oh I have hope, and if not for Fraxis, for the modders for sure... and lets face it, even if diplomacy sucks, I will probably buy the game and enjoy the first half of it much like I did civ 3. I think I only every bothered to enter the modern age in like 5% of my games. I like building, and going to war only when it works towards building a better empire (or a bit of revenge on someone who screwed me over in the early game when they were cheating to stay ahead of me.) If I want to war just to war I will play an RTS. It surprises me no one has really tried to challange Fraxis with there own turn based civ type game where war is an extentesion of your empire, not its heart. And I agree... polytheism and monotheism should not be dependent on one another and should not be required techs at all. In fact no tech should be required ever, though many should have dependencies. For instance. I should not have to research calvery to get to tanks, but I should have to research tanks to get to modern armor. I may actually do this if I it is not to hard to mod. For instance, for illustration purposes, the tech tree is divided up into ten levels. Calvery is on 5 and tanks are on level 7. I could completely skip calvery at level 5, as I focused on some economic techs at level 5 and then at level 7 I research tanks and more military techs skipping over some other techs that did not suite my plans for that game like some new religious philosohy or government. Basically I have the freedom to research what is relevent to my design and if that means being a mighty military power who is completely backwards in many ways... well it is about rewriting history. Hope that made sense.