First, let me say the expansion is amazing. I'm nearing the end of my first full game now. Instead of making a new thread for each of these, I thought I might as well centralize them. For the past four days I've been going to bed at 1am and waking up at 6 because of this game. Good job Firaxis, Ed, the team and the Frankenstein testers. Some will be late night ramblings, others will hopefully be insightful. Note also this is impressions of my first game on an easier than usual difficulty. Espionage Impression: Seems a little bare bones despite all the hype. Once my spy is in their capital, If I have a tech lead, all they can do is passively wait for tips about enemy plans. I have no problem with passive espionage, but combined with complaints about tech stealing being possibly overpowered in some situations here are some suggestions. Adjust move time between 1-5 turns based on distance of your capital and theirs. Add layered espionage within the capital. For example, recruit spies can only infiltrate a low level government job where as higher ranking spies can infiltrate the inner circles of government. The recruit will report more basic information, the veteran will report more details, and news feed information. Allow optional 'news feed' that drips back interesting anecdotes about AI leaders. Caesar threw a fit after he was denounced? Theodora traded for those truffles because of her pet. etc. These will be canned form stories over a trade deal, DoF, denouncement, DoW, espionage etc. written with fill in the blanks to fill in the leader name Intrigue screen should be more than a log of notifications. I should include a graphical view of the web of relations similar to the diplomacy screen in Civ3 or infoaddict mod Allow players to find out AI attitude/approach towards each other through espionage and put this in the intrigue screen; also show who is trading with whom, plus basic summary of public deals like War,RAs, DoF and denouncements. There should be a way to conduct spy vs spy missions in city states when two civs are trying to rig elections. Humans should get a notification if their pacts of secrecy/plotting against a civ is discovered (see next section). Diplomacy Impression: Much more stable and this is coming from someone who liked/understood vanilla's diplomacy. I particularly like the expiring penalties and the self renewing deals. Also friends tend to ignore negative modifiers. However, it still feels a bit like being taken for too much of a ride sometimes rather than being in control. Here are some ideas. Allow symmetry for intrigue (X plotting against Y) for both human and AI by adding back pacts of secrecy so the AI can find out who the human player is plotting against and act/behave accordingly. There appears to be a bug where if you convert an AI's holy city and promise not to do it again, natural spread of your religion into their territory counts as you breaking your word, even though you have no control over that Allow players to mention to AI city-states of contention. The AI will sometimes (I've only seen it once) mention a certain city-state is considered under their sphere of influence, yet the human can't do the same, and the AI for the most part do no tell the human players this (perhaps friends only?) For the post Renaissance re-alignment, allow a notification where players notifies the world (similar to an event notification) that they intended to follow order/autocracy or Freedom BEFORE they switch to that SP. AI will then feedback to players. Friends will agree/disagree, enemies may extend an olive branch, giving players a chance to preview the coming world order. AI's will do the same, allowing players to agree or disagree. This also creates a first mover advantage and adds that as a dimension in terms that is clear for people to see. The first Civ to pick one of the 3 SP could well bring enough substantial sized Civs for the other Civs to have no choice but to follow down that path or risk alienating friends or civs that matter. This also opens the flavour for the true pariah civs to go it alone and stick it to the big boys. Religion Impressions: Very neat and unique. I like the pressure system, I am very OCD fighting the encroachment of christianity into my lands and I'm really fighting a losing battle there. But I still don't fully understand a lot of things, so my ramblings may include things with obvious answers or mechanics I don't completely understand. It seems kind of strange that where as espionage is completely menu driven, religion is very OCD in that you have missionaries, prophets and inquistors I think there's a place of macro level 'policy' to affect religion beyond just bonuses (player choices should be able to affect how a religion spreads, slow the spread of others, and even diplomacy) There should be an option for players to issue edicts that target certain religions in their empire and allied city states. This reduces spread of said religion in those lands but incurs a diplomatic penalty for civs following that religion Conversely, there should also be edits that encourage the spread of certain religions. Both should be tied to having Piety SP open Players going down rationalism will not be able to issue edicts on specific religion but may issue anti-religious edicts that slow the spread of ALL religions , or tolerate all religions (status quo) What is the significance of the fall of a holy city? I took the Christian holy city, and demolished their followers. Within 5 turns, due to intense pressure for conversion, the city was Christian again... The religious war mechanic I'm not seeing. So we can purchase holy warriors with faith, but with 10 civs on a large map, 6 religions is still far too many. Most of the civs that matter have their own and diplomacy is pretty much about the side competition on converting as many cities/city states as possible. Allowable religions should be less than 6 for a 10 Civ map. Perhaps 4 or as few as 3. Before the Renaissance all Civs should be able to declare Holy War, if they have a religion (even if not their own); cities captured during a Holy war will have an option outside of annex/puppet of eradicating the religion in that city or to tolerate it. Eradication incurs diplomatic hit or bonus depending on what religion the AI has and the city stays on revolt even longer and incurs extra unhappiness during that period. After the Renaissance, Civs with an active Piety branch and Theocracy SP can delcare holy war. Civs not on piety or lacking theocracy can no longer declare a Holy War. That's it for now. More as I play.