Soren Johnson says "bargaining table" in civ3 was a mistake

Oct 25, 2014
Soren Johnson now says that the "bargaining table" in civ3 was a mistake because it created some game exploits:

"My first inkling that there was a problem was after Civ 3 shipped, and people started to complain that the AIs all started to have the same techs," said Johnson. "The reason was that the AIs were using the bargaining table the same way the humans did."

"Every time the AI got new technology they would [use the bargaining table to] contact all of their friends, rivals, even enemies to see what they could get in return by trading it away, which cost them nothing to do, but would get them a little something in return," said Johnson. "From the human's perspective, it looked like the AIs were a giant tech cartel and were selling techs to each other at bargain prices, but the AI was simply pursuing the optimal strategy."

"There was no cost to contacting every civ, every turn, and also endlessly tinkering with how to get the best deal possible," he said, "no reason not to just put one more gold piece on their side of the table until you hit the AI's maximum price for what you're trading away."

Personally, I don't see this as an inherent problem of the trade table itself but more a problem with the lack of counters. I feel like you could still have a trade table and just fix the exploit.
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