Imperator Dev Diary - More Great Wonders!

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Game Director - Hearts of Iron
Paradox Staff
Feb 13, 2018
Hi all,

I’ll be posting the dev diary on behalf of @Braindrift today, who’s taking us through the details of the Great Wonder construction feature which comes in the Heirs of Alexander pack!

Great Wonders
The Heirs of Alexander content pack will include a design-tool which allows you to assemble and construct your own Great Wonders. The tool gives you a 3D view of your construction, and once the building is completed, your creation will be represented on the world map.


The Great Wonder construction tool window

You have 3 different categories of constructions to choose from; pyramids, towers and buildings. Each category has their own set of modules, like bottom, middle, top for towers, that can be interchanged and combined within each category to create the shape you’re going for.

The Great Wonder design window is reached from the building tab in the territory view, once there is a Wonder under construction, or completed, a fourth tab will appear that displays relevant information about your creation.

Each module has a material, the default is stone, which is considered to always be used as the main building component for a construction. Other examples are silver, ivory and marble, in total there’s 9 different materials which each affect the look on the module they’re applied to. To be able to use a material, you need to import its related trade-goods to the province in which you build the Great Wonder. If you for example have set one of the modules to be covered in silver, you need to import Precious Metals to the province. If you ever lose an import route, the progression of the construction will be halted until you’ve set up a new route for the required goods.


Model and material variations for some towers - Edit: More variations and categories at the bottom of this post

Effects and Prestige
Your Wonder can have up to three effects, which are basically powerful modifiers, some with unique aspects that can’t be found anywhere else in the game. Some effects can only be used by unlocking the corresponding invention in the technology trees, while others are accessible to all. Each effect has four tiers, and the construction's prestige value is what decides what tier you can choose from. The fourth and final tier can’t be reached during the design phase, instead the Wonder has to age for some centuries, until it has accumulated enough prestige to be upgraded with the top tier effects. This means that the simple stone tower you built in the beginning of your journey can grow and become as powerful as the pompous gold abomination your neighbor saved up money for, but couldn’t complete until late game. Of course, this puts the burden on you to protect your cultural treasure, as prestigious constructions become highly attractive to conquer.


Effect selection window

Costs, construction time and construction leader
The construction of a Great Wonder will be a massive undertaking to complete, even for large and advanced civilizations. There’s always an upfront cost in money from the treasury, which will be decided by category, materials and what effects you assign. The same factors affect the amount of work that needs to be done, but the final construction time is based on the number of slaves, tribesmen and freemen you have available in the province which the construction is built in.

Construction time is further affected by assigning a construction leader. Similar to military and naval leaders, there’s a significant dent in efficiency without a leader assigned, the construction speed being decreased by 25% without one. The governing stat for construction leaders is Finesse, which will speed up the construction by 5% per point.

We’ve also expanded on the character traits to make them relevant when choosing your construction leader, giving them effects such as improved slave efficiency from the Harsh trait, or some added construction prestige value from the Polymath trait.

There will also be a Political Influence cost, related to what modifiers you add to your construction. More powerful modifiers cost more PI. Upgrading or changing modifiers will also be related to a PI cost.


The envy of your neighbors

Ancient Great Wonders
As a part of the Marius update, we’ve also brushed up the good ol’ Ancient Wonders such as Stonehenge, Colossus of Rhodes and Lighthouse of Alexandria. Each of them now have one of the tier 4 effects that you can use for your own constructions, making them both valuable assets to keep within your domain, and attractive targets for conquest. There’s also a number of events connected to the wonders, giving them some story and an additional management aspect.


Edit: On popular demand, some more samples on what you can build.


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1. Does the final shape, looks and effects of each wonder have to be predetermied from the start, or is each wonder something that future generations can improve upon if they choose?

2. That position of the wonder curator, does that work as an individual office, like military commands or goverment offices, or is this a post that can be held by a character who is already holding another office? In monarchies, for example, can the ruler name himself the wonder curator?
1. The look is predetermined, that is the building-blocks you use + the materials. The effects can be updater or replaced later.
2. It works like and individual office, that is to say, if you've assigned someone as a construction leader, they can't hold other offices at the same time

Can you please give some screenshots of wonders built during playtesting? (with tooltips so we can see their tiers and effects?)
Yes :)
The tiers and effects will be up to you as a player to pick and choose from, any of these player created constructions could have any of the effects so it's not really relevant to show what effects they have as it can be any.

Constructions from the Building category

Constructions from the Pyramid category

Are historical wonders like the Pryamids of Giza destroyable? How likely is the AI to destroy these historical wonders?
Yes, the player can destroy pre-existing wonders, then they are gone forever as they can't be re-produced fully through the design-tool, a new wonder with the same effect can be created however. The AI shouldn't destroy any GWs, but then again, AI works in mysterios ways and are seemingly semi-selfaware at times so who knows. (I'll need to tripple-check this with a coder to be sure actually, but coder seem to be busy coding some new cool feature or something and I want to get these pictures posted, I'll get back to you on this ;) )
Edit: We're all "pretty sure the AI won't destroy any historical wonders". Sounds very reassuring.

Only thing unclear to me is whether the building materials themselves have any impact other than looks fluff
Materials add different amount of prestige and prestige is what dictates what tier of effect you can use. As an example, if you build a tower in only stone, you'll be able to choose between tier 1 effects. If you build it purely in gold, the prestige at design time increases and you'll be able to choose from the tier 2 versions of effects as well. Towers can't reach tier 3 at design time, for that you'd have to build a building or pyramid with high-prestige materials.
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