Hearts of Iron 4: Death or Dishonor announced

A mid-sized expansion for Hearts of Iron 4 [official site] will focus on expanding Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, Paradox announced today. Named ‘Death or Dishonor’, the expansion will bring unique National Focus trees to those countries Paradox say were “caught between the dueling ambitions of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.” They’re calling it a ‘Country Pack’ rather than a full expansion, though it will bring a new feature or two. And, in the traditional Paradox way, it’ll be accompanied by a big patch. AI and air action are both due touch-ups in that.

Death or Dishonor will cost $9.99 (should be £7), or come as part of the season pass. Paradox liken this Country Pack in scope to Stellaris’s Leviathan ‘Story Pack’, focused on a few small areas. Also arriving in Death or Dishonor are features like Equipment Conversion, to “update your arsenal by converting older units — or make use of captured enemy vehicles and gear”, and the option to license military technology from other countries or make a little scratch by licensing yours out.

Update 1.4, nicknamed ‘Oak’, will arrive free alongside Death or Dishonor. Full specifics aren’t in yet but Paradox say this about it:

“We wanted to make sure to take this time to deal with some big, complicated and difficult things that the community had been asking us for for a long time. First up is improving air gameplay, the other is the AI. After the 1.3 update there were a couple of areas identified where the most important was German AI performance. We started digging into that and there were a couple of hurdles to solve. 1) First of all divisions along front lines were not fighting as effectively as they should which led to a lot of “shuffling” and fronts slowing down massively. That meant that Germany struggled a lot versus soviet union. 2) Axis minors did not manage expeditionary forces very well when it came to helping out Germany. 3) In some cases Africa could end up as a big battleground draining precious axis materiel and weakening them (this one we solved with impassable sahara, check last diary). 4) Unit usage such as garrison and template and production management were far from optimal.”

This dev blog post digs more into the AI improvements.

Paradox haven’t confirmed a release date for all this but I’d guess around the end of May – they tend to announce expansions one month before release.


  1. jeremyalexander says:

    I will never buy another Paradox game as long as I live. How they are allowed to get away with their DLC policy without constant outrage from media and customers alike is beyond me. The way they do their DLC is worse than the worst thing EA, Bethesda, or Ubisoft have ever done and yet Paradox gets zero flak while the rest are dumped on daily. If I bought Crusader King 2 when it came out and bought the DLC, you are talking 302.75 American on Steam for a game released in 2012. Paradox are the most vile game company in existence.

    • Rituro says:

      Eh, they’re not that bad. They haven’t tried to create UPlay- or Origin-like systems (yet). Plus, they have sales both through their storefront and Steam itself fairly regularly, so you can avoid the crippling up-front cost and buy in small, manageable portions.

    • Sakkura says:

      Nonsense. Look at Train Simulator for a far worse situation (4923.49€ with all DLC). And then realize many of these DLCs are completely optional.

    • municipalis says:

      The thing is that if you bought CKII when it first came out, you’d have gotten a completely playable and enjoyable game with enough content to justify its price tag. And if you were to buy it now, even without any DLC, you’d have an incredibly polished game with a huge load of content for its price. The reason people buy Paradox DLC is precisely because the base games are enjoyable, and we want to expand on that experience.

      Take Stellaris as an example. The base game, while not perfect, was quite enjoyable and provided more bang for the buck than many other titles. I certainly didn’t feel any “necessary” features were missing. With the latest patch (ie the free content), several new mechanics have been introduced and expanded upon, making the base game even better. If you’re like me and have squeezed a lot of enjoyment out of the base game, then an expansion that gives you different play styles / challenges at a decent price is really appealing. Much more appealing than if they just packaged those, along with a minor reskin, as a “sequel” and charged full price for them like many other studios do with their big titles.

      • BenWH says:

        Ck2 or EU4 might be fair examples for your point but Stellaris was an empty shell, half a game compared to many in the genre. I was so disappointed by just how little was in it. It actually did make me re-evaluate Paradox along the lines of the OP’s post, and I am now a much more qualified fan of theirs. Let’s at least say my fingers were singed, though HOI4 has been a more enjoyable experience.

        • Sakkura says:

          Maybe it should have had a little more time to gestate, but on the other hand I think the devs benefitted a lot from the community feedback on all the broken and missing stuff.

          And it was still a MUCH better launch than Hearts of Iron III.

        • municipalis says:

          Opinions. I thoroughly enjoyed Stellaris when it came out. Was it as detailed as Space Empires V or as balanced as MOO2? No. But I can’t think of any games in the past decade that were better (I’d put it on equal footing with Endless Space).

      • jeremyalexander says:

        What does CK2 being a complete game upon release have to do with anything? I haven’t played a game that required DLC to play it and I was talking about the cost of the complete experience. It’s inexcusable and I don’t care about Origin, or UPlay. They are annoying, but one or two extra mouse clicks to play a game is something only the most thin skinned human imaginable would care about. As for Steam sales, so what? Even when these things are on sale, you are still looking to pay the equivalent of another 2 full games. It’s ridiculous and indefensible. A full release game with 2-4 expansions in the 15-20 dollar range and I’m in. I’m not paying the equivalent of 5 new full price release games for the full experience of one Paradox game. To be blunt, they haven’t released a game worth that kind of money.

        • municipalis says:

          “What does CK2 being a complete game upon release have to do with anything? I haven’t played a game that required DLC to play it and I was talking about the cost of the complete experience.”

          What? My point is that the game is a “complete experience” on release. The DLC merely adds to that experience.

          “It’s inexcusable and I don’t care about Origin, or UPlay. They are annoying, but one or two extra mouse clicks to play a game is something only the most thin skinned human imaginable would care about.”

          What does that have to do with my comment?

          “I’m not paying the equivalent of 5 new full price release games for the full experience of one Paradox game. To be blunt, they haven’t released a game worth that kind of money.”

          Are you willing to pay each year for a new CoD/AC/Battlefield/[Sports Franchise] title? How is that different? At least Paradox is honest that they’re not offering you an entirely new game, but only an expansion of the previous one.

        • inmotion says:

          Oh. So if Paradox does many interesting DLC to add features to an *already well made and complete* game you complain as if you’d be forced to buy them.
          I see your point, I’m bit of a completionist myself. But truth to be told, CK2, EUIV and probably HOI4 offer a lot of bang for the buck even though one just buys the original game.
          The obligation to buy every single DLC to feel “satisfied” isn’t Paradox’s problem. That’s my problem (and many others’ too nowadays), because I just can’t settle for anything less than “the complete package” all the time.

      • goodpoints says:

        “playable” is a pretty low standard for a 40-60 USD release.

        In what way is it acceptable to release a game that purports to simulate (loosely defined) WWII at a global strategic scale and yet afford critical participants like Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, and CzSl less specific detail than neutral Sweden? (which has had Nat’l Ideas, unique events, etc. since launch) The 4 nations addressed in this DLC are FAR from the only glaring examples of laziness and lack of research on the part of Paradox.

        My issues with PDX’s DLC model are less with its marketing structure, and more with how piecemeal content release encourages and exasperates feature creep and gimmicks when you have a development team that displays such a lack of long term focus and planning. e.g. perhaps before you expand your Euro Colonialism sim to China you could actually put some effort into representing the rise of the Habsburgs or political structure of HRE in the minimum of detail required to have something that even vaguely resembles the Thirty Years War. That damned Aztecs-invade-Europe DLC for CK2 came out before there was even the possibility of something resembling the Western Schism occurring. (I believe antipopes were added in Charlemagne) And more recently we have Monty Python Plague Jokes: The DLC while the Hundred Years War is still laughably broken in the both games that bookend it.

        Meanwhile, EUII and For the Glory both cost 10 USD on GOG, despite being exceedingly more robust historical simulations, and are feature-complete with a single purchase.

    • Chalky says:

      Wow, as I read your post I kept waiting for the point at which it would become obvious that you were joking but it just didn’t happen.

      Paradox are an excellent game developer. They produce great video games that they continue to work on and create content for over years and years. Their DLC policy is precisely how a DLC policy should be – adding substantial value to an already high quality product.

      I can’t work out if your preference is that they work for years and years to produce free content and then go bust, or if you’d prefer if they just abandoned their products as soon as they shoved them out the door.

      Either way, I’m astonished by how insane your post is.

      • spagett says:

        I agree with you. Crusader Kings 2 is FIVE YEARS OLD and still recieving updates and content. I for one am very happy seeing a company not only release games that I like but also keeping them alive for quite a while, instead of other games getting released with obvious lack of content for their 1 year long planned DLC release, after which they later get abandoned, die or get an unnecessary sequel.

        Also Paradox have the only games i’ve seen where only the host in multiplayer needs DLC and the players then share it, which I think is a superb move, especially for those who can’t afford the DLCs.

      • jeremyalexander says:

        The only insane post I’ve read here is yours. First, how is the opposite of hundreds of dollars of DLC for a 5 year old game, free DLC and bust or ignored? There are a ton of companies that do it properly. We get a new Civ with new concepts about every 5 years. There are usually 2 solid expansions that add a ton of content in the 15 dollar range and a few more minor optional DLC’s for things like extra civ’s and or scenarios and then they move on to the next game with a fresh perspective. Seems to work pretty well. By your logic, or lack thereof, we should still be getting DLC for Fallout 3, or Oblivion instead of them moving on to Skyrim, or Fallout New Vegas and Fallout 4? And you call my post insane? Think it through a little guys. Also Paradox released okay games with seriously flawed systems.

        • Smoof says:

          In 2016, I bought both Stellaris and Civ 6. Initially, I played about 70-hours of Stellaris before setting it down and waiting for some patches/dlc. Civ 6 on the other hand, I’ve played about five hours of and haven’t gone back to.

          Civ 6’s AI is still fucked. The game is still incredibly hollow and numerous things about it are downright broken. Stellaris, meanwhile, continues to improve and get DLCs that alter the game in some new way (though come with their own problems to work out) and I believe I only spent $40 on the initial product.

    • teije says:

      Your hyperbolic misplaced rage gave me a good laugh, needed one today. Thanks.

      • jeremyalexander says:

        You getting on your knees to praise their companies disgusting DLC policies gave me the best laugh of the day. Companies love suckers like you. It is also pretty laughable that a post taking a company to task for its abusive policies is considered “rage” and you are calling me hyperbolic? Silly.

        • teije says:

          I must have missed the part where I praised their policies. Oh wait, it’s not there. But never mind, continue as you were.

        • GeoX says:

          “The most vile game company in existence!” “Ridiculous and indefensible!” “Insane!” “Disgusting!” “Abusive!”

          …yeah. I certainly hope the self-righteous thrill you’re getting is worth the price of looking like a crazy person to everyone who reads your posts.

    • morganjah says:

      I won’t go so far, but it is puzzling how much good press they get, despite their many problems.
      It is incorrect to say that their DLC’s just add value. Sometimes they do. Often they don’t. Check out the reviews on steam for a more honest assessment of their DLC’s.
      Sometimes the DLC has to be bought or the ‘free patch’ will cripple the game.
      Paradox has gotten a free pass from the press for way too long. It might have been ok when they were just a small company. But they are a major player now, and giving them a free pass isn’t doing their games any favors.

  2. OpT1mUs says:

    Fix the AI, then we can talk about DLCs, until then, no thanks.

    • Sakkura says:

      Well the article quotes a Paradox statement that AI is one of the focus points for the free update that will be released alongside the paid expansion…

      • OpT1mUs says:

        Which means exactly nothing until we see the results.

        • 2lab says:

          The AI stuff will be in the free patch, don’t concern yourself with DLC.

          • jeremyalexander says:

            All the “AI stuff” should have been in place before the game released, but hey there’s a sucker born every minute, right?

      • jeremyalexander says:

        That’s one way to do it. Another would be to not release a game that people are expected to pay money for until the AI is up to snuff to begin with. Everyone complains about these things when it’s a company they don’t like, but when it’s their favorite little snowflake of a company, any mess of a release and any amount of endless DLC is just a o k.

  3. v21v21v21 says:

    Death /and/ Dishonour is a better title.

    • GeoX says:

      It’s also a title that means something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than what they went with.