Most of the things you lament the absence of in Civ V seem to be eye candy - pretty movies and the like. For my part, I genuinely prefer the pastel illustrations in Civ V to the generally rather indifferent "wonder movies" in Civ IV. Anyway, wonder movies are a minor issue. Don't you agree? The Stack of Doom was moronic, and I'm glad it's gone. Trying to invade efficiently with a scarcity of roads makes fighting more interesting, in my opinion. It's a pity, though, that the game designers didn't manage to make the AI better at handling the new war system. You've got a very good point there. Apparently, there are other games with a similar war system where the AI is quite competent at using it, so there is no real excuse for the poverty in this regard that Civ V suffers from. They tried to improve the rather primitive diplomacy from Civ IV and failed because of bad programming, which I suspect was caused by them not given enough time to finish their job by the suits. I do think they went a bit too far in their ambition to strip the game of nonessential fluff. It was probably a reaction against the way BtS was filled to the bursting point with extra goodies. Those are only my opinions, of course, but opinions underpinned by facts or observations are, as you say, meaningful up to a point. Naturaly they can never constitute some kind of ultimate truth, but I'm so glad we can agree on a lot of things, or at least see where the arguments of the other party come from. I must admit, though, that I am completely puzzled by your statement that you miss the road spaghetti from Civ III and IV. Ugly and rather silly. Finding the money to build enough roads and railways can be a problem in Civ V, but we like solving problems, don't we? Speaking of eye candy, there have also been complaints (not, to my knowledge,from you) about the introductory movie. Someone stated he "wanted to sock the old man on the jaw", which feels like an overreaction to me. And anwyay, introductory movies are usually rather boring. After having seen them a couple of times, you never want to see them again. An exception is the wonderful "Baba Yetu" introduction in vanilla Civ IV. But apart from that, what do we have? An illustrated lecture in evolution and early human history. A tower that gradually, as the camera rises higher, becomes modern. Fascinating the first couple of times, and then a ho-hum. A man being crowned king in a cod-Roman city. An elephant jumping up and down on a mountain to turn it into a plain where you can settle. Where's the fun in watching that?