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  • Awesome Art: The pre-order trailer. Unlike other trailers which use stock images and footage, this one features awesome Soviet propaganda styled artwork.
  • Awesome Music: Has its own page.
  • Broken Base:
    • Changes in logistic system between games are by far the most contested part each time new game shows up or is patched up. II used a simplistic and abstract system that kept track of a "Transport Capacity" (a crude counter equal to twice the IC size plus tech modifiers) and difference between stored and used supplies and oil. III went an extra mile to make logistics more "real", with introduction of fuel (crude oil had to be refined first), transport capacity of infrastructure, detours, use of supplies and fuel for the transport of supplies and fuel themselves, chokepoints and what not... and it was an extremely divisive subject: people either praise and want more of the details put into it or consider it boring or an excessive exercise in futility. Then IV came out, scrapped almost everything introduced by III, along with removing supplies and anything resembling fuel from the game... but at the same time now every single rifle, tank, artillery piece or airplane are an object that has to be produced first, rather than training already fully-outfitted units. This meant no problems with moving materiel (so a reverse situation from III), but created an entire string of problems to overcome with production of it (which is either derided or modded to make even more complex). Then fuel returned once everyone realized how broken the game gets without it... but of course some players hated how it nerfed various units. The only thing the playerbase is able to agree upon right now is that there is somewhere a point of golden balance in how logistics should look like... but where to find it can lead to a flame war.
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    • Numerous elements striving for realism were added in III, like advanced logistic system, radio range, thousands of land provinces to fight on, extensive command structure and complete rework on how units are made, followed by introduction of combined arms mechanics. Some found it great, adding tactical and strategical options, other found it boring and tedious due to the amount of non-combat elements necessary to manage. And then IV came out, streamlining most of the game into arcade mode, while also making so far simple elements highly complicated (like production system or air combat), dividing the base even further.
      • Currently, with Man the Guns DLC, IV is taking flak for going back to all the different mechanics that already existed in III (like ability to design your own naval - and in perspective, all - units using specific components), only now sold as separate DLCs, rather than part of the main game from the very start. Expect younger part of the fandom to be happy about improvements and "new" elements in the game, while older sections being extremely bitter over such game dev practices, pointing out those things were first stripped from the game and now "graciously" added back, only behind extra pay-wall.
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    • BlackICE mod for III combines both of above and puts them on overdrive, since it extensively uses all the mechanics introduced in that game. Meaning that logistics, weather, radio range and proper division compositions are all going to tear you a new one, each on their own. This leads to a very clearly broken base: people either start twitching nervously on a sole mention of the mod and calling it out for being ridiculously difficult with even higher entry point (especially if they've started with IV) or can't stop talking about all its gameplay mechanics and improvements interacting with each other like a well-oiled mechanism. Reading various forums and discussions about the mod feels almost like observing an actual war being fought between the players.
    • 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.
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    • 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. And then patch 1.5 happened, which divided playerbase even more. Supporters of planning mechanics got suddenly hit by an extremely cluttered UI, to the point it became more tedious to use than the manual system. All while another branch couldn't be more happy with finally nerfing Marshalls and introducing skills to commanders for additional bonuses when executing plans.
  • 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.
    • A ingame overflow error in IV caused a stack of planes to go negative... leading to infinite manpower when you would try and disband the airwing
  • Memetic Badass:
    • The minor Asian country of Bhutan in HOI4 has the fascist country name of Thunder Dragon Empire. The over-the-top nature of the name led to many memeing the country as though it was a superpower.
    • Luxembourg, the weakest country in HOI4 at game start, has attracted many players looking for a challenge. There are many world conquest runs as Luxembourg out there on the internet, which has resulted in Luxembourg being memed as an extremely dangerous country in the playerbase.
  • Memetic Loser: Italy is mocked as one by the fanbase, due to the sheer incompetence of its AI. It is especially apparent in IV, where it's intentionally scripted as such, but the sole historical start for it in II and III makes it completely disfunctional in the hands of AI.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • ''Tannu What?" note 
    • 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.
    • High Hopes: Liberia DLC, a joke regarding Paradox policy of making completely ahistorical and unbalanced focus trees for minor countries, especially if they didn't even take part in any WW2 military engagements. With the backdraft created by Mexico's focus tree announcement, the meme returned with double the force, despite it was originally created as a reaction toward the lack of balance in (real) Death or Dishonor DLC released in 2017.
    • Komet Sighted, doubles as a Mythology Gag due to almost every paradox game including "comet sighted"
    • The "Battle of Wuhan" track from HoI4 OST has been used as meme fodder due to the 2019-20 Coronavirus Outbreak which originated in Wuhan.
  • 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.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The first game was a very basic reskin of Europa Universalis and was pretty meh, along with similar critical reception and was quickly discontinued from support. It wasn't until HoI2 the series really found its niche and all the mechanics were polished, providing important details and room for any meaningful modding. Effect? Entire bunch of mods, with Darkest Hour being eventually released as its own game and loyal playerbase to justify the rest of the series.
  • 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:
    • 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.
    • As of the 1.5.3 patch, Artillery regiments have been repeatably nerfed, so much so that the original strategy of using 14INF:4ART or 7INF:2ARTnote  is no longer a viable strategy in a attempt to make players experiment with other designs and micro-manage their troops on the front line. But since it's still the best set up for infantry divisions, all it achieved was a half-hearted nerf amid a massive outrage.
  • Unexpected Character: While it's hard to call any country existing unexpected, few if any people would have expected Mexico to get a focus tree in a naval focused DLC, or to under any circumstances get one before Belgium, Spain, or Scandinavia, but in large part due to bordering the USA, which was part of the main focus, Mexico also got a focus tree in Man the Guns.
    • Repeated in the "La Resistance" DLC, with both Portugal and the Spanish receiving reworks, when it was expected that the Soviets would get a much needed buff/reworknote . Portugal is especially weird choice, as it stayed intentionally neutral throughout most of the war and unlike Mexico, doesn't even offer any sort of counter-balance mechanically.
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