The big-'n-splashy reveal should happen at Penny Arcade Expo, but Stardock's already teasing a new expansion for its gi-normous real-time strategy game Sins of a Solar Empire. It's dubbed Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy, and Stardock prez Brad Wardell calls it a "micro-expansion pack" that will "vastly increase the amount of diplomatic options available to players in the game and help make forging good relations with other empires a major option for would-be galactic conquerors."
Reportedly the expansion adds a new diplomatic tech tree that'll let you bolster your deal-brokering skills, adds diplomatic envoy ships (presumably to help craft treaties or facilitate dialogue during hostilities), and allows you to craft trade treaties with other factions.
The beta kicks off this fall, and it'll be a lengthy beta--the general release isn't due until winter 2010 (winter on the frontside, that is). I guess we should be grateful it's only half a year in testing, considering how long real diplomacy can take.
The fellow in the shot above (from the teaser post) looks a bit unhappy. Perhaps that's because he has no eyes. Or maybe it's the fact that he's chewing on plasteel (i.e. plastic-plus-steel, ain't sci-fi futurists clever?). Maybe he's feeling despondent in that pseudo-Grecian helmet. Or maybe he's secretly Iggy Pop.
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