If I can "Pile On" to this . . . In Civ 6 they did their best to remove any possible source of Unhappiness for the average, casual player: the bulk of the people who spend their money on a game, the folks who like playing against Jadwiga because she's cute but wouldn't know a Winged Hussar from a Wombat. Bottom line, though, it's their money that pays for the whole structure, so the decision makes perfect sense from a marketing and business survival standpoint. But. It means that, essentially, there are no negatives in the game. Your population is either More Happy or Less Happy, but effectively, they are never Unhappy enough to make a difference. Natural Disasters, with a few exceptions that will probably be changed in the next Patch, are less Disasters than Annoyances. The 'Enemy' AI is less Enemy than Brat - the AI cries a lot and his animated self makes snarky comments, but doesn't do much, and what it does do, it does pretty ineffectively, as people on these Forums have been commenting on since the game was first released. So, IF they were to jack up the tension by jacking up the potential problems to the Gamer, they risk turning off a lot of Gamers - and turning off the cash flow, which is Basic Business Suicide. The answer? If I thought I had a 'perfect solution' I'd be gathering investors to start a Game Design Company. Instead, I'll throw out some ideas: 1. Any increase in Difficulty within the game has to be, like the so-called Difficulty Level overall, selectable by the Gamer. Instead of a "Diety" level in which the AI gets a bunch of starting bonuses and then settles down to being the same Brain-Dead Smurf it is at all the other 'difficulty' levels, break up the Difficulty into various areas: Right now we can set Natural Disasters, parts of the map (Abundant versus Scarce Resources, for instance) and overall Difficulty, how about being able to set Unhappiness difficulty, in which it is harder to keep your electronic population happy and the consequences are more severe. Enemy units heal faster. Some Barbarians move faster. Maintenance Costs are higher. Have Default Levels, but make almost every Aspect of the Game selectable for the gamer. 2. Related to that, the Era and Loyalty systems absolutely cry out to have higher levels of 'difficulty' or Potential Problems for the Gamer. A Dark Age should be a Diplomatic/Political Disaster, requiring a Civ to go into 'Survival Mode' for a while. Science may not actually be much affected (Dark Age Europe introduced better horse collars, horseshoes, multi-geared water wheels, multi-field crop rotation, and better metallurgy overall - NOT a Scientific Dead Zone historically), but the lack of government effectiveness/control and Gold may make it difficult to impossible to do anything with the Science. Cities should be very, very likely to 'break away' and become Free Cities or City States. While I'm concentrating on the negative, ALL types of Eras need to be Buffed as to their effects and how easy they are to accomplish: it should make a major difference what Era you are in as to how you play the next X turns. And the levels of Era Importance should be Voluntary, so the casual gamer doesn't have to feel he's getting Bludgeoned by the Game and turn it of (and turn off the cash flow). Loyalty is a mechanism sadly under-utilized. Yes, I've read all the Threads and comments about how it made Conquest Impossible, how it's a pain in the keyboard to play with, but in fact it is almost completely predictable and manageable without major changes to your game plan except, unless other factors apply, you don't settle too near an opposing capital and if someone settles too near yours, you have a new city shortly with a funny furrin name. Suggestions: Make Loyalty dependent or modified by your type of Government and the type of government near you. Make the Amenity/Happiness level of cities near yours a factor in relative Loyalty Levels: Add Migration as a factor, and watch your starving, Arena- and Amenity-less population take off for a Better Life. In other words, add real Population Management to the game for a change - but allow Mister/Ms Casual Player to turn it off or down if all they want to do is Kick AI Butt with Keshiks.