Galactic Civilizations 3's Beta 2 version is , letting you chat to aliens instead of blasting them out of existence with your super-heavy plasma cannons. That's progress, people.
Yes, the latest update finally adds diplomacy, and also marks the return of, an alien race that specialises in espionage and diplomacy. Fittingly enough.
If you own the Early Access version of Galactic Civilizations 3 you should automatically receive the latest update. New diplomatic options allow you to set up trade routes, trade tech, ships, and other resources, and eventually build the United Planets project, setting you up for that (relatively) bloodless diplomatic victory.
In less excting but still welcome news, you can now set fleet rally points, win through Influence, Alliance, Research and Ascension victories, and dive into the new 'Huge' galaxy map size. Check out the full list of additions in the Galactic Civilizations 3 remains in Early Access, with a full release planned for 2015..