I personally haven't had much of a problem with tech trading in the latest patch
. Yes some of the AI's are very picky, but I still find plenty of scenarios where the AI will give me what I want in exchange for sensors and a few hundres bc's.
That's not what I'm discovering. There is the odd deal where I can make a fair exchange, more or less, but most of the time I have to sell my soul in order to get what I want. Granted, with 17 races in my game, I'm still finding it possible to trade my way to tech superiority, but it's definitely a lot harder than it was. Which is actually a good thing really, it was way too easy before.
When the AI is on say, harpoon III, its often easier to get Harpoon, which is not a bad jumping off point for your own research.
That's exactly what I was trying to do there. He already had Harpoon III, I was trying for his older tech. I had Harpoon I myself, so I was hoping on skipping a research step on my way to Photonic Torpedoes, which the Korath already had.
I find anything to do with Colonization just about impossible to get.
At least the first stage. All those Advanced versions I listed I got through trading, I hadn't researched any of them myself. But there's no way I've ever been able to get any of the first stage techs, even with trying to trade them another one in exchange.
I think it just boils down to the AI really doesn't want you to have a lot of techs.
I also think part of it is that the AI looks at how many techs you have in comparison, and acts accordingly. I find the times where I seem to get the best deals are when we're more or less on equal footing. If it has alot more than you, it will try and prevent you from catching up. If you have alot more, then it will try to extort all it can from you in exchange for it's techs.