Hello everybody, and welcome to the 3rd edition of the HoI3 development diaries.
This last week our development team have been working on various concepts like political interfaces, logistics and diplomacy. We've seen plenty of people stay extra hours just because its such a fun part of the development cycle right now.
So today, we'll talk about Technology.As ever let’s start with our philosophy, if we look at the evolution of the tech system in Hearts of Iron series we first of had the in-depth technology system of HoI1, which was practically a game in itself. However it did have several weakness, besides being much micromanagement, there also was no differentiation between the abilities of the countries, research was research and as long as you had the IC you could be good at anything.
With Hearts of Iron 2 we brought in the tech team, this gave us country specialisations; Germany was good at certain things, the US good at others. Which was good, however its weakness was that these were hard coded, Germany could never be good at aircraft carriers no matter how hard it tried, and the US would always be good at aircraft carriers no matter how little effort it put in. Also with the more streamlined system we also lost the ability to differentiate between the technology focuses of countries more. Our goals were three parts, keep the clarity of the Hearts of Iron 2 system, make the system more dynamic in that your technology abilities would evolve and try to bring back in as much of the different units that the Hearts of Iron system offered.
The sad result is that tech teams could not feature in our new system. We liked them, we really wanted to keep them but just couldn’t find a way to accommodate them in the system. What we have replaced them with are various theory and practical values representing the accumulated research knowledge and practical experience a country has in various fields. These can be defined for a country at the start, thus giving us the initial specialisations that the tech teams in Hearts of Iron 2 offered, but as these values increase and decay according to what a country is doing. Thus we have a system that dynamically evolved according to how you decide to steer the country. As was mentioned in the previous dev dairy practical values are gained from building things while theoretical knowledge is gained from research. In general practical experience gives larger bonuses than theoretical. If take the Soviet Union as an example here, the Soviet union will be set up with it theoretical and practical experience in areas like tanks, with very little in naval. However if the player wishes (foolishly some would say) to turn the Soviet Union into a naval power by putting more production and research focus into ships they are free to do so. The more the do so the better the Soviet Union will become at building and researching ships. But at the cost of steadily loses its abilities in fields like armour.
As a general rule, there are of course exceptions, theoretical bonuses tend to cover a wide spread of technologies while the practical bonuses are more specific. To give an example we have a broad theory aeronautic engineering, that covers the majority of aircraft techs as a theory, however practical is divided up into 3 narrower categories, single engine (FTR, INT & CAS), twin engine (TAC & NAV) and four engine (STR & TRS). We also have the ability that one technology can give bonuses to as many unit types as we like. So for aircraft, you can have very general techs like aircraft engine that boost all aircraft (yes you can but a Merlin Engine on your Lancaster bomber), practical group techs like single engine airframe (these improve FTR, INT & CAS) and finally highly focuses techs like air launched anti ship weapons that only improve NAV (this tech also gains bonuses for accumulate naval research experience). I think about now I should mention that all these aspects are of course fully modable.
What should also have noticed here that we no longer have models, instead we have technologies that increase the maximum values a unit can have and if unit can upgrade to these values it will. This allows us to do really nice things like divide up what would be a single technology that gave in a model in Hearts of Iron 2 in several separate techs. So if we take tanks here as example, you can separately research a tank gun, tank engine, tank armour and tank reliability (just for the record reliability effects the ability for the tank unit to withstand damage on the attack, unreliable tanks tend to break down). How we set these values can give a countries tanks brigades with different values with out the straight jacket of the nation specific unit. Take the early war British heavy tank brigade, well armoured, slow, under gunned and prone to breakdowns. We can create this effect through out technology system, but also giving the player the freedom to steer his country the way he wishes.
There are of course exceptions to the theoretical and practical rules. One of these is land doctrine’s. Here the theory is focuses in on specific doctrine paths, while the practical, which is gained from more general combat, covers all of them. So in the pre-war countries will be at the more efficient researching inside their area of doctrine expertise but you gain new experience from combat continues will able to ‘steal’ doctrine ideas from other countries.
Finally how is research done? It is no longer tied to IC, nor does it use techteams. Stay tuned next week for how this all ties together.
Okies, here is a look of the map in terrain mapmode when zoomed out over europe.