The sound engine has been rewritten from scratch.Once again, sorry if this is a stupid question, but why exactly did that need to be done? What was wrong with the old sound engine?
I am only guessing, but the sound engine in both Mount and Blade and Warband was a surprising wall which many larger mods hit. Adding sounds, or playing additional sounds that weren't already played by the game itself caused huge problems to the CPU. It also tends to overload RAM. Setting Warband to work with more than 2 GB of it helps somewhat, but it's a crude fix.
Anyway, I don't think it's been much improved in Warband over MnB and adding music to the 3.1 patch of TLD was a huge problem for many people. We're still not sure how to fix it, if we ever do. So any improvements to the sound system in Warband should be welcome, not sneezed at.
Also, I'd like to take a bit of space here and write down my thoughts on the whole "paying for a mod" issue which pops up everywhere nowadays.
It's a strange sense of entitlement that seems to be prevalent here, one that I do not understand. "Mods should be free". "I shouldn't be forced to pay for something that I had for free up till now.". "I won't pay for a barely polished mod."
I'd like to explain why these sentiments are entirely false.1) Mods should be free.
Possibly. It's kind of the definition of a mod, that it's usually made by fans in their spare time and that it's free to be downloaded by everyone. If you need to pay for it, it's become a paid DLC. It may seem there is no difference in the actual product, but there is, or at least should be. For one, the developers should now try harder, it's in fact their job now and they have customers to answer to. It's both positive and negative motivation for them. By working directly with the developers of the game itself they should be able to lift their product above the "just a mod" level and create something new.
(which they've done, they managed to have Warband updated after months of stagnation. Updated with many cool sounding features and modding possibilities. Sadly, you bitch about that too, which baffles me even more.)
So yes, mods are and will always be free. No conflict there.2) I won't pay for a barely polished mod.
I admit, the experience we have with WFaS is bitter. As I'll comment in the third part, it IS your choice NOT to pay for this product. If you enjoy this type of gameplay, I don't see why you wouldn't.
Let's see, some of you were absolutely shocked to see the DLC will cost nearly 10 EUR! Yes. Admittedly, it's something like a third of the price of the actual game it's expanding. Also, it is roughly the price of a nice dinner.
How much are games worth? How many hours of entertainment will you gain for this dinner money? Food for thought.
Today we have a few pricing modes, there's something we're used to paying for AAA games, something we're used to paying for indie games (oh the bloody bundles), something we're used to paying for online apps...
Somehow paying a dinner for a fun DLC seems too much to you.
Also, I'm not sure if you realize this, but by this you're also telling modders their work is worth NOTHING. Certainly not 9.99 EUR.
We get people praising TLD quite often, who tell me they'd buy TLD as a game if they could. Is it just in the "what if" land? IF we get the chance, we take it as an insult? IF we get asked to pay, we realize mods are worthless?
You seem to be confusing the privilege of having mods for free with their actual value. You are all so fortunate there are many modders who'll do this for fun and share their work with you for nothing. Does that mean it's worth nothing? No.
That gets me to the last point -3) I shouldn't be forced to pay for something that I had for free up till now.
You're not forced to do that at all. You have a free choice to make. Buy, or not buy.
Again, the fact you were able to enjoy this wonderful and fun mod before was entirely dependant on the modders' good will. It's not a RIGHT, it's a PRIVILEGE.
Sadly, good will won't feed you, clothe you, or pay the rent. Believe it or not, modding and game making is a lot of work. It's a bloody full time job.
The NW guys decided they want to keep making this mod in the form of a DLC, they got the chance to work directly with Taleworlds, to do stuff they couldn't with a mere mod. (hopefully) As they want to make their living by making games, they obviously grabbed that chance.
"But they should keep the mod servers running, it's not fair!" - yeah, it's not fair, it's not fair in the fairytale land where players are the only people who matter in this world. Luckily, they're not stupid and they realize they don't need to create their own free competition.
It's a business decision, deal with it.
There is no great idealistic code of proper and soulful modding, there is no rule that says mods can't be turned into DLC. Objectively there's nothing wrong with what they're doing.
You're angry and bitching, because you're either strangely idealistic, or cheap bastards who can't be arsed to admit someone elses's work has value.
I think this is all from me now.