An Open Letter to TaleWorlds from the Kingdoms of Arda team, and the Total-Conversion Mod Community about our concerns and frustrations with Bannerlor

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Gandamula

Sergeant
As a mod supporter, I subscribe this letter and will post it here.

If you have time and patience read the full letter, for those who like Mods and thought that this game would have future, things are going wrong.

Hi r/Bannerlord!

Here is a link to the full letter.

I'm a programmer on the Kingdoms of Arda team, and I am representing 12+ total-overhaul projects (listed at the end of the letter). Over the last few months, the KoA team has been collaborating with dozens of other total-conversion mods, sharing what we know about Bannerlord mod development with each other. We've determined that there are some serious issues with Bannerlord's code, as well as TaleWorlds' development practices in general. Over the last few months (and even years), we have shared our needs and feedback with Taleworlds regarding what functionality we would need to make our mods, and for the most part that feedback has been completely ignored.

Over about a year and 30 updates made to the game, we've seen little to no work done on support for custom campaign maps, custom skins (so we don't have to implement non-human skin as armor pieces like in Warband), custom skeletons (for monsters like Trolls), and countless other features critical to many mods' development. Nearly none of their code is documented in any form, and the mod tools are incredibly unstable. Instead of addressing these concerns, we've seen TaleWorlds putting lots of effort into somewhat underwhelming features, and even neglecting massive issues in the native game (Siege AI, crafting exploits, etc.).

We think it is within the interests of both the players and modders that TaleWorlds shifts their focus to polishing and fixing Bannerlord, rather than building new features on an unpolished foundation.

In addition to neglecting our feedback, TaleWorlds has made huge decisions behind closed doors that make it nearly impossible to work on total-overhaul mods (detailed in the letter). This is the main reason why many overhaul mods have little to no progress to show outside of importing 2D and 3D assets. We are almost completely hamstrung when it comes to modifying and extending Bannerlord's code at a high level.

We encourage any criticism, support, or whatever commentary you may have to be shared in this thread, or the complementary thread on the official forums. We hope this letter and the discussion around it will prevent yet another respected game developer/publisher from ignoring and failing their stakeholders.

With love and butter,

The Total-Overhaul Modding Community
 
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Calabanar

Regular
Well this is... heartbreaking to say the least.

Edit: Didn't they mention they would be releasing more parts of the modding tools in the future?
 

Rungsted93

Sergeant at Arms
WBWF&SVC
Damm things are not going well for Taleworlds, if they thought the current negativity was bad then I imagine it will be 10 times that if the modders decide to leave Bannerlord. But hey atleast they'll have a console release so I guess it was all worth it?
 

madnessario

Sergeant
If anyone is interested for this discussion they should follow the thread in the modding section.
There is already an official response by Callum there on that regard!

Hi!

A subset of total-conversion modding community has penned an open letter regarding some serious issues we have with Bannerlord's code, and it's development in general. We are extremely frustrated with how the vast majority of our feedback to TaleWorlds has been handled and frankly, discarded. It's been nearly a year since early access was released, and we've seen little to no work on issues we have expressed as critical to our mod's development. In addition to our feedback not being taken seriously, TaleWorlds leadership has taken it upon themselves to make decisions with adverse effects on total-conversion mod development without consulting the community (as detailed in the letter).

We hope this letter provides some insight on the widespread frustration our community's developers are currently feeling, and that TaleWorlds will start considering their stakeholder's feedback with more weight going forward.

Here is the link to the complete letter. We encourage any criticism, support, or whatever commentary you may have to be expressed in this thread.


Sincerely and respectfully,

The Total-Conversion Community
 
I could don't care about responses, I want official changes. I have seen about enough from TW's official "responses."
 
I’ve come to realize Taleworlds is just run by morons. I’d say a good 50% of their “updates” for multiplayer consist of them changing the damage or speed for certain weapons, only to change it back during the next update. All the while making life hell for modders, the one group of people that could actually save the game. Honestly, it’s pathetic. It’s almost as if they want their game to fail at this point
 

madnessario

Sergeant
I could don't care about responses, I want official changes. I have seen about enough from TW's official "responses."
Understandable, we are on the same page. My comment was merely a pointer to anyone interested because the people who actually wrote the letter participate in that thread. As a nitpick, the letter was posted yesterday and there was a meeting today about it (if we believe Callum that is).
 
Understandable, we are on the same page. My comment was merely a pointer to anyone interested because the people who actually wrote the letter participate in that thread. As a nitpick, the letter was posted yesterday and there was a meeting today about it (if we believe Callum that is).
Can you post a link. Not sure where that is.
 

Blood Gryphon

Master Knight
WBVC
Can you post a link. Not sure where that is.
Hi guys,

We want to thank you for the time and effort you have put into coordinating with each other to communicate your concerns with us. Modding has always been a massive part of Mount & Blade, and Bannerlord is no exception to that! We of course want to do what we can to support you in your efforts wherever possible.

It will require some time to address all your concerns, but we held a meeting today regarding your letter and reviewed our feedback and bug reporting processes, along with the specific points you raised. We decided to set aside some time next week to discuss possible solutions and ways in which we can support you more, such as with more extensive documentation. In the meantime, we will be reaching out to gather some more modding-related feedback and suggestions.
 

Loyal2Odin

Sergeant
As a mod supporter, I subscribe this letter and will post it here.

If you have time and patience read the full letter, for those who like Mods and thought that this game would have future, things are going wrong.

Hi r/Bannerlord!

Here is a link to the full letter.

I'm a programmer on the Kingdoms of Arda team, and I am representing 12+ total-overhaul projects (listed at the end of the letter). Over the last few months, the KoA team has been collaborating with dozens of other total-conversion mods, sharing what we know about Bannerlord mod development with each other. We've determined that there are some serious issues with Bannerlord's code, as well as TaleWorlds' development practices in general. Over the last few months (and even years), we have shared our needs and feedback with Taleworlds regarding what functionality we would need to make our mods, and for the most part that feedback has been completely ignored.

Over about a year and 30 updates made to the game, we've seen little to no work done on support for custom campaign maps, custom skins (so we don't have to implement non-human skin as armor pieces like in Warband), custom skeletons (for monsters like Trolls), and countless other features critical to many mods' development. Nearly none of their code is documented in any form, and the mod tools are incredibly unstable. Instead of addressing these concerns, we've seen TaleWorlds putting lots of effort into somewhat underwhelming features, and even neglecting massive issues in the native game (Siege AI, crafting exploits, etc.).

We think it is within the interests of both the players and modders that TaleWorlds shifts their focus to polishing and fixing Bannerlord, rather than building new features on an unpolished foundation.

In addition to neglecting our feedback, TaleWorlds has made huge decisions behind closed doors that make it nearly impossible to work on total-overhaul mods (detailed in the letter). This is the main reason why many overhaul mods have little to no progress to show outside of importing 2D and 3D assets. We are almost completely hamstrung when it comes to modifying and extending Bannerlord's code at a high level.

We encourage any criticism, support, or whatever commentary you may have to be shared in this thread, or the complementary thread on the official forums. We hope this letter and the discussion around it will prevent yet another respected game developer/publisher from ignoring and failing their stakeholders.

With love and butter,

The Total-Overhaul Modding Community
You've hit the right spot. I am sorry to bluntly bring it to you but the chances of TaleWorlds responding to this are very low. Whatever the reason for their lack of communication is, it would be for the better if they started actively communicating with authors of useful and constructive posts such as the one you made. I sincerely hope they reply to you though, goodluck!
 

Blood Gryphon

Master Knight
WBVC
You've hit the right spot. I am sorry to bluntly bring it to you but the chances of TaleWorlds responding to this are very low. Whatever the reason for their lack of communication is, it would be for the better if they started actively communicating with authors of useful and constructive posts such as the one you made. I sincerely hope they reply to you though, goodluck!
They already responded, look at my quote above.
 

Gandamula

Sergeant
They already responded, look at my quote above.
There are two types of responses in this case, one is justification to postpone solutions, the other is to come up with concrete solutions.
Someone saying that he is eventually aware and will come up with solutions is easy. It's just words.
 

madnessario

Sergeant
It is also the sensible thing to do. When you are presented with a problem (yesterday) you do not change the agenda for tomorrow's meeting. You have a brief chat and schedule one for the specific topic, at least this is my understanding.
 

Calabanar

Regular
Hopefully they actually manage to do something about the modding situation... it's the most important aspect of the game!

Callum's answer makes it sound like they will definitely try to deal with the concerns and issues, I can only hope they follow-through... competently.
 
I'm a programmer on the Kingdoms of Arda team, and I am representing 12+ total-overhaul projects (listed at the end of the letter). Over the last few months, the KoA team has been collaborating with dozens of other total-conversion mods, sharing what we know about Bannerlord mod development with each other.
But is at least one guy of this team a famous Streamer or YouTuber?

Just kidding!

I appreciate the work of all modders that invest their spare time to make this game better for all players!

Even TW will see this post and forward it to our king Armagan I guess. And Armagan will be like:

tenor.gif


+1 of course
 
Armagan: Stall them, Callum, buy us time.
Callum: But I can't do this for long, they are all over me.
Armagan: Arrange a meeting every week if you have to, just stall them. We need until 2024 to complete our master plan.
Callum: I want a raise? Now please?
Armagan: You'll get a raise and a bonus for every abandoned major mod.
Callum: We are not evil, are we boss?
Armagan: Modders are terrible people, you know that.
 
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