Critique of the Skirmish Mode

BestGoblinNA

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This may be an unpopular opinion but I think Skirmish is not that fun compared to TDM. I recognize that many of you play A LOT of Skirmish so in this thread, I want to share my thoughts on the game mode and perhaps you can share yours to give another point of view.

• My first impression of Skirmish is that it doesn't feel like Mount and Blade. The map in Skirmish is big, but it's a small 6v6 battle. It doesn't feel like I'm in a medieval battle. It feels like I am playing Counter-Strike: Medieval Offensive. If these capture points are so important, why would a faction just send 6 people to contest it? It doesn't make sense.

• If Talesworld want to grow the multiplayer community, it is NOT through Skirmish. Picture the entire Bannerlord player population in a pie chart. A small slice of that pie is the multiplayer community. Within that small multiplayer population, a smaller slice of that are competitive players. Skirmish is made for that small slice of players, so as a result, it should not be the main multiplayer game mode that casual players experience.

• The MAIN reason why Skirmish is not intended for casual is their matchmaking system. I recognize that at the moment, the player population is low and so it is hard to find even matches. However, even if the population increases, I don't see any system in place for even teams. There is nothing in place to stop 6 random people being matched against a coordinated 6 stack.

• Imagine a new player wants to try out multiplayer, based on how the menu is setup, they are encouraged to queue up. Imagine waiting several minutes to hop into a Skirmish game only to get crushed by a stack of experienced players for the next 10 minutes. As the player hopelessly sits through the rounds while he is dead, he is left wondering why he is wasting his life on this.

• Hey, but you dumb goblin, it's so easy to find people to group up on Discord or other communities! It's a great way to make new friends and join a clan! That's a valid point, but new players should not have to jump through so many hoops just to enjoy a game. If Talesworld want the community to grow, new and casual players need to experience a FUN game as EASILY as possible.

SUGGESTIONS:

• Team Deathmatch or Siege should be the game mode for the masses, not Skirmish. When I mean siege, I mean like it was in Warband. No queuing up. Just hop into a server like TDM and play. Let new players experience the chaos of multiplayer combat in an ACCESSIBLE way. Even if the newbies don't perform well in those game modes, they can still find enjoyment in taking part of some massive offensive. Even if they don't get crazy K/D ratios, every little hit or kill that they accomplish will feel like it at least contributed to victory. That's what hooks people into multiplayer, not getting dumpstered in these 6v6 Skirmishes where if you lose the round, all the efforts you made before are entirely useless. It makes new players feel powerless. It makes them quit.


Let me know your thoughts. Most importantly, let Talesworld know your thoughts.
 
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Alyss

Master Knight
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The 4 essential gamemodes would be Battle, TDM, Siege and Duel. Skirmish is meh ngl.
 

Yukmouth++

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From my point of view, Skirmish will remain relevant for the more cultured and competitive playerbase. But for sure, i can understand why it doesnt appeal casual gamers. Skirmish is the mode that rewards talent and teamwork the most, therefore will always be superior to the other 3 modes for competitive play. But when solo queueing ? Siege for sure. Skirmish finds its appeal when you do clan battles or inter-clan battles with your mates. Solo queueing in Skirmish is often frustrating, because its never a balanced match. Always a big rampage for either of the teams.
 
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So, skirmish kills me inside. I'm a siege player at heart, just enough of a direction where it's not just aimless killing, but plenty of action and people and things to do. For me, TDM doesn't compare, and for BL TDM is even worse because I'm stuck playing garbage until I can get to the good stuff. I want to jump in and have fun; doesn't work. The restrictions of the class system are terrible for TDM, to me, when compared to WB's system. I'm not interested in bots, so captain mode is out. I know people love it; and it's a good game mode, it's just not for me. Duel is okay, I'm no duelist, but same issue as TDM because it is TDM; just with honor system rules. Siege is kill. no pop playing it, no chance of playing it. Thank god for the siege Sunday initiative, to me it's a breath of fresh air. That leaves me with skirmish most of the time, however. Which is super competitive by nature. Which turns me into a ball of fecal matter. The cheapest of the cheap kills in siege or TDM feel impersonal. You get right back into it after, sometimes you even laugh about the absurd nature of whatever got you. Skirmish feels much more close and personal and every failure of the combat system is on display, and you've got the remainder of the round to stew over whatever happened. It's bad for my mental state, but the only game mode I can jump into quick and easy and play what I want* from the start.

TL;DR
TDM appeals to the lowest common denominator (the masses), Skirmish (or battle) the competitive scene. Siege the middle, where I want to hang out, is dead. Skirmish makes me a worse person at life, but I feel stuck playing it.

*Within the gross limitation of the hideous class system
 

Yukmouth++

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I said it in another post, i will repeat here. The only reason people enjoy TDM, for SURE, is because it is not required to have actual skill in the game to be abble to kill people in TDM. With the huge number of issues with the combat system, which tends to be too hard to master for casual players, it is indeed more appealing to go in TDM, since most of the kills are done by hitting people in the back. You do not need to duel in TDM, you do not need to block. You just swing left and right on people who are not trying to block as well. People feel powerful with their good KDA in TDM, but lets be real here... the good skirmish players, when they go on TDM, they have a KDA of like 45-5, because skirmish rewards skills and makes people better at the game's mechanics.

I agree that siege is a good compromise between the different modes, because it is sort of like TDM, except for one thing = the maps and objectives makes it so the 2 teams are facing each other, face to face, while TDM is just a bunch of random spawning left and right, you always get hit in the back, in siege, we look our ennemies in the eyes before fighting them, most of the time.

Skirmish will be appealing for the masses when the combat and classes are properly balanced in a way its approachable by casual average pvpers.
 

Greedalicious

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I seem to be one of the few competitive players who quite like Skirmish (or well the idea of it,) but I agree with everything OP says, right now the system heavily punishes people who play alone, and new players especially. Last time I played, I had 2 games that were close, everything else was a complete stomp. A proper skill based matchmaking system should have been created and ready for the early access release, but as it is now, it'll probably do more harm than good.

OP's critique is more about the current state of multiplayer than anything, what do you think about the mode in general? Say the skill levels were equal and balancing was done, would you enjoy it then?

EDIT: Derped I ****ing love that signature of yours
 

BestGoblinNA

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Say the skill levels were equal and balancing was done, would you enjoy it then?
Personally, I would still like TDM or Siege more because 6v6 is too small.

Even if there is a good matchmaking system (which I think won't be available for a LONG time), the mass appeal would still be TDM and Siege. Talesworld should cater to casuals first, because it is from that group that the competitive players develop.
 

Younes123

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Personally, I would still like TDM or Siege more because 6v6 is too small.

Even if there is a good matchmaking system (which I think won't be available for a LONG time), the mass appeal would still be TDM and Siege. Talesworld should cater to casuals first, because it is from that group that the competitive players develop.
I would go even further and say the matchmaking will die off with the arrival of custom servers for the casual side.
 

๖Kern

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WBNW
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I seem to be one of the few competitive players who quite like Skirmish (or well the idea of it,) but I agree with everything OP says, right now the system heavily punishes people who play alone, and new players especially. Last time I played, I had 2 games that were close, everything else was a complete stomp. A proper skill based matchmaking system should have been created and ready for the early access release, but as it is now, it'll probably do more harm than good.

OP's critique is more about the current state of multiplayer than anything, what do you think about the mode in general? Say the skill levels were equal and balancing was done, would you enjoy it then?

EDIT: Derped I ****ing love that signature of yours
I think Skirmish is viable once polished and worked on, but it has no chance of being superior to 1-life gamemode like battle for various reasons. Multiple lives aren't exactly what you'd call a competitive mechanic. Bannerlord is not a fast paced Overwatch or Paladins or whatever fps game with multiple lives wave-system exists. (btw, wave system is much better than having people spawn all over the map whenever they press a button after death). Yes, skirmish still brings a limited number of lives to the table and you got to be careful how to use those lives, however, it might manifest itself as a forgiving mechanic in certain scenarios, especially when there is some kind of an imbalance between teams. It subconsciously encourages sloppy playstyle because more lives = more chances. Also, having 3 flags spawned at once requires a special layout for the flags where both teams have around the same distance and accessibility to each flag, it takes a bit of a mirrored approach otherwise the games can become very chaotic. There's a lot of issues, a lot of polishing to be done and my humble opinion is, that even after all the work that has to be done, it won't be as good as a Battle gamemode.

EDIT: Obviously, I might be biased, but it's not like I haven't played enough skirmish to compare.
 

Yukmouth++

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I think Skirmish is viable once polished and worked on, but it has no chance of being superior to 1-life gamemode like battle for various reasons. Multiple lives aren't exactly what you'd call a competitive mechanic. Bannerlord is not a fast paced Overwatch or Paladins or whatever fps game with multiple lives wave-system exists. (btw, wave system is much better than having people spawn all over the map whenever they press a button after death). Yes, skirmish still brings a limited number of lives to the table and you got to be careful how to use those lives, however, it might manifest itself as a forgiving mechanic in certain scenarios, especially when there is some kind of an imbalance between teams. It subconsciously encourages sloppy playstyle because more lives = more chances. Also, having 3 flags spawned at once requires a special layout for the flags where both teams have around the same distance and accessibility to each flag, it takes a bit of a mirrored approach otherwise the games can become very chaotic. There's a lot of issues, a lot of polishing to be done and my humble opinion is, that even after all the work that has to be done, it won't be as good as a Battle gamemode.

EDIT: Obviously, I might be biased, but it's not like I haven't played enough skirmish to compare.
Thing is, with the multiple mechanics of Bannerlord, your only life can end pretty quick and in a very pathetic way. Getting a headshot even though your shield is up, receiving a 45 dmg in your pinky toe, blocking the right direction but still getting hit through it, throwing weapons that oneshots you in the leg, swinging on someone first, but doing a glancing blow for no reason which doesnt cancel the enemy hit so he hits you, i could keep going for 15 mins listing all the ways you can die in pathetic ways, and until all these lame ways of dying arent fixed, i will not concede that battle is better than skirmish

edit : oh and my personal favorite lately, being in your teamates back while he fights someone, and receiving his swing in the face, teamkilled, even though hes facing his ennemy.
 

BestGoblinNA

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I would go even further and say the matchmaking will die off with the arrival of custom servers for the casual side.
I agree. If a clan wants to face another clan, they wouldn't bother queuing anyways if there are custom servers.

The decision to make siege a queue is also a baffling decision since it requires such a large population to be fun. It would just be a lot easier like WB where you just hop into a server.
 

Greedalicious

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WB
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I think Skirmish is viable once polished and worked on, but it has no chance of being superior to 1-life gamemode like battle for various reasons. Multiple lives aren't exactly what you'd call a competitive mechanic. Bannerlord is not a fast paced Overwatch or Paladins or whatever fps game with multiple lives wave-system exists. (btw, wave system is much better than having people spawn all over the map whenever they press a button after death). Yes, skirmish still brings a limited number of lives to the table and you got to be careful how to use those lives, however, it might manifest itself as a forgiving mechanic in certain scenarios, especially when there is some kind of an imbalance between teams. It subconsciously encourages sloppy playstyle because more lives = more chances. Also, having 3 flags spawned at once requires a special layout for the flags where both teams have around the same distance and accessibility to each flag, it takes a bit of a mirrored approach otherwise the games can become very chaotic. There's a lot of issues, a lot of polishing to be done and my humble opinion is, that even after all the work that has to be done, it won't be as good as a Battle gamemode.

EDIT: Obviously, I might be biased, but it's not like I haven't played enough skirmish to compare.
Kinda agree with that, but battle had massive issues of its own, for one that early game was entirely without action. Sometimes a bit of early aggression which could completely screw over their team, making passive play the go-to strategy. With multiple lives you could potentially play abit more aggressive making it more fun to watch and play. Sloppy maybe, but people will play sloppy regardless, and a more forgiving system might honestly be a good thing, might help more people suffer through learning the game. Harder to keep track of everything though as a commander.

I dont think the flag spawns are that big of an issue, especially since you can tailor your tactics around owning different flags, I've played a decent amount of skirmish but havent bothered with matches yet, I'm looking forward to seing how skirmish progresses, after seing a few match recordings I dont think people are using skirmish mechanics to its fullest.
 

BestGoblinNA

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Thing is, with the multiple mechanics of Bannerlord, your only life can end pretty quick and in a very pathetic way. Getting a headshot even though your shield is up, receiving a 45 dmg in your pinky toe, blocking the right direction but still getting hit through it, throwing weapons that oneshots you in the leg, swinging on someone first, but doing a glancing blow for no reason which doesnt cancel the enemy hit so he hits you, i could keep going for 15 mins listing all the ways you can die in pathetic ways, and until all these lame ways of dying arent fixed, i will not concede that battle is better than skirmish

edit : oh and my personal favorite lately, being in your teamates back while he fights someone, and receiving his swing in the face, teamkilled, even though hes facing his ennemy.
All of these are valid points. Given how easy one can die in Bannerlord, it makes it even more frustrating for new players in Skirmish. Let's say a Skirmish match is 10 minutes plus a few minutes of queuing, a player only spend a small portion of that in action. Having to sit around waiting for the round to finish while you contemplate on your failures will turn off casuals.
 

CANTON

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All of your critiques here are very valid. Skirmish isn't an enjoyable gamemode for casual play, and even the people who play it competitively tend to dislike it. Its systems seem fundamentally broken, and they make genuine competition a rarity; you either stomp or get stomped usually.

@BestGoblinNA, I agree with you that new players should be directed to TDM or siege first. Moreover, I don't understand these elitists complaining about TDM being "uncultured." It's a low stakes experience where you can comfortably learn mechanics before confronting "real" challenges. Personally, I learned to manually block on Warband's TDM, but that came after hours of enjoying mindless fights with a shield. It's like a kiddie pool, and that's exactly where you want the inexperienced to go. Sending people to skirmish is just throwing them into the deep end, and I'm not surprised people quit because of it.

That being said, I think TDM would be infinitely more fun if there was one spawn area for each team and some clear ground to fight over. The feeling of spawning into 10 people right after choosing an expensive class is annoying, as is searching for a fight when you spawn somewhere empty.
 

BestGoblinNA

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That being said, I think TDM would be infinitely more fun if there was one spawn area for each team and some clear ground to fight over. The feeling of spawning into 10 people right after choosing an expensive class is annoying, as is searching for a fight when you spawn somewhere empty.
This simple change would REVOLUTIONIZE TDM right now. A decent percentage of deaths is simply because you are spawned in a bad spot. There is no reason why anyone should spawn in a position where no teammates are around but 3 enemies are around you.

On top of that, you are constantly flanked because of the spawn mechanics. There are DEAD-ENDS in the TDM map where even if you secured it, enemies can still spawns there. A simple 2v2 fight can suddenly turns into 2v4 because the spawns decides to favour the enemy. It makes the deaths feel like it's just the game deciding to screw with you, not because you made a player mistake.

All of these points are similar to issues in Skirmish where people's defeats seem random. It again makes player feel powerless and that is the opposite of fun.
 

CANTON

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All of these points are similar to issues in Skirmish where people's defeats seem random. It again makes player feel powerless and that is the opposite of fun.
I think you nailed it here. The feeling that you had no control over the situation is what demoralizes people, not being outplayed. Bannerlord is filled with things that make players feel like their actions are inconsequential.
 

RubbingMyAxe

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There are two reasons I don't play TDM on Bannerlord despite most of my Warband hours being on TDM:
1. The spawns are too random.
2. Half the time I am forced to play as some javelin thrower or a peasant with a hammer instead of a class I actually want to use.

Siege is a far better TDM game mode right now just because of the spawns, but the server crashes and matchmaking issues have killed it.