CEO Statement regarding the release

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I love adding content to make multiple heavy RP toons in sequence, so I tend to have all feature mods installed from the get go, add to that graphic enhancements and bam, the list's endless
At some point, instead of playing the game, you find yourself in with the question of how far i can mod this. Skyrim is really fun in this regard.
 

NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
I'm assuming I need to understand some sort of coding language to get any of this done, though. What even is Bannerlord's code? 🤔
Depends where you want to start. You can give Bannerlord a substantial makeover just by editing xmls, which are text files that anyone can read - I edit them in Notepad++ rather than Visual Studio, but you could just use Notepad. If you want to change game behaviours then the accessible code is C# (the inaccessible engine code is C++). If you don't want to do any coding you could use the tools to make new scenes or import new 3D assets etc. A lot of people started Warband by making a 3D sword and getting it into the game. I wouldn't advise that start for Bannerlord as the crafting system would require you to make your sword in four crafting pieces etc., but a helmet or shield would be ok.
PS programmers don't consider editing xmls=coding.

umAsN.png
The spoiler contains the character details for a mamluke from ...\Modules\SandBoxCore\ModuleData\spnpccharacter.xml its just lists of stuff between opening <tag> and closing </tag>. The two unexpanded equipment roosters are just more equipment for random variety on spawning.
 
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Ser Jon

Squire
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Depends where you want to start. You can give Bannerlord a substantial makeover just by editing xmls, which are text files that anyone can read - I edit them in Notepad++ rather than Visual Studio, but you could just use Notepad. If you want to change game behaviours then the accessible code is C# (the inaccessible engine code is C++). If you don't want to do any coding you could use the tools to make new scenes or import new 3D assets etc. A lot of people started Warband by making a 3D sword and getting it into the game. I wouldn't advise that start for Bannerlord as the crafting system would require you to make your sword in four crafting pieces etc., but a helmet or shield would be ok.
PS programmers don't consider editing xmls=coding.

Awesome, thanks for all the information NPC99! I figured it was something C lol vaguely remember someone mentioning it a long time ago, but couldn't find it via google. I would probably start small with Bannerlord, get a feel for the tools.
 

NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
I would probably start small with Bannerlord, get a feel for the tools.
The Tools are basically for scenes and assets. They don't really cover xmls and coding. An easy xml start is editing troop trees and buffing troops. For that you'd just need the tools to create your module.
 

StewVader

Sergeant
Bannerlord has flaws, but no-one would be modding or enjoying this game if it was a "complete and total failure". Speaks more of a closed mind than an objective assessment.

Umm..okay... well I guess we see this differently. I think its fair to say, since the game lost 99% of its players, most players are both arguably and demonstrably not enjoying the game. Not to even mention the tenor of the forums, which is also demonstrably negative.

Also, the demand for modding speaks directly to how bad the vanilla version of this game turned out to be. People want to fundamentally change every aspect of the game because of its poor development choices, and lackluster content. Which I would argue hasn't really improved since the launch of the EA.

But i'm not going to argue with some simp. We all know how bad Bannerlord turned out. No reason to kick a dead horse.
 

vito397

Sergeant Knight
WBWF&SNWVC
Umm..okay... well I guess we see this differently. I think its fair to say, since the game lost 99% of its players, most players are both arguably and demonstrably not enjoying the game. Not to even mention the tenor of the forums, which is also demonstrably negative.

Also, the demand for modding speaks directly to how bad the vanilla version of this game turned out to be. People want to fundamentally change every aspect of the game because of its poor development choices, and lackluster content. Which I would argue hasn't really improved since the launch of the EA.

But i'm not going to argue with some simp. We all know how bad Bannerlord turned out. No reason to kick a dead horse.
The release date announcement received a lukewarm, even awkward, welcome at Reddit, once upon a time a bastion of hype and white knighting. That was the first time I felt that atmosphere completely control the response on that domain. That speaks a lot about this games development
 

Lord Irontoe

Master Knight
Umm..okay... well I guess we see this differently. I think its fair to say, since the game lost 99% of its players, most players are both arguably and demonstrably not enjoying the game. Not to even mention the tenor of the forums, which is also demonstrably negative.
That doesn't mean anything. Every game loses a ton of players from its launch peak. Elden Ring's down 97% from its peak concurrent players. Bannerlord's actually had pretty consistent and respectable player counts over the last couple years. Right now its #57 on Steamcharts' Top Games list. It also has solid "Very Positive" steam reviews. From a business standpoint, its a successful game. Its really just us veterans that are upset with the game. Normal people seem to love it.
 

MostBlunted

Sergeant Knight at Arms
From a business standpoint, its a successful game. Its really just us veterans that are upset with the game. Normal people seem to love it.
Facts, "normal" people also don´t see all those broken or non working systems under the hood, they just don´t play enough (dig "deep" enough), still those problems exist no matter how the reviews are. Even a 100% positive rating won´t make traits do anything at all (if we ignore that some are just like impossible to even get).

And I believe that´s why TW choosed to ignore all those great suggestions and important bug reports (sometimes even with a better solution from a former TW dev) guys in this forum made. Why bother with those 2-3% of people?

With lesser EA success, we would have a better game.

If I remember back then, like my first 10 hours of playing, I was like "best game ever!" until I noticed that 90% of all perks are just placeholders and all this stupid stuff, and the EA release version was really bad, but it was still good enough to outshine all the non working stuff / placeholders until you´ve played for "some" hours at least.

Todays version is even better if not very good to make the first impression of a very very deep game, until you start to dig....

My first review was positive, changed to negative, changed to postive, changed to negative after console release announcement (because in my opinion TW will release an incomplete game according to their EA description).
 
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NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
Also, the demand for modding speaks directly to how bad the vanilla version of this game turned out to be. People want to fundamentally change every aspect of the game because of its poor development choices, and lackluster content.
People always want to change stuff. However, they don't invest months of their precious time modding a game that isn't worth the effort.
 

xdj1nn

Knight
WBWF&S
People always want to change stuff. However, they don't invest months of their precious time modding a game that isn't worth the effort.
but most mods rn aren't changing stuff, they are patching holes in the game's content loop.
Take Forberie for instance, the guy basically added the missing gang feature through his own imagination (given nobody knows what was actually planned by TW, but likely nothing with as much depth as the mod I believe)
The BL Diplomacy mod's very much the same, in regard that it basically fixes the ludicrous campaign AI to some extent.
Than we get minor stuff like mods to actually add banners to a game called "Bannerlord" xD - plenty of other mods trying to fix balance and design holes in the game. Will TW fix these? Nobody knows really, maybe, eventually. Fact is that it's a valid point, when most mods are pursuing to fix Design holes, Design flaws, and missing features what can be said about the base-game itself?

As is, currently, BL is in a really bad shape, is it a crap game? No, by no means, but it's mediocre to bad, in a scale 1/10 it'd be 4/10 struggling to get a 5. The good part about the massive patching spree from the EA was not giving the game a "oomph" but rather just stabilizing it. It is very stable now compared to the first release, but than again it's not perfect in that regard neither, yet. There are some polishing needed in the code to shield the game from crashing due to redundant code errors, there's a massive amount of crashes related to these rn, and they happen every so often, basically the longer you play the higher the risk. Some of those are exacerbated by mods to a extent where you lose your savefile because there's a crash lock loophole due to "hero healing in settlement" combined with another regarding parties (can't remember which), if you are hit by both, your save is gone because opening the clan window is an instant crash, and letting the daily tick happen also casuses instant crash.

The only thing that doesn't come out of my mind is their envisioned balancing and game loops which reflects a really bad taste for a sandbox style video game. With each patch they seem to increase the amount of grind needed to do virtually anything in-game, than we find a new meta, they patch it, we find another one, they patch it, and this cat&mouse has been going since the EA started. The issue I have with it is that I think the challenge/reward curve of the game is reversed, the level of challenge at early levels combined with walled access and utter lack of any rewarding interactions in that stage makes the game excrutiatingly boring, a chore that lasts way too long for little to no gain. (walled stuff example: without crafting it's impossible to get a 2h weapon early game other than a Hoe, in other words, any decent 2h weapon only spawns by mid-late game, that's just absurd). And, at later stages the game basically offers a plethora of rewarding benefits, but it's too easy, presents absolutely no challenge, and for most of the time 99% of the offered rewards are meaningless to the player at that stage. It's very badly done (this curve)
In Game Design theory, the correct curve follows a very simple exponential pattern (and we study examples of flat curves which ultimately culminates in very bland games that aren't fun), where the higher the challenge, the bigger the reward, whilst lower challenges offer less rewards. TW uses that logic for the Renown gain and influence gain with battles, but they do the reverse when it comes to game stages and relative items (because it's needed to take into account the relative strength of said items, we do have a wide variety of them, but most are useless 99% of the time)

Another very questionable detail about the game is the strong lean they give towards horse archery (which's an issue carried over from Warband and the original M&B), if you want to have a smoother experience you simply cannot make a on-foot melee build, otherwise everything becomes 50x harder and you take 50x longer than if you were doing things on horse. I've dabled with melee builds for some time, and it's awful. The first problem is that you are forced to have at least 2 weapon specs + athletics from early on, detracting focus points from important utility skills. Than to make it really efficient you'll need perks from 2 different utility skills + at minimum 150 in a secondary weapon and full focus on athletics + high attributes on both vigor + endurance. If you avoid smithing, that means you won't be able to flush out the character as strongly as a mounted archer, and you'll spend way more pts to make it viable. (infatry build has a massive list of needs that are not very feasible, it's even doubtful if it's really viable for the PC, whereas in WB the leveling system at least allowed for it, in BL it really doesn't)
 
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NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
Fact is that it's a valid point, when most mods are pursuing to fix Design holes, Design flaws, and missing features what can be said about the base-game itself?
It's not a valid point to support the argument that Bannerlord is a "complete and total failure", which was its purpose. I agree that a lot of early mods are code bandaid and I expect Bannerlord's official version will never fully exploit the game's potential. However, as you said yourself, Bannerlord isn't a crap game.
 

five bucks

Knight at Arms
It's not a valid point to support the argument that Bannerlord is a "complete and total failure", which was its purpose. I agree that a lot of early mods are code bandaid and I expect Bannerlord's official version will never fully exploit the game's potential. However, as you said yourself, Bannerlord isn't a crap game.
I do think Bannerlord is crap as a game.

It's a well-made platform for mods, which has a very interesting and in some cases super deep simulation.

But it's not a fun video game. It's repetitive, frustrating, and extremely grindy - unless you use one of the many exploits.

It's terribly balanced in many aspects, and many features do not even function at even a quarter of the effectiveness you would expect. Eg: voting, policies, relations, personality traits.

What makes a good game is a fair challenge to the player that can be overcome by skill, and constant variation in what the challenge is.

For example: Playing through Portal, the challenge is totally fair, and you get a different challenge with every new level, where your skill as a puzzle-solver becomes more and more important. It's short but sweet. That's a good game.

But the further you play through Bannerlord, the challenges stay the same, your skill as a politician/fighter/tactician becomes less and less relevant, and more and more unfair bull**** pops up in your way. And there's ****loads of grinding in order to progress. That's a bad game.
 
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MostBlunted

Sergeant Knight at Arms
So was warband.
For gods sake, stop comparing a more than 10+ year old game that was developed by a few "guys" vs a game that was developed and hyped by a whole studio that made millions of dollars with it´s EA release. That game may be from the same company, but the company isn´t the same anymore...if the next GTA 6 will be **** I´ll tell you that it´s still better than GTA 1....
 

NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
For gods sake, stop comparing a more than 10+ year old game that was developed by a few "guys" vs a game that was developed and hyped by a whole studio that made millions of dollars with it´s EA release.
I will when you guys stop claiming that Warband is better than Bannerlord and all Bannerlord's flaws can be solved by implementing mediocre Warband features such as feasts.
 

five bucks

Knight at Arms
Warband was also repetitive, frustrating, and extremely grindy
For starters, two wrongs don't make a right. Bannerlord is an unfun video game by the standards of games as a whole, regardless of what Warband is or isn't.

But that aside, yes: Warband's late-game was repetitive and grindy.

However, Warband was not frustrating and extremely grindy and repetitive like Bannerlord is. For many reasons:

* The renown needed to be able to become a vassal was so much shorter that it didn't feel like a grind at all, and there was no arbitrary cap on the companions you could have, or being able to create a kingdom - RtR simply made it easier. Meanwhile, in Bannerlord, I can fight the entire population's worth of Calradia in doomstack battles and complete quests for everyone in the land, and still not be at Clan Tier 4 that allows me to create a kingdom.
* Towns and workshops provided consistent income that could support a war party and didn't feel like a complete waste of time and money and trap for new players.
* If you picked a friendly lord, raised your relations to 50+, recruited them and gave them a fief, you knew that they would stick around with you. But in Bannerlord you can pick a friendly lord, raise your relations to 100+, give them three fiefs and they will STILL abandon you. Now that's frustrating.
* In Warband you could kill a kingdom dead by keeping all their fiefs for enough time. It would cease to bother you ever again. In Bannerlord, you can take every fief from a kingdom and they will still magically generate the money to pay mercenary parties that attack your fiefs for eternity.
* War declarations made some kind of sense. You wouldn't declare war only to declare peace an hour later, just as you had traveled to a castle to siege it.
* You knew where people were heading towards. You didn't have to chase their last known location all over the map.
* Oh, and the map wasn't full of stupid bloody mountains. You could travel from point A to point B without navigating a maze!
* Warband had a bit more variation to the mid-late game gameplay loop than Bannerlord does. Both games have the loop of "fight battle, look at recruit menu, fight siege, look at buy menu". But Warband varied it up a bit more by also having you get surprise attacked entering towns at night, having to enter taverns where assassins or belligerent drunks could attack, hosting and attending feasts, getting called up by the marshal, the courtly love process, or fighting your way out after failing to sneak into a town. Companions would also talk to you about their backstory or petty feuds during travel, which is nice on the first playthrough and more immersive than an encyclopedia entry.
* Warband had bad balance, Bannerlord has shockingly broken balance where only 2 units are good choices, rendering the tactical gameplay absolutely null.
* The Warband map was smaller, so although the grind to conquer all castles was too long, it was not as long as Bannerlord.
* The player's combat mastery mattered more, due to more small-scale battles occurring and arrow damage not being pants on head stupid.

And much more.

Plus, the point of a sequel is to be an improvement. M&B 1 got a pass for its failings because it was the only game of its kind, created by a two-person studio that expanded to a ten-person studio. Bannerlord has had the benefit of 10 years of development, and hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, and is no longer the only game of its type. So it has no excuse to be an actual downgrade in many areas from Warband.
 

MostBlunted

Sergeant Knight at Arms
I will when you guys stop claiming that Warband is better than Bannerlord and all Bannerlord's flaws can be solved by implementing mediocre Warband features such as feasts.
If you keep in mind the differences I explained in my post above, it´s "better".
 

NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
* The renown needed to be able to become a vassal was so much shorter that it didn't feel like a grind at all, and there was no arbitrary cap on the companions you could have, or being able to create a kingdom - RtR simply made it easier. Meanwhile, in Bannerlord, I can fight the entire population's worth of Calradia in doomstack battles and complete quests for everyone in the land, and still not be at Clan Tier 4 that allows me to create a kingdom.
Creating a kingdom and conquering the whole map isn't the only play-style. I preferred WFaS where creating your own kingdom wasn't an option. In real life very few people get to be kings and very few kings such as Alexander the great conquered everything within reach. Conquering everywhere is a fantasy ego trip and yes, I've done it in Warband and other mods too.
* Towns and workshops provided consistent income that could support a war party and didn't feel like a complete waste of time and money and trap for new players.
While I've never been a fan of workshops or caravans, I agree their economics are unpredicable.
* If you picked a friendly lord, raised your relations to 50+, recruited them and gave them a fief, you knew that they would stick around with you. But in Bannerlord you can pick a friendly lord, raise your relations to 100+, give them three fiefs and they will STILL abandon you. Now that's frustrating.
The defections bug will be fixed. It's disappointing that the current solution is a temporary bandaid.
* In Warband you could kill a kingdom dead by keeping all their fiefs for enough time. It would cease to bother you ever again. In Bannerlord, you can take every fief from a kingdom and they will still magically generate the money to pay mercenary parties that attack your fiefs for eternity.
I'm not a fan of magic funding, but I prefer opponents that won't capitulate just because they've lost their settlements. Persisting as rebellious minor factions would be my ideal.

* War declarations made some kind of sense. You wouldn't declare war only to declare peace an hour later, just as you had traveled to a castle to siege it.
Agreed this is crap. I prefer permanent wars without temporary truces. Some kingdoms should be arch-enemies.
* You knew where people were heading towards. You didn't have to chase their last known location all over the map.
Warband involved a lot of fruitless chasing, but I agree some kind of messenger mechanic using companions would be preferable.
* Oh, and the map wasn't full of stupid bloody mountains. You could travel from point A to point B without navigating a maze!
I prefer Bannerlord's map. Choke points are an under exploited feature where the game should have implemented ambushes.
* Warband had a bit more variation to the mid-late game gameplay loop than Bannerlord does. Both games have the loop of "fight battle, look at recruit menu, fight siege, look at buy menu". But Warband varied it up a bit more by also having you get surprise attacked entering towns at night, having to enter taverns where assassins or belligerent drunks could attack, hosting and attending feasts, getting called up by the marshal, the courtly love process, or fighting your way out after failing to sneak into a town. Companions would also talk to you about their backstory or petty feuds during travel, which is nice on the first playthrough and more immersive than an encyclopedia entry.
The focus on menus in settlements was wrong IMO. I want reasons to explore settlement scenes and am annoyed that, if I ignore the Mickey Mouse shortcuts and hunt out Notables in scene, I can't through dialogue interact with them fully because too many features are coded only for menus (which are only accessible from the scene menu and inaccessible in the mission scene). Lack of immersion and character interaction is Bannerlord's biggest flaw. It was pretty poor in Warband as well suggesting it's a Taleworld's weakness.
* Warband had bad balance, Bannerlord has shockingly broken balance where only 2 units are good choices, rendering the tactical gameplay absolutely null.
IMO recruiting only OP troops is a self-corrupting playstyle.
* The Warband map was smaller, so although the grind to conquer all castles was too long, it was not as long as Bannerlord.
As intimated before, I don't see conquering the map as the only playing style.
* The player's combat mastery mattered more, due to more small-scale battles occurring and arrow damage not being pants on head stupid.
Soloing armies is an unrealistic ego trip IMO.
 
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Ser Jon

Squire
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I never understood this inability to understand comparatives. No one has ever said Warband is a perfect gem without any flaws whatsoever. We've all played Warband. We know its flaws. It's despite those flaws being there that it's still a fun and memorable game that we compare it to Bannerlord. Bannerlord is just the mess come over from WB but somehow made even worse and still somehow comes out a mediocre, half-baked feature-fest jammed into a newer engine. This ten year developed game doesn't even have something as simple as feasts, nor an AI that can climb up ladders. Warband's excuse was that it was made by a small team a decade ago. What is Bannerlord's excuse? A larger team, tons more funding and ten years to pull out what is essentially a more frustrating, imbalanced, AI problematic mess.

They are perfectly comparable and they will forever be perfectly comparable. However, one being in a better state doesn't mean that state doesn't exist without its numerous and comical flaws. It's just a state compared to another state in a reflection of it each other's severity. Warband is also a mess, but less so, and manages to be enjoyable and memorable despite it. Bannerlord is a mess, but is not enjoyable or memorable. It's just a husk.
 
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