I'm sorry that isn't totally true. I recommend concentrating on diplomacy in the tech tree to pull this off. I do have to research other things too. This is how I conduct diplomacy. If ais are not asking for war, influence techs, or diplomacy techs I give it to them. My income is alright if you concentrate on tourism. I send freighters to the players who are furious, or hostile at me. I pay tribute to the ais who are hostile, or furious at me. I have 60 planets. Under the evil ideology. I take the first bottom. No penalty for having neighbors.