For beta testers, only the Kingdoms have been exposed. The Kingdoms play much like a traditional 4X game. You build city improvements to get benefits to your city. You train up soldiers hoping they’ll get better and better. It is a civilization based on laws and rules.
The Empire has taken a different path…
Their soldiers don’t gain experience. Such a concept of thinking about individual soldiers is anathema to the Empire.
As such, there is no such thing as a veteran Imperial soldier. However, they can train up special, powerful units (Guardians, Enforcers, and Sions). These powerful individuals will routinely demonstrate the inherent flaw in trying to train groups of soldiers to be more effective. Greatness is born. Not learned.
There is no tradition of civics in the Empire. Moreover, the concept of bee keeping or fruit orchard harvesting and what not is completely foreign. The Empire looks at the Kingdoms with absolute contempt that they would waste time harvesting such things.
Of course, it also means the Empires can harvest fewer special resources in the world. To make up for this, the Empire can build hog farms adjacent to their farms. That’s real food. Pathetic Kingdoms.
The Empire also scoffs at the Civics concepts of markets. Deals are made on the basis of leverage alone. Instead of relying on institutions, the Empire relies on leaders of capitalism to deal with it. Players can build Financiers (until we have a better name, feel free to suggest a better one) who enhance the city’s money making.
Similarly, there is no formal education system in the Empire. Schools? Universities? These concepts are worthless. The Kingdoms foolishly entrust their futures to special interests. In the Empire, players can create Sage units who can be sent where they are needed to boost knowledge production.
There are no pubs in the Empire. No Inns. Such decadence is forbidden. Prestige is generated by showing respect to those who have seized power such as statues to great figures such as Lord Kir-Tion and Curgen the Dred’nir.
Again, letting something as important as magic be taught by a special interest is another weakness of the Kingdom that the Empire has no part of. The Empire instead has its own magic commissars – the Lore masters who study the ancient texts to discover the correct spells needed to dominate the world. These units can be built and sent where needed.
Adventuring? I don’t think so
The Kingdoms have an entire knowledge field called “Adventuring”. There is no such concept in The Empire. Adventuring implies a light hearted search for excitement. This is why the Empire has dominated the world, it has no use for pointless wandering.
The Empires focus on Domination. Finding and re-learning knowledge scattered throughout the world.
The Kingdoms, dominated by cowardly men, like to stay in their schools and temples. The Empire, dominated by the races of the Fallen and the lone race of men with the strength to embrace the philosophy of the Empires (Kraxis) gain knowledge and strength from going out into the world and seizing it from others. Dangerous places have great knowledge and the Empire is particularly skilled in finding that knowledge.
The Empire will rule
The fact is, the Empires are the dominant form of social organization in the world. The Kingdoms, with their weak, so-called concepts of liberty, social contracts and obsession with the rights of individuals is an absurd, artificial creation that violates the laws of nature.