Community Feedback-based EARLY ACCESS ROADMAP - ready for you, Taleworlds!

Does this roadmap represent your basic wants for Bannerlord?

  • Yes

    Votes: 184 87.6%
  • No

    Votes: 26 12.4%

  • Total voters
    210

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five bucks

Sergeant
When Taleworlds started the Early Access, they said they would use community feedback to bring the game to the level that the community expects, and they aimed to release in a year. But that's not quite happening. A year has passed, but the game is nowhere near finished. Things the community has complained about for a long time still aren't fixed, while other areas of the game receive development nobody asked for.

It seems like Taleworlds devs each follow their own path, instead of working together following a unified plan based on community expectations. I hope I'm wrong, but that's the impression we get. TW's community managers can rarely confirm/deny any future information, further indicating no long-term plan. We have the "Statement regarding Plans for Singleplayer and Engine," but it only seems to list short-term goals - not what Bannerlord is supposed to look like when it's done. This may explain the 8 years of development, and delayed release. If 90 people all work with different goals in mind, you get confusion and work going to waste, causing delays.

So: Taleworlds needs a long-term roadmap that states how Bannerlord should look when it's finished. And yet, despite - many - requests, there still isn't one.

That's why this thread is here. I've sorted heaps of community feedback to make an Early Access Roadmap for Taleworlds, so if they're honest about "bringing the game to the level the community expects", here they can easily see what the community expects.

But keep in mind that we're just customers, and Taleworlds is just a company (one that, to be fair, made millions of dollars by hyping up this Early Access). They don't have unlimited resources. Their only obligation is to deliver what they gave people reason to believe Bannerlord would be when they advertised it; the customer has a right to what they paid for, but not to their wildest dreams. So, I have limited community suggestions in this post to only things within the established scope of Bannerlord. Even then it makes for a very long list!

With that out of the way, here it is. Completed issues are marked in green. Issues which Taleworlds have stated they are currently working on are marked yellow. Features which are not explicitly deconfirmed, but "probably not" happening, are in grey. If I have made any errors or omissions, please let me know. This post was originally written in 1.5.8 and I will attempt to update it as things change.

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CATEGORY 1: Features missing that were previously in M&B, or were mentioned in dev blogs. (High Priority)
Taleworlds used the Mount & Blade name to sell Bannerlord, so to live up to that it must be as good as their previous Mount & Blade product, Warband. TW hyped up buyers by talking about new features in the developer blogs, so they should deliver on those expectations.

Overworld
*
Civil Wars: The ability for a kingdom to split into two warring sub-factions. This feature was mentioned in devblogs, and also present in Warband.
* Suggesting to allied lords that they attack/defend a specific location without you, or scout an area, or bring reinforcements.
* Ability to promote companions to lords when you are a faction ruler.
* Deserters: Hostile roaming parties of runaway troops with military-level equipment, created on the world map when AI parties' morale falls too low.
* Manhunters: Neutral bounty hunters who spawn to fight bandits in areas of high bandit activity, and have a unique recruitable troop tree.
* Choice as to whether you accept the offer to ransom a captive enemy lord, or keep them prisoner.
* Having a "Capital City," which is a location where people travel if they want to talk to you, so you do not have to wander around the map searching for them. Potential defectors who are unhappy with their faction will visit your capital to try and make a deal with you.
* Lords giving reasoning for their support for war or peace.
* Minor Faction bases as seen on the Steam store page.

Roleplaying
*
Reactive Companions: In Warband, companions had more detailed backstories, talked about the locations you visit, asked the player to make decisions, and reacted more often to the player's actions. Their personalities were the same in each playthrough, which allowed players to get attached to them (some non-random companions could be added alongside the randomly generated ones).
* Feasts: Gathering which can be hosted by the player or AI lords (only in peacetime) in order to improve relations and gain influence.
* Political quests: The ability to plot a coup against the ruler of a faction with other lords, plot to start a war, or to accuse other lords of plotting.
* Courtship: The ability to talk to other NPCs about a potential spouse's likes in order to gain conversation topics. Completing quests for love interest to gain approval. Dissuading or dueling competing suitors. Returning more times over a longer period of time to build the relationship.
* Dueling lords: Legally fighting an enemy lord one-on-one, if you are competing for a lover or in a political feud.
* Skill Books: Expensive items which you can buy from a bookseller and read over time to gain proficiency in a skill.
* Sword Sisters: Hiring peasant women and upgrading them into combat troops with their own troop line.
* Sandbox Mode: Ability to skip main questline and choose your starting situation.
* Organized Crime system: Taking over an alleyway from a gang to create your own highly profitable criminal operation, penalties in towns and factions for committing crimes, bribing guards to let you into town, bribing prison guards (added for breakouts in 1.5.9).

Battles
* Visible spawn point marker for reinforcements. (In Warband this was the supply chest and a banner, but anything easily visible will do.)
* Ability to select a group of troops in a small radius around you.
* Fighting your way out in civilian gear after failing to sneak into a town.
* Lords who hate you hiring Assassins to attack you in town.
* Prison Break quest and battling your way out of the dungeons/town. (Added in Beta e1.5.9)
* Fighting in the keep after winning the wall fight of a castle/town siege.
* Fighting in the streets after winning the wall fight of a town siege.
* Lords with the Daring trait being more likely to use aggressive battle tactics, and Cowardly lords being more likely to use defensive tactics.
* Pre-battle army placement in field battles.
* Siege commander AI which will split its forces on multiple fronts.
* Banners borne by troops as shown in the 2017 video.

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CATEGORY 2: Completing and balancing existing features, or adjusting them to create more satisfying gameplay. (High Priority)
Although I know TW is aware of many of these issues, and working on some of them, they are listed for the sake of completeness.

Overworld
*
Strategic AI makes some poor decisions, such as: running right past friendly towns/castles when fleeing instead of taking refuge (partially fixed in 1.5.9), prematurely leaving sieges that they're winning, raiding a village prior to taking its town, accepting peace offers from an enemy they could easily defeat who has recently taken their territory, ignoring allied castles that are under siege, etc.
* Economy: Prices of military gear are way too high. Income from a well-managed town/village or caravan is too low. Companion and high tier troop wages should be slightly lower (t5 units have six times the wage cost of recruits).
* Peace: There needs to be "war fatigue" and longer periods of peace, so the player can regroup their forces. AI kingdoms should offer peace to the player.
* Castles: Not very strategically useful, to the point that you wouldn't go out of your way to have one as a vassal. Possible solutions: Increase their incomes a bit, increase their defensive value in sieges (see Battle section), allow them to be used as a source of noble troop recruitment.
* AI won't surrender in sieges even if they are starving or the odds are ridiculously against them, so the player is forced to sit through a boring battle. If the defending AI is starving, they should either sally out or surrender.
* Autoresolve: Players don't want to use it for its intended purpose (skipping easy, boring battles) because they risk losing troops they wouldn't normally. Troop tier should matter more in autoresolve, troop type needs better balancing, and result calculation should be less random.
* Governing: Player needs other ways to increase town loyalty, and more ways to increase the power of notables. Issues have too much impact on the prosperity of a player's towns/villages.
* Factions need to forcibly dissolve after they have held no territory for half a year, so their raiders stop being a nuisance.
* Siege Artillery: Trebuchets are too strong; they should be slightly less efficient at destroying enemy siege engines, and should also cost more to build them. Fire siege engines aren't very useful and should be more efficient at destroying siege engines.
* AI lords and companions die too rarely in autocalc battles, and too often in real battles.
* Bandit hideouts crop up too commonly.
* Mercenary relations should reset when a war ends, so that mercenaries don't wind up bound to a single faction.
* Personality traits should affect AI lords more in their politics and strategy.
* Voting: Influence and being a ruler has too little effect. Player should be able to remove themselves as a candidate from votes. Rejecting repeated votes costs too much influence. At least one vassal involved in the capture of a fief should be a candidate in the vote for who recieves it.
* Imprisoning lords is ineffective, as they escape easily and regain armies quite fast. Executing lords is way more viable, because destroying a faction's lords weakens them much more than losing relations with that lord's friends weakens the player.
* Player has little control over their caravans and clan/companion parties.
* Raiding: Too slow for large parties and doesn't offer enough reward. On the other hand, it is too easy and effective in the hands of lots of small AI parties swarming the player's territory and crippling their income.
* Armies: It isn't worth joining them because you get less recruits, lose control of your forces, have to share food, and are at the whim of poor AI decisions. There needs to be better reasons to join them, such as gaining more influence and relations when travelling with the leader of an army.
* Minor factions: Mostly don't fit their lore. Factions described as criminals, eg. Hidden Hand, can be hired as regular mercenaries and don't seem to do crime. Some, such as Skolderbrovta, are described as elite warriors, but actually are worse than regular faction units. And some e.g. Forest People are described as farmers, but provide troops of the same strength and cost as professional mercenary companies. Also, the Eleftheroi lore indicates they should be neutral with the Empire, not at war. Finally, the Beni Zilal don't seem to be completed.
* Player doesn't get enough opportunity to fight in sieges where they are defending.
* In general, the early game is well rounded, but the vassal/new kingdom phase of the game is widely described by players as frustrating (the player's skill in battle and politics has less outcome on their success than it should); arbitrary/unintuitive (playing normally is unviable, the best way to progress in the game is to use strange exploits) and grindy (forcing the player to engage in un-challenging tasks or run around the map chasing people to talk to, as the vassal phase lacks interesting quests appropriate to the player's level).

Roleplaying
*
Smithing system needs a rehaul. (Recieved improvements in 1.5.9)
* Engineering, Leadership, and Charm skills need more different ways to level them. Trade, Roguery and Medicine need to be easier to level. Steward is a bit too easy to level. Trade should level when owned workshops and caravans return a profit.
* Riding perks are so good they are almost mandatory to level.
* Leadership perk "Loyalty and Honor" makes the morale mechanics unimportant, and should be changed or moved higher up. It also says it makes T3+ troops immune to routing, but actually makes T2+ troops immune.
* Trade skill has no influence on the profitability of player-owned workshops/caravans.
* Tactics perk tree is too focused on autoresolve battles, and gives little benefit in real battles. This is undesirable, as it discourages players who level Tactics from playing their battles. Tactics should increase the number of troops you can bring to a real battle at the beginning.
* Persuading NPCs in conversations being reliant on RNG is unfair to the player and encourages save-scumming. Looking at other roleplaying video games, a deterministic pass/fail based on whether the player has enough skill to succeed would be better.
* Allow camels to be bought in markets.
* Courtship is unusually quick and easy. There should be more conversations with a potential spouse with longer intervals between them, and marrying into a clan with a higher tier than yours should also cost more.
* NPC Relations: Too many ways of losing influence and relations. Executing 5 evil, hated lords will ruin your reputation just as much as if you had executed 100 beloved, good lords. People on the other side of the world will hate you for executing someone. You can't offer lords a fief to get them to join your kingdom. Attacking and releasing enemy lords is too good at gaining relations with lords; but gaining relations is difficult otherwise. Fighting battles alongside allies, winning battles for your faction, and sharing the honor personality trait needs to benefit your relations and influence more. Relation with your spouse should also be higher. Persuading NPCs should be influenced more by your relation with them. You should be able to convince lords to join your faction before declaring independence.
* Tournaments: Become pointless by mid game. To make them useful, there needs to be higher levels of tournaments which have tougher enemies, but reward the winner with denars, renown, and increased relations with the town.
* Dialogue: Multiple lines of dialogue in the game are not implemented, don't trigger, are contradictory, or have grammar/spelling issues. Personality traits, relations, the player's successes, and their clan rank need to have more of an impact on dialogue.

Battles
* Singleplayer Armor Damage Model: Arrows do way too much damage to armor. Melee attacks do slightly too much. High quality armor provides barely any protection. This is unrealistic, makes expensive armor nearly pointless, makes higher tier units too weak, and leads to troop imbalance (overpowered archers) that causes shallow tactics ("sit archers on hill") and battles ending too quickly.
* Combat AI obviously has many things that need fixing. Troops don't block or parry enough. Lance cavalry AI are far too inaccurate and will charge to the other side of the map to gain charging distance on an enemy who is behind them moving at the same speed. Ranged unit AI stops targeting cavalry outside of medium range (fixed in 1.5.9), but is also too accurate at hitting fast moving targets. All types of AI have an issue of focusing on enemies who are too far away, instead of nearby threats. Spear troops don't use their primary weapon by default. Etc...
* SP Troop Balance: Ranged cavalry and ranged infantry are way too strong (see armor). Melee cavalry charges aren't impactful enough. Melee infantry, especially spear users, are weak.
* SP Weapon Balance: Throwing weapons don't do enough shield damage (fixed in 1.5.9). Player and the AI cannot brace polearms in singleplayer. Stab polearms are too weak, slash polearms are too strong.
* Mounted melee combat from horseback with swords and spears feels very inconsistent and the animations poorly match the attack hitboxes.
* AI captains will charge wildly into battle with no self-preservation and die. What they should be doing is fighting if the fight comes to them, but otherwise staying just behind their men, not seeking out fights.
* Spawn locations of reinforcements can be very imbalanced, causing the player to lose in situations they would have otherwise won.
* Morale: Is too effective against low tier troops, and not effective enough against mid/high tier troops. The player can inspire perfect morale too easily in mid/high tier troops, with little skill investment. (Partially fixed in 1.5.9) Morale should work like it was advertised: Tactical use of shock troops, flanking side/rear attacks, massive damage in a short time, leading your army from the front, destroying siege equipment, and killing enemy commanders should be able to impact morale to turn the tide of a close battle. Morale should not be ending battles immediately on the first kill, nor only kicking in once the battle is obviously won.
* Siege Equipment: Troop behaviour with inefficient use of ladders needs to be fixed in sieges. Siege towers should not drop their gate until a group of units have gathered at the top. Battering rams get in the way of troops' pathing. Defenders should not be climbing down siege ladders or onto siege towers to pursue the enemy. Attackers' siege artillery is prone to hitting its own allies while trying to hit enemies on the walls.
* Siege Balance: When they aren't bugged, sieges are too easy for attackers. The ratio of spawned attackers to defenders is about 90-10, it should be more like 70-30. Gate HP needs to be a bit higher. Perhaps ladders should even need to be carried over to the wall before they can be used. Troops defending a breached wall or gate don't use formations that properly cover the gap. Defenders should be able to open the main gate from the outside so they can retreat after a sally-out. When an AI attacker has all their siege equipment destroyed and hasn't yet reached the walls, they should retreat to rebuild their siege equipment, rather than standing around.
* SP Faction Variety: Half of the faction troop trees are too similar and lack distinct strengths and weaknesses, making the game more repetitive and less varied. Each faction needs to be more unique in what their armies can and can't do, so player's tactics are different for every faction. A good example is Vlandia: clear strength (lots of melee cavalry), clear weakness (no ranged cavalry).
* Prison Breaks: Need the ability to tell the prisoner to wait where they are, so they don't run in and alert all the guards.

Art/Sound
*
Many town, castle, village, tavern, and field battle scenes are unimplemented.
* Rulers and elite troops of a faction lack truly noble-looking gear.
* Tabards always have a lion emblem on them, even if worn by a non-Vlandian player faction. Better for them to either be blank, or display the appropriate faction emblem.
* Some smiling NPCs look very strange, and sometimes don't blink.
* Some items' stats/visuals/name seem to mismatch, e.g. top tier saddles.
* Unimplemented voiceovers.
* Unimplemented music/music variety lacking/looping of music is too obvious.

Engine
*
Mod tools need to be improved (please see this statement from the modding community) and completed.
* Performance improvements, e.g. memory leaks in sieges.
* General bug fixing.
Please note I do not understate how difficult some of these things are just because I only give them a single point.

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CATEGORY 3: New features needed to fix problems with existing features. (Mid priority)
There are multiple features in Bannerlord which don't have much reason for the player to use them. It would be a fair assumption on buying a game for its features, that you would have a reason to use them. So, when Taleworlds has completed the other features, creating mechanics to tie them together so they're useful and fun is the next step.
* The heirs system is mostly pointless; if you played long enough for your heir to take control, you've probably conquered most of Calradia anyway, and have no challenging enemies left to fight. Possible solution: Allow the AI to create new enemies after conquering Calradia (eg: civil wars or invasions).
* Since only marrying nobles is possible, all non-noble roleplay styles Taleworlds have made can't use the heirs feature. Possible solution: Let player marry companions or notables.
* The beautifully detailed town/village/castle scenes of Bannerlord lack gameplay reasons to explore them. Possible solution: Add some small jobs or random events that can only be found and completed inside those scenes.
* Tactics are very frustrating to execute when your units chase after the wrong enemies when you want them to attack a specific enemy formation. Possible solution: Allow the player to order a formation to attack a specific enemy formation (commonly requested feature).
* The lore describes minor factions as acting in unique ways with different lifestyles, and they all have cool special troop trees. But in gameplay terms, they all just work as roaming mercenaries, and the only way to gain their troops is to take them prisoner, which is unintuitive. Possible solution: Create a unique quest for each minor faction which reflects their lore, and if completed, allows you to recruit their troops directly.
* If you didn't pick an Empire culture, you can be forced to travel very far to recruit troops of your original culture, making troops of non-Empire factions underused and reducing variety. Possible solution: When the player conquers a town, mix recruits of their culture into the notables' troops on offer, alongside the native recruits.
* The ending of the game is an anti-climax. Once you get down to the last couple of kingdoms they have no chance of ever beating you, but slowly killing them is very boring. This is why many people did not finish Warband. Possible solution: Make enemy kingdoms ally against the player when you control 50-75% of the map and fight you in a climactic large battle. If you win this battle, make their territories surrender.


These three categories make up the roadmap. The next two categories aren't part of the roadmap, and are just guidelines.

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CATEGORY 4: "Pet projects." (Low priority)
Features which Taleworlds employees would personally like to see added but which are not expected or asked for by the community. As Taleworlds is being paid by the people who bought Bannerlord, and told those people they aim to make the game to the buyers' expectations, it should be higher priority to fulfill promises made to the buyers first.

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CATEGORY 5: "Bonus features." (Low priority)
Any features which are popular requests among the community, but were not promised or implied by Taleworlds, and aren't needed to make the game's other features have a purpose. If Taleworlds feels like working on such things, or making them into a DLC, they can, but the customer has no right to demand these things.

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@armagan @Dejan @MArdA TaleWorlds @elysebluemoon @Singil @uçanbiblo @SadShogun @Duh_TaleWorlds @lottendill @Callum
If I haven't caused offense, then please feel free to use this roadmap how you see fit. It would give the community great confidence to see that Taleworlds has a unified plan for the long term. If 90% of this list can get completed, Bannerlord will be a truly good sequel to Warband, and though you can never please everyone, you'll please the vast majority of your buyers.
 
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After reading this book...I mean post I agree with most points.

Sadly TW will continue to ignore post like this. I hope you haven´t wasted that much time by writing this essay.
 

Antaeus

Veteran
"I don't feel like you're listening to me so I'm going to throw a wall of words at you"

It's like raaaaiiaiaaan on your wedding day...


....It's a free ride when you've already paid....
 
I'm as pessimistic as you are at this point given the lack of communication, but if we don't try, why are we even here.
For the lols and the memes, and to see TW fail over and over again?

It´s like a seeing a car crash, I can´t just look away.

And there is some minimal hope left that things maybe will change...
 

Fate

Regular
Really well put together!

Unfortunately I have absolutely no faith in TW. You've put more effort into coming up with an organized strategy then they have
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
I broadly agree. However, after a long time battling those windmills... I have to say that:
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Oh my god, the memes. :smile: That's the real legacy of Bannerlord.
I sincerely hope the OP will get some kind of meaningful response ("tldr" "lol effortpost" are funny, but unbecoming), because he did the necessary work on behalf of the community.

This is another opportunity for Taleworlds to offer constructive engagement and say something like "thanks, we will look over the list, consult our secret roadmap, have an internal discussion over the list and we will let you know which suggestions are in our plans and which are not so you can color code them accordingly".
That won't happen. At best, Dejan will curate the list on his own and try to get them to discuss a limited number of features. The Committee for Rejecting Suggestions will tear his sub-list to shreds in a 15-minute session.
 
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This is another opportunity for Taleworlds to offer constructive engagement and say something like "thanks, we will look over the list, consult our secret roadmap, have an internal discussion over the list and we will let you know which suggestions are in our plans and which are not so you can color code them accordingly".
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Frostic

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
This is a brilliant post, but alas like many others, the flame that fueled my hope is starting to fade.
 
While I applaud the OP and all the work that went into this tread I hate to say it but I think this is just wasted effort. People on these forums need to realize TW either doesn't really care or doesn't want to communicate with forum users. We've been begging for more info for a long time and they won't change now why should they, they have our money there's no need to change the status quo, and 1 or 100 posts isn't going to change how they operate.
 
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