Hearts of Iron 4. In its modern state, should have had an earlier start date.

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Tuna Cat

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This is something of an odd but lingering thought on my part, and it mostly has to do with the gameplay that modern hearts of iron embodies vs launch hearts of iron.

I think all things considered, the way that tech, politics and focus trees have been developed over time, especially focus trees tendency for increased detail and development over time and alt historical routes with increased depth. Hearts of iron modern, would have benefited greatly from an earlier start date, something like 1930, or 1933 or both. I don't even think it would have benefited a little, the increase in country management and the systems they offer has turned hearts of iron 4 into something that has a depth that's somewhat betrayed by its now rather quaint start dates.


Where as Hearts of iron originally was essentially about picking and choosing your country, flipping your politics via some ingame buttons in a few months, and then choosing how to equip your army before throwing them at your neighbors in a quick bash. Hearts of iron current seems to me to be packed with systems that are just begging for a more long term game, more in depth politics for nations requiring your active attention, much much bigger focus trees that seem constrained by the time limit, so many interesting ways to develop not just nations but multiple nations in emergent sessions, it just seems a shame that it seems so constrained by the start dates.

This isn't something I'd have said for launch HOI4 at all, in fact I'd have suggested that launch HOI4 would have been absolutely boring with start dates going back so far, in fact a part of me might have thought that the earliest versions of hoi4 were already a bit too long in the tooth in regards to start dates, although I never played base base hoi4.

Does anyone else have similiar thoughts? I really think it would be so interesting to see what you could do with say a country like turkey if you have more years to push it in the direction you want with the current set ups. What about germany? It has alt historical paths but imagine if you could send it down a path that didn't have hitler, or maybe even had hitler get into power another method, civil war, instead of the alt his being whether or not you depose him after the fact.

Food for thought.

This isn't necessarily a suggestion as practically I'm not sure if it's feasible, but that doesn't make the thought as to whether or not it would make the game better or worse inccorect, hence why I am bringing it up here for discussion. What do you guys think?
 
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I'd love a game that has a stronger focus on diplomacy, meaning the entire interwar period, leading to WW2, and then the Cold War.

Many important events took place before 1936, like Mussolini coming into power and starting the entire mess in Abyssinia, the Allies enforcing the Treaty of Versailles, Germany's up and down with the Weimar Republic, the economy with Black Friday (and subsequent rise of Hitler to power), GB struggling to keep their empire from falling apart, France getting complacent as the great victor of WW1, Russia undergoing turmoil and its communist revolution, Japan shifting towards imperialism...

And then the post-WW2 situation, with the Soviets rushing nuclear tech and creating their own realm of subjects, the US building an anti-Soviet front in Europe and thus founding NATO, then the political back and forth around the globe with Communism vs Capitalism. Especially the Cold War gives prominence to regions that were simply not that important for WW2 itself, like South America, Africa and the Middle East.

The rise of Communist China, the civil war in Korea, the Vietnam War, I'd want to see them too.

As a WW2 simulator the game is great, but it offer little beyond that. Which is a shame and a missed opportunity I think.
 
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I think all things considered, the way that tech, politics and focus trees have been developed over time, especially focus trees tendency for increased detail and development over time and alt historical routes with increased depth. Hearts of iron modern, would have benefited greatly from an earlier start date, something like 1930, or 1933 or both. I don't even think it would have benefited a little, the increase in country management and the systems they offer has turned hearts of iron 4 into something that has a depth that's somewhat betrayed by its now rather quaint start dates.
Fully agreed. There is something incredibly frustrating about playing as, say, Ottomans or even Austria-Hungrary. The POD being just a few years before Germany invades Poland means you can't really influence anything until after everything kicks off. If it started in, say, 1933 (an important date due to German politics) you could at least play a role in pre-war planning. Either a counterbalance to Germany or something the Allies/Comintern need to "fix".
 
An earlier start date has a huge drawback. Germany, the main antagonist in the hoi series, is still bound by the versailles treaty. So it has no tanks, no air force, no navy to speak of and an army of only 100K in 1933 (when the NSDAP comes to power).

Eliminating these limitations are equivalent to breaking the treaty, giving the other treaty members (france in particular) a casus belly to declare war and invade. Something, I might add, they actually did in the 1920's when the then weimar republic also started to violate some stipulations in the versailles treaty.

By starting in 1936 (where germany has all but eliminated the treaty of versailles without france or the UK reacting), you conveniently side-step this problem. Germany now has an air force, has a navy, has tanks and an expanded army.

Should you start in, say, 1933 (or even earlier), a human player, playing france or the uk, has an incredibly easy game. As soon as Hitler germany starts tampering with the versailles treaty, you declare war, march in (virtually) unopposed, occupy berlin and it's game over before the game truly has started.
 
Frankly, I would have preferred an increase in the range of years, to the 1960s, -1970s. But to do this subtly, will not slide into a gigantic war of everyone and everything, because for everyone it would be obvious the end of the world in such a war, but to make a proxy war, more subtle diplomacy. But I think in the current implementation of HoI this is not possible. Maybe in HoI5.
 
I agree that with the direction HOI is going, an earlier start date would make sense as more effort is put into alt history paths than historical, though for HOI4, the focus trees that have been developed probably makes such a adjustment impossible. However, if earlier starting dates were implemented for HOI5, I think they would need to rethink focus trees, generalizing and broadening them a bit. HOI4 focus trees are very much built around a "narrative" that the induvidual content creator wanted to tell, and if you expand on the pre-war years, I think those same narratives might become a bit too constraining.
 
Recently I was playing some kind of mod (I don’t remember exactly which one). And in this mod you can start start with the 1920s. By choosing Soviet Russia, I won not only the Civil War but also the Foreign Intervention, captured Poland which started the Soviet-Polish War, and frankly, capturing the rest of Europe in the 1930s was so easy because of industrial superiority. So I find starting earlier will be just as unbalanced.
 
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An earlier start date has a huge drawback. Germany, the main antagonist in the hoi series, is still bound by the versailles treaty. So it has no tanks, no air force, no navy to speak of and an army of only 100K in 1933 (when the NSDAP comes to power).

Eliminating these limitations are equivalent to breaking the treaty, giving the other treaty members (france in particular) a casus belly to declare war and invade. Something, I might add, they actually did in the 1920's when the then weimar republic also started to violate some stipulations in the versailles treaty.

By starting in 1936 (where germany has all but eliminated the treaty of versailles without france or the UK reacting), you conveniently side-step this problem. Germany now has an air force, has a navy, has tanks and an expanded army.

Should you start in, say, 1933 (or even earlier), a human player, playing france or the uk, has an incredibly easy game. As soon as Hitler germany starts tampering with the versailles treaty, you declare war, march in (virtually) unopposed, occupy berlin and it's game over before the game truly has started.
I mean I can't say this isn't true, but in that same vein I don't think an earlier start so a more vulnerable germany is something that's inherently a 'drawback' it just is what it is, just like how in the current start ethiopia is weak af.

What you actually described sounds to me like an incredibly fun way to play out a hearts of iron round, What happens after that? Soviets are still there, italy, japan, who knows. What happens to germany after this, is it absorbed by its neighbours? it sounds interesting.
Recently I was playing some kind of mod (I don’t remember exactly which one). And in this mod you can start start with the 1920s. By choosing Soviet Russia, I won not only the Civil War but also the Foreign Intervention, captured Poland which started the Soviet-Polish War, and frankly, capturing the rest of Europe in the 1930s was so easy because of industrial superiority. So I find starting earlier will be just as unbalanced.
well I very much doubt putting back the start date would be balanced at all, this is moreso got to do with the general scope of hearts of iron as a whole. Summed up the scope of the internal mechanics have expanded but the scope of the game as a whole (So dates and era) Are the same because as you say it'd be really hard to change that.

Ultimately I feel if there is a hearts of iron 5 expanding the dates is a smart thing. IMO. unless they refocus the gameplay.
 
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I agree that with the direction HOI is going, an earlier start date would make sense as more effort is put into alt history paths than historical, though for HOI4, the focus trees that have been developed probably makes such a adjustment impossible. However, if earlier starting dates were implemented for HOI5, I think they would need to rethink focus trees, generalizing and broadening them a bit. HOI4 focus trees are very much built around a "narrative" that the induvidual content creator wanted to tell, and if you expand on the pre-war years, I think those same narratives might become a bit too constraining.
On this note, I think the idea system as implemented in hearts of iron is basically a better and more dynamic focus system and they should build any future HOIs based moreso on the idea system then the focus tree system. You can really see this shine in say america or china and how it's implemented there. Of course with refinement and expansion.
 
An earlier start date has a huge drawback. Germany, the main antagonist in the hoi series, is still bound by the versailles treaty. So it has no tanks, no air force, no navy to speak of and an army of only 100K in 1933 (when the NSDAP comes to power).

Eliminating these limitations are equivalent to breaking the treaty, giving the other treaty members (france in particular) a casus belly to declare war and invade. Something, I might add, they actually did in the 1920's when the then weimar republic also started to violate some stipulations in the versailles treaty.

By starting in 1936 (where germany has all but eliminated the treaty of versailles without france or the UK reacting), you conveniently side-step this problem. Germany now has an air force, has a navy, has tanks and an expanded army.

Should you start in, say, 1933 (or even earlier), a human player, playing france or the uk, has an incredibly easy game. As soon as Hitler germany starts tampering with the versailles treaty, you declare war, march in (virtually) unopposed, occupy berlin and it's game over before the game truly has started.
in other words, USA dillema of "how to leash a giant" everywhere.
 
On this note, I think the idea system as implemented in hearts of iron is basically a better and more dynamic focus system and they should build any future HOIs based moreso on the idea system then the focus tree system. You can really see this shine in say america or china and how it's implemented there. Of course with refinement and expansion.
I agree, and I also believe a lot of the stuff the focus trees does could be handled by decisions and systems more similar to the generic focus tree. The game actually has the systems in place to allow players to switch government/ideology, declare on and occupy its neighbours and declare some sort of "superstate" without using focuses at all, and if adding another 3 or 6 pre-war years, I believe those systems (with some refinement) would be better than focuses that ultimately does the same thing, though quicker.
 
That's only feasible with a departure from the core idea of Hearts of Iron as the pure war simulator on Paradox's catalog. In order to have those earlier periods in game you'll have to have mechanics in place that give you more autonomy and stuff to do in peacetime, just like in other Paradox titles. Not sure such a departure would be welcomed by the player base.
 
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I'd love a game that has a stronger focus on diplomacy, meaning the entire interwar period, leading to WW2, and then the Cold War.

Many important events took place before 1936, like Mussolini coming into power and starting the entire mess in Abyssinia, the Allies enforcing the Treaty of Versailles, Germany's up and down with the Weimar Republic, the economy with Black Friday (and subsequent rise of Hitler to power), GB struggling to keep their empire from falling apart, France getting complacent as the great victor of WW1, Russia undergoing turmoil and its communist revolution, Japan shifting towards imperialism...

And then the post-WW2 situation, with the Soviets rushing nuclear tech and creating their own realm of subjects, the US building an anti-Soviet front in Europe and thus founding NATO, then the political back and forth around the globe with Communism vs Capitalism. Especially the Cold War gives prominence to regions that were simply not that important for WW2 itself, like South America, Africa and the Middle East.

The rise of Communist China, the civil war in Korea, the Vietnam War, I'd want to see them too.

As a WW2 simulator the game is great, but it offer little beyond that. Which is a shame and a missed opportunity I think.
Well HOI at its core is a WWII simulator

this thread is basically asking for a whole different game
 
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An earlier start date has a huge drawback. Germany, the main antagonist in the hoi series, is still bound by the versailles treaty. So it has no tanks, no air force, no navy to speak of and an army of only 100K in 1933 (when the NSDAP comes to power).

Eliminating these limitations are equivalent to breaking the treaty, giving the other treaty members (france in particular) a casus belly to declare war and invade. Something, I might add, they actually did in the 1920's when the then weimar republic also started to violate some stipulations in the versailles treaty.

By starting in 1936 (where germany has all but eliminated the treaty of versailles without france or the UK reacting), you conveniently side-step this problem. Germany now has an air force, has a navy, has tanks and an expanded army.

Should you start in, say, 1933 (or even earlier), a human player, playing france or the uk, has an incredibly easy game. As soon as Hitler germany starts tampering with the versailles treaty, you declare war, march in (virtually) unopposed, occupy berlin and it's game over before the game truly has started.
in sp, players already do this as france with refusing rheinland. it would be somewhat easier in '33, but once someone is familiar with the game the practical difference wouldn't be so large

i think rather than earlier start date theater limitation/fleshed out diplo would make more sense. far too many things were tethered to focus trees, to the detriment of the game overall. they have been shoehorned into doing things that break established rules w/o warning (this is more a design failure misusing a tool than a problem with focuses existing though). unfortunately, they are also the closest thing the game has to "diplo" for the ai (which is very limited overall).

i don't think extending buildup phase in absence of diplo/completely different ways for ww2 to kick off and a diplo system would leave the game more interesting.
 
Well HOI at its core is a WWII simulator
I think back to the experiment of "East vs West", which was more or less an expanded, more diplomacy-focused HoI3. It was even called "East vs West: A Hearts of Iron Game" and covered the time of 1946 to 1991.

So I'd say that the devs did at least consider not sticking strictly to WW2 with the series. It's not as far-fetched as one might think.

If they develop HoI5 with diplomacy and the Cold War in mind, instead of merely trying to slap that on to an existing WW2 simulator? I wouldn't rule that out tbh.
 
I think back to the experiment of "East vs West", which was more or less an expanded, more diplomacy-focused HoI3. It was even called "East vs West: A Hearts of Iron Game" and covered the time of 1946 to 1991.

So I'd say that the devs did at least consider not sticking strictly to WW2 with the series. It's not as far-fetched as one might think.

If they develop HoI5 with diplomacy and the Cold War in mind, instead of merely trying to slap that on to an existing WW2 simulator? I wouldn't rule that out tbh.
I thought that wasn't made by PDS but by another dev. The ones who made Arsenal of Democracy
 
I thought that wasn't made by PDS but by another dev. The ones who made Arsenal of Democracy
PDX was the publisher, and the devs were paid by PDX, using a PDX trademark, with a previously developed and released game as baseline, also made and published entirely by PDX.

Doesn't matter much if the dev studio was just an external contractor or internal studio at that point. PDX greenlit the project and paid for it.

Just that it didn't work out and the plug was pulled. A shame, could've established HoI as more than just a WW2 simulator, but rather a 20th century geopolitical and strategic simulator. But the takeaway is that they toyed with those thoughts, and I hope that this will have some impact on HoI5.
 
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PDX was the publisher, and the devs were paid by PDX, using a PDX trademark, with a previously developed and released game as baseline, also made and published entirely by PDX.

Doesn't matter much if the dev studio was just an external contractor or internal studio at that point. PDX greenlit the project and paid for it.

Just that it didn't work out and the plug was pulled. A shame, could've established HoI as more than just a WW2 simulator, but rather a 20th century geopolitical and strategic simulator. But the takeaway is that they toyed with those thoughts, and I hope that this will have some impact on HoI5.
but does HOI need to be more than "just" a WWII simulator?

maybe there's a reason why trying to make Cold War geopolitics sim HOI didn't work