In my time in gaming (which hasn't been long) I've found that it's a bad idea to follow minimum system requirements. A couple of times I have purchased games based on the minimum system requirements and they've never worked properly. I suspect that publishers give min sys requirements to sell more product as apposed to min requirements that actually represent "playability". I don't believe that this is just 2k games I believe it is every publisher. I.E. I bought The Sims 2 based on min requirements 200 dollars later I got the game playable.
Another thought I had today was that a lot of problems seem to occur with 3d engines. I personally could due without civ4 in 3d I still think with all the other addins the game would rock and would be plyable to many civ fans as apposed to the few that have $$ and can afford to upgrade. As cool as 3d is I feel that we're missing the point. The point that has kept such a large fan base for civ for so many years was not its fantastic graphics but its wonderful gameplay. Its amazing ability to make every game feel new. What I suggest to Firaxis is to slowdown a little bit and reflect on what really matters here. Sence I was 9 I've been playing civilization and never had I had a problem with its fuctionality until now.
Now I don't want everyone to think that I'm complaining. As a matter of fact my game works (with many graphics errors) but its not the 3d that I'm excited about during game time. Its not the fact that I can see my windmills turning during game time that I'm excited about. Its the spreading of religion its the amazing intelligence of the AI that I'm impressed with.
As helpful as firaxis has been during the time that I've had trouble with the game i still hope that they understand what I mean here that the main concern should not be graphics but gameplay and moreover the ability for more to experience the exellence of this game that I have been able to over these many years.
Please feel free to post your own opinion here whether you agree or not however please put some thoughts into your responses, for as you can tell due to its length I have too.
I would have been happy with CivIV's gaming concepts placed on the old Civ3 graphics engine.
I'm not playing for the pretty pictures.