Darkest Hour vs HOI4: How do they stack up?

Eugenioso

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Note that this thread is mostly based on curiousity, as i do not own HOI4 and im basing my writings on what ive seen and read.

We've all seen whats been happening lately with the massification of HOI4 and how Darkest Hour, a venerable and highly customizable game, has been pushed to the sidelines in lieu of its more 'successful' cousin. Yet regardless of what might be happening, let us take a look at how each game stands both on their own and in relation to one another. Feel free to pitch in, readers:

(i do hope that personal opinions are left aside, aka "hurrz grapikz suk")

HOI4:

- Units are no longer haunted by fuel requirements after being built, only during the building process is it needed.

What madness is this? Could you imagine what force of destruction the german army would have been if they did not have any kind of fuel needs after building a tank?

- Sandbox gaming style.

I dont have a problem with this directly, but i do infinitely prefer the good old formula of historical accuracy in the game rather than seeing Brazil just swallow all of South America or Switzerland sneak attacking Italy while they are busy in africa. A simple solution would be this: Include two campaign options, one historical and one sandbox, so players can choose which one they prefer instead of witnessing game breaking glitches like France just invading right through the Siegfried line like mad dogs or Netherlands capping Belgium.

- Bugs/glitches.

It would be unfair to criticize the devs for one small bug or glitch, but there are apparently a ton of bugs and glitches that make the game unplayable. DH vanilla 1.0 was also unplayable, but it was NOT a mayor game release like HOI4 (another reason why i havent bought a new game in years, never buy on release)

So far, this is what i have. Im sure you faithful players and readers can contribute more tidbits of information along with a small analysis of comparison.
 
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mad_otter

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- Units are no longer haunted by fuel requirements after being built, only during the building process is it needed.

Yes, but there is some difference with how the production works in HOI4. When reinforcing your Panzer division after a tough fight, you will need to build armor units to get back to 100% strength, so in that sense, each fight will "consume" panzers, and therefore fuel. It is a rough approximation of resource management, but lacking fuel will have an impact on your eagerness to throw planes and armor into a fight, similar to what you have in DH.

- Sandbox gaming style.

There is a option to "play historically" or to make a sandbox game, but it doesn't have significant change, since it is only changing the order of National focuses. I would also have preferred a more historically accurate game, but they didn't have the time like DH had to pump hundreds of events and playtest the different scenarios.

- Bugs/glitches.

This will go with the point above. The main problem with HOI4, is that it doesn't have enough developers to work on it. So all the usual problems linked with this happened : not enough content, bugs and awful AI.
 

TheBob

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The AI pretty much ruins vanilla HOI4 and any mods that use vanilla AI. It provides no challenge. I think I am going to try DH again after a long absence.
 

ChrisFox

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Darkest Hour is one of the best World War II games ever published. It is light-years better than HoI 4.
 
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Duke of Awesome

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Darkest Hour is one of the best World War II games ever published. It is light-years better than HoI 4.

I understand your enthusiasm, and I share your opinion, but a post like this is completely useless unless it's backed up with reasons. Why is Darkest Hour better than Hearts of Iron 4?
 
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TheBob

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The AI can actually fight back in darkest hour. In HOI4 you have to massively give yourself handicaps and even then it is too easy. Mainly because of division templates and the AI can't manage equipment stockpiles.

That is assuming the AI even bothers to fight you. It may decide to keep 70 percent of its force on the border with Spain if at war with the Soviets, or on garrison duty, or going on safari in Africa. Even if it does decide to put all its divisions in the war against you, it will sooner or later get bored and send them somewhere else for a time. Or play musical chairs, preventing it from building up entrenchment or planning bonus. The latest patch only lessens the frequency of these events, it doesn't prevent them.
 

nuarbnellaffej

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Darkest Hour is one of the best World War II games ever published. It is light-years better than HoI 4.
I understand your enthusiasm, and I share your opinion, but a post like this is completely useless unless it's backed up with reasons. Why is Darkest Hour better than Hearts of Iron 4?
Well if I interject I would say balance in general, plus the features seem much much more polished. I am playing the trp(total realism project mod) and I really like the tech tree, and especially the tech teams. I know tech teams don't sound that impressive, but the way the system works, it allows for a lot of customization of individual countries. Plus fuel and supplies are discrete consumable items.

Once you get past the outdated appearance of Darkest Hour, IMO (and I hate to say it) Darkest Hour is way more fun to play than HOI IV.
 
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ChrisFox

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I understand your enthusiasm, and I share your opinion, but a post like this is completely useless unless it's backed up with reasons. Why is Darkest Hour better than Hearts of Iron 4?
HoI 4
3 ideologies 'democrat' 'stalinist' 'hitler' and no control over domestic policies.
Darkest Hour
If I remember right you have ten ideologies and control over domestic policies to some extent.

HoI 4
Still a broken pathetic event selection that doesn't even cover the ahistoric 'sandbox' that people cover it up with.
Darkest Hour
You can literally do almost anything, and its in base game.

HoI 4
No post war restructuring
Darkest Hour
Post-war restructuring AND province trading

That is just to list a few.
Darkest Hour is the best game and its development team should be granted immortality.
 
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MacGowan

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I do wonder how well HOI4 stacks up in the sense of multiplayer, something DH is having some stability and inherent problems with.
 
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nuarbnellaffej

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Somewhat OT, but DH has automatic IC slider control AI that actually works properly, something i think wasn't the case for HOI II, and III.
 
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maximus323

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Good topic.

I would say that while HOI4 is a fantastic Grand strategy game it is not a suitable Hearts of Iron game. Too many discrepancies with the rest of the series.
It also turns out that I would put forward Darkest Hour as the epitome of the Hearts of Iron series.

Why? you ask?

I want to keep this short because I have no notes on me but Air Combat in HOI4 is totally FUBAR. Relegated to nothing more than a glorified passive modifier for land combat. I mean seriously ALL of France is divided into TWO air regions??? So if I want to bomb the front in Lille (in a hypothetical German invasion for instance) I have to take into account the fact that my planes can't reach the Alps?? Huge negative modifier on the mission efficiency of my planes especially early in the war when not all your war materiel is top of the line. Very frustrating, I personally never found the management of planes to be too much to bear in previous installments of the series but apparently it's been taken out of our hands. Simply plop some planes in an airfield, assign them an air region and a mission and voila; your involvement ends there. No precise and overwhelming air attacks on precise parts of the front to attempt to pierce it. No Sir now your assigned planes, rather, are giving a bonus to your ground troops and that is all. OH but make sure your planes have the range to cover the entire air region assigned or else... they won't be doing much in the way of helping anything even if you have 600 of them.

Fleets are also a little bit disappointing. The exact same mechanics for assigning missions in the air apply to assigning missions to your fleet, just...weirder. I've had upwards of 60 ships interdict a sea region only to be "naval invasioned" with absolutely no riposte from my fleets. The enemy had time to land the troops and scoot away the transports and my fleets did bugger all. I seem to read a lot also about how it might be best to simply merge all your ships into one super fleet. Seems to be the most efficient way to deal with the enemy. I've had a battle last for nearly six months in the Med because my ships can't sink a single battleship with a few escorts. Everytime they meet in battle the enemy simply runs away. Rinse and repeat. This ties into the idea of units not using fuel...At some point you can't run away anymore you either run out of open water or fuel I mean common SIX MONTHS! (This ship has no friendly base and the Med is closed, Nat Spain took the Rock and Italians have taken the Suez.

Now I will say this. HOI4 has perfected, in my humble opinion, the production model for Hearts of Iron games. Every single piece of equipment is actually quantified rather than simply filling in for obscure IC points spent. You have a certain number of factories producing instead of a production capacity of overall factories. This seems more realistic to me as you can prioritize certain equipment for your custom designed divisions. This is all very cool and more realistic in my opinion. Couple this with the lend-lease mechanics of this game and you could turn your country into an arms-dealing powerhouse. You can see specifically what time of equipment your troops use so it's cool to see that perhaps a division was equipped with foreign materiel of a conquered power, this is possibly due to the fact that your divisions will equip with material available not necessarily wait for that equipment to be built (logical) before being deployed. So once you custom design a division you can automatically see exactly how many medium tanks, how many heavy tanks, how many self propelled guns or rockets that (looks like a tank division to me) division will need!

The new (for HOI series) feature of experience is also a good addition, again in my humble opinion, It is logical that a nation which would engage in Naval warfare a lot should gain experience and be able to modify their ships and be able to slightly upgrade them from the base model available. Land experience is used up mainly by custom designing divisions so you can't make up a whole bunch of non-sense templates, they have to be worth it. Air experience is also used to upgrade planes from the base model.

In Conclusion, even though I haven't said half of what I wanted and though I've gone off on tangents, HOI4 is not a bad game at all just not a good Hears of Iron game. Too many changes and not enough of them are good to keep me going back. I've logged 86 hours and I'll be taking a break for some time. Dusted off DH and fired off a new game just the other night. Graphics don't bother me at all I like to think of it as a board game on my computer. That being said how bad are the colours in HOI4?? anyone else have trouble telling the difference between countries at night? lol and good luck giving different colours to all your armies when you have about 9 base colours to choose from and way more than nine armies. Don't know what I'm talking about?? probably best that way.

Cheers
 
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nuarbnellaffej

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I personally never found the management of planes to be too much to bear in previous installments of the series but apparently it's been taken out of our hands. Simply plop some planes in an airfield, assign them an air region and a mission and voila; your involvement ends there. No precise and overwhelming air attacks on precise parts of the front to attempt to pierce it. No Sir now your assigned planes, rather, are giving a bonus to your ground troops and that is all

In terms of overall control, I prefer HOI IV's airwar, but that system needs smaller air zones and the ability to prioritize individual provinces for bombing. HOI IV would also be better served with more air missions than what we have compared to previous HOI's.
Now I will say this. HOI4 has perfected, in my humble opinion, the production model for Hearts of Iron games. Every single piece of equipment is actually quantified rather than simply filling in for obscure IC points spent.

I agree 100% about the production model, pdx just need to code the AI so that it can actually use that system effectively.
 

Gukpa

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Ok, here my three main reasons why Darkest Hour is superior to Hearts of Iron 4

1- The content. Darkest hour came out with only the 1914 and the 1936 scenario, but it gained more and more content as time passed by FREE patches. paradox interactive have been milking DLCs since europa universalis 3, but Hearts of Iron 4 turned into paradox Rome 2 total war, even the songs come as DLCs

2- The gameplay. Darkest hour have it's problems like the almost useless airforce, but DH is a war simulator, you can pick italy and have the experience as you was leading italy into world war II with all it's industrial problems and outdated equipment, or you can go as the soviet union and simple flood the camp and win the war taking horrible casualties but at the same time get control of half europe, or go for some alternative history and win the war as the axis, but not stretching the borders of reality (unless of course you invade UK and the USA xD). Hearts of iron 4 is a sandbox chaos, there is no simulator alternative, even if you try your best to play a accurate world war II you still will see Greece taking over the balkans or turkey going full ottoman empire or Brazil taking over south america, as I said in another thread you can find people who never played a hearts of iron game before turning Italy into a new roman empire in their first gameplay

3- The interface. This is more a personal thing, but the interface of darkest hour looks more realistic and customizable, you can redefine your country based on your own political ideology if you want to (tough this is more for mods like KaiserReich, not for vanilla DH), do you want a left wing radical france with a fully militarized society? Just go full hawk lobby and authoritarian left. The provincial system of DH is also superior as said above with France having only two air regions in HoI4. The DH also is more mod friendly, mostly because it is easier to mod since it's old (but polished) engine, but this can count as a plus
 
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Duke of Awesome

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1- The content. Darkest hour came out with only the 1914 and the 1936 scenario, but it gained more and more content as time passed by FREE patches. paradox interactive have been milking DLCs since europa universalis 3, but Hearts of Iron 4 turned into paradox Rome 2 total war, even the songs come as DLCs

This is just a problem with the industry as a whole. The video game industry is charging money for bug fixes and small content additions while Darkest Hour and older games just patched it in. I don't want to downplay the DH devs for the time they put into this game, but this kind of stuff used to be standard and not especially noteworthy. Paradox took a shift with CK2 to be far more money grubbing.
 
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Gukpa

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This is just a problem with the industry as a whole. The video game industry is charging money for bug fixes and small content additions while Darkest Hour and older games just patched it in. I don't want to downplay the DH devs for the time they put into this game, but this kind of stuff used to be standard and not especially noteworthy. Paradox took a shift with CK2 to be far more money grubbing.

Actually, this isn't a problem of the industry, but of the player that buy the game and then the DLCs
 

Giob

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Well I think that, save for certain aspects of its production and template systems, there is absolutely nothing that HOI4 does better than DH. Absence of supply/fuel/maintenance is a joke, fleet combat is horrendous, air combat is somehow even worse, resources are varied but inconsistent, historical accuracy is a few steps below the movie Troy, the AI has the strategic thinking of a bootleg microwave, the maps look bad, the minimap is absent, no espionage (in a WW2 game), trade makes no sense, research is soulless and bland, nations' strength balance was probably decided with a D6, there are almost no events (which makes the game feel 'empty'), the partisan and resistance system is so abstract that it could be compared to a painting from Pollock, peace conferences work so bad that the map will end up looking like an actual painting from Pollock, midgame performance is a punch in the guts and PDX has shown a worrying eagerness to fix the game with paid DLCs. And yes, I know I haven't mentioned the battleplanner, but there are young forumites I don't want to scar for life with improper language.

So yeah, I was kinda left a tiny little disappointed from HOI4

EDIT: Boy, how could I forget the National Trees. Needless to say I didn't exactly appreciate them. Not by a long shot.
 
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Duke of Awesome

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The national trees was actually one of the things I liked about HoI4. Maybe they're implemented poorly, but I quite like the idea
 
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Pasha

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Well I think that, save for certain aspects of its production and template systems, there is absolutely nothing that HOI4 does better than DH. Absence of supply/fuel/maintenance is a joke, fleet combat is horrendous, air combat is somehow even worse, resources are varied but inconsistent, historical accuracy is a few steps below the movie Troy, the AI has the strategic thinking of a bootleg microwave, the maps look bad, the minimap is absent, no espionage (in a WW2 game), trade makes no sense, research is soulless and bland, nations' strength balance was probably decided with a D6, there are almost no events (which makes the game feel 'empty'), the partisan and resistance system is so abstract that it could be compared to a painting from Pollock, peace conferences work so bad that the map will end up looking like an actual painting from Pollock, midgame performance is a punch in the guts and PDX has shown a worrying eagerness to fix the game with paid DLCs. And yes, I know I haven't mentioned the battleplanner, but there are young forumites I don't want to scar for life with improper language.

So yeah, I was kinda left a tiny little disappointed from HOI4

EDIT: Boy, how could I forget the National Trees. Needless to say I didn't exactly appreciate them. Not by a long shot.

Funniest post I've read on this forum in quite some time. :D:D:D