6. Loyalty & Disloyalty I think a concept of loyalty is needed to represent a variety of historical forces, such as a failing state getting picked apart by neighbors, the effects of religious or ethnic blocs that transcend borders, etc. Where I think civ6 came up a little short was not extending their system beyond the diplomatic arena into empire management by having a lack of loyalty be disloyalty or revolt instead of "loyalty to someone else." In a vacuum, the loyalty system we have means that the only thing that fights your loyalty is another empires. You can be the worst ruler ever and as long as no one else is within 9 tiles they will never split. It is a linear system of You vs All your neighbors instead of a "polar" system of all empires vs free state/anarchy. As an example of what i mean, imagine if not managing a city well - unemployed pops, negative amenities, overcrowding - gave you a negative loyalty number on its own. But instead of this meaning some other empire would take the city, the city would simply revert to independent status. You would need to convince such a settlement to join you and your wonderful empire. So this means that settling the frontier and letting them be neglected could lead to some settlements going independent. It could mean that encampments of other people - the idea mentioned in this thread that there really aren't "empty" tiles, there are people there - that evolve into settlements might be swayed to join you. It also means there is a real penalty to bad management and this sort of scheme can be used to generate larger scale rebellions if desired. IE, when one city goes, nearby disloyal cities may join them. There are a ton of things in this game and previous games, like the cultural ties from civ4, or ideological pressure from civ5, or amenities in 6, that can all be rolled into +/- modifiers on a loyalty/disloyalty scale. You could even include things like empire level effects (perhaps your nation is bankrupt, or you have decided to be a rogue state in defiance of World Congress resolutions.) By having this condensed figure, designers have an expandable system that can accommodate almost anything. And players have a simple rating they can keep an eye on and understand what will happen when you don't keep it together.