HOI4 Dev Diary - Future and Cornflakes

Hi everyone, this week I'm going to take some time and talk future plans with you all.

Right now
With the "Oak" 1.4.2 patch out the door and the team back from vacation its time to start looking at the future. This week we started work on the next DLC which is going to be a full-sized expansion. A lot of people have been asking for more mechanics and larger changes, and this will be it. As normal the expansion will arrive together with a free update we've dubbed 1.5 "Cornflakes".

As for exactly what these will contain you will need to bear with us a bit. As I said with us getting started on it now we need some time to actually make and test stuff before we start showing it off to you. This will mean that the next two diaries (if all goes according to plan) are going to be covering other stuff while we get ready. My plan there is to get some guest writing in from people who can talk about the business and process side of the company and team.

The five year plan
Not actually a five year plan, but I want to share with you some form of roadmap on what to expect in the future. Some of you may have seen me talk about some of this in my PdxCon talk earlier this year.

Just to be super clear, this is not any form of exhaustive or final list and unless we have already done it we can't promise anythings. Priorities change etc. The point of this is to give you an idea of things we would like to do. The order of things is also not in any kind of priority order, or order we would do them.

  • Improve flavor and immersion with naming of things in the game. No more Infantry Division Type 1 etc.
  • More player control over naval warfare and fleet battle behaviour
  • A Chain of Command system allowing field marshals to command generals
  • A logistics system with more actual player involvement (now you only care once stuff has gone very badly)
  • Improved naval combat interfaces with good transparency to underlying mechanics (give it the 1.4 air treatment)
  • Improve balance, feedback and mechanics for submarine warfare
  • Long term goals and strategies to guide ai rather than random vs historical focus lists, visible to players
  • Every starting nation has a custom portrait for historical leaders
  • A way for players to take dynamic decisions, quickly. Something that fits between events and national focuses.
  • Spies and espionage
  • Changing National Unity to something that matters during most of the game rather than when you are losing only
  • Improving peace conferences
  • Update core national focus trees with alt-history paths and more options (Germany, Italy, USA, United Kingdom, Soviet, France, Japan)
  • Wunderwaffen projects
  • Properly represent fuel in some way in the game
  • Add the ability to clean up your equipment stockpile from old stuff
  • Rework how wars work with respect to merging etc as its a big source of problems
  • More differences between sub-ideologies and government forms
  • More National Focus trees. (Among most interesting: China, South America, Scandinavia, Spain, Turkey, Iran, Greece)
  • An occupation system that isnt tied only to wars and where core vs non-core isn't so binary for access to things.
  • Make defensive warfare more fun
  • Adding mechanics to limit the size of your standing army, particularly post-war etc
  • Allow greater access to resources through improving infrastructure
  • Have doctrines more strongly affect division designing to get away from cookie cutter solutions and too ahistorical gamey setups

You'll notice that some of these are small and some of them are huge. I can't really talk too much details about this stuff though. That is stuff we will do once/if it makes it to dev diaries with feature highlights and has been implemented. Oh yeah, and before someone goes "why isn't improving AI on this list" the answer is that its not really something you can ever check off as done. We'll keep working on that in parallel with other stuff as we have since release.

There is no World War Wednesday stream today since the channel is all streaming from Gamescom today, but you can now check out last weeks episode on youtube to see me run the dev team as generals in a massive co-op.
 
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Emren

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Great list!! Hard to disagree with a lot of this. It would be great if one of the next diaries could discuss the pipeline of bug squishing.
 

podcat

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It would be great if one of the next diaries could discuss the pipeline of bug squishing.
you mean say process, priorities, what gets picked etc? Can write about that for sure
 

Magnificent Genius

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That all sounds awesome. I hope you can get all(or most) of it in the game.
 

epicmemory

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Chain of command? More naval control and overhauls? :)

SPIES!?

Fuel! FUEL!

It gets better the more I keep reading...

Focus frees for China, South America, etc? I wonder if that's part and parcel of the next DLC...very good news! (clarify, I wonder what mechanics will be DLC, similar to how TFV implemented new client state/autonomy mechanics and the like)

Ohh, post-war mechanics? That'll make for some interesting choices, especially for modders working on alt-history scenarios as well.

This list makes me a happy, happy man. What's really cool is how many of these ideas have been discussed here on the forums in varying ways, I hope you and the other devs can use some of the thoughtful discussions generated here to help guide or give a little smidgen of input into the ideas you mentioned.
 

Archangel85

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It should be noted that this isn't a "this is what will be in the next DLC"-list. It is a list of things we want to do eventually, spread over several DLCs.
 

Zwirbaum

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@podcat - for example when taking a look at the list you posted -

"Improve flavor and immersion with naming of things in the game. No more Infantry Division Type 1 etc."

Do you still want suggestions, ideas concerning things you mentioned in that list, or you have things already more or less locked down when it comes to it?
 

podcat

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This list makes me a happy, happy man. What's really cool is how many of these ideas have been discussed here on the forums in varying ways, I hope you and the other devs can use some of the thoughtful discussions generated here to help guide or give a little smidgen of input into the ideas you mentioned.
We read a lot but dont always have time to comment :)
 

podcat

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@podcat - for example when taking a look at the list you posted -

"Improve flavor and immersion with naming of things in the game. No more Infantry Division Type 1 etc."

Do you still want suggestions, ideas concerning things you mentioned in that list, or you have things already more or less locked down when it comes to it?
stuff isnt locked down at all in this list. this is supposed to give you an idea where we are moving, so feel free to discuss and suggest stuff
 

Cpack

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Sounds really good!!! This game has so much potential, nice to see you will give it the love on longterm.

This and constantly improve AI to handle all this stuff:p
 

Zankoas

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Looks amazing, can't wait to see how you tackle some of those issues. Would also be interesting to see a dev diary on optimization, would be of great help to modders as well
 

hwoosh

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@podcat What about message settings?

The single biggest reason I haven't picked up HoI4 yet—and have no plans to do so—is that it released without this basic usability feature from previous PDS grand strategy games. I enjoy micromanagement and keeping track of the minutiae of my country and what's going on around the world; thus from my experience with Stellaris, I know that trying to play a game where these settings are missing is an unbearable slog.

Contrary to what seems to be the new, incomprehensible philosophy at PDS, message settings don't make the game more complicated or whatever the justification is; they are an invaluable tool to help the player keep track of information. I implore you to reverse this senseless direction and along with the other worthy-sounding improvements you've listed in this thread, create a proper Paradox-style notifications system for HoI4!
 
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adski42

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That's a pretty awesome list, but I notice there's nothing more about the air war on the list. After the last expansion you said something about looking at the air mechanics again in the future - is this still the plan?
 

Indyclone77

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Alot of the leaders missing portraits now have Vanilla styled Portraits in mods that are on the workshop. You've taken Portraits from mods before I.e. Stanley Baldwin. Is this something you want to do more of in the future?.
 

Gen. Skobelev

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@podcat What about message settings?

The single biggest reason I haven't picked up HoI4 yet is that it released without this basic usability feature from previous PDS grand strategy games. I enjoy micromanagement and keeping track of the minutiae of my country; thus from my experience with Stellaris, I know that trying to play a game where these settings are missing is an unbearable slog.

Contrary to what seems to be the new, incomprehensible philosophy at PDS, message settings don't make the game more complicated or whatever the justification is; they are an invaluable tool to help the player keep track of information. I implore you to reverse this senseless direction and along with the other worthy-sounding improvements you've listed in this thread, create a proper Paradox-style notifications system for HoI4!

This, very much this. Those who don't want to see those messages, fine - use the settings to disable unwanted messages from showing. Those who want to see what happens can finally get more immersion and more information on what is going on.
 

FOARP

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There's not a single bit of this I don't like.

Please fix division spam (my new "add aluminium in Asia")
 

McBeast

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Oct 1, 2003
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Another thing that could be improved is that many technologies trees end in the middle of the war (i.e., 1942). How come it is necessary to get a mod in order to have technologies into 1948 with should be the end-range of the game?

I still think that the Airwars could be improved. It is still difficult to get an overview of how well your air force fight, land, and air missions.