YMMV / Hearts of Iron

  • Awesome Art: The pre-order trailer. Unlike other trailers which use stock images and footage, this one features awesome Soviet propaganda styled artwork.
  • Broken Base:
    • The announcement that IV would only have about three political parties angered most of the community as it was seen as a major step backwards from the 10 parties you had in HoI 3, though some Paradox fans are fine with it.
    • The exclusion of Manchukuo from Hearts of Iron IV has divided many fans. One side claims that the Japanese in previous Hearts of Iron games have poorer chance against China, thus eliminating Manchukuo would be the best step in giving the Japanese more edge. The other side are either fans of playing the puppet state in the previous games or want to preserve as much as historical accuracy as possible. Due to this, Paradox Games added Manchukuo through a patch in IV.
    • The planning & battle line mechanic in IV. Early in the lifetime of the game the old experienced users hated the system with a passion, preferring to micromanage every division they created. New players didn't come in with any baggage and were more than happy to use the simple method of adding 24 (or infinite, for Field Marshals) divisions under a General and giving them a piece of the frontline to hold, with very simple "attack this way" lines.
      • Only for the 1.5 patch to break it again, as the new system where Field Marshals controlled up to 5 armies made up of 24 divisions each was poorly coded, often leading to situations where entire parts of the front would be ignored and where armies would just get ignored and left behind. And it doesn't help the UI for the planning tool is truly horrible, making even such simple things as pointing the directions of assault a painful experience to slog through. After which the assigned units will be randomly deployed, with such genius decisions like putting tanks in mountains, forcing to manually create dozens of tiny sections of frontline, essentially making the whole planning an overly complicated manual control of the entire frontline anyway, but with clunky UI attatched.
  • Game-Breaker: Now with their own page
  • Good Bad Bugs: One patch for Darkest Hour had instances where after the Soviet Union lost a war against the axis and accepting the bitter peace event, Lenin would take over as Head of State of the Soviet Union, cue jokes about Zombie Lenin coming back to Set right what once went wrong
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Initial reaction to introduction of mana mechanics from Europa Universalis IV was greeted with collective groan from the HoI community. Turns out experience is gained in organic and controllable way, while also playing relatively marginal role in the game.
  • Scrappy Mechanic
    • Naval Invasions are a pain in the arse to do, and are poorly explained by the game as it requires naval supremacy over the location the invasion will take place and there are some harsh restrictions on how many units you can use in the early game (which some nations requiring an easily missed technology to do it).
      • It doesn't help that the AI is abysmal at doing them. Even if the German lead Axis smash the Soviets and control Europe, the AI is often completely incapable of winning naval supremacy over the home waters around England, resulting in a stalemate until the US enters the war.. at which point the US & UK can win supremacy only to throw away divisions in poorly designed naval assaults often with as little as one unit. Invasions of the USA by Japan or vice versa will also leave the player waiting years unless they do it themselves.
    • The UI element for creating air forces is dreadful. Absent even a basic ability to filter the list by plane type and tier, it just lists every single individual model of aircraft in a long list which is in a very small window. In any prolonged war, you will capture dozens of different types of plane and will get thoroughly sick of scrolling through the list to find exactly which one you want.
      • Additionally, the way air reinforcements work is that any variant or new model will automatically replace any existing deployment. This doesn't help the clutter of the UI because your list will always keep filling up with the worst models you have made as they get replaced by the new one.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The Allies' themes in III and IV are rather similar to the main theme of Band of Brothers.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Numerous elements of gameplay were completely retooled with 4th game, with really mixed reception, to say at least:
    • Removal of supplies is considered as a massive step-down within the community, especially after III and then its mods went into extreme lenght to at least try to model all the issues about logistics. IV instead applies arcade mode, where all the game calculates is how many weapons are are fielded versus the required number, doing extremely arbitrary decisions when and if there is even any loss of equipment. Local infrastructure, terrain, size of ports and alike have absolutely zero impact on anything.
    • Garrison and militia batallions were completely removed from the game, forcing players to design their own rear guards from costly infantry or unsuitable cavalry. While it's not problematic by itself, it can quickly get simply annoying to manage - especially if it might end up costing precious army experience to even design such units in the first place.
    • The way how air combat is handled, managed and.... well, let's just say air combat in IV simply sucks. Instead of creating actual units and giving them missions, there is ill-applied counter that calculates nominal strenght of units over given area and the game resolve combat and missions based on it. Thus having vast technological superiority and having your airforce staffed to the brim with aces can end up with complete and utter failure, even if enemy is still using biplanes, just because completely arbitrary number is applied.
      • It's especially painful, because on paper, all the elements building the new mechanics behind airforce and air combat should provide extremely fun and detailed simulation. Instead, numerical superiority, even if minor, seems to be the only real factor, disregarding everything else.
    • Good god, amphibious assault. It takes massive planning, forcing player to use the otherwise ignored mechanics, takes entire weeks to prepare and all you have to do is give order for your units and just wait, doing nothing. Also, it can be completely and utterly destroyed on open sea if you happen to encounter a single enemy ship.
    • Complete removal of command structure and replacing it with Generals and Marshals. Any country having half-decent general can instantly promote him to Marshal and then proceed to use single commander for the entire armed forces. It can break the game to almost unfun level, while players are encouraged to do so. Also, due to changed command structure, AI is utterly helpless at commanding own forces and properly staffing all the fronts, since it tends to use the same guy to command units on three different war theatres.
    • Naval combat was considerably simplified from III, returning to the infamous tactic of "fastest average speed wins". You see, it doesn't really matter how powerful your battleships are, how many naval bombers are on your carriers and how precise your radars are. Everything is decided by average speed of entire fleet, so sometimes a difference of 0.01 can decide entire battle. And it can be achieved by just spamming cheap, fast-to-build destroyers, which then can turn entire carrier battle group into shreds at no cost and almost no loses. This often cause unrealistic outcomes, like Kriegsmarine (scripted to focus on destroyers and submarines, both really quick) utterly destroying Royal Navy, which uses powerful, but slow battleships and heavy cruisers (and most of them are outdated anyway, which makes them even slower)
  • Memetic Mutation: What if X won World War 1?note 
    • El Generico is the name used to refer to a specific generic portrait used for Latin American heads of state that didn't have portraits, the problem is that most of Latin American nations didn't have any portraits and for some reason, despite having multiple generic portraits in the files, the game would ALWAYS choose El Generico, having the hilarious consequence of him leading multiple countries at the same times and when the country's ideology changed he would just change his suit or add a small hammer-and-sickle pin on the suit.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/HeartsOfIron