Sierra has announced that the open public beta for the Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest expansion pack will start on Monday, August 5. The public beta will consist of one multiplayer map that can be played through all 15 of the expansion pack's ages, so players will be able to try out all the new units, buildings, and special abilities.
The main focus of the test is play balancing and load testing, but the beta will also provide an early look at the new multiplayer interface that's in the works for Art of Conquest and other Sierra games like Emperor. The new matchmaking interface will feature refinements like friends lists and more convenient game listings, and it will also allow players to select a skill level and then let the system match them to a game of that level.
The beta map will first be made available on Sierra's own FTP servers. More information on the beta test can be found on the official site for Empire Earth. For more information on Art of Conquest, check out our previous coverage of the expansion.