I think most everyone would agree that the writing could have been better, but I don't think it is as bad as all that. I get where you are coming from though, with the lack of hell bent personalities. Thing is, if they make all the leaders rigid in one belief system... number one people would criticize it for being too rigid and number two, it would rob the ability to make the leaders dynamic from game to game. I believe what they tried to do was have a random personality thing which I think is the right direction. Emergent gameplay and all. But the personalities aren't drastic enough. They all kind of lean instead of being hell bent. There is a little bit of defining personality with their lone unique trait, but that is ultimately not very impactful. I know it is a natural thing to compare BERT to SMAC, but they have somewhat different focuses and different mechanics. It's not an all together fair comparison. Maybe the best written game of all time versus a game that didn't even have enough (fan and/or corporate) support to be finished. I have to laugh at: "And what does her faction- uh sponsor- stand for? "Effective and transparent governance, political activism on behalf of the disenfranchised, and environmental resilience." Wow, riveting. Not to mention, completely inoffensive. So why would anyone not be in favor of them? (How would a proponent of such a boringly sensible platform be considered a "trivial clown"?)" Unfortunately, we currently live in a world where probably more than 1/4 of the people on the planet are firmly against boringly sensible. Boringly sensible as a platform isn't in a good place and we live long before the events of BERT.