What I would do if I was in charge of making multiplayer "popular" again.
- Multiplayer becomes a FREE TO PLAY standalone from the singleplayer. This would immediately boost the population, and advertises the singleplayer.
- You have 3 currencies. "Gold, EXP Points, TWGold".
- Gold would purchases equipment. This equipment can be saved as "loadouts" in the armoury.
- EXP Points would be invested into attributes. You would have several characters to choose and customize.
- TWGold would be "purchasable" ingame currency that would buy cosmetics, extra slots, etc. things that are NOT giving a steep ingame advantage.
- Everyone would have the same amount of Gold/EXP Points when creating loadouts/characters. Balance of items/stats would be much more precise.
- Matchmaking is now RANKED ONLY. The modes you could queue for would be 1v1 duels, 2v2 swobos and 6v6 skirmish.
- Loading into a game would have your "characters" on the left, "loadouts" on the right. You can mix and match as you like. Every respawn would bring up the same screen.
- At any point in a game you can edit your loadouts. Characters can only be edited in the armoury.
- If this is confusing for new players there would always be default loadouts/characters combos they can choose that are familiar to anyone, e.g. Sturgian Huskarl, Vlandian Knight, Battanian Fiann, etc.
- Custom server game modes would have Battle, Captain, Deathmatch, Siege, and combinations like Siege Battle, Siege Captain, etc.
- Proximity voice chat implemented and disabled by default but able to be turned on in options, polls available on custom servers, report system for matchmaking.
- Seamless mod support, steam workshop integration allowing you to click on a server hosting a mod and your steam automatically downloads said mod for you before joining the server.
Mount&Blade Bannerlord MP free? That's never happening
Your suggestions are nice and are aiming to make the game just like Mercenaries.
However, if we have to speak from a realistic point of view. TW must release battle mode + battle mode clan matches through the clan system, add ranked matchmaking(with ranks),Host E-sports tournaments 5-6 times a year with small prizen pool like 1200 euro for example and discount the game to 20 euros to bring many new players.
Having E-Sports scene with money on the line and twitch streams will attract all the teams from Warband who are still hesitating to move to Bannerlord due to the state of the game.Also perhaps speaking to your CEO to assign more people to work on the MP will help you polish the game to a finished product quicker.