Screens: Distant Worlds - Legends
Currently in final testing, the publishers, Matrix Games, has released a bunch of new screenshots (some below), to get people in the mood. Developed by New Zealand strategists, CodeForce, the Legends promises plenty of new content.
One of the new features is a new "character" system. According to the press release: The new character system is also unveiled in these new in-game screenshots from the latest version in testing. Characters come in various types, from your faction leader to Fleet Admirals, Troop Generals, Scientists, Intelligence Agents, Ambassadors and Colony Governors. While you start with few characters, events and the development of your faction in the game will create opportunities for additional characters to rise to the top. A full-featured skill and trait system including positive and negative traits means that your characters develop based on their experiences and your actions. Characters also only reveal their full abilities when assigned to missions or responsibilities that allow them to use their skills. Characters can also perish due to time, accidents, events such as planetary bombardment or invasion, or even assassination. The character system, like the new expanded faction rules, is also fully moddable, allowing players to specify their own preset characters and images to tailor the galaxy to their liking.
There's also many of the usual enhancements you'd expect from a expansion, with 22 new shipsets, with more than 600 new ship options.
That should be enough to see space strategists disappear for a few months.