Random thought. I saw this article on Imperator Rome and thought it was interesting in the context of Civ VI. Specifically. The author mentions that Imperator Rome feels underwhelming, and that the reason for that is that the game lacks a “central tension”. He compares it to EUIV which is a similar Grand Strategy Game, but where there is a central tension being the balancing of multiple alliances to keep your nation safe and advance your interests. Two things struck me. First, I think Civ VI also lacks a “central tension” at least once you get past the medieval era. There’s just not really anything you’re really driven to do or engage with - just keep building stuff. Once all your cities are settled, all you’re doing is just racing to the end as fast as you can (which is itself not even much of a tension, because it’s so easy to race and the other AI don’t even try to win the race). To be clear, I don’t mean “late game decisions aren’t impactful” or “feels like I’m just hitting next turn” which has all been said before. I mean that mid to late game there isn’t any actual central “game loop” that fires that wonderful dopamine and keeps you coming back. Early game there is - use cities to build settlers or army to get more cities, rinse-repeat. But mid game, once everything is settled, there’s really no specific loop. It’s just ... missing. Second, the current alliance system is okay, but it really doesn’t make you feel like you’re making real diplomatic alliances. No web of fragile alliances holding the world together or plunging everyone into war. There’s no feeling of “being friends with this guy means this guy hates me means I’ll get dragged into this war means I have an excuse to war with this guy etc.” Likewise, the World Congress doesn’t feel very diplomatic either. Alliances and World Congress are just more bonuses on bonuses rather than a whole new theatre of strategy. Don’t get me wrong - there’s a bit of diplomacy if you want to play around with it, but it’s pretty limited. Anyway. Just some thoughts. Take em or leave em. I’m still excited about another patch, though.