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.
 
Last edited:

johnyoga

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  1. Allow Commando raids (even if you're not at war).
  2. Create a complexity slider: All the folks I have introduced to the game get turned off by the overbearing complexity; but I have heard them say that it would be great if there was a complexity slider. This would be a great way to introduce folks to this game.
  3. Fix Naval Invasions - I think some of us simply don't use it and use Front Lines in the Battle Plan, instead
  4. Just like you have Division Templates, have initial Fleet Templates and allow the player to adjust/create ship/sub composition templates
 

Duke_Dave

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  1. Allow Commando raids (even if you're not at war).
  2. Create a complexity slider: All the folks I have introduced to the game get turned off by the overbearing complexity; but I have heard them say that it would be great if there was a complexity slider. This would be a great way to introduce folks to this game.
  3. Fix Naval Invasions - I think some of us simply don't use it and use Front Lines in the Battle Plan, instead
  4. Just like you have Division Templates, have initial Fleet Templates and allow the player to adjust/create ship/sub composition templates
Maybe an extensive option menu like CK2 has. Allow this/disable that. Would also be great for historical mode and non-historical mode, I like to play non-historical but I would like to be able to disable ideology switches and non-historical factions.
 

Wraith11B

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Great list. Almost sounds like HOI3 !

Seriously - why is there so much reinvention necessary when you could just slap the whole content of HOI3 in there, and start adding from there?

Because there is the difference of the underlying engine, significant differences in code, and all sorts of things that would prevent exactly that from happening, at least in an efficient manner. Better to take the conceptual idea and rehash it for the new engine than break the engine trying to just revamp HoI3.
 

Fallschirm Neger

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Because there is the difference of the underlying engine, significant differences in code, and all sorts of things that would prevent exactly that from happening, at least in an efficient manner. Better to take the conceptual idea and rehash it for the new engine than break the engine trying to just revamp HoI3.

Yes so everyone tells me. But things like
  • Improve flavor and immersion with naming of things in the game. No more Infantry Division Type 1 etc
  • A Chain of Command system allowing field marshals to command generals
  • Properly represent fuel in some way in the game
IMHO could easily have been slapped on the HOI4 Frame.

Three other major things I do not understand are omitted
1. A way of improving your research rate in relation to the size of your Empire. HOI3 solved this as "intelligence allocation" between research, officers, spies, where intelligence was gained from big cities conquered.
2. Visual representation of nations vis-a-vis factions, such as HOI3's "triangle"
3. Sea war statistics that show the impact of sinking transports.

I guess I'll have to wait till we have that in HOI4 then :).
 

Wraith11B

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I'm just going to roll my eyes :rolleyes: and nod sagely. It would be the case if HoI4 was the evolutionary successor to HoI3 (as HoI3 was to HoI2), and not a revolutionary successor (and consequently a completely different game). The devs made decisions regarding their particular inputs into the new game, it did not include those things, and they're working to resolve it.

Not trying to shut you down or be a Paradox fanboi; bringing suggestions up to help is always appreciated. But time == money, and there aren't infinite amounts of both to make everything a reality instantaneously.
 

Alex_brunius

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About chain of command being easy to add I think your wrong. Pretty sure that in a recent video the devs said that adding this feature ended up taking more time then they expected.

Properly representing fuel is one of my top wishes too, but it's not something that's easy, in fact no HoI game before have had anything close to a proper representation of fuel, and implementing it in HoI4 would be very challenging for both the AI and general game balance!

Three other major things I do not understand are omitted
1. A way of improving your research rate in relation to the size of your Empire. HOI3 solved this as "intelligence allocation" between research, officers, spies, where intelligence was gained from big cities conquered.

This is not realistic or historical though. Why should a large Empire always be more advanced everywhere then a small one is? For example in WW2 the US Navy used Anti Aircraft weapons designed in Sweden and Switzerland (Bofors and Oerlikons) since they were better then what they had developed themself.

In reality especially when it comes to aggressive empires that conquered land it even had the reverse effect, chasing away intelligent people like Einstein ( fled from Germany to USA ).

2. Visual representation of nations vis-a-vis factions, such as HOI3's "triangle"

Reading recent development diaries it's clear they are moving away from rigid factions towards a more Sandbox approach by for example putting Japan in a separate faction of their own. Agree or not this is the direction they have chosen.

3. Sea war statistics that show the impact of sinking transports.

Last Dev Diary got you covered here! ( The new Interface for 1.5 includes convoys ):

index.php


https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/hoi4-dev-diary-naval-updates.1068689/
 

Fallschirm Neger

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Dear Alex_Brunius and Wraith11B,

Thanks for your replies. Some very nice additions are indeed being incorporated in the next patch, for which I am glad.

Of course all my points can be countered with the argument: this is the way Paradox has chosen to go, time is money, etc. Be that as it may, I still have an opinion on the matter. I appreciate all the arguments but I sometimes find them a bit too rational and from a designer's perspective. Some are a bit high brow even, but that goes with the territory I guess. I just don't understand what this one means to be honest :

I'm just going to roll my eyes :rolleyes: and nod sagely. It would be the case if HoI4 was the evolutionary successor to HoI3 (as HoI3 was to HoI2), and not a revolutionary successor (and consequently a completely different game)

I will decypher it as HOI3 being sort of a forbidden 4 digit combination in this context. But in the end I'm just a paying customer that cannot get hyper excited about things I have seen before (in an older engine but still, it worked). Sorry.

Let's have a look at the comments :

This is not realistic or historical though. Why should a large Empire always be more advanced everywhere then a small one is? For example in WW2 the US Navy used Anti Aircraft weapons designed in Sweden and Switzerland (Bofors and Oerlikons) since they were better then what they had developed themself.

In reality especially when it comes to aggressive empires that conquered land it even had the reverse effect, chasing away intelligent people like Einstein ( fled from Germany to USA ).

I don't agree here. Countries like CZ, SE or CH may have historically specialized in certain materiel, but that doesn't mean their overall level of technological sophistication comes anywhere near that of the big nations.

Also, intelligentsia fleeing countries is easily represented by only allowing a small fraction of conquered "intelligence" being inherited by the conqueror (as was already the case in HOI3). Overall, conquering large territories and big cities should be reflected in your research capacity. IMHO it cannot remain the same size it was before large conquests.

Reading recent development diaries it's clear they are moving away from rigid factions towards a more Sandbox approach by for example putting Japan in a separate faction of their own. Agree or not this is the direction they have chosen.

Yes I saw this too. To me this makes the whole macro diplomacy aspect of the game non-existent. How do I know where all the Asian minors stand while contemplating moves as Japan towards India and Pakistan, and want to either manipulate their domestic politics or conquer them?

Properly representing fuel is one of my top wishes too, but it's not something that's easy, in fact no HoI game before have had anything close to a proper representation of fuel, and implementing it in HoI4 would be very challenging for both the AI and general game balance!

What was wrong with the fueling system of HOI3? Admitted, with a little hoarding there never really were problems playing as Germany, but still..

Finally my first point: Division names, graphic designs , and other flavour additions have a huuuuge impact on game immersion against a relatively little time investment. I honestly don't understand why this took so long to take on (it is being incorporated in the next patch I understand).

Thanks in advance for your insights.
 

Wraith11B

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Dear Alex_Brunius and Wraith11B,

Thanks for your replies. Some very nice additions are indeed being incorporated in the next patch, for which I am glad.

Of course all my points can be countered with the argument: this is the way Paradox has chosen to go, time is money, etc. Be that as it may, I still have an opinion on the matter. I appreciate all the arguments but I sometimes find them a bit too rational and from a designer's perspective. Some are a bit high brow even, but that goes with the territory I guess. I just don't understand what this one means to be honest :

I will decypher it as HOI3 being sort of a forbidden 4 digit combination in this context. But in the end I'm just a paying customer that cannot get hyper excited about things I have seen before (in an older engine but still, it worked). Sorry.

First off, thank you for being respectful regarding your disagreement, very refreshing. I concur that we all are capable of voicing our opinions, but my statement was that the previous generations of HoIs were all evolutionary (thus, one builds upon the other) through a developed engine that can simulate certain things whereas HoI4 was revolutionary in that PI had started from a completely new design which did not rely at all on the previous code. Thus, while some things might seem easy because, well, "let's just copy this code," it would not work out that way and suddenly the game is crashing because of how the machines are reading "name_next_division == $$.infantry;" and in the end some of those "flavor" mechanics are honestly less important than making sure that Germany might actually invade Poland at some point.
 

Axe99

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@Fallschirm Neger - just some thoughts for context, in case they help - as Wraith says, props for discussing respectfully.

I don't agree here. Countries like CZ, SE or CH may have historically specialized in certain materiel, but that doesn't mean their overall level of technological sophistication comes anywhere near that of the big nations.

Actually, CZE and SWE were pretty advanced in a range of areas, including artillery and aircraft (and the Swedes were handy shipbuilders as well). SWI was more a case of specialisation, afaik. Larger economies did have advantages in research, all else being equal, but 'all else being equal' nearly never holds.

Also, intelligentsia fleeing countries is easily represented by only allowing a small fraction of conquered "intelligence" being inherited by the conqueror (as was already the case in HOI3). Overall, conquering large territories and big cities should be reflected in your research capacity. IMHO it cannot remain the same size it was before large conquests.

I'm just going from what I've read here, but I haven't seen any evidence that in the short-term (ie, HoI4 timeframes) conquered land provides any advantage to research at all, beyond what can be reverse-engineered from captured factories and the like (which were often sabotaged). I'm not aware of any significant naval technology Germany got from France after the conquest, and they were unable to complete the major fleet units under construction when they captured them. Further, the disruption to economic activity caused by war and the need to manage and integrate conquered lands (educated people are spending time in admin keeping occupied countries in line, instead of doing other things) tends to have a negative influence on research capacity. This negative influence was more than offset by the diversion of extra resources into research, but the wartime 'leaps and bounds' in research were due, as best I know, to far more resources being thrown at research combined with the short feedback cycle on innovations (weapons systems got a lot of testing very fast :)).

So, if anything, as best I can tell, the economic/big picture rapid conquests in the short-term should make research harder, not easier. This will be partially (but not completely) offset by the benefits of capturing material, equipment and plans, and the odd collaborator, but if the game was looking to model the impact of conquest on research, I'd think it would be negative.

Longer-term, EU4 timescales, conquest can result in a larger (and often more diverse) integrated economy, but that's EU4/Vicky, not HoI4.

What was wrong with the fueling system of HOI3? Admitted, with a little hoarding there never really were problems playing as Germany, but still..

As well as the hoarding, there was also the situation where units would seemingly randomly (I know there was a system, but it was hella hard to follow and was often wildly implausible) drop in and out of supply, even in home areas near. Then there was the fixed pace at which supplies caught up to the front, regardless of situation (one province/day), which could lead to odd results.

Finally my first point: Division names, graphic designs , and other flavour additions have a huuuuge impact on game immersion against a relatively little time investment. I honestly don't understand why this took so long to take on (it is being incorporated in the next patch I understand).

Unless you've done something yourself, I'd caution strongly against assuming X, Y or Z takes relatively little time investment. It took me a long time just to get all the ship class names modded to their historical class names, and that was after having already done the research before starting modding. Giving ship-appropriate stats via variants took nine or so months. In many cases, the devs will need to do extra research (time) before they even start coding/scripting. Then there's a need to code the system so the AI knows what to do (ie, the AI knows to use an armoured division name list for its armoured divisions).
 

Alex_brunius

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What was wrong with the fueling system of HOI3? Admitted, with a little hoarding there never really were problems playing as Germany, but still..

Oh, that's my favorite question :)

( Not going to deal with stockpiling or fuel abundance as that already has been brought up ).

In HoI3 divisions "dragged" fuel with them as they moved depending on their actual consumption, but the fuel was never owned by any unit, just present in the province. Units with less then X% were sending requests for more to be drawn home all the way to capital, including their current consumption +50%. Fuel/Supply then moved 1 province per day. This meant we players struggled with some really interesting issues like:
  • A tank division sent on strategic redeployment dumped all it's fuel ( since SR move consumed 0 fuel ), and the fuel was sent home to Capital, when it arrived the Tank division had 0 fuel and new fuel had to be requested, which could take up to as many days as the unit was far away (50 days if a German tank deep into Soviet).
  • The same above applied for airplanes, meaning that an airplane 50 provinces overland from it's capital would need up to 50 days to get fuel after arriving at the airbase.
  • The only redeeming factor was if the path of supply/fuel crossed another unit with fuel, then some (or all) of their fuel would be stolen and dragged towards the front, leading to odd situations where units closer to home were out of supply/fuel because units at the front had stolen it.
  • If we had two tank divisions with half fuel in the same province and move one of them with normal move then all of the fuel will be stolen by the tank moving, leaving the other tank stationary without any fuel.
  • Idle units consumed 0 fuel, meaning that if a unit had been stationary for a long time it had no "active" fuel flow going towards it, meaning that once it started fighting/moving and consuming fuel there was a "lag" of up to 50 days.
  • A division retreating after a long fight ended up without fuel/supply once the enemy arrived at the province of their origin (since fuel/supply was stored per province), slowing down tanks greatly and making them susceptible to overrun/encirclement in situations where they really shouldn't be ( even if fully supplied with fuel initially ).
  • It was extremely binary, a unit with 1 day of fuel/supplies left (out of 30) had no penalties and a unit with 0 days left had maximum penalties.
In summary it worked decently fine for smaller distances and as long as you didn't touch Strategic Redeployment and retreated early with tanks, as well as put tanks on key airfields ( so there is some fuel there ahead of deploying planes to locations )
 
Last edited:

pvt.conners

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I also recall situations of newly deployed units (most notably CAGs) being out of supply depending on where you deployed them in HoI3

Routeing issues were also present and could happen for no reason whatsoever, then revert back in a few days.
 

Shaka of Carthage

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In HoI3 divisions "dragged" fuel with them as they moved depending on their actual consumption, but the fuel was never owned by any unit, just present in the province. Units with less then X% were sending requests for more to be drawn home all the way to capital, including their current consumption +50%. Fuel/Supply then moved 1 province per day. This meant we had some really interesting issues like:
  • A tank division sent on strategic redeployment dumped all it's fuel ( since SR move consumed 0 fuel ), and the fuel was sent home to Capital, when it arrived the Tank division had 0 fuel and new fuel had to be requested, which could take up to as many days as the unit was far away (50 days if a German tank deep into Soviet).
  • The same above applied for airplanes, meaning that an airplane 50 provinces overland from it's capital would need up to 50 days to get fuel after arriving at the airbase.
  • The only redeeming factor was if the path of supply/fuel crossed another unit with fuel, then some (or all) of their fuel would be stolen and dragged towards the front, leading to odd situations where units closer to home were out of supply/fuel because units at the front had stolen it.
  • If we had two tank divisions with half fuel in the same province and move one of them with normal move then all of the fuel will be stolen by the tank moving, leaving the other tank stationary without any fuel.
  • Idle units consumed 0 fuel, meaning that if a unit had been stationary for a long time it had no "active" fuel flow going towards it, meaning that once it started fighting/moving and consuming fuel there was a "lag" of up to 50 days.
  • A division retreating after a long fight ended up without fuel/supply once the enemy arrived at the province of their origin (since fuel/supply was stored per province), slowing down tanks greatly and making them susceptible to overrun/encirclement in situations where they really shouldn't be ( even if fully supplied with fuel initially ).
In summary it worked decently fine for smaller distances and as long as you didn't touch Strategic Redeployment and retreated early with tanks, as well as put tanks on key airfields ( so there is some fuel there ahead of deploying planes to locations )

Interesting model. But wasn't it hard to understand for the casual player? Resulting in complaints because their fuel "disappeared"?

I would also like to see Fuel added to HoI4. I understand their reasoning for not including it. Just hope it doesn't mean we won't ever see it.
 

Gort11

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Hi everyone,

Did I miss something or we still have not features/infos about that ?

I've seen some stuff where you can't have certain levels of economic mobilisation without certain levels of war support unless you keep spending political power on it through decisions. Presumably similar stuff exists for conscription - if you're limited to lower levels of conscription law then your military will naturally move towards a smaller, more high-tech force during peacetime.
 

Alex_brunius

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Interesting model. But wasn't it hard to understand for the casual player? Resulting in complaints because their fuel "disappeared"?

It was near impossible to understand, and I can only thank countless of hours and theory-crafting and testing by dedicated members of the HoI3 forum to help me understand most of it. I don't think there existed many (if any at all) casual players of HoI4, at least not for long enough to notice things like that :p

I would also like to see Fuel added to HoI4. I understand their reasoning for not including it. Just hope it doesn't mean we won't ever see it.

If you notice OP it's on PDX list of things they want to do for the future fuel and a few logistic system changes that could make Barbarossa more interesting are actually on it:

  • A logistics system with more actual player involvement (now you only care once stuff has gone very badly)
  • Properly represent fuel in some way in the game
  • An occupation system that isnt tied only to wars and where core vs non-core isn't so binary for access to things.
I would be surprised if we don't see it (together with the rest of that list) added in one of the next few expansions.
 
Last edited:

scifier

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I have oen simple question. I haven't played HOI4 for several years, and decided to revisit it, and find that this Cornflakes thing has taken over. which mean a lot of the mods I love don't work. So, how do I get rid of this damned Cornflakes thing. Or do I have to just give up on ever playing this game again. If I can't have Black Ice, it isn't worth it.
 

Ksyr

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I have oen simple question. I haven't played HOI4 for several years, and decided to revisit it, and find that this Cornflakes thing has taken over. which mean a lot of the mods I love don't work. So, how do I get rid of this damned Cornflakes thing. Or do I have to just give up on ever playing this game again. If I can't have Black Ice, it isn't worth it.
You can ask about mods in the mods forum. Register HOI4 to gain access to sub forums.