So I did play the game on release, and quickly waited for the large patch to come out to play any more. When it did I started to play the game again, and to make a long story short I really think that patch fixed much of the problems I had with the game, and the game is a huge deal of fun for me now. Usually I would be weary of just one patch fixing all major problems in a game, but the large patch did seem to do this more than adequately for me. I recently had a great deal of time to play the game, and would like to give my opinions about its current state in order to make the game better. I played many full games, about 5-6 games, on a standard 8 player continents maps. 1 on prince difficulty, 4-5 on next difficulty (1 above prince) and one on 2 difficulty levels higher than prince. Navy: One thing I have noticed is that the AI do use ships more effectively, though there is obviously alot of work needed to be done with them. When land masses are separated only by coastal tiles (not ocean) The AI will do full on attacks. One game I played Japan went to war with me, and he actually did a multi-pronged attack. He attacks some of my cities close to him, and he also sent a group of embarked units around the coast to attack my capital. Good stuff. However, even though I do see ships and embarked units, I never did see a full on invasion force over ocean. But honestly that is not as big of a deal as I would expect. If the civ is on a decent sized continent, they should have enough area to expand and grow there, and there is no reason for them to conquer and expand far away from their lands. Though it would be nice to see from time to time. They do however send settlers to other continents and settle them very frequently. Naval AI was a pet peeve of mine that I do hope they fix very quickly. For anyone who played Empire: Total War when it was released, you know what i am talking about regarding naval invasion AI, I was floored to see the exact same problem in Civ V. Armies: Units do seem to behave better since the patch, the AI do seem to make an effort to put melee units in front, and ranged units in back. However overall this does seem to need a huge deal of work still. Regardless of difficulty level, or whether I am powerful or weaker than the enemy, I am able to crush almost any units I come upon with no losses. I am able to out maneuver and pick at certain units at will. Even when the AI is much more powerful than me, and has twice my army. I will destroy their whole army and they will want peace with me and I claim half of their cities in the peace negotiations. The AI must learn to attack more intelligently. Also, I am not sure if this is already taken into account, but Army strength should also include XP/promotions of units as well. Again this comes down to an AI going to war with me with literally 4X the military strength, but I still annihilate them cause I have a few heavily promoted units. I didn't see any problems with unbalanced/overpowered units in the game, again the problem I saw is that the AI needs to be improved to attack/defend more efficiently. City attacking still seems to be a bit tough. The fact that the city regenerates every turn even when attacked the turn before is quite powerful. That basically negates a siege unit attack or 2 melee unit attacks per turn. I understand that taking a city should take many tuns and should be hard, but needing 5-6 units attacking a city for 3-4 turns exclusively is alot of resources and time. Especially since alot of units get city attack penalties. A huge issue for me however is XP gain methods. There are too many ways to grind XP against enemies with little chance for retribution from the enemy. One of the biggest problems is when attacking a city. If there are no defending units, you can literally surround the city, and attack it with all your units and they constantly gain XP for free, espeically all ranged units that can attack a city and take absolutely no damage. I played a game where I have naval units bombard cities every single turn for most of the game. They grinded well up over 500 XP each and were basically unstoppable. This is a serious issue and needs to be changed. Especially the XP for attacking cities. Buildings: Me and my friends are polarized on the issue of the buildings taking too long/are too tough to build. My argument is that people may have gotten to used to the Civ 4 method, where you could build practically every building in the game in all cities. I really like that you must pick and choose and specialize your cities in Civ 5, instead of being able to build every building immediately. I personally dont have any major issues with any of the buildings costs/effects for the most part. The Barracks/Armory etc.. buildings need to be more useful. The barracks takes a large amount time to build, and in the end you get one promotion. Something you can get by attacking barbarians a couple of times, and you lose all those turns of production. The buildings need to be cheaper, or the benefits slightly more powerful. Happiness may need to be tweaked. Every single game I need to build all the happiness buildings just to stay alive. Its the only style of building that I must build immediately upon researching it. Colluseums, circus', Theatres, I must buy or build these just to keep my happiness positive. And not just because I build big cities, but in every game I play, no matter if I am going for big cities, or military conquest etc... Its a absolute requirement. Basic AI: Overall the AI is not too game-breaking. Diplomacy seems to work very well for the most part. The tough part was learning the effects of the new diplomacy ideas like friendships/denouncements, and the permanent effects of going to war with people/city states. Again the army unit movement AI needs work as they do still seem to scatter their units and not move well as a group. Also I think they need to take more statistics into consideration before attacking. As mentioned above, an AI with 4X the army power of mine will attack me, yet I will roll over them with little to no losses. City states seem to work fine. I have had no issues with them and they don't seem to be very unbalanced in any big way. However like the Civ AI army units, they just don't seem to know how to attack or defend correctly. Especially city-stats have absoluely no chance of taking a city, and do get slaughtered every time when defending, even when they have 6+ units to defend against 2 or 3. Also in a couple of games, China pulled WAY ahead in military power, twice when my military power was 1-2k, china would somehow have 8-16k military power. There may some AI tweaks that need be done there. Terrain Tiles: This was something I thought was fine until I played my latest game. All my other games I was struggling just to try and win the game on the difficulty level 1 above prince. Then my last game I play the next difficulty level higher, and I completely annihilated everyone, I won the game around the 1600s in a diplomatic victory, something I thought would be impossible at such a high difficulty level. What I found was I basically won because my main cities were situated near rivers/fresh water. All tiles near them get +1 food basically. That makes sense, however that, in combination with all the techs and buildings that benefit from fresh water makes any city near them way too powerful. Building a farm on those tiles gives another +1 food, the early tech of fertilization gives those fresh water farms another +1 food, also building a city next to a river gives many new building options to the city like watermills. And buildings like hydro plants, etc boost those tiles even more. All these benefits far outweigh the management costs of happiness, etc.. for the city. Anyone who starts on a coast or in open land with no fresh water start at a major disadvantage. Even though as a coastal city you can control the waters and build a lighthouse for food in the coast, it is nowhere near the benefits you get being near fresh water in the game. And with the population comes more production/gold etc.. Just my farms alone allowed me to skyrocket past all other civs in the game. And the huge research rate from from the population sealed the deal all too quickly. Overall: Despite all of these issues, I enjoyed the games I played. But now me and my friends are waiting for some dedicated server support so we can go back to playing some multiplayer games! I wanted to write all of this so the game can be improved since me and my friends love Civ so much we want it to be awesome.