I figure this must be how long-time Fallout fans feel playing FO4, or vanilla WoW fans playing modern WoW... I feel like Civ is no longer for me. Like I'm no longer the intended audience for it, even though I've been a devoted fan since the 1990s and bought every major game along the way since Civ II. That includes SMAC, Civ III, Civ IV, and Civ V... I'm really left out in the cold by Civ VI. I was left out in the cold by Civ V too, but at least that was their first foray into 1upt, they had an excuse for the shoddy AI. But now I feel like I'm playing a game that's been intentionally dumbed down. It's like the developers said to themselves, "Hey! What would sell more copies?" And the answer was "Players don't like games that are hard; they especially don't like losing. So let's make the game stupidly easy and unchallenging to tickle the reward centers of people's brains and make them feel like geniuses, and keep them coming back." I mean, what other explanation can there be at this point? They knew the AI was bad in V and they didn't fix it anyway. At this point, they have to see it as a feature. Like it's a good thing the AI isn't more challenging because a challenging AI wouldn't appeal to players who want to succeed without adversity. Civ VI is a Facebook game. It's a very good Facebook game, with very pretty graphics and very nice music. But at the end of the day is there really anything here for a long-time fan who enjoys playing a challenging and well-programmed game? The modern iterations of this franchise are just an exercise in dumbing down the gameplay for newcomers who don't know how to play, don't care about becoming better, and think losing is un-fun. It's more fun if the AI doesn't know how to upgrade its troops and is still building catapults in the 1890s, because that sets the stage for an inexperienced player to steamroll through them with tanks and infantry and feel really good about themselves. And the better they feel about themselves, the more likely it is they'll come back later on and shell out more money for expansions and DLC. Is this where Civ is at this point? Is it really just a hollow simulacrum of a good strategy game that old-timers like me just keep coming back to out of nostalgia? Out of false hope? Or just because we haven't learned our lesson yet? So many people are taken in by this game, but it's all nothing more than veneer. There isn't any good gameplay underneath all the pretty graphics; there just isn't. The AI doesn't know how to play, and if Civ V is any indication, it probably never will, no matter how many patches and addons. Where is the joy for people like me? Where did it go?