Though my suggestion is completely different than of the OP, I didn't want to make a new thread, since the title says it all.
This suggestion of mine, only concers Warband Multiplayer
gameplay and balance. Most of them probably suggested in other topics as always, but if more people state the same thing, it would probably be a good bet.1. Faction balance:
Generally its mostly about some weapons that make some imbalance to the game. First of all is the great lance, which is only avaible to the swadians, and gives them an advantage in cavarly battle and also its harder to counter them with other anti cavarly weaponry. It's not undefetable but makes them stronger while not having any real drawback; the lower speed is not a big deal (comparing to "simple" lances), almost nothing since in cavarly battle it is about that one thrust rather than fencing 10 strikes back and forth.
And its prize can be cashed out with the initial standard non custom starting money, right the way, so its definietly not the high end expensive option. (As none of the weapons are... this is only true for armors.)
The simpliest way to solve this is, to give every faction a great lance option. The more complex way would be to fully revise the great lance.*
An other weapon is the great long axe, only avaible to the nords. This weapon is the less of an issue as I got more experinced in melee and scored some kill against "baseballers" with a short sword. Its not coinsidental why I call it "baseballer" as this weapon has the option to become two handed instead of polearm and a character wielding it (wierding it actually) look like handling a huge baseball with each swing chambered. While this looks ridiclous it also affects the weapon in very broken, unrealistic way; its cutting damage applies to the wooden shaft just like if it were a fully edged and sharped blade! And gives a huge weapon range which the player can swing in any mili seconds, with unreal speed.
The complete removal of the two handed option of a clearly polearm type weapon would simply do the trick. (Actually its more useful in some sort.) Meanwhile ensuring that all pole weapons doesn't cut with theri shafts.
Third thing is the Khergits missing infantry class. The Khergit lancer does the trick in some sort, but it wouldn't be that hard to make an infantry class on the same basis of other factions, would it?2. Ranged over melee:
The whole armament of ranged weaponry (bows, crossbows and throwing) seems to reload faster than is should, while the whole movement speed of melee units (both attacks and infantry movement) seems to be slower than is should be, especially when it comes to stairs, builded areas (castles) or hills.
This has caused that an archer can shoot with a minimum of twice a melee infantry while he is coming up on the stairs being only 3-4 m away from the archer. Things just get worse when you don't have a shield but even then it doesn't give a full "active" coverage and the shielder may be wounded if getting shot from the front!
For cavarly the ranged weapons become very frustrating option of counter. No matter if you have a shield a range unit can calmly await a cavarly approaching and shoot him in a head before the lance connects into the scum. One can say the why don't you actively raise your shield, but then how to kill the archer if you don't attack him?
The couched lance suffers the same thing, no matter the character holds his shield while couching his lance at the same time, he still can be hit with ranged weapon frontally! (Also if I'm not mistaken the couched lance get disrupted if the "passive" shield takes a hit, further denying the cavarly charge in a VERY unrealistic way.)
One of the most annoying problem is the shooting into melee fight. This completely ruins the greatest part of Mount & blade. You are tighted up in a fierce close combat and are about to win it, when suddenly you got shot and die. (Even worse when your teammate landed it.) It has connection to the statements above: the infantry movement is too slow, thus making them very predictable target, while the ranged weapons reload too fast, and so can be fired quickly, increasing the chance to finish off the melee fighter before he can win the combat.
I don't mind if I get headshotted in a sudden moment when simply walking / running, or riding somewhere, but it is very dissapointing when I "dance around" my foe in melee combat, trying to be completely unpredictable and most of it I got killed by ranged weaponry instead of melee one... (This one stands for AI in singleplayer aswell!)
Andressing this I suggest that the complete set of ranged weaponry reload time shall be decreased from the veteran / Legolas level to an average decent archer level.
For infantry idk what could be done with the raw infantry movement speed as it is very largely scaling with the weight of equipment, thus if you increase it, slightly equipped guys will run with horses. But if we look into speed modifiers, like hills, stairs, so all steep ground, I think they should less affect infantry, or there should be a level where there are almost no effect while overstepping that level a huge movement speed decreasment would start. This could do the work for horses, so that little bumps in the terrain wouldn't make a difference, but taking a high ground definietly would. (Instead of slowing back randomly when walking on a bit steepy terrain...)3. Server side stuff
Set Melee and Ranged friendly fire to Yes, and damage to teammate 0%, damage to self 100%.
Some other games uses similar methods.
Solves the zergling overwhelming situtation thus giving chance to players who are fighting outnumbered to do something even if not surviving at all. (The most epic melee part of M&B I think.)
Don't even think any other settings to force players, especially newbies to NOT ATTACK if there are risks hitting friendly troop. So forget friendly fire hurting friendlies and / or not doing 100% dmg.*Great lance in a different way:
Increase it's lenght, so that only a pike could outrange it (If we are at it, give pike to every faction infantry class, including the Khergit
). Remove it's ability to attack. But it can still be couched, which is the point! Voilá! We now share a weapon that has great opportunities and strenghts while having some disadvantage, making "simple" lances a tactical choice, even if great lances are also avaible to buy.
Note that this also requires the removal of "shield stun" after connecting a successful couched lance hit, making the knight completely vulnerable!!!