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Hi everyone and welcome back to regular weekly dev diaries (if you don't count the april fools one last week). I know you are all super excited to hear what we have been up to since Battle for the Bosporus. The answers to that are going to take a few dev diaries to cover, so I figured I would start with a timeline for you:
  • We recently released 1.10.4 to fix various multiplayer exploits going on, but seems an important case was not detected at the time so we are working on a 1.10.5 to address that soon.
  • Pdxcon is coming up in May so expect to hear some more details there.
  • The yearly anniversary is coming in June so expect some cool stuff and a patch.
  • We are however spending most of our time on the 1.11 Barbarossa update as well as the unannounced expansion that will be released together with it. That's what we will spend most of our diaries on, as well as today!

‘Barbarossa’ and the unannounced DLC will focus on the Eastern Front and the core of Hearts of Iron, which is warfare - particularly land warfare. Historically the Eastern Front was without doubt the most important front for World War II. It was the largest confrontation in history and
is where Hitler’s expansion was first stopped and pushed back signaling the eventual doom of the axis powers. There are several areas we want to improve here. Weather does not feel impactful enough, while historically it had a massive impact. Logistics currently doesn’t have much player interaction and is mostly something you have to deal with only when problems appear, and finally the combat and division meta has been stable (with an emphasis on large divisions) for a long time - something we hope we can shake up. As you can imagine, these are all things that affect the game on a deeper level and take a lot of work to get right.

Today, I’ll give you guys a bit of an overview on the supply aspect, but fair warning: it’s early days and stuff may still change here before we’re done. I’ll probably spend 3+ diaries on supply over the course of the development to cover everything, but I figured it would be nice to hear about the overarching ideas.

The old system worked by having discrete supply areas pathing back to the players capital and keeping track of the bottlenecks. To simplify a bit ;) - those bottlenecks then decided how many units could fit into areas near the front without penalties. The areas themselves were unintuitive to players and required you to check multiple mapmodes to see if you stepped over an edge etc. I do like bottleneck systems though, because feedback is usually immediate, but it suffered from not having much scaling cost as distances increased, so it was hard to use it to limit snowballing. As I mentioned it was also a system you didn't care too much about until you had problems, while historically, logistics was a vital part of planning a campaign. This led to combining the issue with another gripe of ours - that the way fronts moved in WW2 often followed important railroads, but don't really in HOI4. We came to the conclusion that we should try and make a system focused on railways and with a truck based component as a way to get more out of it when away from the rails.

1617799554638.png


In our new system, supply flows from the capital (the total amount available depends on your total industrial base) through railways, where the level of the railway acts as a bottleneck. To transport more, you need a higher level railway (or a bigger port if it goes over water) so the railways are the current bottlenecks in a way. Depending on how much supply is transported you need a certain amount of trains for the rails to perform. Trains are a new equipment type that we will dig into in a future diary (well actually, several types ;P)

An important part of railways is that they are capturable, so as you push into enemy territory you will want to make sure to hold vital railways and capture railway hubs to supply your troops. There is a conversion time here to model the fact that there was usually some repair or re-gauging that needed to happen for attackers.

1617798271066.png

1617799689604.png

Mapmodes are still quite WIP ;)

Rivers also had a huge importance on the eastern front for transport and supply so they will work essentially like basic railroads now, where you need to control both sides of their banks to use them to ship supplies around.

1617798407335.png


Supply is drawn from what we call Supply Hubs now, which are either cities, naval bases, or manually constructed stations along the rails, which have to be linked into the network. Air supply works a bit differently but we will talk about this in the future along with some other supply additions...

The flow of supply from a Hub to a division depends on the terrain/weather etc, and ideally you want to have available trucks here (which is to say, motorized equipment) to increase the amount of supply you get as well as range. Cost of trucks and trains and losses to attrition and bad weather will be a limiting factor on your logistics.

1617798787102.png


Overall, this creates a system where it's strategically sound to fight over railways, prepare for large offensives, to try and bleed each other's logistics capability and to force care when advancing in bad terrain and weather. The result is a much more fun, historical and immersive Eastern Front as well as adding a new layer of invasion planning in the rest of the world.

See you all next week for the next diary!
 
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general_nabo

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you mean for strategic redeployment? I am hoping we can tie it together so most of the speed buff comes from rails but we havent done that yet
It would be nice to see when you make strategic redeployment a train instead divisions "walking".
It would give a lot of flavour to the game.
 
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Any honest Italy rework would nerf it into the ground. Oil in Libya? Gone. Say good-bye to high stability and war support, and you will definitely get strikes. And the moment Allies take any number of victory points on the mainland, you collapse into a civil war. Welcome to Axis's soft underbelly, feel free to hang upside down.
Debuffs and malus would be fine. Some kind of rework is necessary. Right now there are no events, no flavor and the focus tree is glaringly bad.
 
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Come to think of it, Italy's just another example of how we need a proper war score and surrender system.

Edited because I know someone will say we don't need a surrender or war score system because WWII was a fight to the death:

Even without considering ahistorical scenarios that's untrue. Italy surrendered shortly after the Allies made landfall, Finland, Romania, and the other Axis satellites just up and left the Axis towards the end of war, France had plenty of territory left when it surrendered in 1940, and Japan gave in and capitulated before the Allied invasion even begun. Pretty much the only country of the whole world war that surrendered only when it was out of manpower and completely overrun was Germany, and that was because it was run by an utterly insane Führer who genunely believed he was winning, even as Soviet artillery shells rained around his bunker.
 
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Come to think of it, Italy's just another example of how we need a proper war score and surrender system.

Edited because I know someone will say we don't need a surrender or war score system because WWII was a fight to the death:

Even without considering ahistorical scenarios that's untrue. Italy surrendered shortly after the Allies made landfall, Finland, Romania, and the other Axis satellites just up and left the Axis towards the end of war, France had plenty of territory left when it surrendered in 1940, and Japan gave in and capitulated before the Allied invasion even begun. Pretty much the only country of the whole world war that surrendered only when it was out of manpower and completely overrun was Germany, and that was because it was run by an utterly insane Führer who genunely believed he was winning, even as Soviet artillery shells rained around his bunker.
I think a new system surrender system wil be a welcome change, but i think it will be too much of an overhaul.
Focused on war losses could be part of that, altough i could see germany surrendering due to too much losses while still occupying large part of russia with such a system.
But i like the idea of a new system.
 
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Cheers for the DD Podcat - and super, SUPER exciting :cool: The current supply system (and, in particular, the way you move from one province with great supply, across to another, potentially with the same level of infra, with terrible supply - and the way allies impact on supply use with no way of managing it) is probably the single biggest annoyance in the game for me. This sounds like a far more sensibly approach, such that running out of supply will feel intuitive and make sense, and the answer to increasing supply won't involve moving the frontline forward (the whole "need to capture more of the supply zone border to increase supply" thing) - which felt fairly unintuitive.

Reaaallllly looking forward to this :D

Some cool detail things this will enable in-game:
  • The USSR's reliance on lend-lease trucks to sustain its counteroffensives.
  • Lend-leasing railroad stock, and managing it to ensure that enough is available to support offensives.
  • [Potentially - would be sensational if you/the team could make this happen] Strategic redeployment potentially being mostly structured around railroads (so it's quick to get troops to the railhead, but takes a lot of trucks to move them quickly anywhere else).
  • The red bull express in the European Theatre - heaps of trucks needed by the Allies to maintain their offensive.

Rivers also had a huge importance on the eastern front for transport and supply so they will work essentially like basic railroads now, where you need to control both sides of their banks to use them to ship supplies around.

Oooooh, this is super-duper cool - rivers were very important to supply, and not just on the Eastern front - the British did aerial minelaying in the Rhine (and I think the Danube) because of the impact this had on German interior logistics. I'm not suggesting this is necessary in HoI4 (although if there was some way of disrupting supply on the rivers beyond holding the riverbanks without adding a heap of micro that could be cool too).

Riverine forces would also be super-duper cool, although probably more work than their worth, with a bit of a micromanagement risk unless designed very carefully (I'd suggest units that moved along rivers and sea zones, and if in a river bordering an enemy, increased the penalty for crossing that river, but there are all sorts of questions about how land units would engage them).

(or a bigger port if it goes over water)

It all comes back to ports and ships at the end of the day :)

Which brings me to the naval-themed pic for this DD - this is (apparently, it's from a Google search - but this happened) a US locomotive being unloaded from a liberty ship onto an British railroad at a British port:

View attachment 702097

Overall, this creates a system where it's strategically sound to fight over railways, prepare for large offensives, to try and bleed each other's logistics capability and to force care when advancing in bad terrain and weather. The result is a much more fun, historical and immersive Eastern Front as well as adding a new layer of invasion planning in the rest of the world.

Oh aye, this is wonderful - from a naval invasion perspective, it means picking a port with a rail connection is more important as well - sooo much cool :)

you mean for strategic redeployment? I am hoping we can tie it together so most of the speed buff comes from rails but we havent done that yet

This would also be great - at the moment, people can quickly strategically redeploy to all sorts of places they couldn't historically (at least without a lot of trucks and roads). Making it work this way will make troop deployment decisions more important. Bit of an AI risk here though (which I'm sure isn't news), but if it could be overcome, this could be very cool indeed :cool:

Italy needs and deserves an expansion with a theme and other nations that supports it imo

Aye, this makes a lot of sense. I'd rather have Italy done right, than it being "squeezed in" and potentially not have as much care given to it. Italy was far more interesting during WW2 than much popular history suggests, and there are all sorts of interesting things that can be done (and they're not all naval, even if they should be :) ) with a reworked focus tree :).
 
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All the sudden its makes much more sense to support partisans in the middle of europe where you can't reach them if they stage an uprising because they will cut the train lines for the Germans.
 
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The concept art for the DLC has already been made:

dcruiews34899543233.jpg

"Forward." A painting by Dean Cornwell featured in the Pennsylvania Railroad's 1944 annual calendar.
 
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Firstly, it looks interesting and it seems to have the potential to make supplies better - but I can also see a potential problem (this is the same one I found with intelligence agencies) for smaller nations/nations with not a lot of industry it may make life for them much harder. Also, when will we get a updated Italian focus tree? You have focus trees to nations not in WW2 but not to one of the major players of WW2?

And here's some more DLC/update ideas.
  • One involving Italy (this one could also include Ethiopia). .
  • One involving the Scandinavian countries.
Some Questions:
  • Will the limit of 5 infrastructure mean you can get less resources from a province - as I found I used that a lot, especially when I might need to import a lot of resources otherwise? Will the amount of resource per province be doubled? Will there be a decision that may cost something to get the extra resources?
 
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The concept art for the DLC has already been made:

View attachment 702111
"Forward." A painting by Dean Cornwell featured in the Pennsylvania Railroad's 1944 annual calendar.
You're joking, but this fits like a hand in a glove. Something like this would work great as, if nothing else, a loading screen picture.
 
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Since logistics are getting reworked, is it going to be possible to use planes to transport supplies/divisions (airlifting)? They became practical during ww2 so it could be a useful late game tech
 

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YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PRAISE PARADOX THIS IS THE BEST DEV DIARY IN AGES!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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It's... it's... BEAUTIFUL!

My two greatest passions, history and trains, all in one! Please tell me each country will have unique train equipment based on their real-life railroads?
 
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I'm hoping that this increases the utility of strategic bombing. Currently its only situational when you can target the core provinces of a nation with most of its industry. Bombing logistics would work but unfortunately it tends to hurt you more then the enemy once you begin offensives, and the AI tends to be pretty good at avoiding logistics pile ups now anyway. A more complex logistics system will both give you more opportunities to disrupt and hopefully have a more of an impact of the enemy.
 

Person2825

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This is something that I've wanted for a long time, my only concern is this making the game to micro intensive from needs to move line troops along railheads.

Are there any plans fix overland trade routes, for example to fix ridiculous import routes like Germany importing rubber from Siam overland through Afghanistan?
 
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styroler

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This is something that I've wanted for a long time, my only concern is this making the game to micro intensive from needs to move line troops along railheads.
I'm assuming that this is gonna be automatically taken care of through strategic redeployment. The game already automatically finds the fastest route to a location, and forcing all the troops to travel down set lines for most of the trip seems like it would make it easier not harder.
 
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styroler

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All the sudden its makes much more sense to support partisans in the middle of europe where you can't reach them if they stage an uprising because they will cut the train lines for the Germans.
Or do literally any of the sabatoge missions. They all take so ridiculously long and do so ridiculously little that it was almost laughable. I still stand by my theory that espionage was supposed to be more powerful but was nerfed last minute by a really nervous developer who was convinced they were gonna get berated for creating a system which actually can have an impact on the game.
 
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Abadon777

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Congratulation, I have waited a long time waiting for this diary and I have am not been disappointed. Supply flows needed some help and rails, supply dumps are a great answer.
 

notNSANE

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Please optimize Hoi4 for large monitors and 1440p in the next patch. Its unbearable how good Imperator: Rome looks and how crap Hoi4 is by comparison.

I already left EU since it looks ancient and text is impossible to read (unless you download bunch of MODs that break with every larger dlc or patch), don't make the same mistake with HOI.
Hey PanzerMonster, I created a GUI Scaling guide for Europa Universalis. It doesn't need any mods other than a single font mod to improve legibility (changes font to Century Gothic, same as Stellaris). It's relatively long work to setup, but it does provide the expected results:


Here's the font mod:

 
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