I think that the main reason for that feeling is that there is something in Bannerlord that is fundamentally flawed: combat. As you rightly say Warband is, at the end of the day, an extension of the arena free for all fighting. You just do that outside, in open field battles or sieges, wearing armor and using different weapons, but it's the exact same game mechanic. And it works because the combat itself is really fun, I honestly can spend hours just fighting in the arena or at the training camp (in fact I spent an hour this evening raising Nord Warriors in native ). And that was in my opinion the genius of the first Mount and Blade, it built incrementally upon a combat mechanic that was incredibly satisfying.
Bannerlord... Not as much fun, I would argue. Blocking is wonky, hit boxes are unreliable, some animations are awkward. Combat is OK at the end of the day, but it's really not as good as it was in Warband. I honestly can't quite put my finger into what the problem is, but combat in Bannerlord when compared to Warband just feels clunky. I think many of the people who spent countless hours playing Warband and also tried Bannerlord will be able to relate to that.
At first I thought I just needed to get used to it, but after putting 150 something hours in Bannerlord I think I can say with confidence that it's not just that. Sure, now I can reliably (kind of) hit units running away from horseback, instead of flailing at them like a T Rex, and I can duel just fine in tournaments, but it's not as fun as doing the same exact actions in Warband. And if combat itself is not as fun as in the first game... Well maybe there's a need to step back and reevaluate the fundamentals.
I've been since the beggining of the first mount and blade, I've been in the presence of the creation of the first alpha and the first thing I said to Armagan after he showed me the gameplay was:
P E N I S I N F E C T I O N
And he looked at me confused saying no no no. That first time he proved me wrong as the game worked perfectly without the necessary penis infection feature, but I told him: Okey Armagan, you're doing well but you know that to make your game a masterpiece you will have to put some clams in those medieval penises. He refused obviously, and instead he added sarranids and multiplayer. The game did great again, gained millions of fans and 8/10 in all those reviews, but I repeated him: Armagan, this is beautiful, but man, those penises are too clean to reach the 10/10. Years passed Bannerlord was announced and with all the new engine my dream was supposedly about to come true... years passed and I chugged every piece of information, hoping as the page loaded that this blog was finally about the so wanted feature but no... better castle management, clans, more diplomacy, where is it? WHERE IS IT? I cried to myself but I still had hope, maybe they were saving it for the end, as you know, as the Chinese proverb says the best comes last, but here we are, 150k people playing the first weeks and now we are at 40k, and why? AND WHY?
I warned them, I warned them what was going to happen, sure now people are still hoping that its finally added after the final release and the reviews are positive, but I know the sour truth, its not coming. Taleworlds will have it upon themselves, I can see already all the negative reviews in Steam
"NO PENIS INFECTION 0/10"
Josh I live with my mom Carlton:
"A disappointment, why the **** does my penis still work"
"I expected more, I'm being imprisoned next month for being an horrible human being but even I deserve medieval clamidia, this is a joke"
You have it upon yourselves, I told you since day one Armagan, I had told you...
There are plenty of new things and features that set this a part from Warband. The new engine, graphics, and physics alone are a big change. They also added gangs, smithing, caravans, board games, directional blocking and a lot of new things. The aging isn't the only difference or main focus of Bannerlord.
I am sure they will also launch the option "not die permanently" or the modders will take care of it.
I understand that the game developed again after 4 years of work. Something went wrong and they had to redo it. It is a matter of time and patience.
Warband's courtship was simple, but gave me a feeling of romance. And I liked it a lot.
It also let you think about how to approach a certain spouse, for example a woman that loves to ride and hunt liked the poems about strong females and disliked those about women that live to serve her husbands. That way the spouses had a personality and you had to consider it in your decisions. Also having to wait for a letter from her to make another attempt to win her heart was way better than what Bannerlord offers right now.
I remember a courtship with a wealth and power greedy woman who refused to elope with my character because she expected to live in a castle, and I realized she's obviously not the right one and cancelled the relationship. That was a very simple but immersive concept, letting you make choices based on the spouses personality.
TaleWorlds should consider it, just implement it at some point with no big announcement and everything is fine.
Bannerlord isn't even alternate history, it's too far away from real history to be considered that. It is clearly fictional, and therefore not bound to historical restrictions. The question if it is really fantasy or not is a way more difficult definition than you try to put it. To communicate we need common definitions, otherwise a discussion is pointless.
No need to pass me the video! I also followed the development. It will be a matter of giving them time to implement those characteristics.
So i'm not the one saying whats best. The devs said and are currently focusing on fixing bugs and crashes and balance changes for the next week or so. I'm not making it up. And i have not helped them fix bugs but i made a thread suggesting balance changes for Sturgian spearmen. And it got on the " SP Top Feedback & Suggestions" thread. And sure enough they got buffed shortly after. So yes i am helping the game get better. Also i know that they are watching the forums because of that thread i talked about and how i got on there.
I responded to everyone but i stopped responding to a few after there was no point. I respond to see if they are worth my time. And you miss my point on suggestions. I am specifically saying to stop suggesting NEW FEATURES while suggestion balance changes and such should be done more. I am not suggesting any new features.
It's called "Feedback & Suggestions" not feedback and feedback. Neither does it say feedback to the devs or anything specific like that. I am giving feedback and a suggestion to the community. No, i won't tell you to piss off because unlike a couple others you are being respectful and civil. Thats why i stopped responding to them. This is a constrictive thread because it's got a bunch of people talking about an issue of the game right now. Namely the entire game. This thread exploded and brought some attention to priorities and the future of the game. And the devs will see it cuz it's at the top of the sub-forum.
I know it's not up to me on how they function but i'm trying to change what kind of suggestions they get and have a much needed big discussion.
The important thing is that the base is already there. Then the modders will make sure the game is entertaining. Let's be honest Warband survived thanks to the modifications. I hope TW won't take long to apply death.
The fact that this game actually feels like it offers less in the way of features is a little stunning (even though it's in EA - meaning it's in an unfinished state).
At around 1:40 in the video Armagan Yavuz himself says (justifying the early access price) that the game is a "very, very featured game where you have so many different features."