I'm not talking about subjective enjoyment, I'm talking about design quality. It's entirely possible to enjoy EL more than - say - Civ V and still concede it's not as good a game. I found it very enjoyable on my Forgotten playthrough. Too many game elements are unexplored or underexplored, poorly-connected to the rest of the game systems, or badly-balanced in terms of decision-making to offer either the design coherence or strategic options of Civ games. Every victory condition bar conquest is just 'accumulate a threshold amount of resource X' - Distant Worlds is a fine 4x and certainly one to take inspiration from in many areas. Its victory conditions are not among those areas. And the designers clearly recognise this as the game's a work in progress - take the additions in the Forgotten expansion, which actually required you to have more than two or three heroes in a playthrough while before it was rather worrisome that one of the game's core selling points was practically an optional extra rather than a central feature of gameplay.