Stellaris got a massive patch and an okay expansion last week, both of which caused some pretty big changes to the game and the way it is played. The updates added superweapons, a new ship class, new factions, and it pretty much revamped everything from the way ships travel and fight to how empires expand and new systems are colonised.
Due to the scope of the alterations, Stellaris Project Lead Jamie "Jamor" Wood budgeted a longer time than usual for post-launch support. In a thread on Paradox's forums, Jamor detailed the preliminary patch notes of Stellaris patch 2.02, the follow-up to the Cherryh's update last month.
In a massive patch notes list, the team gives us a glimpse of the changes currently in a beta patch accessible through Steam. Fleet managers issues are meant to be fixed, as are timed events who were adversely affected by the game's huge slowdown in travel times. War exhaustion has also been addressed, as it tended to build up way too quickly and lead to unsatisfactory outcomes.
Wars that reach maximum war exhaustion no longer force a status quo, instead leading to a huge drop in happiness and the nullification of Influence and Unity income. Influence generation and their costs for building outposts remain untouched, and you still need to micromanage every single one to avoid wasting too much influence by chaining constructions in a row.
Some of the more controversial changes include the addition of upkeep costs to Level 1 outposts and the lack of address regarding ship's exceedingly long travel times. In fact, most changes made in this hotfix are around sidestepping the issue and adapting the rest of the game to the fact it now may take a decade to cross your empire from border to border.
Events like the "sighted asteroid", where a random rogue piece of rock spawns in a direct collision course with one of your planets, have been suppressed from occurring after 50 in-game years. According to the patch notes, it's "to avoid it happening in large sprawling empires with limited time to respond".
Additionally, some new problems introduced by the Apocalypse expansion were also addressed, such as marauders always acting hostile to non-enemies and super weapons being unable to target uncolonised planets within your borders.
Overall, it's a pretty big and capable patch, but it does leaves a few major necessary corrections out. You can read the full patch notes here.