Games can only be continued with the exact same set of mods active, as far as I can see. Not that I've tried it much, there aren't any insteresting mods for me besides the clock, and I can get a clock from steam. Yes they have, I know. My point is that the game's target audience is not a group of probably less than 100 civfanatics users who know how to play Civ IV perfectly. Dumbing something down has a connotion of making it drastically simpler, I don't think the term is warranted until we see everybody winning their higher level games. For example, anyone can win CivRev on emperor, its second highest difficulty setting. This is clearly not the case in Civ V. Maybe, but I'm not seeing complaints from people who keep winning on deity. (In fact they seem to be unable to even spell "deity" in several cases).