In our initial preview of Beyond Earth's Rising Tide expansion [official site], Firaxis were keen to make it clear that the expansion would have a heavier sci-fi focus than the base game. They also spoke about the new diplomacy system, in which you interact with the leaders of opposing factions in hopefully more realistic ways. That's what has been detailed in not only a new trailer but a full, hour-long livestream that took place yesterday, heralding a free weekend for the base game. Both videos and all the details are below.
Here's the trailer, which dashes through a lot of the new delicious alien content:
The diplomacy system is certainly the most interesting element for me, mechanically. It's essentially a system of new resources: political capital, fear, and respect. Fear and respect are different in relation to each opposing leader, as they will have their own opinions on your military might, how you've treated them in the past, and your diplomatic status with their own allies and enemies. Political capital is more global and is pays for "agreements" - trades that buff one civilization while they're active, but they pay for it every turn with capital.
Which agreements you can offer other civilizations, and the ones you can accept from them, are governed by a new set of traits that specialise each leader. Those agreements then rank up if you have a friendlier relationship with that civilization. So you're governing your empire in such a way as to gain fear and respect, which lets you have 'friendlier' relationships. Those relationships let you have stronger agreements with those civs, gaining you more science or industry bang for your political buck.
This is all piled on top of a series of new units, biomes, leaders and the like. One of those new factions is INTEGR who were detailed with an in-universe post last night. They also took centre stage for this week's livestream, which went over a lot of new Rising Tide features in more detail. Here's the VOD:
Pre-orders are up on Steam at a bit of a discount. If you cashed in for the base game the expansion will set you back £22.49 at 10% off, while you can get both parts plus the custom map pack for £39.00 at 17% off. This deal is running through the free weekend that's currently going for Beyond Earth and ends Monday evening, Brit-time, though keep in mind that we've no idea how good the expansion will be or whether it's worth buying at any price. We're still a month and a half away from the release of Rising Tide on October 9th.