Captain Mode needs your help!

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Ling*

Knight at Arms
Hello everyone,

For those of you who don't know me, I am Ling, co-founder of Captains League and a dedicated member of the Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord community.

Like many of you, I have spent countless hours enjoying this game over the last year both online and offline and I count myself lucky that I have been able to meet and interact with so many avid fans of the series and I have made some wonderful friends along the way.

When I logged into Multiplayer for the first time back at the start of early access I decided to play around a little bit with TDM, Siege, and Skirmish but none of them were really what I was looking for in my MP experience. That was until I discovered Captain Mode. An action packed, strategic 6v6 battle where every captain controlled his own AI troop formation and worked together with their teammates to form a cohesive army to defeat the other team. I fell in love with the mode immediately, and together with my best friend Beefless, over the next few months decided to build a competitive tournament series revolving around it. As we played more games and met more and more people who also shared our love for the game mode, what started out as a discord of a handful of friends who would queue for captain mode together quickly grew into the community of over 800 players that we have today.

During the early months of EA, captain mode was at its peak in terms of gameplay. While we always had some minor complaints about faction balance (Battania's dreadful winrate) or the size of the maps, (I'm looking at you Streets of Syllianon) overall the mode was incredibly enjoyable and I would personally play upwards of 10 to 20 matches every single day, very quickly achieving the once-coveted 750 wins badge. Things were going great with the community as well, we were in the middle of Captains League Season 1 and everyone was having fun going head to head in the competition. This was until Patch 1.5.0 was released during the Gamescom 2020 event, which just so happened to be during the Season 1 League Finals. Patch 1.5.0 was a complete gamechanger, it brought about many different combat changes that were mostly geared towards balancing the other PVP game modes (TDM, Siege, Skirmish) and included huge penalties to ranged weapon accuracy and the over-implementation of crush-through mechanics. I won't sugar coat it, Season 1 League finals were downright sabotaged as a result of these changes and many members of the community were livid, myself included. Things quickly spiraled out of control for Captain Mode and the Metagame devolved from being very enjoyable to becoming a complete and absolute mess where teams would just spam 6 shock troops vs 6 shock troops. Every. Single. Game. This, despite our best efforts and vocal protests to the developers, would remain the meta for the next 6 months. Crush through eventually (finally) received a huge nerf which would help to mitigate things somewhat, but archers and skirmisher troops still felt lasting negative effects from the 1.5.0 update and as a result disappeared almost entirely from competitive play due to just how terrible their performance was/is.

Fast forward to Season 2, gone are the days of the 6 v 6 shock troop spam, and now the meta revolved around players Ramboing (Going off alone, separated from their ai troops who sat in safety while the captain would ride around on a horse and kill as many of the enemy teams ai troops as possible before dying and then using his parked ai as extra lives to repeat this process.) This low risk - high reward strategy now dominates the competitive scene and has trickled down into some casual games as well where you will see players parking their armies on the side of a hill to go off alone.

This is not what Captain Mode should look like. This is not the mode that I fell in love with. We have gone backwards in so many ways it's hard to count, but if you take a look at the history of updates for MP the picture starts to become clear. I'm not writing this post to criticize the developers or to bring them down, they receive enough of that toxicity on a daily basis in this forum and I don't find it very respectful or productive. In fact there have also been some great changes to the mode that shouldn't be overlooked as they are actually in the spirit of improving the game mode, including the developers adding more map variety as well as making Battania a more balanced and competitive faction. My mantra has always been to be constructive and to try and help the development team figure out the best way to move forward so that everyone can enjoy a better game. This is why I need your help. Captain Mode needs your help.

In the past, the players of Captains League came together to provide their feedback at the request of @AVRC and came up with a collective list of the Top 10 most requested fixes and features, which included some outstanding suggestions and a heartfelt desire to improve the game mode for all players and not just the competitive community.
Top Ten Most Wanted Features For Captain Mode
(As requested by the Captain League community)

1. Add More new large maps, similar to Ruins of Jawali in size and larger. (They could be as simple as utilizing pre-existing Campaign maps, and then adding 3 Morale flags and then porting them into multiplayer) Players are absolutely HUNGRY for captain mode map variety and will gladly take as many maps as you can give us. Seriously, like 3-4 more maps atleast. This was by far the most requested feature on the list.
2. Ai ranged units should be given a focus fire / selective fire command and be able lock on to a targeted location or enemy unit, preventing the ai from turning around trying to shoot any units that are behind them or are too close to them when you need them to focus on a specific location. This will allow archers to face in only 1 direction and not get distracted when firing.
3. Separate the updates and balance patches between Skirmish and Captain mode so that an update designed to improve or balance one mode, does not negatively impact the other mode in any way as the balances for each mode would be independent of eachother. 1.5 is a huge example of an update designed specifically for skirmish that ruined the balance of captain mode.
4. Allow captains to control which weapons their ai troops wield at any given time, and also allow the player to tell our troops to cycle through their weapons functionality. For example if I have a Battanian oathsworn unit with the following setup: Bastard Sword , Shield, and Spear. We should be able to give them a command to "Swap weapons" or "Switch to spears!" or "Swords out!" and they will pull out the weapon that we tell them to and not switch unless the player commands them to. Additionally with the bastard sword and other multi-use weapons we should be able to tell them "Use 2handed!" or "Use 1handed!". Currently if a cavalry unit gets too close to your melee units, your ai will decide all on its own to pull out a thrust weapon to try and combat the horses, which causes them to not use their stronger mainhand weapons during a melee fight against other melee units putting them at a severe disadvantage. This is a mechanic that simply needs to be removed to give more control to us players.
5. Mirror-match / Same-faction battles should have more obvious color difference so as to distinguish each team from the other, for example aserai vs aserai is impossible to tell which units belong to which team during a closed in melee fight due to both faction colors being brown.
6. More class variety and perk options that are useful for captain mode and large-scale unit engagements. This includes making the current classes more viable to play in the mode, as currently skirmisher units, light cavalry, and archers rarely if ever get picked over 2-handed shock troops due to how effective shock troops are in comparison. With the latest 1.5 patch this problem was made even worse than it was before. Please make more classes viable to play.
7. Faction balance needs to be as close to 50% for all factions as possible, not exactly 50% but close enough to where we don't encounter a faction that is nearly impossible to win with such as Battania and its 21% round winrate, and even more abysmal match winrate. If you need help testing captain balance, I can think of no better players to ask to help test than the players of Captain's League.
8.Re-position the flags and spawns on the current maps so that more area and space can be used for fighting and is viable to play in during matches. Currently the flags are too close together and too close to the center of the map, leaving alot of unused terrain and open space near the outer reaches of the map that never get used.
9. Add new formations and replace any non-functioning formations such as the "Spread out" command that does nothing in multiplayer. Ideas for formations: Testudo, Phalanx, or the Zulu "horns" formation, and definitely there needs to be a "Spear brace" formation for our troops.
10. Ranged weapons and arrows should deal more damage to shields and or make them too heavy to wield after having 20-30+ arrows or 3-4 javelins stuck in them.

Since it has been nearly an entire year since the community made that list, I thought it would be the perfect time to make an updated version, but this time I would like to extend the invitation not only to members of the competitive community but to players of all levels and creeds.
The MP development team has a "long list" of improvements of their own for captain mode and I'm very eager to see it as I have no doubt they too want the best for the mode, but I also want to know what you, the players, want to see improved about captain mode.

If you are interested in giving feedback about the current state of captain mode and how you feel that it could be improved, please consider participating in this survey.
If you don't feel comfortable following the link and filling out the survey, you can simply leave a comment on this thread with your top 10 requests for captain mode.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this, I care deeply for this game and this community and I hope that going forward we can all enjoy captain mode to its fullest.

-Ling
 

Falmeer

Recruit
WBNWVC
I wrote private servers and mod tools.

We could get more done by ourselves if the dev's gave us the tools to do it.

Example: instead of flip flopping balance changes they could instead work on features, new maps or even just bug fixes.

Quite frankly, it shouldn't take months to do patches. If its going to take months then just let the community do the balancing/updates to their respective modes.
 

Brandis.

Subforum Moderator
Even if TW plans to improve multiplayer in the future, they've killed the player-base through lack of attention for Skirmish and Captain. (Except the tryhard EU Skirmish scene, which has no healthy flow of new players.)

Additionally, Siege and TDM aren't doing great. The numbers are poor as a follow-up intended to appeal to a casual audience more than Warband. The game also has a relatively high SP base (I think it's constantly top 100 on steam?) that occasionally tries MP out, but retention across the board is critically low. It's just not fun.

(Just to be clear, I'm not trying to blame anyone specifically, there are devs whose names are tied to MP that want the best for it.)

In the current situation, TW should make the game as stable as possible and release it to the community. We're missing out on so many fantastic mods and game modes. There's so many ideas that could save the MP side of the game for everyone, casuals, tryhards, and devs.



On Lings post, let's take a look at what has been done for captain:

1. No new large maps added. There were some good changes to Deriad, and Hillfort was added, but the overwhelming requests for larger and more maps were not met.

2. No focus fire command and AI target selection is still terrible.

3. Skirmish and Captain are still share the same base.

4. No control over what weapons the troops use.

5. I never had a problem with this one, so I don't actually know if this was addressed or not. But I assume not.

6. Even fewer classes are viable.

7. Factions are unbalanced, although this is due to only one class type, Heavy Cav, being important.

8. I never saw it as a huge problem.

9. No interesting formations or "spear brace" formation. Although spear brace would just be hard farmed by rambo cav.

10. I never wanted this. If others do want this, just make arrows/javs do more shield damage in Captain.
 
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Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
Although , Ling... you know you have my endorsement for creating the league and publicizing the mode... I must say that this has always ridden with the same problems since we were able to test it in the closed alpha-beta period of 2019... here are the threads that essentially deal with the same thing we are debating now... different totally independent balance between modes, focus fire orders, weapon switching orders... etc...

Basically I agree 100% in broad strokes with what is stated in that list; if anything the only thing I would add would be more bot volume (in scene agents) and a 360º siege game for this mode.

"Potential" is something that can't be measured and is certainly ephemeral... We all saw the great potential of this mode, and many of us were looking at it as a bridge between SP and MP... in my opinion... both through lack of resolve and a failure to address the problems quickly; Taleworlds now has the vision of that wasteland prophesied in the months leading up to the game's launch.

I don't want to get sidetracked... the subject is long enough for several pages. In short, Bannerlord should be able to grab free to play games like Conquero's Blade by the balls, spit in their faces and tell them - I'm the best... I'm the ****ing captain now!.

Bannerlord and its captain mode needs to equal this first and when it's done, raise the bar even higher.


---
So much for the game itself... then fixing the server infrastructure and providing stability befitting a game of Bannerlord's scope is a must.

Otherwise... another broken toy that will go into the "things with potential" drawer.
 

Ulfkarl

Regular
you are the problem of this game, because of "competitive" players like you devs think everything is fine, "we have a competitive active community, our game is not dead" please stop and let the game die already

#SHUTITDOWN
 

elderbong

Recruit
M&BWBWF&SNW
I wrote private servers and mod tools.

We could get more done by ourselves if the dev's gave us the tools to do it.

Example: instead of flip flopping balance changes they could instead work on features, new maps or even just bug fixes.

Quite frankly, it shouldn't take months to do patches. If its going to take months then just let the community do the balancing/updates to their respective modes.
Yeah but if they give us all the tools everyone will abandon the vanilla game and they won't be able to effectively monetize it with microtransactions!
 

Ling*

Knight at Arms
you are the problem of this game, because of "competitive" players like you devs think everything is fine, "we have a competitive active community, our game is not dead" please stop and let the game die already

#SHUTITDOWN
I don't think they believe everything is fine, it's quite obvious there are many flaws with the game mode and that the majority of players aren't at all satisfied with the state of captain, but hopefully in time those issues will become less and less prevalent and eventually we can reach a point where the game mode is in an enjoyable state. Instead of just calling it quits and moving on I would rather do all that I can to support TW in this endeavor so that captain mode does become an enjoyable experience.
 
1.Redundant point - its obvious there will be more map ssoon or later.
2.+1 i would prefer target location more than target unit hope that at least one option is possible to be implemented
3.Same as 1.
4.+1 I think best way to implement this is make ON/OFF option on weapon usage (like currently hold fire) and when it's ON bot decides himself what kind of wep he uses and when it's off he just force use weapon defined by commander it can bring some problems especially with throwings so maybe make command for throw at certain area or closest unit idk hope devs are smart enough to figure smth out
5.Just turn on allies indicators
Njha2T3.png
6.It's just 3. but written other way
7.Don't request smth like this without any proposition how it can be redone.
8.No.
9.Current square doesn't work like testudo? Spear brace YES. Other formations can add some flavor to gameplay but it should be low on priority list.
10.It's debatable cuz archers should punish shieldless or wrong turned units if shotting at certain area get implemented it will be much easier. Arrow dmg to shields should stay as it is. In terms of javs vs Shield buff can be interesting but needs to be tested.
 

Ling*

Knight at Arms
1.Redundant point - its obvious there will be more map ssoon or later.
2.+1 i would prefer target location more than target unit hope that at least one option is possible to be implemented
3.Same as 1.
4.+1 I think best way to implement this is make ON/OFF option on weapon usage (like currently hold fire) and when it's ON bot decides himself what kind of wep he uses and when it's off he just force use weapon defined by commander it can bring some problems especially with throwings so maybe make command for throw at certain area or closest unit idk hope devs are smart enough to figure smth out
5.Just turn on allies indicators
Njha2T3.png
6.It's just 3. but written other way
7.Don't request smth like this without any proposition how it can be redone.
8.No.
9.Current square doesn't work like testudo? Spear brace YES. Other formations can add some flavor to gameplay but it should be low on priority list.
10.It's debatable cuz archers should punish shieldless or wrong turned units if shotting at certain area get implemented it will be much easier. Arrow dmg to shields should stay as it is. In terms of javs vs Shield buff can be interesting but needs to be tested.
Feel free to leave your top 10, this was compiled from the different clans of captains league last year, it's an old list. This is why i'm making a more up-to-date version. The top 10 most commonly mentioned features from this survey will be added to the new list, so if other people share the same opinions as you on the mode, that will be reflected in the list.

I would also argue that all of the list are obvious features that should be added, or as you call them "redundant" but that's irrelevant.
 
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Danny5

Sergeant
Although , Ling... you know you have my endorsement for creating the league and publicizing the mode... I must say that this has always ridden with the same problems since we were able to test it in the closed alpha-beta period of 2019... here are the threads that essentially deal with the same thing we are debating now... different totally independent balance between modes, focus fire orders, weapon switching orders... etc...

Basically I agree 100% in broad strokes with what is stated in that list; if anything the only thing I would add would be more bot volume (in scene agents) and a 360º siege game for this mode.

"Potential" is something that can't be measured and is certainly ephemeral... We all saw the great potential of this mode, and many of us were looking at it as a bridge between SP and MP... in my opinion... both through lack of resolve and a failure to address the problems quickly; Taleworlds now has the vision of that wasteland prophesied in the months leading up to the game's launch.

I don't want to get sidetracked... the subject is long enough for several pages. In short, Bannerlord should be able to grab free to play games like Conquero's Blade by the balls, spit in their faces and tell them - I'm the best... I'm the ****ing captain now!.

Bannerlord and its captain mode needs to equal this first and when it's done, raise the bar even higher.


---
So much for the game itself... then fixing the server infrastructure and providing stability befitting a game of Bannerlord's scope is a must.

Otherwise... another broken toy that will go into the "things with potential" drawer.
Oof imagine this game but in bannerlord
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
Oof imagine this game but in bannerlord
Obviously I'm not advertising Conquero's Blade at all (I wish it were understood in this way), I've never played it and I wouldn't switch it for Bannerlord nor any other M&B title.

That said, there are quite a few things about Conquero's Blade that are worthy of praise beyond the clunky hack'n slash style combat that I'll run from like the plague forever.

And I want to highlight that this title is a friggin' free to play title... A ****ING FREE TO PLAY TITLE!.

Bannerlord and in particular the captain mode is supposed have to piss in the mouth of this free to play... moreover, if things had been "done right" the MP (all modes) of Bannerlord would now have the mordhaus.... chivalries ... and other similarly themed games under the boot stomping on their throats.

Now tell me what the hell has changed besides the UI and unit aesthetics after almost 4 years after this video...

Yeah, I'm pissed off with the situation.... must be the summer heat.

giphy.gif
 
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VicbossOG

Regular
I really don't want the future of balancing in Captain Mode up to the 200 or so players that actually get involved in your "Captain's League." I would much rather that be up to the developers of the game.
 

Ling*

Knight at Arms
I really don't want the future of balancing in Captain Mode up to the 200 or so players that actually get involved in your "Captain's League." I would much rather that be up to the developers of the game.
I don't want the future of balancing to be decided by us either, which is why i'm reaching out to the entire community of players, including you to provide your feedback since the players are the ones who, ya know, play the game.

I think you are taking your ban a bit rougher than others have, It must be difficult to be one of 8 people in the history of CL to receive this ban.. Its okay mate we still care about your opinions too. Feel free to contribute any feedback regarding captain mode in the survey and i'll be sure to forward it to the developers.
 

VicbossOG

Regular
I don't want the future of balancing to be decided by us either, which is why i'm reaching out to the entire community of players, including you to provide your feedback since the players are the ones who, ya know, play the game.

I think you are taking your ban a bit rougher than others have, It must be difficult to be one of 8 people in the history of CL to receive this ban.. Its okay mate we still care about your opinions too. Feel free to contribute any feedback regarding captain mode in the survey and i'll be sure to forward it to the developers.
Lol Ling I care so much about your ban I actually forgot it happened. The reason I don't want you involved with balancing is because the one time I played with you was a terrible experience. You're not a very good player.
 

Ling*

Knight at Arms
Lol Ling I care so much about your ban I actually forgot it happened. The reason I don't want you involved with balancing is because the one time I played with you was a terrible experience. You're not a very good player.
None of the things listed are my opinions or my ideas, I have never claimed to be a good player. I am simply a community manager working to collect feedback from other people and compile it into an easily digestible format. If you want your voice to be heard feel free to contribute, otherwise I suppose you could leave things to others who do want to contribute. I'm not really bothered either way but here's your opportunity.

If I at any point in time had any doubts about why you were banned, you just clarified those reasons for me.
 
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VicbossOG

Regular
None of the things listed are my opinions or my ideas, I have never claimed to be a good player. I am simply a community manager working to collect feedback from other people and compile it into an easily digestible format. If you want your voice to be heard feel free to contribute, otherwise I suppose you could leave things to others who do want to contribute. I'm not really bothered either way but here's your opportunity.
I stated my opinion and you decided to personally attack me and this is your response. Grow up. I don't want a bunch of random players of an unfinished game involved with balancing. Pretty simple. Considering that was how you replied, it's laughable you would ever consider any opinions I did choose to forward to you.
 

Ling*

Knight at Arms
I stated my opinion and you decided to personally attack me and this is your response. Grow up. I don't want a bunch of random players of an unfinished game involved with balancing. Pretty simple.
Thank you for your contribution.
 
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