Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour – Developer Diary 3 – Battle Plans, Multiplayer

podcat

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Hello and welcome to the third development diary for TFH. Today I'm going to be talking about our new battle plans interface and how it impacts multiplayer, and also show our new battle scenarios.

Battle Plans
We have added a new mode that lets you construct detailed plans. It works as an overlay on top of any mapmode and can be toggled on and off. This lets you draw up complicated operations in advance and plan your game. They can be saved, edited and loaded and we even have historical plans you can refer to if you want to compare yourself or try and recreate an operation. It is my hope that this feature will be very popular with the AAR community. Here is a picture showing a few of the features. You can draw arrows, border lines, write text and place an assortment of icons (before anyone ask: these are all moddable and easy to extend):

their_finest_hour_dd3_arrows.jpg

Another reason for these plans is to help with communication in multiplayer games. You can share them live while playing with your allies and decide on areas of responsibility etc.

New Chat
Another thing that will be useful for people in multiplayer is our new chat. Its got nifty features like auto-joining faction rooms, secret whispers etc so doing player diplomacy is now much easier.

chat.jpg

New Scenarios
TFH also includes two new Battle Scenarios: The Spanish Civil war, and The Winter war.
The first is the struggle for control of Spain, historically fought 17th July 1936 – 1st April 1939 between the Nationalists and the Republicans, our scenario starts on the 1st of October, 1936 with Franco back on the mainland and both sides with mostly coherent front lines. The two sides are fairly evenly balanced, and the battle could go either way.

their finest hour dd 3_scenarios.jpg

The Winter war, fought 30th November 1939 – 13th March 1940 as the USSR sought to expand at the expense of Finland, is quite different; the USSR is a vastly larger country than Finland, with a much larger army. Finland has a chance as they have a good defensive position on the Soviet's main line of attack, and the Red army is still badly organised and poorly lead after the purging of officers in recent years, but either brilliance or a lot of luck will be needed to fight off this invasion.

Next week's diary will be about leaders, traits and our combined arms revamp. See you then!
 

Loke

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Sweet :)
 

KevinG

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I hope the new chat feature doesn't **** with the UI like the last one. If you have player text over a button/tooltip you can't click on it unless you drag the window away from the text. Its SUPER annoying during battles when you get spammed with messages and the text covers everything.
 

podcat

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I hope the new chat feature doesn't **** with the UI like the last one. If you have player text over a button/tooltip you can't click on it unless you drag the window away from the text. Its SUPER annoying during battles when you get spammed with messages and the text covers everything.

this was one of the reasons to re-do the chat. The new one stays hidden if you hide it and there is a little alert that let you know if there are new messages if its hidden
 

Garuda

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I like the battle plan addition. I hope it proves simple to use - i.e idiot proof for players like me. :happy:
 

unmerged(207829)

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in the big barbarossa picture, there's all them german red arrows...but i also notice a sneaky little yellow arrow coming from romanian territory. is it possible to tell your allies where you want them, ie a new twist on the existing allied objectives feature?
 

RogueLeprechaun

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The planning facility is just so you can draw nifty maps for world domination correct? Nothing to do with the putting a theatre under AI control?

I could see how that could be nice for AAR's. :)

I hope you also have some nice simple improvements to the interface that have been suggested by players to announce as well. The little things count...
 

Alex_brunius

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in the big barbarossa picture, there's all them german red arrows...but i also notice a sneaky little yellow arrow coming from romanian territory. is it possible to tell your allies where you want them, ie a new twist on the existing allied objectives feature?

Seems like it will be at least for multiplayer:
Another reason for these plans is to help with communication in multiplayer games. You can share them live while playing with your allies and decide on areas of responsibility etc.
 

delra

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Some weird people in this chat...
 

podcat

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The planning facility is just so you can draw nifty maps for world domination correct? Nothing to do with the putting a theatre under AI control?

I could see how that could be nice for AAR's. :)

I hope you also have some nice simple improvements to the interface that have been suggested by players to announce as well. The little things count...

yes its for keeping track of your plans, or to discuss in multiplayer. Its not an interface to the AI

Some weird people in this chat...

yes our QA team are an odd bunch :D
 

Green Giant

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Wait, am I to understand that Battle Plans will not actually help control the AI when you hand over control of a front to it? That's really disappointing. :( I guess I had assumed from the pics that this would be the case but it looks like it's just going to be an aesthetic AAR tool with no practical function at all.
 

Davy

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With this Battle plan mode it is a lote more attractive for players like myself, I have always the bad habit to change my plans and forget the original after an half hour. With this feature it is even for me possible to remember what I am doing :D
 

Beagá

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OMG Podcat using the silly old "It´s a trap!" meme... Admiral de Ackbar? O rly :rofl:

And as someone said are the plans just a graphical feature or they impact gameplay?
 

Jazumir

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With this Battle plan mode it is a lote more attractive for players like myself, I have always the bad habit to change my plans and forget the original after an half hour. With this feature it is even for me possible to remember what I am doing :D

The more i think about it, there more i get the impression as well, that this might not be as useless as i first preceived for SP, after all. I might actually go at Barbarossa with AI-controlled armies, despite this interface not being a direct link to the AI - if the game doesnt provide that link, it gives me a chance to do so, at least, checking if my armies have reached their objective and setting new ones according to the plan i previously made with this tool...

Still, seems like quite the effort...

Anyways, maybe there is a tiny bit of hope, that this may, one day, lead to a product with such a feature implemented, that can be read by the AI.