I must say I have received the new system with a "pinch of salt", especially for the lack of real information on what the Pacts are and how they influence RL. I still find that we lack some middle ways - nothing is either black or white. Also, advisers should be able to learn, as the game goes on. It's alright they don't have a clue in the beginning, let them learn gradually. I am happy the Tech trading is gone, as it has been plainly exploited by players, and the Research Agreements are a nice way to randomize it a little bit. Otherwise, I must agree with the way the game changed. Think of it as if you were in the other players position - if you have a military edge, no matter the other guy is offering you piles of gold, you need his land to evolve. Also, if someone settles near you, in "your" planned expansion spots, you will be pi$%&d off, and you will be prone to attacking him. The new system is pretty much a trial and error stuff, with no definite way that works for every game, and I'm happy with it. It's not empty - I am currently playing my first (almost) pacific games, I have a strong defensive position as Babylon and cooperate/trade with neighbors like Askia and Oda who are fighting each other for past hundreds of years. And although my army is no longer as strong as it used to be, trading, researching together, OB and cooperating works! They could roll me over much more easily than in the beginning - muskets & rifles vs longswords and trebuchets, but they aren't Also, I'm happy that the blood-thirsty Monty, religious Izzy, tech-madman Mansa are gone. It's nice to see that Gandhi is not an empty shell, but is really competing to win the game (i.e. even if it means warring). It's nice to cooperate peacefully with Japan, even despite the close borders, for thousands of years. It's good to see that, if you attack AIs, the others cool down and blame your ways of doing. Maybe some lifting should be done in regard to the adviser system. Aside this, I'm happy with the way it went.