via a text list
I think I gagged a little, sorry.
The map is enjoyed (despite the drama that the rest of the game brings) because it is a visual. It gives you an idea of things without having to spend as much time reading through a list.
If you are looking for a way to decrease the stress of the map game, perhaps you could de-stress the importance of things like Dominions, by allowing a more generous passive way of gaining territory. If you're around for x-amount of time, you are guaranteed x number of worlds. Not a lot mind you, but if your faction is guaranteed to gain planets without direct effort in gaining them, the competitiveness of constantly doing dominions diminishes. It's almost a proven fact that giving away free stuff decreases competition. Of course, the free stuff they gain will be entirely at the discretion of the staff in determining how active they actually are much in the same way that they determine a faction is deserving of a recall.
However, you will probably argue, it is the Invasions that are the real stress inducers here, and I will agree with you. That I have no quick fix for, but perhaps by slightly diminishing the constant need to expand, the relative importance of an Invasion will decrease with it, thus allowing for more focus to be put into the Invasions as an opportunity of story. Though hopefully, decreasing the competitiveness of dominions does not also affect Invasions in the same way.
I dunno, perhaps I am rambling about things I don't understand.