The idea behind the Eureka/Inspiration system was, to my understanding, to reward you for the things you were doing on the map, causing each game to unfold a little differently based on what was going on with your civ. That's a laudable goal, but in the execution, I don't find that to be what actually happens. First, there aren't multiple paths through the research/civics tress. With a few trivial leaf tech exceptions, you'll end up spending science/culture to research all of the early era techs. So all that changes is the order you do them, not whether you do them or not. And because the techs are well balanced, with few exceptions, none of them are game changers. That means there's no particular need to rush one or the other. What's more important is to collect as many boosts as you can, and time your research to max those boosts. It's less about the development of your civ following on map actions, and more your on map actions being dictated by what you need to do to max your boosts. Second, the game system doesn't really reward you for doing a lot of a particular thing. Building more horse troops than foot troops doesn't improve your cavalry technology. Building more Industrial Zones than Commercial Hubs doesn't improve the efficiency of your factories. Instead, you have a random collection of boosts whose value is as science/culture beakers only. Third, a lot of the things you can build in Civ have marginal value in and of themselves. Instead, their primary value is to convert production/gold/faith into science/culture through generating a eureka/inspiration. Which is kind of flipping the whole thing on its head. I love the eureka/inspiration system and I see the above as primarily growing pains, rather than an indictment of the idea. Given the chance to re-work the execution of the idea, I'd favour: A tech/civics system where the first to research a technology gets a big bonus. That would be teamed with everyone, after a tech has been known for a certain number of turns, getting the technology for free so long as they have contact with at least two other civs that know the technology. Now you don't have to research everything, and the path you take through the trees really does matter. Boosts that are primarily tied to relative specialization. If you have more boat units than other types of units, you get a boost. If you have more farms than other types of improvements, you get a boost, etc. I'd make these relative versus absolute so that all civs can only get rewarded for what they're actually specializing in. So, for example the boost to Pikemen could come from having more Spearmen than any other troop type, but you need to have at least 3 Spearmen; the boost to Pike & Shot could be having more Pikemen than any other troop type, but you need to have at least 5 Pikemen, etc. So now, if you're the first to research Spearmen, your Spearmen get +4 say, so long as you continue to satisfy the condition required for a boost to that tech (i.e. maintaining a primarily pointy-stick based army). If you build more Spearmen than anything else, you'll get a bonus towards researching Pikemen, and if you're the first to research Pikemen, then you get that +4 to the Pikemen you build, etc. If you don't research Spearmen, eventually you'll get it for free, opening up the branch techs that depend on this technology, while you do other things. Same thing on the economy side of things. Lots of Wheat nearby? Go farms first and get a boost to Irrigation, and if you're the first to get to Irrigation by farming Wheat, you get a bonus to the yields of your Wheat farms - maybe 3 gold each? or 1 culture to reflect your society developing as a Wheat oriented society? - so long as you continue to have more farms than any other type of improvement. Later on, maybe you try to leverage that into the next farming boost (Serfdom currently) or you decide that on your map you're okay with foregoing those boosts and taking a balanced approach with your improvements This causes two things to happen, I think. First, it encourages you to truly specialize, rather than collecting a random assortment of boosts across all types of technology. Second, it encourages you to play not just the map, but also what other civs are doing. Only one civ can get the boost bonus for each tech, so maybe you direct your science/culture beakers to the area where you can get bonuses, and you get a real feedback loop between what you're doing on the map and your path through the research/civics trees.