It appears that Paradox will continue to push ahead with upgrading Stellaris with a new team formed to help with free upgrades for all players every few months.
This was actually announced back in June that we missed as it was in a regular developer diary post. What they've done is split the teams working on Stellaris so there's now the "Custodians" team to work on free updates approximately every three months with the "expansion team" focusing directly on new content. Paradox mentioned they're in it for the long run and there's no quick-fixes. Here's some of what the new Custodians team will work on over time through many different free updates:
- Tweaking game balance
- Adding new content to old DLC
- Polishing existing content
- Bug fixes
- Performance improvements
- AI improvements
- Multiplayer stability
- UI and quality-of-life improvements
As a result of this the first free update will be named Lem, in honour of the Polish sci-fi author Stanislaw Lem. Some of the Lem update will include:
- Buffing the Backlog: We’re reviewing some old DLC to revitalize them with some new content. Humanoids Species Pack and Plantoids Species Packs will now feature some new gameplay features. By the way, did anyone say Necrophage Hive Minds?
- Selectable Traditions Trees: You will no longer be locked to the same 7 tradition trees, but you will instead have 7 slots that can be filled with a tradition tree of your choice. The number of tradition trees will be expanded, and previous tradition-tree swaps will be broken out into their own trees (Adaptability will no longer be a swap of Diplomacy for example). Some new tradition trees will also be added to existing DLCs.
- Balance Pass: We will be doing a balance pass on some existing gameplay systems and features.
- And more..!: Quality of life improvements, bug fixes, AI improvements...
In a more recent developer diary posted earlier this month they confirmed the free Lem update will release in September. They also confirmed a bunch of additions for the Plantoids Species Pack that will include 2 new Civics and 3 new Species Traits.
The latest developer diary posted last week confirms some major changes to the Traditions system, giving a bit more flexibility in what you can pick from which includes some new Tradition Trees, you now get to select what traditions will take up the 7 slots and more.
Overall it sounds like Stellaris is about to once again get more interesting. Good to see it a priority for Paradox.