Post feature RSS Darkest Hour - Dev Diary #17 - Tech Tree Part 1

This dev diary is about the all new tech tree that DH has.

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Darkest Hour - Dev Diary #17 - Tech Tree Part 1

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Today and next week we're going to introduce you to our new tech tree, with a good analysis that I'm sure will help you on your first games.
Be aware that not everything is finalized now so there may be a few changes on the released product.

Let's start from the infantry tech tree.

Darkest Hour Screenshot

As you can see Infantry, Light Infantry and Cavalry start with a 1870 model. This has two reasons:

  1. to represent countries that do not have up-to-date technologies at the beginning of WWI;
  2. to be able to easily expand the timeline;

You'll see on the other tech trees that many techs have a date before 1914. We hope the modders out there will appreciate it.

Light infantry represents earlier models of mountain infantry: they move slightly faster than regular infantry, consume less supplies and are superior in harsh terrain, so they are ideal for colonial warfare, but they also have low toughness and soft/hard attack. Marines are introduced in 1922 whereas Airborne Infantry in 1938. The first Motorized Infantry tech is introduced in 1935, as historically the first motorized division were created around this time. Mechanized infantry has to wait until 1942.
The first Engineer Brigade is introduced in 1911 and better models will also give other bonuses (to TC and airbase construction for example).
Finally the techs of the Supply/Logistics/Repair branch go from 1910 (Army Logistics) to 1955 (Modern Repair). This branch has been reworked and gives many different bonuses.

Armor and Artillery

Darkest Hour Screenshot

Artillery is obviously one of those techs with many models that goes from 1911 (Light Field Artillery) to 1955 (Advanced Field Artillery), for a total of 14 models. Both Self-Propelled Artillery and Tank Destroyers are introduced in 1940.
And now, something a bit different from the usual. The Anti-Tank Artillery branch will not create a new brigade, but instead it will give bonuses to the hard-attack of the Artillery Brigade! So if you want your Artillery Brigade to be effective against armored units you should research this branch. Moreover, thanks to our engine changes, the hard-attack bonus is immediate and there's no need for events to make it happen. We hope you will appreciate it.
Something similar happens with the Rocket and Self-Propelled Rocket branches. Researching normal rockets will give a bonus to the soft-attack of the Artillery Brigade, whereas Self-Propelled Rockets will give bonuses to the soft-attack of both Self-Propelled Artillery and Tank Destroyers brigades.
The Armoured Cars technologies span from 1911 (Prewar Armoured Car) to 1954 (Modern Armored Car), with 8 different models.
As you can see there are three different branches for the Anti-Air technologies:

  • Static Anti-Air, which gives bonuses to the anti-aircraft guns that can built in every province and to AA naval brigades;
  • the usual Anti-Air Artillery brigade, which is introduced in 1918, near the end of WWI;
  • the new Self-Propelled Anti-Air Artillery brigade, which is introduced in 1940;

And now, let's talk about tanks! There are a couple of other tech tabs involved, but it's better to give you the complete picture here:

  • first of all, the first Experimental Tank technology is placed in the Secret Weapons tab and its purpose is only to enable the research of the Super heavy WW1 Tank tech (on the Secret Weapons tab too): this tech will allow the building of the first model of the Super Heavy Tank brigade;
  • after researching the first two techs from the Secret Weapons tab, on the Armour Tab you can research the Mid-Great War Tank 1917 tech, which disables the Super Heavy Tank Brigades and allows the building of the Heavy Tank brigade;
  • after that, the Late-Great War Tank 1918 technologies activates the Light Tank Brigade (this change of brigade types can be confusing but we thinks it's a good and historical depiction of the birth of tanks as weapons);
  • the Post WW1 Tank techs will disable the Heavy Tank brigade and create new models of the Light Tank Brigade;
  • now we should take a look at the Land Doctrines tab: there you will find a tech called “Armored Division formations”. This doctrines represent the idea of creating Tank Division instead of Tank Brigades and is necessary for the creation of Light Armor and Medium Tank Divisions;
  • after researching the Armored Division formations doctrine, in the Armor Tab from 1936 onwards you can research the Light Tank Divisions and then from 1939 the Medium Tank Divisions (which after WWII will evolve in the Main Battle Tank branch);
  • from 1939 onwards it will also be possible to research a new Heavy Tank Brigade (5 models, up to 1955);
  • in 1944 there is also a tech to create a new Super Heavy Tank Brigade (to represent the Tiger II for example), but there will be only this model;


Darkest Hour Screenshot

The Agriculture, Manifacturing and Construction Engineering branches have been expanded to cover the entire timeline (approximately 1910-1964). The Agricultural techs now give bonus to IC and production of supplies rather than manpower. The Construction Engineering techs gives bonuses also to the construction of Nuclear Reactors and Rocket Test Facilities.
The Census Tabulating Machine tech now is introduced in 1897 and this branch also activates and upgrades the Fire Control Naval Brigade. The Encryption/Decryption branch is also extended to cover the DH timeline.
The Radar branch starts with the 1936 tech Basic Decimetric Radar Warning Sites which enables the new Air Scramble mission. Later techs of this branch activate the Radar Naval Brigades (and enable the research of a new secret tech!).
The new Medicine branch, which starts in 1910, increases the quantity of available manpower (relative manpower).
Finally, the new Specialised Equipment branch gives bonuses to the land units in frozen, tropical, desert or rough terrain.
This is not yet set in stone, but there will probably be decisions linked to these techs. For example researching winter equipment for both infantry and vehicles will enable the “Production of Winter Equipment” decision that will give even better bonuses to your troops (given enough time). Beware that it will be an expensive decision that should not be taken lightly!

Land Doctrines

Darkest Hour Screenshot

First of all, there is a new branch of land doctrines dedicated to the Great War. There are two different path, the Leading by Orders Path and Leading by Task Path. Both of them start before WWI (in 1907) and lead to different post-WWI tech (in 1923), with the Specialized-branch tactical experience and Cross-branch tactical experience techs.
Moreover, the 1926 Post Great War Unified Doctrines is a tech alternative to the whole WWI branch. Basically a minor country can choose to follow the whole WWI path and research all those doctrines or research only the Post Great War Unified Doctrines tech which gives almost the same bonuses (researching the whole WWI branch gives better bonuses, but is obviously more expensive).

Now let's take a look at the WW2 and post WW2 path. As you can see there are 5 different paths:

  • Firepower Focus / Superior Firepower Path (US)
  • Defensive Focus / Grand Battleplan Path (UK, FRA)
  • Mobility Focus / Blitzkrieg Path (GER)
  • Manpower Focus / Human Wave Path (SOV)
  • Light Infantry Focus / Minor Countries Path

The Grand Battleplan Path after World War II is united with the Superior Firepower Path (with the Modern Branch Interoperability tech). The Light Infantry Path post WWII gives access to only some of the common techs of the other 3 main paths (Night Vision Tactis, Aircavalry Doctrine, Special Forces Focus Doctrine).

The Armor Division Formation (necessary to activate the Light and Medium Tank Division, as explained before) can be activated by different land doctrine techs from different branches. For example in the Superior Firepower Path, it's the 1940 tech Integrated Support Doctrine that enables the research of the Armor Division Formation, whereas in the Blitzkrieg Path it's the 1937 tech Spearhead Doctrine that enables it.

And to close this Dev Diary, let's take a look at the extended tooltip: very useful to discover required and unlocked technologies!

Darkest Hour Screenshot

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