Nostalgia goggles is always a weak argument to cling to in order to defend something. It is rarely true. It would be like Civ 4 fans saying the only reason you like Civ 5 is because its new and not because of any real merit the game holds. (You blame Civ 4 for not being Civ 5). Health wasn't a redundant feature. It was put into replace aqueducts and sewer systems being population caps. In Civ 3 and before, to grow past size 6, you had to have an aqueduct. Otherwise, the city would never be able to grow past 6 even pulling in 100 food per turn. It would just be wasted. Now, in Civ 5, no health caps at all. Just Global Happiness. So a city with the population of Tokyo is easy to achieve real fast. EDIT:Why not just remove the happy cap and let the city grow as fast as it can based off the land then? Dogpiling population into single cities is already the best bang for your buck by a longshot as it provides bonuses, and makes bonuses you have to build automatically effect the bulk of your people by only building it once instead of in every city. Plus, happiness is now the only reason to expand early to keep it "simple" as if 1 more reason is overwhelming in complexity. A whopping 2! What am I, Rain Man? If health was a redundant feature then so IS happiness for the same reason. You could argue morale but I can counter that with hygiene and civil services. Health was really easy to get in 4 and didn't break your arm if you ignored it. I am trying to design a mod for 4 where a city with < has like a .5-1% chance for the plague to spread there every turn. The plague adds -25% to cultural defenses so far. (Had it at 50% but that seems too strong.) I am doing this simply to have health play an active role in the field. (A reason one may mistake it for redundancy.) Managing health in your empire is something that offers challenge to the game and makes total sense. Healthcare is a HUGE issue in the US right now. This is a beef of mine and a case I do see as "dumbing down". It removes a logical feature because it doesnt offer a reward to the player only Consequences. There is a word for that, it's a challenge. If you don't think challenge is fun, why on Earth would you play a strategy game? Not that Civ 5 holds no challenge but it holds much less than Civ 4 and one of the main things I see lobbed at 4 is "hard to learn" -which btw blows my mind. Don't touch 1-3 if 4 is "hard to learn" you'll be so confused. I learned them by myself with no internet access available at all in 1993-02 starting with Civ 1 when I was 13. Civ 4 is only hard to learn because Firaxis thought it was a great idea to hide finances behind a curtain and that prevented you from planning your finances ahead. I have always hated that about Civ 4. Civ 4 is a trial and error style of play to learn economy which is stupid. (Psst, mods) It makes most people have their army go on strike and go bankrupt on their first game without a warning. However, if you can figure out how to guesstimate and gauge that city cost, your golden. Everything else is right there at your fingertips to plan around. Some of us actually find merit in the design of 4 over 5. Such things are subjective to opinion and perspective. To wash our criticism off as crybaby nostalgia tantrums or to wash your praise of Civ 5 as fresh fanboy hype would be foolish on both parts. Each are right there offering another perspective on each game. A positive one at that. Disagree? Great! That's why both Civ 4 and 5 both sold enough copies to warrant a Civ 6. It will hold wonderful new things for us to argue over and draw new lines in the sand. This is a niche title and the audience didn't really grow enough with 5 to say it is "clearly" the favored game in popular opinion. Civ 4 was clearly preferred to 3, 2, and 1. I don't know if VGCharts has access to Steams sales number for copies sold or not. If not, Civ 4 sold twice as many physical copies (3m) compared to 5 (1.5m) Would be interesting to see how many Steam Sales each made. Not that sales figures invalidate anyone's personal preference between the two games. I mention it to point out the small budget Civ 5 is probably constrained to. 2k is a small fish in a big pond nowadays. EA and Activision are monsters compared to it. However, Civ going to 2k was probably the best thing to happen to it, honestly. (Imagine if they had went to THQor something) Many would disagree with me, I know. (I loved fake Atari) and hated 2k when 4 released, but in hindsight, it probably was a very smart move. It looks like it is a good partnership as 5 restored my faith in 2k to handle the series smart even though I don't like 5. (Mostly because of financial limitations is my guess. But I'll take it.) Civ 5 has a wonderful art style (I much prefer it over 4's), but there are texture pops and all kinds of graphical bugs that cheapen the hell out of it. Civ 4's turn times are an identical kick in the butt. Civ 5 is a little faster, but not much on my rig. and I will be able to run Watch Dogs on Ultra settings when it comes out. (The first truly next gen game) The turn times are bad on both really but Civ 5 does win out by maybe 30-40%. I haven't played Civ 4 without Better AI mod in probably 5 years or more so the AI on Civ 4 seems WAY smarter than on 5. (BTW Civ 5 probably won't ever see that because it requires source code access, I am almost positive) Would be cool if they released the source code with Civ 5 Complete. What do they care if they aren't going to do anything but sell the title and work on 6 and DLC/EXpansions anyways, right? (However, I would also like if they would release the source code for Civ 3.) I would love to see them be like Bethesda and encourage an online modding community. This would allow the community to experiment with mechanics and come up with cool new ideas for the series. Civ 4 proved an online modding community was lucritive, I wonder how lucrative DLC was. Their DLC was all stuff that could have been modded into the game and into the community for free + WAY more with more variety. I don't think it is a coincidence that open modding went out exactly when DLC came in. That is one of my beefs with 5 and it doesn't appear at glance that it was more lucrative. Under this model, Civ 5 will age much faster than Civ 4. Civ 4 may even outlive 5 because of this. Why do you like Global Happiness? I am curious. Can you elaborate on that? What do you see as the best parts of it vs. localized happiness as it was in 4.