2nd Balance Patch: design insights + full changelog

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NIN3

Knight
NW
Hello there!

This balance patch that went out as a hotfix today, is a continuation of this big balance patch last month. Since then the meta has changed quite a bit and also there was more time to dive into deeper balancing of some item classes, both of these things are the main component of this patch.

Check out the official changelog for a quick rundown of the changes. You can find the full changelog below.

Sadly I don't have any news yet for the captain mode patch side of things, except for the few changes included here. If you are interested though please bear with me, as we dive into the design side of the balancing patch.

I'll drop the most important thing first, Javelins deal way less damage against shields.

cRjd7.png

Infantry is in a much better place now. Shock infantry now does what its supposed to do, die easily, but deal huge amounts of damage if used in the right situations. Heavy infantry has fortified their role as one of the most important units in the game. The Vlandian Sergeant went from 88 average damage per spawn, up to around 100. A similar if not stronger development can be seen for other infantry classes as well. Teams that pick heavy inf tend to win more often.

But there is also another side to that spectrum, light infantry is still in a very mixed position. By adjusting the perks and shield situation for the Peasant, Warrior and Tribal Warrior a little bit, hopefully their position becomes somewhat strengthened.

Outside of that there has been a few minor balance adjustments, like a buff to the armor of the Sergeant, some weapon changes and an overall price reduction for causal modes like TDM and Siege. The meat of the patch lies in other places though.

CSpRx.png

Ranged troops, so Archers and Skirmishers, have seen a step increase in effectiveness and popularity with the last patch. In most cases to a very healthy level, being able to turn and therefore track enemies properly has helped Archer to become a real factor again in team fights. Right now players seem to favour faster bows over range bows, even though the effectiveness of those two perks and bows is nearly virtually the same. This is in part because a major benefit of ranged bows, the “missile speed”, is not shown in the armory / at the weapon selection yet. We are working on it!
Also some of the melee orientated perks for archers have received some extra love, now all of them grant a movement speed bonus, next to the better melee equipment. Close range archers will hopefully have a harder time deciding between the Faster Bow and Melee perks. Same goes for duelist / long range archers, either going with the faster to draw Bow or with the faster and more accurate projectiles that don't suffer from fall over distance as much.

About bow damages
The average damage of archers is in a good place, but that doesn't mean that the damage between the archer classes themselves are. Right now Heavy Archer classes are heavily (pun intended) favoured over Light Archers, as the low tier weapons don't even closely reach the potential of the high tier ones. So the idea of the damage changes is to keep the average damage of archers similar overall, but flatten out the lower and higher damages, by bringing the damage of light and heavy archers closer together. Hopefully this will result in more light archer picks and increase their effectiveness.
Crossbows
Tier 1
  • Increased damage by ~4
Tier 2
  • Increased damage by ~4
Tier 3
  • Decreased damage by 1
Bows
Tier 1
  • Increased damage by ~5
Tier 2
  • Increased damage by ~4
Tier 3
  • Decreased damage by 3
Tier 4
  • Decreased damage by ~4

rtM7C.png

Skirmishers are back, it gets really obvious looking at the stats of Aserai, a faction that was slightly underperforming before the patch and with the adjustments to its skirmishers has become the most dominant faction at the moment. Actually together with Battania, another faction with a strong skirmisher class.
When looking into the analytics and your feedback, the driving factor for that is not the damage against humans, but rather against shields. Javelins could destroy any shield with a few hits, especially at higher relative speed. Their damage against shields has been reduced from 75% to 25%. Also a concrete measure against the overperforming Aserai Jereed has been made, by reducing its damage.

Additionally, the Accuracy benefits of the “Mounted Skirmish” perk have been halved (not for captain mode), hopefully leading to less skirmish cavalry drive by kills, while still keeping them possible.

wIp9D.png

Cavalry is the highest impact class in skirmish games and to a certain degree that's definitely a good thing. With the last patch many adjustments and also many nerfs have hit the cavalry classes, still they remained very dominant, but a clear shift from players overwhelmingly favoring heavy cavalry over light cavalry, to a lot of players choosing to spawn two times as light even if they got the money, can be seen. Also that is a good thing to a certain degree, but at the moment that decision is not mainly influenced by preference but rather power level. Light Cavalry just outperforms Heavy Cavalry in many areas at the moment.

Light Cavalry Changes
Light Cavalry classes are in a very good spot at the moment. Their spot is so good that their current cost doesn't really reflect their power level, which is why most of their skirmish prices have been increased, except for the nomad. To make up for that they now got shields on default (except the nomad) and a few new perks, replacing the old “small shield” perks. This will keep the class in a very solid position, but hopefully at the proper cost now.

Heavy Cavalry Changes
With the old patch, there were big discrepancies between the perks of heavy cavalry classes. While most of their lance perks simply granted the weapon, the Mamluke had various bonuses attached to these. Now all (most) cavalry weapon perks are like that, not only making the decisions more meaningful, but also obviously being a buff overall to those perks.

Also all heavy cavalry classes costs have been reduced from 350 to 300 for TDM and Siege.

Barding Changes
With the last patch barding armor has been decreased, while horse hp has been increased across the board. Especially for war horses (heavy cavalry). Just before that we introduced a feature that makes dashing with your horse slower depending on your horses weight and the weight of your armor. This especially impacted heavy cavalry classes for obvious reasons, making them very unmaneuverable. They will stay like that, but a bit less extreme. Heavy/Full barding weights have been slightly decreased but mainly all heavy cavalry classes now got access to half bardings in different kinds of ways. These half bardings weigh less, therefore making dashin easier and come with some other benefits in different sort of ways, all at the disadvantage of less armor obviously.

General

Fixed the Steel Nasal Cap being overridden by the default helmet of the Brigand
Adjusted some perk names and descriptions

Vlandia

Peasant Levy
  • Village Militia
    • Now grants a bigger shield
Sergeant
  • Armor 41 -> 45
  • TDM/Siege cost -> 150
  • Axe Specialist
    • Speed 83 -> 86
    • Damage 77 -> 80
    • Length 83 -> 91
  • Shieldwall (Captain only)
    • Now grants Heavy Heater Shield
Arbelist
  • Default Light Crossbow
    • Damage 60 -> 67
  • Range Crossbow
    • Damage 72 -> 76
  • Faster Crossbow
    • Damage 72 -> 76
  • Sword and Shield Perk
    • +5% movement speed
    • Now grants a bigger shield
Sharpshooter
  • Default crossbow
    • Damage 72 -> 76
  • Arbalest
    • Damage 85-> 84
  • Faster Crossbow
    • Damage 85-> 84
Vanguard
  • Skirmish Cost 130 -> 140
  • Default Shield
    • Adds shield from Small Shield Perk
  • Line Breaker
    • Removed Cavalry Spear
    • +50% speed bonus on damage while mounted
  • Cavalry Spear
    • Replaces Small Shield perk
    • Grants Cavalry Spear
    • Cavalry Spear Damage 31 -> 33
  • Barding Perk
    • Armor 18 -> 17
    • Weight 55 -> 65
Knight
  • TDM/Siege cost 350 -> 300
  • Default Lance
    • Replaced Western Lance with Vlandian Long Lance
  • Faster Horse Perk
    • Renamed to “Flanker”
    • Now grants Half Barding (less armor + weight)
    • Agile Horse health 260 -> 275
    • Agile Horse maneuver 65 -> 69
  • Default Full Barding
    • Armor 23 -> 25
    • Weight 110 -> 95
  • Guardian Perk
    • Damage taken from ranged weapons -20% -> -25%
    • Damage taken bymount from ranged weapons -20% -> -25%
  • Lancer
    • Replaces Heavy Lance perk
    • Grants Heavy Lance
    • +33% Speed Bonus with Pierce Attacks from mount
Empire
Archer Militia
  • Faster Bow
    • Damage 46 -> 50
  • Ranged Bow
    • Damage 46 -> 50
  • Superior Bow
    • Damage 45 -> 47
Palatine Guard
  • Default Bow
    • Damage 56 -> 53
  • Crossbow
    • Damage 72 -> 76
  • Sword and Shield
    • Replaces Hardened perk
    • Still grants small round shield
    • Grants Long Spatha
    • Grants +5 movement speed
  • Composite Bow
    • Damage 65 -> 61
Legionary
  • TDM/Siege cost 150 -> 140
Courser
  • Skirmish Cost 130 -> 140
  • Default Shield
    • Adds shield from Small Shield Perk
    • mp_studded_round_shield
  • Line Breaker
    • Grants a longer spear that does more damage.
    • Removed Cavalry Spear
    • +50% speed bonus on damage while mounted
  • Cavalry Spear
    • Replaces Small Shield perk
    • Grants Cavalry Spear
    • Cavalry Spear Damage 31 -> 33
Cataphract
  • TDM/Siege cost 350 -> 300
  • Default Full Barding
    • Weight 110 -> 95
    • Armor 24 -> 26
  • Agile Horse
    • Renamed to “Flanker”
    • Now grants Half Barding (less armor + weight)
    • Horse speed 181-> 190
    • Horse maneuver 67 -> 69
    • Horse health 280 -> 290
  • Charger Horse
    • Horse health 285 -> 295
Khuzait
Steppe Bow
  • Faster Bow
    • Damage 46 -> 50
  • Ranged Bow
    • Damage 46 -> 50
  • Superior Bow
    • Damage 45 -> 47
Khans Guard
  • Default Bow
    • Damage 55 -> 52
  • Composite Bow
    • Damage 65 -> 61
  • Glaive
    • Grants +5% movement speed
  • Fighter
    • Replaces mace and shield perk
    • Still grants mace and shield
    • Reduces Movement Penalty when aiming by 25%
Nomad
  • Nomad Archer
    • Replaces Bow+Arrows perk
    • Still grants bow and arrows
    • Reduces 40% of the movement accuracy penalty
Mounted Archer
  • Default Bow
    • Damage 43 -> 47
  • Better Bow
    • Damage 55 -> 52
Lancer
  • TDM/Siege cost 350 -> 300
  • Replaced default full barding with half barding
  • Barding Perk
    • Grants Full Barding
    • Replaces Khuzait Lance perk
    • Still grants the Khuzait Lance
      • Damage 34 -> 31
    • Full Barding
      • Armor 21 -> 24
      • Weight 110 -> 90
  • Royal Archer
    • Replaces Bow and Arrows perk
    • Still grants bow and arrows
    • Reduces 50% of the movement accuracy penalty
  • Lancer
    • Replaces Long Lance perk
    • Grants Long Lance
    • +33% Speed Bonus with Pierce Attacks from mount
Aserai
Tribesmen
  • Default Shield
    • Replaces shield with a slightly bigger one
    • Shield armor 20 -> 10
  • Mace
    • Speed 81-> 88
Skirmisher
  • Jereed
    • Damage 61 -> 58
Guard
  • TDM/Siege cost 140 -> 130
Archer
  • Faster Bow
    • Damage 46 -> 50
  • Ranged Bow
    • Damage 46 -> 50
  • Superior Bow
    • Damage 45 -> 47
Veteran
  • Default Bow
    • Damage 55 -> 52
  • Composite Bow
    • Damage 65 -> 61
  • Longbow
    • Damage 71 -> 67
Jawwal
  • Renamed to Jawwal to fit the campaign lore
  • Skirmish Cost 130 -> 140
  • Default Shield
    • Adds shield from Small Shield Perk
  • Line Breaker
    • Removed Bamboo Spear
    • +50% speed bonus on damage while mounted
  • Bamboo Spear
    • Replaces Small Shield perk
    • Grants Bamboo Spear
  • Mounted Skirmish
    • Movement Accuracy Penalty -50% -> -25%
    • Turning Accuracy Penalty -50% -> -25%
Mamluke
  • Casual Cost 350 -> 300
  • Dragoon
    • Damage taken by Mount from Ranged Weapons -15% ->-25%
  • Royal Archer
    • Replaces Bow and Arrows perk
    • Still grants bow and arrows
    • Reduces 50% of the movement accuracy penalty
  • Barding Perk
    • Weight 110 -> 95
Battania
Wildling
  • Mace and Shield perk
    • Renamed to Axe and Shield perk
    • Grants Highland Axe
Ranger
  • Default Bow
    • Damage 36 -> 42
  • Range Longbow
    • Damage 50 -> 55
  • Faster Longbow
    • Damage 50 -> 55
Fiann
  • Default Bow
    • Damage 62 -> 59
  • Range Longbow
    • Damage 75 -> 70
  • Faster Longbow
    • Damage 75 -> 70
Oathsworn
  • TDM/Siege cost -> 150
  • Mace Expert
    • Mace damage 59 -> 56
  • Brawny
    • Replaces Veteran perk
    • Grants +30% speed bonus with melee weapons
    • Grants +5% movement speed

Mounted Warrior
  • Skirmish Cost 140 -> 150
  • Default Horse
    • Health 210 -> 225
  • Agile Horse Perk
    • Health 210 -> 225
  • Tougher Horse Perk
    • Health 255 -> 270
  • Barding Perk
    • Armor 16 -> 17
    • Weight 75 -> 65
  • Mounted Skirmish
    • Movement Accuracy Penalty -50% -> -25%
    • Turning Accuracy Penalty -50% -> -25%
Sturgia
Warrior
  • Default Shield
    • Now has a default shield
  • Die Hard
    • Now grants a bigger shield
Brigand
  • Stronger Shield
    • Now grants a bigger shield
Varyag
  • TDM/Siege cost -> 150
  • Brawny
    • Grants speed bonus with melee weapons +15% -> 30%
Hunter
  • Default Bow
    • Damage 36 -> 42
  • Range Longbow
    • Damage 50 -> 55
  • Faster Longbow
    • Damage 50 -> 55
  • Sword and Shield Perk
    • +5% movement speed
Raider
  • Skirmish Cost 130 -> 140
  • Default Shield
    • Adds shield from Small Shield perk
  • Line Breaker
    • Replaces Shield perk
    • +50% speed bonus on damage while mounted
Druzhinik
  • Casual Cost 350 -> 300
  • Barding Perk
    • Weight 110 -> 95
  • Druzhina
    • Replaces Long Lance perk
    • Grants Long Lance
    • +15 riding skill
  • Lancer
    • Replaces Heavy Lance perk
    • Grants Heavy Lance
    • +33% Speed Bonus with Pierce Attacks from mount

Thank you for reading and your continuous feedback, it was super helpful! I would appreciate it if we could keep the discussion here based around balancing / combat.
 
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Qwezz

Sergeant at Arms
  • Shield armor 20 -> 10
Shields have an armor stat? Since when, and where can I see what it does and all the shields armor stats. Unless this is just another way of saying hitpoints.

Edit:I'm looking at the armory and there is indeed a 'armor' stat for all the shields. Has this been added recently? Because I swear this wasn't here before.
 

NIN3

Knight
NW
Shields have an armor stat? Since when, and where can I see what it does and all the shields armor stats. Unless this is just another way of saying hitpoints.

Edit:I'm looking at the armory and there is indeed a 'armor' stat for all the shields. Has this been added recently? Because I swear this wasn't here before.
Afaik it has always been there (displayed in the armory). At least for a long time
 
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Thank god for this update, that javelin damage to shields was total bs. And I am glad cav is getting reworked on bc the archers really had da glow up the previous hotfix.
 

Qwezz

Sergeant at Arms
Afaik it has always been there (displayed in the armory). At least for a long time
I just checked and what caused my confusion is the lack of an armor stat for shields in the singleplayer version. And this brings up the question, do shields in singeplayer have a hidden armor stat or do they not have it at all? And why the diffrence between singleplayer and multiplayer shields?
 

NIN3

Knight
NW
I just checked and what caused my confusion is the lack of an armor stat for shields in the singleplayer version. And this brings up the question, do shields in singeplayer have a hidden armor stat or do they not have it at all? And why the diffrence between singleplayer and multiplayer shields?
They do have an armor stat in singleplayer. Not sure why its not shown there, usually its either 0, 5 or 10 for shields in sp, so not a huge thing
 

ChristopherR

Regular
WBWF&SNW
It's an okay update, not sure why you had to increase the price for light cavalry as they die really quick anyway and paying 140 would probably just be a waste of gold at this point. Other than that it's a good update.
 

flashn00b

Sergeant at Arms
So should I go back to playing Warband with all these archer buffs? It looks like Taleworlds is insisting that we play Bannerlord multiplayer like it's a modern military shooter with a medieval coat of paint.

Also, screw Empire i guess, cuz I see no Recruit buffs, and they seem to only serve to punish players who die as a Menavlion infantry.
 

Robis

Knight
WB
Nice. Thank you. I downloaded the game again since I first saw your first topic. Keep up with the good work
 

AoC

Master Knight
Really ? Ranged damage buff? As if they were not annoying already.

Even if it's sidegrade, the low tier is buffed a bit too much and the high tier isn't nerfed enough.
 
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flashn00b

Sergeant at Arms
I still think that the Sharpshooter changes should be the following:

Default Crossbow replaced with Long Bow
Replacement perk for Faster Crossbow: Trophy Weapon
Grants a random bow from any culture. Does not include Fast Short Bow, Mountain Hunting Bow, Nordic Shortbow, Superior Bow or the generic Shortbow. Iunno, i feel like this might be something worth experimenting with, cuz I dunno how exactly a "faster bow" perk would play in an attempt to reel in the Sharpshooter's damage output, without coming off as too boring.​
Arbalest replaced with Hickory Crossbow and Stronger Bolts
New bolt type: Vlandian Bolt. Stronger than the default Stronger Bolts but is still weaker than the Arbalest with default bolts, and only has a quiver of 20 vs the Strong Bolt's 25.

I still stand by my statement that Sharpshooter's practically untouchable with Bannerlord's current balancing since the Arbalest/Hunter combination makes him practically untouchable. Even without an armor upgrade or the Pavise Shield, he still has enough armor to forgive enough mistakes in melee combat to competently kill most infantry units.
 
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