Announced in mid-2015, Endless Space 2 entered Steam's Early Access initiative last month to wide user-review acclaim. A few weeks later, developer Amplitude Studios outlined a development roadmap that promised three substantial updates prior to full release—the first of which is out now.
While Amplitude doesn't go into the greatest of detail via this Steam Community post, the latest update adds a new major faction by way of the United Empire, as well as three minor ones: the returning Pilgrims and Amoebas, and the new Z’valis. Players can now assimilate minor factions too, courtesy of new minor faction quests; while a new turn limit, 200 turns, means players have the option to continue their games even if they've achieved victory at 100.
Other prominent additions are the Marketplace—a hub which lets players swap Dust for resources—and 'Era 4' of the existing Tech Tree, which creates additional research paths, unlocks and buildings.
"In addition to the features listed above, Amplitude Studios has once again listened to its community and revamped the truce and weapons systems," adds the Steam update post. "With the reworked truce system, a truce will no longer be forced, but will instead be based on civil unrest. With the reworked ship design system, players no longer have any restrictions on weapons, as all hulls can use kinetics, beams, lasers and missiles."
The update also adds a pretty exhaustive list of bug fixes and tweaks—the sum of which can be viewed this way. For more Endless Space 2 reading, Phil recently discovered how Amplitude Studios is creating a 4X with personality, politics, and peril in the wake of Endless Legend.