Hearts of Iron 4 announced


I’m really worried that the designer stuff, like mines, is going to add a lot of micro to the game without having a real benefit outside of some multiplayer scenarios.

That said, the designer is sexy and I can’t wait to play with it. I just don’t really expect to ever use it ast he defaults will likely suffice for me.


I am also a bit worried about AI, but the designer stuff looks so interesting! Especially if they eventually expand it to AFVs and aircraft.


While I do worry about the AI I figure I can just crank up the computer advantages another notch and enjoy the new ship designer.


I’m a tinkerer at heart. It’s what sucks me in to strategy games and why I end up spending 90% of my time in the mechbay or character builder or what have you.

Strangely, I tend to hate unit designers in the majority of strategy games, especially scifi ones. Just give me some templates and let me roll. For some reason, HOI4 is the big exception to that. Perhaps it’s because of how well designing divisions ties into the other systems of the game, like production, industry, resources, etc.

I’m curious to see how I’ll end up liking the ship designer. It sure sounds really cool and also sounds like it’s more than “Min/max to find the optimal ship!”. I can see uses for cheap ASW destroyers, minelayers, etc.


I’m in the same boat as you regarding unit designers. Alpha Centauri’s was the last one I enjoyed and it normally is a point against a game for me. But HOI4’s is very high level, and that’s why I think it works. You don’t feel you are designing an unit, but the composition of a fleet/squadron. It’s more in line with the level of abstraction the game has overall.

And that’s why I’m wary of the coming ship designer.


It’s funny how often game developers, rather than make an AI stronger post-launch, instead focus on more DLC with bells and whistles that will actually make the AI more exploitable.

I can almost imagine an Onion headline: “Game Developer Forgoes DLC in Favor of Improving Existing Game AI.”


That’s not really fair, though. The AI is better now than it was at release. Same for their other titles like EU4.

Working on AI is a very time-intensive task and unfortunately you can’t sell “Kept working on AI” DLC. So to keep those coders working on the AI, you need to have something to market, which is the new content/mechanics/whatever.

I do agree that the process of coming out with new mechanics does increase the burden on the AI development side, for sure!


No one said I had to be fair. ;)


Haha! Fair enough. Or should that be not fair enough?! :)


I see what you did there.

I don’t like unit designers in this kind of game either, to be honest.


While I can crank the difficulty up enough to have a challenge, it starts to feel a bit ridiculous if the AI is bad enough. Sort of pushes the gameplay into a weird space where my ongoing story is strange. Like taking a story about a boxing match and making it about boxing zombies or something. It gets to be unsatisfying when the AI is too stupid, even if they are still dangerous.

Does that make sense?


It certainly does see Civ 5 and even worse Civ 6 or a perfect example. But with the expert A mod even as Germany or Japan the straight very hard setting resulted in the AI beating me. So I’m back to hard+ level. My 1940 invasion of Russia is going well but Russia isn’t collapsing and the US is in the war.The ai advantages are typically in the neighborhood of 25% So if I have to use very hard with the ship designer, it is no big deal for me.



Nice stuff, though I wasn’t clear on the treaty ship-count limits. He seemed to say that there were some, but not what they are?


I was pretty meh on the expansion, before the last couple of diaries. But now I’m getting excited. The London Naval treaty was very important, but AFAIK it hasn’t been modeled before in WWII grand strategics games so it is cool to see it. The ship designer and refit really are starting to look good.


It is looking better. We haven’t even heard much about the combat rework either. Hopefully they aren’t having a bunch of trouble with it.


Alright, kids! Here we go. First of THREE dev diaries talking about the naval overhaul.

Sounds like destroyers and light cruisers are going to be really important for patrol while your fuel-hog capital ships await in port.


I’m curious how they are going to limit the US player from patrolling all the time. Unlike, Germany and Japan, the US had tons of oil reserves (which I believe produce a lot of fuel.) The problem US had is the logistical challenge of getting the fuel to the middle of the South Pacific.


Perhaps submarine warfare will be effective at throttling fuel supplies? Otherwise, I’m not aware of any mechanic that would limit the US from building up the naval ports around the Pacific. Guess we’ll see if that’s something they tackle or leave as-is!


Another grab bag of improvements: