So who's thinking of getting this or pre-ordered already? It looks to be glorious with all the improvements Kerberos has made. For those of you who don't know what SotS is, it's a 4X strategy game where empire management and moving your fleets around is handled in a turn-based fashion while battles are handled in real-time. Ships are fully customizable and an emphasis is put on the game not turning into an interactive spreadsheet (as is what happens with many 4X games). Here's a description ripped from Steam, Spoiler About the Game Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter is the full stand-alone follow-up to the hit 4X-styled Sword of the Stars franchise. The continuing storyline will reveal the dark secrets of the ancient force responsible for tampering with the races in the original Sword of the Stars. Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter will be a major step forward in 4X gameplay, taking the easy-to-learn-but-hard-to-master philosophy set out in SotS1 and following that path to a new standard in space strategy games. Key features: Lead one of six playable factions, including a completely new one, as you strive for galactic dominance Unravel highly detailed star systems featuring planetary orbits, moons, asteroid belts, and different space terrain Experience the new graphics engine Choose between entirely new vessels, or build your own with new levels of ship detail, including specific sub-systems, allowing for new fleet strategies and tactics Explore an advanced technology system as the game begins in the Fusion era and moves beyond the Anti-matter era Randomizing options in technology removes the unavoidable “optimal path” making the game more replayable Command your empire by exploring new solar systems, improving diplomatic relations or destroying a race Engage in fierce multiplayer battles with up to 8 players Here's some pics, Spoiler We should have an MP game when it comes out on Friday. Would be a brilliant way to start it off (what with the politics and all).