Johan

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Hello everybody and welcome to yet another issue of the Hearts of Iron 3 development diaries. The cold darkness of winter is still upon us, and we labour endlessly in front of our computers. This last week, our artists have been working on implementing more animated planes, and the Japanese Zero is now in the game. They’ve also worked quite a lot at improving the ingame interfaces. Our programmers have been busy working on the core of the AI, while wrapping up the logic for the final unit interfaces. Order of Battles are being adapted for the scenarios, while we still discuss exactly how certain functions will work. All in all, the project is going along nicely.

If we cast our mind back to the distant past when this game call Hearts of Iron was released, some of you may of heard of this, there was this interesting problem in Multiplayer. Everyone knew that the Axis were pretty much doomed, so if you were a country like Italy or Japan you had no logical reason to join to Axis. As the Allies (or Comintern I guess) you had no logical reason to refuse either Italy or Japan if they decided to join you team. Although this was solved by the rather nifty solution that is the house rule. This problem persisted in Hearts of Iron 2 and to be honest we here at Paradox Towers felt that all in all this was unsatisfactory. So we put our collective heads together and began to think about what we could do. On the one hand we wanted a system that would deliver the historical result but at the same time we wanted to introduce an element of uncertainty and make sure that you could not take the historical outcome for granted. So we dreamed up the concept called alignment.

Alignment feels the same way that the relations’ triangle did in Hearts of Iron. You have the three factions, Allies, Axis and Comintern, and how each country sees itself in relation to them. However the trick we have added is that Alignment influences which faction you can join. If you are neutrally aligned you cannot join any Faction, while if you are aligned towards the Axis then you can only consider joining the Axis. Now there are other factors in play than influence this, like relative threat and neutrality, but this is the basics. So through our starting set ups we can give countries a bent towards joining a particular alliance, Italy and Japan are aligned Axis while America is aligned towards the Allies.

Now the interesting thing here is inside this triangle you start to drift. Part of this you can influence, there is a diplomatic action that influences your drift speed towards a faction. This doesn’t work the same way influencing a nation does in Hearts of Iron 2. This is a long term action that runs for a period time giving the country a small nudge in that direction. We did this for three reasons, first up is micromanagement, we did not want to make influencing countries a click fest. Secondly we wanted diplomacy to be a long-range strategic decision, not a spur of the moment choice. Thirdly realism, we felt it was more realistic for two reasons. A country doesn’t just suddenly like the Axis it is more of a gradual process and also if Germany is making a Diplomatic move towards say Hungary then other countries will be aware of this and can consider trying to make counters to this. Minister choice can also influence how a country drifts.

However there are also other factors that influence drift. First off is ideology, you have an intrinsic drift towards the faction that shares your ideology, proximity also influences drift, the closer you are to faction members the more likely you are to cosy up to them instead of your natural ideology. It also prevents suicidal behavour by countries. Switzerland may be democratic, but if it surrounded on all sides by Axis countries it is going to take some persuading to even consider joining the Allies. Having cores on a faction member or you having cores on them will cause you to drift away from that ideology. So let’s just look at was these mean in practice. Let’s take 2 examples, first up is Italy. Italy has a natural Axis alignment and due to having a fascist government it has a natural drift towards the Axis camp. Its initial border with France will delay its drift into the Axis camp, but once Austria goes this will be cancelled out. Essentially if the Allies want to keep Italy out of the Axis camp they will have to move early and aggressively. Next up Finland. As a democratic state it is a small drift towards the Allies. However it has claims on the Soviet Union so it will drift away from Comintern (i.e. towards both the Axis and the Allies). Should Germany conquer Norway then Finland will drift even more towards the Axis causing Finland to align into the Axis camp and think about getting some revenge on the Soviet Union.

So that is Alignment, we have aimed to strike a balance between the historical outcome and logical reasons that cause it diverge.

And here’s a quick look at how it looks like in the game.
alpha_jan14.jpg
 

Markusw7

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OMG limited war!

offer alliance and invite to faction?????

Embargo!!!!!! realistic oil embargo here i come!
 

Kodos666

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i wonder whats the difference between "declare limited war" and "declare war" will be. Maybe some kind of colonial war like in Victoria?
 

Markusw7

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i wonder whats the difference between "declare limited war" and "declare war" will be. Maybe some kind of colonial war like in Victoria?

i'm thinking Japan in Indochina, Macao and east Timor
 

Airfixer

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Great!

But if you have a millitary threat against your border (like Finland-SU) might you not considering an alliance with the threat instead, like Finland joining the comintern to avoid beeing attacked by the Sovjets?
 

Inner Circle

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Interesting... I have some questions:

1. what is the meaning of limited war?
2. Do I understand right that the events are replaced with nation specific missions like in EU3:IN?
3. You can Embargo a Nation? Nice:D
4. what is the difference between Invite to Faction and offer Alliance?
 

King

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i wonder whats the difference between "declare limited war" and "declare war" will be. Maybe some kind of colonial war like in Victoria?

It's a special power you get if you are a member of the Axis, you can start a war and not call in your Allies. If you were like an Italian Dictator and wanted to say conquer Greece on your own without any help from your allies you would do something like this. It also allows Germany and Japan to be aligned together but not in war together against the Soviet Union. If Germany were to say declare a limited war against the Soviet Union then each Axis member would need to decide if they wanted to join the limited war giving a staggered entry into the war and some (say Bulgaria) not bothering at all.
 

Kodos666

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maybe thats the difference between "offer alliance" and invite to faction
 

Chaplain

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I always liked the "triangle" dynamic of HOI1. It's clean and elegant. But this is a better, more in-depth version with more opportunities to change things. Very nice. :)

As a side note, the graphics look very nice as well.
 

Bullfrog

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good stuff. What is "invite to faction"?
 

Chaplain

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It's a special power you get if you are a member of the Axis, you can start a war and not call in your Allies. If you were like an Italian Dictator and wanted to say conquer Greece on your own without any help from your allies you would do something like this. It also allows Germany and Japan to be aligned together but not in war together against the Soviet Union. If Germany were to say declare a limited war against the Soviet Union then each Axis member would need to decide if they wanted to join the limited war giving a staggered entry into the war and some (say Bulgaria) not bothering at all.

This is really outstanding. I LOVE this. Great improvement.