Critique of the Skirmish Mode

.Brandis

Subforum Moderator
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A huge reason why Skirmish sucks is because it's unlike any other competitive game on the market, yet is intended to be a competitive mode.

As it turns out, popular competitive games are almost always popular because they're fun to play (mindblowing I know), but Skirmish seems to strive to be between several standard game types in an awkward uncanny valley position. Not to mention, base combat and asymmetrical classes aren't making anyone happy. The most positive reaction that people have to those is "well it's fine I guess" and I guarantee you that those people haven't seen the system applied in a competitive setting.
 

Mabons

Knight
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Others have said enough, I'm not happy with the game mode either, I would rather just have Battle for proper competitiveness and play Siege or some other more casual mode when I want to chill, this fits neither of those narratives.
 

sverr

Squire
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well, personally,i almost agree with your opinion. i hope this will be paid due attention to
 

FearSpear

Regular
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Skirmish seems to strive to be between several standard game types in an awkward uncanny valley position
Yeah, this is the main thing that confused me about skirmish mode. Is it like battle mode? Kind of, but with much fewer players. Is it capture the flag? Well sort of, but in general games are won by wiping out enemy teams, not by morale. Skirmish mode exists in this strange position where the real objective is to wipe out the enemy team while also fixing an errant eye to make sure that you do not run out of morale. The flag system DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. It does NOT succeed on promoting aggressive play, as the team with the more mobile faction will cap two points, and the less mobile, inf-balling faction will simply sit on one point in a strange and prolonged position of inactivity until the final point is decided. After this, a battle occurs near, but not usually on the final point, as the mobile faction will be willing to temporarily cede the final point as they have had morale saved up from keeping the first two points during the beginning inactive phase. Frankly, the gamemode just feels bizarre.
 
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Expecting the average casual player to prefer skirmish is like expecting them to prefer WBMM instead of IG_Battlegrounds or POM
 

Rektasaurus

Sergeant
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Guys I think captain is the “casual” mode. Inb4 I get shredded. Idk what battle mode is like but skirmish works because every entity is a player and losing 1 player is 17% hit to the team. It really doesn’t feel like a battle and I first thought it should be straight deleted but I actually like it a lot and hope they work on it. It’s a lot like doing a hideout so the suspension of disbelief is easy. Imagine you’re saving a princess idk.

My cs familiarity def colors my views but more than 6 players is going to start getting much more difficult to manage when coordinating.

Tdm is good for guaranteed fights. It’s great practice.
 

๖Kern

Grandmaster Knight
WBNW
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Guys I think captain is the “casual” mode. Inb4 I get shredded. Idk what battle mode is like but skirmish works because every entity is a player and losing 1 player is 17% hit to the team. It really doesn’t feel like a battle and I first thought it should be straight deleted but I actually like it a lot and hope they work on it. It’s a lot like doing a hideout so the suspension of disbelief is easy. Imagine you’re saving a princess idk.

My cs familiarity def colors my views but more than 6 players is going to start getting much more difficult to manage when coordinating.

Tdm is good for guaranteed fights. It’s great practice.
Warband used to be played 12v12, then 10v10 and later 8v8, all had their advantages but 8v8 was golden and unlike any other comp. game. I think that 6v6 relies a bit less on coordination and more on individual player decisions and skill.
There weren’t any coordination problems whatsoever, to answer your doubts about coordination.
 

Rektasaurus

Sergeant
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Warband used to be played 12v12, then 10v10 and later 8v8, all had their advantages but 8v8 was golden and unlike any other comp. game. I think that 6v6 relies a bit less on coordination and more on individual player decisions and skill.
There weren’t any coordination problems whatsoever, to answer your doubts about coordination.
I see. Got it. Very cool.

Then I wonder about those 50 player fleets of angry bees in eve. I play a lot of wows and those games are 12v12. We don’t usually have any problems coordinating, even solo queue, in fact we barely need to talk. In Bannerlord, typing just doesn’t work and voice could get messy if most people wanted/needed to say something or if it wasn’t clear who is who and where and trying to get to where they need to be. More of a pug issue but still important.

Yeah, the less number of players there are the more of an impact an individual player has.
 

Greedalicious

Grandmaster Knight
WB
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Warband used to be played 12v12, then 10v10 and later 8v8, all had their advantages but 8v8 was golden and unlike any other comp. game. I think that 6v6 relies a bit less on coordination and more on individual player decisions and skill.
There weren’t any coordination problems whatsoever, to answer your doubts about coordination.
12v12 and 10v10 was not competitive though. I mean...obviously its competitive if someone competes, but it has zero chance of actually growing the scene for competitive. Remember how large those rosters were? How organizing matches was an absolute pain in the ass to do, and figuring out whos available and then who plays? Sometimes we'd swap out our entire team from 1 map to the next just to make sure people got to play, you cant argue thats competitive.
8v8 has issues of their own, even if we dont take logistics into account. Rosters are still too large, making the players matter less than the team itself, and the absolute cluster**** of fights made the experience for viewers, especially new viewers difficult to pay attention to.
If we want the game to be competitive we have to make it as easy as possible while keeping it as skill based as possible. We're not special. We cant make 8v8 work competitively in a large way. If we're content to be a small insignificant competitive scene then thats fine, I'd prefer we grow though.

6v6 relies more on personal skill but thats a good thing. Individuals have a chance to shine but teamplay will still win the day. Trying to 1v2 against 2 competent players in Bannerlord is difficult (as it should be) but it should be possible to win aswell(with good mechanics.) And clutches are fun! 8v8 usually determined who'd win after the first 2 deaths, now theres potentially a bigger chance for a comeback. As long as theres more than one player on a team, teamplay will always be more important than individual skill.
 

WhiteEyedSh4rk

Knight at Arms
WBWF&SVC
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If I remember correctly, TW is planning to implement a battle mode, so there is no need to try to make skirmish something completely different. I actually really enjoy it the way it is. Only the class imbalance really bothers me, but TW knows about that and will probably solve it in the future.
 

CarefulDeath

Veteran
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Skirmish, combat/class/faction issues related to core gameplay as a whole not withstanding, is a perfectly acceptable gamemode. It for sure has it's place. I think overall I find it less fun than battle because the maps generally tend to be smaller, and there aren't as many players as you can have in battle. OP has the right of it though, it will never be a casual mode or be a mode that will attract and foster casual people into maybe joining groups so they can get into more competitive activities. Siege, TDM, and Battle modes provided that. Groups could host events on Siege or Battle, you could have large multi-clan battles in battle, or even Siege. Right now the most fun mode in Bannerlord is Siege. If they can fix the crashes, and perhaps set up servers like they did with TDM for various regions, you'd likely see a growth in population.

Siege offers a little something for everyone in a relatively non-stressful environment, you can pretty much play whatever class you'd like to right from the start. For those that are seeking more coordination and a more serious edge, can communicate to protect or attack various points on the map. For those that want to get in and just have some fun while learning things they can follow the more coordinated players to get into and out of the action as needed. More importantly, for those seeking more coordination it's an excellent recruiting ground to seek out like minded individuals and foster growth of more competitive and even more casual clans and groups. My personal opinion is if you don't want to see MP population die off completely, TDM and Siege need fixing as soon as possible. Skirmish is keeping the dedicated competitive community around... kind of, but it isn't doing anything for the growth of the game as a whole.
 

๖Kern

Grandmaster Knight
WBNW
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12v12 and 10v10 was not competitive though. I mean...obviously its competitive if someone competes, but it has zero chance of actually growing the scene for competitive. Remember how large those rosters were? How organizing matches was an absolute pain in the ass to do, and figuring out whos available and then who plays? Sometimes we'd swap out our entire team from 1 map to the next just to make sure people got to play, you cant argue thats competitive.
8v8 has issues of their own, even if we dont take logistics into account. Rosters are still too large, making the players matter less than the team itself, and the absolute cluster**** of fights made the experience for viewers, especially new viewers difficult to pay attention to.
If we want the game to be competitive we have to make it as easy as possible while keeping it as skill based as possible. We're not special. We cant make 8v8 work competitively in a large way. If we're content to be a small insignificant competitive scene then thats fine, I'd prefer we grow though.

6v6 relies more on personal skill but thats a good thing. Individuals have a chance to shine but teamplay will still win the day. Trying to 1v2 against 2 competent players in Bannerlord is difficult (as it should be) but it should be possible to win aswell(with good mechanics.) And clutches are fun! 8v8 usually determined who'd win after the first 2 deaths, now theres potentially a bigger chance for a comeback. As long as theres more than one player on a team, teamplay will always be more important than individual skill.
I agree, it could hardly be competitive but it was fun and actually made splitting a pretty viable tactic :p

Obviously, we switched to 8v8 throughout the time and I'd agree that smaller formats would allow for even more competitiveness and would be superior for growing the scene and making the organization less painful etc.

On another note, the 1v2 in Bannerlord against 2 players of similar skill is close to impossible. Mainly because the combat is dumped down in a way. Weaving and switching aren't as "powerful" as in Warband, spam kinda removed and shield-block combat is more forgiving than in Warband. Fighting 2 competent people at once is a struggle and I'd argue that it's less entertaining than fighting 1v2 in Warband (without the polearm stuns). Maybe this will change after the next combat patch and we will get a game, where experience and skill really let you shine, but so far? All you need is 300hrs in the game and you pretty much reach the peak of where you can get mechanic-and-execution-wise, then again, even when at the peak, you very likely can't beat 2 competent players.
 

CBeetle

Recruit
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If you turn on reflective TK'ing in TDM and Siege, a whole lot of people who don't know how to play are going to be upset, because they'd be killing themselves on their teammates. Personally, I think this would be better for the game though. Just like in Warband, have reflective damage on so when you hit a teammate, you take damage. This would force people to not swing weapons like derp heads and actually focus on landing their shots. Siege battles were definitely more fun as well. You'd have people actually using shields to approach a wall, rather than an army of 2hrs swinging around like a giant mobile meat grinder with zero threat to harming themselves.

As for skirmish, the way I see it, the game mode is clearly modeled after the style of comp play that went on in Warband, which was 8v8 or 9v9, 1 life, flags spawn at 10 minutes. My only gripe with skirmish mode in BL is that we are 6v6, and the maps are kind of small. I'm not really a fan of having an archer being able to post up and shoot at any flag they want, because the maps are small. If the size of the maps were 1 1/2 times larger, I think it would be perfect for 9v9 play. You'd have more space in between flags, which would mean that you'd have to be a bit more tactical on where you choose to hold. Roaming cav would be a bit more important as well, and there would be higher risk of them going off on their own as their team would need just a bit more time to reach them.

Battle mode needs to come back. 20v20 TDM, 1 life, large-ish maps, a flag spawns to be capped after 10 or so minutes. It was by far the most popular game mode in Warband, and would be amazing in BL. TDM definitely is popular at the moment, but to be honest, I think that is because it is on a server list rather than a queue. You do not need to wait to get into a game. But this all goes into bringing in player run servers or just server listed servers.

As for the OP's argument of waiting around to get rekt'd by experienced players. Yes, well... that is going to happen in any game that has a niche community that adores the game. Have you tried playing Gears of War 3 lately? You will get destroyed if you don't spend hours learning how to git gud. Until we have a larger player base, that is just going to be the case with Bannerlord too. People who have 2k+ hours in warband are absolutely going to slosh a few newbies who've only played BL and are coming from singleplayer. Not much you can do to change that.

-- I also think that spawn points should be a thing in TDM. With the way the gold system works, it can be annoying to play the class you want to play when you keep spawning into the enemy.
 

.Brandis

Subforum Moderator
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I liked how Mount & Siege did it at like 2-5% reflective.

Also, Bannerlord will always have a massive casual fanbase. If Warband siege wasn't dominated by veterans after 10 years, I don't think Bannerlord will be either. Skirmish, of course, probably will be.