Hi - new to forums. I have played Civ since the very first version nearly 20 years ago, but I did not play Civ IV and this is my first return. Civ V is an okay game. I really hated the huge military stacks and so that change is welcome, and I like the graphics and hexes. The AI was always terrible, so while I wish it would get better I can live with it. I have never played the game to max/min my victory chances, so it doesn't bother me that there are some dopey exploits like selling the AI useless open borders, stealing city state workers, etc. What I cannot believe, however, is how many unbelievably obvious game mechanic and balance problems this game has. I simply don't understand it. And a huge part of the fun of Civ is that you are building a civilization through time. I'm not talking about silly role playing, but I am talking about some element of correlation to history or logic or whatever. Not only does the game have huge balance problems, these problems stem from game mechanics that are completely devoid of any logic or reality as related to civilization development. To whit: A huge part of the fun of Civ is picking smart city locations and developing the land. This game almost totally lacks that fun. The fundamental balance between farms, trading posts and mines is just lacking. Maritime food (which is one of many game mechanics that in addition to being unbalanced also simply makes no sense) and the incredible difficulty of growing past certain city sizes ruin food development. Way-too-high production costs and the wimpiness of mines make going for production unfun. Wheat/cattle/deer/sheep/bananas are actually worse than useless. What frustrates me most is that this problem is so glaring and so easy to identify and solve. It is not fun caring about nothing but luxury resources when choosing city locations. And I hate not being able to create true super massive cities of size 40 or above (I also find it annoying that at the end of the game the world has like 15 million people, can they at least try to make this seem real? It used to be that each additional pop number in a city was geometrically more population, what was wrong with that?). Happiness is broken as many people have identified. I understand why city-specific happiness might be worth changing from past versions, as it necessitates micro management. I could be won over by that change. But "happiness" now no longer has any meaning, it is just an artificial game mechanic to limit infinite expansion (and it fails at that as implemented, but anyway). You could call it "size penalty" and it would actually make more sense, and I think this meaninglessness is part of why it isn't fun. In past versions, war and overcrowding made cities unhappy, that is an interesting mechanic and "makes sense" so I can tailor my expansion through time to something that seems like a real consideration for a growing empire. What the heck does happiness even pretend to mean now? Why should settling a new city in a fertile river valley increase unhappiness? Why should a colliseum in a 1-pop city in the tundra on the other side of the world make my entire civilization happier? Why do I get the exact same, civ-wide happiness bonus from having 1 unit of a luxury good, but more of that luxury do me no good and all luxuries are equal (and the quantity I need has no relation to my population)? This mechanism strips away the "civ building" feel of the game and turns it into a spreadsheet. Culture has the same problem (although less so). Again because the game needs to gimp overexpansion somehow, it takes an incredibly increasing amount of culture to get social policies. This is totally unfun, because then every game you are forced to choose very early either to be relatively small and go for policies or to forego policies (very unfun) and grow. And again, it doesn't really make any sense, why does my cultural expansion slow when I have an additional city? I don't get it. And while I like the social policies, not being able to change them means you basically decide from the beginning what kind of win you are going for; it used to be fun to switch governments or whatever as the need arises. Why must my civilization be "free" for all time? The number of poorly balanced abilities, buildings and wonders is just astounding. The Ottomans have a CHANCE to convert Barbarian NAVAL units? Are you joking? You could playtest this for 15 minutes and realize it sucks. I will not go through these balance issues identified by many others. But I am simply baffled, in part because (contrary to many posters) I don't think this game seems particularly "beta" in many ways. It isn't all that buggy, at least for me, and it looks quite polished, and has a lot of great UI features like the built-in mod menu etc. I understand why programming AI is hard especially with the new 1upt. But why in the world couldn't they fix absurdities like the Colussus's lame ability expiring early? The total crappiness of the Forge/Barracks/Stables/Workshop/Granary? The hilarity of a 5g maintenance and infinitely long-to-produce courthouse? The unbelievably over-fast late technology development? I saw all these problems during my first playthrough after having not played any Civ game for like five years, and I assumed I was just misunderstanding the role of all this stuff because these buildings couldn't really be that terrible. Oh well. Anyway sorry for the rant, and mods do help somewhat, but mostly I just wanted to put my thoughts down somewhere.