There are a lot of empires you can join in the Galciv2 Metaverse. Beyond that, there are a lot of good empires you can join. It's really tough to go wrong. Out of all these excellent options, why should you pick the Galactic Diplomats?
Very simply put, there is a huge volume of knowledge on this game within our empire. If you want to improve your level of play, no matter where you are at now, there's pretty much certain to be something (probably a lot of things) you can use within our private forum at the Galactic Core.
Why am I confident of this? We're one of the oldest empires around, from far before my time with the game. The Diplomats were founded largely by hardcore Galciv1 players and have been at or near the top of the Metaverse from early on. As long as I've been here, we've the been number one or number two in the Metaverse. Beyond this, some of the best Galciv2 players on the planet are Diplomats. The last 4 #1 players on the Metaverse were Magnumaniac, Purge, CraigHB, and Mumblefratz. All are Diplomats. Those players currently hold first, second, third and fifth place in the Metaverse. These guys are very, very good.
Better yet, they are all genuinely nice guys who have shared their expertise quite freely over at the Core over the years. Their level of patience with helping newcomers learn the game is wonderful. I know; I joined the Diplomats almost at random last spring knowing very little about the game. Basically, I tried to execute Wyndstar's Altarian AAR approach every game (thanks again for that AAR btw!). In very short order, the Diplomats helped me learn the game to the point first to where I could win on Suicidal sometimes, to where I could win usually. Now, though I'm far from the skill of the best players in the Metaverse, I can win pretty much every game I play on Suicidal, using a variety of strategies, races and galaxy settings. Most of the credit there goes to the players who posted all the stuff I've read at the Core over the years.
This last week I had an idea I was rather excited about, and I posted it over there. I thought my intitial trial had gone pretty well as of the end of year 0. The help Mumblefratz, Purge and DethAdder gave me helped me do, quite literally, 4.5 times better in my latest game at the same point. Though (so far) this is by far the best game I've had, it is not far from typical in my experience to see a dramatic difference in play level just by listening to these guys.
There is a common misconception that the Galactic Diplomats are a dead or dying empire. We are not. It is true that as a whole we are less active than we've been in the past, but what does not show on the Metaverse standings is how generously our best players share their expertise with those who join, regardless of present skill level. I fear sometimes perhaps people think the Diplomats are insular. They aren't. They really are welcoming.
I've posted this because I think people may not realize what a great resource the Diplomats are for those wanting to improve at the game. I'm sure there are players just like I was this time last year, trying to figure this complex, deep game out themselves, getting some stuff that works and struggling in other areas, and wishing someone would help them understand what works and what doesn't.
If you are looking to get better at this game - even if you are already a member of another empire - please consider joining the Diplomats with a spare character. We are an open empire, so it's easy to join. If you decide to, please post here or in our main (unwieldy, 60+ page) thread and PM Drengin, who can give you access to our forum at the Core. While we would appreciate it if you didn't post everything from our forums in other empire's boards, there's no rule against getting better at the game and using that knowledge anywhere you want to go. Above all, Diplomats play for fun.