The latest update for Stellaris, the 3.1 'Lem' release, brings an overhaul of some existing free features, as well as a new strategy for tackling updates to the space grand strategy and 4X.
Empire traditions have been overhauled, allowing players to choose from seven of the 11 trees over the course of the game. The Lem update also brings new civic types for a bunch of previous DLC: Plantoids, Humanoids, and Necroids all have three new or reworked ways to play, like a clone army of humanoids, or a species of plants that can live off stellar radiation.
Most notably, there's new content and rebalancing for old paid features. Love it or hate it, Paradox Interactive funds the long-term development of its grand strategy games by selling expansions as DLC. A lot of expansions. In recent years that strategy has been widely critiqued for making the game increasingly unbalanced over time as only a fraction of the player base has access to certain features, or as older DLC features become irrelevant and outdated in the face of later upgrades.
Stellaris is trying to fix that, with these latest upgrades handled by a subset of the Stellaris team whose job is to focus on polishing and maintaining the existing material. It's a new approach, one that fans of the studio's games will likely watch closely. You can read all about that on Paradox's website, and you can read the details of the Lem update on Steam, or the full patch notes on Paradox's forums.
Paradox has been in the news recently for some controversy, as a survey revealed inner turmoil at the Swedish game developer following the departure of the CEO, then a public apology just this week by the returning CEO.