Sins of a Solar Empire is often described as a 4XRTS game, or a game that tried to merge the action and tactics packed gameplay of a Real time strategy game with the deep, complex, empire wide strategy of a 4X turn based game. It's up to debate whether Sins succeeded in this goal, but I think all can agree that of the 4Xs of "explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate", Sins is much more focused on the exterminate than on the others. This mod seeks to give more depth to the other 3Xs of the game by adding additional game elements or refining the existing ones to reward players who give more strategic thought to the non-combat side of the game. Combat will still be the center point of the game, but players will find that the non-combat options available will be much more rewarding. Spying, exploring, sabotage, diplomacy, culture, and economic development have all been added or changed in innovative new ways. Regardless of what you think Sins is, this is the 4XRTS it should have been.
In the next few days, both Enhanced 4X and Star Wars: Interregnum will be getting a new update. For E4X it will be a small patch, mostly bug fixes and AI changes, but one new feature is a new series of maps.
Inspired by the Fiefdom series of random maps, the new Arena random maps feature all players separated into pairs of two per solar system. This mean each player needs to either defeat or make peace with their neighbor in order to explore and invade the other solar systems, including a system with no players starting in it. Part of the reason for making this map is that the AI does not always perform very well on Fiefdoms, since it takes it a while to find any enemies to base its strategy on. Arena allows some of the multistar aspects of Fiefdom to be preserved while still letting the AI fight at its best, as well as allowing you to play a bit more aggressively early game.