I think it's wrong. It does not give a balanced feeling in lower difficulties. It makes difficult to share experiences from players playing different difficulties, as each difficulty has it's own balance. Cultural victory is awfully easy in lower difficulties compared to the other conditions, and that breaks balance. It's not a fine thing to develop a game that you can only fully enjoy after a hard training when the player is able to move to King. The correct way to handle this would have been to give bonuses/maluses only to the human player, so AI plays always the same for every difficulty level (maybe improving AI logic at harder difficulties, as in G big idea, but keeping the same bonuses), but Firaxis did it the other way. The only fix I can figure out is tweaking science and policy costs so they scale based on difficulty, in a way that science victory is achieved by AI at approximately the same turn for all difficulties. Also, it seems that a game that streches longer than 400 turns is considered too long, but here you are at warlord and beyond, a difficulty geared to beginners, where you easily reach 500 turns at least. Clearly too long for newcomers. I can do it faster, but I know what I'm doing. It is counterintuitive, having noobs play longer games. Seriously, I had to make efforts to not win by tourism in order to see how fast I can achieve this science victory with Songhai. It never happened to me at King. You seem to think that only time victory is unbalanced at lower difficulties. It's not. Culture is too easy, Domination is easier than normal, and Science is the hardest one.