going to do some more testing but it appears that along with complaints about city states being over-powered, they may also be causing some of the load game crashes that many people have posted about. I looked through other threads about save games crashing and didn't see this posted before - if it's an already well known issue, then I apologize for repeating it here. personally, I believe the city state bonuses, especially maritime, are way too much and basically game breaking. so I decided to try a game without them. tried a couple of times to play with a limitation on how many I ally with but that was even worse as the AI just expanded beyond all belief and control. in all my previous games, I had the problem that many others have reported, where after about 30 or 40 turns any attempt to load a previous save from the in game screen would crash me out to the desktop. if I wanted to load a previous game, I would have to completely exit and restart the game. which was getting very frustrating. however, I am now up to turn 350 in my game without CS and I have had no problem loading a save game without having to exit to the desktop. the map is almost fully covered with cities, units, tile enhancements, etc and no problems. I also noticed that when saving a game, it does so almost immediately. previously, especially late in the game, it could take 10 - 15 seconds to save a game. the only variable in this games is CS set to 0. all other settings are the same as previous games - immortal, standard pangean map, standard number of civs, etc. I have no idea why city states would have such an impact, unless it's due to keeping track of how much influence each civ has with each CS, adjustments to all the appropriate city food, culture, etc. but I do know that if I start a couple more games with and without city states and continue to see this, CS are going to be on 0 from now until some serious improvements to save game files takes place. on a side note - playing without city states also made for a much more interesting game. there were a lot more farms needed, a much greater selection of buildings were useful. played a lot more like how I envision a Civilization game should play. and the most interesting thing was that one of the civs I was afraid would be the most negatively impacted - Alex and his UA of CS bonuses - was the strongest AI civ almost the entire game.