I see no reason to buy secret societies mode. It seems not worth it, and I like to keep the game as historically accurate as possible. The Bermuda Triangle is one thing, vampires is quiet different... Not spending my money to support that. But, Apocalypse mode makes Diplomacy Victories easier so I use that, even if it was recently nerfed (and I still don't like the way DV works). Tech shuffle unsure about so far. It seems alright, but I only played part of 1 game with it cuz I got bored. Meh.