- Feb 24, 2009
Hello dear players and welcome once again to a new Developers' Diary for Darkest Hour!
It's been a while since the last DevDiary and now it is time to update you on what is going on with the development of Darkest Hour.
Well, the good news is that a new patch is ready! In fact, today (if nothing goes wrong) we're going to release patch 1.04 as beta (EDIT: you can find it here). Hopefully, if we receive positive feedback, after a few weeks/months we should be able to release it officially.
Now, time for the bad news. The bad news are that this patch took longer than we wanted and it doesn't contain all that we wanted it to have. In the past year a few members decided to leave the team or to considerably reduce their involvement, with an almost crippling effect on some areas of development. However, after the official release of patch 1.03 on Steam, Gamersgate and other retail sellers in January 2014, those of us who remained regained some of their entusiasm and started working harder on the game. So, don't despair, even if this past year was hard for the team, we are still working on Darkest Hour and we plan to keep working on it, at least for another little while.
And now, it is time to give a reduced list (we can't list them all!) of the improvements and bug fixing that will be introduced by the new 1.04 patch:
- many ministers and cabinet fixes, especially for 1933 scenario (a special thank to bestmajor and eeeex for their detailed bug reports);
- added a few tech teams here and there (Switzerland now have a TT for mountain training), plus modified the components of other tech teams where it made sense (now UK will have better matches for its doctrine path);
- new events for suicide of Hitler and choice of successor;
- new event for Germany to Repudiate the Locarno Treaties after the Remilitarization of the Rhineland;
- new events for Germany to release the Reichskommissariats in the East after the Bitter Peace;
- new Finnish and Soviet events to handle the Moscow Armistice;
- reviewed the decisions Meeting at Hendaye, Meeting at Montoire and German Diplomatic Offensive, with new decision tooltips that explain the different choices and their consequences; improved event General peace treaty in Europe;
- a few fixes and improvements for unit models, especially for those new units and brigades introduced in 1.03 (like amphibiours tanks);
- expanded list of armynames, navynames and airnames (thanks to the Expanded armynames/navynames/airnames Mod by Fürstbischof);
- it is now possible, for main countries only (those who appear in the main selection list, without right-clicking), to have their flag and names redefined at scenario start (so this must be copied from country specific .inc files to main scenario .eug files); saved games will also show the correct flag and name for countries in the main selection list;
- new ETA tooltip for units (just select a unit and place your mouse over a different province to see the tooltip with the Estimated Time of Arrival);
- new distance tooltips (both naval distance and air/land distance) between provinces (just select a province and place your mouse over another province to see the tooltip);
- allowed TAG specific experience symbols on divisions plates (gfx\interface\experience_star_TAG.bmp) - this will make the users of the Country Specific Experience Stars Mod happy;
- major overhaul of weather and night attack and defense modifiers for air units to ensure consistency between unit types and resolve issues in combats where the "attacker" gets worse modifiers most of the time.
- in convoy combats convoy transports are substituted with transport and convoy escorts are substituted by destroyers; the combat logic has been improved and moreover we decided to add a chance for each added escort to convoy battles to be an Escort Carrier instead of a destroyer (only when this unit type is activated for the country); this chance is a new misc.txt parameter;
- we improved the logic of nuke damage to units, with new misc.txt modifiers: damage to units multiplier, max STR damage (as percentage of current STR) to friendly units, ORG damage (as percentage of current ORG) to friendly units in province and ORG damage (as percentage of current ORG) to enemy or neutral units in province;
- we've added a lot of new (previously missing messages) dealing with combat casualties: attrition losses, AA losses, convoy combat losses, nuke damages losses, carrier strike on port losses (note: these losses were already tracked by the casualties tracker, but there was not a proper pop-up message)
- we've also exported a few more combat modifiers to misc.txt and changed a few of the existing once (to achieve a better combat balance);
- reviewed Organization Regain system: the new system will be fully moddable from misc.txt!
- added "Disengage from combat" checkbox to some naval missions (convoy raiding, move, sneak move, sea transport and amphibious assault): such fleets will break off naval combat ASAP without player intervention;
- on the other hand, fleets during amphibious assaults will be instantly detected by air and naval units searching the area for enemy fleets;
- many improvements to combat logic, with many new modifiers exported to misc.txt;
About the 1914 scenario and the Russian Civil War: we are always working on it, but now one of our main contributors is busy with real life, so the work will proceed at a slower pace from now own. That doesn't mean that you won't find new content in this patch. On the contrary, there are lot of interesting new events and event chains:
- new complete event chain for the Finnish Civil War, with the struggle against the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic, the Regency of the German King and the Baltic Sea Division of Rudiger von der Goltz;
- new events to let Germany handle the conquered territories post Brest-Litovsk Treaty: United Baltic Duchy, Kindgom of Lithuania, Regency Kingdom of Poland, Belarusian Democratic Republic and Ukranian State;
- new events for Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria to decide the future of Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania after winning the Great War;
About the Chinese and Japanese Theater, there are dozens of new events for the 1933+ scenarios (in particular a complete overhaul for the 1933-1937 period), including:
- Sino-Japanese clashes, treaties and agreements;
- Chinese reforms, the Nanjing Decade and the Sino-German Cooperation;
- the end to the Warlord Era, the end of the Chinese Concessions and other Chinese territorial claims;
- the war in Xinjiang and the First East Turkestan Republic;
- the Nationalist Encirclement Campaigns and the Long March, which will now be an event-driven mini-game where you have to lead your troops to safety (as the Communist) or trying to bleed the enemy to death (as the Nationalist);
- complete review of Nationalist China and Communist China ministers and tech teams (leaders have not been reviewed yet); the starting cabinet in 1933 and 1936 scenarios have been updated as well;
- complete revamp of Chinese and Japanese Orders of Battle in the 1933 and 1936 scenarios to be historically accurate;
- new countries such as the East Turkestan Republic and the East Hebei Autonomous zone have been added along with historical cabinets;
- the Chinese Warlords now have new flags inspired by TRP: they are variations on the Nationalist flag as historically they flew the Nationalists banner; the puppet Nanjing-China now uses the historical flag which is a Nationalist flag with a yellow triangle and text above it;
Finally, we kept improving the debug system (which, let me remind you, you can enable by changing the appropriate value from 0 to 1 in DH\settings.cfg), adding new checks and warnings. Moreover we decided to remove the old (from HOI2 times!) and useless debug message "Event number X maybe lost !" which was only confusing. I am sure this will be greatly appreciated.
There are also a few new triggers and commands:
- expanded the waketeam/sleepteam commands so that tech teams can be set as dormant and wakened/slept in a better way (instead of the old behaviour that changed starting/end years);
- added new trigger alliance_leader which checks if a country is leader of one of the main alliances (or any alliance);
- added new command remove_units to remove units of a country from province, area, region or continent; command applies to deployed units, units that are redeploying to or loaded on planes/ships at the target area; units loaded on removed transport vessels will be redeployed to the capital;
- improved damage_division command – added support for named divisions;
- improved add_division command – added possibility to set initial strenght for unbrigaded divisions;
- improved inherit command with "when" setting to define rules about annexing player controlled countries;
- expanded setflag and local_setflag commands and – added support for setting integer value too + expanded flag and local_flag triggers with <, <=, =, >= and > comparator options against a fixed value
- expanded end_access command so that it can end received and not only granted military access;
A complete and more detailed changelog can be found at the third post.
That's all for now. We hope you'll appreciate our work on the new patch.