"The world does not tell a story. There is very little sense of history or the impact of the passage of time. This is different from having a Main Quest line. Games can tell a compelling story without having a predefined narrative, just look at CK2"
How does CK2 do that? Also, not a great idea...
My issue with hideouts is solely based on how unbelievable they are.
I doubt that bandits would all set up small camps hundreds of yards apart from each other, only for their leader to challenge the protagonist to a duel after his entire camp is wiped out.
Honestly, it reads like a B rated...
I would also love it if my infantry formations would stop breaking ranks as soon as enemies get within 10 feet of them. It immediately turns into a huddled cluster **** and removes any point to keeping them in formation in the first place.
The different troops are level ups based on their tree that they start from.
Different factions have different troops.
Unlocking recruitment of elite troops from notables is done by completing quests with them (to increase relation with them).