Hearts of Iron IV - Development Diary 57 - Poland: United and Ready

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Game Director <unannounced>
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Jul 23, 2007
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Hello everyone! We are getting close to release now with preorder started a few days ago.
When we posponed HOI4 release it was mostly a question of getting more time for programmers to fix bugs, which left our scripters and artists a little underused. We figured we would put this to use on adding more flavor and fun for some minor. We have a lot of polish players, so focusing on Poland seemed to be a good idea. We werent sure if we would get this complete on time, and since we wanted to see if this kind of content packs would be well received we figured the best idea was to make it a separate DLC from the base game. Things worked out and it got ready on time, so we decided we should just release it to everyone for free (this isn't just for preorder, you will get it whenever you buy HOI4, forever).
If this is popular we hope this is the first of a series of packs we'll make as DLC in the future.

So, what does it contain?
  • Focus tree.
  • 2D art for tanks & planes, complete with flavor names.
  • 2D art for ministers, generals and country leaders.
  • 3D art for infantry and some more well known tanks and planes
  • Some achievements & events.

Polish Focuses
We had two rules when we designed these, first that the Polish focus tree could not be worse than the neutral one and secondly we felt it could not depend on other people's focus trees.

We made sure that all the benefits you get from neutral tree are still there, but made sure that they carried a lot more Polish flavour. In the end we were able to do some really cool things with Poland. The industrialization efforts of Poland are mainly based a short term national investment called the Four Year Plan. Parts of this plan included heavy investment in infrastructure, activation of the Old Polish Industrial Region and developing the Central Industrial Region. We have taken inspiration from the plan and implemented its different parts as branches of the Polish focus tree.

We also focused on the fact that Poland was way ahead of other countries when it came to the decryption of the German Enigma machine. To reflect this, Poland gets special focuses that give them them bonuses in computing and decryption.

When it came to diplomacy we wanted to add additional options for a Polish player who is surrounded by threats. Although we cannot stop Germany and the USSR from trying to carve up Poland (those focuses are elsewhere), we did feel we could have Poland seek accommodation with either power. If you play your cards right this could also lead to an alliance with them (which blocks the “carve up” focuses for that side).

That isn't the most interesting path, however, as digging around in history we stumbled across a rather ambitious Polish plan, called the Between the Seas Concept. This was a proposed alliance of countries between the Baltic, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean (one suggestion including Italy, no less). The idea ultimately failed due to a whole number of reasons which are too many to mention.

Still, it’s an intriguing idea, and one we felt we could something really cool with. If Poland chooses to go for the Between the Seas Concept they can set up an entire faction of their own. Although the Balkans are rocky ground for Poland, the Baltic States was an option. Especially if Poland could make up with Lithuania after the rather unfortunate disagreement over the status of Wilno (or Vilnius, depending on which side you were on). So Poland has the option to carve out its own little mini-faction in the center of Europe. From there it is up to a skillful Polish player to grow their alliance and stand strong against both East and West.



Equipment and names
For the Polish DLC we wanted Poland to feel like a fully fleshed out country. This included the names of equipment, which is a challenge for a country that wasn't too active in the research department after 1939. We therefore had to resolve to our least favorite tool when it comes to historical research: making things up.

If we look at ships, the Polish Navy during World War II was just a few destroyers and submarines. However, it gave us something to work with, and so for the names of more advanced classes we tried to followed the same naming convention as the ones we did have information for. That leaves only a slightly small gap, namely every other ship class. Time to get creative!

For light cruisers we went for Polish cities. As an added bonuses the naming order is by population size in the 1930s, a fun little detail for Polish fans. When it came to Heavy Cruisers we chose rivers in Poland, those mighty arteries binding the country together. The first class is named after the Polish Victory against the USSR in 1920 at the Battle of the Niemen (or course Poland would want to name a ship class after that). The follow up classes then get names after other rivers in Poland.

That's it for the easy ones, it’s time to dig a little deeper. We needed two names for Battlecruisers, and ultimately settled on territories that Poland felt were rightfully hers. For the mighty Battleships we went big and named them after Polish Royal dynasties. We saved the biggest man of Polish interwar politics for the biggest ship, the first Polish Super Heavy Battleship Class is the Pilsudski class. We needed two, though, so we also went for another famous Polish Marshall, Poniatowski (the man I am sure unbiased Polish historians agree would have won the Battle of Borodino, if only Napoleon would have released the Imperial Guard to support his flank attack). This left just the carriers and for ´those we went for Polish Kings, starting with the savior of Vienna, Jan Sobieski.




Next week we will be talking about tutorials, wiki and stuff like that. On wednesday we got another episode of World War Wednesday where Daniel & SteelVolt take the helm of communist France, and also more modding stream so make sure to tune in!

Also, remember to preorder so I can beg Fredrik for a real office T-34!
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sweet looks great!
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Great to see a polish free expansion for players. Poland preformed pretty well in WW2, all things considered. Definitely very deserving of their own focuses and unique models
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I'm having difficulty interpreting part of the National Focus tree. Two solid lines leading to a focus means both are required, right? So Poland can't take Liberalism unless both Internationalism and Defensive Focus are chosen?

Also, can we get an achievement preview before the release? I'd like to know what sorts of playthroughs I could be thinking about.
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This all looks good, and it's a lovely free bonus for everyone.

@podcat Does this confirm that, unfortunately, all nations have generic 2D ship artwork?
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I'm really excited about this, great work!

I recently discovered that my heritage is not as German as I once thought it was, but is actually much more Polish and Silesian than my family realized. I look forward to immersing myself in these events that impacted so much of my ancestor's lives, and maybe turning the tables in Poland's favor!
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I hope HOI4 support wont get effected with initial sales about HOI4; pre-order numbers could be lower comparing the Stellaris because of the fact that Early Acsess Stellaris been sold with full price without telling Its an early acsess. I dont know If casual market would trust to buy another Paradox game right now. HOI4 got delayed so many times with good reasons and because of that; even HOI4's options looks more polished than Stellaris. I am no market expert but putting out products in 1 month time... must be new marketing ideas. Honestly I would be more pissed to Paradox If this effects HOI4
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This all looks good, and it's a lovely free bonus for everyone.

@podcat Does this confirm that, unfortunately, all nations have generic 2D ship artwork?

yes although the naval content packs (check the preorder FAQ) do contain country specific art for the ones included
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Looks great, good work guys.

There is a mistake in first strategic bomber name though. It's Pszsczola while it should be Pszczola (pol. "Pszczoła" = eng. "Honey bee")
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