• Hearts of Iron IV Development Diary #14 - National Focuses

    Hello everyone, and welcome to the 14th development diary. I’m Johan, and I got dragged into this devdiary writing thingie today because of a curse.. We have lost a few members of the team to the dreaded “holiday”-curse, including podcat & doomdark, but we hope to have them back in a wee while. In the last few months, we’ve spent quite a lot of time going through features, and redesigning those that did not improve the game significantly enough from the previous iterations of the series.

    One of those features that went the way of the dodo was the goals system. The goals system did not have a visible progression, it did not have clear instructions to the player, and was constantly mixing between things happening because you selected a goal, or things you had to do to fulfill the goal. This was not acceptable for a feature in a modern PDS game, so we soaked our brains in the nectar of the gods for a while, and came up with a new system, which according to our QA team, “Is very very fun”, and also creates replayability.

    Now its time for us, without further ado, to introduce the National Focus system.

    The seven majors in HoI4, Germany, Great Britain, USA, Soviet Union, Japan, Italy and France have their own unique historical national focus trees they can progress through, while all other nations share a generic one. Sadly the development team ignored my direct order to add Sweden as a major power for this purpose.

    During peacetime, you can expect to do about five national focuses in a year, with about third of that during wartime. Each tree has about 50 different focuses you can take, but with a war breaking out in 1940, you may end up with about 28-30 at the end if war ends in 46.

    A national focus will give you some benefits when you finish it, like inheriting Austria, allow troop-movements into the Rhineland, remove Swedish neutrality, grant you severe research bonuses, access to another tech-research slot, and many many more things.

    If we look here at the German national focus, you will notice that there are several paths that you can choose, but you can’t get everything. You can move down through industrial and air innovations to get towards the Wunderwaffes, you can go down through the political path of rhineland, anschluss and focus on balkans or mediterranean, or a naval focus with plan z and befriending the minor western powers.

    The game is coming along nicely, and alpha submission is today.. So fingers crossed, in a few weeks time we’ll be on the stretch run, with dev diaries every week during the final months until release.

    Please concentrate on the vital feedback on the dev diary this week. ie, the debate on whether it should be called “focii” or “focuses” in plural.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Development Diary #14 - National Focuses started by Balor View original post