In my first Semper Fi developer diary, I mentioned that getting the game to feel more historical is one of our main goals with the expansion. We want the players to feel like they are enacting World War II, not some abstract and fictional conflict. The main thing here is to stay as true to real events as possible while still allowing for plausible divergence. There are many factors involved; we have the events and decisions that can happen, such as the Spanish Civil War, the Anschluss, and the outbreak of WW2 itself. Of course, the behaviour of the AI also affects the plausibility of the war; especially at the diplomatic level, but also the type of operations the military AI decides to conduct. Then we have resource, manpower and production balancing issues. Lastly, and just as importantly, it is a question of immersion.
We have addressed all of these factors. The events and decisions have been looked over, with some removals, additions and changes. The diplomatic AI is essentially rewritten, with many custom behaviours for different countries. (Expect Lothos to post an example of this soon.) Likewise, the military AI should be much better at selecting plausible targets for invasion and at surviving where it previously could not (e.g. the USSR in Barbarossa.) We have also tweaked the resource balance in the world, and made sure that AI countries trade for what they need (new Trade AI).
Something Semper Fi players will notice pretty soon is the addition of hundreds of historical battle events. Obviously, the main battles of World War 2 will never happen in quite the same way during a game, but sometimes a similar event occurs, which will fire one of the new flavour events. These tend to have little effect, but are intended to provide a kind of feedback and comparison to the real war, for added immersion. In a similar vein, we have added something called "Strategic Effects", which are specific goals that the player can strive to achieve in order to gain a substantial benefit. Strategic Effects typically represent control of certain geographical key points, but can also be things like unique weather conditions or total naval or air superiority. (Players of EU3 will find Strategic Effects similar to the so called "Triggered Modifiers", but more integrated and visible.)
There is not much more to say about this, you will just have to play the game. However, I can give you another little morsel: Brigade Upgrades. In Semper Fi, players are allowed to upgrade certain types of brigades to other types (usually a more advanced and expensive type.) For example, if you have a very experienced artillery brigade, you might want to upgrade it to a self-propelled artillery brigade. Well, now you can. The downside is that the brigade is taken from the field and moved to the production queue, though when the upgrade is complete it will automatically deploy back to the division it came from.
That's it for today. Next week: Victory Conditions!