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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SgtHydra

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  • Update core national focus trees with alt-history paths and more options (Germany, Italy, USA, United Kingdom, Soviet, France, Japan)
YES. GOOD. THANK YOU. THE FACT THE FOCUSES STOP AT AROUND 1942 KILLS THIS GAME.

Please frame it with an early war victory (e.g. Germany beats UK in 1942) in mind as much as the historical 1945 victory. While obviously a Holocaust and Nanking simulator won't be added, and shouldn't, I would very much appreciate it if you at least included Germanization, Generalplan Ost, and Japanization to some degree. Expansionism was the entire point of the Axis's goals, and thus 'colonizing' already inhabited regions is as much the point of the exercise as it was in the 1500's. There's a limit, but the Axis need their manpower and turning Poland, Switzerland, Holland, Taiwan, Korea, etc into cores is extremely necessary to make a late game war work.

And, of course, there's the Allied and Soviet flipside to think of as well. Or even what a German influenced expansionist China might do to a defeated Japan, for example.

Things that occurred later, like in the 1940's, such as NATO and the UN could be possible inclusions as well - again with an early victory in WW2 in mind. China's permanent seat on the security council, and why it has it, isn't really discussed often enough in the context WW2 - at least not in my experience. A full UN simulator would be too much, but the early political maneuverings of it as the Cold War developed could be on the table.

  • Wunderwaffen projects

I hope you really get imaginative with this. Historical, of course, but I'd love to see helicopters, intercontinental bombers, anti-ship missiles, ballistic missile u-boots, and those crazy submarine seaplane tenders the Japanese have.
I'd love to have full on campy pulp stuff like mechs and advanced zepplins and jetpacks, but... well... There are pros and cons to going overboard, but above all else, be imaginative! Maybe some scrapped technology would have resulted in as many wonders as the nuclear and jet ages produced. Take, for example, what might have happened if superheavy tanks or railguns became the military norm in the late 1940's, perhaps the result of rockets not catching on. Or superheavy battleships, armed with rockets. I'll be counting on you to make Wunderwaffen wonderful, Paradox!
 
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Axe99

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@homerCCCP

SAMs were not the first deployed guided missiles. The V1 and V2 (cruise and ballistic missiles, respectively) were both Surface-to-Surface missiles, not Surface-to-Air. While the Germans experimented with SAMs and ATGMs, they were not in widespread use until late into the 1950s. If they do come out with an Armageddon scenario which would include a Korean War/Cold War Goes Hot scenario, then clearly those techs should be represented in the game in some manner.

In terms of SAMs, the British started developing theirs in 1943. While it took much longer than expected to develop and deploy, this was due in part to post-war budget cuts. I don't have the date for the US development of similar systems (I found out about the British systems from a book on British destroyers), but I think they started a bit later, but finished earlier (operational in 1956). If the US had started earlier, or the British hadn't have bankrupted themselves with the war, then it's not at least completely implausible that they'd have popped up in the late 1940s instead of the mid-1950s. That said, they're far less important to the game than other things that aren't in it, and are well suited to a cold war expansion along with the other suggestions you make :).
 

Wraith11B

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@homerCCCP I completely understand... it can be pretty hard to convey your intent into another language.

That said, not much of the things that were involved in these wunderwaffen or bleeding edge projects weren't actually usable until the mid-fifties. There was an evolution in tactics, but not a revolution. I would much rather have guided air-dropped bombs (the Fritz, which has several ships to its credit), the acoustic torpedo, ballistic missiles (SSMs) rather than helicopters which didn't get super high in their capability until the sixties at least.

@Axe99 Yea, there were plenty of SAM development projects, but nothing was actually fully operational until Nike Ajax in 1954, and that was a ground-based system. The German efforts would have likely produced a earlier development had they devoted the necessary resources, but that's up for debate, of course.
 

bERt0r

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@mvm900 I disagree, rockets were paradigm changing stuff the Germans were just beaten before they were tested and produced in mass. And radar was defnintly the gamechanger in submarine warfare. Things like flail tanks (anti-mine) were also invented and successfully employed by the allies.
You also forget about the Japanese and their prototype carrier of kamikaze only planes. Literally flying rockets that would have wreckt havok if it was not sunk before it saw any action.
 

Wraith11B

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Rockets and missiles were paradigm-shifts for the post-war, more than the actual war. Remember, the Soviets and the Germans had both been employing the Katushyas and Nebelwerfers from about 1942 onwards, and the V1s and V2s only made Britain mad, they weren't super effective.

RADAR was a game-changer, but not only for the sub war. It could be reasonably stated that the British employment of RADAR during the Battle of Britain was key to their success in husbanding their forces for what they needed to fight.
 

SgtHydra

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Rockets and missiles were paradigm-shifts for the post-war, more than the actual war. Remember, the Soviets and the Germans had both been employing the Katushyas and Nebelwerfers from about 1942 onwards, and the V1s and V2s only made Britain mad, they weren't super effective.

RADAR was a game-changer, but not only for the sub war. It could be reasonably stated that the British employment of RADAR during the Battle of Britain was key to their success in husbanding their forces for what they needed to fight.

The game runs until 1950. WW2 ended in 1945.

Paradox has to have at least a handful of events, focuses, and techs for post-war. The game shouldn't just stop after the German-Polish War ends because, if that war ends in 1942, then the game ends.
 

Pyro157

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The game runs until 1950. WW2 ended in 1945.

Paradox has to have at least a handful of events, focuses, and techs for post-war. The game shouldn't just stop after the German-Polish War ends because, if that war ends in 1942, then the game ends.

Japan, Germany and Italy have literally nothing to do after WW2 ends.

For the future major rework the devs plan for, there should really be a nice section of their trees for post-war focuses and power consolidation and stuff.
 

SgtHydra

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Japan, Germany and Italy have literally nothing to do after WW2 ends.

For the future major rework the devs plan for, there should really be a nice section of their trees for post-war focuses and power consolidation and stuff.

At the very least there should be some sort of Axis Cold War scenario, and maybe shenanigans in South America. I say South America, because if the Allies and US are gone, they're sort of the world's last best hope.
 

Wraith11B

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The game runs until 1950. WW2 ended in 1945.

Paradox has to have at least a handful of events, focuses, and techs for post-war. The game shouldn't just stop after the German-Polish War ends because, if that war ends in 1942, then the game ends.

I agree that they need some sort of post-war in case of the war not ending historically, but the "game" ends in 1948; you can continue playing of course for as long as the player would like with no hard end.
 

SgtHydra

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Not as weird as that the industry techs ( and most others ) end in 1943...

I don't blame Paradox for that too much. I mean, I don't like it, but I think the Industrial tree is a little bit anemic to begin with - by necessity, bit for balance or just as filler.

What really is the difference between 'Construction 1' and 'Construction 2' or 'Excavation 1' or 'Excavation 2'? What do those techs represent historically? Well, really, not much. They're there because the game needs them there, and for no other reason. There are plenty of mods that extend those techs out - along with all others - and after playing those mods, I can tell you it changes very little and adds very little interesting. In the late game, there's honestly a bit too much to research for you to do anything other than accept you're going to behind at something - and I think that's fine, as you should be encouraged to focus your research on what you need rather than keeping up with the Jones'es.

At the same time, however, you're right. Having the techs just stop at 1942-1943, when the historic war goes on for several more years, is very undesirable. Perhaps Paradox, through one internal test or another, deemed it a good idea to stop Construction speed gain at 'Construction V', et al, but that might open the door for technologies that 'Construction V' might unlock. While going overly beyond the capabilities of the 40's would result in ahistorical scenarios (I mean, if Germans can get to modern tanks by 1940, I'm sure America would blow through 1950's-inspired Industrial techs if they were given the opportunity), there still should be something.

I've noticed that there aren't really any doctrines or techs directly related to Land Forts or Coastal forts, so maybe something that would make them more resilient to strategic bombing and general wear and tear? A choice between German style 'Fortress Cities' and Flaktowers (while the latter had questionable utility, it's important to remember that Dunkirk of all places had been converted into a German fortress that refused to surrender until May 1945) vs Japanese style 'tunnel rat' defenses. Obviously the factory version of this dichotomy is already present, but the defensive version isn't. Late game industrial techs could cover that.

And then there are more fanciful but still plausible concepts. Aerial refueling was experimented with since the 1920's, and while it never really saw practical military use until the modern era, the early stages of that modern use were being tested in 48 and 49. A Superfortress made a non-stop round the world flight using aerial refueling in 1949, so maybe in a hypothetical late late game scenario between USA and German Controlled Europe it would come into play. Allied bombers crossing the Atlantic with tanker planes, or German 'Amerikabomber' doing the same. Obviously this 'aerial refueling' would be a tech, and not some support unit, but still it's one example of late game 'industrial wunderwaffe.'

And really, that's what I think we need. 'Industrial wunderwaffe'. The Infantry techs have night vision, the Armored tree has Superheavy tanks, Electronics and Aircraft have jets, Electronics by itself has Nukes; but what does the Industrial tree have? Synthetic Oil? No, it should have some fantastic but plausible tech line of its own - for the late game. Not just 'Aerial refueling' (which in and of itself could easily be just an upgrade of a new 'drop tanks' tech) or Flaktowers, but more. Surely WW2 had its fair share of fanciful inventions on the civilian end of the war. It could be bulldozers on a superheavy tank chassis, it could be airships used as construction cranes, it could be some 'super concrete' like is in the new Wolfenstein games, it could even be some crazy terraforming project (which were often attempted by the Soviets, resulting in disasters like the Arial Sea vanishing, as well as simply theoretical proposals like the damming of the Mediterranean for farmland) that would let you change a province's terrain type ONCE.

I'm just spitballing, but the point is, Paradox should maybe throw around the idea of civilian wonderweapons while they work on the military ones. I think Electronics is covered on that front, but Industrial certainly needs something beyond its very Spartan-like options. The most interesting thing there right now is the 'Concentrated Industry' vs 'Dispersed Industry' choice, for petes sake. It's supposed to be utilitarian, but there's certainly more ways to go beyond the 1943 limit than 'Construction VI'.
 

derekg36

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Otellino1

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(Angry stuff)
1. Making games is expensive.
2. A lot of content described in the dev diaries are given to customers for free, resulting in years of free content throughout the game's lifespan.
3. These DLC sales allow even more free content to be developed.
4. Personal attacks towards devs is not cool.
 

CheesySnake

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considering I paid £40 for this game why don't you put the f*****g DLC's in as updates instead of trying to scam people out of another £120 you bunch of C**ts
Who widdled in your cornflakes? Every DLC for a PDS title comes with an accompanying patch that fixes bugs, re-balances and adds new features for free. Compare EUIV or CKII at launch to how they are today (or tomorrow if you want to wait for the latest patches). I have every confidence that the same will happen for HOI4 (and I personally find it a lot of fun already), and everything I've seen so far in the latest dev diaries seems to be showing things going in a good direction.
 

GeneralMiller

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1. Making games is expensive.
2. A lot of content described in the dev diaries are given to customers for free, resulting in years of free content throughout the game's lifespan.
3. These DLC sales allow even more free content to be developed.
4. Personal attacks towards devs is not cool.

While all that is true I think the most important thing is
5. Posting on an old Dev Diary on Wednesday making me briefly get excited and think the new diary was out then dashing those hopes because he wanted to rant