Federations, the next DLC for Stellaris, was announced today at PDXCon, Parardox Interactive’s annual fan convention. The focus this time is on diplomacy, after previous expansions have fleshed out the military, economy, and internal politics of the sprawling space 4X.
Federations have been a part of Stellaris from the beginning, building bridges of cooperation between sovereign empires. In this expansion though, they're getting a huge face-lift. The old school, vanilla, Star Trek sort (now called a Galactic Union) will still be around, but Paradox is adding several new, more specialized types of federations such as Research Co-Ops for science-minded factions and Trade Leagues for economically focused partnerships. Gaining more federation members and maintaining Cohesion (basically, keeping everyone on the same page policy-wise) will allow Federations to level up and gain mechanical perks, like increased federation fleet size.
The other major feature is the Galactic Community, a kind of "Space UN" that can be founded once you've met most of your star neighbors and the galaxy starts to become more interconnected. No empire is obligated to join, but those that opt-out will receive a colder welcome than those on the inside. Those that choose to leave after having joined will be especially reviled.
Members of the Galactic Community can propose resolutions that each of the other members will be able to vote on. Focusing on a new resource called Diplomatic Weight will give your votes more power and your resolutions higher priority, but building it will come at the expense of other areas like your military and economy. Resolutions that pass, such as banning sentient AI or establishing minimum rights for workers, will be binding for all members of the Galactic Community. The only way around these resolutions is to leave and incur the massive diplomatic penalty that comes with that act.
Also on the way is the Lithoids species pack, which will introduce several new portraits for species based on rocks, crystals, and other inorganic matter. They are unique not only in appearance, but in that they consume minerals instead of food, giving them a very different economy to manage.
The Lithoids species pack will be out on October 24 and Federations is set to launch later in the year.