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Hearts of IOT IV

Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by Thorvald of Lym, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    Well I'd hoped to bump this when I had something substantial to show off, but since Math forced my hand the least I can do is pass on my table scraps. I've chipped away s'more at focus trees but sadly don't have anything exciting to showcase, and with an eye toward Waking the Tiger there are several branches that will be reworked to account for new mechanics.

    Speaking of, the next patch is going to be a godsend because HoI4 will finally enable variable scripting, which is the lynchpin to everything I'd planned to do with the UN, i.e. actually being able to motion and vote on resolutions. It also opens up more detailed domestic politics, since it's now possible to script election events based on more precise party popularity stats (percentages can be checked against each other, so things like coalitions and minority governments can be handled much more easily).

    Another upcoming feature is the ability to define, insert, and remove 'locked' division templates to create fixed forces. This will enable things like UNVIFOR expeditionary armies that will disband once the mission ends.

    My previously-mentioned map overhaul is ~90% done; the number of provinces has been greatly expanded and state borders have been tweaked along modern lines. Once I've checked population numbers and fixed missing climate data I'll post the MD-compatible package for anyone that wants to try it out; it'll then be cloned for changes specific to this mod.

    Scripted event chains, just like everything else.
     
  2. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    What's up Ram-fam-alakazamitydiddlydaddilygiddilyaunts!

    I'd hoped to return with the map done, but between the last two expansions' tweaks and waiting on refactoring on various other mods, that's on hold for the foreseeable future. There's not enough progress on focus trees to be worth showing off and everything else is under-the-hood stuff, but I figured I'd touch base with some general scope goals.

    1. Food.
    As soon as I heard MtG was making fuel reserves a thing, I knew exactly what I had to do. The global food supply was a major plot point, and even before this change I'd been eyeing simulating famines in dependent countries. All armies will depend on rations to function, and while (almost) all territories will have some level of local farming with various options to rebuild agriculture, the overwhelming majority of supply will be BulkProd exports, making early war with Indonesia virtually suicidal.

    On the flip side, this severely curtails Indonesia's ability to join a war, essentially guaranteeing neutrality until the Civil War mid-game. Should Yogyakarta follow through on its sabotage in Japan and the PAU, the agro-monopoly will begin to erode as other countries start courting local production, and pulling the late-game embargo insanity will incur a huge loss of economic clout after the war as BulkProd essentially defects en masse. During the war, however, we'll finally see how well a million starving Thai peasants can invade an island archipelago. :cool:

    I'm not sure whether to keep fuel as its own stockpile, or amalgamate the two since as per Peak Oil most of the world will probably be on biodiesel anyway.

    2. United Nations
    I'd mentioned before how WTT's Decisions and new scripting features opened the door to a fairly robust UN mechanic, but moddable GUI components push it up to 11. Its main function would be levying sanctions and designating rogue states, penalizing political power and trade relations, but unlike the LoN mod countries can defy resolutions at the cost of relations hits with fellow member states and potential retaliation in future votes.

    3. Espionage
    Like the above, there were some fairly sophisticated spy ops in the game (I personally was engaged in three major long-game networks), and existing mods are absolutely insane. We probably won't use as much as the mod provides, but it's a definite utility and makes a lot of what I was planning a whole lot easier to implement.

    4. Wonder Weapons
    [TRIGGER WARNING: CIVGENERAL] WTT mentioned support for customized technology trees; Equestria at War put it into practice with race-unique categories. This means that we can properly accommodate the secret projects several countries undertook: the Eisenmann programme, the Black Guard, the Landkreuzer P.1000 Ratte Takeshi Ruchang Ultraheavy, Springheel Jack, &c. without having to piggyback off existing unit caregories.

    On a similar note, also based on EaW, I'm looking to revise how nukes work, specifically their lethality and the ability to irradiate territory without tag-swapping the whole state. I think it's also possible to script ways to mitigate the damage, i.e. the civil defence drills that saved Cairo and mid-game investigation into a missile shield.

    5. Select National Strategies
    Just because I haven't mapped out the NFs properly doesn't mean I don't have some idea where they can go. Here's a sampling of prospective alternate paths for several states:
    • Malta: East v. West – As a faith-militant, the Maltese army is tenacious but severely limited, dependent on its Argentine mission to prop up future recruits. As a nod to Sone's sporking Leibowitz, there is also division within the leadership as to where the Church is headquartered: the player will have to choose whether to recognize New Rome (St. Louis), following mechaerik's original play to focus on South American colonization, or uphold the Vatican in Rome, which shifts focus to Europe and begins a path to instigate a Papal States-expy.
    • France: Tyranny of the Majority – MtG introduces a legislature mechanic to the USA that is readily applicable to the party tug-of-war in France, with Pettigrew's term hampered by Venus militants up into the constitutional crisis. The previewed focus tree will be reworked to make the elections event-controlled, with the various NF paths reorganized to be adaptable to ruling party, rather than locking you down one branch at historical intervals. This means, depending on your resolution to the constitutional crisis, that it's possible to continue the moderate path past 2107, or start the Venus tilt early and secure a stronger footing circa Indonesia.
    • UAR: Faith or Ideology – While Nedim and I were nominally aligned in-game, he didn't actually seem to recognize Egypt wasn't Ba'athist, and there are several opportunities for an ideological split. The major turning point occurs after a critical terror incident (the Cairo nuking, assassination attempt on Amirmuaz, &c.) where Jerusalem either holds fast to pluralist auspices or opts for a paradigm shift, itself split between pan-Arab nationalism and aspirations toward a restored Caliphate. Depending on national stability and the balance of power between the leaders, this can potentially provoke a full-scale civil war.
    • Austria: Stuck In The Middle With You – If you recall the demo tree, Austria may have the most complicated branching of the major players. Joseph is basically destined to die, at which point the nation's future relies on two questions: its stance on France and the role of Claudia. Resisting France, as 'Lec did, reinforces central power as Vienna positions itself as a bulwark against the Fourth Wave, either as a fortified monarchy or a full military state. Placating France opens up three potential ideological realignments, with two different outcomes for a Feminist takeover depending on whether Claudia remains sovereign. The union with Prussia was originally pegged to both countries going monarchist, but I'm considering reworking that branch to be compatible with other ideologies.
    • Texarkana: One Man, One Vote – Mosher's faction was ill-defined and will probably keep a narrow focus on military–industrial corporatism, but Texarkana will be much more flexible. As per HoI's ACW fetish, Hannegan's death either resolves in a continuation of the status quo (with options for a neoliberal, theo-con, or autocratic successor), or a popular revolution against the quasi-feudal power structure, with respective changes to the country's outlook vis-à-vis the rest of the continent.
    • Thailand: Guns or Butter – Most of the early game will be focused on securing the Crown's authority, either through direct subjugation of local warlords or winning their obedience through a "united front" against regional aggression (Japan). The middle game (and the crux of strategic turning points) involves a delicate balancing act between the Crown, Shinawatra's scheming, and Prince Sirindhoorn's own ambitions if installed as governor of Cambodia (essentially mandatory to prevent chronic peasant revolts). The Chancellor's ladder-climbing will ultimately come to a head around the time Rama XXVII abdicates, culminating in the previously-mentioned ultimatum to concede de facto rule to him, or trigger a civil war.
    6. Custom Rules
    MtG introduces the nifty feature of customized rulesets and AI strategy at the start of the game, allowing for such things as specific NF paths and pre-fractured empires. In terms of the XIVmod, this makes it feasible to allow for some settings that might otherwise be divisive if mandated in the base game:
    • Non-Canon Nations – One possible solution to the terra nullius dilemma is to pull in countries from other projects, thereby filling the map with minor powers that are still recognizably IOT. This would give canonically late-joining/minor countries people to play with if they don't want to take on the major powers, and would help buffer the megablobs of Volga/Soviet Russia, China and the Gangnam Republic that faced no real opposition until the late game.
    • Border Wars for Everyone – Related to the above, early-game expansion could be simulated through "third-tier" states that begin with large penalties to production, recruitment, research &c., making them easy prey to the neat-in-theory, headache-in-practice border war mechanic expanded in WTT. Further rules could specify whether these regions can develop into proper states themselves, akin to NPC development in old-skool games.
     
    Omega124, NinjaCow64 and christos200 like this.
  3. Omega124

    Omega124 Challenging Fate

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    My suggestion is to just use food for everything. I think you're right in the sense that peak oil has already happened for a lore reason, but my main concern is actually more gameplay. Having to manage two different stockpiles, with all the silos and refineries needed to make it a usable resource, that's going to require a lot more construction, which means less time to build up factories and infrastrucutre.

    Perhaps it can be like the Naval Treaty mechanic in vanilla, where each ideology has a different threshold in when it can violate or renane the treaty. Democratic states are more obligated to follow the spirit of the resolutions than, say, fascists are.

    In addition to what you said on the focus tree edits below, perhaps the Rosemary Incident could be moved to this hypothetical espionage system. It was the black ops event of the game, and while it being a focus is probably good enough to represent it, it might be possible to more organically integrate it into gameplay.

    My focus on a more mundane but well trained army bites me in the ass here :p

    Although, on this topic related to France, would there be a mechanic to, say, make STD commando units in the same vein as raising SS divisions in vanilla? The idea, I would assume, would be that these STD units act like special forces, but don't count against your normal special forces limit (perhaps they can count as both paratroopers and marines in one). The flipside, of course, is that if you raise too many of them, then the STD increasingly gains more influence on the government. Which would be fine when Yvette is in power, but later on...

    Did Malta actually recognize St. Louis as the true Rome? I really don't remember that at all, and if mech didn't in the game itself, that seems to be a big change in characterization for that to lead into the "historical" path imo. Perhaps there should be a neutral path, where Malta does not take an official stance on whom the true Rome is, while the St. Louis path more puts Malta on the path to join the Texarkan faction instead of pursuing his neutral foreign policy in the game proper.

    I think this is a fantastic idea: it gives reason for the player to care about internal French politics, which was, well, the focus of my roleplay through the game. Events like the publishing of The Folly of Men, or the Marie Curie university shooting could all represent dramatic shifts within the French parliament, for instance.

    Furthermore, an idea sprung into mind: one of the plot points which I unfortunately dropped because of lack of time was the eunuch civil rights movement. In my summary of French politics post-time skip, I IC blamed the Irish hit piece on me as the reason the civil rights movement died in the water, as it became a source of national pride to not cave into the patriarchy's attack against me. This, I feel, could be great to include in the focus tree. You can try to push a civil rights bill through the legislature, which will require a lot of votes to successfully do, but doing so should grant you some significant buffs. Or, you can choose to squash the movement as a way to gain seats so you can go through other branches instead (much like, in vanilla, you have the choice to take the neutrality act so you can use the political influence on things you find more important than intervening early).

    I also think this is a wonderful idea. Would it be an Egypt vs Syria civil war, or would it be a far more chaotic mess of various different ideologies?

    I would love a path where Prussia does to Austria what Austria did to Prussia in the game: foster a communist coup of the monarchy, and create a pan-German communist state from Berlin. Such a state would likely then try to make a faction with Volga, and most likely take a path like what Tyo did in the late game: focusing on the Balkans while keeping a "live and let live" relationship with France.

    Furthermore, the idea of Claudia embracing the 4th wave makes me laugh internally in my mind. That would be fantastic, which is what I'm assuming is one of your two feminist paths.

    I remember in sone's aborted reboot of XIV, he wanted to turn 4th wave feminism into technocracy. It might be a cute reference that, perhaps, the autocratic route involves directly embracing technocratic principles. I wouldn't make it into its own ideology, it could just be a flavor of autocracy that Texarkana gets. (It would be even more cheeky if the technocratic state then paints feminism as incompatible with scientific principles, and therefore Texarkana goes anti-feminist)

    This all seems fair enough, but would there be any way to integrate Laos in any of this? It was a player nation, so it would be nice to give them something to do in all of this mess (Perhaps Red could weigh in with her own ideas). Perhaps the united front could possibly include Laos, in an alt-history path for the latter nation instead of working with the UN.

    In addition to my comments on your rule suggestions, I have a question when it comes to arguably the first custom rule that pdox added: historical mode. Most alternative history mods don't have a historical mode defined in their focus trees, because they often don't have a specific canon past unpausing. But, of course, XIV does have a defined canon, up to the end of the Indonesian War at the very least. Would it be worth adding a historical mode to the game, in case players wanted to experience the game as it actually played out, rather than all the zany althist scenerios we can think of?

    This is a wonderful idea, and I'd go one step further to just make this the default option. Obviously, more focus should be placed on the canon human and NPC nations, but this would be a way to flavor the rest of the world and give it things to do, instead of just looking like a partially painted over vanilla map.

    This reminds me a bit of the 1984 mod's solution to the neutral territory in that world: creating NPCs that can be invaded and ran over, and really aren't meant to be played directly. In that sense, having some giant, unplayable NPC that can be border warred with (but would never initiate border wars itself) might be the best way to emulate classic IOT expansion. I myself would perfer non-canon nations over this, and I think this should be the one you have to opt-in for, but I can see it working.
     
  4. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    Come back, President, govern by decree!
    Referendum: oui, oui, oui!


    Not officially, and strictly speaking Sone barely even explained New Rome beyond background fluff, but given Italy's fracture and how Malta basically ignored Europe apart from the Mediterranean Incident, I feel it can be Inferred, though actually siding with Texarkana politically would be deferred to further down the tree.

    Duly noted. :cool:

    "I'll make Red World Libya look like the f—ing GOP primary!" —Assad

    Now that you mention it, I'm gonna have to investigate. :p I'd mused a few potential early-game chances for a split, but a late game rift could definitely end up more fractious, especially after the UAR's expanded into the rest of the region.

    Aye, Prussia's still got a lot of work but I'm definitely expanding its original socialist outlook, and there will be a mirror path for German unification. The hardest part of all this is balancing Poland against both, since Ogane was basically bandwagoning what the other two were doing.

    Basically what happens is, beelining "Entrench the Matriarchy" WITHOUT "Weaken the Crown" maintains Claudia as Archduchess and purges the government. As a side note, I'm debating whether countries flipping Feminist should have dedicated tags to ensure proper random name generation, trouble is I think you lose fighter aces in a switch.

    Noted. :cool:

    Which reminds me, from what I could tell Laos betrayed Vietnam in part because Thailand cockblocked its western expansion, so that's definitely gonna be a flashpoint. :mischief:

    I figured historical pathfinding would be a given. ;) I think my biggest challenge going into this is making the scripts robust enough that they'll still plausibly work without precise railroading.

    Pottsylvania confirmed. :cooool:
     
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  5. christos200

    christos200 Never tell me the odds

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    Great work.

    I wonder what Japan's national strategy would be and how the war with UN would be simulated.
     
  6. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    I'm reworking what little of the Japanese tree I did to be a bit more circumstantial, but the general progression is the same. Originally Ruchang's despotic slide was an upfront split, but I'm thinking of changing it to depend on whether he's in a position to dissolve the Diet before the 2106 election, else the party can revolt against him and pursue reconciliation. If Japan collapses the way it did in game, it dissolves into warring states with a new tree; if UNJARMIS is authorized within 3 months, one state becomes the headquarters for the aid mission and gets a unique tree simulating reconstruction under UN aegis.

    I've got a pretty good idea how to organize the peacekeeping vote, but I'm still iffy on how to actually do Vietnam on the ground, although WTT improved handling of tributary wars so it may be possible to organize direct foreign intervention without requiring hard factions.
     

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