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Air Changes | Developer Corner

{STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/9948323/e967b5b40dcb8c992a2d73825af1bb571992cd99.png Hey Everyone! I am back this week to talk to you a bit about some changes we are making to air management and combat. The first thing I want to get out of the way is that this is not a “Man the Guns” style rework of combat and management systems. Our focus on air changes have mostly revolved around quality of life and balance changes to existing systems, while largely maintaining the structures people are familiar with (with a couple of exceptions). So, let's get into it! Starting off with a QoL change I am very happy about: Simplified Wing Deployment. Anyone who has experience with managing air wings probably has some complaints about how deploying wings works. The live system requires three clicks in the best case (four if you include choosing a base) to deploy a single wing into an empty airbase. In the worst case this requires more clicks and doing some math for creating a large wing that can later be divided evenly. Now, we are adding quick deploy buttons to the air base UI to allow deployment of a wing in a single click. We are also keeping the old deployment menu for more advanced deployment options. Also, in this menu, we have simplified the flow for deploying single and multiple wings at once. WIP UI design of simplified wing deployment tools. Note the art style here is not indicative of a change in art direction for our UI. In the first image we see the setup that can be done to select fast deploy options from any air base. {STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/9948323/52dfb4f5449aa4d1b860e168cd91c2cdca48f47b.png In the second Image we see the newer version of quick deploy within the advanced deployment menu. You now have a set of filters to only show planes of a specific type, and you can now set the reinforce preference on all of the wings you are about to deploy, or individual ones. {STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/9948323/373415cb34b3ac3a08510880fce8a61a47d58ab6.png One of the most visible changes to air management, and hopefully a big quality of life improvement for most people, is the addition of Air Groups. The first thing I want to say is this is not Army Groups or Fleets. For now, and the foreseeable future, we are not adding Air Marshals or any sort of mechanical impact to using Air Groups. Air Groups are an organizational structure and nothing more. What it will do is enable the grouping and selection of multiple air wings across multiple locations bases for easier management. These groups will be displayed when in the air map mode so that you do not have to hunt down your wings on the map when you want to interact with them. A very much WIP view of our current air groups {STEAM_CLAN_IMAGE}/9948323/d0089c7840e006e340a204bba448fcb336107f0c.png Of the changes we are making, one of the most notable is moving to standardized/fixed wing sizes. This change comes with a loss of flexibility in some situations and makes managing smaller numbers of airplanes a bit more complicated. However, I think that real air combat in HoI4 is measured in thousands of airplanes and not dozens. We are currently looking at 100 sized wings for most aircraft, with size 10 wings for a few specific equipment types(scout plans, CV planes, ect). This allows us to streamline wing deployment and some other management stuff such as not having AI take up weird percentages of air bases. It also makes balance easier and fixes a few exploit cases. This may take some getting used to but I feel it improves the overall experience of managing large numbers of aircraft. The final change I want to discuss today is an addition to the combat system. We are adding a new mechanic for intercepting planes in regions enroute to their target. In most cases, engaging planes in their target region will still be most effective. But in others, such as when range is a factor, the region being crossed has a bunch of engagement and spotting bonuses, and in a few other cases leaning into combat in an intermediary region can be a good idea. Beyond these more concrete changes we are doing a balance pass on existing air combat mechanics. A lot of this is still too WIP to discuss, but I would like to highlight one of our objectives which is decoupling agility and speed with more impact given to speed in later air superiority fighter designs, but more on that at a later date. As always, I wish you all the best and don't hesitate to tell us how these changes make you feel. Until next time o7 Join the full discussion!

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