My idea (compilation of old requests of mine):
Leagues based on XP; inter-league strictly prohibited.
(New addition to the idea): player unlocks larger AI Grid (outside placement prohibited), more AI storage, larger AI node limit, larger filter limit on Nodes, more Sub-AI in Sub-AI in... depth, etc. AI features with XP, and by passing Tests.
Tests would assign a specific task and will examine the player's understanding of the game. More efficient, faster, AIs will get a higher score, which will award more XP (way more than a single victory), thus progressing towards the next level with new unlocks.
TL;DR: XP Levels will be made into leagues. Leagues unlock features, Tasks/Quests give lots of XP
This should imo ease out the learning curve, effectively removing the sudden surge of info. If a player thinks it's too easy, they'll do Tasks and quickly get the new expansions.