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Designer Corner: Peace Conference

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And we shall have peace.

Hi folks,

It’s been a while since our last update on future plans for HoI, but we’re about ready to show you some of the work we’ve been doing. Before we begin, I’d like to indicate that there’ll be some differences in how we do this. As I’ve previously stated, we want to begin discussion around features and implementation details a little earlier in the process than usual. This means a couple of things.

Firstly, while we’ll be showing off some individual features, we’re not yet ready to give an overview of the entire scope of our next release yet. This will, of course, be coming in the near (ish) future.

Secondly, you’ll be getting an early look at what we’ve been working on, and this comes with all the caveats you might expect: lots of WIP design, interface, and gameplay.

Lastly, for the time being we’ll be producing these ‘design corner’ style diaries every two weeks, rather than weekly. This is likely to change as we get closer to being complete.

Before I hand over, I’ll give you a quick run down of the directive for the feature we’re looking at today: Peace Conferences. Our primary objectives are to:

  • Create a system that appropriately rewards participation.
  • Allow for conflict and conflict resolution within the scope of the conference.
  • Create a limited ‘economy’ within conferences, where you may have to sacrifice your overall aims in order to secure immediate concerns.
  • Produce more ‘realistic’ outcomes where the AI is concerned.

And with that, I’ll hand over to @Yaboi_bobby to dive into the deeper details!

Hey everyone, over the past months we have been working to overhaul the peace conference system. It is no secret that in HoI4 the peace conference system has a number of issues with how it functions. Combining that with the fact that it is a surprisingly hard interface to learn how to use, it is rightly one of our most disliked and complained about features. We have taken a large step away from how the system currently works and I am excited to show what the future holds for peace conferences.

The first major departure we made from the old system was shifting from absolute claiming of territory to contestable claiming of territory. In the old PC system once somebody claimed a state, that was it. That claim would be locked in and no one would be able to interact with it further. Now, players may contest other players' interactions in the conference. This doesn't come without cost. Contesting claimed territory will come with a point tax, and every time a contest happens the price of interacting with that state climbs further. This effectively creates a bidding war between all parties invested in a given state. This change should have some interesting outcomes, allow mid and low level participants to have more agency, and give players the tools needed to go after the states that are most important to them for things like achievements and forming new tags.

Here Brazil prepares to bid upon Chao Boreal which has already been claimed by Argentina
image1.png


Contestable bids help solve some problems, but without further changes many still persist. One of the most obvious issues was how the old system handled turn order. The old system would order countries by participation, and then go in order based upon the number of points held by participants. Where it gets weird is the fact that the order of the list would get updated after each nation’s turn. This meant that often the top two participants could have enough points when a turn ended that they would simply exchange turns between them and end up completely controlling the conference. This was in some ways a good method to allow two big faction leaders to have majority control after the end of a historical WW2, but is bad in virtually every other case.

We did a lot of thinking about turn order and how to structure the turn in general. Slowly we came to the conclusion that any system with a visible turn order, no matter how it was structured, would put people at disadvantage or advantage depending on turn order. This led to the creation of what we have been calling the “Blind Bid” system.

The main concept of the “Blind Bid” system is that everyone acts simultaneously. The way this functions is that, each turn, every conference participant uses their points to make bids. When every player has finished making their bids, all of the bids are evaluated at once. Bids have a fixed cost much like the current claims do, but now with more modifiers. In any instance where two participants made a bid on the same state, that state is marked as contested and the players involved have the majority of their points spent on the bid refunded. Each time a state is contested, it increases in cost for all subsequent rounds. This effect stacks on a state each turn in which a contested bid happens. The other side of this is uncontested bids. Each turn a bid goes uncontested, it increases in cost for everyone else except for the person who made the bid. This acts to, over the course of several turns, lock in bids as they become too expensive to realistically contest.

Brazil and Argentina attempting to resolve a contested bid on Chaco Boreal
image2.png


At this point you may be thinking “Yeah OK, but I get points each turn, how does the conference end?” This leads us to the final major change: limited points. This is pretty self explanatory. Each participant will get a fixed amount of points over the course of the conference based upon war participation score. The way we do this is by distributing a percentage of those points every turn until all points are distributed. Most of the work here comes down to rebalancing war participation and finding what we consider a good point ceiling for a conference. Limited points will mean, in some cases, that loser nations survive more intact than they did previously, but this should not be a common case. In general, we think this creates a fun and somewhat tense conference experience.

Beyond the big three changes listed so far we have a number of smaller tweaks, adjustments, and rebalance to overall cost of interactions and participation. However, that topic is not worth going into at this point as it is still very much WiP. So with that I will conclude the first overview of the peace conference rework. We look forward to your feedback, hot takes, and hopefully excitement. Until next time o7
 
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Pompan

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I would like it if the Puppet controller could be transferred but if they haven't capitulated then maybe don't allow annexation outright. Heck even with the India example I would give the puppet one step closer to independence (puppet becoming a colony). The people in India spoke English not German and the British officials in India couldn't just be swapped seamlessly.
Sure, but I still think is weird that a minor that is a puppet can turn into a major mid war and stop a war from ending early, as it now has to be capped for the war to end.
 
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rcf31415

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Sure, but I still think is weird that a minor that is a puppet can turn into a major mid war and stop a war from ending early, as it now has to be capped for the war to end.
yeah the major vs minor system as a whole is weird and arbitrary. There is an argument thought that the British empire would have fought on for a bit if Great Britain is occupied but I don't know how long they would have continued on their own.
 
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hello, can you make it so that the territories that the country took control during the war, it could take at the peace conference with a points discount. this would be logical, because during ww2 the winners divided Europe approximately along the line where their troops met. however, the Allies' contribution to the war was clearly less than that of the USSR.
 
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Hi, can you also change it so that you get a peace conference after every country capitulates, please? When you are fighting against the Allies or Axis you are fighting multiple countries and whenever you declare war on a new country they tend to join an existing faction, thus just making them bigger and bigger. The problem with this is that the faction rarely ends up surrendering because you need to take out pretty much every member country so once the USA joins the Allies for example, the only way you are ever going to see a peace conference when playing as an Axis member is to invade and conquer the USA and honestly, when playing as Germany or Italy or practically anyone other than Japan when are you ever going to keep playing a campaign long enough to do that? Having a peace conference after every country capitulates will make the game much more interesting.

I remember playing as Spain once and I managed to invade the UK before America joined the Allies and I actually got to see an Allies peace conference and it was the most interesting game I have ever played because of that -but I've only ever seen it happen once.
 
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rcf31415

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Hi, can you also change it so that you get a peace conference after every country capitulates, please? When you are fighting against the Allies or Axis you are fighting multiple countries and whenever you declare war on a new country they tend to join an existing faction, thus just making them bigger and bigger. The problem with this is that the faction rarely ends up surrendering because you need to take out pretty much every member country so once the USA joins the Allies for example, the only way you are ever going to see a peace conference when playing as an Axis member is to invade and conquer the USA and honestly, when playing as Germany or Italy or practically anyone other than Japan when are you ever going to keep playing a campaign long enough to do that? Having a peace conference after every country capitulates will make the game much more interesting.

I remember playing as Spain once and I managed to invade the UK before America joined the Allies and I actually got to see an Allies peace conference and it was the most interesting game I have ever played because of that -but I've only ever seen it happen once.
rather than this I would ask for more ability to negotiate a white peace once you have what you want. In your scenario If you can get America to peace out then you could claim everything in a peace conference. If this is the case then maybe America even could get a say in the peace deal as well negotiating the return of some of the territories but make their power less the more casualties they have taken and the longer you have held the territory.
 
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sprites

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As India is a puppet of GB, and thus GB dictates the diplomacy of India, I find the current situation reasonable. Independent minors however- I agree.
On the current system, you can cheese them in , but i think it no german troops ever entered Canada or Australia , they should sign a white peace upon GB capitulation

a bit like in eu4, where you can't ask for land where there are forts and you don't control any
 
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kentonio

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An armed player controlling certain territories should be able to simply keep them and leave the conference without looking at its arrangements. Of course, this may give the AI a free casus beli per player and the AI will have to decide whether it will seek to reclaim the occupied territories or give up. Of course, this requires improving the AI because now AI is able to declare war with 0 human strength and a totally bombed country, which should never happen.
Absolutely agree with this. If the Soviets were occupying East Germany and wished to keep it, there is nothing the Allies could have done to prevent this short of war.

My issue with the points system is that it implies fairness in a world that is inherently unfair. It really doesn't matter whether a country did most of the fighting, what matters is the power they hold at the end.
 
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Absolutely agree with this. If the Soviets were occupying East Germany and wished to keep it, there is nothing the Allies could have done to prevent this short of war.

My issue with the points system is that it implies fairness in a world that is inherently unfair. It really doesn't matter whether a country did most of the fighting, what matters is the power they hold at the end.
I think that's the right and correct model for state interaction. The real question is how much does the state want that outcome - be it land, puppets, resources, whatever - and how much it would cost to seize it.

The challenge is building it into an engaging simulation within HOI4.

For one, the AI would struggle to estimate the player's power at the end of the war, and would struggle to estimate the cost of refusing to accept the player's peace offer.

The player could offer to annex land that the AI wants for itself, and the AI notices that the player has half the divisions of the AI, so the AI might well reject the player's offer thinking themselves stronger than the player. This could lead to a situation where the player must always pump out filler divisions to intimidate the AI into accepting the peace

Or the AI could calculate that the player is the player. They're probably using the latest meta to get big encirclements. So the AI should fold to any player demand because the player will bear any cost and will succeed in any strategy to get what they want.

The peace score system is not perfect but it's a useful approximation. Nations close to the land they demand get a discount to demand that land not because it's "fairer" but rather to simulate that it would be easier and less costly for that state to conquer the land if negotiations collapse. States that suffer / inflict high casualties aren't given the right to demand more land in the peace conference because it's "fair" but because casualties suffered / inflicted are a signal of ability to sustain / inflict costly warfare if negotiations collapse.

Completely agree that ownership and power projection should be 9/10ths of the peace deal but how that is simulated in game needs to be an abstraction because designing a system that properly assesses power projection is hard.
 
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I think that's the right and correct model for state interaction. The real question is how much does the state want that outcome - be it land, puppets, resources, whatever - and how much it would cost to seize it.

The challenge is building it into an engaging simulation within HOI4.

For one, the AI would struggle to estimate the player's power at the end of the war, and would struggle to estimate the cost of refusing to accept the player's peace offer.

The player could offer to annex land that the AI wants for itself, and the AI notices that the player has half the divisions of the AI, so the AI might well reject the player's offer thinking themselves stronger than the player. This could lead to a situation where the player must always pump out filler divisions to intimidate the AI into accepting the peace

Or the AI could calculate that the player is the player. They're probably using the latest meta to get big encirclements. So the AI should fold to any player demand because the player will bear any cost and will succeed in any strategy to get what they want.

The peace score system is not perfect but it's a useful approximation. Nations close to the land they demand get a discount to demand that land not because it's "fairer" but rather to simulate that it would be easier and less costly for that state to conquer the land if negotiations collapse. States that suffer / inflict high casualties aren't given the right to demand more land in the peace conference because it's "fair" but because casualties suffered / inflicted are a signal of ability to sustain / inflict costly warfare if negotiations collapse.

Completely agree that ownership and power projection should be 9/10ths of the peace deal but how that is simulated in game needs to be an abstraction because designing a system that properly assesses power projection is hard.
I'd probably look at a system whereby each country seized/liberated is treated as its own resolution in the conference. If a country occupies a whole country then other victorious allies can propose solutions but with a small amount influence (greater if they were involved in the fighting). Ultimately if the occupier chooses to annex then they cannot actually be prevented. For countries/possessions where they are occupied by multiple victors however, then you get into a more balanced influence pool, and different options such as liberation perhaps cost less than annexation. If one victor simply chooses to keep what they hold however, this should be possible but perhaps reduces their influence in other resolutions while increasing world threat.

This is just off the top of my head, I'd have to sit and design it properly, but I think this kind of approach would result in more interesting and realistic outcomes.
 
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Sir.Dr.X

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That is fixed in the new system - all countries do blind bidding at the same time. But if your war score is higher you will get more points to bid with. Add in modifiers for adjacency & ownership and you should be able to at least try to keep your conquered territory.

From the DD
I understand the system described by the developers, but I do not read it as a confirmation that as a country with a low score, I will be able to keep the occupied territories even if one of the main participants of the peace conference decides that he wants to, for example, create a puppet state in the territories I have occupied.

However, I hope your interpretation turns out to be correct. This, however, raises another question as to the national territories of the puppet states. Can the puppet states take part in the peace conference at least to a marginal extent? Will the ruler of these countries have a lower cost of taking over the indicated national territories for the puppet state? And how will the AI react to it, which currently only loves to create chaos by creating, for example, two Spaniards, Catalonia and the Basque state in one fell swoop, or say a disservice to France by creating Burgundy.
 

Sir.Dr.X

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Hi, can you also change it so that you get a peace conference after every country capitulates, please? When you are fighting against the Allies or Axis you are fighting multiple countries and whenever you declare war on a new country they tend to join an existing faction, thus just making them bigger and bigger. The problem with this is that the faction rarely ends up surrendering because you need to take out pretty much every member country so once the USA joins the Allies for example, the only way you are ever going to see a peace conference when playing as an Axis member is to invade and conquer the USA and honestly, when playing as Germany or Italy or practically anyone other than Japan when are you ever going to keep playing a campaign long enough to do that? Having a peace conference after every country capitulates will make the game much more interesting.

I remember playing as Spain once and I managed to invade the UK before America joined the Allies and I actually got to see an Allies peace conference and it was the most interesting game I have ever played because of that -but I've only ever seen it happen once.
I think it would be better to implement a separate peace system. Many countries during World War II made separate peace with the enemy during the war and even joined the war on the other side. Examples are Romania, Bulgaria and Finland. And Italy, France and Hungary, in which two separate governments were formed during the war, supporting the allies and neutral or supporting the Axis. The aforementioned countries joined the war on the Axis side and ended it fighting on the Allies' side because during the war they concluded a separate peace with the existing enemy and then joined the fight with their former ally.
 
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rcf31415

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I think that's the right and correct model for state interaction. The real question is how much does the state want that outcome - be it land, puppets, resources, whatever - and how much it would cost to seize it.

The challenge is building it into an engaging simulation within HOI4.

For one, the AI would struggle to estimate the player's power at the end of the war, and would struggle to estimate the cost of refusing to accept the player's peace offer.

The player could offer to annex land that the AI wants for itself, and the AI notices that the player has half the divisions of the AI, so the AI might well reject the player's offer thinking themselves stronger than the player. This could lead to a situation where the player must always pump out filler divisions to intimidate the AI into accepting the peace

Or the AI could calculate that the player is the player. They're probably using the latest meta to get big encirclements. So the AI should fold to any player demand because the player will bear any cost and will succeed in any strategy to get what they want.

The peace score system is not perfect but it's a useful approximation. Nations close to the land they demand get a discount to demand that land not because it's "fairer" but rather to simulate that it would be easier and less costly for that state to conquer the land if negotiations collapse. States that suffer / inflict high casualties aren't given the right to demand more land in the peace conference because it's "fair" but because casualties suffered / inflicted are a signal of ability to sustain / inflict costly warfare if negotiations collapse.

Completely agree that ownership and power projection should be 9/10ths of the peace deal but how that is simulated in game needs to be an abstraction because designing a system that properly assesses power projection is hard.
I think it would be good to have a faze that is just broken down by factions first, faction leaders and other nations not in a faction have all the territories their faction has influence on assigned to them (based on control/ proximity of armed forces including navy and air) and then can negotiate trading territory with the other faction leaders to determine where the lines are drawn.

Then a second faze where the nations within a faction can more or less hold a peace conference as is and determine what actually happens with the land under their factions influence.
 
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gianlucad

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So why is HoI4 still treating peace treaties as a post-napoleonic wars concert of europe/impromptu thing when the post war borders were mainly decided way ahead of time in the 40s?
 
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MrMcQue

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So why is HoI4 still treating peace treaties as a post-napoleonic wars concert of europe/impromptu thing when the post war borders were mainly decided way ahead of time in the 40s?
I agree. That's why i earlier proposed to make more scripted conferences, like the Yalta conference, but also for various alt-history scenarios. Like the conference to dissolve the Allied possesions in Africa between Italy, Portugal and Spain which is already in game.
 

JayPee

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Beyond the big three changes listed so far we have a number of smaller tweaks, adjustments, and rebalance to overall cost of interactions and participation. However, that topic is not worth going into at this point as it is still very much WiP. So with that I will conclude the first overview of the peace conference rework. We look forward to your feedback, hot takes, and hopefully excitement. Until next time o7
In these small tweaks will "War Justification" have any merit on discounting what you justified on? I find it odd that the reason I am going to war and justifying on a country is something I don't get in the peace deal. For Example, if I justify on Italy to join the war and I am after Sardinia to form that sweet sweet Caliphate of Cordoba it makes sense for me to get a bigger claim on what I LITERALLY went to war for. I understand this can be tricky if multiple countries are going to war to change government, annex, puppet, etc but I think that there SHOULD BE a discount for what you justified on because it's reason you joined the war.

Additionally, is there any thought to change the war participation you get for casualties sustained? I find it odd that you can kill 10 million Germans but because the AI kept bashing their heads against the frontline and suffers 4 million casualties they are getting more war participation for the casualties sustained versus casualties caused.

it just makes more sense to give higher war score for casualties inflicted versus how many casualties I sustained. I'll use one of the quotes yall have in game:

"No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country.” George Patton, before the slap heard around the world
 

Cpt.Cross

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Considering how there are no limited wars, I don't see too much benefit from limited peace conferences. Regardless of whether the player is a Major or a Minor they are in the driving seat of the war only to get cucked by AI taking land needed for formables or achievements (lost out on one province requiring a second world war (3rd) too many times) Hearing that I may need to prioritise rather than take everything I need i think is just gonna make this worse, unless factions are getting a complete overall and taking some land wont require a world war everytime.

It may be unrealistic and potentially gamebreaking but better to just let the player decide the outcome. Unless they lose of course. The AI simply makes stupid choices in this regard.
 
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tsumugi

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Also please just let me actually puppet nations as a democracy, being locked to supervised states is silly, maybe supervised states could also be an option that just costs less score since they give you less industry and doesn't allow you to annex them to gain their navy.
 
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Inssepption

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Hey guys,

really cool that this important part of the game is being reworked! What I have to say is that out of all the features I want from a new peace system is the option to end a war at the table instead of having to completly annihilate your foe even if its only about a small piece of land (Falklands). Also it would add so much more realism to the game if you could end the war on certain terms, for example when both sides are in a stalemate.
 
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DukofDeth

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@YaBoy_Bobby I was wondering if - while revising Peace Conferences - that you might take into consideration three-way wars [where each of faction A B & C are all at war with the other two factions]. Not only is it annoying but it also really breaks any manner of immersion when territory that is in control of faction A goes to nations from faction B [whether they claim it or puppet it] when the [final] leader of faction C capitulates and there is a peace conference. While I do get the gist of what potential changes have been presented so far I just don't see how nations from two warring factions could get together to split up the territory of a third faction the two remaining were both at war against when in all likelihood neither would bother to honor/respect any claims the other side cared to make.
 
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MrMcQue

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Can somebody tell me what exactly it is that Italy goes for these provinces EVERY SINGLE FCKING TIME !!!!

This, along with Italy ALWAYS puppeting Free France (and thus completely messing up the Vichy Focus tree) is what nearly makes me attack Italy everytime between Sealion and Barbarossa lol, so hopefully this will change as well.

e8ffc6277b.png
 
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