The Hearts of Iron 4 Soviet rework is so big it needed its own design team

Paradox Interactive employees are coming back from their summer break, which means only one thing – dev diaries are starting up again! The Hearts of Iron IV team has kicked things into high gear with a new diary – the first that will look at all of the changes coming to the Soviet Union as part of No Step Back and the free patch.

According to the diary’s author ManoDeZombi, there was so much stuff that needed to be done an entire design team had to be formed and dedicated to the Soviet Union changes alone. This week’s notes cover historical and common branches, which means that it’s all free content as part of the 1.11 ‘Barbarossa’ update.

There is a lot to go through, covering military, economic, and political decisions the player will have access to, but one of the most notable changes is the introduction of a ‘paranoia’ system for Stalin, which will be made available to players at some point in 1936. Once activated, various focuses, traits, and events will increase or decrease Stalin’s paranoia. If it goes over 25, random purge events will happen; going over 75 can trigger bigger purge events.

This is in reference to Stalin’s historical paranoia at being ousted from his seat of power as leader of the USSR, which led to events such as the ‘Great Purge’ which represented a period of increased oppression on citizens, military personnel, and even other party members.

A WIP look at the new purge system in Hearts of Iron 4

Another new system is propaganda campaigns, which is unlocked via the ‘Internal Affairs’ branch common to all communist paths. This is a decision driven system that will allow you to choose up to three campaigns to be running at once, from a total pool of 24.

These campaigns are represented by real propaganda artwork from the period. Each campaign lasts for six months before you can re-fill the slot. Not all of the 24 possible campaigns will be unlocked at once, and campaigns can offer a wide range of benefits, from military buffs, production boosts, and more. Next week’s diary will likely look at the alt-history portions of the Soviet focus tree, as well as other content that’s likely to be part of the expansion.

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At the time of writing, there is no known release date for Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back or the free Barbarossa update.

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