Very groovy update. And it is nice to know that diplomacy will be receiving a lot of love in this game. It is traditionally a feature in previous games that was rather..lifeless. The total war series as an example, had 9/10 combat (for which it was designed), yet terrible 2/10 diplomacy. I believe diplomacy has to be organic in nature, with many different adjustable variables. I liked what was done with Sins in this regard, however I felt that it lacked the ability to say "no" to a mission given to you in a diplomatic manner. It also had no means of supplying a war effort and receiving proper notice of such an effort. Here is another example: when playing GC2, and a minor race is being destroyed by one of the major races, I give the minor race a powerful warship with which they then use to obliterate the entire fleet of the invading force. Yet what thanks is given to me, whom supplied them with such a vessel? Or even what, if any penalty should be given to me from the force that was destroyed? I mean if my obviously superior (to anything that the minor race has) was suddenly destroyed by an advanced vessel, I would suspect something was amiss!
And on a side note ..I see a lot of people worrying about the game's current state of "polish"(not a big fan of that phrase at all..you hear it too often, and it loses its value with each successive use within a given statement), to which I am inclined to add claude os, aperi oculos! Brad has already stated in previous posts, that the major parts of the game were creating assets, which is more or less completed. You know, that majority of things you've not even seen in the public beta yet? Yeah, they've had those completed for a long while. The "balancing" and "tweaking" that needs to be done now is generally nothing more than variable/value adjusting of asset statistics and interface. All of which do not require months of work, more like a couple weeks. If that.
It was also stated that the AI is what is going to consume most of his man-hours. As it should. I want the raging Troll/Dragon outside of my town to demand food or sacrifices or something to avoid having it swoop in and let slip the dogs of war and all that groovy stuffs. Also, having some special creatures out there that if killed, enable some sort of sub-plot of revenge for them by their kin/allied. Like you kill an old dragon that just happened to be a "somebody" in the world of the dragonkin, it would then be 10 levels of awesome if you felt a hundred turns later or so (a large of amount of turns to help prevent players from loading the game, so that if they did load the game, it would cost them a decent amount of time to undo their mistake) the true gravity of what you had done...Que flight of the valkyrie, dragon formation: Flying V is a go!
Anyway, that is all the musings I have for now.