Dev Blog 12/09/19

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In this week’s blog, we will be showing you some raw gameplay footage from Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord’s vast sandbox campaign. This particular video was captured from the demo we took to this year’s Gamescom, which put a heavy emphasis on large battles and sieges, dropping the player in the mid-game of Bannerlord’s campaign with a sizable warband of troops.


Read more at: http://www.taleworlds.com/en/Games/Bannerlord/Blog/126
 

cherac

Sergeant Knight
JustinTime49 said:
I dont know how I feel about the current state of this mid game. Everything just seems to be... easy. I'm sure the difficulty can be raised, but here are some problems I had with the game from gamescom and this vid.

- In the castles blog released over a year ago, they mentioned layered sieges, and we got to see the cool layout in the vid(though the scene wasnt in line with the map) yet the AI never actually took advantage of that, preferring to hold the outer wall until ultimate retreat.

- WTF are the lords doing in counter??? It was really cool to see lords sort of gang up in defiance in front of the castle gates(between the defenders and attackers on the map) so I assumed maybe there would a local resistance of nearby lords joining the defense... and then nothing. Even when the player lead the assault on the castle, there were literally 4 lords making an army of 400+ that just didn't join. Unless it is an unfinished feature, I don't know what to say other than disappointed. We got to see the siege camp of the attackers so I was hoping maybe when the lords attack, not only will the nearby lords join, but the defenders will sally with lords, thereby making the attackers the defenders holding the choke points in the siege camp. Or perhaps once you lead an assault, the nearby lords will in turn join in the scene, only coming from behind as opposed to being held up in the walls.

- Horses and Infantry formations mean jack all. Especially in the gameplay from rocket beans (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-4Zd3YWVGI&t=837s), in the pitch battle where they were outnumbered by over 100, the Khuzaits literally by just having horsemen absolutely destroyed the empire army. Because of how the AI handles spears, referring to the combat ai in a dev blog also over a year ago, the individual AI and the Formation AI just arent working together, allowing for easy pickings from the mounted Individual AI.

- Moving back to sieges, I was kind of really sad to learn that when a besieging army is attacked, not only does the garrison of the besieged castle not join in side of their faction, but the battle dosesn't take place in the siege camp, or even in view of the castle/town(for authentic and immersion reasons).

Moving to the interface, while a step up from Warband, personally I feel that it is simply too informative. While Warband was very "learn it yourself" Bannerlord seems to be "No, not that way, follow me". There is too much hand holding and the UI suffers. For example, while I like the army feature of having different armies form up, the management is just stupid. Influence has simply too much influence in that regard(hear me out). From what we have seen from gamescom, as soon as you spend that influence to convince a lord, he will join no strings attached. On top of that, because it literally only takes 1~ day to form an army of 500+, sieges(oddly enough) take way too much time. While it dosent seem to be the case for the AI, the fact that the player can tell how far other lords are means that he  can essentially quickly form an army(given he has enough influence which you seem to get in bulk even only after 1 battle. This means countering sieges is easy as opposed to warband where either you as marshal, or the AI as marshall, can call for the bannermen, but because there are so many things such as lords rutting more men, or my favorite; "I am not accompanying the realm because I can do greater deeds" you are never guaranteed an army that can go toe to toe with the enemy marshall.

-Next up, the army compositions. What the actual, no words. In most of the vids I watched with large army battles, in the feed its literally just "x recruit" forever. Where are the professional armies, where are the minor factions aiding their faction? But above all else, what is the tactical AI?? Referring back to that rocket bean video, it was cool to see the horse archer delegated formation wreak havec among the archers, but why did infantry proceed to advance without any protection? There would be no point other than suicide which is what happend. Although it looked cool seeing cavalry smash from both the side and the back, there was simply no challenge.

-Lastly, Although I dont want to assume I cant help but worry with what they did with the massive massive battles. What do I mean? In Warband you had the vassal who would lead the entire army, and late game whoever that was, you would have an army lead by one dude facing off(whether it be to stop a siege, start one, or raid a village) and the other faction with another massive army. From personal experience in native, the most i've had was 3600 vs 2800. Crazy numbers, but if we use the logic of bannerlord, the marshal system has been replaced with the army system. So even though you might have in general more large scale battles 500~ vs 500~, it feels like there will be no possibility for decisive battles. Its a shame, and I know maybe in late game when you get very influential lords in all factions(lords facing off each leading 2000~ men each, it still isnt necessarily a decisive battle, because if we once again refer to the war page of bannerlord, in the relative strength in which I assume is manpower, both vlandia and the empire had 9000~ each, so even though whoever wins the 4000 man battle, that army would be hard pressed to continue any further ventures into enemy territory due to loss.

Anyway, just my analysis, love to hear any arguments or clarifications.


This is why we can’t have nice things, not to criticize your right to voice your opinion but most of what you are complaining of are mostly obvious omissions or work in progress stuff they have discussed, if the feature was in warband it will definitely be in bannerlord and even be improved, what part of Work In Progress don’t you get ? I bet people like you would be giving negative feedback when the Early Access starts , just a fore notification ITS EARLY ACCESS , its because of such nitpicks that taleworlds don’t show us stuff , you talked a lot about AI , Ai is amazing, the only reason battles are easy is because of the obvious fact that the player starts with a powerful army , stats etc or notice how players who didn’t know how to play the game died even in this easy mode? Oh and the Sieges would be hard , trust me when you attack a castle with a higher game setting and the ai has elite troops bland archers butchering your men , you’ll know what hard is.. With all that said, the game is not perfect hence they are not releasing it even this year ,but I believe taleworlds would deliver a fantastic product​
 

FBohler

Knight
WBNWWF&S
ManuelMarcel said:
To be honest the losses in sieges are absurdly low. It doesn't feel like something challenging at all. Where's the fun in that?

And also: the enemy lords were near the castle, but it seems they didn't take part in the defence I just don't understand why (well, maybe becouse they knew they would be sloughtered in the siege, becouse it's so easy for the attackers to take the castle).

Game is probably set on the lowest difficulty level.

I think things will get pretty ugly with "normal" settings.
 
Many good things but also many things that could be improve !

Spear holding on horse, we already spoke of it years ago, two hand spear holding on the horse when you neeed one arm to take the reins. Why this is not just like in Warband ??? Just the normal way ???


Siege always looking weird with empty walls ???
 
Ettenrocal said:
Many good things but also many things that could be improve !

Spear holding on horse, we already spoke of it years ago, two hand spear holding on the horse when you neeed one arm to take the reins. Why this is not just like in Warband ??? Just the normal way ???


Siege always looking weird with empty walls ???

It was pretty common for cavalry such as the Byzantine cataphracts to hold their Kontarion with both hands.
 

petmonster_tw

Jester
Developer
Let me just say that Sieges are much more deadly now compared to warband. Dont let the videos give you a false impression. You need something around x3 of the defenders army to be successful. Defenders have garrisoned troops AND the milita (which is free and very effective when behind walls)

About infantry vs Cav. We are still trying to find the right balance. We did have -at one- point unbreakable wall of spears and quickly decided to make the infantry act more foolish. Otherwise Cav vs Inf is not fun at all. In real life no Cav formation charges directly to the infantry. They did get into charge numerous times just to turn back at the last moment. It was a battle of nerves. The infantry "died" many times before finally that last cav charge is real this time. (The cav charge becomes real when the cav commander decides the inf formation has lost its nerve and about to break.) since we cannot simulate this in the game it is somewhat OK to make inf act a bit goofy.

Fighting against the Khuzait is very different than fighting against say the Sturgians. Khuzaits will pepper you with arrows circling around you avoiding you mostly while Sturgian infantry just march slowly towards you and steamroll over you. So its not fair to judge the mass battle difficulty by watching a few videos. Also just as in real life formation commanders even generals make errors. It would be annoying to watch them initiate perfect tactics every time. I am confident to say while it still has a long way to fine tune, currently ai is better than warband (which had one tactic: Charge) and other similar medieval battlefield simulation games which usually has very predictable ai.

Influence is like a currency. you use your influence in various ways when dealing with other lords in your kingdom. Building an army is like an investment or even gamble depending on the situation. You spend influence to gain even more influence.


 

LeChat

Master Knight
WBM&BWF&SVC
petmonster_tw said:
Let me just say that Sieges are much more deadly now compared to warband. Dont let the videos give you a false impression. You need something around x3 of the defenders army to be successful. Defenders have garrisoned troops AND the milita (which is free and very effective when behind walls)
That's cool because in Warband we could win a siege (attacking) with fewer soldiers than the defenders.

There is also a strategy I use : I wait for a fief to be captured by the ennemy to siege it after when it still have a small garrison.
I find it convinient, but perhaps too much convenient. Please, prevent me from doing that (or make it harder) :grin:
 

Piconi

Fashionista
Section Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
CKyHC said:
Question. The castle Verescand is on the mountain and not by the lake. This is still a stub and not his scene huh?
This

fedeita said:
guys you are still in time to change "clan" to "family", that term fit only for khuzait khanate against all the other factions.

And this, i mean, clan? Really? Its family.

And even better to make it also faction dependable, name it "House of" for Vandia( actually i think i already saw a clan named "house of...") da, "Clan" for battanians and such.

But it is family, or dinasty, even if not by blood per se.
 
I'm not too bothered by the 'Clans', looks like they had to agree to call them a single thing so that people wouldn't expect different factions would have different mechanics for those. Belgir's clan in the video is called 'House of Fortes', hopefully that would mean other factions have other names for it if applicable, it would make less sense for Khuzaits or Battanians to have 'House of XYZ', Imperials could have families, etc.
 

fedeita

Marquis
FBohler said:
fedeita said:
guys you are still in time to change "clan" to "family", that term fit only for khuzait khanate against all the other factions.

If TaleWorlds says the term fits for the purpuse, it does.
then why complaining about AI, about sieges or anything else? let's stop giving suggestions and just wait for finished game because if TaleWorlds says it's all ok, it does.
 

fedeita

Marquis
petmonster_tw said:
Let me just say that Sieges are much more deadly now compared to warband. Dont let the videos give you a false impression. You need something around x3 of the defenders army to be successful. Defenders have garrisoned troops AND the milita (which is free and very effective when behind walls)

About infantry vs Cav. We are still trying to find the right balance. We did have -at one- point unbreakable wall of spears and quickly decided to make the infantry act more foolish. Otherwise Cav vs Inf is not fun at all. In real life no Cav formation charges directly to the infantry. They did get into charge numerous times just to turn back at the last moment. It was a battle of nerves. The infantry "died" many times before finally that last cav charge is real this time. (The cav charge becomes real when the cav commander decides the inf formation has lost its nerve and about to break.) since we cannot simulate this in the game it is somewhat OK to make inf act a bit goofy.

Fighting against the Khuzait is very different than fighting against say the Sturgians. Khuzaits will pepper you with arrows circling around you avoiding you mostly while Sturgian infantry just march slowly towards you and steamroll over you. So its not fair to judge the mass battle difficulty by watching a few videos. Also just as in real life formation commanders even generals make errors. It would be annoying to watch them initiate perfect tactics every time. I am confident to say while it still has a long way to fine tune, currently ai is better than warband (which had one tactic: Charge) and other similar medieval battlefield simulation games which usually has very predictable ai.

Influence is like a currency. you use your influence in various ways when dealing with other lords in your kingdom. Building an army is like an investment or even gamble depending on the situation. You spend influence to gain even more influence.

You are right when you say that infallible AI would be boring but the problem here is that actually AI seems not able to choice the right weapon against cavalry, this is what we are seeing don't take it as an insult or a critique, we all recognize the giant work that have been done in this game but this is a problem that must be faced and not ignored.
Also goofy infantry is ok at lower tiers but what happens with highly trained troops? do they will act smarter?
Lastly I seen the pre battle deployment during sieges, have you considered to use it also for normal battles? I would be absolutely favorable to it.
 
AmateurHetman said:
Ettenrocal said:
Many good things but also many things that could be improve !

Spear holding on horse, we already spoke of it years ago, two hand spear holding on the horse when you neeed one arm to take the reins. Why this is not just like in Warband ??? Just the normal way ???


Siege always looking weird with empty walls ???

It was pretty common for cavalry such as the Byzantine cataphracts to hold there Kontarion with both hands.

I agree with you on this but it's a very special unit, other riders should not hold their lance like that, completely unrealistic. And the few cavalry units holding their lance like this were using it when horse was slow or at stop, using the horse as a "platform".
 
fedeita said:
guys you are still in time to change "clan" to "family", that term fit only for khuzait khanate against all the other factions.

Khuzait ? Do you know what ''aimag'' means in Mongolian ? Do you know what ''oymak'' means in Turkish ? Yeah, did you notice that ? Aimag/Oymak. Same word. The word ''clan/family'' is same in Turkish and Mongolian.


Clan is etymologically  from Scottish highlands says Uncle Google. If so I would assume it is a Celtic word. So it would only fit for Battanians in that meaning.
What is the relevance with Khuzaits ? If you said it in the meaning of clan applies to barbarian nobles not imperial ones, than it applies to Aserai, Sturgia, Battania, Khuzait, Vlandia too, what is the feature of Khuzaits ?

It may look cheesy on Vlandia too because in medieval ages western europeans took over the ''self centrist superiority complex'' from Romans. Now the everyone else became barbarians. But in front of Romans eyes their nobles were also ''clans''.

Most of the barbarian terms of Romans came from celtic-germanic tribes. Because these were the ones Romans faced the most.

 

Viking1978

Recruit
I love how the game has developed. Awesome job!

One thing, though, am I the only one who doesn't see anything in the dark? I have serious problems with that, even with certain angles in the underground area of the multiplayer. I hope Taleworlds will do something about this, maybe some setting with some night skies for the nightblind? I know this sounds silly, but I'm serious here. At least I hope the night sky is as easily editable/moddable as it was in Warband, where I could replace it with a lighter image which solved everything for me.
 

Piconi

Fashionista
Section Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Viking1978 said:
One thing, though, am I the only one who doesn't see anything in the dark? I have serious problems with that, even with certain angles in the underground area of the multiplayer.
Whoa there, be careful with uttering those words arround here, everybody is really emotional ever since 2 days ago . . .
 

zincra

Squire
Suggestion about AI mechanic for companions.

- compainions should have different AI mechanics what should be selectable. Like soldier. If you chooce him/her as soldier then he goes and attacks with rest of troops. Or chooce him/her as bodyguard then he keeps with you and attacks only direct threats to you. or chooce him as support then he avoids combat and trys to stay alive.
- and also there could be second layer AI mechanic for companions. Like be agressive, neutral or defensive on that he acts certain ways on battle. Or like on  20% healt he leaves battlefield to stay alive.
 

riorio

Recruit
On the video 2:05 - 2:40, why the companion was running while the player was walking? It is weird.

3:55 The information on how many troops in Verecsand Castle is known to the player, has he already scouted it before? If not by scouting, how?

6:25 Before the player clicked  'Lead an assault', there are enemies in front of the castle near the player tent and siege weapon, on the next screen they disappeared. When armies are that close, the battle should already ensue. Enemies also come and go, why there is no blockade? Also, is there no option for defending side to have their allies attack the player from behind?



 

petmonster_tw

Jester
Developer
Don't worry about game being too dark. For some reason it really looks dark in videos. It will be fixed.

Also ai choosing wrong weapon is a bug :/

 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
The campaign map looks spectacular, I won't tire of repeating it.
The only "bad" thing (small nitpickery) that stands out is the low resolution of the terrain (we need +tesellation+high resolution). Then I noticed that you have added the swaying of the trees and a slight movement of the water (I love it). It's in the sea water where I think that if you applied the same white wake effect that is applied to the bots when they come into contact with the water from the streams in the scenes (very cool by the way); it would give the feeling of more movement in the coastal area, simulating waves that break on the shore.

Bridges have a "ghost" effect, they are not detected by the units passing over them ( no collision).
Finally it is a pity that after so many years you have not shown the passage of season. I want to see rain clouds in the distance, effects (although totally aesthetic) weather and so on ...

I've already talked about the AI on several occasions, but in this video I highlight a couple of things.

The deployment system used in sieges has tremendous potential; I love it. The problem is that the ai ignores this provision. At the beginning of the deployment, the player lines up a warrior unit right in front of him; they run left and right at the beginning of the siege in a totally disorganized way. What's the reason? Then another group of archers runs to cover themselves with the parapets; although it is logical I ask myself: why, if they have not been given the order?

Then the artillery. It is obvious that there is a worrying randomness...why can't I tell the group of catapults to concentrate the fire on the X point that I want?
Why aren't the defenders perched on the battlements? You don't feel density in the defense and the numbers are propitious for it.

@petmonster_tw I wish you'd comment more often. Very much appreciated.  :party:


 

John_M

Subforum Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
petmonster_tw said:
About infantry vs Cav. We are still trying to find the right balance. We did have -at one- point unbreakable wall of spears and quickly decided to make the infantry act more foolish. Otherwise Cav vs Inf is not fun at all. In real life no Cav formation charges directly to the infantry. They did get into charge numerous times just to turn back at the last moment. It was a battle of nerves. The infantry "died" many times before finally that last cav charge is real this time. (The cav charge becomes real when the cav commander decides the inf formation has lost its nerve and about to break.) since we cannot simulate this in the game it is somewhat OK to make inf act a bit goofy.
That is extremely disappointing to hear. I was under the false impression that TW just hasn't improved AI to the point of being effective yet. But you purposely nerfed infantry to be useless? This feels like the blocking delay situation all over again. I hope you are serious about finding the right balance, but I have a feeling cav will just be as op as ever.
You talk about cav vs inf in real life, and I agree that simulating that kind of morale fight in game would be pretty impossible. But you ignore one of the main uses for cav in real life. Flanking and running down routing troops. If the AI is indeed better than Warband, I don't see why you can't have cav focus on these things and actually be punished if they find themselves attacking infantry formations head on.
I'll quote on of my posts in the beta forums:
blog_post_77_taleworldswebsite_03.gif
I don't think formation combat/physics is relevant in pvp native, but I will comment based on single player and captain mode scenarios. Currently on captain mod you can f1, f3 lancers from the beginning of the game and win, as long as the other team doesn't use cav of their own. One game the other team were pikeman holding a chokepoint and our lancers blasted straight through slaughtering them. Next round, f1,f3, we found the other team camping a hill with pikemen protecting fian archers, same results as before. Now if AI could use spears my opinion on the following might change, but likely minimally.
I think how far cav can push through lines should depend on:
-Horse Speed/charge
-Horse and Rider encumbrance
-If the infantry is facing the cavalry(a cavalry charge from behind should be devastating, easily knocking people aside)
-Infantry encumbrance
-If the infantry is Blocking with a shield
-And of course, infantry and cavalry numbers
Heavy cavalry charging into a mob of peasants should be as devastating if not more devastating than the gif above. Meanwhile light cavalry charging into a legionary shield wall should basically have no effect. Heavy cavalry should be able to make an indent in heavy infantry, but they should be able to halt the charge if they have the numbers and spears.

So, "If cavalry charges into a group of infantry and they only get pushed aside a little bit, then what's the point?"
The point is that cavalry should primarily be used for flanking, positioning, and capitalizing on weaknesses in the enemy formation.

Basically a system that would simulate the results of a real life cavalry charge but getting rid of all the gritty morale while keeping combat AI similar to how it is now and hopefully more balanced.
 
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