Bandits (all types) in their current implementation are adding more tedium than value to the experience.

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This has been talked about now and then going back a long way, but as its still a problem in 1.6.1 I feel its worth bringing up again. Beyond the first couple of hours of gameplay - i.e at the point when the player stops needing to grind them - bandits quickly become a tedious nuisance instead of positively adding to the gameplay experience. Why and how can it be fixed?

Note: All of these points are from the perspective of being past that very early grind phase.

1: There's too many bandit parties.
  • There's simply too many of them roaming around the map. Yes, certain gameplay mechanics alter their presence - but it seems too heavily skewed towards adding even more. It feels like no matter how good the conditions are - you're only a few minutes away from another annoying infestation to deal with.
  • While AI Lords can also use bandits for levelling troops, the number of bandit parties very clearly exceeds the numbers needed for that to happen. If the number was adequate, there wouldn't be so many roaming bandit parties going completely unopposed by AI lords in the first place.
2: AI Lords don't do enough to deal with them.
  • The % chance of a lord "clearing" a nearby hideout is too low, and they don't do enough in real-time to combat the roaming bandit parties.
  • When not at war, instead of wasting time & influence making unneeded armies, clearing bandits should be a priority.
3: Scaling the bandit party size up with the player is objectively bad game design.
  • It's **EXTREMELY** immersion breaking to watch bandit party sizes balloon, just because the player is levelling up.
  • As the player has passed the need for grinding bandits, it's adding no value to the gameplay by doing this and just creates other problems, like caravans being lost too often (even the upgraded type), bandit parties existing for longer and basically overrunning areas etc. It's just adding tedium and nothing positive to the gameplay experience.
  • Bandit party size should fluctuate entirely based on gameplay mechanics/conditions affecting the world, and nothing to do with the player.
4: Add Manhunters, or small parties that can be created at castles
  • I find it baffling that Manhunters aren't added, like they were in Warband. A minor faction that specifically exists to tackle bandits would help alleviate things.
  • Another option would be to allow the player and AI lords to create small parties (say, 20 men) that will roam and attack bandits. They'd have a running wage cost, just like any other troop, and maybe limited to 2 parties per castle.
5: No matter the player clan rank or kingdom position, the player feels like the kingdom janitor
  • Due to point 2, 3 and lack of 4, no matter how far into the game the player is - it's 90% up to the player to clean up the bandit mess or nothing will get done about it. For a game that's about creating a simulated world driven by AI decisions, this again feels like poor game design and isn't impacting the experience positively.
 
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AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I think an interesting solution might be to have Kingdom Patrols - instead of Manhunters. Perhaps this could tie into the Kingdom policies;
  1. No Patrols - no patrol parties are spawned in the kingdom.
  2. Patrols - All lords must pay X amount of income daily. Small faction aligned parties are spawned to assist with cleaning up bandits / small enemy attacks.
 
I recently learned on these forums that there wont be Manhunter parties or other form of bandit control because the AI needs this amount of bandits in order to level its troops.
 

AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I recently learned on these forums that there wont be Manhunter parties or other form of bandit control because the AI needs this amount of bandits in order to level its troops.
I must admit I don't hate that answer - as at least it again is the computer playing on the same level playing field as the player.

I guess simply reducing the number of parties but increasing the XP rewrds (even if just for A.I.) would possibly be a simple solution.
 
I recently learned on these forums that there wont be Manhunter parties or other form of bandit control because the AI needs this amount of bandits in order to level its troops.
I must admit I don't hate that answer - as at least it again is the computer playing on the same level playing field as the player.

The number of bandit parties very clearly exceeds the numbers needed for AI lords to use to level troops. If the number was adequate, there wouldn't be so many roaming bandit parties going completely unopposed by AI lords in the first place.

I'm also not sure when that reason was given - it may have been before AI lords got given free troops on respawn + faster troop levelling up cheat. Either way it doesn't change the fact that the current numbers of bandits is excessive, even when the needs of AI lords is considered.
 

vonbalt

Sergeant Knight
WBNWVCM&B
Scaling bandits to the player was one of the worst design decisions of previous M&B games and i'm baffled they kept it for bannerlord.

It would be a thousand times better to link bandit/hideout spawns to prosperity/security of nearby fiefs so a place that's facing hard times due to war devastation or other economic pressures would find itself with much more bandits compared to the prosperous and untouched heartlands of a kingdom for example.
 

lukkyb

Sergeant
Scaling bandits to the player was one of the worst design decisions of previous M&B games and i'm baffled they kept it for bannerlord.

It would be a thousand times better to link bandit/hideout spawns to prosperity/security of nearby fiefs so a place that's facing hard times due to war devastation or other economic pressures would find itself with much more bandits compared to the prosperous and untouched heartlands of a kingdom for example.
the issue there is how do you then improve the Econemy again since if the bandits have got big and everyone is recoving now the war is over your poetnially stuck in a cycle of constantly having a poor kingdom or it takes so long to fix the econemy that the next war has rolled around and your back to square 1
 

Gandamula

Sergeant at Arms
Funny because I use Looting Looters mod and set it up for 400+ looters in a party, nothing better to level up my troops.
 
the issue there is how do you then improve the Econemy again since if the bandits have got big and everyone is recoving now the war is over your poetnially stuck in a cycle of constantly having a poor kingdom or it takes so long to fix the econemy that the next war has rolled around and your back to square 1
By limiting just how "bad" a bandit situation can get - it should be noticeable that the bandit problem increases in poor conditions, but not increase so much that makes it hard to get things back under control. I entirely agree with his point, The size of bandit parties should be entirely controlled by in-world conditions and nothing to do with the players level, because of how artificial/immersion breaking it feels to scale them up with the player.
 
Before Mexxico left I thought there was a thread on security / loyalty of a settlement with some tidbits on scaling local Bandit hideouts and parties to that. Will have to look for it, could be misremembering.

Scaling the bandits (and quest requirements) with level / clan rank is horrible design. Even in some of the oldest MMOs and open-world RPGs, that was not done. I can see the bandits themselves leveling up, but making their groups larger only dissuade the AI from attacking which runs counter to the assertion a large amount are needed to level them.

A better design is a theoretical maximum of parties with a theoretical maximum of hideouts per "zone" that are tied to the settlements. High security everywhere should drastically reduce this. Bandit parties should also be hostile to one another, and despite what someone from TW may say, *not* having patrols or manhunters is stupid. They spent so much time on designing the economy, only to crap on it by having these massive bandit warbands wreck it by poaching villagers and caravans.

Just IMHO. I do find it frustrating, auto-calcing it runs a chance of an important troop dying, or I can waste time killing 5 for the rest to rout and then I cannot even chase them with commands.
 

lukkyb

Sergeant
By limiting just how "bad" a bandit situation can get - it should be noticeable that the bandit problem increases in poor conditions, but not increase so much that makes it hard to get things back under control. I entirely agree with his point, The size of bandit parties should be entirely controlled by in-world conditions and nothing to do with the players level, because of how artificial/immersion breaking it feels to scale them up with the player.
fair enough however it would need to be balenced in such a way that its threat but not impossible to fix as you say
 

mujadaddy

Regular
WB
I think the only actual problem is that Lords don't (and in my experience it's never happened) defeat Hideouts. Everything else is 'meh', but Towns and Castles could of course have small patrols like in Improved Garrisons mod.
 
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