Hi everyone, this is my first post so I'm not sure how many of you will take what I have to say seriously. So I'll preface by mentioning that I do have a lot of gaming experience. I've laddered seriously in a lot of strategy games and I have been the raid leaders, guild leaders and officers in many MMO's including Ultima Online, Everquest and Warcraft at the highest levels (World firsts, etc.) I am very used to optimizing strategy and utilizing everything at my disposal. I'd like to thank 2K Games for putting out a fun and interesting game. Although there are some imbalance issues, it was enjoyable and interesting. I will mention a few that I think are important, and hopefully add a few suggestions that will fix a few things. The main issues I wish to address include are Macroing and unattended resource gathering and Combat distribution. Gripe #1 - Macroing and unattended resource gathering Well, in my first game, I had to gain a bit of knowledge before unattended resource gathering could become effective. While in my first game, I met a player named JingL. I was actually in a different alliance at the time, but I was questioning their judgment and decision making ability, and I asked if she wished to team up. She taught me the ropes and showed me the basics, such as team-mazing, battling, etc. A week later, my game finished and I could finally play with my friends that had asked me to join. This time we were smarter, had a basic game plan. We would jump around, steal Barbarian kills, try to get early money to buy GP's, then do rites... However, I noticed in the beginning that my macro was getting a lot more resources, so to test this out, I made another account to compare the rates. After the first few hours, my main account had 8 population, while the alternate account had 4. The 4 population account was much faster. I ran some tests, and I decided that I would macro both of my screens on the 4 population account. I could keep increasing the population of my main account to gain more harvest/trickle, but maintain the same bonus bubble rate. I recorded data overtime and my results will be listed in the 2nd post of this thread. Basically here is a jpg of what I can do: (I saw the contest 10 minutes late, so I had to set up my macro, and do everything...) While an skilled player could possibly overcome an unskilled player utilizing sub-optimal macro practices... no skilled team could ever come close to touching a team of similar skill that macros. If this wasn't my second game, I would have utilized a more efficient way to divide my resources, and conquer most of the first page of technology on day 1. Instead, we did team mazes, with some timed Voyage of Discoveries and Auctions. I was inefficient and had over 20,000 production sitting. Very inefficient for those who understand the dynamics of a strategy game. At the end of the game, I only used up about 30,000 of the 80,000-90,0000 production I collected over the course of the game (Game lasted 3 days?). Had I converted the production to science, it would have been over much faster due to more bonus maze moves and team-mazing. While a large part of the success is due to the team working together with mazes, one part that can not be overlooked is that while doing the mazes, one player can make a huge difference by providing a large amount of protection. However if I did not have a team, I could have also macro'ed science for maze moves, and finished a lot of the research myself. Here is the result of our game: Gripe #2 - Combat distribution I have played a lot of slower combat games such as Close combat: Duty too far, starcraft, etc on ladder. There are many aspects of combat in Civ World that require much strategy which I enjoy (wonder usage, timing of fights, maximum production/power costs, weather changes, production saving, stances, resource hoarding, etc). However, I do not like the strategy of small stack usage. I'm sure many of you know how ridiculous and unfair it is, especially for newer casual players. Most teams have their army divided into many smaller units. Better players stack most of their units and leave many stacks of "1" to limit how much damage others can do. Suggestions: 1) Do not allow bonus resource collection on other player's screens -As a guild leader/raid leader, I don't want people to do things that would limit team success. As such, if I were leading a team of macro'ers, I would have each person get as much population as they could, maximizing their Harvest/trickle rates. However 1 person would remain a lower population and have everyone macro on his screen. This suggestion would stop that strategy from working. 2) Limit amount of bonus resource collection - on a sliding scale - After collecting a set amount of resources in a day, slow down the bubble rate. This way people who legitimately collect bubbles can do it, however those who macro will be great slowed. 3) Make a different mini game for bonus collection - I've read the threads where people have written programs to do the puzzles, so maybe something fun that people will enjoy. I know that even if you make something like Duck Hunt for bonus food, people will cheat and write programs/scripts - but your money/caravan game is great! 4) Make combat more intuitive for beginners - For me, I picked it up easily, however for newer players, this would scare them. Cater to casuals and teams (ie, letting them put many stacks of 20 - and being as effective as someone with a bunch of 1 stacks and a 100 stack), however keeping things like effective wonder usage, stances would give advanced players something to do. While doing simple things like adding a tooltip to explainin about how turns work would help newbies. Rational for change: A lot of the Civ World population are casual players. They aren't like me, trying to do whatever it takes to win. They just want to have fun, and I know that me doing this would totally demoralize even more advanced players. Being crushed like this is no fun, and I hope that the game keeps changing to be more friend towards these players and the rest of Beta goes well! Thanks again to my teammates and had a fun time playing with everyone (even if I was a mean poopie head and made the game un-fun). Here is some additional data: This is what my 4 pop screen looked like on the very first day. My 8 population was very similar in production values. For this data, I show the relative rates of production gain per hour for a 4 population macro'er versus an 8 population macro'er. After seeing how slow it was for an 8 pop macro'er, I decided to macro on 4 pop account on both screens. And it indeed gave me 3k resources an hour. (I'm aware that the last data points skew the R-value, but meh ). For this data, I show that a regular person without macro'ing only gains about 2000 in a single resource in 7 hours. A macro'er gains about 5500. While I can utilize everything and gain twice as much as a regular macro'er and 6 times as much as a normal player.