Can we reframe the AI discussion and instead of asking, how can we improve the AI, shift to asking, what external/internal/environmental (or "exogenous" if you want to be fancy) challenges can the game introduce that is *NOT dependent (or much LESS dependent) upon the AI performance of rival civs*? So for instance, Colonization was fun b/c your main competition was not the rival civs, but your mother country, which has an inherent and completely acceptable different rule set. Here, I wish they would introduce more exogenous challenges or difficult quests especially in mid- to late-game that either happen randomly or semi-randomly especially if you are in the lead, or that are "triggered" if you reach certain victory milestones. This can involve things like, you have to steal X% of the world's great works or your tourism count gets knocked back by 50%, or you have to deal with sudden religious schism in your own territory whereby when you are close to achieving religious victory a rival religion splits off in your own civilization and spawns X missionaries and apostles that you have to deal with, or when you conquer 50% of the world's capitals, your rivals get +X permanent combat bonus for rest of the game b/c they are terrified (ok, that is somewhat dependent on rival AI performance. Of course, what I'm saying is not a new idea; Jon Shafer I think is pursuing this and i'm sure others. I would love to see more discussion of this than with how to improve the AI (which is still an important discussion but i think disproportionate and has diminishing returns).