Posted at October 15, 2020

Hearts of Iron 4’s Old World Blues Mod Gets Major Update

A few months back, I introduced you to Old World Blues, a Fallout mod for the grand strategy game Hearts of Iron 4. Since then, it has been a while, and the mod will soon receive a major update and expansion. So, here’s what you can expect from the Old World Blues 3.0 update, Monster of the East.

This update will expand the map to cover Texas and Oklahoma while also reworking Colorado, New Mexico, and southern Nevada. Mexico will also receive new content for some existing factions. Texas is the focus, however, with more than 25 new nations. Most of the lore for this region comes from the unreleased Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2, which takes place ten years before Old World Blues.

Brotherhood of Steel and Brotherhood of Steel 2 told the story of the Texas chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel and their attempts to restore order to the lawless wastes. The first game focused on the conflict between the Brotherhood and the mutant warlord Attis. The unreleased second game would have followed one of four playable characters as they searched for a malfunctioning G.E.C.K. For those less versed in Fallout lore, G.E.C.K. stands for Garden of Eden Creation Kit, a piece of lost terraforming technology. They’ve become something of a recurring McGuffin in the franchise.

The Monster of the East picks up the story a decade later. One of the player characters, an albino woman named Scarlet, has taken the malfunctioning G.E.C.K. to an uninhabited region of southwestern Texas. A toxic jungle now sprouts from the wasteland, it’s secrets guarded by scarlet and her followers. Meanwhile, the remnants of Attis’ army still threatens the wastes, while the Texas Brotherhood dreams of restoring the Republic.

But those are just some of the factions laying claim to the region. The merchant city-states of Carbon, Lubbock, and Lone Star rub elbows with the cult of Los and Freemasons of the Last Lodge. Austin has a super mutant mayor leading a population of humans, mutants, and ghouls. The remnants of NASA have merged with Houston’s entertainment industry, broadcasting sports and launching rockets. And don’t forget the Assassin City Rollergirls, a gang of roller derby themed bandits with rocket-powered skates.

Moving away from Texas, Caesar’s Legion is getting a full overhaul with the aim of improving balance and lore-friendliness. The most apparent change is that the Legion will now be represented as two factions on the map. If you wondered what Legate Lanius was up to during the majority of Fallout: New Vegas, now’s your time to find out. His Eastern Legion is tasked with spreading the empire East into Texas and Colorado. This will bring him into conflict with the Texas Brotherhood as well as the nations of northeastern Mexico.

In the west, Caesar’s Legion itself will have access to various new decisions and story events. This includes more nuanced interactions between Caesar and his vassals. There are also new mechanics involving Caesar’s health and the fallout of what happens should he die without a clear successor.

And of course, we can’t forget Colorado and Nevada. The former has been dramatically expanded based on lore from the canceled Black Isle Studios version of Fallout 3. This includes the scavenger factions of Denver, a ghoul mad scientist, and a rogue AI impersonating a Roman goddess. There’s also a bit of non-cannon shenanigans plugging some holes in the map. This included a lonely AI named Doki, the result of a dating sim having gained self-awareness. That last detail may or may not make it into the update, though. The developers don’t want to lean too far into meme territory.

The last significant map change is to the Mojave Wasteland, which you may know as the setting of Fallout: New Vegas. Most of the region will now be organized into the NCR controlled Mojavi Territories. While this will mean fudging the timeline a bit, it allows Old World Blues to more accurately model the events leading up to Fallout: New Vegas. New Vegas and the Mojave Brotherhood have all been reworked, with the latter having the option to investigate Big Mountain from New VegasOld-World Blues DLC. And I’m sure that will have absolutely no horrific unintended consequences.

Lastly, but no less important is the planned economy rework. Instead of just making money over time, the player will be able to interact with trade routes. The system is very similar to the one used in Europa Universalis IV and is an excellent way to make money without having to pillage your neighbors. The slavery mechanics are also changing so that slaves now function as a resource instead of a stacking modifier.

As with many mod projects, it’s unclear exactly when the 3.0 update will go live. However, given the amount of content being shown off, it’s possible we could see a release before the end of the year. If you liked Old World Blues but haven’t played in a while, the new update could be a great time to jump back in. If this is your first time hearing of it, on the other hand, the current version, Trouble in Paradise, is available on the Steam Workshop.


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