CEO Statement regarding the release

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black_bulldog

Knight at Arms
WBWF&SVC
Lesson time: How did Towns formed during the Middle Ages (and before that)
  • They had plentiful access to natural resources
  • They were geographically advantageous for safety from both Weather and life-risks like wild animals and "bandits", but only if the are offered enough food
  • They had precious natural resources like metals, wood or stone - cheapening construction and making them paramount to any realm. As a consequence, virtual food placement would be made through the use of agrarian means, like pastures for anything that could survive the climate - be it farms with wheat or types of cattle, or both - They'd also inflate food production by introducing chickens.
  • The settlement was geographically positioned turning it into a trading hub
If you look at any decent size city that was formed at 200+ years ago it was on a body of water (lake, river, or ocean) because up until railroads the cheapest easiest way to transport goods was by water.
Currently these were not followed, which begs the question, what was the logic applied to the settlement placement + geographical development of the current map? I really can't see anything that's even remotely reasonable. Placements make no sense for balancing, settlement specs and position neither, it also doesn't apply educated simulation... Was it at random? Throw a dice and bam, placed?
I think part of it's a random distribution the rest is anyone's guess but the map is a mess and makes no sense that multiple towns would be built up in the mountains.
anyway, got carried away on that subject. Fact is that there are too many ludicrous decisions in the game design itself, countless counter-intuitive decisions that can't be explained by any logical pattern. That ranges from armor values, to weapons dmg, to settlements, to faction balancing, troop trees, etc... There's always this looming feeling that some blatant arbitrary favoritism was placed towards the balancing whenever you try to make sense of it.
Taleworlds didn't really think about how core mechanics work together. It feels like they just threw stuff into the game and hoped for the best. They later go back and try to balance things out with overly complex fixes. The funny thing is the fixes are often worse than what they're trying to address in the first place. They also have a tendency to give ai cheats because they don't know how to actually balance the game so the ai has a chance, either that or the mechanics are too convoluted for the ai to be able to cope with it. I honestly think they just don't know how to build a good game. They may have fine devs but ultimately whoever is driving the game needs to have a vision of what they want and what they don't but they need to be realistic and take stuff out that just doesn't work like smithing.
If all they wanted was a glorified battle simulator then they should've put nearly all their development time into that and made battles a blast and then added a few diplomacy/kingdom options in to spice up the game. But it is what it is and at this point Taleworlds isn't going to go back and make any significant changes so we deal with it and hope that modding can address some of the glaring issues.
 

xdj1nn

Knight at Arms
WBWF&S
Nothing but truth here.
I seriously got to get my hands on their modding tools to see if it's feasible to "fix" their map.
If it is I'll do exactly what I talked about, make castles actually protect stuff, fiddle with borders, add settlements to places there should be settlements and if there's no option to make a reasonable town into a decent spot, I'll downgrade those into villages and split the zone with additional castles.

If you look at any decent size city that was formed at 200+ years ago it was on a body of water (lake, river, or ocean) because up until railroads the cheapest easiest way to transport goods was by water.

I think part of it's a random distribution the rest is anyone's guess but the map is a mess and makes no sense that multiple towns would be built up in the mountains.

Taleworlds didn't really think about how core mechanics work together. It feels like they just threw stuff into the game and hoped for the best. They later go back and try to balance things out with overly complex fixes. The funny thing is the fixes are often worse than what they're trying to address in the first place. They also have a tendency to give ai cheats because they don't know how to actually balance the game so the ai has a chance, either that or the mechanics are too convoluted for the ai to be able to cope with it. I honestly think they just don't know how to build a good game. They may have fine devs but ultimately whoever is driving the game needs to have a vision of what they want and what they don't but they need to be realistic and take stuff out that just doesn't work like smithing.
If all they wanted was a glorified battle simulator then they should've put nearly all their development time into that and made battles a blast and then added a few diplomacy/kingdom options in to spice up the game. But it is what it is and at this point Taleworlds isn't going to go back and make any significant changes so we deal with it and hope that modding can address some of the glaring issues.
Depends on region, availability of resources, size of the bodies of water and even than we'd have issues because BL has zero fluvial systems. So to fix it we must use "land-only" logics as zones that lacked rivers that could support boats had.
Not all of Europe's covered in navigable bodies of water, and a lot of towns formed in such zones. What you would never see were villages that hadn't access to water, that was simply impossible.
Interesting "in-land" development examples would come from some steppe and taiga zones in what's now Bielorus, Russia and Ukraine. You can find it in some areas of Turkey, the Caspian territory, in-land mountaineous ranges like northern Italy, Switzerland and Austria. You can see that also within in-land Iberia.
Than we have examples of natives from America (NA and SA both). But specially Brazil which had some massive in-land zones with no feasible navigation routes due to how rivers flow and altitude (resulting in tons of waterfalls which couldn't be crossed by any boats what-so-ever). The native american examples are interesting because they did form massive trading hubs specially in SA that dealt in with the more sophisticated Aztec, Inca & Mayan empires.
 
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five bucks

Knight at Arms
imo mountain ranges are fine, forests too, the issue I have is that trading paths and some connected villages and bound villages are ridiculously out of the way in a maze where neither you nor the AI Villager Parties manage to reach it in a feasible time frame. The worst zone's sturgian Varnovapol to it's extremely important fishing village, which was placed on the other side of a mountain range with a single path covered in forests, the village itself sits in a surrounded area of forests. That means Varnovapol's constantly if not permanently suffering from starvation almost every campaign. To add salt to injury, there are 2 bandit spawn fields in that forest + 2 more north of Sibir, making the entire pathway littered with bandits which often destroy NPC caravans, sometimes PC caravans, most AI lord parties that are on recruiting mode, and to finish with a grandeur of absurdity, nearly the entire area's a dead zone with 2 mountain ranges bottlenecks, when leading towards the fishing village and a castle bound village nearing Tyal, and the other passage leads from nowhere to nowhere and only the AI will use it on auto-pathing towards norther Khuzait lands and Tyal. What's so ridiculous about it one might ask, and I'll tell you, that's a simulation of a Taiga forest, Taiga forests were massively chopped for wood and also contained a fair amount of game, Sturgia virtually has no wood production (I think it's one village) when their territory spams in a aburdly massive taiga zone. What should be done? The fishing village should either be moved or a passage-way connecting it directly to Varnovapol should be there. Either way, a castle bounding the current village's spot + an extra village placed in the are for woodcutting - than another one north on the "nothing" zone holding the same, both a fishing village that should be on the northern shore + a woodcutting village in the taiga zone. Such a silly change would drastically change Sturgian economy, would allow for an extra clan + it would strengthen their capabilities of defending Tyal (which's lost 99% of the campaigns to either Khuzaits or, exceptionally rare, to the Northern Empire)

There are numerous dead-zones in the map that arbitrarily buff some factions and hinder others.The most notorious effects are observed on Husn Fulq, Tyal and Uriksala Castle, "forgot the name castle" nearl Husn Fulq that theoretically "belongs" to the Khuzaits, Than we have a horse village from Aserai that is literally on top of desert bandit spawn zones and 3 light years distance from any town or castle.

Meanwhile we get a packed battania which's arguably the best faction zone in the entire map because their economy's safe, their villagers and villages are safe except for 4 of those (as long as the AI patrols every so often), they have 3 advantageous choke points towards all factions except Vlandia where they are basically ripe for the taking. The natural geohraphical balance + the Auto-Calc imbalance comes into play from there and turns Vlandia into a massive power-house from the get go (too easy to invade Battania, Neviansk Castle is delivered to them in a platter by TW, and after pushing into Battania every entry point towards their territory becomes gated by endless chokepoints). That's why Vlandia dominates so often, Battania also will rarely be extinguished by anyone due to their packed layout. Sturgia will often lose 3 thirds of their slums territory to every other faction almost every game (Northern Empire, Western Empire, Battania, Vlandia and Khuzaits have no problem splitting it senseless taking Omor / Varcheg, all their nearby castles, Tyal, Uriksala, the castle behind Tyal, basically leaving them with Ryval (almost impossible to take), Balgard, Sibir, Varnovapol and their respective castles. Even than, if a game runs long enough Sibir will often be captured by someone.
Aserai's another that suffers a lot because it's too easy for them to lose Husn Fulq's entire region to SE, which basically rolls a dice, if Vlandia or WE decide to war them at the same time as SE or right away after they've lost that war, Aserai loses everything west of Sanala leaving the entire faction in shambles while spam generating endless immersion breaking named rebel clans in the process which'll often litter the game after 10 years, if that doesn't happen, they'll recover and eventually push into the castle west of Ortysia (than it's anyone's guess, which's how the game should operate 100% of the time)

Much of these details lie upon the geographical distribution of the map + massive dead-zones that create gaps that allow for bandit AI to destroy AI economy, and also prevents the AI from properly defending zones (I always said that most castle placements both in WB and in BL are ludicrous, they don't make any sense given they should be gating borders or shielding important resources, neither are true). What kills me on this regard's that some bound villages placement + geographical arbitrary shapes make for exceptionally non-viable "boundage". It makes no sense to bind a village behind a mountain range that has no direct pathway for a castle to defend it, you see that with Gersegos, with Varnovapol, the southern villages "outside of battania", etc. Another very bizarre thing are the couple castles that have a single village, never understood nor will understand why. In fact, wtf's Charas even a Town? It has 2 choke points (making for bad trading routes even the AI avoids it) littered with sea-raider spawns + it has 2 villages and a castle with a single village auto-pathed to it. It's the worst town in the game for any viable AI management.

When it comes down to it, I still think the original old map for BL was much better in terms of balancing the territory and actually making sense. Nearly no dead-zones, Sargot was in it's correct place, charas was much more significant in it's positioning (neighboring WE and Aserai). Idk, I don't really like this map, it could've been done better by filling the dead-zones and making more reasonable castle placements, but as is, it's really bad.

Finally, it would all be fine if TW applied actual logic towards why some settlements became towns and others didn't taking as example real life History itself, some basic anthropology and some basic geography. There's no logic at play here when it comes down to that. Some zones would never hold a Town for obvious reasons (like, ppl need to eat, otherwise it won't populate enough to form an actual town) and "handicapped" towns also make no sense as in therea aren't enough resources to justify why and how ppl would've amassed in said settlement.

Lesson time: How did Towns formed during the Middle Ages (and before that)
  • They had plentiful access to natural resources
  • They were geographically advantageous for safety from both Weather and life-risks like wild animals and "bandits", but only if the are offered enough food
  • They had precious natural resources like metals, wood or stone - cheapening construction and making them paramount to any realm. As a consequence, virtual food placement would be made through the use of agrarian means, like pastures for anything that could survive the climate - be it farms with wheat or types of cattle, or both - They'd also inflate food production by introducing chickens.
  • The settlement was geographically positioned turning it into a trading hub
Currently these were not followed, which begs the question, what was the logic applied to the settlement placement + geographical development of the current map? I really can't see anything that's even remotely reasonable. Placements make no sense for balancing, settlement specs and position neither, it also doesn't apply educated simulation... Was it at random? Throw a dice and bam, placed?

anyway, got carried away on that subject. Fact is that there are too many ludicrous decisions in the game design itself, countless counter-intuitive decisions that can't be explained by any logical pattern. That ranges from armor values, to weapons dmg, to settlements, to faction balancing, troop trees, etc... There's always this looming feeling that some blatant arbitrary favoritism was placed towards the balancing whenever you try to make sense of it.
I think what most likely happened was this:

Originally, the Warband map was copied fairly closely (we see this in screenshots from early development). Settlements were distributed with the main goals apparently being that territory was covered evenly and that Warband was somewhat replicated. Because there were much fewer impassable mountain ranges and huge seas in that version of the map, it wasn't problematic.


After building that first map, someone decided it needed more choke points. So everything was redone, perhaps some of the existing settlement layout was reused, but now with a bunch of impassable walls superimposed onto it, often in ways that didn't make sense in the new design.
 

vito397

Sergeant Knight
WBWF&SNWVC
I think what most likely happened was this:

Originally, the Warband map was copied fairly closely (we see this in screenshots from early development). Settlements were distributed with the main goals apparently being that territory was covered evenly and that Warband was somewhat replicated. Because there were much fewer impassable mountain ranges and huge seas in that version of the map, it wasn't problematic.


After building that first map, someone decided it needed more choke points. So everything was redone, perhaps some of the existing settlement layout was reused, but now with a bunch of impassable walls superimposed onto it, often in ways that didn't make sense in the new design.
And to add, this was done extremely close to EA release. I remember my shock really well when i first saw our current one as i expected the above map. If only i knew that the map would be the least of my concerns. I even tried posting on the forum about how the removal of the coloured text for kingdoms and switching to green/red + monochromatic clan colours was a stupid idea. Now i know i will be happy if they just dont ruin it further
 

five bucks

Knight at Arms
And to add, this was done extremely close to EA release. I remember my shock really well when i first saw our current one as i expected the above map. If only i knew that the map would be the least of my concerns. I even tried posting on the forum about how the removal of the coloured text for kingdoms and switching to green/red + monochromatic clan colours was a stupid idea. Now i know i will be happy if they just dont ruin it further
Very questionable choice (though from a solely realistic and aesthetic perspective I do like the not-Mediterranean being bigger), but like you said it's the least of our problems now. Too late to change.

Mods will give us better maps at least.
 

xdj1nn

Knight at Arms
WBWF&S
I think what most likely happened was this:

Originally, the Warband map was copied fairly closely (we see this in screenshots from early development). Settlements were distributed with the main goals apparently being that territory was covered evenly and that Warband was somewhat replicated. Because there were much fewer impassable mountain ranges and huge seas in that version of the map, it wasn't problematic.


After building that first map, someone decided it needed more choke points. So everything was redone, perhaps some of the existing settlement layout was reused, but now with a bunch of impassable walls superimposed onto it, often in ways that didn't make sense in the new design.
just from giving a quick glympse I can see how to achieve the same effect with a map that would be faithful to the original game without breaking the entire thing to an extent where only the northern part's even recognizable, worse's seeing broken functionality + odd contradictory to lore layouts.
Ocs Hall used to be the most important better town in WB, in BL the way it's positioned + it's meta makes it a really bad town overall, only really prospering due to Vlandia being the arbitrary top-dog in the game compared to other factions (even when Khuzaits would snowball insanely, Vlandia was rarely if ever touched by anyone, exceptionally defensible geography + compacted realm with only choke points to enter there)
Any of the empires have a few choke points in-between but are mostly "plains" and ripe for being beaten to submission by all other factions. The most concerning being Khuzait borders where they've even added an effing bridge to make things worse. Empire lands are basically the unsafest of all, the most notorious zone being the surroundings of the volcano (Rhotae & Lageta region). Amprela's region is served in a silver platter to the Khuzaits, although depending on how stupid Khuzait AI decision making goes, Amprela will "RNG" if it gets captured or not by them.
Now, the killer queen is that empire vs empire, it's basically an open-field FFA, their "choke" points do not choke at all, it is totally possible to sneak around armies in the entire central zone (surroundings of Lycaron / West of Myeza / Zeonica all the way up to Amprela) Than we get odd choke points with even worse towns like Diathma to Epicrotea, where Diathma's basically a dead-end, at least they've added some economical boost to it by turning their horse village into a silver mine village. Still, I'm never really confortable with the idea of towns having 2 bound villages only. That makes for a massive unbalance considering some towns have 4 (none in the empire) and the TW's math for systems and mechanics. That basically means 36 less food by late game ot said towns, making those total crap, most ppl aren't feeling the effects because there's no late game, but if you over-extend your playthrough to, idk, make every town in the game reach 10k prosperity, than you're in for a nightmare because almost all towns with 2 villages won't be able to keep up with the food demands from the prosperity debuffs. Meanwhile, some towns like Sanala can basically skyrocket above 11k prosp and still be flipping dozens of food production above it's own cap.

Taking in consideration all info I've gathered by testing, Sanala is really the most overpowered and best capital town in the entire map, no question at all, makes for a really odd experience if we consider how powerful Charas was in Warband (Shariz) while in BL Charas' among the worse towns in the map (has access to only 3 village supplie lines, 1 of which's horses the other 2 being olives). Than we get Sturgian abomination which I'm always complaining about, which has 4 towns with 2 villages, less castles, less villages overall and 2 towns with 3 villages, one of which's Varnovapol with their fishing villagers never reaching the town (when they do it's a moment for fireworks and celebration).

The balance for best fiefs' concentrated upon Aserai, Pravend (just pravend in Vlandia) and Battania, Battania being arguably the best culture and the best kickstart region for a kingdom (if you take the entire region and manage to get a few vassals in the process, you are basically untouchable in Battania, AI not so much because they make next-level intellectual decisions that we are too dumb to comprehend). So in the end that means the best single towns are Marunath and Sanala, both holding 4 villages, and both being extremely safe from bandits (Sanala being much safer in that regard).
 
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Senko

Sergeant
The game is far from ready imo and the content added in the Early Access period was pathetic, but at least now this will be the time for modders to shine. So there is at least 1 positive thing about this final release :3
 

Ser Jon

Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
The game is far from ready imo and the content added in the Early Access period was pathetic, but at least now this will be the time for modders to shine. So there is at least 1 positive thing about this final release :3

I doubt the tools are going to grant modders any considerable room.
 

loulou76100

Sergeant
The game is far from ready imo and the content added in the Early Access period was pathetic, but at least now this will be the time for modders to shine. So there is at least 1 positive thing about this final release :3
no, the game will keep receiving mod breaking updates, this will be a full release in name only...
 

Longbeard

Recruit
thankfully they told us that with the full release, its not the end, they will continue with patches and updates :wink: lets hope for the good
 

Ser Jon

Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
thankfully they told us that with the full release, its not the end, they will continue with patches and updates :wink: lets hope for the good

People have been hoping for two years. It's gotten them absolutely nowhere. TW devs are interested in their own vision, even if it strangles the life out of the product and its customer base.
 

geala

Squire
What else can you do in this game? ...

You all forgot one of the most satisfying gameplay options, fief development. You can click a button, wait a ... short time and enjoy the fruits of your strategic decisions. You only need a bit fantasy to play stuff in your head.
 
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