Again, nothing about these things indicates incompetence. Simply design (and implementation) by constraints. You can infer what you want from their source code, however you deem fit. It doesn't make you right, especially when you only have the final product to judge them by. Not how they made it, and the factors that affected that development. You're relying on an incomplete dataset to conceive that hypothesis of yours, and as much as you seem to want it to be right, "nothing can be ruled out" also includes a purple elephant dropping on Firaxis' offices setting them back months of work during product development Which means this isn't "nothing can be ruled out", this is a specific scenario that you are suggesting - specifically - that is more likely than other scenarios (including more reasonable and indeed knowledgable suggestions), because it makes sense to you. Which is fine! But you're gonna get called on it. It also has very little to do with AI and difficulty levels. The point about DLL modding was close, which is why I picked up on it (I will always support more and better modding tools). But this seems like having an axe to grind.