HOI4 - Development Diary - October 5th 2016

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Hi everyone, today I thought we should do something different and take a look at how some concepts have changed over the Hearts of Iron game series. We'll be looking at supply, upgrades and reinforcement and such first.

Hearts of Iron 1
I didn't remember how it was here, and actually had to go buy myself a copy of the game online because I couldn't find any discs :D

HOI1 has a pretty simple supply "system", a percentage of your total Industrial Capacity (IC) is diverted to supply production via a slider and goes into your supply stockpile. Units consume supply and if they run out they start losing organization etc. For a unit to be able to draw supply it needs to be able to trace a path to a friendly port or its capital. There was also a combat modifier penalizing you from fighting far away from your capital.
teCIBqD.png

Reinforcing had to be done manually (although you could do it for whole armies) by clicking on their strength to bring it back up.
uEYwwRY.jpg

Upgrading divisions was a bit tricky compared to later games. You had to take them off map into the Force Pool, perform the upgrade by partially rebuilding it and then redeploy the unit on the map.

These systems gave great control, but forced you to do a ton of micromanagement and keep track of a lot of things at the same time.


Hearts of Iron II
Supply works a lot like HOI1, but introduces concepts like Supply Efficiency and Transport Capacity (TC). TC is a global value that gets automatically set as 150% of IC (could change by modifiers). Each division adds up to your total need of transport capacity depending on their supply consumption and if you go over it you start getting penalties. What directly effect a division is called Supply Efficiency which is an average of TC, local infrastructure and any bonuses from local HQ.

Supply for divisions was now changed to be less micro intensive. You could prioritize armies and also give them special Offensive Supply when in a pinch. Doing so gave these units improved supply efficiency for a month at huge cost, but was good for your elites and critical offensives.
7SKrAXL.jpg

K9Euoxn.jpg

Upgrading and reinforcement is now also less micro and done by diverting a percentage of your IC to it with a slider. You also had the option of producing attachments (like military police or anti air) to your divisions which could be deployed later.

This basic system made for a lot less micro management, while only giving up some control (there is only really 2 prio levels since a division is prioritized or not), managing attachments was some micro, but it was a step in the right direction and gave great control. One of the major downsides of the system was that there was no real way of controlling Transport Capacity, so if you expand into in asia your front in europe will get same penalty when going over a global TC, but as an abstraction it worked pretty well.


Hearts of Iron III
For HOI3 we wanted to expand on the supply system and make it more realistic. Supply and fuel are transported around the world in a province-by-province (and through naval transports) flow network.

aXVcnSt.jpg

This system meant that there was a realistic delay built in when stuff changed and bottlenecks appeared and it's probably our most realistic system to date. The downside of this was that it was extremely hard to understand and follow (and also was very very bug prone). A problem a week ago could be causing your current frontline issues and because it was all a flow system with incremental changes being able to interpret how it was going wasn't exactly clear. What actions to poke the network with to improve things also was never really readily apparent for people without a lot of experience. We even added an "arcade mode" supply option that bypassed all the complexities and put it back to HOI1 level basically.

Like HOI2 reinforcement and upgrades were now handled by diverting IC and upgrades.

1vKi97n.jpg

There is no way of prioritizing different armies or geographical areas, but you can tell units not to receive upgrades or reinforcement and in that way control where stuff is sent.

HOI3 also expanded on divisions and basically made everything an attachment. This meant that you could reorganize brigades on the map by shuffling stuff around and do things similar to attachments in HOI2. The downside was that this was very micro intensive when you wanted to reorganize army templates as there was no way of doing it across more than one at a time.


Hearts of Iron IV
For HOI4 we changed the supply flow system to be instant and based around bottlenecks instead. The goal being that it should be easily apparent what is causing your frontline problems. We also moved to larger areas to get a better manage the complexity for calculations and display to player.

When it comes to upgrades and reinforcement we made drastic changes in HOI4. They are now effectively the same things as you produce equipment rather than an abstract supply value to fill your divisions. We also added abilities to prioritize where supply went between theaters for better control, and even flagging division templates as elites, regular or reserves to manage their priority within theaters.

Looking at the system I think gameplay went up on all accounts here. I think the system feels more realistic and immersive when looking at how you need to build exact equipment, but with fuel costs calculated into production of equipment rather than when using them (like on ships). There are some suspension of disbelief issues here we want to work on in the future.
YlbBKy3.jpg

When it comes to managing upgrades of divisions compared to HOI3 we also made a big leap. It's now easy to do incremental changes to lots of divisions at once, either through editing their master division template, or changing a couple of selected divisions at once. Also upgraded equipment now slowly trickle into the divisions, upgrading them bit by bit in the field rather than all at once like in previous games.
Q8K0Q8u.jpg


Team wise we are working on the expansion right now and should be able to start doing dev diaries on it soon, but let me know how this one felt, is it interesting to take a trip down memory lane?
 
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Oh, memories.

Excellent post, its nice to show "the young'ns" how we got to where we are.
One thing I would like addressed is oversea supply. As Japan, supplies tend to go to a single port/province and then get distributed throughout all of Asia. Supply should go to multiple ports..Would add gameplay as you would need to protect your supply lines more. Also, I don't believe that ships draw supply at all, correct?

First post?! Sweet! Paradox bucket list. Now if I could just get Emu'd.
 
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Oh, memories.
I was super confused that no combats started when playing HOI1 yesterday because I had forgotten there was no movement-is-attack so you have to wait for units to move to the enemy like in EU :D
 
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but let me know how this one felt, is it interesting to take a trip down memory lane?
Well better not. Considering how people despise current AI and air combat (previous games were terrible with air, but still better than IV imho :) ) it can end with people dropping interest in HOI IV and going back to previous games.

Could You at least tell as, are there any progress into AI? please? please please please :D
 
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Well, I will say this, HOI2 still has a the most beautiful UI, man is that slick. No eye-bleeding colors, nice fonts, simple and wonderful.

I'm still not completely sold on the HOI4 supply system to be honest, especially when I see the kind of division spam that should be curbed by the supply limits of a country. I had forgotten how convenient TC was. I basically forgot how much I missed HOI2. Thanks a lot Podcat!
 
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I miss the glorious Hearts of Iron 1 tech tree.
"Moving Target Indicator" tech was best tech! :'(
 
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podcat

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Well better not. Considering how people despise current AI and air combat (which was terrible, but still better than existing) it can end with people dropping interest in HOI IV and going back to previous games.
It might not be so bad if people went back and actually experienced how stuff was rather than what they remember with rose-tinted glasses. The HOI3 ai was atrocious at a lot of things and could not adapt to anything, its just that people dont remember and exagerate a lot. HOI4 ai beats it in most fields even with 3 expansions behind it, although there are still areas where the HOI3 is is better for sure.

as for air, I am not happy with it, but HOI3's air system was much worse in my book. People generally ignored it completely so they wouldnt have to mess with it.
 
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Wow this game has come along way since HOI 1.
I came into this series with 3 and I was/am terrible at it.

I love HOI IV and while I would like to see some changes I like hearing your working on the expansion.
 
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I miss the glorious Hearts of Iron 1 tech tree.
"Moving Target Indicator" tech was best tech! :'(
so much flavor, impossible to understand :)
 
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Well, I will say this, HOI2 still has a the most beautiful UI, man is that slick. No eye-bleeding colors, nice fonts, simple and wonderful.
While I don't fully agree with you on this, I will say that the tooltip in the HoI2 screenshot feels far easier to read than the HoI4 tooltip.
 
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Nice retrospective! It would be nice to go back and look at how the combat model has evolved across the series. The only backsliding I can think of is how HoI4 handles ORG damage.
 
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I was super confused that no combats started when playing HOI1 yesterday because I had forgotten there was no movement-is-attack so you have to wait for units to move to the enemy like in EU :D

LOL, "Movement is Attack". The advertising catch phrase for HOI2!! :) Better than sliced bread
 
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While I don't fully agree with you on this, I will say that the tooltip in the HoI2 screenshot feels far easier to read than the HoI4 tooltip.
light background might be a bit easier to read, but since nothing is colorized it makes it difficult to know if a modifier is good or bad for example
 
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Nice retrospective! It would be nice to go back and look at how the combat model has evolved across the series. The only backsliding I can think of is how HoI4 handles ORG damage.
Thanks, yeah it would be another one that would be interesting to go through.
 
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light background might be a bit easier to read, but since nothing is colorized it makes it difficult to know if a modifier is good or bad for example
No reason the two can't be mixed, though.


Edit:
And the HoI3 minimap. So beautiful...
 
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bowman2011

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It's good to see you guys do an active comparison to previous titles. It seemed when IV was first released, Paradox didn't want to associate the new game to previous titles despite there being some good aspects in previous titles that I think many who purchased IV expected. Also good to hear that realism in regards to the supply system is a priority going forward.


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mursolini

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Liked the DD, the only thing missing is what do you plan to make with the system in the future. In principle, system mostly works, exept for a few balance issues that stacking reliability represents.

Rolling fuel in, seem to work OK for air planes, but not good for tanks and especially ships. Planes suffer huge casualties, so it is relatively believable to see their fuel cost being fuel going into using them. For ships, NO.

@podcat Please make air warfare one next !
 
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ruzen

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Thanks for writing your thoughts on the subject, as much as I like overall changes in HOI4, the supply system is the most annoying thing in the game. It feels like a cut-out feature from previous titles. I'm sorry but It's not "realistic and immersive" . In fact, It is far from It and neglects the most important part of the logistics of war: FUEL.

It feels like all provinces have oil stations and feeding the tanks, mobilised units.
It feels like all provinces have ammunition storage around the area.
It feels like my army can figure out to launch a V2 rocket but can't figure out to transfer "supplies" from a city to neighboring cities and forcing me to capture large portion of the "supply area"

Please stop pretending people are stupid and will get bored If you make the supply more realistic and immersive.

New Supply design is not making people go blitzkrieg and break the line and go deep. If feels like WW1 where we fight a big frontline and trying to push from all sides. WW2 suppose to break that old war method by inventing tanks and such (as you guys know very well too). It has to change.

Reinforcements need another makeup too, but that's another subject.
 
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DominusNovus

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Team wise we are working on the expansion right now and should be able to start doing dev diaries on it soon, but let me know how this one felt, is it interesting to take a trip down memory lane?

I'm reminded how the older UIs were not necessarily less polished than the current UI, and that the HOI3 map was much clearer with its information. I know you guys have some weird obsession with combining political mode and terrain mode to whatever extent possible in your games, but HOI3's map modes were so much better than HOI4's, its not even funny.
 
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masteriw

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The one thing I like about HOI4 supply is that you have to build matching equipment to supply your units, not some food crates that will equally keep all kinds of non-motorized/armored divisions supplied.
 
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