There are things that are taken away, like trading resources for techs (didn't I mention it?), making buying techs very difficult, limiting brokering opportunities (since you can only do it among your friends), and so on. Why not just admit the facts? Sure you CAN still do some trading, but it's severely limited now. Note I am NOT saying that the old system is better. I was just stating the fact that they limit a lot of things that AI couldn't do well to make the AI APPEAR smarter, while in many cases they are not as smart as they appear.