Oh, so that's what it does! See, I only had contact with Poland, which foolishly declared war on me at an early point, when I first adopted Imperium (because I was growing huge and because it sounded cool ) and following that, no new civs that I met wanted to establish any for of agreement apart from "We need some help. Kindly give us half of your tech-tree and 10k gold." So I never got any foreign trade. Thanks for breaking it down! It seems fairly useful, apart from the fact that you can't force newly encountered civs to start trading with you since they'll automatically hate you. As for the diplomacy screen, well, isn't that what the trade AI is for? After all, it can still decline when you demand something (which happens a lot if you're not overwhelmingly powerful). The arbitrary locking out of certain options going by a static "we don't like you enough" modifier which (unlike when you're able to click the "we demand X" button) doesn't take into account that I have an awe-inspiring horde standing right next to the civ's borders; it frankly reminds me of that typical "Oh no, I'm going through a tunnel! Can't hear you! SCRRRCH-SCRRRRCH". Why should anyone have to like you before you're even allowed to make a demand? It simply doesn't make sense. Imagine being held up a gunpoint and then, just as the mugger is about to ask for your phone and wallet, you put a finger to his lips and go "Hush, hush. I don't like you enough to part with my phone, but how's a couple of bucks sound?" If I wanted to constantly take everything by force, I'd just play Total War. In reality, just look at what the old Chinese dynasties, the Romans and the western empires did; they sent emissaries to foreign countries and "offered" very unfair trade agreements as an alternative to invasion, which is something you simply can't do. As is, it seems like only three extreme playstyles are rewarded here: the overly tactful diplomat who butters everyone up with gifts before asking them to murder each other for his amusement; the warlord who never ever opens up the diplomacy screen, even to declare war (why bother with all that extra clicking when you can just march troops into soon-to-be enemy territory?), and the isolationist who fortifies himself before rushing through the tech-tree until he's got nukes while everyone else has longbows. Is there any way to remove the "we don't like you" barrier? Maybe change the trade AI to be harsher with civs it doesn't like instead?