Bannerlord Combat & Balance Discussion Videos

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Gibby Jr

Marquis
Videos of this nature are something I have been thinking about making for some time and I finally got around to making my first one, which is on the stance system.

The video is a discussion of what stances are and what they do, as well as my own suggestions on what should be changed with the system in order to make it better.

I'm hoping that, after watching the video, there can also be some discussion in the thread about stances or subsequent topics which I make videos on. Hopefully this format can bring the points which have been made in various threads across more clearly.
 

Kripaz

Master Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I'm mostly annoyed how stances affect chaining with two-handers. If you have left forward stance and chain from up to right, you get this nice quick attack. If you have right forward stance and try to chain from up to right, you get this awkward and slow chaining animation and you are just better off canceling that and hitting again (it's faster that way). This is really noticeable when using slower two-handers like heavy glaive or heavy menavlion.
 

Pacemaker

Knight at Arms
Very nice summary. Visual flavor is nice and all, but it's hard to imagine that there is anyone who likes how the stances impact the combat. They have faded a bit out of discussion since their insane return swing speedboost was nerfed at some point during the transition to EA, but the inconsistency it adds should still not be underestimated. Like you said, we may be playing around the system subconsciously, but that's not good game design. Its impact is simply too low (also too hard to control) for anyone to consciously focus on it, but it's also too big for a skill based combat system where people want consistency and to see only their own input affect the outcome of the fight. No one wants mysterious variables that switch around in the heat of the combat to decide fights.
 

Gibby Jr

Marquis
Well by allusion :lol: , I would say that a compromise would definitely be the stance switch button + a thorough polishing of the swing arc, imho. However, as Gibby Jr rightly says, there was a majority that leaned towards the third option on the poll (Stances with toggle key (interest poll) ).
A manual option would be very interesting and definitely preferable to stances being tied to movement. That said, I do think the issue of not being able to tell which stance other players are in would still be present and would still comprise a minor RNG factor.

I'm mostly annoyed how stances affect chaining with two-handers. If you have left forward stance and chain from up to right, you get this nice quick attack. If you have right forward stance and try to chain from up to right, you get this awkward and slow chaining animation and you are just better off canceling that and hitting again (it's faster that way). This is really noticeable when using slower two-handers like heavy glaive or heavy menavlion.
This video by Reapy was very informative about how stances affect different swing speeds, though the exact thing you are talking about is not in it. As you say, the variable attack speeds are exaggerated with 2h weapons and really are frustrating to deal with when it can determine whose attack is faster.


Very nice summary. Visual flavor is nice and all, but it's hard to imagine that there is anyone who likes how the stances impact the combat. They have faded a bit out of discussion since their insane return swing speedboost was nerfed at some point during the transition to EA, but the inconsistency it adds should still not be underestimated. Like you said, we may be playing around the system subconsciously, but that's not good game design. Its impact is simply too low (also too hard to control) for anyone to consciously focus on it, but it's also too big for a skill based combat system where people want consistency and to see only their own input affect the outcome of the fight. No one wants mysterious variables that switch around in the heat of the combat to decide fights.
This is very much my own opinion as well. The impact is not dramatic enough to be something which a player focuses on entirely, yet is significant enough that it is frustrating when it seemingly randomly comes into play. The issues with controlling it are too great in most scenarios which leads to it becoming an RNG factor which frustrates the player when it comes into play.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
Now that we have opened the debate and it is fresh in our minds. To be honest, I think the stance system is more useful in unshielded combat than in shielded combat. In combat with shield, in my opinion the right stance (left foot forward) should always be fixed as it is a natural and intuitive form of combat. The (left) arm of the shield is always aligned with the (left) guard foot.

Now, as I said; stances with a switch button (maybe q?) applied to all unshielded weapon uses + defined swing arcs, we could enable this kind of combat attitudes.

Here, I think that the stance would be read by the opponent and we would get rid of the RNG component.

+ shieldno shield
S03yE.jpg

Fixed
S03yE.jpg
+
TxHKo.jpg

switch button
 
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Silvernj

Grandmaster Knight
Nice video, keep it up
Part of a problem as I see it - is that devs don't really share the info on how the combat system actually works or how it is designed. The same goes for balance. All we get is vague, fragmentary pieces of info, and most of the data we have is based on our experience and clear guesses. Mb if they shared at least their intentions on certain features (for example, chambers - how did this system even passed internal tests) we could have a more practical conversation. I mean, we have MP Plans threads but there's nothing to discuss actually because it's just too blurry while clearly some decisions could be discussed with community and dismissed without being in live for half a year (hello crush through)
 

Shatti

Sergeant at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
If they add optional x
The casuals will be weirded out from such a mechanic
And they will accuse the devs of bad designing because they will think it should be automatic

i think the stances should affect only the directional blocking like the shields
Right stance make block faster
And maybe faster chambers ?
 

OurGloriousLeader

Grandmaster Knight
I think making it a toggle will just emphasise the awkwardness, like if you toggle into right stance moving left is just going to feel weird. I'd rather, as you allude to in the video, make it a purely animation-centric part of the game (which will still have an impact), but remove the speed and damage boosts the stances provide.
 

Mabons

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I think making it a toggle will just emphasise the awkwardness, like if you toggle into right stance moving left is just going to feel weird. I'd rather, as you allude to in the video, make it a purely animation-centric part of the game (which will still have an impact), but remove the speed and damage boosts the stances provide.

I share this opinion, making it purely animation based that lets people spice up some feints and stuff just like chain attacks are being used right now, while still maintaining consistency in speed and reach.
 

soul_jak

Sergeant at Arms
If u look at the game absolver it’s combat is heavily based off of stance and even tho attacks flow into different stances they allow u to change stance with a button, bl stance is super rng in combat, keeping it fixed till u switch with a button would be very nice BUT just remove the effects it has on swings speed and dmg altogether and make the combat slightly more consistent and having stance be more of a esthetic look would be the winning idea let’s hope they see this
 

Forsee

Veteran
In my opinion the idea behind stances is good and I see no problem stances causing rng in groupfights, but I think the main problem with them is that they are almost uncontrollable.
Some people are already using stances without even thinking about it, for example if you wanna spam right swing, you are moving to the left a bit. Everyone using this but noone is thinking about it as a stance abuse or as something related to this mechanic.
In groupfights you can just always expect the worst, if the enemy is trying to spam/stun/outreach you, you could just expect that he would always do it with the best stance for him.
It might be similar to using fients, usually in a chaotic fights you don't look at enemy's block direction, you jsut fient and attack him with the hope of hitting him. You also can't focus on enemy's stances cause the fight is too chaotic but you know what to expect in a best possible scenario for your enemy and you act accordingly.
The problem with stances is that they are almost uncontrollable in a fight, using stances constantly reminds me of movement direction blocks, it is silly that you can't switch you stance to the right if you just can't move to the right cause you will be kicked or something. I either don't like an idea of manual switching stances, I can't imagine pressing x before each swing to get better reach.
I can't offer a solution though, TW might try to make stances switches mouse movement based or completely remove them, or just keep it as it is

I like this mechanic cause it is no risk low reward, unlike chambers, it has no downsides to master it, even if you will be only 1%better using this mechanic it is still better to master it than to not
 

Revverie

I don't know, I just don't see the idea behind the stance system, the combat was already quite deep, and compared to absolver this combat is way more frenetic, sometimes you're fighting 2/3 people alone and you have to take decisions fast, imagine adding that a button you have to press in order to attack or defend yourself correctly, it's just god awful, I think they should take out the stance system and leave the animations as Gibby suggested, and bring back chambers and make the collisions better. Again, the combat was already deep enough, why put more and more, it gets unnecessarily convoluted with more and more systems that the game doesn't even bothers to teach the player about, I mean, how is that we're still wondering how it works, shouldn't the game just tell us?
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
I don't know, I just don't see the idea behind the stance system, the combat was already quite deep, and compared to absolver this combat is way more frenetic, sometimes you're fighting 2/3 people alone and you have to take decisions fast, imagine adding that a button you have to press in order to attack or defend yourself correctly, it's just god awful, I think they should take out the stance system and leave the animations as Gibby suggested, and bring back chambers and make the collisions better. Again, the combat was already deep enough, why put more and more, it gets unnecessarily convoluted with more and more systems that the game doesn't even bothers to teach the player about, I mean, how is that we're still wondering how it works, shouldn't the game just tell us?
I have been one of those who have endorsed a stance + switch button system (no effects - aesthetic use). Now, Taleworlds doesn't want to put more buttons? ok, give me this automatic footwork with one-two movements and stances so natural. :iamamoron:

 

OurGloriousLeader

Grandmaster Knight
Some people are already using stances without even thinking about it, for example if you wanna spam right swing, you are moving to the left a bit.
This isn't really "using stances" though because generally you need to move into the direction you are swinging to get the benefit of the stance, this is kind of why they are poorly designed. Moving left while attacking right is the fastest attack via footwork, as it moves your weapon closer to the opponent, but it goes against the stance bonus to speed which would be to move right. So whichever way you move the swing is fast??
 

Forsee

Veteran
This isn't really "using stances" though because generally you need to move into the direction you are swinging to get the benefit of the stance, this is kind of why they are poorly designed. Moving left while attacking right is the fastest attack via footwork, as it moves your weapon closer to the opponent, but it goes against the stance bonus to speed which would be to move right. So whichever way you move the swing is fast??
When you are moving to the left you take a stance in which your right hand is closer to your enemy and it affects the spam speed in a positive way. If your first attack in a spam sequence is from the wrong stance, it takes more time to hit second time even if you have a perfect position and you are moving to the left
 

OurGloriousLeader

Grandmaster Knight
When you are moving to the left you take a stance in which your right hand is closer to your enemy and it affects the spam speed in a positive way. If your first attack in a spam sequence is from the wrong stance, it takes more time to hit second time even if you have a perfect position and you are moving to the left
This isn't the stance system, that's just basic footwork. The stance system would be positioning right stance, which puts your right foot forward, and you have a slightly faster animation from a right swing. Moving left while swinging right does position your weapon closer - this is what I said - but it isn't coming from the stance system, it's coming from you literally moving your body closer to the opponent.
 
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