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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Alex_brunius

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  • More player control over naval warfare and fleet battle behaviour
  • 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
  • Properly represent fuel in some way in the game
  • Have doctrines more strongly affect division designing to get away from cookie cutter solutions and too ahistorical gamey setups

These plans make me very very happy. Navy, submarines, fuel and logistics all are in much need of some love :)


  • Make defensive warfare more fun

What I miss the most from HoI4 defensively ( in multiplayer ) is the ability to build planning bonus from fallback lines. I want to be able to hide my tank divisions outside view of my enemy some provinces behind the front, and have them plan attacks on to own territory to cut off future unsuspecting enemy spearheads as they drive deep behind my lines.
 

adam_grif

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Hi @podcat,

Thanks for the diary and the list. I assume improving peace conferences is also somewhere on the radar, even if not the top priority. Would that be a fair assumption? And while not feature related per se, optimization of the game engine for smoother running too.

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.

I assume you meant spread over several updates, since some of these features would not really suit being locked behind a paywall (e.g. overhauling the naval UI or the chain of command) while others would (such as espionage system). I just want to forestall the inevitable people quoting this post and getting angry about it :p
 

Sanny

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Cornflakes tho.

For those wondering Operation Cornflakes was to trick Deutsche Reichspost (German National Postal Service) into delivering anti-Nazi propaganda to German citizens during 1944-45. It involved Allied C47s dropping bags of properly addressed mail around bombed German mail trains.
 
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adam_grif

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Operation Cornflakes was espionage related, which I think gives a hint about where the DLC is going (although most people including myself guessed espionage before anyway!)
 

Gr1pen

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I am really happy looking at the list. I hope you guys can do all of it, the game needs it.
I have played HoI IV over the last few weeks and I must say I am starting to enjoy it more, I didn't before the updates.
 

AKDrum

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Good things :). Do you consider adding some tools to coordinate with allies/dominions, give them some orders/objectives and manage their attitude (as for EUIV) ?
 

FOARP

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What I miss the most from HoI4 defensively ( in multiplayer ) is the ability to build planning bonus from fallback lines. I want to be able to hide my tank divisions outside view of my enemy some provinces behind the front, and have them plan attacks on to own territory to cut off future unsuspecting enemy spearheads as they drive deep behind my lines.

This has been missing from HOI since the start: if you lose a province, there is rarely anywhere behind it that you can fall back to and be more secure. You cannot prepare defensive lines to fall back to - fortifications are too slow and fiddly to build and require too much in terms of industrial effort. the reuslt is a game where everyone spends the game entirely on the offensive whenever possible.

But please, do not tie this to the battleplanner, as the battleplanner is simply a pain to use and at this stage I think it's just beyond fixing - for anyone who actually wants to play the game rather than having AI do it for you its an anathema anyway. Instead make it a more intuitive mechanism.

For example, instead of the dig-in bonus, units could automatically construct limited fortifications in any province in which they are stopped for any time. To prevent these being spammed all over the map, they could degrade once all units have left the province at the same speed at which they were built. A similar system was used in Commander: The Great War and worked very, very well.

In this way you could deploy units behind your front line to prepare field fortifications there, and once the front line has been lost your units could retreat to prepared positions behind them. Unlike the dig-in bonus, which cannot be used by other units, these field-fortifications could be used by other units, damaged by air-attack, and visible on-map with relative ease.

PS - Please fix division spam.
 

Varvs

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Improve flavor and immersion with naming of things in the game. No more Infantry Division Type 1 etc.
Having those optional would be a very nice. Its already infuriating that you have infanterie weapons, arty, aa and at name variants without indicator what they realy are. the LL screen for the reciver is just pointless atm.

A way for players to take dynamic decisions, quickly. Somethign that fits between events and national focuses.
how about first settin a 3second delay on the event popup windows where no butten can be clicked or a confirm/redo action afterwards. just remember all the time you where about to select a unit in the middle of the screen and a nanosecond before a event flashed you clicked and it was gone and you fked yourselve very hard. very not fun especialy in multiplayer.

Have doctrines more strongly affect division designing to get away from cookie cutter solutions and too ahistorical gamey setups
How about you just delete all millitary high commands that way no one gets encuraged anymore to make one type of division armys? romanian and usa marine only armys and australias arty only army come to mind. or at least nerv the mill hq bonuses to 50% or less.
 

Emren

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What I miss the most from HoI4 defensively ( in multiplayer ) is the ability to build planning bonus from fallback lines. I want to be able to hide my tank divisions outside view of my enemy some provinces behind the front, and have them plan attacks on to own territory to cut off future unsuspecting enemy spearheads as they drive deep behind my lines.

Hm. That sounds like a gamey sort of "gotcha" strategy, and not one that you can find any historical basis for I think?
 

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What I miss the most from HoI4 defensively ( in multiplayer ) is the ability to build planning bonus from fallback lines. I want to be able to hide my tank divisions outside view of my enemy some provinces behind the front, and have them plan attacks on to own territory to cut off future unsuspecting enemy spearheads as they drive deep behind my lines.

That bugs me too! It seems like it should be a fairly small change. The main drawback is that it's another lever for the player that the AI won't know how to use.
 

uishax

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Up until now, the expansions have been fairly disappointing, with few fundamental changes to underlying game mechanics (the air battle improvement is the notable one).
But this roadmap looks very promising, I hope the following true expansion will be akin to art of war for EU4, which dramatically changed the game for the better.
 

Rubidium

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Cornflakes tho.

For those wondering Operation Cornflakes was to trick Deutsche Reichspost (German National Postal Service) into delivering anti-Nazi propaganda to German citizens during 1944-45. It involved Allied C47s dropping bags of properly addressed mail around bombed German mail trains.
Which is one of those ideas that sounds cool in theory, but in practice worked about as well as modern-day spam emails (with the added issue of, instead of trying to convince people to buy shady pharmaceuticals or refinance their house, trying to convince them to take actions likely to get them executed).
 

davewolf

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Yes!
  • Spies and espionage
Including commando raids?

  • Add the ability to clean up your equipment stockpile from old stuff
Yes, yes and yes! Although decent filters, e.g. in the 'create new air wing' list, would solve many click-/scroll-fest problems much easier, I assume. And to be honest, that should have been integrated a long time ago. (You guys definitely need an UI specialist, IMHO.)
 

Torakka

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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.
This is probably a stupid question, but are some of the items in that list things you are planning to include in the next DLC/patch or are they all for some more distant future?

@podcat What about message settings?
I, too, would like to see message settings in HoI4 (and Stellaris), but based on some dev responses back around the launch I don't hold high hopes for that...