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  1. Mercenary playstyle: Fief and army functionalities

    I'd prefer if it were turned into a 30-50% reduction in influence decay. That would better reward consistent activity.

    I'm guessing this means, a 30-50% reduction in Influence decay, while still paying out as though you were decaying the normal, baseline rate, right? Otherwise the reduction in decay rate would also mean you earn your drip-feed more slowly, which would make Vlandians the worst at mercenary life.

    I'm cool with the idea of rewarding a more 'loyal' mercenary, and if I read you correctly, you're suggesting an effective 50-100% buff to Vlandian merc rates vs the non-Vlandian baseline. We're in-line on that; however altering decay rates (but not earning rates) feels like a counter-intuitive use of the existing system... You'd earn at a clip that is different from the Influence tooltip decay rate. I still think Vlandians earning more from Influence - or earning more Influence from mercenary actions - are more intuitive implementations.
  2. Mercenary playstyle: Fief and army functionalities

    Very much agree with the gist of this thread - would favour both access to Clan-only army creation and some sort of Mercenary hideout option for Merc clans (functionally identical to a castle but with no associated income, in a first iteration. I guess we'd all dream of a Pendor-style later iteration where the hideout spawns a slow trickle of expensive-to-recruit, player-customised troops...).

    I do like the concept behind the Vlandian culture bonus, and think it just needs a material revision upwards (from 15% to more like 50 or 60% increased income from influence). I've just ended a full playthrough as a Vlandian Mercenary. 20 years in and at Clan Tier 6, my Golden Company has kept Calradia in complete balance, always fighting for whichever faction was losing (which also meant, would pay best: they'd typically offer 220-260 denar per Inf, baseline).

    I think a lot of players underestimate how much money you make from Influence farming as a high-calibre Merc party. It's worth noting: if you go around stomping enemy parties or winning quick easy sieges, you're collecting baseline 20ish Inf per battle, plus anywhere between 4 and 30 Inf for depositing a captured noble in an allied town or castle's prison. Between the 'Glorious Leader' charm perk and the Vlandian bonus (meagre as it is, presently), it is already possible to be racking in 8-10k denar per day in Influence fees alone, which is a sizeable addition to the mercenary's earnings from loot.

    I'd still want the Vlandian Merc earning potential raised because 8-10k daily ticks required the kind of continuous victory streak that Bannerlord minmaxers eke out, and I'm not sure the game should be tuned around that playstyle. You also can't sustain that rate forever; you eventually run out of 100+ stacks to fight, and need to wait out the Influence daily drip-feed before you swap sides again. Letting mercenaries form Clan-only armies would make it much easier for Mercs to spend that time taking on the game's most lucrative contracts, like the 30k paydays from quests to capture a settlement.
  3. Thoughts on the state of Bannerlord, as of 1.6.0

    Similar long-play King experience here to what @Apocal has shown.

    37 years in, few factions are left. Granted, some of that is the result of the player's own actions (at least one kingdom will end up consumed by the player's efforts at attaining critical mass) - but much of it was the result of AI-on-AI warfare, with one side allowing itself to lose ground against multiple foes without sensing peril. In most King playthroughs, by the time the player's offspring are ready to join the action, there's none to be had.

    By contrast, the Mercenary playthrough has proven both viable and thoroughly entertaining, with the map integrity still largely intact after 21 years. The clan's next generation will have plenty of gameplay options when their time comes. Ideally the faction-affiliated (Vassal or King) playthroughs should feel likewise durable - through civil war, heightened chances of rebellion in snowballing AI empires (especially in the culturally-unaffiliated settlements), or wars of liberation.
  4. Looter's throwing stones and insane bow's mysteries are solved

    Everytime I hear about Looters throwing stones now, I can't help but picture these guys again.

    Some things just can't be unseen... or unheard.
  5. Thoughts on the state of Bannerlord, as of 1.6.0

    At the risk of stating the obvious: a lengthy absence from the game is wholesome for your perspective on Bannerlord. Having only intermittently dabbled with the game for close to 6 months, 1.6.0 presented for me a (modestly) fresh re-entry point to experience its most recent changes. On balance...
  6. Beta Patch Notes e1.5.10

    Tbf, I think what @Flesson19 is trying to point out is that these reports were made weeks ago, when the patch launched. It's now May 28, and no update/info/hotfix has been released that fixes these unplayable issues.

    I mean, just look at this video from here

    The video in that link is a great example of the campaign map and menu lag I'm seeing too. Mine isn't as extreme, but it's still pretty atrocious given latest-gen hardware. These stutters date back precisely to the Apr 29th Hotfix:

    Something in that hotfix triggered these problems. I've also found, per Apocal's suggestion in one of these threads, that a spring cleaning of my savegames (15 saves, down to 3) has alleviated some of the campaign map lag, though none of the menu lag. In a pinch, it can help make the game a bit more playable.

    For the avoidance of doubt: the problem is serious, there's a good reason Flesson19 has been making his voice heard on this.
  7. Lots of Lag and General Performance Issues

    I tried to 1.5.4 and it was the same as the 1.5.10 (perhaps 1.5.10 was a bit faster). I agree that there is a freeze of about half a second, but the problem is definitely not worse in 1.5.10. However, I have a high-end PC and the results may differ.

    Recently returned to the game, definitely in agreement with a lot of other posters in this thread, the performance is extremely sluggish compared to before. Frequent stutters in all menus, 'rotating dials' for 2-3 seconds while loading icons, stutters on the main map (especially if I zoom out and back in). I don't recall having these kinds of stutters before in the Early Access (certainly, not this type of permanent gameplay impediment). Am on a fairly high-end PC that has historically handled the game very well (RTX 2080 Ti, i9-7900) so I don't think hardware is to blame, either. I hope you guys can figure out what went wrong.

    I seem to recall a period recently when the game had no beta branch. Did you push updates straight to the main branch (1.5.9) during that time? I get the impression (anecdotal as I haven't been the most active player, lately) that the substantial performance degradation kicked in sometime during 1.5.9.
  8. Development Priorities

    Full Vlandian crossbows are extremely potent - their significant range advantage means they can force the enemy to run from a greater distance and buy more time to notch their kills, partially offsetting their longer reload times, and their point-blank firepower is exceptional. I've run armies of full Vlandian crossbows and if anything it required even less gameplay than full Aserai Master Archers.

    There is no faction for which a lopsided melee composition is a better idea than a lopsided ranged composition, assuming even elementary tactics are used (e.g. using your infantry to tie up enemy infantry while the ranged do the work). That is a shortcoming in the game's current meta, and I ardently dispute the notion that it is hard to strike a better balance than what we have now. The patch cycles can and should be used precisely to help iterate towards that balance; presently the archer dominance isn't even being flagged up as a problem.

    We can all agree that pure melee compositions force you to sweat and lose troops (maybe even lose a battle!) whereas pure archer comps of any faction destroy enemy forces, often without a loss. That's a clear imbalance that limits the merits of the game's tactical layer, I can't put it any simpler than that. I suspect every regular player sees this for what it is. I've been here before, 3 months ago when I tried to politely explain in multiple threads that Khuzait dominance was an issue and that their culture bonus and unit roster fuelled the snowballing.

    Fast forward 3 months and we now collectively, devs included, accept Khuzait OPness as a problem. I dearly hope it won't take 3 months for the dev team to recognise archer dominance as a problem. I can only trust in their ability to critically evaluate player feedback on these forums, which to their credit they do read, and act accordingly. Not keen to engage in forum back-and-forths, it merely muddied what should've been clear waters last time. I've said my piece.
  9. Development Priorities

    The English at Agincourt were about 80% longbowmen.

    I actually want lopsided compositions to be viable if you're playing to a faction's strengths (e.g., running a very ranged composition as Battania, or a heavy infantry focus as Sturgia). I question being so effective running 80-100% Vlandian crossbows as Vlandia. Every faction is currently best played with a focus on ranged firepower to the exclusion of all else, and that's a problem perhaps worth prioritising. It's definitely poor game balance (unquestionable) and historicity (debatable, but I'd contend that with Bannerlord's meta, the English at Agincourt wouldn't have even bothered to bring 20% men-at-arms :smile:).
  10. Development Priorities

    Many thanks to Signalize and all involved in this thread, a lot of constructive discussion to be had on these topics. I'll echo the comments of Olympeus, which I find to be utterly on-point.

    Archers (bowmen specifically). Foot archers are definitely too strong in my experience, and based on the feedback in this forum so are horse archers. I personally limit my use of foot archers because they are too good, and make the game too easy and less engaging on even the hardest settings. Some ideas in no particular order:
    • Improved enemy AI. Making changes to how the enemy AI deals with the players archers will greatly affect their utility. I'm sure people much smarter than me are working on this and can figure out what is practical & possible so I won't waste time with my suggestions.
    • Re-balance their melee skills. A cursory examination of the archers melee combat skills and athletics skills will tell you these are on par with their infantry counterparts. Why does a Tier 1-6 Archer have the same combat ability as their Tier 1-6 Infantry counterpart? Fight an archer in the Arena and watch them be a bad ass with all variety of equipment. It makes no sense. As a general rule Tier 6 archers should have no more than 30 in any melee combat skill and lower Tier archers should just have 0 skill in melee. Every archer being able to go toe-to-toe with an Imperial Elite Menavliaton is silly.
    • Re-balance their athletics and equipped armor. Archers should have 50 athletics and if they are given heavy armor (which they should not have) they will move like a turtle. If Archers are given a higher athletics score, it should first and foremost still be significantly lower than the infantry, but coupled with much lighter armor their movement speed will still be higher than the infantry. All Archers, especially the Tier 6, should have their armor removed and replaced with much lower armor values. The units that should rarely die to arrow fire are heavy infantry/cavalry. The units that should always die to arrow fire are the archers and to a lesser degree lighter infantry and light cavalry and their mounts. Currently archer on archer battles with the AI result in 0 casualties for the player because the Tier 6 archers are so heavily armored. Archer on Archer battles should ALWAYS result in heavy casualties with winner being decided by the unit with 1) better range 2) better bow skill 3) higher rate of fire. Crossbowmen can be the exception to the armor and melee combat rules to some degree as they are expected to only fire 1-2 volleys before the infantry close and they are in hand-to-hand combat. A bowmen should be able to empty their quiver before the Infantry close and then their only defense is to run.

    Foot Archers are absolutely dominant in the game's current meta as a result of their exceptional damage and passable performance in melee. For any faction, you can make 100% archer armies (don't even have to be top-tier) and demolish any balanced, equivalent-strength opposing AI army. This has been fully tested by your playerbase already, trust us. I've played endgame armies of every faction, as have many, many of the regulars on these forums - it's a great game, we've played it a lot! Archer effectiveness, relative to melee, is just too damn high.

    Olympeus' first point here is correct: better AI can reduce the relative potency of archers in Bannerlord's battles. But I classify that as one of the tougher goals - building better AI modules is not a quick fix, and I really think the playerbase would appreciate a prioritisation of impactful quick fixes while you work on longer-gestation projects like AI. So I still urge the developers to nerf archer damage (and increase ammunition) so balanced compositions can have a place in the current incarnation of the game.

    Please also note: the armour and melee capabilities of some archers (e.g. Vlandian Sharpshooters) is so high, they're practically a functional frontline. A lot of the gear/troop stat changes we seek do not require slow, cautious fine-tuning by the devs because some of the current values are painfully far from correct. Why does a T4 Sturgian Spearman have worse body armour and head armour than a T3 Sturgian Soldier? We don't need the dev team to identify the perfect piece for that unit; we just need the basic progression paths to make sense, which is a much smaller ask. With their high Athletics, it's conceivable to run a 100% archer army, split it into 2 (or more) and just kite the enemy infantry blob till it's all dead. That is my gripe: it should not be strong, let alone a dominant strategy, to run a 100% archer army, yet it is. There needs to be a drawback.

    As a reminder of how influential archers should be to warfare of the era, take the Battle of Crecy. English forces:
    6000 infantry
    5000 longbowmen
    3000 hobelars (light cavalry / mounted archers)
    So, a 36% ratio of foot archers in one of the most notable displays of medieval ranged dominance. All I'm asking, for the good of the game's balance and historicity: 80%-100% massed archer armies should not be a smart thing to do.

    Faction Troop Strength. There is a forum post that discusses Faction Troop Treesand has many thoughts including my own. I think the troop tree for every faction would feel much more diverse if every faction didn't have access to a Tier 6 of of every troop type. Give every faction 1 troop type that goes to Tier 7 and is better than any other faction's version of that troop and then give every faction 1 or 2 troop weaknesses and cap those troops at Tier 2 or 3. The rest of the troops would be Tier 5. For example:
    • Sturgia: Tier 7 Infantry and Tier 2 archers.
    • Battania: Tier 7 Bowmen and Tier 2 cavalry.
    • Khuzait: Tier 7 Horse Archers and Tier 2 infantry.
    • Aserai: Tier 7 missile cavalry and Tier 2 something else.

    This is close to my thinking when I say extremising faction strengths and weaknesses. Even if it's milder - just a very potent T6 for strengths, and a troop tree clipped at T4 for weaknesses - that already would force players to contemplate how best to play each faction, and may spawn further discussion about the game's faction balance and how to introduce meaningful (rather than largely cosmetic) replayability via the faction system. Right now, that isn't even a consideration because no one really needs to do anything but train archers and horse archers.
  11. Development Priorities

    While Bannerlord may be moving in the right direction, I think many participants on these forums (including some of the staunchest defenders of the game) have at times been worried about the pace of progress. Those expecting an acceleration post-refactor will have been somewhat disappointed. As...
  12. AI Army compositions makes no sence at all to the players Recruiting capability 1.4.2 Beta

    ... being able to stack up money from battle loot. And that income far surpasses the cost of raising and losing parties regularly.

    This is a great insight: at 50% conversion of loot into gold, it makes sense that a single victory would allow an AI Clan to pay for a multitude of defeats, and would make attrition borderline impossible to achieve. It also sounds like a mistuned number, responsible for enabling denar inflation amongst AI Lords. The loot converts into vastly more gold than they spend building up armies. In theory if two AI foes defeat each other repeatedly in alternation, they will both spiral upwards in wealth rather than experience attrition. It's depressingly stupid, and runs counter to Mexxico's own stated intentions in the post - namely, for 80% of a kingdom's income to come from taxes.

    Mind you, that was a 1.3.0 post from early May, before prosperity of settlements got sharply reduced. I'd be surprised if taxes accounted for even half of a kingdom's income in 1.4.2, that's how far we've backtracked on the vision.
  13. AI Army compositions makes no sence at all to the players Recruiting capability 1.4.2 Beta

    That isn't really supported by the fact that the lords in 1.4.1/1.4.2 still have tons of denars on-hand. For wage skipping to be relevant, they need to be exceptionally poor for a lord; that is mostly restricted to clans without fiefs.

    I guess my question then should be... how do they get tons of denars on hand? Fiefs don't generate that much wealth anymore (especially early on, before they've been built up properly). AI Lords don't own workshops, or smith, or go on endless victory streaks like the player, or have the campaign speed to efficiently farm Looters/bandits, or own vast swaths of land (Rulers aside). How does an AI Clan with a single fief afford multiple full war parties + the fief's garrison in the first place, let alone build up the nest egg to refresh their armies after continuous defeats?
  14. AI Army compositions makes no sence at all to the players Recruiting capability 1.4.2 Beta

    I'm not relieved to see that there is obscure or dense complexity to these functions - none of us should be. It's not elegant, and its implementation in recent patches had led to a deterioration in the credibility of the AI simulation and wider game economy. This is hardly a fresh opinion - the dwindling playerbase on these forums seems to feel the same way.

    I've sunk enough hours into the unmodded 1.4.2 game to state that the current setting of the parameters has killed the concept of war attrition - something that was actually functional in earlier iterations of the game, and was always core to the enjoyment of the franchise's lategame. I'm pretty convinced it's wage-skipping as it's the patch note that best explains the change in attrition pre-1.4 and post-1.4. I guess we'll have to wait and see, in their next patch, if they can address the issue - but frankly, my expectations are low. Critical mistakes like the player-centric diplomacy of 1.4.1 suggest that they do not have clarity on how some of their own functions interact, anymore.

    Fingers crossed they come out of the code refactor with better foundations. After the long wait, if 1.4.3 proves as gaffe-prone as its predecessors, I suspect what little faith and goodwill is left will evaporate - and get redirected entirely to the mod community.
  15. AI Army compositions makes no sence at all to the players Recruiting capability 1.4.2 Beta

    Thanks for that - it confirms everything I feared. There's nothing complex about a piecewise linear recruitment cap for the AI, and their critical money limit is set far too high, allowing theoretically bankrupt AI Lords to replenish to ~60% of their cap indefinitely (which they do rather quickly, thanks to their Very Easy setting for recruitment - doesn't take them long at all to fill up to their wealth-based cap). This lines up with my experience of unrealistic continuous army replenishment from e.g. Khuzait Lords even after beating them into poverty. You can not bleed a faction dry on the field, ever - the only true wins are the captures of fiefs, to cut down their denar inflows and eventually cause an exodus of Lords. This is also why Merc Clan playthroughs (which tend to focus more on field battles and disregard sieges - why bother when you can't own land?) are so unfulfilling. Focusing on field battles made the threads holding the system together far more apparent, and it's not pretty.

    The option for bankrupt AI Lords to disregard wages and still recruit ~60% of cap for no practical impairment (since morale never hits desertion levels) is a really silly hack. I hope the devs remove it.
  16. AI Army compositions makes no sence at all to the players Recruiting capability 1.4.2 Beta

    Thanks for the analysis Bannerman Man, very much appreciated and I suspect everything you've posted is correct. My main worry remains how AI Lords handle their Patch 1.4.0 option to disregard wages below 'critical money limits'. Would you have an insight into what that critical level is, and whether the AI handles partial wage payment up to that threshold? If the critical money limit is, say, 5000, I could imagine the AI having enough money at every village to buy food, recruit, upgrade, etc., every day but not pay the upkeep, resulting in low-morale but non-deserting troops/garrisons. Does morale even factor into autocalc between AI armies? I worry that this money hack (and it really is a hack, let's be honest) has done a lot of harm to the simulation's realism. The player's critical money limit is 0: no money, can't recruit, can't upgrade, can't buy food until the desertions take denar outflows below denar inflows.

    The issue I have seen in recent playthroughs, and AnandaShanti as well, is successful factions like Khuzaits rebuilding after defeat at speeds that do not appear throttled by realistic financial considerations, such as the ones the player would experience from losing repeatedly. I think you're right about everything here: respawn amounts, recruitment slots, exp gains, etc. I'm just concerned that they are managing to recruit and upgrade their armies with a disregard for the financial implications both in upfront cost and upkeep, because the 'critical' level leaves them enough to always afford the former and disregard the latter. Anecdotally, I've certainly found it possible to avoid troop desertion with a combination of Leadership skill, food and partial wage payment (haven't tested yet whether enough Leadership and food can offset the morale impact of total non-payment of wages).
  17. AI Army compositions makes no sence at all to the players Recruiting capability 1.4.2 Beta

    They should get 0 troops at spawn and only get existing recruits in villages/towns or pull from garrison. They should get no denars unless they actually get them from taxes or battle loot. If they run of out troops and money and can't get more, GOOD that's what should happen if you lose over and over.

    To a large extent, I agree with this (though I'd give them a basic bodyguard core of 5 light cavalry to not end up chain-captured by Looters). I know everyone on these forums seemed to hate the way defeated Lords could only afford Recruit zergs at launch, but I personally found it deeply encouraging. It was the logical consequence of enemy Lords failing to perform in war, and gave me the impression that Bannerlord was aiming for a thoroughly realistic simulation, with AI and Player following (broadly) similar rules. The way I saw it back in April, their constant return with Recruit armies was the product of poor AI: their AI in battle wasn't able to challenge moderately good players, and their campaign AI was too aggressive (too little time spent rebuilding/training up their army).

    The fix I hoped for: more work on the AI.
    The fix we got: freebies for AI, to the degree that constantly farming the enemy for no losses has ZERO impact.

    I do not believe the devs when they claim that the AI just gets 10% and the rest is from their own assets: garrisons, paid recruitment, etc. Somewhere along the road, they've broken the AI's ability to go bankrupt. I think 1.4 introduced a mechanic whereby AI Lords could simply ignore wage payment to avoid desertions*: I'd bet that's where there's a broken code block resulting in infinite spending capabilities for AI Lords. Money means nothing to AI, so after every defeat they go through villages, take 5 slots' worth of recruitment, pay every level-up including horse/heavy horse out of thin air, and rush back to war. After Merc'ing to Clan Rank 5, chain-smashing Khuzaits day-after-day relentlessly for years and seeing zero impact on their army composition or campaign performance, I'm pretty convinced of this.

    Edit: Added the precise feature that I am worried about, from the 1.4.0 patch notes:
    • Some lords which have a risk of going below critical money limits will stop paying wages and suffer the morale penalty only. This way they will at least keep enough money to buy food and avoid starvation. Their troops will still desert eventually if their morale drops too low.
    I'm thinking perhaps Leadership + food + partial wage payment is enough to keep morale from dropping to desertion levels. Meaning that theoretically bankrupt Lords are not affected by it, in practice.
  18. Are you using mods?

    Thanks a lot for that list, KyDeezy! Didn't realise there were first-gen fantasy overhauls like Hammerlord... Could be well worth a shot, I'm at the stage where I don't think I could do more Bannerlord without mods.

    If you had to strip it down to the bare essentials, the 3-5 mods that you feel have the most sizeable impact on your enjoyment of the game, which might those be out of interest?
  19. Player Frustration

    I share the dismay of a lot of people in this thread. I genuinely considered the launch promising: sure, it was broken as hell but a lot of the surface-level mistakes seemed pretty easy to fix (e.g. broken unit stats, gear, perk implementation - things the modding community addressed swiftly), and I imagined that by now we'd be offering constructive feedback on new features that expand the original Warband ruleset. It's hard to believe we're 3 months in and the game has made so little progress.

    As for the topic of lack of dev communication, I'd mind it a good deal less if the beta branch felt like a true beta test, for a mass of users to provide feedback on (and identify the occasional edge case bug that got missed by QA). But when core features of a patch like the 'Create Kingdom' button actually yield CTDs, as 1.4.1 originally did, it becomes painfully apparent that branch is an alpha with no internal QA team involved: we're it. The devs need to maintain a much more active dialogue with their outsourced QA team. Without it, the unpaid testers will steadily drop out of the beta branch (personally I already have) and stop providing the feedback needed for the game to progress towards full release.
  20. Beta Patch Notes e1.4.2

    Yep - can definitely relate there, Dodgy. In my 1.4.2 playthrough as a pure Merc, I find myself smashing 1-2 Khuzait parties every single day, ~150 kills daily while barely losing a troop. Several seasons in, it's still had no discernible effect on the frontline, and if anything Khuzaits are still holding onto their gains and occasionally adding a fief, despite being at war with the world.

    In a 1.4.1 playthrough with my own kingdom, it was possible to beat down the Khuzait by focusing on quick landgrabs followed by peace. Killing parties in the field repeatedly doesn't seem to have any noticeable impact on the economic power of the faction being farmed; only territorial gains at their expense matter.
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