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After 120h of Gameplay: Comprehensive List of Feedback'n'Suggestions

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CptData

Recruit
First things first: M&B Bannerlord is a great game with an awesome modding community. The base game is a good start but, like its predecessors, needs some love by modders to truely become the great game we all want and enjoy.
My feedback is based on 120h of gameplay with a somewhat modified M&B Bannerlord - here have my list:
Prereq Mods like Mod Config. Menue aren't named here.

- Bannerlord Tweaks -> customizing Bannerlord in multiple fields including economy, tournaments etc
- Diplomacy Fixes -> more diplomacy options / different rules for factions to declare war / declare peace
- Responsive Soldiers -> immersion mod
- Party Screen Enhancements -> quality of life mod / GUI improvements
- Noble Nobles -> quality of life mod / better looking nobles
- Community Patch -> makes perks and skills work as intented (mostly)
- Bear my Banner -> immersion mod / NPCs carry banners
- Fighting Together Relationship -> immersion mod / relationship gain/loss from battles with nobles
- Manage Remote Companions -> quality of life mod / companions in own units can be outfitted any time

Some of those mods I consider as essential - which means I wonder if Taleworlds is going to implement similar features before end of EA phase. Other stuff not covered by mods (yet) may find their way into the vanilla game as well.

PRO: THE GOOD BASE GAME
Hands down, Bannerlord is a great base for a medival simulation game. It's in EA phase now and therefore not completed yet. And I'm glad: a lot of stuff is plain missing some is covered by mods like the ones listed above. I won't lie: without the mods Bannerlord is "just" a good base. The game engine is great, the graphics are well done, I love the soundtrack and the overall ambience. Most parts of the game qualify as "beta" or even "finished", others, especially gameplay wise, are still rather raw and unfinished. I can't stress enough mods keep the game alive for me.

TO DO: THE GAMEPLAY (SP only)
There's still much to do. I'd love to write down a full list of stuff dearly missed - and no one is going to read to the end. I also won't go into details here fore the same reasons. If I can't cover something with two or three lines, I won't even try.
Since the base game is good as it is (minus some bugs) I won't suggest new graphics, new sounds or new stuff done only via engine updates. All I wanna cover here is gameplay related and needs to be included to the game for a full experience. If things get complicated mods may cover 'em.

-1- Relationships between Clans and Nobles
Currently clearly unfinished. It's hard to earn positive relationship with any lords. Also clan relationships overwrite individual relationships and it seems to be impossible to improve relationship with companions. Issue solved by mod currently (Fighting Together Relationship).
What to do better: more ways to gain relationship, individual relationships should matter, more bonuses / maluses for certain relationship stats.

-2- Diplomacy between Clans and Factions
Almost non-existant 'cept war and peace declaration and "policies".
What to do better: clans should form alliances or have wars on their own. Factions may split up into smaller sub-factions based on clan alliances & wars if the ruler can't keep them together (-> three Empire factions, weak Vlandia cohesion). Faction and clan diplomacy should be a huge gameplay contribution even early on.

-3- Rise and Fall of Empires (War till 'the End)
My current gameplay features two defeated factions: Northern Empire and Aserai. Both have no towns left, no castles, just a few clans. They still don't go down, they're still considered full factions and they still can declare war on anyone else despite being unable fielding even a decent village raiding party.
What to do better: Crushed factions are gone. Not gone forever, but gone for the time being. The clans shall always remember their heritage and plot in the shadow for their faction's return. However, if a smart ruler can keep 'em in check or even happy with their current status, the faction they originally belonged to WILL vanish for good. A bad ruler however may find himself sooner or later in a middle of a rebellion - may Lucon or Unqid raise again!

-4- From Nobody to Noble (Dragonbanner Storyline)
Current storyline is unfinished and somewhat time consuming (finding 10 nobles). Also currently "ignored" due the forced consequences without any bonuses: why should one present the Dragonbanner for no gain 'cept a warm smile?
What to do better: presenting the Dragonbanner to one faction Ruler should be one optional (faster) way to earn a Noble title. Before that neither your character nor your clan is considered by anyone as "noble". You also can become a Noble by certain deeds or achieving a certain rank. Fast option is the "Dragonbanner".

-5- Rescueing your Siblings (Family Storyline)
Plain missing. There's no meaningful way to end this questline currently.
What to do better: implement that storyline. Also add some sort of dilemma at some point that may put you at odds with the rest of your family - something you can avoid entirely if you pick the "right" route.

-6- Age, Marriage, Adoption and everything (Clan Development)
There are no real options yet. You HAVE to marry a noble spouse to get a heir. Your character also starts rather old (30y) but should be in fact younger than your brother (approx 20y).
What to do better: more options for clan development. Planning how your clan develops needs to be a bigger part of the gameplay experience. Companions should be an option for marriage as well as more nobles currently locked out (like Rhagaea for fast tracking to your own kingdom). Clan alliances are founded by marriage between members of each clan (see bullet 2) and you may even befriend clans without becoming part of a faction (see bullet 1). So nothing should stop you from marrying that pretty Arwa girl from the Aserai without becoming a vassal of the Aserai if you like ...

-7- Reputation Consequences
Your reputation does not much. I'm not even sure if it does anything in speech checks. Right now you can be the friendliest, most honorful noble in the world and they still won't believe in your loyalty towards your liege.
What to do better: Reputation has consequences. If you're known for your valor your enemies will thread you with respect and even will think twice attacking you. You may even avoid a battle otherwise by diplomacy even if your factions are at war! If you're know for dishonorful actions and cruelty, they'll give their hardest fight just to avoid getting captured by you.
And if they really hate you and your clan, they'll hunt you down and will execute your for your heinous acts.

-8- Economy and Opportunities
Not much to say. Economy is flat and needs a massive overhaul. Some stuff is probably missing. Balancing is odd if a workshop costs 14.000 denars and it'll take 100 days just to return that sum. Caravans don't return that much money and are a risky way too. Sometimes towns can't keep their prosperity without caravans yet it's nearly impossible to clear the countryside from bandits. Most money is generated by defeating armies and looting bodies - which clearly is not how an economy should work.
What to do better: add Banking Houses and more options to earn money outside fights. Buy land, earn taxes or sell it later if land gets more worth. Improve workshops, create monopolies - whatever you want. Blackmailing nobles or doing dirty work as a slave driver should be also an option - don't expect love from anyone 'though.

-9- Skill, Perks and Progression
Current system does not support a player's play style. To earn skill points you need to level up. To level up you need to do skills. You won't level up if your favorite skills are at learning limit or maxed out. Some skills are never touched, some are used in early game only, some are used in late game only. You have to play a certain way to earn most points - and that's not necessarily the way you'd prefer.
What to do better: learning limit as it's implemented currently needs to go, period. Skill level 0-5 determine learning factor and stat levels 1-10 determine how much you can push into "expert territory" of a skill (200+). Even a low endurance smith can reach level 200, but if you want that Legendary Perk you need a high endurance.

-10- Marshal of the Army
Fielding an army is one of the key features of the game and so is setting up smaller parties led by your companions. However, you have virtually no control of how they behave. They may engage too powerful enemy parties or get slowly weathered down by attrition due constant chasing of bandit parties. Also they don't seem to understand the difference between a highly professional elite soldier and a recruit - and "donate" the best troops and keep the poor recruits ...
What to do better: more control how own companion / family parties behave.

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That's what I've got on my list so far. As I said, some of the stuff is covered by mods already and may make its way into the game one day before end of EA. Other stuff will stay in mod territory only.

Just wanna leave that hear. Please don't stop doing the good work you've done already.
Thank you.
 
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