The problem is that the leaders, and hence the traits, are tied to civs with certain UUs and UBs (unless you're playing with 'Unrestricted Leaders' enabled). Indeed, this means that it's less a question of balancing the traits than of balancing the leaders. For example, both Boudica and Brennus have what I would say are very powerful trait combinations, but this is balanced somewhat by their fairly lacklustre UU and UB. Sure, that was a perfectly logical assumption. But in practice it's not quite right, though, is it? Not only do some traits have a greater benefit, whether relative or absolute, on higher levels (Organised seems to, Charismatic certainly used to), but the strategies players are likely to adopt are different at different levels. Hence Industrious being less useful on higher levels - from what I've heard, few players would go wonderspamming on Deity. Really? Personally I quite like the fact that different levels call for different strategies. It makes for more variety. What about Aggressive, Expansive and Imperialistic? I'd rate all of these higher than Financial for the earliest part of the game. And Philosophical can start to work that early, if you grab an early religion or build Stonehenge, though you're unlikely to get the results until a little later. Indeed. This is one of the many reasons why I rate Spiritual so highly - it works very well on most of the different types of maps and rules I like to play. But if I was going to play on small pangeas, or with 'Always War' enabled, I'd rather have Aggressive any day.