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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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Aztlantix

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After the civil war only the cores should be instantly acquired by winning side. Uncored provinces such as African colonies for France for example should be part of regular peace deal with bidding and all other stuff.

This will work great because for example you want to coup USA as USSR but you also want Alaska - that way if Alaska was not cored you can bid it during peace deal.
Or better yet - communists win civil war in France - that way colonies become part of peace deal negotiations, while mainland stuff goes directly to winner side instantly
 
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ThatguyJules 69

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Hey! I was wondering if you would make the system more like eu4s system of war and peace, were you could fabricate a claim and offer a peace for a set amount of money or territory. In hoi4s case I would love to see if maybe you could demand a certain payment of civs and mils and if you just could offer peace when you can't be bothered to finish a war (such as with big nations like the Soviets or the US)
 
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pnt

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The improved mechanisms described above sound great! Thanks! :)

However, the part that truly caught my attention was the last point: "Produce more ‘realistic’ outcomes where the AI is concerned."

Does this mean that that if the game proceeds historically, the AI will strive to re-create actual post war conditions? This would greatly enhance the possibility for continued play - where a cold war could turn hot (and also create an option for Paradox to add extension to a Korean war going global, etc).

And one could, for instance, set up an alternative set of goals if Yalta is not signed and, for instance, either the Allies try to restore an independent Poland, or the Soviets will want all of Europe.

Also, on a smaller scale, in the current system Allies often generate a lot of WT. One can argue that this is not important for the PC since the game essentially end, but if one were going to continue, it would make sense to adjust WT in a way to again make it relevant in a post-war setting.
 
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I have two suggestions.

1. If you occupy the territory to make a formable nation, you should be able to puppet the formable nation, even if it hasn't been formed (i.e if you occupy both Poland and Lithuania, you should be able to puppet the PLC). Like wise you should be able to desolve formable nations completely (like splitting the PLC into Poland and Lithuania, instead of giving Lithuania independence but still somehow have the PLC exist).

2. The "offer peace" action is basically useless as you can only offer peace if you're losing, and even then you still can't do it sometimes. I suggest you should be able to offer peace if your winning and occupy the state(s) you justified/have a wargoal on. That way you can just peace out if you have what you need and not have to take out the whole nation for a small piece of land, and it gives a reason to justify on specific states instead of just picking a random state. Also you should be able to manually justify for puppet and topple government wargoals and not just conquer war goals.

As @DeadHeat16 said in his first suggestion, and to solve the problem of non-existing gamestate knowledge at the time of a peace conference, I suggest to only show the option to form a nation after you already gave all of the territory needed to form said nation the puppet.
Using the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as an example, only showing the option to form the PLC after giving all of the needed territories to form that nation to your puppet, as a free option, in the peace conference.

That would be an awesome feature, in my opinion.
 
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brickzombie

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It would be neat if, under certain circumstances, one could trigger a peace conference without having to take out the entire country. Perhaps only occupied or non-core territory would be up for grabs unless there are claims on it? I think this would add some extra weight to making claims in the first place since at the moment they feel rather useless. And while this new system seems like it would change that to some degree, something like this would really seal the deal. Though, I understand this is probably outside the scope of the current rework.
 
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Bit late to this, but I was wondering if there are any changes about how to earn war score? I always found it a bit odd that being responsible for enemies casulties earns you no war score but having massive amounts of casulties does.
 
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T Knight

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Peace conference should also occur after each capitulation. These could result in government in exiles, splitting of nations or current peace conference outcomes
Case in point is the Allied invasion of Italy, a major Axis power in WW2. The historical results were a change of government, the Italian government switching to the allied side and a diminished fascist state fighting on the Axis side. How would this be realized in the game?
 
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Case in point is the Allied invasion of Italy, a major Axis power in WW2. The historical results were a change of government, the Italian government switching to the allied side and a diminished fascist state fighting on the Axis side. How would this be realized in the game?
Even smaller Axis nations like Romania and Finland (cobelligerent) negotiated separate peaces and declared war on Germany
 
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Chary_

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Just had a Balkan Federation achievement run ruined by the UK making a one province Croatia, Greece and Slovenia out of the Italian territories (despite positive relations!). Very glad to see these changes. I'm probably going to give up on trying achievements for the time being!


Excited to see how this develops!
 
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Idle America

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1. This, and before people attack me for pointing this out, let me give you a WW2 example, Italy. They Started off as a Axis partner and then after a certain point, overthrew the government and the new Government sided with the Allies.
They'll add the Italian Social Republic and the civil war in the Italy overhaul/DLC, I guarantee it.
What's wrong with balkanized USSR?
There's a long piece of Russia/USSR snaking between them all, and it's infuriatingly hideous.
 
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Red Mapoleon

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There should be a discount in points for whomever currently controls land you are bidding on. After WW2, USA could of asked for all of Germany but USSR troops present all but made that impossible. I believe currently having troops in a region should give your nation a considerable rebate in bidding for a specific area. Also, you should consider giving an option to configure the state control of an area during war. For example, If US is in france and moving into germany, France's control gets bigger but US should have the option of changing the areas they won to US control. It should be based on which State did the most fighting in an area. This would have a big impact at time of peace negotiation as area under your control are more likely to be yours after the peace conference. There should also be the option of trading minor countries and areas as part of a peace conference for more points or for a swap.
 
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There should be a discount in points for whomever currently controls land you are bidding on. After WW2, USA could of asked for all of Germany but USSR troops present all but made that impossible. I believe currently having troops in a region should give your nation a considerable rebate in bidding for a specific area. Also, you should consider giving an option to configure the state control of an area during war. For example, If US is in france and moving into germany, France's control gets bigger but US should have the option of changing the areas they won to US control. It should be based on which State did the most fighting in an area. This would have a big impact at time of peace negotiation as area under your control are more likely to be yours after the peace conference. There should also be the option of trading minor countries and areas as part of a peace conference for more points or for a swap.
Less stranded divisions as well
 
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Pompan

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Will this perhaps include convoy raiding in peace talks? I think it is quite weird that you can single-handedly sink the entire convoy system of the Allies, without it even affecting your war participation.
 
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santisav

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Please make sure that achivements are doable. Also consider that some wars between minors don't give enough points to take everything and if the points are limited we may have some countries that cannot be conquered i. e. countries in south america.

Also, some next topics that should be considered for next release are: air missions (right now you cannot use carriers to bomb before an invation to "soften up defenses"), carrier missions (right now when you use carriers as a land invasion support you dont get air support or air superiority), review and tweek naval combat (im getting a lot of battleships destroying enemy carriers which is not likely to occur) and lastly and most importantly, ground and amphibious war planning.

Right now war plans work for very simple operations but there are some issues like autoadjustments of front lines, dissapearence of frontlines in el alamein, greece, new guinea, etc. Chaining orders would be awesome (right now is very awkward to do), faster ways to plan naval invasions and chain an attack plan so that you dont have to micro every naval invasion.

A crazy wish would be to be able to give a couple of AIs to the player as Field Marshals and that you could delegate a "Theater" to them and assign a fleet to help out and follow them as we do for air.
 
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