Family members need a bit of skill boost...

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kweassa

Sergeant at Arms
I'm a big fan of the "long game," so in my character's lifetime I will se a dozen or more number of family members when starting with a campaign, and will be able to see children and their grandchildren in sandbox.

The problem is, skills that require individual action -- particularly martial skills -- are just way too difficult to bring up for your family members.

The companions have a similar problem, but at least, the wanderers come in pre-defined archetypes which starts with a pretty advanced skill level in certain parts, so over a long time of service I've led many of them to reach 275+ in areas of their specialty, but I've never, ever managed to bring any family member over 200 in martial skills that involve Vigor or Control. Never mind 200, often, just bringing them over 100 may take decades.

As mentioned, obviously, this is because for characters born into the family, the only instance they ever use individual skill is when they are out in the field. The only thing they can skill-up when not in your party, is stuff like Charm, as they interact with visitors, or Stewardship, if they're given a governor's position. Unlike your character, the family member has no capability to run in small groups and have many small-scale adventures that require him/her to use weapons. Even for the player character, everyone knows that once you start raising certain amount of troops, effectively all growth in martial skills slow down to a crawl since your engagements now focuses in party-vs-party, army-vs-army level.

So, to sum it up, family members:
  • ... have no way to hone skills that require personal use, most notably martial skills (VIG/CTR skills).
  • ... have no way to go outside into the world as a very small band of adventurers (less than 10 men) and have adventurers like yourself, because in small parties the AI is too poor to avooid getting caught by bandits.
  • ... will increase very, very, very, very, very slowly to the point of struggling to break even 100, if they're given a sizeable number of men as a party, because most of the fighting is done by the soldiers.

I think family members need some sort of "skill boost" event. The game currently already has a generic, but still delightful, "education" segments for your family members. At the end of their education, they spawn with a hunk of attribute points and focus points. Instead of doing that, when they are about to spawn, I think it'd be better to prompt a one, final "education" segment which asks you what sort of "archetype" the family member will be -- for example, ask you if that family member has grown up to: (a) a warrior, (b) a bureaucrat, (c) a scholar, or (d) balanced.

If the "warrior" is chosen, it will ask if the family member became skilled as: (a) cavalry, (b) infantry, or (c) ranged.. and then will keep asking further question to sort of "flesh out" what they are good at. And then, have them begin their career with something like 90~100 skill already in that area. Likewise, ask relevant questions if you select "bureaucrat" or "scholar" for them, but give out lower base skill since those areas are relatively much, much easier to increase during the game. Or if chosen "balanced" distribute a lower skill points at multiple areas.
 

Marek15

Veteran
Since the ai is not as capable as the player in combat they need a xp multiplier to level up at the same pace.
The mod Leveling Rebalance gives ai characters 10x xp with melee weapons and 5x with ranged. The mod does require a new game however.
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Master Knight
Yeah the skill up system really craps the bed when it's anyone but the player. I also don't like how lords start with high skills all over the place that you know they would take 30+ years for them to actual raise up if they were your kids or something. It's cheaty and fake, only the OLD npcs should have high skill spreads, the younger should have less an less at the start of the game. I don't love the system for the player either but it's at least doable.

I feel like some of the devs must not understand that it's only skill and perks that actually change a character. It's nice to get FP and attributes form the education system, but it's actually a huge oversight to not give them much more skill with the choices too. They start out really bad with very limited (or no) means to level up many of the skills, many of which we didn't even choose freely "I choose bow, then riding...now you get engineer and throwing hah hah". WTF? Just let me pick what I want for each choice.

Basically everyone Gets Ranged weapon, Riding and INT+ steward, WHY? because these skills I can easily level on them, then they get a sprinkle of other skills like medicine, scouting, tactics that they can level up if they ever lead a party. I wish some of them could start a side clan and just do thier own stuff since you can only have 3-4 parties.
 

ldgarrett

Regular
As it is something I have been recently examining, the "Lord Build" which older brother and all the npc nobles get handed to them is, on average, short at least 12 Attribute points and over 20 Focus points to justify the skills they have achieved prior to play and to have any meaningful skill growth in play. If the intent is to have them be static characters with little ability to gain needed skills for the roles they take on, that's what you've got. (How many "Lords" have any Scouting to speak of, when it is one of the key party leader skills in the game?) The only fix to it right now is a painstaking console exercise to make the builds plausible, and one simply can not expect a usual player to be bothered to do it... and the lack of it makes npc war parties have far less potential competency. Companions are, arguably, even worse. Some specialized builds of those brings enough skill to fill a party slot in the main character's war party, but rarely as well as a post-game-day 200 player character and are in generally fatally flawed to be given their own party. ("Prince" builds generally get a lot of leader & tactics, but no steward and are too high a level at the time you can hire them to get many Foci to assign to growing stewardship in play.)

As usual, the caveat applies: what is good for the game when the player is level 1 and the game is starting is often not at all what is good for the game day 200-1000 midgame for any clan. So what the Devs need to do to "fix" this is tied to deciding which part of the campaign arc matters.

Hope that helps.

edit: additionally, note that the AI does all their battles in autocalc, and IIRC there is still a vastly lower xp reward in autocalc'd battles than in those played out live. If someone can confirm or refute that based on current code, please do say so.
 

Marek15

Veteran
edit: additionally, note that the AI does all their battles in autocalc, and IIRC there is still a vastly lower xp reward in autocalc'd battles than in those played out live. If someone can confirm or refute that based on current code, please do say so.
Simulated battles only generate 10% less xp, but lords and companions tend to get more kills in them compared to real battles.
The big difference is the xp reward based on the defeated unit tier. Tier 1 & 2 give less xp than in real battles, tier 3 & 4 roughly equal and tier 5 & 6 give more xp in simulated battles.
 
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