They weren't opponents, AngryJoe was playing and Brad was back-seat driving. It is apparent that AngryJoe never played GalCiv3 before that stream so how his ramblings got so much weight in the patches is mind-boggling.
He played GC3 before when it was launch and he impressed that GC got a campaign while other 4X mostly not.
I assume you two believe that the Civilization series, that never has more than say 5 techs to choose from, lacks meaningful choices?
Pairing the tech tree from a dozen and a half to say 9 techs at a given moment doesn't strike me as a huge nerf. YMV.
I don't see why we also need that huge web of tech tree either if it is so easy to get half of them with decent research output. I don't mind if the game want to dilute itself down if it mean it will get more people to play it. As long as it still fun to be imaginary space warlord, conquering the galaxy. I don't even think GC wanted itself to be serious competitive to begin with. Even direct rival, Endless Space 2 that will launch in this month doesn't even goes that way. That game also has huge balance issue, many exploit, absurdly dumb AI that never be a threat in my entire Beta life time. Not to mentioned that the ES AI get bonus production even on normal. Only easiest difficulty that they don't get any advantage but they are dumb AF and people still look the other way while GC3 give AI small free money to prevent it become vegetable but people seem to mad over it (exclude the current bug that make them rich as Nigerian prince).