If you have realiable alliances there is no problem to setup tech trades in 10 min.
Corbeau wrote:Two alliances, one twice as big as the other, the smaller one doesn't have a chance. Simply, it's lost the race on light bulbs. Military defence can work against a numerically stronger opponent, but not against a scientifically stronger one.
Thats approaching nonsense. Cause trade or no trade when teams working properly it is very likely you'll lose on bulbs anyway. Because other factors very likely will confound science and you'll not be able to match them. Lets take simple numbers. Say one alliance is twice the size of other. Say smaller alliance spends 50% of resources on science 25% on military, and 25% on infrastructure. So for larger alliance to be safe it needs to match military strength, which means it needs ~13% military spending. Leaving another 12% percent to be dedicated to ether science or infrastructure. Ether way long term outcome does not look good for smaller players at all!
Now with full tech transfer package, that is, trade, unlimited diplomat stealing, conquest stealing. I'd say smaller alliance has much much better chances, they can spend something like 50% on infrastrucutre and 50% on military, and get tech by force. Though of course numbers will never look good for them, I still see this as being better. If larger alliance goes for tech, they will likely have hard time keeping it out of hands of enemies, if they forgo tech, well smaller alliance is boned, but it's only as bad as previously, with no tech transfer. Additionally if there is tech cost reduction depending on number of players (counting everyone), it looks even better for smaller alliance.
(while no trade and reduced costs could look very bad for them, larger alliance dedicates one player for reserach and bank them on everything, negligble cost reduction, but very good progress)
All in all, all such crap problems will be present in any multiplayer game, you can't do anything about larger party has advantage in muplitplayer game, this also involves significant luck factor, who ends up where. Not that I have much problem with that. What is problem and what has to be prevented is "permanent alliance" where certain players always ally, though I think so far this was not a problem on GT, but AFAIK LT has some serious issues with that.