The trading post graphics are a nice improvement. Though, as steth has said, they may look a bit repetitive with many adjacent to each other. At least there's no more ugly, broken-up road networks. They may even be "too" nice, because now they make the simple city graphics look outdated, haha. Nonetheless, a very nice change. (I still think they should've just renamed them, changed the tech, and turned them into static village/town/suburb/whatever graphics to represent the non-city dwellers in the world. Perhaps, they also would be able to blend adjacent ones together easier, similar to how farms behave, so that areas of them look like one sprawling arrangement of smaller structures. oh well...)
What do you guys think about the loading screen backgrounds? I don't think I really fancy them. I think they're a little too abstract for a full screen display (And I usually LIKE abstractness, alongside minimalism, lol). On my 27" LED monitor, the lack of detail is very pronounced and really contrasts the sharp Civ logo and loading text (would be nice if it blinked too). I also think the ones I've seen are pretty dull and lacking vibrance... there's just something about them that doesn't "fit". It also really contrasts the next sharp, clean, vibrant background screen (of Rockefeller Center) that appears, which I think is quite beautiful.
I also would personally like less modern themes and more ancient/natural ones and from eras before the industrial period. Or maybe focus on only nice art of cathedrals, temples, mosques, etc. since the expansion is religiously themed after all; not people picnicking with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
(EDIT: yeah... about the loading screen images... I actually like them now, lol. I only saw a few of them during that beta patch since I didn't play it much at all. After seeing more of them, they're actually very nice and there's a lot of them from earlier times in history.)
I'm sure these images could be easily modded, so no big deal.
Also, yes, I've noticed slightly longer turn times compared to games before the patch. Nothing drastic though. Also, there's a few bugs here and there. One is how barbarians (maybe other units as well, haven't experienced it yet) killed by a city bombardment just vanish away quietly instead of showing death animations and sounds.
Also, one game I generated within the future era to observe the world generation really bugged-out. Graphical artifacts were present in some areas and no resources were placed except for some near my starting area. One artifact was a black blob over an entire hill tile, never seen something like that before. No natural wonders were discovered either. It's as if nothing was placed.
This was also added to the ends of the Ice Age and Small Continents LUA code:
Interesting. Maybe they'll expand a little better on these maps. These two maps seem to be the only ones which were modified in my folder and have "modified" dates equal to when I installed the patch.
-- tell the AI that we should treat this as a naval expansion map
All in all, it's only a beta patch and it should have bugs and things. Who knows how early this was created compared to the latest content to be released. Plus, this beta patch was primarily released for modders to use to try out the new interface. It's not really about the quality of the game content. I'm sure the released version will be nicely polished. In the mean time, I think I'll go back to the latest released patch again.
To others who haven't installed the beta patch and aren't modders (and not following the other steps in Greg's instructions), in my opinion, don't bother with it.