Civilization V 3-Years Later ReviewGuest_Jim_* - November 27, 2013
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Remember, you are but one civilization in a world of many, so you do want to consider how your actions will appear to others, and occasionally try to form partnerships. Constantly being at war will make other civilizations fear and hate you. Granting open border treaties, research agreements, and trading with other civilizations, however, will earn respect and friendship. That friendship can be invaluable if war is declared on you, so you need not fight alone. It can also get you out of a tight spot, if you need some resource badly.
Unfortunately, diplomacy does seem to have a mechanical bias for the AI. What I mean by that is that there are certain things that can really annoy the AI, and they will yell at you or even denounce you, and you will have no idea why. The best example I have of this is that the AI will complain if you are founding cities or expanding borders into areas they claim. There is no way to know what land they have claimed though, and you cannot lay claim to land either, to discourage them from building there. You can say 'Do not settle new cities by us,' as can they, but exactly how far that extends, I do not know. In one game it really felt like this one enemy considered the entire continent it was on its territory. The city I settled may have been on the complete opposite side of the continent from that civilization, but it still demanded I do not do that again. At least they do not complain about this when you are at war.
The AI will also try to make trades about as unbalanced as those my mom offers in a game of Monopoly. I can understand if they want me to give them money as part of a research agreement, especially as those agreements cost money, but when they ask for horses and iron, strategic resources, that is crossing a line. You cannot really negotiate with the AI for a better deal though. They will tell you what will make a deal work for them, but if you do not like that, you might as well move on.
Still, it is best to be on good terms with the other civilizations, which is why I have taken to giving luxury items, which have no strategic value, to a civilization upon meeting them. I have no clue if that really helps, but it might. Of course then I will run into the scenario of being denounced one turn and asked to continue giving dyes or pearls the next.
I do not know if this is the best attitude to have, but it does feel like the diplomacy of Civilization V, when it comes to AI players, is at its best when you are trying to exterminate them. Perhaps in the future this will change. I know I would at least like to be able to lay claim to territory, so every civilization can know not to build somewhere, or so I can know where they want to build. Also the ability to talk to multiple civilizations at once would be nice too, to form alliances more easily.