Hearts of Iron 4’s new DLC and patch will explore Poland’s rich, alternative, history

Poland's narrative engine in HOI4 is getting an overhaul, with a rich web of outcomes to explore

An alt-history path for Poland in Hearts of Iron 4

World War II grand strategy game Hearts of Iron IV is building steam towards its as-yet unannounced new DLC, as well as the 1.11 Barbarossa patch that between them is looking to really shake up how the war game portrays WW2’s Eastern Front. As part of this, they’ll also be looking at overhauling more nations’ Focus Trees to give players more options with how they navigate the perils of the Second World War.

Poland is the first nation to be highlighted in the recent run of developer diaries. The first one looked at what free content Poland will be getting in the 1.11 patch, where-as today’s dev diary covers premium Focus Tree options from the expansion.

In recent Hearts of Iron 4 DLC, Paradox has developed the Focus Tree system into a branching narrative of sorts, giving nations various paths they can take. There’s the historical path, as well as various alternate history options depending on the nation in question. For example, you can play as Nazi Germany but instead overthrow Hitler and restore the Monarchy, or found a new German Republic.

Poland has access to these varied options as well. The free Focus Tree content mainly focuses on economic benefits, with the political ‘narrative’ content focusing on more historical or historically plausible options. Poland can work on joining the Allies and preparing for the next war as usual, or they can create their own faction.

In the premium content, Poland players can explore a rich alt-history that sees the nation bringing back their own Monarchy, or joining the communists, or even forming a new ‘mini’ Entente with France.

These sandbox-style options, as well as the vibrant Hearts of Iron 4 mod scene, are some of the key reasons Hearts of Iron IV is the most consistently played out of all of Paradox’s grand strategy games.

Take Crusader Kings III, for example. While Steamdb.info points to the newest grand strategy game having an all-time peak that’s double Hearts of Iron IV’s, the latter’s 24-hour peak is nearly three times CK3’s current.

A sample of Poland's new focus tree in Hearts of Iron 4

We’re not sure when the new Hearts of Iron IV DLC will be announced, although it could be as soon as PDXCon Remixed next month, where we’re expecting to hear news about the new Crusader Kings 3 DLC and a new grand strategy game, which probably won’t be Victoria 3 (or will it?).

Related: The best WW2 games on PC

In the meantime, Hearts of Iron IV dev diaries will continue weekly, talking about various free and premium aspects of the upcoming updates.