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Bannerlord was a grift

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Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
@bonerstorm Thank you for including me in that select group; much appreciated. Taleworlds certainly knows where to find me.

That said, while a considerable % of the Community is part of the SP experience, I don't want to neglect to mention the MP section and the huge amount of fine-tuning work that it needs to be done to refloat. I could mention illustrious personalities but I'm sure I'd leave unnamed some that Taleworlds is clearly sure to gather to in case they want to bring the already moribund MP mode back on track.

We are all in the same boat, we are all Community; there will be more accurate opinions than others but Taleworlds has in its power a huge amount of incalculable feedback as eddiemccandless said... in my opinion a huge part totally wasted; it is up to them to finally use it.

The ball has always been in Taleworlds' court.
 

bonerstorm

Genghis Khan't
Sergeant
We already have that though.



This is pretty much what you are talking about, just in a different form. They just need to, you know, actually do the things. I will say that communication seems to be a bit better in the last one or two months though.
I guess? Seems a little stale, though, and that curated list obviously isn't translating into actual development priorities.

I just think that polling is the most straightforward way of demonstrating the intensity and popularity of the feedback.

That said, while a considerable % of the Community is part of the SP experience, I don't want to neglect to mention the MP section and the huge amount of fine-tuning work that it needs to be done to refloat. I could mention illustrious personalities but I'm sure I'd leave unnamed some that Taleworlds is clearly sure to gather to in case they want to bring the already moribund MP mode back on track.
Good point. I just dropped a new forum thread about all this and I'll specify that I'm totally ignorant of the MP side of the discussion - in fact, you could say it is I who am mistaken... about a great many things.
The ball has always been in Taleworlds' court.
Fact.

The disturbing thing, though, is that I get the impression that TW management really think that they're making a good game that will be popular with fans... and I believe they're totally unprepared for the backlash that would ensue if they tried to release BL in something resembling its current state.

Having worked in situations where I was tasked with passing public feedback to management, I know it's always a lot easier when you can say "80% of fans - about 1000 total - want this thing" rather than "a couple dozen forum comments asked for this".
 

Roy1012

Duke
The disturbing thing, though, is that I get the impression that TW management really think that they're making a good game that will be popular with fans... and I believe they're totally unprepared for the backlash that would ensue if they tried to release BL in something resembling its current state.

Having worked in situations where I was tasked with passing public feedback to management, I know it's always a lot easier when you can say "80% of fans - about 1000 total - want this thing" rather than "a couple dozen forum comments asked for this".
Not sure about this one. As Mexxxico said, they are unhappy with communication mismanagement. He isn’t Taleworlds entirely nor is he even associated with Taleworlds right now, but I think his words on this thread were genuine and probably reflect a lot of what people within the company feel.
 

eddiemccandless

Knight at Arms
WBNWVC
I guess? Seems a little stale, though, and that curated list obviously isn't translating into actual development priorities.

I just think that polling is the most straightforward way of demonstrating the intensity and popularity of the feedback.


Good point. I just dropped a new forum thread about all this and I'll specify that I'm totally ignorant of the MP side of the discussion - in fact, you could say it is I who am mistaken... about a great many things.

Fact.

The disturbing thing, though, is that I get the impression that TW management really think that they're making a good game that will be popular with fans... and I believe they're totally unprepared for the backlash that would ensue if they tried to release BL in something resembling its current state.

Having worked in situations where I was tasked with passing public feedback to management, I know it's always a lot easier when you can say "80% of fans - about 1000 total - want this thing" rather than "a couple dozen forum comments asked for this".
Those are not just random comments though. They are curated based on well defined standards described by moderators in the posts (which I think are reasonable). Several of them are indeed polls.

I guess that they haven't been updated in a while because, well, what was the point? It's not like TW was acting on them.
 

bonerstorm

Genghis Khan't
Sergeant
Those are not just random comments though. They are curated based on well defined standards described by moderators in the posts (which I think are reasonable). Several of them are indeed polls.

I guess that they haven't been updated in a while because, well, what was the point? It's not like TW was acting on them.
Touche. That's why I'm suggesting that TW staff take an active role in that kind of thing rather than just leave it to mods and members to promote it in a vacuum.

Looks like people stopped updating that thing around the time that I rejoined the forum... and wasn't that shortly after word got out that mexxico was leaving?

I think - in general - that blackpillage will dissipate and at least some enthusiasm will return if we get the slightest hint that TW is interested in our feedback writ large.
 

eddiemccandless

Knight at Arms
WBNWVC
I think @Dejan was involved in some capacity in those threads but I am not sure. @Piconi and @Count Delinard might be able to shed light on that. It is a shame that they have been left to die given the amount of work that was put into them.

Ultimately even TW employees can only do so much, as mexxico and others have shown. We still don't know what management wants and what they think about most of those suggestions, and I don't think that's on the devs or even the CMs.
 

bonerstorm

Genghis Khan't
Sergeant
I think @Dejan was involved in some capacity in those threads but I am not sure. @Piconi and @Count Delinard might be able to shed light on that. It is a shame that they have been left to die given the amount of work that was put into them.

Ultimately even TW employees can only do so much, as mexxico and others have shown. We still don't know what management wants and what they think about most of those suggestions, and I don't think that's on the devs or even the CMs.
Fair.

Honestly I think a big problem is that a lot of us have been operating in the dark and a streamlining of communication would be wise. These forums as well as the communities on Steam and Reddit are all sewing circles retreading the same ground unto oblivion.

My ideas may be dumb, but at this point I'm just grasping at straws for anything that might give me hope in this game.
 

npe87

Veteran
As a Turkish software developer (not a game a dev) who lives and works in United States, I can say that the numbers shared in first post are pretty much accurate but I don't think Bannerlord is/was a grift or scam. With that being said and as @mexxico stated, being a developer in Turkey is not easy task especially comparing to United States.

I still want to list my possible reasons for slow delivery.
  • Campaign code is a mess and refactoring didn't help.
  • They have been trying to develop an open-world game with minimal rule based decisions but this increased the complexity of campaign code and adding new or maintaining existing features have become a nightmare. Even small constant value changes can break the game flow and cause issues like snowballing. Ironically snowballing is happening in their code base.
  • Most of their engineers and artists are individually talented but the communication, coordination and team work are lacking. They probably failed to follow most basic Software Engineering Principles.
    • They probably don't have an automated pipeline.
    • Either codes are not reviewed by Principal Engineers / Team Leaders or everyone can push the code to the master branch.
  • I know that they do a lot of testing but we can still see basic bugs with initial patch deliveries.
 
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GMBarak

Regular
I want to underline something. @Dejan always collects your suggestions and prepare documents and they are discussed internal monthly. He is doing his best for this. However this is not same thing top to come here read forums discuss with players and understand situations deeply. We are discussing each suggestion 1-2 at most 5 minutes in these suggestion meetings (because there are too much suggestions and time is limited, fe if there are 50 suggestions and if each is discussed 5 mins it makes 250 min - 4 hours meeting which is already long and makes participants mentally tired) and I think this is not enough to understand problems / suggestions deeply and this is not enough why that particular suggestion is suggested. For example when you open forum page of a suggestion and read all comments and join discussion and spend some time then you can understand situation better. Even current suggestion transferring way is not enough / sufficent it is of course better than doing nothing.

@Sundeki unfortunately I do not know how things are going in multiplayer side. So I cannot answer that question.

By the way reasons I wrote yesterday are not of course acceptable excuses for slow development. I only wanted to give you some information for you to evaluate situation. As customers you have power to change market as you wish in future. I advice you to watch gameplay videos collect more information from reliable editors / streamers before buying / supporting a game. Even you trust a company or game developer you should first collect enough information before spending money on it's product. People / companies can change. Even you are very rich and spent money is nothing for you. If companies earn easy money then they do not force themselves to create better products. Only good products which deserved your money / support should earn money and rise in gaming industry.
Hey Mexxico, you are great man and this is a great game, thank you!
 

htlaets

Recruit
Taleworlds, being a small developer, simply overstressed their ressources by focusing on too many aspects in the game.
EA finally recognized this often-occuring fallacy and dispensed singleplayer altogether from the upcoming Battlefield which is a very wise decision.

To make a good game, you have to focus/improve the few things (the core strength that makes this game unique) and not bother with all the other stuff. They overloaded bannerlord with so many functions and options (often unnecessary things) that its now an overcomplex mess which they cannot clean. When i was in charge, i would slim down the game radically. I hope that Armagan learned his lesson with this project.
There is a german saying that describes this impossible wish that people have of a "egg laying,wool growing, milk giving, fat" animal,
 

Piconi

Fashionista
Section Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
@eddiemccandless as i'm stacked with work rn, the best i can do atm is hook you up with some quotes, hope that's fine, and also Dejan wasn't directly involved with those threads exactly, but he is very much involved and checks the Suggestions forum.
Actually most of the threads in Suggestions board was responded to by Dejan and forwarded by him to developers.

The issue is that the Suggestions board has gotten into a saturation of ideas, the vast majority of the new threads being clones of previous suggestions and nothing new (noone responds to those that i know of), thus is very hard for new suggestions to achieve the activity thresholds to get on the list, and the list itself is bloated beyond measure as is, but even as such it does serve some developers as an idea pool.

The easiest thing to change without changing the core of the game is UI, and Emrozdemir, the UI dev, is communicating in the UI suggestions subboard very often.

They often repeated they want the core to be as stable as possible before trying to implent some of the more complex features (from suggestions)

Not optimal, but it is how it is.
Part of my day-to-day activities is gathering suggestions from the designated areas and relaying them to the developers during dedicated suggestion meetings. There is currently no official thread listing suggestions that have been rejected or approved but I'll bring up the idea internally.
 

chillsing

Recruit
As a Turkish software developer (not a game a dev) who lives and works in United States, I can say that the numbers shared in first post are pretty much accurate but I don't think Bannerlord is/was a grift or scam. With that being said and as @mexxico stated, being a developer in Turkey is not easy task especially comparing to United States.

I still want to list my possible reasons for slow delivery.
  • Campaign code is a mess and refactoring didn't help.
  • They have been trying to develop an open-world game with minimal rule based decisions but this increased the complexity of campaign code and adding new or maintaining existing features have become a nightmare. Even small constant value changes can break the game flow and cause issues like snowballing. Ironically snowballing is happening in their code base.
  • Most of their engineers and artists are individually talented but the communication, coordination and team work are lacking. They probably failed to follow most basic Software Engineering Principles.
    • They probably don't have an automated pipeline.
    • Either codes are not reviewed by Principal Engineers / Team Leaders or everyone can push the code to the master branch.
  • I know that they do a lot of testing but we can still see basic bugs with initial patch deliveries.
That sounds reasonable more so than just being "scam" if anything it sounds like they shot themselves in the foot trying for making a very dynamic world sandbox way under estimated the work needed for it. I wouldn't have a hard time believing the game would've had ten times the content it currently has if it were a static game like warband.
 

Roy1012

Duke
Taleworlds, being a small developer, simply overstressed their ressources by focusing on too many aspects in the game.
EA finally recognized this often-occuring fallacy and dispensed singleplayer altogether from the upcoming Battlefield which is a very wise decision.

To make a good game, you have to focus/improve the few things (the core strength that makes this game unique) and not bother with all the other stuff. They overloaded bannerlord with so many functions and options (often unnecessary things) that its now an overcomplex mess which they cannot clean. When i was in charge, i would slim down the game radically. I hope that Armagan learned his lesson with this project.
There is a german saying that describes this impossible wish that people have of a "egg laying,wool growing, milk giving, fat" animal,
Taleworlds is not a small developer. They have over 100 developers working on one franchise. Did you even read the thread? Did you even see how much I estimate they have made off the game? I have serious doubts you aren't a bot.
 

michigogo

Recruit
Yesterday my friend who has been waiting to buy Bannerlord asked me how I felt about the game rn. When I told him ladders still did not work he laughed. He didn't believe me. I laughed to at how bad the game is right now. He won't be buying it anytime soon.
 

Middovah

Sergeant at Arms
WB
Thank you @RalliX , this is really close what we had experienced.

I will try to write something about these topics, its hard to talk about these complex topics with my weak English but will try sorry for grammer mistakes or wrong wordings at the end important thing is understanding and sharing key points and we can do it somehow.

I can say that anybody at top of TW are not focused on getting more money with giving players something not good. Thats why development took so much time. I understand your frustrations. However hype was always ready to rise. Its hard to slow it down or reduce. Even now sometimes we talk about a basic feature in forum (fe. war reasons) then there become big expectations. Then I have to write "please do not expect something big - it is not game changer" to slow down expectations. I cannot defend weak communication of top but they are not scammers. Armagan is a good person I do not know why he does not prefer communication during EA but he is not a guy focused on making more money, he is well educated and trustful person which are rare to find around these days. I understand your situation when you cannot see enough communication from him - I also feel same like you - become like you lost one of your closest friends. I am not happy with this direction and I also criticized even at forum. However I want to underline that I really do not understand or can defend halting his communication with players - probably its because no time remains for that after company grows too much.

Money is something meaningless after some point. Reputation is more important. Even 1M$ is enough for living in good conditions in all your life without working. He can take maybe 10x of this money after Warband's success and can live happily ever. It is hard to create a product which will make end users mostly happy especially after a sequal of a successfull product. You should always think about your project during day and night and you should spend your life for it even you should not spend enough time with your family. Otherwise it can be hard to understand what players want or need. In Warband he communicated players much and this yield with a higher ratio of end user happiness. However it is easy to do if you are indie company and if you have lots of energy, ambitions and dreams. After company grows you need to deal lots of other boring stuff so time remained to player communication reduces. This can reduce your product's gameplay. This can reduce happiness of community. In that point you should give some of your power to others and split responsibilities - however this is not done at TW. Also probably it seems ambition reduces after a success is gained - maybe related to human nature.

After all these points that's why I also want to take some long rest first (maybe half / one year) get away from computer and spend time on different hobbies free my mind & travel (we are coming to life once, money is less important - life is more important) then create a small indie company later and will try to focus on smaller projects with focusing on perfect gameplay. I do not believe things can change here, feel like it's good time to create a new way.

In addition we had several unlucky situations in last 10 years. For example we are living in a country which has really beautiful climate and geography and cultural mixture however it is not managed by good people. We had even coup in 2015, we had gezi resistance in 2013 which most of our devs also attended. All these was also fault of government then government used that coup to increase pressure over opponent press members or politicans. So we devs always think about what should we do in future because justice system and freedom of press and education systems went worse in last 20 years here. While coding here I always think also how things would be sorted out. I do not want to leave my country to bad politicans we want to save here from them. In short our brains are not relaxed and its hard to focus on projects. At least mine but I believe there are many others. Democracy is a good system but if politicians controls also media it is so easy to manupilate most of country and get needed votes at elections. So all young educated generation here is trying to go abroad and save themselves and their next generations. My friends at same college are 90% at abroad currently. So quality of all products also human quality reduces. This is something really bad for TW also. Because it will be more and more hard to find quality devs if Turkey cannot save itself from current government.

Also Covid-19 effected us badly too imo. Of course it increased sales (timing of EA release was only a luck, EA release date was determined before Covid outbreak) however I prefer working in office all together with other devs. Discussing game features face to face is always better.

In short I reject Bannerlord is a grift. TW is not a company trying to sell players scam (at least until now - I cannot know what will happen future). However in current direction and conditions it will be hard to create perfect projects in future - this is only guess, I am not talking about ok projects, of course these can be produced. Thats why I want to create a new way to myself also. There are more reasons which I cannot tell public ofc, not everything was perfect, I also had lots of disapointments. However just note that managers are not bad people or scammers. After college finished at 2008, I worked for bad people who prioritize money before TW so I know how they are like. At the end of first year I could not continue that and past TW because most important thing is creating projects with people you trust, believe and have similar importances / characteristic. There are too many rich but bad people in world and they use potential / clever / educated / ambitious people to rise more. Its frustrating to work for these people. TW was not a place like that. We worked here to rise good people and they succeed this (with the additional and so important helps of Warband modders also, they created tons of mods with no financial expectations).

Also thank you all for your all support you give. TW is a lucky company which have really devoted fans. I know why you criticize much. You see TW from your family or like a friend you know for long time and you want us to be successful and use all potential game has.
That's it, %100 true...
 

Life_Erikson

Master Knight
M&BWBNWVC
Yesterday my friend who has been waiting to buy Bannerlord asked me how I felt about the game rn. When I told him ladders still did not work he laughed. He didn't believe me. I laughed to at how bad the game is right now. He won't be buying it anytime soon.
Thats exactly the thing why I don't understand people claiming they enjoy the game. A lot of our complaints are based on our expectations of the game which are different for other people. Fair enough.

But when in a game about medieval combat and warfare where one of the main mechanics is sieges, ladders and siegetowers in said sieges don't work and that for over a year of EA, I really don't understand how people can look over that and say that the game is progressing great. :lol:
 

Rungsted93

Sergeant at Arms
WBWF&SVC
Great comment @mexxico ! It really made me reflect on a couple things. That being said I don't think the veterans here hyped themselves up out of nowhere. There was a bit too many features told in devblogs and at the different shows which TW has been completely silent on afterwards... It appears something happened in 2016, and I know you probably can't say anything about it. But as an outsider it appears ambitions from your side were really high and at some point the decision was made to streamline things and cut a lot of content.

Edit: Also want to add: best of luck for your future! :smile:
 

bonerstorm

Genghis Khan't
Sergeant
Yesterday my friend who has been waiting to buy Bannerlord asked me how I felt about the game rn. When I told him ladders still did not work he laughed. He didn't believe me. I laughed to at how bad the game is right now. He won't be buying it anytime soon.
Yep. Every day that goes by without "We're fixing Siege AI + Armor in the next patch" is a slap in the face, honestly.
But when in a game about medieval combat and warfare where one of the main mechanics is sieges, ladders and siegetowers in said sieges don't work and that for over a year of EA, I really don't understand how people can look over that and say that the game is progressing great. :lol:
YEP. Also... shieldwalls! Shieldwalls were a perfectly functional thing in modded WB and vanilla VC. They worked!

I can't believe how many times I have to point out how insane it is that the best formation for infantry is always Loose - because physics/animation/collision/AI screw up in close quarters. That's the opposite of how medieval combat worked!

I keep hearing that BL is basically a combat sim with light SP/RPG elements, but the reality is that it's a pretty crappy combat sim and I don't see how anyone can defend it.
 
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