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Bot battles: They're pretty fun, and stuff.

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Scarf Ace

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVCM&B
...and with bot battles I mean commanding bots in multiplayer battle mode. As some guy called it, "Warband: Total War".
I think it's amazing that it never really caught on. It's pretty unique in gameplay terms. I just really love that combination of having to both outsmart your enemy by commanding your men better, and being in the fray yourself. Essentially just like battles in single player, but with a much more interesting enemy, because he's human.
I've found that just hosting a listen server is good enough for battles with 2-4 players. Just make a server, pick a large, randomly generated map, choose battle mode and give both factions a lot of bots, and you're pretty much set, server wise. (just make sure you've got the ports forwarded :razz:)
The main problem is that native bots are rubbishly balanced. I've remedied that by making a custom mod which does a better job at balancing things:
http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,166008.0.html
lol, "product placement"

I think this thread could be useful, we could use it as a "hub" for announcing when you feel like playing such few rounds (in any module), and talking about battles you've had, and stuff.
 

Scarf Ace

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVCM&B
I'm gonna host a server with my silly mod right now. Let's see if anyone hops on. (sort by module name if you wanna join, it'll probably be called server####)
 

Scarf Ace

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVCM&B
Roran 13 said:
it's up yet?
can't download the mod though...
Ah crap
I'm uploading it to a different site, one sec.
There you go: http://www.mediafire.com/?2eeyg430sa5phym
 

Laszlo

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWBNW
Yeah multiplayer 2-6 player bot battles with 50-100 bots per team are really fun.

I always thought it never took off because it was hamstrung by the very primitive control over bot number and type allocations.


:sad:

Wasted potential IMHO.
 

Baron Conrad

Sergeant Knight
NW
Laszlo said:
Yeah multiplayer 2-6 player bot battles with 50-100 bots per team are really fun.

I always thought it never took off because it was hamstrung by the very primitive control over bot number and type allocations.


:sad:

Wasted potential IMHO.

At least they got it right in WFaS.
 

HTAPAWASO

Master Knight
M&BWB
Yeah...

It's a real shame, because the fundamentals for giving bots custom equipment and stats is already in place, but for whatever reason you only get a choice of a few presets, and they're horribly unbalanced.
It has the potential to be fairly amazing with a bit of work.
 

Lord Rich

Grandmaster Knight
I don't think the command system is significantly more cumbersome, in fact it can support a lot more order types utilising less keys. I can throw out orders to the bots pretty fast, probably 3-4 orders a second using the two key combos. I don't think you really need more than that. However the dev's could have added some more controls to utilise the new system, they didn't however so it was a rather pointless change overall.

I do like bot battles myself as well and occasionally play them on our server (Wolfpack_Den), as with the OP though the complete lack of balance with the bots makes fighting less than it could have been. The inability for you to switch bots to using polearms or for cavalry archers to behave anything other than stupidly does detract from it.

I also made a bot balance mod myself at one point, I need to go back and finish it though and honestly I never took the time to learn the module system properly in order to do it well. Mine had seven bot classes including heavy infantry(armed with 2H axes), pikemen, line infantry(Spear + shield), archers (With extra large quivers since they can't take two), crossbows, skirmishers and light cavalry (lance + shield only).
 

Scarf Ace

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVCM&B
Lord Rich said:
I don't think the command system is significantly more cumbersome, in fact it can support a lot more order types utilising less keys. I can throw out orders to the bots pretty fast, probably 3-4 orders a second using the two key combos. I don't think you really need more than that. However the dev's could have added some more controls to utilise the new system, they didn't however so it was a rather pointless change overall.

I do like bot battles myself as well and occasionally play them on our server (Wolfpack_Den), as with the OP though the complete lack of balance with the bots makes fighting less than it could have been. The inability for you to switch bots to using polearms or for cavalry archers to behave anything other than stupidly does detract from it.

I also made a bot balance mod myself at one point, I need to go back and finish it though and honestly I never took the time to learn the module system properly in order to do it well. Mine had seven bot classes including heavy infantry(armed with 2H axes), pikemen, line infantry(Spear + shield), archers (With extra large quivers since they can't take two), crossbows, skirmishers and light cavalry (lance + shield only).
I found that a 6 unit structure works great. The most important part about making these units is that you must focus on making every single unit very useful, and with a glaring weakness of some sort. All-round units are often either useless or totally overpowered in large numbers - every unit needs an opposing unit that can kick its ass in a major way. For example, a heavily armoured infantry unit that is more resistant to ranged attacks needs to be weak offensively, so that they get their asses kicked by more offensive, lighter infantry that in turn is vulnerable to ranged attacks.

Here's my mod explained (the third faction is the result of a joke, I won't bother explaining them)
The Western Kingdom:
Infantry:
Swordsmen - They're well armoured and carry a shield. In essence, they're fairly well protected but not very powerful in melee.
Spearmen - They're like the swordsmen, but with spears instead, essentially sacrificing power for reach and horse stopping.
Voulgiers - A melee unit with great range and damage, but lacking in the armour department. They're supposed to be deadlier than the other 2 in melee but easy to lose if you expose them to ranged attacks.
Ranged:
Crossbowmen - They shoot a bit slower than archers do but they make up for it in power and range (missile velocity, I made the bolts hella fast)
Cavalry:
Men at Arms - They're well armoured lancers. The idea of this unit is to charge in with their lances and then get out as quickly as possible. They can soak a few arrows in a charge, but in a prolonged melee they will get slaughtered. I've seen them do incredible damage, but they are incredibly vulnerable too. They also carry a single throwing axe as a sort of backup weapon. If you tell them to hold fire they'll use their lances only.
Light Cavalry - Essentially anti-cav-cav. They're meant to intercept enemy cavalry and engage them with javelins and 2 handers. They're lacking in the armour department and are therefore not too suitable as a skirmishing unit or as a charger.

The Eastern Kingdom:
Infantry:
Swordsmen - They're well armoured and carry a shield. In essence, they're fairly well protected but not very powerful in melee.
Spearmen - They're like the swordsmen, but with spears instead, essentially sacrificing power for reach and horse stopping.
Axemen - Very much like the voulgiers, but with long axes that make them more viking-like. Their armour and damage is a bit better, but they have less range.
Ranged:
Horse Archers - They're surprisingly useful when mounted, and they can be dismounted for use as regular archers. They count as archers, not cav, so you select them with the 2 key.
Skirmishers - Throwing spear wielding ranged units. They're very powerful but they run out of ammo quickly, and at that point they're just cannon fodder. They make a fantastic unit for an ambush behind a hill, for example.
Cavalry:
Lancers - Fast lancer cavalry. They're not as well protected as their western counterparts, but they make up for it in sheer speed, which of course translates into a more powerful charge too. Again, hold fire makes them use lances exclusively.
 
MadocComadrin said:
Papa Lazarou said:
Agree with Laszlo. The bots had pretty dodgy equipment and the new command system was cumbersome.
:?:

It's the same as SPs minus the minimap presentation?
Well the game used to have a different system - you'd just press a button to select the group to command, and then press another button to give the order. Now they have the orders in categories so it adds another keystroke. Also, the categories are sometimes counter-intuitive (I think "use blunt weapons" is in the "fire orders" category for example). Part of it is probably that I'm not used to it, but I don't see what the new system added other than complexity.
 

MadocComadrin

Water-Borne Annelid
Count
M&BWBWF&S
Ah, compared to the original M&B's system, yes, the order buttons are a little complicated, but they're not that complicated in general (compared to say, Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front). Also, iirc, certain commands could only be reached via the presentation in the original.

I think the main problem is that they simply crammed too many things into not enough categories.
 

Laszlo

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWBNW
I didn't think this thread would last so I'll take the opportunity to elaborate a bit on what I meant before:

Say I had a mate and we just decided we'd draw up a little campaign map with pen and paper, assigned a few values to different provinces like 'produces horses, pays 4000 denars a turn in tax' then used a Warband bot battle to fight out the campaign conflicts...

'My army has purchased 100 spearmen and 20 heavy cavalry!'

You fire up a battle and find you can only key in 120 bots on your team, then select both 'spearmen' and 'heavy cavalry' but the game automatically splits your army 50:50 and you get 60 spearman and 60 cavalry.


'My loyal Baron will join my army with his 50 crossbowmen!'

You fire up a battle and find you can only key in 170 bots on your team, you select 'spearman' and 'heavy cavalry' and get 56 spearman, 56 heavy cavalry, and your loyal Baron selects 'crossbowmen' and gets 56 crossbowmen.

There's not rudimentary system of allocating how many of what troop type each player gets. :sad:
 

MadocComadrin

Water-Borne Annelid
Count
M&BWBWF&S
Considering the game types, there simply wasn't a need. If the devs decide to implement captain gameplay modes to Warband, then that's what I expect to be done.
 

Vornne

Count
M&BWBNWVC
If some wants to change their server to have arguably better looking and balanced native bot troops, I made a small tweak ages ago - the balance might not be quite right in the latest versions, but it should be better than native. It's compatible with unmodified native clients; for the latest warband version you would have to build troops.txt using the module system tweaks. I know this is kinda advertising in someone else's thread, but that doesn't seem to matter much for a mod of this type :smile:.
 

Laszlo

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWBNW
MadocComadrin said:
Considering the game types, there simply wasn't a need. If the devs decide to implement captain gameplay modes to Warband, then that's what I expect to be done.

They added a troop ratio slider to the single player custom battle, it's reasonable to have expected a similar feature for multiplayer battles.


Vornne said:
If some wants to change their server to have arguably better looking and balanced native bot troops, I made a small tweak ages ago - the balance might not be quite right in the latest versions, but it should be better than native. It's compatible with unmodified native clients; for the latest warband version you would have to build troops.txt using the module system tweaks. I know this is kinda advertising in someone else's thread, but that doesn't seem to matter much for a mod of this type :smile:.

Hey Vornne! :smile:


 

MadocComadrin

Water-Borne Annelid
Count
M&BWBWF&S
Laszlo said:
They added a troop ratio slider to the single player custom battle, it's reasonable to have expected a similar feature for multiplayer battles.
I'd say that's sort of an apples and oranges issue, since the current gamemodes were designed around teams comprised of individual players. (That and the ratio slider simply sucks).
 
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