibrium, with the physical environment and interactions with other game processes altering and shifting the balances, creating a dynamic game environment. These are the "natural mechanisms" that would make Civ an utterly fascinating world unto itself.