The upgrade from one map to two is a most welcomed addition, as is the new assassin-style demigod. This new map is actually not entirely new to me, as I got a chance to play on it at PAX 08. It's preferable to the first map offered in the beta though because it has some more tactical choices in its design. Demigod really seems to shine when its maps contain a less linear design with multiple attack and defense routes.
While bugs are still poking about within the beta, they seem to be slightly reduced from the original build issued. A surprisingly pleasant part of updating from the previous build to this one was the Impulse service. More than once I've clenched my jaw in anger while fumbling with finicky download mirrors, un-installations, installations and all sorts of software oddities. This isn't the case with Demigod on Impulse.
After a short wait on the download, I found myself jumping into the game and hosting a local LAN match just like I was doing with the last beta build. Gas Powered Games hasn't begun testing the actual multiplayer components of the game yet, which is perfectly understandable this early into the beta process. I've got a feeling that once they do add the online experience, I'm going to lose even more time playing against other people.
Demigod is currently not a click-fest experience where the fastest mouse/keyboard commands combined with strategic troop maneuvering wins the day. I'm thankful for it really, because the slower-but-methodical approach has always been preferable to me. It's for the same reason I love Company of Heroes and Sins of a Solar Empire. In Demigod, players leverage on-the-fly strategies where positional combat is complemented by experience gain options (do you focus on mobs or enemy demigods?) equipment selection and level-up choices.
Some beta participants have argued that mobs go down far too easily; I have to disagree. To me, the experience is best when it's demigod vs. demigod, which ties into why I fear the multiplayer phase of the beta. So yes the mobs are undoubtedly an important part of the experience, but they primarily serve as a means to an end in a game that's about fighting opposing human players.
Right now a lot of the testing seems to be focused on bug elimination – especially where the rendering engine is concerned. Even so, this first build update has already added some fun elements. Going into future updates, I really can't wait to experience the other demigods, new unlockable powers and the addition of online play. The game already runs pretty well on my slightly aging system and my hope is that as time marches on, various minor bugs will see rapid foot-stomping. Expect more write-ups as beta updates see release, as I'm sure I'll only have more to say on the development of Demigod.