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HoI4 Dev Diary - Combat Changes & Soviet Exiles

Greetings all,

Today we have two important topics to cover, for which we have reinstated @podcat with a battlefield commission, in order to detail our latest efforts to combat the width meta. In addition, Comrades @Bratyn and @Wrongwraith return for a dive into changes to the Soviet Exiles branch of the focus tree, based partly on community feedback.

---

Hi everyone, @podcat here for a little guest appearance to tell you some more about the combat changes coming with Barbarossa. Back in the Combat and Stats Changes diary we outlined our quest to break down the 40 width meta and try to combat an “overall best division”.
In there we outlined several changes such as varying terrain width without easy multipliers to exploit (meaning you can still make optimums for particular terrains but not all), as well as reduced penalties to going over widths.

To expand on this we have changed how targeting and damage spreading works. One way 40 width (and also larger) divisions were stronger than smaller ones was how they could concentrate all of their damage into one target overpowering defense more easily. Targeting is now changed so that divisions will select targets up to its own width (so a 40w can fire on two 20w), but doing so spreads the damage over them relative to their width (and just to be clear, it’s not just for 40w. This applies to any widths that match up like 30+10 say).

Screenshot_21.png
?
‘tis mathematics innit

With these changes I can say that I am not really sure what the best meta is anymore. I think there are likely some optimums depending on your opponent and location (when balancing Org versus cost and piercing and such) but what that is I look forward to see you players try to figure out :)

We also have one more change that I think will have a pretty big impact. When deciding if a division can reinforce to the battle line inside combat we no longer check in order of the order they joined combat, but instead we will now pick randomly among all waiting divisions with their chance weighted by their reinforce chance. This means that to optimize reinforcing you no longer need to pull micro feats to get the right divisions in order, and can much more safely toss in your newly designed tanks to save the day in an ongoing combat. Also, don’t forget your signal companies, they should be more impactful now!
image.png

________________

Hi guys! This is @Bratyn and @Wrongwraith, part of the CD team on the Exiles branch for the Soviet Union. The last month has (other than lots and lots of keyboard-scrubbing...) seen some significant changes to the branch, and while we’ve kept much of the original design, we’ve also incorporated feedback from you guys, the community, and did some further iteration of our own on how the tree looks and works.

I believe we mentioned last time around that the civil war was hard if you chose to go down this path of the focus tree. Really hard. “Realistically hard” someone might argue. "Unwinnable", our testers might say. And while that might be to some degree realistic, it isn’t that fun. So we decided to make it _slightly_ less hard, while also introducing a few new elements to make the war even more interesting. Among other things, you now use Command Power to recruit units, rather than Political Power. And we have increased the amount of things you can get from countries supporting your cause.

We also added a few new focuses.

DD_pict_1_civil_war_tree.png


As you can see, the main structure of this section is similar to what it was before, with some minor changes. Maybe it should be stated at this point that most focuses are short focuses. The new ones that you can access before the war are these:

DD_pict_2_covert_operations.png

DD_pict_3_smr.png


Why do you need these? Well You really, really need to be the one triggering the war, and you want to ensure you have control of as much land and units as you possibly can. So you need to be juggling your PP’s and CP’s while keeping an eye on the Political Paranoia of the Soviet Union. If Stalin starts the war before you are ready, it will still be very hard to win. And in order to do the latter, you can use the Covert Operations focus to try and divert the attention away from you - by providing fake evidence that e.g. the army is plotting against the state. This will cause an inquiry into army affairs, and this in turn will both damage Stalin’s army, and lower the Paranoia level temporarily - allowing you to continue with your schemes. The other new focus here is intended to give you a better supply situation when the war breaks out. Fighting through Siberia can be tough. Extra so if you don't have a supply system that supports it. So why not get some more help from the Japanese, right?

But I suppose the most interesting thing is this set of Focuses:

DD_pict_4_breakaways.png


What do they do? Well, they give you different options in how to deal with nations that declared independence during the civil war…

DD_pict_5_uprising.png


A number of countries can declare independence during the war, especially if it drags on for too long. You then get the choice to see that as an act of war, or as a potential ally (for a while at least). Getting help from minor nations can be a good distraction, and something that can greatly reduce the time you need to fight against the Bolsheviks. However, being the empire -wanna be, you might not want that situation to last forever, hence the post war options.

DD_pict_6_uprising_map.png


DD_pict_7_breakaway_focuses_detail.png


This, together with a few other events that can happen during the war, should make the 2nd Russian Civil War winnable for the exiles, although still a challenge.

DD_pict_9_desertions.png


Some of the biggest criticism we received from you was the fact that the Western and Eastern expansion branches depended on whether you went down the Tsarist or Fascist branches. And rightly so! It made no sense to arbitrarily lock some of these options behind an ideology choice; a Fascist Russia would certainly have cause to wish to reconquer in the West, and a Tsarist Russia might well have even more reason to exact vengeance upon the Japanese than the Fascists would.

Making these two expansion paths available to both branches would, however, mean other focuses were required to continue to offer a unique identity to both of the ideological branches. Some people suggested more focuses geared to creating alliances, and we paired these with certain focuses intended to offer some flavor to the branches. This is the current state of the post-civil-war branches:

dev diary total branch new.png


The difference will be immediately apparent. The tree has ‘thickened’ quite a bit, with over 10 new focuses, and the branches against Sweden, the Baltics, and Finland on one side, and Japan on the other, are now available regardless of the political choice you made, clustered near the center of the branch. Nothing has changed in these focuses, except The Lonely Island, which, if you relied upon Japanese aid too much and thus were puppeted after the end of the civil war, converts into a “war for independence” focus.

dev diary lonely island independence.png


Let’s explore the newly-added focuses. On the Tsarist side, Capital of the Tsars moves the capital to St. Petersburg, and adds a bunch of goodies for the state itself. Reforge the Triple entente does what it says on the tin: reach out to the UK and France to re-establish the old alliance aimed squarely at Germany.

dev diary capital of the tsars.png


To emphasize old Tsarist Russia’s emphasis on being a ‘defender of the Slavs’, there’s yet another “Slavic Commitments” focus. If you elected to go down Third Rome, this will still give you an option to send guarantees to the various Slavic powers (along with some other bonuses), after which you may invade Romania (The Fate of Romania) to establish a land connection to the Balkan powers. And finally, “The Iron Wall off Russian Resolve” gives major bonuses to research and production cost, reliability, and armor for Super Heavy Tanks, incentivizing their use by offsetting the most detrimental aspect of them (their production cost), and thus offering a more unique playstyle for the Tsarists.

dev diary iron wall of russian resolve.png


On the Fascist side, Russian Corporate State offers some factories and industrial bonuses. There is a focus to create a Berlin-Moscow Axis, and follow-up focus Japanese Overtures allows for an alternative choice to simply avenging the war of 1905 by going to war with the Japanese: you can invite them into the new Axis and secure Russia’s flank that way.

dev diary japanese overtures.png


Eastern Expansion is now Fascist-only. After this, there is still the option of meddling in the Americas and, ultimately, declaring war on Canada and the USA for the old Russian colonial possessions on the continent. A second branch can be taken, however, offering wargoals on Afghanistan and Iran, and ultimately leading into Iraq, Turkey (if it hasn’t already been taken as the Third Rome), Syria (France), and India.

dev diary last break southward.png


These changes should offer a bit more identity to the Exiles branches, while also allowing both to fulfil the ‘basics’ of recovering Imperial Russian possessions in the West and avenging the war of 1905 in the East.

Finally, here’s some pictures of certain characters:


DD_pict_8_generals.png
dev diary tsar vladimir I.png
dev diary archpatriarch meletius.png


As usual, the tree is still under development, and even what you see here might not match what ends up being released :) See you next week for another dev diary!





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Nice to see devdiaries again. Well, let's go!
With these changes I can say that I am not really sure what the best meta is anymore. I think there are likely some optimums depending on your opponent and location (when balancing Org versus cost and piercing and such) but what that is I look forward to see you players try to figure out :)
Haha, sure way, Dan.
but instead we will now pick randomly among all waiting divisions with their chance weighted by their reinforce chance. This means that to optimize reinforcing you no longer need to pull micro feats to get the right divisions in order, and can much more safely toss in your newly designed tanks to save the day in an ongoing combat. Also, don’t forget your signal companies, they should be more impactful now!
Now reinforce rate would be more useful. Nice.
Hi guys! This is @Bratyn and @Wrongwraith, part of the CD team on the Exiles branch for the Soviet Union. The last month has (other than lots and lots of keyboard-scrubbing...) seen some significant changes to the branch, and while we’ve kept much of the original design, we’ve also incorporated feedback from you guys, the community, and did some further iteration of our own on how the tree looks and works.
Good then, Bratyn. Sorry for being a bit harsh a month ago, but our expectations were so high back then.
Why do you need these? Well You really, really need to be the one triggering the war, and you want to ensure you have control of as much land and units as you possibly can. So you need to be juggling your PP’s and CP’s while keeping an eye on the Political Paranoia of the Soviet Union. If Stalin starts the war before you are ready, it will still be very hard to win. And in order to do the latter, you can use the Covert Operations focus to try and divert the attention away from you - by providing fake evidence that e.g. the army is plotting against the state. This will cause an inquiry into army affairs, and this in turn will both damage Stalin’s army, and lower the Paranoia level temporarily - allowing you to continue with your schemes. The other new focus here is intended to give you a better supply situation when the war breaks out. Fighting through Siberia can be tough. Extra so if you don't have a supply system that supports it. So why not get some more help from the Japanese, right?
Well, this would certainly helps the AI to defeat Stalin.
What do they do? Well, they give you different options in how to deal with nations that declared independence during the civil war…

DD_pict_5_uprising.png


A number of countries can declare independence during the war, especially if it drags on for too long. You then get the choice to see that as an act of war, or as a potential ally (for a while at least). Getting help from minor nations can be a good distraction, and something that can greatly reduce the time you need to fight against the Bolsheviks. However, being the empire -wanna be, you might not want that situation to last forever, hence the post war options.

DD_pict_6_uprising_map.png
@fr-rein, our wish has been granted by Bratyn. Rejoice!
Some of the biggest criticism we received from you was the fact that the Western and Eastern expansion branches depended on whether you went down the Tsarist or Fascist branches. And rightly so! It made no sense to arbitrarily lock some of these options behind an ideology choice; a Fascist Russia would certainly have cause to wish to reconquer in the West, and a Tsarist Russia might well have even more reason to exact vengeance upon the Japanese than the Fascists would.

Making these two expansion paths available to both branches would, however, mean other focuses were required to continue to offer a unique identity to both of the ideological branches. Some people suggested more focuses geared to creating alliances, and we paired these with certain focuses intended to offer some flavor to the branches. This is the current state of the post-civil-war branches:

dev diary total branch new.png
Now this is more like it, @Bratyn! Now your legacy is saved.
Cool pics, but i hope Meletius did no-
Unfortunately not. As Meletius is both enthroned as arch-Patriarch and crowned Tsar, he replaces the Romanovs.
Wait, what? But the Romanovs desires the Third Rome too.... Maybe you can change this bit to include an event to whether keep the Romanovs as national spirit or not.
Rodzaevsky is the only leader available.
Hmm, so no Voniatsky then.... Guess the guy's isn't that influencing compared to The Lawyer.
Yes, there is an event after the CW ends that renames all communist-renamed cities.
Niiiice
Hahahaha, hope Barbarossa Patch would fixes those numerous spelling mistakes in this game. Gotta make the grammar police content, man.
o7 That's what we're here for!
Well, once again, immense thanks for the entire Soviet Union Content Designer Team for listening to our feedbacks. We do both want to make this already great game better and this is the greatest way to achieve that. Can't wait for the BETAs so that you all can fix it fast before 2021 ends.
 
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Nice little changes! Can't wait to learn of more Focus Trees.
Just a quick question for us modders though: Will there be a capability to use a variable when modding the cost of a Focus? Currently, this is not possible, and I would greatly appreciate such a minor but really useful option!!!
 
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Looks good - can we retain the Romanovs as the Tsar if we empower the church? Sort of like Italy and UK where the King remains a National spirit?
 
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The changes look pretty good.

More content is always welcome.

I like how you made the cw easier, not as much for the players, but even more so for the AI, if they go alt hist.
Also the independence movements make sense and seem like fun.
 
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Bratyn

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Looks good - can we retain the Romanovs as the Tsar if we empower the church? Sort of like Italy and UK where the King remains a National spirit?
Unfortunately not. As Meletius is both enthroned as arch-Patriarch and crowned Tsar, he replaces the Romanovs.
 
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I know you guys get a lot of slack, and personally I was quite unhappy with the exiles branch previously. But it's always nice to see that you do listen to feedback when you get it, although a lot of it may be very rude. Please never stop listening to the community, the communication between consumer and developer is one of the best things about Paradox. <3

edit: still very bummed out with the lack of democracy, as well as the frankly ridiculous arch-patriarch. Super happy with the other improvements though!
 
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Uh, should we be concerned?
 
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do you get to choose a fascist leader (if you don't do Third Rome) or are you locked into Konstantin Rodzaevsky? Also do the fascists *have* to do Third Rome or is there a different 'formable' open to them?
 
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Thanks for the changes and listening to the community Bratyn!

In the first dev diary about the Soviet exiles you answered my question "Will we have the possibility to rename cities like Leningrad and Stalingrad back to St. Petersburg and Tsaritsyn?" with:

I'll be looking into this ;)

Can you give us an update on this topic?
 
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do you get to choose a fascist leader (if you don't do Third Rome) or are you locked into Konstantin Rodzaevsky? Also do the fascists *have* to do Third Rome or is there a different 'formable' open to them?
Rodzaevsky is the only leader available.


You never *have* to take any focuses ;) They're all optional. But yes, you can take Pan-Slavic Nationalism as well (the line connecting it to the left part is only connecting Westward Bound to the Triple Entente - not the other way around).
 
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Bratyn

Content Design Lead
Paradox Staff
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Dec 25, 2012
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Thanks for the changes and listening to the community Bratyn!

In the first dev diary about the Soviet exiles you answered my question "Will we have the possibility to rename cities like Leningrad and Stalingrad back to St. Petersburg and Tsaritsyn?" with:



Can you give us an update on this topic?
Yes, there is an event after the CW ends that renames all communist-renamed cities.
 
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