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  1. Army AI is still the game's biggest problem

    That and arrows doing more damage than spears. Take the example below. War with Vlandia, Raganvad takes half the nation's forces to do absolutely nothing in the middle of nowhere. This happened several times with different nobles. I think I have killed literally thousands of enemy troups in...
  2. Just nerf ranged damage by 30%

    @Callum @Dejan @Duh_TaleWorlds

    I think this video shows by itself all my concerns about ranged units making the game too easy. Keep in mind that I am playing at the highest difficulty and I supposedly was facing a slightly stronger army than mine. 66% of enemy units were shielded (usual battles in the campaign are against 50% shielded units or so due to enemy two-handed units, recruits, and ranged units).

    Now you can see other T5 units against exactly the same army:

    This issue has been present in the game and ruining it for me since the release. Every time you recruit anything different to archers or xbows, you feel like you are building an underperforming army because ranged units outperform everyone with ease. Please help to report this issue internally and fixing it once and for all.

    EDIT: Before someone comes here to say: "you are using infantry wrongly because the enemy is flanking you and blablablablablabla...."

    Yeah that demonstrates it pretty nicely, thanks for uploading. I did quite a few of these tests. If against shielded infantry crossbowmen (who are supposed to be countered by them) do as well as line breakers (who are supposed to be a counter), you have a pretty obvious balance issue.
  3. Just nerf ranged damage by 30%

    You are basically saying employing tactics over an opponent who doesn't, makes you win. The horror. Shields' blocking cones (I think that's what its' called by TW) is already ridiculous, protecting far more than their physical existence like some magic items. The game has already a bias aganist bows in that manner, I don't agree there's a need to nerf archers, maybe it should be a bit harder to train archers which is realistic.
    No, I am saying the opposite: Both cavalry and archers inherently have more tactical options, but they will also win just fine with far less management than infantry.
    I encourage you to try this yourself in a custom battle, as I just did. Example: Vlandia mirror,100 hardened crossbowmen against 100 swordmen.
    Playing the crossbowmen, I put them in loose formation, long line, that's it. Win 96 -- 4
    Playing the swordsmen, I also barely managed to win: 90 -- 52, but it involved a lot more management. Going shieldwall, repositioning, repositioning again so that they are in a perfect line, going forward, charging, making sure you you aim exactly at the middle, dropping shield wall at the last possible second.
    But as soon as enemy archers get even a small opening into the shield wall, or if you have a few non-shielded infantry units (I tried this too), infantry die like flies and will lose.
    Basically, in an infantry vs archer battle the infantry will only win if they do everything right, and the archers will only lose if they do everything wrong. Same as in cavalry vs infantry.
    As it is, infantry is just worse in every way compared to the alternatives.

    EDIT: Obvious but important problem: Infantry that is in shield wall will get demolished by other infantry. Infantry that is not in shield wall will get even more demolished by archers. In a simple 1 line against 1 line engagement, you can micro when you drop the shield wall, but in most larger battles you are fighting waves of both infantry and archers -- which makes formation micro impossible, and you will take heavy losses no matter what.
    With archers, on the other hand, you can almost always just put them in a loose long line and they will get 80% of the kills.
  4. Just nerf ranged damage by 30%

    I don't know, I think the bow should probably do more damage. If you take into account the speed of the arrow versus the speed of a thrusting weapon, it just seems to me that the arrow would penetrate easier. Although I guess a two-handed polearm would do more damage once the armor was pierced .... so maybe not.
    I just played around a bit with custom battle duels -- Carfid (ranger bow + norse hatchet) and Belarn (Steel Tipped Hooked spear + fine cavalry broadsword) vs Gaston (ridged army sword).
    The most extreme example I found was a bow headshot doing ~60 damage, and a stab to the head with the spear doing ~15. But also otherwise, the ranger bow seems to consistently deal a bit more damage than a 1h axe/sword ( ~35-40), and much much more than a spear (~15).
    Even if you think this is realistic, which I do not, it should be obvious that if you have the choice between dealing damage from a distance, and dealing damage while you get hit yourself, the former is the superior option by far. Even the comparatively tiny range advantage a spear gives made them dominate real battlefields.
    To be fair, I believe you do take longer to aim a bow than to swing a sword, but on the other hand, you will very rarely be constantly swinging in melee. If melee combat should ever be a viable alternative, ranged damage needs to be much lower than melee damage.

    Shields do offer great protection from ranged fire, but it's just too easy to play around them. A single line of infantry marching against a single line of archers in shield wall will win. But: Split your archers -- infantry dies. Cavalry charge from behind -- infantry dies. Large battlefield with lots of attacks from different angles -- infantry dies. And of course: No shield -- infantry dies.
    Shields alone are not enough to limit the power of archers if infantry dies as fast as it currently does as soon as they are not attacked directly from their front.

    On a positive note I can say that in my custom battle tests in the current 1.6 beta, horse archers in particular dominate far less than they used to and actually lost to melee cav on F6. They still destroy infantry and archers, but I think not to such a ridiculous degree as they used to.
  5. Just nerf ranged damage by 30%

    Because the effectiveness of archers and crossbows drops off at range. Unlike the movies, archers were often deployed at close range (less than 80 metres) where they were effective, but also scarily close to mass infantry and cavalry charges. They were limited by their stocks of ammunition (they were mobile - and there are fun stories of English archers firing each others arrows back and forth by moving in and out of each other's effective range). And archery with heavy bows is tiring - very tiring. Archers might only have a dozen shots in them before they're fatigued and have to withdraw to re-equip and take a break.

    Also, as shown in the video, it takes lucky shot to hit an arm through a shield, more lucky to embed in a face or chest once the arrow's momentum has been broken by the shield. A shield might take 10 arrow hits while the holder covers a 80 metres of ground, and none might strike bone - at that point if the shield is becoming a hinderance, it can be dropped. But I imagine apart from having to be held well out from the body, would probably be relatively effective with adrenaline going. If the holder was required to withdraw and regroup, it can be swapped or arrows can be removed with effort.

    And I showed just one type of late medieval shield, not a Viking round shield, not a Pavise. And only a heavy English bow/arrows - so only one particular set of circumstances. So even with a quick guess, there are plenty of real world limitations on archer effectiveness that have nothing to do with how deadly a bow is.

    Its difficult to replicate these kind of mechanics in game - where massed archers should be absolutely devastating, or sometimes not at all depending on circumstances. So you're right, they can't just be blanket deadly in all circumstances. Apocal's cut damage solution is one approach. Where arrows are affected by armour in a different way. Another approach might be to look at damage at the end of it's range to make arrows less deadly at range - although already I feel like a hunting bow is throwing toothpicks when I'm in lamellar at 80 metres.

    But what ever is done, it shouldn't be a generic damage nerf - because a single heavy war arrow should be able to take a man in mail down with one well aimed shot at 20-50 metres - and the majority of armour in this game is mail.
    Thank you for that long reply, that was an interesting read :smile: One thing that's missing from that discussion for me though: I think the question is not only how deadly arrows were, but how deadly they were relative to melee weapons.
    As much as heavy bows had the potential to penetrate relatively light armor -- although I do agree with fivebucks' later point that you have to compare bows and armor of the same period -- I feel like being directly stabbed with a sword had a lot more potential. If I look at my current game:

    Hunting bow damage: 45 pierce
    Tapered blade stab damage: 31 pierce

    Now that seems really really off. Equally, stabbing polearms like spears, the actual kings of ancient and medieval warfare AFAIK, have absolutely pathetic damage and handling in the current implementation of MBII.

    So to me, the general guideline should either be buff armor but then also buff melee damage -- or just nerf ranged damage.

    Have you tried playing the game with reduced difficulty settings or are you finding that ranged damage is still too high after lowering the settings?

    As others have mentioned, it's mostly about how good ranged units are compared to melee units. I actually feel like that difference is greater in the hands of the player than the hands of the AI for several reasons:
    AFAIK autocombat thinks they are only as good as a melee unit of the same tier, the player can make better use of their wider range of (cheesing) tactics compared to melee, and the player tends to be a lot better at snowballing, whereas the AI gets wiped out a lot and is thus reset to recruits
  6. Just nerf ranged damage by 30%

    T6 archer takes 10 shots to down a T6 infantry? I think it's a bit much, I would spam full infantry armies and rush enemy archers if that was the case. Remember, a good amount of infantry also has shields, so its really tough to actually land 10 shots on a guy...
    In my ideal of Bannerlord mixed armies would be superior to both archer only and melee only. Yes, a pure archer army could just be rushed down (as they should be). But at the same time, an archer that continuously shoots while protected by a melee front would still output more damage than a melee unit.
    You have to remember that ranged units have the huge advantage that they can output damage without risking being damaged themselves. A melee unit will likely only get in a few good strikes before being taken down themselves. If you ever want to balance this out, ranged damage output needs to be a lot lower than melee.
  7. Just nerf ranged damage by 30%

    I find just increasing armour values does the trick well enough. Solves a lot of other problems too.
    Most melee weapons (that are viable, looking at you pikes) do cut damage, while arrows and bolts do pierce damage, which is relatively better against armor. While I guess an armor increase would give a melee more time to close in on a ranged fighter, it would also buff the relative damage of bows and crossbows. Although I cannot say for sure, I do not think the first effect would be enough to offset the second one -- currently, archers are also pretty decent melee fighters. So I do not think this would help this problem a lot, if at all.
    I agree.

    An arrow or crossbow bolt is absolutely deadly to any poorly armoured soldier. It should be that way. An arrow will penetrate a shield, and the arm holding it, or the chest that it is pressed against, even through mail.

    If there's a problem with people being killed by being shot with an arrow, it's a problem of armour. Although in our time period, I'd suggest that even mail and lamellar should be vulnerable to arrow fire - with that in mind, I have seen my character riding with high tier imperial lamellar and literally looking like a hedgehog. So I don't think armour is as bad as the forum narrative suggests.
    I did not really want to get into the realism discussion, since it seems to be pretty endless and ultimately not that relevant. But you have to see the problem that in-game, ranged damage being this powerful just makes melee units pointless. In every single playthrough I plan on going melee heavy, I end up with massed ranged units anyways, since they are just so much, much more effective. It's boring, and does not feel very medieval, even if it truly is realistic.
    I also do wonder about the implications of this: If not even shield + armor protected you, how were melee units ever viable at all? I am pretty sure most ancient and medieval soldiers were not walking around in heavy plate armor. But without knowing the details, it seems pretty straightforward that pre-gunpowder combat was still not dominated by ranged weaponry the same way it became after the introduction of gunpowder. Say a Roman Legion looked very different from an optimal bannerlord army, which is 80+% ranged units.
  8. Just nerf ranged damage by 30%

    I have seen endless discussion about the specific instances of this, but to me it always boils down to the same theme: regular archers/crossbowmen are way more powerful than melee infantry. We all fear sharpshooters and fians, but laugh about axemen. horse archers are way more powerful than...
  9. The "circle around archers" formation is utterly suicidal (and infuriating)

    It’s interesting that the circle formation is a higher tier of unlockable tactics for AI lords. It feels like the circle formation should be a basic one that inexperienced tacticians should employ (simulating panic) and unlock something else higher up. Like shieldwall or another thing.

    Just seems backwards at present.
    I am pretty sure the idea was that archers would be able to shoot from within the circle, which would make this a pretty good formation, in particular against riders. This just does not happen in practice, which results in this "tactic" being utterly horrible.
  10. The "circle around archers" formation is utterly suicidal (and infuriating)

    I have witnessed this in two huge Vlandian battles now, with absolutely devastating effect each time: Theory (I assume): Archers can shoot while protected by a shield wall Practice: Archers do not shoot at all while infantry, often recruits, just stand there being melted by enemy archers. This...
  11. SP - Player, NPCs & Troops Battania still needs regular archers

    It is pretty ironic/insane that the faction that specializes in fighting in forest, the terrain that is worst for cavalry and thus best for archers, has two cavalry units and zero archers in their regular unit line.
  12. Melee vs ranged damage: Stats comparison

    I don't think ranged damage needs to be nerfed, besides, outside of the recent 1.5.8 hotfix archers weren't firing on enemy formations until they're at javelin range just about.
    Huh. Quick question: If you need to win a tough battle, would you rather use melee infantry or archers? Also, would you rather use melee cavalry or horse archers?
    Because there is a pretty huge gap in the performance of troops
    Even for the player: With melee, I can maybe get 10 kills when I'm lucky. But insane 25+ kill battles always involve bows or crossbows. They also basically make throwing weapons obsolete...if you can have 4-8 shots of damage, or 24+, at a much longer range, with much higher precision, and still comparable damage -- which do you pick?
  13. Melee vs ranged damage: Stats comparison

    again: you all want that you need at the start against looters to need 4-5 arrows from your small 24 arrows quiever? thats not a problem about the bow dmg, its the problem with the armor that doesnt much.
    As long as you need 4-5 thrusts with a sword or spear definitely yes.
    And quiver size: In a straight fight, it is pretty damn difficult to land 24 melee hits without going down. I've done the whole "run in with 2h weapon from behind" thing too, but that seems to rely a lot on AI opponents not turning around and having little sense of self-preservation while moving.
    Also, it is usually pretty easy to pick up additional arrows. So yeah, I cannot really buy the whole "I can only land 24 hits unpunished so bow bad". Try walking in with a spear or 1h-sword instead, or 2 sets of throwing weapons for a closer comparison, and see if that has a much better damage potential. Bows are really, really strong, both for the player and troops.
  14. Melee vs ranged damage: Stats comparison

    I am really thinking that is not as so much the ranged inflicted damage was overrated, as how is melee thrusting is severely downgraded. Well placed stab led to death or disabling fighting abilities. Note, all strait sword technics were eventually developed into making punctures. Same for bayonets of the latter line infantry. Another matter, that is the game cannot emulate minor wounds from arrow reducing fighting ability or shield-encumbering effect of pila, for example, and therefore it predictably failed to put the archers into their niche. But they should matter from the gameplay point of view, so we have is what we have with damage.
    While it is pretty weird that you apparently have to stab an unarmed person four times with a spear before they go down, I still think that bows are also extremely powerful compared to sword slashing.
    The whole "speed" stat is a bit confusing, because in practice it does seem to take longer to draw a bow than to thrust with a sword, but still: If we assume both damage values are roughly on par, a ranged weapon will pretty obviously still be a much, much better choice for its ability to land attacks without being in danger of harm yourself. Yes, you can block arrows pretty reliably with a shield -- but the same is true for sword strikes. And when you are without a shield or ranged weapon vs a ranged opponent, you are currently basically just dead (save for some AI abuse -- you can always dodge at the exact moment AI fires, but that only works because AI does not vary the point of release).
    Melee attacks need to do much more damage than ranged attacks if you ever want to compensate for the huge advantage of being able to attack without fear of retaliation. And IMO also from a realism standpoint, though that can be debated.
  15. Melee vs ranged damage: Stats comparison

    your steam threas is for warband.

    here is a thread explaining the damage formula for bannerlord

    i do agree that ranged does too much damage.
    low tier bows should do next to no damage against highest tier armour and hiest tier bows should take several shots to take down highest tier armour.
    Thank you very much, edited that.
  16. Shall we talk about the paper armors?

    I just started a new thread for this, but one of the biggest problems I see is how high ranged damage is compared to melee. I don't have a problem going down in a few melee hits even in high armor, since you can parry melee hits, not many targets can attack you at once, and you usually have a chance to kill the enemy before they kill you. Against arrows....not so much.

    Compared to a thrusting sword or spear, bow damage currently seems to be about twice as high, and crossbow damage three times as high. Which is pretty insane from both a realism and gameplay perspective.
  17. Melee vs ranged damage: Stats comparison

    Four starting weapons as an example (1.5.8.): Falchion Swing speed: 96 Swing damage: 58 cut Thrust speed: 90 Thrust damage: 28 pierce Jagged spear Thrust speed: 89 Thrust damage: 29 pierce Steppe Bow Speed: 86 Damage: 46 pierce Light Crossbow Speed: 62 Damage: 75 pierce First off: According to...
  18. Custom battle tests (1.5.6): Horse archers are insanely OP & Infantry is pointless

    The problem: Armour sucks

    The solution: Buff Armour

    I would say armor sucks specifically against ranged weapons -- or, in other words, ranged weapons do too much damage.
    ATM, ranged weapon damage seems roughly on par with one-handed weapons -- but it is much, much easier it is to land many consecutive ranged attacks without endangering yourself. Combine this with the fact that ranged troops are not noticeably more vulnerable than melee troops even in melee, this makes ranged troops much more powerful than their melee counterpart.

    Spear thrusts in particular seem to do consistently far less damage than arrows, which is just insane from both a realism and gameplay perspective.

    And then horse troops are also much less vulnerable than they should be -- as long as they ride, they are practically immune to arrows, but are also not effectively stopped by spears and pikes. And they can come to a stop in the middle of an enemy infantry formation and survive, which, again, both overpowered and unrealistic.

    Combine those two and horse archers -- which are both mounted and ranged -- beat everything else easily.
  19. Mounted unit balance: Competing design philosophies

    Agreed on principle but I dislike troop limits. It doesn't seem natural to me. You go in a town an hire troops and they reply "no can do, you already got 76 and it's a tuesday..."? Or does the quartermaster say "nope, I can't count that high yet..."?

    Troop sizes come naturally with how many resources they consume and how well you can command groups, it shouldn't be restricted by an arbitrary number and allow you to go over the limit at your own risk of bankrupting yourself or losing cohesion similar to larger armies and the escaping prisoners. Perhaps parties larger than the "limit" don't listen to your commands or have much lower moral.
    This already happens to some degree but it's much too forgiving, too cheap and too easy to work around in my opinion. In Warband for example food used to spoil which adds to the urgency quite a bit. It's annoying but makes the supply chain a much larger componnent especially if the horses would consume significant amounts of grain (which they would in real life).

    The compromise could be having a separate unit counter for troops and horses and the horse counter just being lower but upgradable with perks? Convert the trooper to a dismounted version if their horse gets killed in battle unless you have replacements in the inventory? I mean, not that any of this will likely get implemented but it's still an interesting thought experiment.
    Well I guess abolishing troop limits for everyone and making mounted units 1.5 times the cost in gold and food would be an equally fair solution...but then we would have a pretty different game (e.g. you would not need armies anymore).

    Seperate troop counters, i.e. free horse units, would indirectly punish infantry only, so I do not see that as ideal.
  20. Mounted unit balance: Competing design philosophies

    I never said unbeatable in all situations. The units you describe were all effective for a certain type of warfare on a certain type of terrain for a certain amount of time... until they weren't due to development. We don't have that development and adaptation in Bannerlord. We also don't have too many tactical options when it comes to terrain. This probably bothers me the more. Where are those ambushes they keep talking about in the dialog? Where are the spies and scouts allowing us to track our enemies' movements? I also doubt the AI is smart enough to apply that effectively either.

    Looking at the historical accounts the reasons for effective armies were usually that they were backed by good logistics above having a unique secret weapon. True for Greeks/Romans/Persians/the crusades/WW2... and Mongolians. Moving and sustaining supplies is an important skill but also a tedious one. The point is though that it should be exceedingly more difficult to maintain 100 heavy horse archers (essentially each needing their own little army on foot backing them up) than 100 heavy spearmen. If you can manage doing that, then by all means it's fair to have a near-unstoppable force. And you could effectively counter them by cutting off the supply chain.

    I wouldn't hate having camp follower units, each cavalry and horse archer unit requiring squires and such, one more for each level. Or in addition to consuming a war horse you also need to consume X recruits. It would also give an incentive to protect those units even if you have a huge advantage. I.e. you can't just constantly upgrade all your units, you need to keep some low level ones for maintenance and you need a guard so the enemy cavalry doesn't just plow through them.

    Otherwise I completely agree that the Khuzait horser archers shouldn't be better on foot than their equivalents.
    Hence my original idea: Cavalry units are better, but count as 1.5 units towards troop limit.
    It's not completely clear-cut because of clan tier, but going from the steward/quartermaster perk descriptions, troop limit represents your ability to supply your troops. So yeah, the "exceedingly difficult" part of maintaining 100 horse archers would be having to have a very skilled steward as quartermaster to increase your troop limit enough.
    I would still prefer it if they were not quite as unstoppable as they are now -- as long as horse archers decimate infantry and archers almost without losses, 1.5 units still seems too little.
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