Bannerlord SP First Reactions: Megathread

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I absolutely love it, bugs and all. I'm a longtime Warband player who was very skeptical but this game is highly addicting even in it's unfinished state.


Quests village headman give ou.
Now, we have several quests available, some of them are personal quests which supposed to benefit certain characters, some quests benefit village as a whole.
Playing on realistic difficulty i'm basically restricted to only one character out of 2 or 3 when it comes to improving relationships with a village, it's that character on the right with quests like Extortion or Need for grain. The other two characters remain on the same level of the relationship unless you clear some bandits bases or save some villagers from the attack of roaming parties.
It would be nice if you guys would do some adjustments to that system. Separate quests from the ones which benefit specific character and the quests that benefit the village as a whole. What i mean is quests like Daughter found, Family feud, deliver herd should only improve player's relationship with a specific character, because these are personal quests of that character. When quests like train troops, extortion by deserters and need for grain benefit the entire village and therefor player's relation with all the characters in that village should improve.
I think that just makes more sense. As it now actual recruitment from the village is sort of secondary source of troops because extortion by deserters quests is the main source from which i gather my army. Noble units included (except for Sturgia, TW why you hate Sturgia so much?)


Love the game, but a few seemingly minor things absolutely need to be fixed (and they might not be what you think).

So in more detail, here are my first impressions. I'm not going to talk about all the issues, bugs, performance and crash problems as there are tons of threads on that.

For context, I'm playing SP-only so far, no mods, and ~140 hours in game, started on 1.5.0, then moved to e1.5.1 and to e1.5.2.

Key things I'm looking for in this game:
1. Fun melee combat. The game is ALL about the combat for me.

2. Siege immersion. I want to feel like I'm actually sieging a castle. I've never seen an FPS-style / action game do well in this area before.

3. Things that facilitate fun melee combat. This would include interesting combat and tactics AI, and interesting environments that allow me to fight in different places and different circumstances. I want to fight in the town, in the keeps, in the taverns, dungeons, in the villages - everywhere. Anywhere I can walk as a player, I want to fight.

4. Unique castle models for every single castle. I absolutely loved this in WB and WFAS. It's the reason I conquered those maps and played the games to the end. I just wanted to do a siege on every single castle to see what it was like. Many are based on real castles! Awesome! I can say I sieged a castle that exists in real life! Can't wait for this to be done in Bannerlord.

5. The ability to become a badass. I want to be able to level my guy up so high that I can take armies by myself.

Things I love so far:
1. Combat is great. Horseback with menavlion (high thrust) and shield is super fun, melee with 2h is super fun (love that you can take out multiple opponents at once with a giant 2h axe), melee with 1h / shield is super fun. Archery isn't really fun compared to WB but that's OK to me; it was too powerful in SP WB anyway. It's good enough in Bannerlord.

2. Sieges are extremely fun. Yeah I know everyone is going to freak out that I say this - because siege performance is totally broken. But they're still super fun! I love the way we're all climbing up siege ladders with shields up while rocks bombard the walls and the battering ram pounds at the gate, then I'm over the wall and weaving in and out of towers and battlements fighting little groups of enemies. It's awesome! Sure the AI isn't perfect. But it's actually pretty good, especially as compared to WB and WFAS (which basically just charged and ganked). Some silly things happen and I'm sure TW is going to improve the AI. But in general, I like it.

3. Many field battles are fun. I've been in some really interesting ones as a vassal where my commander formed shieldwalls that I ended up retreating inside while fending off greater foes, etc. My first impression of this was very cool. Of course it gets a little tedious later game but it's still good! I like it and I think the AI is cool even though I keep reading that everyone else thinks the AI needs major overhaul. It could use some work but it's not bad and facilitates fun fights as-is.

4. The leveling system is fun. Except of course half the perks aren't implemented! And the experience curve is horrendous when you get to higher levels. Blah blah, etc., yes, it's not done and needs work. But in general, it's a fun system and is going to be great when they're done. They're not going to release a game without perk implementations. So this will be fixed.

Things that absolutely have to be fixed and currently ruin the game (e1.5.2):
These things make the game essentially unplayable / not fun after a certain point for me. Even despite all the problems with the game - lack of perks, performance issues, frequent crashes, screwed up armor values, etc., I could still give the game a "Thumbs Up" on Steam even in EA, if my 3 things below were fixed. As it is, with those issues I would have to give it a "Thumbs Down" currently, if I had to rate it. Which sucks because I love the game. So here they are:

1. War declarations on my kingdom need to stop. Once I started my own kingdom, every other kingdom constantly declared war on me. It just wouldn't stop. I now own half the map and it still won't stop. I was having to save-scum for a while, but then I missed one declaration and didn't see it, then another, then another... finally the whole world was at war with me. It sucks and isn't fun, and isn't really possible to mitigate in any way that I could find. I thought there was a diplomacy update to this, but it doesn't seem to have affected my game.

2. Lord relations need to be able to increased in a major way without too much trouble. They just seem to decrease constantly for no reason to the point where I end up with -100 with almost everyone. Huh? It sucks and means I have to pay millions of gold to recruit lords. The inability to recruit lords effectively means I just have to execute all the higher level lords of enemy factions to be able to hold any territory, which sucks and makes things even worse. Relations can decrease but also should increase proportionally, or there should be ways to bribe lords to improve their relations. There just needs to be some way to positively affect relations in a MAJOR way without having to grind crappy quests (which you can't even do once you get too low). Rescuing someone, for example, should add a ton of relation. Sparing a life should also add a ton - you could have killed the person, but you let them go! Should be at least half of what you lose for executing people. Giving people a fief - should add a huge amount, and to all their relatives too. etc, etc. Just need some way to improve relationships with lords even if it's a hot-fix that lets me bribe them with 100k for 100 relation.

3. I need to be able to go faster than other lords on the overland map. It seems like such a small thing. But, the way it is now, just sucks. For example, with 1000s of speed-plus horses in my inventory, only my own party, and a Scout assigned with 220 Scouting and all the movement perks (which I guess aren't implemented?) AND the 10% extra movement from "very easy" in the Campaign Settings, I can literally corner a Khuzait ARMY (not even just a random lord) next to a concave shape in a mountain, and STILL can't catch them. They just wiggle out and slip away every single time. This totally sucks. I've literally had a time where I had to reload more than 50 times to catch one in this situation by just doing tiny little minor movement adjustments. And it was in the FOREST. Why are they fast in the woods? They should be slower in the woods, faster in the plains. This could be fixed so easily - in the campaign settings, just let me pump up the 10% speed boost to like 20-30%. Meanwhile, designers and devs can work on the perks and balancing such that the speed boost isn't necessarily when the game is actually released.

There are lots of other things wrong with the game, and things that need major improvement, but I honestly think just those 3 things (maybe I'm forgetting something) could be fixed, even bandaid-ed, and the game would be totally playable. I know everyone will freak out that I'm not demanding that the siege ladders get fixed, or that all the perks get implemented (although that might fix some of my issues), or the siege crashes or the AI or anything. Those things are kind of annoying but honestly not game-breaking for me. Yeah it crashes during sieges sometimes - so I just reload. Or, I know it crashes when I go up the siege ladder and leave the ram crew alone so I always go with the crew. There are ways around it. I could still play with the crashes and performance issues. But the 3 above things are absolutely beyond frustrating, not the least of which because there just isn't anything I can actually DO about them as a player. Even if I had a console that I could enable and then use a command to force a faction to declare peace with me - I'd be fine with that. I just need SOME way to handle it. For the beta, perhaps give players access to the console without a mod? Then we could just fix all the BS ourselves and get on with the game.
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Biggest issue for me is snowballing. Why is it STILL a problem in Bannerlord even in 1.5.1? And I'd like to see kingdoms be able to ally together to stop other kingdoms from getting too BIG. I'm trying Diplomacy FIxes, but alliances don't seem to stick even with a HUGE kingdom boring down on two smaller kingdoms.

Battania and Northern Empire routinely get destroyed nearly every campaign due to location and number of kingdoms bordering them. The ones on the fringes (Sturgia, Khuzait, Vlandia and Aserai) tend to make out the best. (Vlandia due to geographical barriers and being right next to poor Battania) Battania is just like Thebes...the stomping ground of every Greek, Persian and Spartan army passing to and fro - same unfortunate geographical location that literally puts them in the middle of every war. (I use Calradia Expanded mod)

And what happened to the console command to unlock every crafting perk? It no longer works. I need that to experiment with crafting for god's sake and was forced to find workarounds due to the missing console command. (1.5.1)

Those are my main issues..other than that, I love Bannerlord although you still need to work on siege ladders and ramps. I'm still seeing troops have issues getting up those. And I hate the retreat thing so I use the Fight Aggressively mod so everyone fights to the last man. It makes things SO much better - I've had battles go down to the last few men standing on both sides.
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(Disclaimer: I'm well aware things are still in development and will change over time, these are just the things that I've noticed or that bothered me)

Initially the idea of collapsing some of the previous kingdoms into each other sounded like a bad idea, but the empire does end up adding a unique aspect to the game from its predecessor so kudos on that move. The game visually looks great and continues to improve in that regard (though clothes still sit oddly on people but that's a small matter).

The issues I've had with the game is that it doesn't feel like it's really building off of what worked and didn't work in the previous M&B. Inventory is just as cumbersome as the other game (I realize you're trying to keep it simple for console, but its going to be just as annoying to them as it is on PC).

Diplomacy seems to be going in the opposite direction of where it should be. A single opinion between 2 people?!? Really? So if Lord Fluffybottom the Honorable from enemy kingdom comes and successfully grapes and pillages my village he should get mad at me the next time we meet? How dare I allow him to do that to my people, he should be mad being such an honorable person that he is. I understand the desire to try and make the player feel the anger toward that lord for what they did, but that could be better achieved by making the player's clan lose opinion of that lord. If the clan's opinion of them is low they will expect the player's interactions with that lord to be negative/harsh. If the player acts kindly it could rub people within their clan the wrong way, but it doesn't mean the player HAS to act harshly. This could bring about actually having to balance what a player wants to do versus what they have to do to keep control of their clan, similar to what real lords faced. It would give a lot more depth to the interactions and intrigue.
So there could be 3 opinions at play:
1 The lord's personal opinion of the player
2 Your clan's opinion (you could anger them if they don't agree with the interaction)
3 Their clan's opinion (could influence the lord's actions/reactions to the player)

Another thing I ran into was the fact that lords/companions with good traits (like Lord Fluffybottom above) seemed no less likely to raid than those with bad traits. I had to reign my wife in because she kept raiding and generally screwing up my relations with most of the villages/cities (she had all good traits). So it made it even more difficult/cumbersome to keep up good relations and recruit, which the other lords apparently have no problem with. On a related note, the player should have full recruitment capability of any villages or towns under their control, provided its at 0 or above relations, to better simulate raising one's levies for the kingdom. It makes no sense that a rival kingdom can wipe out a village recruitment pool while the player can only recruit 1 person from both people in the village of their own fief.

Tying a claim to every war would actually slow the game down so snowballing was less of an issue. So for example, if the Battanians made a claim on Sargoth they would only be able to take Sargoth and potentially any castles tied to it that they captured (I realize castles aren't currently tied to towns but it would help with this system). So depending on how the war goes there could be several outcomes:
1. The Battanians win outright and get Sargoth plus those castles they captured that were tied to Sargoth at the start of the conflict.
2. The Battanians win but only take Sargoth.
3. The Battanians win but only take a castle or 2 that was initially tied to Sargoth that they captured and held.
4. There is a White Truce or Draw
5. The Vlandians win and get tribute based on the extent of their victory.
Claims could be made on any town (or castle if that is all they are down to) that are along a kingdoms border. Which is easier and less RNG dependent than the CK2 system. The attacker regardless of outcome would have a cooldown on when they could attack again, potentially giving the defender a chance to press a claim.

Borders should only be land-based. So Sturgia and Aserai will quit trying to take castles/towns that are actually deep in the empire.

Cohesion decay should only start taking effect when the parties are present within the army. This would help Sturgia and Aserai especially since it takes a long time for them just to gather up an army deep in their territory and by the time they reach a target their cohesion is <20.

A little more peacetime would help along with events like feasts or boar hunts to help with IN kingdom diplomacy/intrigue.

So this is the thing that really ticked me off and its more of an adjustment that just needs to be made, but prisoner escape chance needs fixed in a hard way. Its like watching a Monty Python and the Holy Grail sketch. (I was going to add photos but didn't want the post taken down due to copyright plus I'm feeling lazy). So I come upon an army or castle and the lord is waiting for me like the French knight on the parapets. I capture said lord and lock him away in a castle like the lord does to the son, telling the guards to keep an eye on him. The guards just watch him and smile moronically as the lord escapes (With 1% health within less than a day, sometimes instantly). I then go to siege the next castle or fight the next gathered army and who do I see...the lord sitting there (with 30-50+ troops) just like coming upon the French knights at the end of the movie. It has at this point killed the game for me as it is just non-stop. The only answer is executing everyone but that kills all reputation and any role-playing enjoyment. (And yes those are mod free playthroughs, I can have an army of 300+ with just a few lords as prisoners all at 1% health and there is a real possibility that one will escape before I reach a castle, if not instantly. If I put 4 lords in a well garrisoned castle or town within 1-2 days 2 of them have already escaped.)

Despite my frustrations I have had some fun and I am still holding hope for the future of the game.
Great base game:

1. Needs better armor values, armor is cosmetic right now making it no fun to try to battle on the walls during sieges.
2. Needs more immersion with lords and companions.
3. Needs Campaign map upgrade, there's nothing to do other then visit villages.
4. Needs economic adjustments, (village upgrades, money sinks, feasts) so the player doesn't have millions of gold.
5. Needs better marriage mechanics, the current system is very bland.
6. Needs to have a way for a clan to control your party members, there's no way to play the game other than vassalage.
7. Needs to be things for the player to do in towns and in castle thrown rooms, it's empty and bland.
8. Late game is very very boring there's nothing to do.....^^^^^
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Great base game:

1. Needs better armor values, armor is cosmetic right now making it no fun to try to battle on the walls during sieges.
2. Needs more immersion with lords and companions.
3. Needs Campaign map upgrade, there's nothing to do other then visit villages.
4. Needs economic adjustments, (village upgrades, money sinks, feasts) so the player doesn't have millions of gold.
5. Needs better marriage mechanics, the current system is very bland.
6. Needs to have a way for a clan to control your party members, there's no way to play the game other than vassalage.
7. Needs to be things for the player to do in towns and in castle thrown rooms, it's empty and bland.
8. Late game is very very boring there's nothing to do.....^^^^^
Agree on all points

is there a summary on what TW intends to achieve at the end of early access?


I bought Bannerlord with quite a bit of delay.
(schooled at paradox interactive: buy games 6 months - or preferably 1 DLC - after release)

Seeing that the game is out for about 10 months now, I thought it is time. Pretty nasty surprise to be honest. For some reason (?) I was thinking that the game will build on Warband, and expand the features.

I had secret hopes that it will expand the game with options I miss from Warband.
- meaningful interaction with settlements ("meet elder/guildmaster from town menu" tweaks are popular for a reason)
- less level scaling (kills immersion)
- more player impact (eg. if I beat a lord and kill his army, it would be nice if he didn't reappear within a week with a bigger army)
- some half-complete/planned warband features actually finished (such as your wife, NPC comments on your deeds, companion quests, village interactions, visible village improvements, etc.)

What I found:
- I think there are some improvements (eg. selling inventory, sorting troops with drag and drop)
- There are a few things which would be nice with fully fleshing them out or re-thinking them (eg. voting, smithing), but not fun now
- a few things are slightly annoying (eg. 3D pre-battle scenes instead of cool paintings? Why?)
- a few things are very painful (eg. learn by doing levelling. Why?)
- there are a few things I personally don't like, but I wouldn't put into the failiure category (the new art direction, item icons in inventory)

- the engine itself seems ok
- there are things included in the base game which modders always struggled with (eg. different heights/masses)
- might be a nice platform for modders
- disappointed by the lack of depth in fields where I expected some improvements

Actually this was about the same with Warband.
After M&B Classic I felt there are a few steps backwards (I really-really miss lances from Classic, never managed to enjoy Warband lances), but the game uses resources in a much more efficient way.
To me, this meant that I spent maybe 30 minutes on Warband Native, and went back to Classic's mods. But I checked regularly for interesting Warband mods.

I guess the same will happen now. But instead of what I felt with the Classic-Warband change (two steps forward, one step back), this feels one step forward, one step back for now. Disappointed a bit, even when I add to the consideration that this is early access.
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