HOI4 Dev Diary - The Baltic States 1/2 and Poland 3/2

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Meka66

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Hello and welcome to another dev diary for the Barbarossa patch! Today I’m back with you to talk about not one, not two, but three new focus trees coming with the upcoming expansion: Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia!
Baltic States Map.png


The Baltic States were in a difficult position in the build-up to world war 2; only recently liberated from Russian and German rule and less than 20 years on from a bloody struggle against both imperialist powers. In the 30s, each of the states had established authoritarian rule in fear of German and Soviet invasions, and a player hoping to survive as a Baltic state must take some extreme measures to overcome these overwhelming odds...

The Baltic States, like the Chinese, will share some branches of their focus tree while other branches will be unique to each country. This week I am going to talk about the shared branches; the industrial branch and the communist political branch.
Baltic Total Focuses.png


Starting up with the industrial branch, each Baltic state was in something of a similar situation economically; relying heavily on foreign investment and equipment for their industry and armed forces. As such, each Baltic state may decide if they wish to put their faith in the democratic nations to supply their economy, or the Axis powers to fuel the war machine.
Baltic Industry Branch.png


The other common issue facing the Baltics was that they had previously been occupied by the Soviets and Germany, and their industry was sorely lacking. So, the Balts can attract workers to their capital and begin their rearmament and develop their research sector.
Attract Workers.png


Lastly, by modernising their industry, the Baltic states may become much more self-sufficient and end their reliance on foreign powers to fuel their war machine. They may expand raw resource production in their nation, which for Estonia and Latvia means the development of their on-map resources.

Lithuania however was uniquely very reliant on its agriculture, and thus starts the game with a variant of the “Agrarian Society” national spirit which can be slowly turned into a great benefit via their industrial tree.
Natural Resources.png


Next up, each of the Baltic States had recently endured bloody struggles against the USSR, so popular support for communism was vanishingly low. A Baltic state hoping to overthrow the government and establish an independent communist state must do so through war.
Estonia civil war.png


The Balts can either choose to rely on the Soviet intervention or attempt to reconcile relations with the Baltic lower classes and try to maintain their independence while establishing communism on their own.
Restore Workers Republic.png


Once the revolution is done and your nation is communist, the player will have the option to re-establish the Lithuania-Belarus SSR. In the case you sided with the Soviets, the USSR will grant you their half of Belarus with the rest coming either through war or the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
Lithuania Belarus Soviets.png


If you are independent however, Belarus must be acquired through adversarial means. The Baltic state must propagandise support for unification in Belarus similar to the Spanish Civil War garrison control system. When time runs out, Belarus will be released and fight a civil war; the victor will be annexed into either the victorious Baltic nation or the USSR.
Latvia Belarus decisions.png


The Baltic nation will also be able to try to convert their neighbours to communism through a propaganda war. No matter which path the Baltic player takes to establish socialism across the Baltics; they will be able to form the United Baltic SSR.
Baltic Socialist Republic.png


From there, they may use their newfound strength against Scandinavia and Poland and achieve communism across the entire Baltic Sea.
Baltic Warpath.png

That’s all for the Baltic States this week, next week I will be talking about the entirely unique political trees for each Baltic state.



Something worth bringing up here is we did make some changes to the Polish tree since we last talked about it. Firstly, I do just want to show off some of the new focus icons we got since I wrote those dev diaries and I feel like our artists have done a really great job. There are more, but I don't want to spoil all of them just yet! ;)
Poland focus icons.png


We originally planned to have Poland get an off-map reactor to essentially get them control of 1 nuke during play as an exile nation. This to reflect their role in the nuclear project, but we were already a bit on the fence on if this was too immersion breaking for the gameplay purpose, and it seemed many of you thought so too so we removed the off-map reactor and moved the focus to the industry branch.
Poland atomic bomb.png


Next, I managed to find time to implement Karl Albrecht von Habsburg as an option for monarchist Poland. He has his own branch which involves pressing the Habsburg claim on Czechoslovakia.
Karl Albrecht I.png

Habsburg Path.png


Claiming Czechoslovakia uses the same decision system as claiming Lithuania for the Commonwealth branch, and once the two nations are united, the ambition of West-Slavic unification is realised and the new nation may declare itself protector of the western Slavic peoples living in Germany.
West Slavia.png


Karl Albrecht I was known for the service he provided to the Polish army, and it’s unlikely that willingness to serve would vanish upon becoming King. So, as Soldier-King, he will gain a plethora of unique personality traits as well as becoming a field marshal.
Soldier King.png


With Hungary aligning itself with Poland’s enemies, Karl Albrecht can demand that Horthy step down in favour of Otto von Habsburg and force Hungary down their Habsburg path, diplomatically aligning them with Habsburg Poland.
Demand Habsburg Rule.png


Galicia-Lodomeria represented Habsburg rule over Poland and as such, Karl Albrecht may restore the Diet of Galicia which as well as giving the Royal Sejm national spirit, moves the nation’s capital to Krakow. While this centralises the capital between Poland and Czechoslovakia and surrounds the capital in defensible hills, the old Polish capital is also very close to the German border and may prove an easy target…
Diet of Galicia.png


I feel I should also clarify the mechanics behind electing a monarch. When the Fulfil the 5th of November Act focus is complete, candidates come forward and present themselves to be King. So while it would make little sense for the regency council to reach out and invite candidates like Pavel Bermondt-Avalov to be King, Pavel is certainly the type to try and present himself for King.
Cossack King Event.png


The final thing I'd like to mention is that during testing we noticed that it was quite a chore to scroll back and forth between the Polish tree with it being so wide, so I implemented a system where the Polish tree automatically compacts itself when you've chosen a political path.
Tree compacting.png


That’s all for this week, next week we will be covering the paths unique to each Baltic state and for now I’ll leave you with this teaser.
funny_hat_dot_png.png
 
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Meka66

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awesome to see karl albrecht in, hope zapadoslavia will come in the future too
Had some conversations with our Polish beta testers and we determined that "Zapadoslavia" doesn't make sense as a name as a Poland-lead union. So, when you annex Czechoslovakia you will get renamed to something along the lines of "The Kingdom of West Slavia".
 
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I would assume the annexation of the baltic states will be reworked, since historically they were annexed in 1940. Plenty of time to do stuff.
Yep! And if you're playing the historical path for the Baltics and you become a puppet of the USSR, you will switch to the communist branch of your focus tree. More details on that next week though ;)
 
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Im so sorry, I don't want to be mean but Italy is not fitted for Eastern Front, but the Baltics, that didn't even exist in 1941, are?
I mean they are literally part of that front :p
 
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Inb4 complaints about the baltics getting trees before Italy from people that don't understand expansions tend to focus on certain regions and aspects. Good work.
"Why are you doing X when you could be reworking Italy?" is a question that haunts my nightmares.
Who's on that teaser?
Funny Hat Man III
How many dev diaries about Poland are we going to get before we actually start seeing things that interest us
You're going to be very disappointed when I release part 25 of my Poland changes.
 
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Very cool that you added the Habsburg option, whilst it didn't bother me personally, I get why people wanted him. I'm happy about any piece of content anyway...
Yeah we usually wouldn't add new branches after the tree is already "done" but I saw a timely way to add him on so it felt like something we could squeeze in.
Will each of the baltic states get unique portraits for ministers and generals?
Of course! I'll be showing more of those off next week!
I am from Lithuania and I love this. Hope there's even more fun content in the next progress report. Keep it up!
I live to please!
I saw in the Poland dev diaries and this dev diary that there are changes to the states in the Baltic region. Are you going to talk about those next week?
Also does the new Baltic focus trees effect Reichkommissariat Ostland?
Ah yes, I meant to include a screenshot of the new states but I forgot, here they are!
Baltic states.png

Could the system of the focus tree collapsing be implemented to other focus trees?
It certainly could, but whether or not it will be is another question.
Looks very nice, along with the Polìsh changes too!

Quick question. If Lithuania choose to align with USSR and form Lithuania-Belarus will Uncle Joe want something in return.then? Let us say Lithunia-Belarus becoming a puppet/actual autonomous SSR within the USSR.
Yeah, Lithuania does become a puppet of the USSR in the pro-Soviet option. To be independent, you have to go against the Soviets in your civil-war buildup.
 
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Thank you for fixing Poland!
Game literally playable again.
I Think that an Polish-Lithuanian-Czech-Romanian-Hungarian Commonwealth is a bit gameplay breaking too but anyways good post
The monarchy branches are all separate. One can either do Commonwealth, Romania, OR Czechoslovakia, not all three.
Name me ten people who play the Baltics.
Me. I play the Baltics.
I guess it's the same person, but he died in the 1920s... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Karl,_Duke_of_Urach
Good thing it's not him then! ;)
I am really impressed! I wasn't expecting something for the baltics and it's really nice you guys decided to add to this option. I just hope it doesn't remove dev time from other trees that really need development >_> (you know who) I like the improvements to the Polish tree with the monarchy options, so that is neat. I don't mind having a Hasburg option and it will be really fun to play as them. Keep up with the development, I don't get impressed by developers in many of my games, but so far you guys have done great, and implemented feedback and etc. Don't let the haters get to you guys, also this really adds to my week, when a dev diary comes on Weds.
Thank you for your kind words, and nah this doesn't take dev time away from other things. Usually we assign content time separately for each developer, so me creating the Baltic stuff is deeply unlikely to affect other content features like REDACTED, for example.
I like the idea of the communist branch for the Baltics, but I do have one complaint/question. Are there actually any negatives going down the independent route?
Yes there is. Firstly the Soviet bonuses are quite powerful and near-guarantee success in the civil war, and secondly the USSR will despise you for appointing leaders that Stalin intended to purge like Jaan Anvelt in the screenshots.
Never expected the Baltics to get focus trees. Can't say I'm disappointed though. Also happy that they will be at least semi-individualized, rather than just being clones of each other.
Yeah the original plan was to give them the warlord treatment and just have one mega tree for all of them to share, but when it came time to research them, they were politically distinct enough that making an entirely shared tree didn't make much sense. So we did this sort of hybrid of shared and unique that should be fun to play around with!
 
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Ok so if I get this right, if Poland and Czechoslovakia unify under the Sanation Right Poland doesn't core Czechoslovakia, but if they do it under the Habsburgs then they do core Czechoslovakia ? Also can any of the baltics get cores on Belarus or just Lithuania
Correct. The San Right takes Czechoslovakia through invasion whereas the Habsburg guy takes it by royal claim through a referendum, so the cores make a bit more sense there.
If that was the intention, then wouldn't it possible to gain a single nuke from a (decision) mission instead? Like if the mission is "triggered" and you manage to accomplish its objectives, then you get a single nuke in your stockpile (I'm not even sure if an effect for adding a nuke exists already). That should be a good compromise, shouldn't it?

While I do understand the concerns of breaking the immersion of some people, I thought an off-map reactor was a very novel idea of doing something different from the usual research bonus.
It would probably be possible, yeah, but we discussed options for this focus and moving it to the industry branch felt like the right call. It was an old focus from release that was attached to either the Cyclometer or the Bombe (don't remember which) and it didn't feel right to cut it. So it's just somewhere else. If you manage to survive against Germany long enough to research and build reactors, go ahead and nuke your way to Berlin ;)

1919 called, Wilhelm Karl, Duke of Urach wants his hat back.​

He can't have it. It's mine.
Wait, so if you are an independent communist state, you can invade one of the Soviet Republics without USSR being concerned at all? And the Soviets will just be OK if you win and annex a chunk of their territory?
They will not be okay with it, but they already weren't okay with the Baltic states existing to begin with.
Methinks Funny hat man is King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy (the one who asked Mussolini to form a government, and Mussolini did that and took control).
(Also a possibility it is King George V?)
Found the image on Reddit

View attachment 717757
Drat, you guessed it, we are doing a Victor Emmanuel path for Latvia. How did you know?
 
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I hope there is going to be a focus for Lithuania to march into Wilno.
There is content around the Polish occupation of Vilnius both from Lithuania's and Poland's perspective. The occupation of Vilnius was a big deal for Polish-Lithuanian relations so some solution has to be found there if the two nations want to work together, but it can also be something to drive them to war.
Thanks for clarifying the Polish monarchy tree. It's nice to see that Baltic countries will get some attention, now I kinda wish we'll get Tannu Tuva before Italy just to tease "why aren't you doing X" guys. :D
BTW. In previous Polish dev diary Romanian king Michael was shown in Poland under polish name "Michał", shouldn't then Karl Albrecht be shown as Karol Olbracht?
I will make a "get annexed" one focus tree someday.

I could change the name yeah, wouldn't be hard to do.
On the side, thanks for having put some more time into the Polish tree with some of the feedback in mind. The effort doesn't go unappreciated~
<3
 
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Do NOT give them ideas.
They already stick to incorrect history memes enough.
No do it, give me ideas! Lichtenstein focus tree coming soon!
Thank you for listening to us. :)
We always listen to feedback, that's part of the reason why we write dev diaries on a public forum like this that anyone can respond to.
I love how Poland has what appears to be a better Habsburg path than Hungary does.
Yeah a lot has changed about the way we do focus trees these days. The content team is bigger and we have more of a quality over quantity rule these days so we have much more time to devote to each individual nation we're doing.
How about giving research bonus/adding Stanisław Ulam as advisor for the faction leader if Poland has capitulated?
A nuclear research bonus is useless to an exiled nation, and giving bonuses to your host country doesn't really make you feel like you're an active participant in the game. The Polish GiE and Underground State were very active during the war, so we want to make the player feel like being capitulated is not the end of your run as Poland.
It's nice to see that you guys took the criticism, even if alot of it was just mean, to heart and fixed things. That's awesome. You guys did amazing. Keep it up!
We generally "ignore the assholes" so if people wanna get listened to, it's best to avoid making stuff personal. We're all passionate about history and if you know something we don't, we wanna hear it! ;)
RIP the unique off map reactor..
Hello same old same old 100% research bonus everyone gets.
One man's meme is another man's treasure. You can always mod the game to add it back in if you want to!
 
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And, also, can Karl Albrecht get cores on lithuanian territories?
He cannot. The Polish monarchy choices are mutually exclusive because you're kind of relying on national identity as well as royal claims. It would be difficult to convince both Lithuania and Czechoslovakia that your nation is simultaneously the Commonwealth, West Slavia, and Poland-Romania. You must pick one only and commit to it.
Looks awesome, really hope there is an unaligned path for Lithuania considering the GDL is most of our history and what separates us the most from the rest of the Baltics. Cheers.
They all have their historical non-aligned paths, yes :)
 
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Will the Baltic states receive some proper 3D models for infantry?
yup. we will have art diary later

oh and I'll see if I can screengrab the full poland tree for you
 
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@Meka66 , is the Government in Exile portion of the Polish tree locked behind the new DLC too? This is not clear, because it is historical content but appeared in the DLC portion of the Polish dev diaries.
It is DLC-locked but you will have access to it as long as you have Man the Guns as that DLC enables GiE mechanics.
I'm not really sure about the Diet of Galicia national spirit. Was there ever a movement in the interbellum Poland to give autonomy to Galicia? The diet made sense in Austria-Hungary. But in Poland? I don't know...
Nah Galicia is not given autonomy by this focus, it merely re-establishes the Polish government in Krakow as the Habsburgs had before.

I can confirm there is no Galicia-Lodomeria releasable.
First of all, I want to thank @Meka66 for this cool Eastern European content. As a person from Eastern Europe, I appreciate Paradox gives some love for our region. Waiting for next Baltic DD to see unique Baltic states' political paths.
But also I have a remark about this DD.
As Belarusian, I liked that some Belarus-related historical content is coming to HoI4.
Honestly I would love to do more content for nations that don't exist in 36 but we're always limited on what we can do by the game's mechanics.
So, basically it will work like this: as a communist Baltic nation you can snatch Belarus while Stalin doesn't understand what's happening, and then the Soviets will declare on you?
They won't get to do it right away, but basically if you're an independent Baltic state, war with the USSR is pretty much inevitable. Taking Belarus merely makes it happen a bit easier since the USSR keeps its cores on Belarus.
what is that arty doing over there..., as i remember no nation starts with such arty-heavy unit at the start
It's a historical division. It's very arty heavy but it's not artillery only so it is capable of putting up a fight.
 
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Having my fingers crossed that we can get the right coloration of the starting Polish flag for this time period (vermillion) for Sanacja ideology as well:
ZGe1Ifk.png
Do you have an example? It should be easy to switch up if that's the case.
First off all, thank you so much you added a Habsburg branch to Poland and especially took into account the fact he was indeed a military commander.

Now to my questions/suggestions:

- Does the focus "A Habsburg alliance" mean we can support Otto in retaking his claim in Austria? It would be nice if we could do it potentially, as it would be more "plausible" than outright annexing it.

- To avoid confusion, you could change the event text from [...] in service of the Polish military almost as long as such an organization has been in existance. [...] to something else to highlight the fact the military in question, is the one of the 2nd Polish Republic. It could for example be [...] in service of the Polish military almost as long as Poland has regained it's independence [...]

- Would it be possible to change the Pickelhaube to something more... Polish?
Like the Rogatywka ?

- Day 2564285 of asking whether you have made Admiral Unrug as a commanding Admiral for Poland, as he was not only the Chief of the Navy, but also the Operational commander of Poland's Navy in the years leading up to WW2 and during the start of WW2 itself.
-Habsburg Alliance does make a faction with Otto's Hungary. It's available if Otto is on the throne of Hungary, which can be achieved by normal means of Hungary doing it in their focus tree, or by forcing Otto on the throne by demand. There is no unification with Hungary in this path.

-Yeah, that's a fair point.

-Some focus icons are still placeholder. The Pickelhaube is something I reused from the German tree, it will be replaced with one of our new icons when the patch is released.
 
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Will Estonia have oil shale development decisions in Virumaa?
Yep! That's what "develop natural resources" does if you're playing as Estonia. It paints a bit of a target on your back, but the oil is good while it lasts.
Shouldn't getting Russian part of Belarus come at a cost like in the case of Poland siding with Germany? Becoming a puppet would seem fair when you are minor squashed between 2 majors and get free cores and territory via focus tree.
Yep, doing it via the pro-Soviet side makes you a puppet but doing it as an independent gives Russia more reasons to justify on you. It's powerful, but it comes at a cost.
 
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I was wondering if there will be any buffs, decisions, or other means of actually surviving an attack from the USSR till help arrives as a baltic nation? Or a focus tree for partisan action considering the heavy partisan warfare that went on there after soviet occupation?
Details next week ;)
 
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Hmm, an election event where candidates present themselves? Why do I get the creeping suspicion there's an easter egg hidden here? Will we be able to elect Wojtek? It would make sense lore-wise (Paradox lore, not real history lore) if you consider a certain event in Victoria 2.
God Emperor Wojtek when?
Can Latvia and Estonia form the "Lithuania-Belarus SSR" or would they be called the "Latvia-Belarus SSR" and the "Estonia-Belarus SSR"?
They will be called Latvia-Belarus/Estonia-Belarus until they form the Baltic league. Estonia gets one additional state to make its borders contiguous, but aside from that, they're all the same.
Also, if Czechoslovakia is annexed by referendum, does Poland get it's Generals?
In our current build no, but that may change before release.
 
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