Okay, I've read the forum rules. But I want to compile all of my thoughts in one place first. Then I'll search out specific elements and either create a new thread for each thing, or add to an existing one... Thanks for your patience.
My experience with the franchise is limited to M&B: Warband. No Fire and Sword, no Napoleonic. Just straight Warband, with no impactful single-player mods as of yet (though I've had a few suggested). So forgive me if any of my suggestions have been handled in later releases or mods (and please let me know if they have!).
With M&B2 announced, and TaleWorlds being a rather small developer, I figure I may as well make my concerns known, because they're much more likely to listen. And because I am frothing for M&B2 already.
1 - Multiplayer Campaign: The design for M&B is something that, with a few tweaks for multiplayer, could easily outshine most other multiplayer games on the market. The combat is phenomenal, in itself. Throw in the politics and strategy of the campaign, and it's an amazing thing. Imagine: players starting their own factions and working with or against whichever other nations they choose; working in the same faction, only to have one backstab the leader or arrange a coup (if an influential Lord suddenly breaks away, his lands go with him - it's a powerful thing...). There would have to be limitations, naturally, because you want to have all engaged parties on at once. So perhaps a player limit of eight or ten, with a necessity of 75% online, minimum. Those players absent would be contolled by AI. And no player can be controlled by AI for more than one consecutive in-game month.
So, hard to set up properly, but I know of lots of little gaming communities who would LOVE this.
2 - UI Improvements: The User Interface is often clunky and unwieldy. I'll give a few examples.
2a - Purchasing Gifts: The mechanic for purchasing gifts for your lords to win favor with them is one of the worst cases. Earning this ability is difficult, as it is. But the act of clicking through the menus for ten or twenty minutes straight is murder. Click the "I'd like to improve my relations" convo option, the specific Lord, and the amount to spend - aside from that are two or three "(Left click to continue)" bits of conversation. So, to make things easier, why not allow a sliding scale, rather than just one, two, or three? And if you like, the point-per-thousand-Denars is fine, but I don't see why we can't allow 'discounts' - if you plop a lump sum of $1,000 into somebody's hand, they're going to like you better than if you did ten separate instances of $100. It's just how the psychology works. So I would suggest that for every 5,000 you drop, you get an extra point. Again at 10k and 20k. Stacking. So Dropping 20k denars on one lord would net a 27 point gain (four instances of 5k, two of 10k, one of 20k).
This could be further improved by putting the list of lords into some semblance of order so that they aren't so difficult to find, and by listing their properties by their names, just as it's done when you initially take a castle or town, and the option appears for which lord to give it to; or just allow for a link to the player's notes. This allows for prioritization of gifts - obviously, the Lord with the most holdings is the one you want to keep happiest.
2b - Assigning fiefs through secretary/councilor/whatever-the-position-I-gave-my-wife-is-called: There is an issue here, as well. When you initially gain a fief, you're shown a list of which Lords have what to help you decide. Why isn't that information present here, as well? Also, why am I only told one very vague result of the 'voting'. I want to know everybody who was backed, and by whom. As King, I want to know the ins-and-outs, so I can make the best decision. This small addition would add a LOT of depth to an already amazing title.
2c - Battle Strategy: There are a few things here. I wish I could pause momentarily as I looked at the numbers and the map. I also wish the map was an actual map, with terrain, rather than a completely transparent square. This UI issue is only half of my concern with Battle Strategy, though...
3 - Battle Strategy (continued): Again, the pause option would be nice. It would allow time to actually issue commands. On top of this, I'd like the option to 'queue' commands - if you've played the last Splinter Cell game, with its marking targets to execute several things at once, you might know what I mean.
When I enter a battle, I want the ability to give a series of orders (each executed in turn, at 1-2 second intervals simply because no leader can yell five things at the same time...). So I queue up:
-Infantry, move here
-Infantry, stand close
-Archers, move here
-Archers, then move here
And those orders are executed as I lead the Cavalry off to begin the battle. The amount of orders that can queue should be equal to your personal Tactics score - giving those odd numbers a point. Furthermore, there should be an option to set initial battle plans before the battle launches, which would be just like the screen and map that comes up with the 'backspace' key (except with the changes I've already mentioned, such as terrain, of course). This wouldn't be too hard - just an option to add on the list with "Lead your soldiers in an assault" and "Order the attack to begin without you".
As one last element of this, the ability to determine formation would be nice. Instead of one long line of soldiers, two or three ranks of troops, with custom specifications, if desired. Maybe have a formation editor?
4 - Advanced Sieges: These seem just a little too simple. I know in Multiplayer, the offensive team gets a chance to raise gates and such; the defenders can throw down ladders. Why not in Campaign? Why not also give the defenders the capacity to raid outside the walls to hit the seige machines as they're being constructed (at the risk, of course, of allowing the enemy to breach the gate); newly-arriving reinforcements should have to fight their way into the castle or town through the siege lines; there should be a capacity for building anti-siege traps and weapons during times of peace - just add those to the list of possible improvements to castles and towns. Lastly, any prisoners whom I can't manage to add to my party should be given a chance to add to the new garrison. Say, for each one, grant a 50% chance of adding to the new garrison. The newly-freed men may want to leave, but they might also want to stay and torment their captors. now that the tide has turned.
5 - Custom Troops: I think that, since you may be forming your own new nation, maybe you want to create custom troop types. On top of this, you might consider making villages dynamic. Once they've been owned by one nation for a consecutive year, their recruit type shifts to that new nation, which forces the player to create his faction's unique identity from scratch. I'm certain that assigning values to specific gear and skills shouldn't be too difficult, allowing for the game to determine the cost to upgrade for fresh troop types
That's all I have for the moment.