Stellaris' first major patch, 'Clarke', should enter public testing before the week is out. After publishing a wishlist of fixes and features earlier this month, Paradox has confirmed the highlights for the first update.
The biggest changes target sectors and AI. Previously a faff to manage, you'll be able to access sector governance direct from the Outliner. Sectors will also be straight-up better at managing buildings, pops and orbital structures on their own.
When Phil reached his late-game crisis—an invasion of void creatures—none of his galactic neighbours would let him through their space to handle the problem. No more: AI is becoming more flexible in trade negotiations, particularly over access rights, while late-game crisis AI has simply received 'fixes'. AI-controlled fleets should also behave themselves better.
For fans of diplomacy, detailed notifications will fill you in on rivalries, declarations of war and the like. Warmongers, meanwhile, will be pleased to find more detailed battle reports after action.
Bugfixes have of course been thrown in—you can swot up on the patch notes here. After Clarke releases, Asimov aims to enliven the mid-game with diplomatic intrigue and event chains.