Hearts of Iron IV - Development Diary 2 -  The Tools of War

Hearts of Iron IV - Development Diary 2 - The Tools of War

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podcat

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Welcome to the second development diary for Hearts of Iron IV! Today, I am going dive right into the meaty stuff and present one of the larger changes we've made to the game - equipment. It's a broad topic with many implications for how the rest of the game is played, so my goal is to present the general idea without digging into all the details just yet. But don't worry, there will be more details than you can shake a field-marshal's baton at in future diaries!

Production
We wanted a more interesting industry model that offered a compelling reason not to always use the latest technology, as well as adding more unit flavor in HoI4. To accomplish this we developed a model where you no longer build full divisions and aircraft wings one at a time; instead, you create production lines to pump out individual vehicles. The longer you run a single production line the more efficient it gets at producing that piece of equipment, and the choice of when to switch over to, say, a newer tank model becomes tricky. Is the war effort best served by a shiny new Tiger that can outclass the competition, or would you rather have 20 Panzer IVs? You will have to make choices like this. Upgrading your equipment now means replacing your old models at the front with new tank designs, for example. The old ones can be put in reserve, sent to less important places, or perhaps given as aid to an ally.

This means that a division is basically an assortment of different equipment combined with men who operate them. Most of the stats of a division will come from equipment, so a panzer division without tanks will not be particularly fit for duty. As for exactly what equipment is used by each division, it will depend on how you have structured your divisions. At the smallest level, we are looking at battalion types that make up your divisions determining how much you need of everything, but a division is still the smallest unit that can be moved around the map. For example, adding an extra battalion of artillery to a division means that it will now also require a few more men and a specific number of artillery cannons that you will need to produce before that battalion will be effective. We’ll talk more about this in a later diary.

Technology
Equipment appears all through the new technology trees. The idea is that unlocking a new piece of equipment should be very visible, and it should be very clear what you will get. Here is a screenshot showing what the armored tech tree looks like for Germany:

Diary 2 - screen 1 - armor tech.jpg


Armored technology is based around chassis that you unlock. Each of the chassis has 4 subtechs, each of which unlocks a variant. So, for example, once you have unlocked the Panzer III tank you can research the tank destroyer variant, StuG III. The StuG III was a Panzer III chassis with the turret removed and a larger fixed gun placed in its stead. Variants like this can be switched to production lines from the original chassis without much of penalty, so once the Panzer IV becomes your main tank and the Panzer III no longer measures up, it's a perfect time to convert to producing StuGs on those Panzer III lines. Most nations developed their vehicles like this during the war, and we wanted to include this flavor. Historically, the StuG III ended up being the most produced armored vehicle in Germany during the war.

There will also be ways to create more custom equipment variants with abilities unlocked by experience over the course of the war. This is also something we will go into more detail on in the future.

By switching to equipment from HoI3's more abstracted model, we gain a lot of cool flavor as well as introducing many of the actual interesting choices that leaders of the time had to deal with. We also believe it will make it easier to understand for new players, as well as being more immersive for players. You will now see results like "10 heavy tanks destroyed" rather than some abstracted strength percentage. Because the production models changes over to lines it also doesn't introduce any more unnecessary micro management, so it is really a win-win.

That's all from me for today, see you again in a month for another diary!

+ Bonus read: Hearts of Iron IV: How we changed the world
Time to flex your strategic muscles and test your might as your ability to lead your nation will be the ultimate weapon in your arsenal in Hearts of Iron IV.
On the battlefields, in the factories, and at the negotiating table. Victory at all costs.
Here are a few of the women from the World War II era and how they changed the world:
https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...s-of-iron-iv-how-we-changed-the-world.760924/
 
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Modestus

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The tech tree for armour looks about as interesting as the instructions for cooking a tin of soup, I presume there is more to this.
 

Darkrenown

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Release version will have more lens flare.
 

Charles Reeps

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This is it? You tease! Were you a stripper in a previous life?:laugh:

This looks very promising. I also like

There will also be ways to create more custom equipment variants with abilities unlocked by experience over the course of the war. This is also something we will go into more detail on in the future.
It's nice to know we won't get straightjacketed by only the models historically decided upon. Nice touch.

If people didn't believe it before this DD is 100% proof that the Paradox team listens to its customers/fans.
 

steveh11

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I suppose that means that the USA will have access to the "J. J. Abrams" tank?
 

Alex_brunius

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Cool stuff!

My only concern is what this means for minor nations. Doesn't this mean you have to make up fictive tech trees for 50+ minors just in case someone wants to play as them and develop their own domestic tanks?


You also may want to flip it around so that heavies are on the right, feels more logical at least for me since I read left to right.
 

podcat

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I'm assuming the four little icons next to the tank picture are upgrades?
"Each of the chassis has 4 subtechs, each of which unlocks a variant."
 

Linx MP

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The explanation sounds exciting although the screen shot makes it look a bit poultry. I'm wondering how the production lines will work in practice. Can you choose to have several tank types produced at once? Will this mean that there is a production efficiency malus if you do?
 

Darkrenown

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Cool stuff!

My only concern is what this means for minor nations. Doesn't this mean you have to make up fictive tech trees for 50+ minors just in case someone wants to play as them and develop their own domestic tanks?
Nope, worst case they have "Basic/Improved/Advanced Medium tank" etc.
 

Lamahorse

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So what about tech trees for minors or will they be dependent on the majors in their factions for equipment?

Will there be an extensive 'captured equipment' modifier? Will annexations of various territories (Czechoslovakia, France) by Germany; be modelled by redistributing the former's equipment to their own armed forces or to Axis minors?
 
Sep 6, 2013
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Very excited about "battalion types" division fiddling

Does this mean that research will add/subtract/enhance specific support units??
 

Darkrenown

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The explanation sounds exciting although the screen shot makes it look a bit poultry. I'm wondering how the production lines will work in practice. Can you choose to have several tank types produced at once? Will this mean that there is a production efficiency malus if you do?
Tanks will not be chickens, don't worry :) You can make as many production lines as you like, but each factory can only be assigned to one line at a time, so if you spread your efforts too thin you will not be making much of anything. We'll go into more details about production in a future DD, this one is just the basics to show where we are heading.
 

Poh

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i like the tech tree as its very clear and easy to follow. Im interested in how the different tech trees will look as some nations didnt produce certain types of equipment. Like is the Super Heavy tank gone, Maus is listed as only a heavy tank.
I guess the reason for putting pzIV at 41 is to have a more continues tree, while having pzI and pzII as mediums instead of light tanks like they should would be to make the medium armored divisions upgrade properly. Only having E-50 as 1945 with no E-75 is a bit confusing imho but i guess its letting the trees evolve into a MBT design in 1945 which should make it easier to balance the nations.
So three questions:
Is the Super Heavy tank brigade gone?
Are we going to see roughly equivalent tech trees or can they diverge between the nations. Like Japan never really produced a heavy tank but had blueprint on the super heavy O-I and produced 1? testing tank.
and the most important question: will we be able to produce the TOG II as britain?
 

Modestus

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GreatStuff

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Looks nice. Are you planning to add alternative models to the armoured and air units?
P.S. nvm thread exploded while I was writing my post :D