This one isn't as packed as some of ther other recent releases. During normal working hours I'm focused on The Last Federation, and even moreso right now as we're in the last few weeks before releasing that.
But there's some important player-facing changes and fixes in 7.017. Hacking an Advanced constructor no longer also charges you for a fab-hack, and the cost of sabotage-hacking is back down to 5 from 10 (was 2 until recently). Also, in light of Reprisal making fleetwipes more dangerous, the AIP cost of killing a Black Hole Machine has dropped from 10 to 5. Speaking of salvage, minor faction stuff dying on player planets now contributes to the player's salvage (the AI still doesn't salvage from minor faction deaths, as then they could lead to aggressive AI units with no player involvement).
One of the changes that snuck into 7.016 (because it was already done before the need for that hotfix became apparent) was to make the Starship component of waves scale much better with wave sizes. In this version other special parts of waves (like the Mad Bomber's extra bomber starships, Heroic's in-wave champions, etc) are using similar scaling logic. I expect that the Spire Hammer, in particular, just got a lot nastier once the AIP cranks up. Especially on higher difficulties you might find yourself on the uncomfortable end of a Spire capital fleet. What could go wrong?
Most of the actual work went into a very substantial code refactoring (primarily of AI Reinforcements) that didn't mean many player-facing changes... this time ;)
This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater itself, if you already have 4.000 or later. When you launch the game, you'll see the notice of the update having been found if you're connected to the Internet at the time. If you don't have 4.000 or later, you can download that here.