I am critisizing said reality I have worked in game development (albeit indirectly) and I have many friends in the field, so I know the reality of it and unfortunately, some of the procedures of the gaming industry leaves a lot to be desired. Any person with a little bit of thought and time can easily predict the outcomes and behaviours induced by game systems. Extrapolation and deductive thinking are no superpowers of mine of course, betatesting is still vital, but it is already more than proved that game rules will condition strategies and player's behaviour, and that you can predict both up to an extent. The problem is that the "hard conditions" of wonders strips choice away from you, and most importantly, the chance of choice. Let me explain: On any given game, there are only two possible outcomes for a wonder: You either build it or not. While these two outcomes are present in both systems, on a "hard condition" one the choice is already made for you: do you lack the terrain for building a wonder? Then you won't make it, period. Whereas on a "soft condition" system at least I have the chance (as remote as it is on higher levels) of building said wonder. The player has still limited agency, but agency nonetheless.