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Some factions really like me and a trade route is possible but they still and repeatedly refuse to trade with me – and other factions are neutral towards me but happily agree to a trade agreement. Can anybody explain the game mechanics the AI uses to determine if they accept or decline an offered trade agreement?

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Possibly a bug. If it were alliance, it'd make sense if they didn't want to ally with you for strategic reasons (you're too far away and they're too close to a powerful enemy of yours). Trading agreements shouldn't be a problem though. In Shogun 2, everybody accepted my trade requests, even if they were unfriendly towards me... – Nolonar Sep 30 '13 at 17:16
@Nolonar Yeah, but in Rome 2 the factions are kinda a dickish, they just plain out refuse because there is nothing you can give them that they want. Just take more resource spots and soon the trades will be flowing in. – Lyrion Oct 1 '13 at 6:23
Most factions require money, a lot of money normally to trade even on normal mode, if you are not offering money this could be why – Sammaye Oct 8 '13 at 10:47
According to the patch notes for Patch 4 and my personal experience, the AI seems to respond better to trade agreement requests. – Beat Oct 15 '13 at 12:44
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Possibly the most important factor that the AI uses is an unfortunate one: game difficulty. If the difficulty is above normal, the AI will only trade with you on the most favorable terms, and will deny trade relations for no particular reason. If you are playing on a harder difficulty, this might be your problem.

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I'm playing at normal difficulty – but even for hard difficulty I'd expect the AI to refuse according to their relation towards me – Beat Oct 1 '13 at 11:04

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