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

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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minimouse007

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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.
i would bet a lot of money, that bratyn is doing that rework. and while if it is really huge, it actually makes soome sense that he wasn't able to do finland too, but who knows
 

DeadRabbit

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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. Even if it is LitBel. LitBel was an artificial Bolshevik puppet state, but I think it is more interesting from another Bolshevik puppet states because of idea of Belarusian-Lithuanian unity. This idea in fact was not artificial. We lived with Lithuanians in one country for centuries. And this influenced Belarusians a lot. At the beginning of 20th century there was a political movement in Belarus called "Krajovcy". These people believed that they live in special region -"Kraj"- which shares historical and cultural influence of Lithuanian, Belarusian and Polish nations. They wanted to unite with Lithuanians once more and restore Grand Duchy of Lithuania v2.0. (and later the Commonwealth). But Lithuanians refused because they wanted to build their own national state. So "Krajovcy" movement ended its existence, many of them took part in Belarusian national movement (and even take a leadership). I believe Bolsheviks had nothing in common with GDL sentiments, but these maybe were one of factors to establish temporary buffer state at period of Polish-Soviet war. Sorry, for this long prologue, but I think it's an important info for understanding this specifical case.
In my opinion, Lithuanian-Belarusian unification initiated by Lithuanian independent communists is an interesting idea. LitBel was an artificial concept for Russian Bolsheviks, but it could be rethought by Lithuanian communists (for them international working class struggle could be more important than Lithuanian national state buliding). But I doubt that Eastern Belarus (which was always more influenced by Russians than Lithuanians or Poles) could support this movement and start civil war for separation from Slavic-based communist state and unification with Baltic-based communist state. I think it's quite strange for Belarusian communists to act like this. This Belarusian civil war is more logical for Western Belarus which was a part of Poland and where Belarusian national movement went to the left part of political spectre (Belarusian Peasant and Workers 'Hramada, for example). Lithuanian communist propaganda could have good results in Western Belarus because this region always had more in common with Lithuania than Eastern Belarus.
And what is much more important for me, I think Belarusian civil war first of all should be started, because Belarusians wanted to establish their independent state on Belarusian national and non-communist basis. This idea was a main antagonist idea for Soviets in Belarus.
Thank you once more for interesting DD!
 
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JojoCgame

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Another Idea to include the polish aid in the nuclear program is removing the limit on technology sharing groups, and have them join one on nuclear tech with the US. Sure this needs to be balanced, maybe so that there is still a maximum limit of obtainable bonuses and also that multiple countries being in the same groups together doesnt mean they get the bonus twice from being in two groups. This whole change will also improve other countries and make the tech sharing bonus from stuff like the tziard mission (UK and USA) or other countries usable without screwing over other allies that used to be in a research group with you before.
 
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Everyone is talking about the hat teaser, but I want to say: compared to what was shown in the last dev diaries (gold on green), the coloration of the uniform's collar is absolutely gorgeous this time around (white on dark blue):

YKLMGG6.png


Good job on that.

--------------

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
 
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podcat

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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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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.
You're going to be very disappointed when I release part 25 of my Poland changes.
It's the Year of Our Lord 2069 and Meka66, the sole developer of Hearts of Iron IV (the rest of the team moved to the recently announced Victoria 2.5), is sitting at his iHoloDesk™, dreading the moment he has to post his dev diary "Poland tree 645/2". How many people will ask why Italy is still being ignored, even after Hearts of Iron XXII got released already in 2057? How many people will complain about the ridiculous British nationalist path, eventhough it became clear back in 2040 that Britain was far weaker than the North-Korean Co-Prosperity Sphere.
Some accuse him of letting his own political beliefs in the form of supporting the Liberal-Authoritarian Pan-Saharan Workers-Market Union influence his game design... How will he ever finish Hearts of Iron 4 after more than 50 years of development ???

Cheers!
 
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Only 1 country had a nuke in the timeframe of the game. Giving an exiled minor free nukes is immersion breaking and silly.
I get that would break immersion for the historical path, and it shouldn't be done in that indeed. Devs agreed and changed that anyway so you have nothing to fear. But should I remind you that every country can make its nuclear arsenal in the game if someone chooses to invest in it? Even the generic tree has a focus for that. If the immersion-breaking argument is valid, then no country except USA should be able to make nuclear weapons, period. There would also be no point in playing the axis because you would have to lose the game by design. That's the paradox of this game, it cannot be historically accurate by design unless the player enforces it themselves (there has to be a challenge if you play the allies and you cannot be historical by playing anything else by default).

So it's silly to call silly something that breaks the historical path by your choice in a game that makes you able to play every country in the game as you want. The historical path should always be respected and present, but that's not what we were talking about. I didn't suggest the AI to build nukes while in exile, I just appreciated a novel approach to the nuclear focus that it's still present.
 
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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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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.
Does this mean that it's possible that some old focus trees (like Hungary itself) can be revisited in the future?
 
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Really like what you’ve done here. One quick question though if Hungary and Poland both go Hapsburg is it just a race to see who gets Czechoslovakia first or is there some custom resolution to that?
 
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Viktor Hark

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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.
 

Meka66

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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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