HOI4 Dev Diary - License production and map changes

podcat

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Hi everyone! I hope you had a nice Easter break :) Today we continue showing stuff for the unannounced DLC and the Oak (1.4) update. For those who haven't been following, the main points of the Oak patch is to get some big difficult changes through for the AI, helping us with things that have long been problems, as well as make air warfare a much more pleasurable experience (more info on these in later diaries as they are still in progress right now). The main topics are License Production and changes to the map. Enjoy!

License Production
As we mentioned in the previous dev diary, nations will now have a new way of acquiring the equipment they need. If a nation lacks the required technology to produce what they need, they can request a license to produce foreign equipment, such as tanks, airplanes or guns, in local factories. Historically, this happened in various forms, ranging from full local manufacturing to assembly of foreign vehicles with or without adapting the designs to use locally sourced parts. The famous Swedish Bofors 40mm was extensively license produced and the Canadian Grizzly tank was a locally produced variant of the Sherman M4 design.

In the game, a nation with good relations with a foreign nation can request a license to produce the foreign equipment. The types equipment a nation is willing to license out is dependent on their relations. Germany, for example, may not be willing to license out their latest tank or fighter designs to other nations, but would be happy to provide Panzer IIs to friendly or neutral nations.
request-license-production.png


National Focuses will also be able to provide licenses, or provide bonuses to license production. In the last dev diary, we showed you the Romanian National Focus Tree. Some of these focuses references License Production, including the Acquire Fighters focus, which triggers the Fighter Competition event.
romania-license-production.png


Producing licensed equipment will not be quite as efficient as producing your own designs, however. A cutting edge licenced production will have a noticeable output penalty, but a design a few years old will be almost as efficient to produce as your own technology. If you aren’t in the same faction as the owner of the design, you will also receive a little bit less technical support and manufacturing assistance.
hungaria-license-production.png

Licensing equipment also give you a research bonus if you want to unlock making your own. This feature comes with the yet-to-be-announced DLC.

Map update
Different terrains are important, but it was not always as easy to see the difference between them as it could be. For Oak we have updated and changed map textures to make this much clearer. Particularly hills and mountains were in need of this, but forests also got a bump in clarity.
dd2_diff5.jpg

dd2_diff1.jpg dd2_diff2.jpg dd2_diff4.jpg dd2_diff3.jpg
Click on thumbnails to compare differences in higher resolution.

Impassable areas
dd2_impass2.jpg

A common problem that seems to pop up no matter how many times we think we have solved it is AI over-committing to Africa. There has been a lot of community feedback on this and we were hesitant to just make a hole in Africa as some mods do, but we still felt something needed to be done so we decided to go with a slightly different approach in Oak and have implemented a new kind of impassable areas. It's fairly realistic that large troop movements can not be done through Sahara in HOI4's time frame, so we have decide to block them off for troops and avoid any case where AI may be tempted to commit more troops there than what makes sense. It seems to help the axis AI out a lot and creates more interesting small-scale fighting for players as well. Right now there is no way to un-impassable these areas, but I feel like its a logical step in the future where people may be playing past the WW2 era to be allowed to do some expensive project and build a highway across.

dd2_impass1.jpg


We have also set up several borders as impassable to block passage across some areas of the Himalayas and others mountain ranges in that area (Afghanistan now is even tougher to take with more border choke-points like the Khyber Pass). While you can't enter impassable areas controlling surrounding areas will flip impassable states so if you control Africa it will look that way on the map also without say a hole in the middle.

dd2_impass3.jpg

dd2_impass4.jpg


Also don't forget to tune in at 16:00CET on www.twitch.tv/paradoxinteractive today where me and Daniel present the final episode of Paradox News Network (only true news!) dev MP with the Millennium Dawn mod.

See you next week for more diary goodness where SteelVolt will be talking about AI stuff!
 
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kviiri

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I like how the new terrain textures look - a good middle between gamish and realistic. Excellent work!
 

podcat

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Awesome. Now add northern Canada to impassable areas.

I didn't want to block off chunks of big countries until there was a way of doing something about it for the owners. Until then I'll leave that to modders for people who want to play that way
 

podcat

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I like how the new terrain textures look - a good middle between gamish and realistic. Excellent work!
Thanks, I'll pass along to the artists :)
 

Tirenedon

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Great work! License Production was a feature I've really been wanting.

@podcat, if a country starts using licensed versions of a medium tank without researching any medium tank tech, will they be able to actually use them since tank battalions require a tank technology to be researched? If so, can the same be done for lend-lease?
 

Nicolas-

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Nice feature to have but the next update/DLC will need a lot more than just "improved" AI and License Production to re-ignite people's interest in the game.

Would like to see new diplomacy actions, better peace deal system, more economic features, espionage etc..

I still think the improvements that were made to HOI4 within a year, are still underwhelming compared to Stellaris & EU4.
 

CharlieFox

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This Dev diary is really making me look forward to Oak :)

Regarding buying production licenses, from the screenshots I deduce that you pay for them with civilian factories, but does the cost scale with the amount of licensed equipment that you are producing? Also can you buy production licenses for ships?
 

Zwirbaum

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I guess expected cost is that - it ties that much Civilian Factories for as long as the license is active?

Question is - how big those penalties are? Because from balance point of view, I don't see it that enticing to lose civilian industry to get either outdated equipment with small production penalties, or get new one with significant production penalty - when I can just research my own?
 

Herz2146

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The new map textures look great! I'm also really happy with the map still being painted despite the impassable terrain as well. I've never been a fan of how some mods remove the color.
 

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I didn't want to block off chunks of big countries until there was a way of doing something about it for the owners. Until then I'll leave that to modders for people who want to play that way
It takes MONTHS to reach neighbooring province in Canada even without air superiority and other factors. With enemy air superiority movement can never finish.. It is impossible to improve infra in northern Canada because to improve it you must control several provinces, which you never reach. One of the few invasion options when USA not joined Allies is through northern Canada as Allies won't surrender until Canada capitulates. And there is virtually no other way to cattack it other than slog through near-impassable terrain.
Alternative is to declare on USA and use it to attack Canada, which is absurd.
 

Lord of Beer

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Nerfing the generic NF tree to reduce Research Slots for minors (which has effectively already been done for the Commonwealth in TFV) may be necessary given this addition of licensing. Otherwise, with the penalties to production that you hinted at, wouldn't it be better to just research the stuff yourself using one of your numerous slots? 5 slots seems OP for Spain, China, big LATAM countries, Sweden, Finland etc; 3-4 would be more reasonable (I'm guessing some of these countries will be in the new DLC though). Or maybe increase the needed # of factories by 25 for Research II?

Edit: While you're at it, please nerf the manpower from the Nationalism path in the generic NF tree :)
 
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Dan1109

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In the license snapshot, that's 4 CIC to produce lvl 1 fighters? That cost in addition to reduced efficiency? That seems pretty harsh, for "allies". Shouldn't the difference between faction members and non faction members just be the CIC cost? I just don't see why a paid for license would result in lower efficiency than the original. lend lease is free but licensing costs CIC? I guess the cost really needs to be there to prevent multiplayer exploits.

In SP, I guess this is a way that you can check on your allied military tech levels. Of course more detailed info of your allies and enemies may come in a future espionage DLC, but this is useful.

Btw, I do appreciate the shoutout to the AI being worked on, even though it's been stated several times. Of course, the longer we wait, the higher our expectations!
 
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King-Salomon

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great news :)

short questions:
a) whose company bonus would building the licensed equipment use? The builder or the tech-giver? Or none at all?
b) And is there a restriiction about what can be licenced? So could Germany build Italian ships?
c) Can licenced be recalled?
d) can they be limited to say, "2000 tanks Panzer II"?

really happy so far :D
 

Art1985

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In the game, a nation with good relations with a foreign nation can request a license to produce the foreign equipment. The types equipment a nation is willing to license out is dependent on their relations. Germany, for example, may not be willing to license out their latest tank or fighter designs to other nations, but would be happy to provide Panzer IIs to friendly or neutral nations.
How will be possible for the players to decide what licenses to sell and to whom? Or it will be decided by the game logic depending on the relations between countries?
And will AI countries use this option and will they be requesting licenses from other countries?
 

Axe99

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Cheers for the DD Podcat, lots of great changes there :D. Am a big fan of the higher contrast terrain - I always struggled a bit with the mountains blending into hills, and swamps - no longer :). Production licenses look great as well - is there any eye to re-jigging Commonwealth interactions to reflect how much of it was license-based (so less research bonuses and more licenses maybe)? Not saying it's urgent/essential, not trying to cause trouble for the content team.

Impassable terrain also sounds good - although glad to hear there's an eye to perhaps making them passable in some degree down the track as required. At least for WW2, flat out impassable makes the most sense for the sizes of units in HoI4. Once you start including LRDG patrols*, then you can think about units travelling the Qattara depression :D. Sympathies for having to take this approach (the impression I got was that you were keen to try and sort it in a different way), but big props for going with the hard barrier approach as at least a 'least-worst' approach in the short-medium term (and not suggesting I think this is a bad approach either :)).

Edit: PS - will licenses apply to ships as well, or just tanks/aircraft? Plenty of reasons to limit it to tanks/aircraft, only a few types of ships were built locally based on another nations' designs, particularly at the HoI4 level (the only one I can think of that was a clear case, off the top of my head, is the Liberty Ship, which isn't really necessary, but there may have been a few others as well - maybe the Yugoslav DDs?)

* Not a serious suggestion, but don't let me stop you o_O.