Actually, my focus was on 3 points:
1. The mini-games.
2. The "rewards".
3. The lack of 4X.
If you take the entire monitisation out of the picture and just focus on the game itself, whilst yes the game is about running a city within an entire Civ, you are still mostly just grinding the whole game. But instead of clicking on individual fields, the game has a single button to press many times to harvest everything (this is at least one good point in the design). If you take the city management element by itself, it really does come down to grinding. You grind your harvest button every hour (or whatever the time is) to get a little bit of resources, to get a little bit closer to building another facility to increase your grinding potential. Everything in the city focuses on increase how many little "bits" of resources you can get when you click the harvest button. And those resources just go straight back in to generate more little bits. Because really, there's no point building units. With no player extermination there is no need to defend yourself, or your civ for that matter. And since wonders are built by great people not hammers, you don't even get any enjoyment from having a city build the pyramids. The city is literally, grind resources to harvest more resources.
What is the point of the mini-games? Seriously, what is their point? The too are a heavily grinding mechanic. It's the same thing over and over and over again. You might as well just be grinding farms in WoW. Take the pipe-dreams mini-game. At the moment, the aim is to place a couple of road tiles to connect the road from truck to the city (left side to right side). You get a cash bonus. Wait 10 mins, repeat. GRINDING! It's exactly the same with the other two. It's a basic little test, big reward, repeat. From MY perspective, the mini-games are simply there to keep me in the game and grinding them for their personal rewards. And in a game that by all marketing is supposed to promote teams, how do these concepts fit into team co-op? They don't, they promote individual competitiveness.
And then we can look at the "rewards". There are no civ-based rewards. They are all individual rewards. And the medals for instance are one instance per civ rewards. So what I've found in the two games I was in, was that it was a rush for the medals at the start. People will focus on tailoring their city to obtains medals to the detriment of the whole civ if need be. How does that promote team co-op? Once again it's individual competitiveness. And when you look at the big picture screens, the only way to get anywhere inside your civ is to focus on getting these individual rewards. The game rewards individual pursuit instead of team co-op as it should be. Where are the "rewards" for defending your civ from barbarians?
Lastly there's 4X. There's not really much to say here, except that Civ World is simply 1X: exploitation. You exploit your resources, to exploit the rewards, to exploit the top ranks. Civ to me has always been a 4X game, with exploration and expansion being my two favorite components. This simply does not exist in Civ World. There is no world to explore. There is no way to expand to other cities. There is no extermination of your rivals.
We can go back and forth regarding the psychology within the game. The game does reward the individual, but the frustration comes in the game breeding the want of more individual rewards (which is the same premise for Zynga's games) so as to impress on the civ screen. It's the old "my farm looks ****, I don't want my friends seeing that and laughing, so I'd better log in and farm it".