Let me start with a hypothetical scenario:
You and your friends decide to play a co-op campaign of Hearts of Iron. You get your healthy snacks and drinks, jump into a voice chat and load the game, hoping to play as Monarchist Poland. There’s one problem though, one of your friends wants to play as monarchist Lithuania, and hopes to annex Poland and the other Baltic nations. If this has happened to you, then you’ll love the Joint Focus Tree. Actually I’m sure you’ll love it even if it hasn’t.
As nations that start the game disadvantaged against the big majors, a lot of minors rely on absorbing the countries around them to be able to compete. This happens with the Baltics, China, South America and importantly for us, the Nordic countries. We’re hoping the Joint Focus Tree will solve this by giving you and your friends the opportunity to collaborate with your neighbors and make your faction be more powerful than the sum of its parts, so you can take the fight to the Majors and win, TOGETHER!
But what is it? Well it’s a shared focus tree that Nordics will have in addition to the country’s normal focus tree, but when you start it you create a special faction where anyone can complete focuses in it, and they will complete in every relevant country, giving effects to all Nordic members of the faction.
Let’s take “Joint Military Exercises" as a very basic example. If Norway completes it, it’ll get 80 Army Experience and 2 75% Land Doctrine bonuses, but because it’s a Joint Focus, it will give 60 Army Experience and 2 50% Land Doctrine bonuses to every other Nordic in the faction.
If you’re playing as any of the Nordic countries and you’re not a puppet, you’ll eventually have the option of forming one of the three factions planned for this:
The Nordic Council: The Nordic democracies have joined forces to defend their political systems and to eradicate autocracy and oppression abroad (There’s currently an actual Nordic Council in real life, though with a different aim). They will use their resources and expertise to focus on quality over quantity, and manufacturing technologically advanced equipment, while still providing for their people.
The Northern People’s Union: The peoples of the North united against fascism and capitalism in Europe and beyond. Every worker that’s not making the tools of communism at home must take up arms and fight abroad. Expect superior numbers in both personnel and materiel
Reaching Out to Our Neighbors starts the decision category, and from the get go gives the option to promote Nordic Unity, letting you improve their opinion of you, especially handy if you want to form the Joint Faction with the AI.
Then you can go for Industrial Cooperation, which unlocks decisions to improve your economy and the economy of a neighbor in equal terms, if you go the other route, Leverage Nordic Investments, you can invest in other Nordics and ask them to invest in your, always with better terms for the initiator, but they’ll still get something out of it.