I've been lurking these forums for some time now, but this post made me register just to say I agree with pretty much everything OP said.
I obviously don't know the inner workings of TW, but it feels like Bannerlord's project lead is either very inexperienced or just simply does not exist. There are so many absurd, illogical design decision in the game it becomes kinda creepy. It seems to me like they just threw a lot of half-baked ideas into the mixer and pushed the button without even giving them a second pass. Just a couple of obvious pointers:
- Why do you have a full-fledged dynasty mechanic with children and everything when the game's pace is not even remotely close to allow this mechanic to work? You can experience all game's features (battles, leveling system, party management, fief management, kingdom management) in just a couple of in-game years, but children require unfathomable 18 years to grow up. I never came even remotely close to see my kids become of age.
- Why do you have a food supply system when pack animals provide effectively unlimited inventory space? In my last play-through I had a personal party of 500 and still carried enough food to last 3 in-game years. Excluding the need to constantly buy date fruit to have enough variety, this mechanic in completely pointless because the player is never even remotely close to run out. All it does is wasting developers' time because they have to make sure Bannerlord's idiotic AI parties carry enough food to not starve.
- Why do we have a full-blown simulated economy if it barely influences war and the player has pretty much 0 ways to interact with it outside of "buy low, sell high"? They obviously spent a lot of time implementing this system and balancing it, but the end result is completely pointless. For unknown reasons the economy is not simulated for weapons and armor - no, this stuff magically appears out of thin air when recruiting/upgrading troops. Therefore, you can spend all day raiding wood and iron villages of your enemies, but it will not matter even the slightest. They are still gonna vomit armies after armies of fully-equipped soldiers. As for player's interaction - you would think that simulated economy means the ability to establish trade routes or just the most basic ability to tell your caravans to not trade with a specific kingdom to limit their economy, but nope.
- Why do you remove the ability to issue commands to allied parties if your AI is completely braindead? At least in Warband we had some mechanism of circumventing AI inability to do anything even remotely intelligent, but in Bannerlord there's nothing.
- Why do you have hundreds of perks when there are approx only 5 that are even remotely interesting? Why create a barrage of completely pointless effects that are so small that you don't even notice they're there. There's a good reason why "2% increase" became a meme in Bannerlord's community. Why not make every skill go from 0 to 100 and think of like 5 interesting perks for each?
- Why do you implement your "encyclopedia for of war" system in the update featuring the new gang alleyway mechanic? This is the first time we actually have to pick companions with specific skills and traits for what is clearly an early-game activity, but you make it almost impossible unless you just know in advance which companions have high roguery. Or you can just mindlessly travel from city to city "discovering" all companions I guess. What could possibly be the reason for these two features being introduced in the same update?
And I can go on and on for all day long.
The worst part about all this is the fact that I cannot even blame them for trying to artificially bloat the game's feature list for the Steam page because some mechanics like simulated economy clearly took a lot of time, effort and care. It's more like nobody at TW doesn't possess even the slightest idea of what they're doing with Bannerlord. Which is a real bummer because the idea is fantastic and the game doesn't have any real competitors, so it really sucks that the implementation is... this.