Hi folks. I'm a long-time Civ player. I've read all the War Academy articles here but haven't delved into the forums until now. But now Civ4 has boggled my mind so much I've felt the need to post a few issues I have with it. These are things I feel are disappointing and degrading features as compared with previous Civs. My main question is "why"? 1. Load times. It takes appallingly long to load a game that's even moderately progressed. Civ3 loads are instantaneous by comparison. Why have all this Python and other extraneous code that obviously only increases load times without increasing functionality? And it's not just load times, but wait times. I get so bored with the "Waiting for other civilizations" that I'll often abandon a decent game in the 1700s just to start a new one so I can actually *do* things rather than sit around waiting. 2. Land use. In Civ3 you could cultivate and mine deserts. It didn't give you much, but at least it gave you *something*. You could also mine mountains, which only makes sense. In Civ3, deserts and mountains are completely *worthless*. They just occupy space on the map. Let's reflect on that in terms of realism. *Of course* you can irrigate deserts in real life (provided you can connect them with a water source). And of course you can mine mountains. By comparison, in Civ4 you can irrigate tundra and even build watermills in ice (by rivers). How realistic is that? I'm not saying it should be disabled (as I hate unproductive squares - even oceans can produce quite a bit of food or commerce) but for freak's sake, let's allow desert irrigation and mountain mining for what little benefit it provided in Civ3 (better than having totally pointless land). 3. Forestry. This is really a continuation of #2 - but what happened to planting forests? More importantly, why? As if in real life, we can only chop down forests but not plant them? What would this say about global warming (which also, unless I missed it, is largely gone in Civ4)? Was someone afraid of exploiting some sort of build/chop/replant/rechop bug? If so, there are much better ways to prevent that (Civ3 did it if I'm not wrong). Even later in the game, it is *not* always advantageous to have all your forested land chopped down - sometimes the land under it is useless without the forest. Hell, I even remember how in earlier Civs you could use engineers to *transform* land from one type to another (to level hills to plains or vice-versa for example). What happened to this? Too unrealistic? Sure, we never build hills or level them. Even ancient cultures could do that (take Silbury Hill for example). If there's a mod that corrects (even some of) this, please point me drooling in its direction. I'll admit I have no knowledge whatsoever of Civ4 mods. I've played Civ3 (and previous Civs) for years, and only tried a few of the (presumably better) mods, most of which were disappointing (buggy at worst or didn't provide the same quality of overall gameplay as the unmodded game at best). I'll also admit some skepticism about Civ5 judging from its reviews and the general decline between Civ3 and Civ4. Don't get me wrong, I like Civ4. If I didn't, I wouldn't bother posting about it, I'd just go back to playing Civ3. The religion system is nifty, though I'm not sure whether it adds realism or just another layer of complexity (particularly when you fail to spread one of your own religions in one of your own cities). I'm not sure what's with the cartoonish leaderheads when they talk to you as compared with the badly-degraded portraits on the Foreign Advisor screen, but I can live with that. But I have to take issue with basic gameplay issues that defy realism, particularly when they worked just fine in previous versions. Moderator Action: Moved to Civ4.