OK, so I'm late to the party because as I mentioned in other threads, I saw nightmare scenarios of LPs regarding loyalty and didn't want to get it. Got it and started an easy game, dropped the difficulty to emperor (I usually play deity for challenge, emperor for fun, or immortal for a happy medium.) Picked a strong civ, Persia, should be a successful campaign while learning the new mechanic. Have to confess something here, I usually hand-pick my opponents. I always pick two civs that are going to give me a hard time (Scythia, Aztec, etc.) but the rest I pick based on their agendas. I find it hard to play with modest aggression and still be able to have decent diplomatic relations, so I pick civs like Egypt (I always have at least a modest military, which is enough to appease her), Nubia (always try to max out the districts, except deity), Poland, and so on. I don't pick the same leaders every time, but some find their way into my games more often than others. Brazil is never in my games for this reason. Then I see Korea's agenda is that she'll befriend civs with high science output and I thought this would be a civ to pick quite a bit. On emperor, I'll usually be doubling the #2 best civ in science by medieval, and that usually happens before industrial on immortal - deity sometimes I don't catch up before I win. So I put her in there thinking we'd end up best buds (unless she's too close) but what she was doing was insane. I checked the progress at the medieval era and she was doubling ME in bpt! On emperor! Looking at the great people already recruited screen, she had about 2/3 of them! And had SIX great scientists before turn 100! On emperor. Obscene. Another thing that I noticed is that prophets are going earlier than in vanilla. Again, this is only emperor, and I expanded my civ by taking a useless religious city-state with good lands and that snagged me a free holy site. I wasn't planning on going for a religion, but since I got it for free, thought I'd supplement it with a HS in one of my other cities and snag one. But when I checked the GP screen, all the prophets were gone by turn 40. This seems about right for deity, maybe a little quick for immortal, but the window on emperor is usually wider than that. Are others finding this the case as well? May have just been the other civs that were in the game (the ones that got a religion were Scythia, Japan, Nubia, and Poland... now that I look at it, the civs definitely had something to do with it, but still that's really early for the difficulty level.