Ah, sorry. Had to leave my pc in the middle of writing an answer and forgot to come back to it later. Here's the quick version: I think it's the lack of "milestones". In Civ 5 you always had specific moments in time where new stuff entered the field. You got your religion and started spreading it, you unlock that wonder that you want, Idiologies come in, Air Units come in, etc. The base game is lacking that as well, but it's so short that it doesn't matter that much. I feel like the fact that you made games longer is great, but I feel like you should think about adding some sorts of accomplishments that shake up the game(play) a bit. Yes, farms feel good now. I have not played around with advanced improvements that much. I used specialists when I felt my city wasn't going to grow much further for a while, being aware of 2-food farms did of course change that a bit. Right now I'm not quite sure what to make of them, I ignore most of them and focus on growing my cities. No, I guess it was mostly laziness later in the game. I'll make sure to try trade routes in my next games. That's good to hear and understandable.