One of our main goals with HoI 4 has been to simplify things to appeal to a more mainstream audience without sacrificing historical appeal. Initially this seemed impossible until the recent release of Call of Duty: Ghosts. The key to the success of Ghosts was the inclusion of Riley, a dog companion and playable character. Immediately the solution was clear: Popular games have dogs, and as everyone knows Hitler was famously a dog-lover, so the National Dog concept was born.
The National Dog(ND) system should be familiar to anyone who has played CK2 or EUIII/IV, as it is used in a similar manner to a Councillor, National Focus, or Agent from those games. You can monitor and control your ND from the Dog Management screen by selecting a Canine Power and then clicking on the appropriate area of the map or UI. You ND can be used for many missions, including:
Puppy Socialisation: By allowing the political elite of your national to play with your National Dog you win their hearts and unite them behind your cause, improving your National Unity.
Not one step bark: Your ND can be placed in a province where a defensive battle is taking place and will prevent units from retreating by growling threateningly at any unit attempting it.
Fetch Claim: If you are simply throwing sticks for your National Dog to fetch by the border to another country it is hardly your fault if one accidentally crosses the border and your ND follows it. However, any territory where your ND stands is sovereign land of your nation, resulting in a valid cause for war to retake it.
Ruff and ready research: Assigning your ND to a particular tech screen results in a increased research speed in that field by barking at any scientists who appear to be slacking off.
Every nation has a unique National Dog, which grant a special bonus when not employed on the above missions, some examples include:
Germany - German Shepard Dog. Passive bonus: Schutzhund. Coups are less likely to succeed.
Britain - English Bulldog. Passive bonus: Nodding. The constant nodding of this Dog's head makes visiting ambassadors feel they are being agreed with. Their good mood results in a relations bonus.
France - French Poodle. Passive bonus: Fluffy. Has a fine, white coat.
USSR - Siberian Husky. Passive bonus: Anti-tank dogs. All units gain bonus Hard Attack.
Japan - Shiba Inu. Passive bonus: Coins. Greatly increases your income as cash appears from seemingly nowhere.
In order to ensure players feel a genuine connection to their National Dog we are taking extensive motion-capture footage of all dogs to be modelled so that they move and react in a realistic fashion ingame.
Next week we'll talk about our DLC policy, but as a sneakpeak I can reveal that we noted the outcry after the previous diary revealed that Horses will not be tracked in HoI IV. While this initially surprised us, and we don't think it's for everyone, we are committed to listening to our fans, and so we are proud to announce that the HoI IV Horse Armour DLC will be available on release day: