Yes, actual differences in the eras due to some more interesting rules changes during a game will help this a lot. I like the idea that you must spend Money to recruit early units, so Industry is good for building new infrastructure but not also for conquest. I want expansion to be slower so you aren't just carpeting the map in cities and quarters asap, but actually trying to use the land you've selectively claimed. This reins in snowball while keeping early decisions potent. A way to do this would be to limit how many tiles away from the City you can build (and perhaps a more restrictive limit for Admin Centers), and then allow building from Hamlets/Harbors/Luxuries/Trains as the game goes on. I liked the civic that enabled player elimination in beta. Other such large rule changes, rather than just number tweaks, would be good to implement in civics. Getting fame before collapsing is exactly what I was hoping for out of this game. The current balance of the era stars (which all check for lifetime yields) won't work with this, but it isn't hard for them to change the era stars to only check for yields during the current era and retune the numbers.