Even the addicted can acknowlege the the biggest problem with CivWorld is the commitment of time the game requires of you.
While it is nice to have every moment spent at the screen matter, the game takes too long to spend every minute of the game in front of the screen.
instant combat was an effort to address this. (fight battles when you are ready to commit a couple hours), but had the opposite effect because you now had to be ready at any time and for longer periods of time.
They also allowed for slower harvest games, but again, that had the oppositte effect. The truth is, harvests are only relevant for hammers, and hammers only relevant for battles, so if you aren't battling, harvests are irrelevant. More time clicking links and playing minigames, on the other hand, is more important the slower the harvest rate.
One other counter intuitive aspect is coming to light. Shortening the time span for a single game also increases the need to be in front of the keyboard. The game I just played lasted 27 hours. The team in front lost the game when its team members went to sleep or to work after 10 hours. The team that won... never sleep. The first team led for 22 hours (the time it took for the first battle of the game to transfer locked wonders). Most folks on that team had not even set up their city before researching Industrialism much less done any harvests or spent any civbucks. In fact, the only minigame any of us had time for was the mazes. I spent some time in the caravan as I was finance minister, but that was a challenge and I was the only player on the team doing anything outside of the mazes.
The ultimate lesson is an old one... The bonus links have broken a game that once balanced many game components in a market driven game of opportunity to one where doing mazes is all that matters.
But there is a secondary lesson to be learned. Decreasing the time frame of a game from 1 week down to one day actualy intensifies the need to be online for every minute of the game. Many participants in the game headed off to work without sleep, or even worse... did not go to work at all. That level of commitment is not sustainable for a social game. Whatever the next effort from Firaxis is, it needs to tackle this problem that leaving the keyboard = guaranteed failure.