The latest Paradox development diary talks through some of the changes that will be coming to Stellaris in patch 1.2 (codenamed Asimov). As it was before, 1.2 Asimov is still due for release at the end of June.
Those much-requested map modes will be added, created with a scripting structure that will allow modders to implement their own map modes. In the patch, Diplomatic (diplomatic relations with other Empires, such as whether you are at war, are allies with them), Opinion, and Attitude map modes will be included.
Stellaris will also be getting some new war goal options. This is something Paradox say they will be “fleshing out long-term”, but for now it’ll be possible in Asimov to Make Tributary (a type of subject that pays 20% of their Energy and Mineral income to their overlord), Abandon Planet (if your society allows Purge policies), Humiliate (you gain influence, they suffer a diplomatic penalty), Open Borders (force open borders) and Stop Atrocity (force an end to slavery or purges).
Those wars themselves should be getting better looking battles, with changes coming to prevent some of the ‘beeswarm’ behaviour of fleets. Weapon ranges will be increased, combat computers have been renamed to ‘Swarm’ and ‘Bombardment’ from ‘Aggressive’ and ‘Defensive’, and the default behaviour of a lot of ships have been changed away from ‘Swarm’.
In patch 1.2, Stellaris will see the ‘Slaves’ faction split into two. ‘Docile’ slaves are unlikely to revolt and are generally content (or cowed into submission). The ‘Malcontent’ slaves will demand freedom. This diary doesn’t outright say the Malcontent faction will be able to rebel (a feature missing from the game at launch), but hopefully that’s the case. Paradox are also adding an Abolitionist faction that can be joined by Pops who wish to see an end to space-slavery.
Other additions include an expansion to the role of Nomad Fleets (they may now request that you settle some of their population on a planet) and new Diplomatic Incidents that should help shake up static relations (“an empire might suspect that a foreign science ship surveying inside their borders is there to spy on them” for example).