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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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Meka66

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I can only speculate however as we know the next dev diary will feature Baltics 2/2, the next mechanics DD will probably be the week after the next.
It'll be a big one too! With three nations to cover, I'm already making a long document for all the stuff that's changing!
Fyi if you are doing an iron wolves branch for Lithuania, please don't use the modern flag for their mechanised infantry.

Otherwise I will scream quite loudly, from my maltese tower.

Much love
The flag is unchanged from the live version of the game I believe. If the current fascist flag for Lithuania is based on the mechanised divisions, do let us know, but I believe this is not the case.
 
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DustyDutchman

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imagine if there was another comet event as an easter egg with it saying: "i wish i could land a rocket on that" or something. it could give a tiny boost to rocket technologies if implemented but would definitely be a meme. (and it would almost never happen)
still funny to me though.
 

cotne22

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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.
We could also have Rudolf Hess taking the entire royal family hostage as a potential outcome for the event, it would surely be a "novel approach".
I don't know what Poland getting free nuclear reactors has to do with the axis being able to win the war. One happens through gameplay, the other through a focus tree and I do think that getting nukes should be harder.
And speaking of choice, as Meka noted, if you really want exiled Poland to get free nuclear reactors, you can mod it back in, but the majority doesn't want it.
 
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Ccooffee

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It'll be a big one too! With three nations to cover, I'm already making a long document for all the stuff that's changing!

The flag is unchanged from the live version of the game I believe. If the current fascist flag for Lithuania is based on the mechanised divisions, do let us know, but I believe this is not the case.
You know how to tease... This will be a looong week....
 
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Kosaki MacTavish

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I didn't have much energy left since i went motobike hiking today (it's one day before Eid after all) with my family.

But well, @Meka66, good job. Althought Pavel is still there, Karl Olbracht's addition for the fourth (lol) Monarchist option is a nice addition.

Now, one more thing to do to give justice for the Arabian formable, perhaps? Hope for the 2nd Bag of Tricks Devdiary to adress that.

I'll give a proper opinion tomorrow. Time to sleep.
 
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podcat

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Here is the full poland tree (sorry for rushjob photoshop :D)
poland_big.jpg
 
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I like the tree compacting. Would that be possible with other large trees, like the Spanish one?
I mean, the Spanish one is already being cut in half after the civil war starts (or even as soon as you pick the first focus, i don't remember).

Yet i have to admit and maybe it's unpopular, but i personally like these big focus trees. Sure, having a bank account with millions of Euros/Dollars/etc in is fun and all, but who doesn't want to have a bunker full of golden coins? It gives me a sense of being able to "dig through" the focus tree, even if i can't select the other parts by then.
 
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Bane5

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See the picture "Flag of Poland (1927-1980)"
Moreover a visual tag for the Polish army in exile could give opportunities for including some additional vexillology during capitulation if you take some of ideology based icons and turn them into flags:

Jur9BH0.png

Armia Krajowa was the biggest organization that coalesced,
but especially early on, many fragmented groups existed often based around political parties.

87Xx1H8.png
D4QYvLp.png


Military Organization Lizard Union, emblem (ONR - Falangism)

XxsHv5J.png

Banner of the Peasants' Battalions (Agrarian People's Party)

jaDuTZ5.png
pcv9Wkt.jpg

Badge and eagle emblem of the Gwardia Ludowa ("People's Guard", communist underground from the Polish Workers' Party)

p2b5Vw8.png

PPS-WRN emblem, ("Polish Socialist Party – Freedom, Equality, Independence")

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

^^Just a few examples from various underground movements based on party ideology
 
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MobiusTwo

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Wow, I'm super happy to see these changes! I'm glad that the developers have listened to the community when it came to adding a focus tree branch for the Hapsburg claimant and removing the Polish government-in-exile nuke thing. Thank you for listening to the players!

I always wanted to see Baltic focus trees as well! In my head, I was about 50/50 on whether the Baltics would ever get focuses, and I'm happy to see it actually happen! Having these countries share some elements of their trees seems reasonable enough. One recommendation I would make: Lithuania's flag is not exactly accurate to the time period. I'm sure adorning the center of the flag with a cross has some significance (and honestly it's a cooler design) but in real life it was just plain stripes. Maybe if a non-aligned monarchy like the German Empire or the new Hapsburg Poland puppeted Lithuania it could adopt the cross flag?

Also please don't be personally offended by the many people who are upset that Italy isn't getting a focus tree in this expansion. We all want an Italy focus tree, and I'm disappointed we didn't get one in La Resistance, but angrily complaining to the devs about something they've stated multiple times just isn't happening this time around is not constructive. That said, I would love to see Finland get a focus tree...and as many other countries as you have time for. :p
 
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nVision_gaming

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Looks nice!

I hope there will be Finland, but im 99% sure it has to be in an eastern front dlc.

Paradox maybe there is the possibility to also add a communist germany path since otherwise the soviet union would be the only major reworked in this update?? :)

Also it would be wounderfull if you could add some more tank models especially those with superstructures, because
a) it could be necessary for a player to see realize that he is facing mediums BUT with a heavy gun in MP.
b) because i really like the look of those :D

Keep up the good work!
 

Meka66

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Yep! Each Baltic state has at least one pro-Stalin leader and one leader who was either anti-Stalin or purged, depending on whether you're an independent socialist nation or Soviet-aligned.
Anyone else spot the decision for the Forest Brothers resistance movement? Very cool...
Yep, there's some Forest Brothers content for both Communist and Historical paths. As a communist, the Forest Brothers are adversarial and will cause you problems until you find a way to deal with them.
 
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