Focus Tree Community Feedback Survey!

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This comes up a lot, to quote myself



If HOI4 didn't have focus trees, then the only way to keep a game on historical would be to rely on events, decisions and AI triggers which are far less understandable by the player.
This would be the case if Focus Trees only covered political/diplomatic elements and not every single facet of the game. The focus trees also tend to be much less concerned with historicity and more concerned with coming up with new ways to explore a visual novel. Functionally speaking the only difference between a decision leading to another decision and two focuses is the GUI.
 
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Please make DLCs more expensive and please gate more mechanics behind paywalls. :p

Games are cheaper than ever, in real terms, as everything else rapidly gets more expensive. And yet gamers are more entitled than ever, and I’m tired of it.

Edit: Now that I have completed the survey, I want to give a shoutout to the guy who included the Question 1 response, “I don’t play Hearts of Iron.”
 
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Please make DLCs more expensive and please gate more mechanics behind paywalls. :p

Games are cheaper than ever, in real terms, as everything else rapidly gets more expensive. And yet gamers are more entitled than ever, and I’m tired of it.

Edit: Now that I have completed the survey, I want to give a shoutout to the guy who included the Question 1 response, “I don’t play Hearts of Iron.”
I considered ticking that one, half-expecting it to change to a screen that says "THEN WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!"
 
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Please make DLCs more expensive and please gate more mechanics behind paywalls. :p

Games are cheaper than ever, in real terms, as everything else rapidly gets more expensive. And yet gamers are more entitled than ever, and I’m tired of it.

Edit: Now that I have completed the survey, I want to give a shoutout to the guy who included the Question 1 response, “I don’t play Hearts of Iron.”
While I agree there are some entitled jack***** here and elsewhere, its still not the greatest look to outsiders who may be looking at Hoi4 and wishing to get into playing it only to see a swathe of DLC's that's easily double HOI4's price (Triple?)

Even to veterans of other strategy games, it can still sting to see the 3 year old DLC's only at 50% off. Let's compare to Civ 6- a fair comparison since both were released in 2016, and Paradox is making a competitor to Civ, Millenia!

For base Game Civ 6 right now + All DLC, that's about $300CAD. For base game Hoi4 + all Major and Minor content DLCS (so no radio packs or armor packs etc) its about $262.9. $282.89 counting unreleased Trial of Alliegeance.

But when they go on Sale, Civ 6 and all its DLC is friggin dirt cheap. I don't remember exactly what the last full discount on the game and all DLC was, but I sort of remember it wasn't any more then $70CAD on the steam wintersale. Comparetively, Hoi4 and its DLC's was still around $120 CAD.

While there are no exact sales numbers, you can look and see Civ 6 has more steam reviews then Hoi 4, and almost always more active players at any non-DLC release time.

Now of course, Since Civ 6's sales were much cheaper then HOI4's sales, its harder to know which company has profited more. Even though Civ 6 generated less revenue per purchase, did they manage to sell enough copies to match up to the increased revenue per sale of Hoi4?

That's for Paradox to decide whether its worth it to not drop their DLC's for lower prices during the sales, but I believe its mostly fair to compare the cost of Hoi4 to other games and point out that HOI4 is pointedly more expensive in most cases. Hoi4 has more active support then a Civ game which is complete with the release of its final DLC, and I appreciate the war effort patches, but the amount of unfixed bugs in years old DLC's still makes me sad. It still makes me sad that in current patch Japan declares war on the US before Germany declares war on the Soviets, because AAT added a new focus to Germany's tree related to Sweden, and just decided to throw it into Germany's focus order without consideration of changing the invasion date farther from the historical invasion date.
 
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I liked the focus tress at the beginning, because they made it kind of easy to go into a different direction and weren't as railroaded as the event system before.

HOWEVER, the implementation is still lackluster when it comes to the way I play the game. At the release of the game I made the suggestion to highlight the next historical focus of a country to ensure to play a historical accurate game comparable to the event system. I wanted a simulator that gives the opportunity to change minor details of the historical path and see how those decisions might have played out.
It's ok to have alternative paths in the game such as bringing the Kaiser back as Germany. But the development focus of those memy-paths are something that I have grown weary of. I read every dev diary that comes out but I skip the ones on focus trees.

I also don't like the fact that focus trees still don't interact with each other. Why not have foci that kind of deactivate single focus trees of other countries? You may have the ability to unlock them when certain permissions are granted, trades are being made or promises being kept/made. The linking of focus trees makes the system more complex but the way they are right now, it's either min-maxing of stats or go for the lulz and take absolutely implausible paths.
 
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Take someone who's never played Turkey and ask them which path is the Ottoman path.

I honestly don't understand this one. Switzerland sure, with its veer-to-the-side concept, it's weird alright, and others, older complaints came from somewhere too most of the time - like Mexico which back in the days confused so many people because it lacked distinct ideology-based separate branches (which if you ask me is exactly what makes it interesting).

But the Turkish tree is subdivided in a ridiculously straightforward and geometric way, and icons+focus names easily label the individual branches. How does one not identify the Ottoman path as the leftmost, completely isolated politics branch ? You know... the one with focuses like "return of the sultan" and "reclaim the fallen empire", references to the central powers and Turkey's past ?

The other external politics branches are no more subtle... a big central bloc litterally labelled "foreign policy" offers a choice between a handshake on a british flag, a handshake on a german flag and a handshake on the soviet flag. They further differentiate into 5 fairly compartimented branches : join the allies, jon the axis, a meditteranean alliance with a big italian flag-coloured icon, a handshake over republican spain's flag ; the only "questionable" one would be the montreux convention thing that doesn't explicitly states it makes friends with the soviets, but with the amount of soviet-related icons and names before and after it I'll have to go and classify it as relatively obvious still. And the isolated rightmost branch has "balkan" written on half its focuses and "friendship" on the other half.

Internal Politics above is hardly more confused. Below the kadro movement to the right you have on the right communist iconology and on the left fascist one ; and democratic iconology on the far left. This leaves the central part of the tree as a more confused area that, granted, is slightly more nebulous ; but it wouldn't take much effort to imagine that it's either an alternate take on one of the three other ideologies, or some sort of non-aligned thing - and there are still many hints for an educated guess to be made (peace at home and its development-centered focuses hint at a literal non-aligned aka no-side-taken, passive branch, while reinvigorating nationalism is likely a more aggressive defend-our-interest one, and has religious iconology that once again can fit the non-aligned logic ; also, that the peace at home branch be on the left, near the democracy one, and the nationalism one on the right, near the fascist and communist ones, is probably no coincidence, creating a somewhat smooth progression from left to right, from passive and restricted by democracy-rules, to passive and restricted by non-aligned rules, to non-passive but still non-aligned somewhat, to outright aggressive).

Turan is the only weird branch here, but it's also very isolated in the tree structure, at the very bottom, and branches out from the whole central bloc, so it's not as impactful regarding tree pathing unless you specifically want to reach it, in which case you can get to it from anywhere except the ottoman and balkan paths.


And all that. That's just going by the general structure of the tree as a whole, and the focuses' names and icons. No focus effect or description was read. You don't need more than a minute or two to see all that and not even a single click or hoover is necessary. How in the world does this geometric, crystal-clear tree like that can be claimed to be as complex as Switzerland's tree ? Bulgaria's political tree is at least five times as complex as the whole Turkish tree...
 
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I was starting to play HOI4 because focus trees and it was in times, when I thought, that I had so many choices, when I can choose between "Befriend Bulgaria" and "Pressure on Bulgaria" - or something like that - in old italian focus trees :) Nothing was changed since 2018 in this regard. But one thing - I prefer focus trees with not mutch dedicated mechanics. Probably only one specific mechanic I like, is Stalin paranoia, because it gives mutch more taste. But I have huge problem with BftB, because faction management and foreign investment are not intuitive for me. I want to relax playing strategy games, I don't want to read a book about bulgarian internal policy to know, that if I do not intergrate or destroy one faction on time, I will get a civil war I cannot stop.
One of the best focus trees in entire game is baltic states and in my opinion - this is step in good direction for countries in same region, having no (or very, very small) impact to the war in real life:
- shared industrial branch - I don't want to think, that I need to improve relations with all my neighbors and maybe get the factories, maybe not. I want to click the focus and know, that in 70 days I will get specific numbers;
- some shared historical branch;
- OP branches from alternative history.

//ed. as always
 
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I have given my Feedback for the Focus Trees in the Question-Link. It´s very easy and done in maximum 5 Minutes.

Give all an Feedback, so the Teams can work on them. I use an Mod called historical National Focus Dates, which corrects the wrong AI-Choises for all integrated Countrys from the historical Focusses to the correct Timeline (f. e. not the either / other Decission for the Z-Plan or U-Boat-Efforts, Spain are using the italian and german Freelancer-Help in the Focus-Tree now, the USA-Focus-Decisons come now correctly and much more), like it get done in Real.

What they can do in the A-historical Part, which we all haven´t an real example (maybe if we go in an mirror Universe like sometimes unintended in Star Trek "Enterprise / TOS / TNG / Voyager / Picard" which get such What-If-Scenarios in the Series / Movies). That unhistorical Focus-Tree-Parts are an nice Bonus the Devs give us and eventually are here & there some better outcomes possible. But don´t await wounders, that´s the best outcome we get.
 
its still not the greatest look to outsiders who may be looking at Hoi4 and wishing to get into playing it only to see a swathe of DLC's that's easily double HOI4's price (Triple?)
I agree that it is very off-putting to newcomers. I myself had trouble wrapping my head around eu4’s 36 DLCs years ago. It seemed like a huge barrier to entry—I wasn’t going to commit that much to a game I didn’t even know I liked. And why were there so many anyway?!

I think Paradox have already found the solution to that: subscription model. This easily allows a trial period, with all DLCs, for as long as you’d like, with commitment only when you know you want to marry the game.

The high price also makes sense, considering that we are coming up on hoi4’s eighth year of annual content—and we will soon be getting better-than-annual releases, and will continue to into the near future, to least ten years. A decade of support: that is unprecedented in gaming, but is normal for Paradox (RIP Imperator). Most other franchises will have released several base titles in that time frame, but our investment in the base game is still bringing value.

Civ6 is a great comparison, because although released at the same time, it did not receive nearly as much new content over the years, and we are currently awaiting “the next Civ”, which will obviate our previous investment, while hoi4 still has many years to go.

Once I made the frame shift, I got fully behind this model of development. I think it’s up to Paradox to help consumers properly understand what they are doing, and maybe they need to do a better job at that.

While I joked about people demanding content for free, my primary concern is actually that if prices do not keep up with inflation, then the pressure will be on increasing volume, which risks leading to worse design decisions getting made to reach a wider market. I would gladly pay a little more money for an enjoyable product than be offered a cheaper price for garbage I don’t want anyway.

Also, slightly higher price may mean more resources for bugfixing, which doesn’t directly deliver revenue.
 
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favourite Ideology: What should i choose when my country has no ideology advisor? I believe to know why you have done this. Change the ideolgy = change puppet status. But other puppets has politcial advisors.
 
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Ummm. Steam Sale!

At least 3 times per year, the old "stuff" is 50% off, and the more recent (but not new) is 25% to 30% off.

Steam sales: American "Black Friday", Christmas / New Year's, and early summer (late June / early July - close to American Independence Day)
There are other times, but these are "guaranteed".​
I am well aware - I only purchase PDS products at 50% off because they do so, so reliably (even if it takes a while to get there).
The issue is that the steam page still has a $500 (exaggeration, but only slightly) price tag for the typical mature PDS GSG. I can only imagine that that scares off a lot of potential buyers/new players. I know that I am certainly skeptical when I see a (non-PDS) game like that.
 
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I am well aware - I only purchase PDS products at 50% off because they do so, so reliably (even if it takes a while to get there).
The issue is that the steam page still has a $500 (exaggeration, but only slightly) price tag for the typical mature PDS GSG. I can only imagine that that scares off a lot of potential buyers/new players. I know that I am certainly skeptical when I see a (non-PDS) game like that.
Im old enough to remember when steam sales for Paradox games hit 75% off. There is no reason why several years old DLCs aren't mixed into dirt-cheap packages like Civ VI DLCs.
 
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Im old enough to remember when steam sales for Paradox games hit 75% off.
I remember that too. Hasn't happened in years :(
I'd like to see PDS GSG DLCs decrease their base price by 10% per year for 9 years. And then stay at 10% of the initial. Just to make the sticker shock on the storefront page, less egregious.
 
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I remember that too. Hasn't happened in years :(
I'd like to see PDS GSG DLCs decrease their base price by 10% per year for 9 years. And then stay at 10% of the initial. Just to make the sticker shock on the storefront page, less egregious.
Come on, Paradox games are dirt cheap. Anyone with a minimum wage ($15 per hour) can afford them quite easily.

The issue is quality not affordability. If Paradox was to raise the price of yearly DLCs to $100 or even $200, I would be ok with that, if they would have a lot more features.

But at the current pace, I'm not willing to pay even $50 for another stew of useless minor country focuses, 1 horribly implemented feature and 1 feature that is great but is long overdue.
 
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Come on, Paradox games are dirt cheap. Anyone with a minimum wage ($15 per hour) can afford them quite easily.

The issue is quality not affordability. If Paradox was to raise the price of yearly DLCs to $100 or even $200, I would be ok with that, if they would have a lot more features.

But at the current pace, I'm not willing to pay even $50 for another stew of useless minor country focuses, 1 horribly implemented feature and 1 feature that is great but is long overdue.
Where the heck do you live that minimum wage is $15 an hour? I've been working for eight years, two of them full-time, and I'm still just shy of $15.
 
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Where the heck do you live that minimum wage is $15 an hour? I've been working for eight years, two of them full-time, and I'm still just shy of $15.
North America. In the EU wages are a little less, but still reasonable. And where are you from?

A good measure is coffee: almost anywhere in the world a standard 200-300ml latte or cappuccino costs $3-4 from the local coffee shop. A HOi4 DLC is then 10-15 cups of coffee.

Which is actually a good question: from which countries are most HOI4 buyers from? And is that what calls for two versions of the game: cut-down (no DLC) and enhanced (all DLC)?
 
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I would have gladly spent some more time giving more detailed feedback if the form allowed it. Maybe add that option in the future.

I've been playing since HOI2. Focus trees aren't the worst thing in the world...if you didn't have them you'd need to replicate them with events and such to keep things on a vaguely historical path.

I think focus trees have been a detriment to the way the game has developed, in that there isn't a baseline diplomatic AI to support it. The AI in other Paradox games isn't perfect by any means, but it at least loosely influenced by game state. The dependence on the focus trees leads to things going completely off the rails once the AI finishes its scripted sequential list of focuses (on historical) and starts selecting focuses at random. This can obviously be somewhat addressed by putting in a bunch of AI weights in each focus...but that sort of exhaustive detail isn't present in most trees.
 
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Come on, Paradox games are dirt cheap.
Bruh.
ck2.png
eu4.png
stellaris.png

My point is, yes it still relatively affordable when you buy the DLCs over the course of a literal decade. But when a potential new player sees the steam page, and the total price for a complete EU4 is north of $450.... get the f out. At least that's what I think when I see that (not on PDS games because I understand the business model). Just in general.. ."oh, it's like that is it. hard pass."

There is no reason for CK2 complete to still be $310, 12 years after it came out, 6 years since the final DLC, and 4 years after the sequel was released.
 
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I buy the HOI games because I know I'll enjoy them.
I've had massive interest in several other Pdx games but not bought them for the sheer amount of DLCs on them. It feels like you're not buying the full game unless you've forked out hundreds.
Most games that I look at for buying, whether Pdx or someone else, I don't buy if there are over half a dozen DLCs on them. Maybe I'm the only person that shops for games that way I don't know. I just don't like that strategy for software developers to do that (although I understand why they do it).
 
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