Female Warlords: Slider Solution

What would you like to see in the Game, regarding Female Soldiers and WLs(Warlords)? [Pick 4]

  • All WLs and Soldiers should be Female.

    Votes: 10 4.8%
  • Half of Soldiers and WLs should be Female, to have full gender equality.

    Votes: 6 2.9%
  • We need Female Soldiers added to the Game.

    Votes: 39 18.6%
  • We need Sword-Sisters back, but don't need Female versions of regular Soldiers.

    Votes: 95 45.2%
  • Things are fine the way they are now, in regards to female soldiers and WLs.

    Votes: 26 12.4%
  • Some factions should be distinct by having Female WLs/Soldiers, while others have less/none.

    Votes: 110 52.4%
  • There should be less Female WLs, to make them more rare and interesting characters.

    Votes: 89 42.4%
  • We should remove Female WLs and Soldiers from the game entirely.

    Votes: 16 7.6%
  • A Female Player Character should face prejudice she needs to overcome in Calradia.

    Votes: 121 57.6%
  • There should be no prejudice towards Females in the setting, including a Female Player Character.

    Votes: 11 5.2%

  • Total voters
    210

Lord Earl

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THIS THREAD MEETS BOARD REQUIREMENTS
A couple of moderators have been kind enough to explain to me the requirements, in greater detail, for a thread in the suggestions section, particularly one about female warlords. And I have followed those requirements closely, as outlined here, prior to the thread's main body of content for discussion.

Previous Thread
I did this, because as previous thread was deleted without warning, instead of being closed as other threads of this nature are, when they get out of hand. This was very strange to me, since all except one person was being polite and having a good discussion, and as I recall we were all polite to that one troublemaker, who had to be muted in the end, shortly before the thread was deleted. The thread also contained a poll, and a variety of opinions were expressed within it. Female Soldiers were wanted in the game, for example, at the same time as it being popular to reduce female lord populations, and no one bickered about this.

I brought up my concerns to a couple of moderators, and it became clear there should be no issue with me reposting the thread.

Here are the precepts that were brought up, for posting a thread, which I think will be useful to the entire community:


1: The thread should not be a duplicate, you should search to check for duplicates.
I expect this is a looser rule, I don't believe they're going to delete any thread whose subject has been glossed over before, but rather hard examples of duplicate discussions.
These threads [about female warlords], of which we had several already. Try the search function and set it to "women" and "female" and you'll be swamped with threads.
I searched a few times within the suggestions board, and did not get any threads on this topic. There was one about adding female soldiers to the game, semi-related, which has the credit of coming up with the slider solution, but did not speak on the topic of female warlords. There was another thread which a moderator thought might be spam:
On the off chance you're not trolling, it's not a bug, it's a feature. If you are trolling, please don't.
At that rate, we need a thread on the subject that obviously isn't spam.


2: It should be in the correct section.
Unfortunately, the different sections of the Suggestions board don't have posts detailing what topics they cover, so you need to guess a little. In this case, my idea could affect every mode of Single Player, including the Custom Battles, so I have put it here. I expect it can be moved, but I will gladly re-post it in the correct section if asked to.


3: It must not be spam.
Thankfully, a moderator confirmed my arguments were not spam.
You might have noticed that all of your argumentation for a more unique role of the female warlords in game still stands, because you are fortunately not resorting to to misogynist behaviour expressed by several other users.
So, apparently, I am uniquely qualified to speak on this subject. The arguments he was responding to was composed of the very same arguments I made in the last thread. But do not worry, my slider solution caters to everyone equally, as I do not intend my personal bias to infringe on anyone's experience.

It was also clarified that this kind of feedback is fine, and not classed as spam:
That sort of feedback [about female warlords] is fine, though I will add that it's not entirely a priority and if TW decides to design their fictional world that way it's entirely up to them. Which is why I suggested people that feel the need to stray from that presented world can use or create a mod instead.
Of course, the final decision always rests with TW. I hope they consider this solution which I think everyone can appreciate, as many players do NOT make use of mods, and I wouldn't want them to have a subpar experience due to their lack of modding.


Conclusion
With that out of the way, I think we can safely say a thread on this topic is quite acceptable, I have gone to a lot of trouble to try and meet all these standards, and to create a good environment for a civil and honest intellectual discussion about female warlords in the game. My solution should work well for all players, while being effectively no work to implement, and giving options for changing up your playthroughs of the game.

I will post the main body of the thread in a second post, just for clearer reading. Many threads use two posts if they are particularly long, so there is precedent to do this. Forgive me if the formatting in the second post is off, as I could not save that from when my thread was deleted without warning.

Please make use of the poll, which will be useful for the Devs to work out what players actually want from the game.
 
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Lord Earl

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Introduction
So, a lot of threads and petty squabbles have started up, related to the subject of female warlords. A number of people want them gone entirely, others seem to want more female warlords, when almost exactly half the women in the game are warlords (probably a little more or less, based off RNG). Sadly, these suggestions tend to be poorly written, and are immediately met with a chorus of "sexism" or, "SJWism"....

Let's see if a well-written one makes a difference, or if people just like to whine about everything.


Female Warlords
They are an interesting concept. A woman defying tradition, standing up against prejudice to lead armies. It is the story of the lone underdog, the theme that has been part of a million stories, inspiring sympathy and investment in the character's success against the odds.

This is also the theme TW has said they plan to take with the female playthrough of the game, where the player also must stand against prejudice, increasing their fame until she is above the contempt of society. In a rags to riches game, this makes a lot of sense as a narrative, and you can imagine the female warriors feeling some kinship with the female PC in her struggles.

But currently... it makes no sense whatsoever.


The Incongruity
How exactly would there be prejudiced against the player, a female warrior, if there are literally dozens of female warlords riding about, conquering castles, in every faction in the game? It doesn't make sense... that is clearly a world without prejudice, at least against women warriors. It would be very annoying if there was any challenge or snide towards your character, when the town is ruled by Helga the Skull-splitter, as that makes no freaking sense.

Then again... why do all cultures have exactly the same views, on this matter?


Mono-Culture
Currently, all the factions have a large number of female warlords. There may be difference chances for them to appear, but if so it's hard to notice.

So... why do we have a monoculture, where everyone sees gender issues exactly the same way? Why are we watering down these cultures, to make them into more acceptable versions of what some people want those cultures to believe? Wouldn't it make more sense and be more interesting if the Viking-like faction, which as I recall does have women called shield-maidens, had more women warriors than the others, and had less prejudice towards female PCs?

And what about Warband where there were no female warlords? What about Swadia referencing how they had those in their mysterious past, as a point of something unusual?


Senseless Lore
There's more than one incongruity... how did the world get like this? Why doesn't it match up with the lore of Warband, where there were almost no female warlords? Is there in-world lore and reasoning for these things, can we explore the life of these warlords and understand their place in the society with some effective writing, or is it just plot fiat like a two-bit fantasy novel, where female warriors are there for the purpose of being ogled?

And what about Swadia referencing how they had female warlords in their mysterious past, as a point of something unusual and interesting? Specifically... something interesting because it's unusual.


Dime a Dozen Female Warlords, going Cheap!
The main reason to do anything in a game, is it is interesting. How exactly is making half the women in the game warriors interesting? You don't have to be a warlord to be a good character, obviously, and it is unfortunate some act like that is the case, that non martial women are lesser. But if there are literally dozens of them, to the point of them being common... they're just a palette swap. We can't give them unique backstories about how they "broke the glass ceiling," and became a warlord... because that'd feel incredibly empty the 15th time you heard it.

You could try to say it is for the sake of variety... but this takes variety out of the cultures, and reduces them, I repeat, to a palete swap. It's that very trope of placing tits on a man, an empty character for the sake of "variety" better known as fanservice. And if female warlords are so common, why aren't there ANY female soldiers in the armies? Female soldiers did exist in a few cases historically.


It's just Fantasy
A lot of people like to say this is history, and not fantasy. But if so.... Why not add orcs to the game?

No, really... why don't we add orcs? I like orcs and other fantasy creatures, and how they have unique biology and culture from humans, and look very distinct. So, we're talking about something much more interesting, much more variety in appearance and content.

Some critics might complain that'd make Calradia like a cheap fantasy novel.... like a DnD book cover, splashed with female warriors, sometimes fully dressed with a noticeable bulge, to appeal to a predominantly male demographic that fetishizes warrior women.


Slider Solution
A number of people, including the moderators, have just told people to mod the game if they don't like it.

The constant asking for removing women from the game is, with few exceptions one might grant, purely based on sexist arguments.
There's one beautiful thing for all those that want their kingdom to be labeled "girls not allowed, they're jucky". Create a mod.
The fact of the matter is, the game is in a fictional setting and creative liberty gives TaleWorlds the freedom to make the characters they want. If you don't like what they do, that's fine, but since this is exclusively an SP problem then I can safely suggest that you mod the game to your liking and be content. If you don't want to do that, too bad. Deal with it.
But this seems unfair to people who do not have an interest in modding their game... very few players normally mod a game, and even if Mount & Blade's community is more modding-prone, I would doubt as many as 50% of players mod or look at the forums. So they can't "deal with it" or be expected to; that is why we have game developers and a system of feedback for tailoring the game to players' tastes.


A fairly popular solution that was suggested, was for a slider in the game, where you could decide how prevalent female warlords and soldiers are in the setting. In fact, the suggestion was in relation to a female-soldier mod, where someone made it so all factions could recruit female soldiers, something TW could easily add to the game.

So, people who desire for half the warlords and half the soldiers in the game to be female, can arrange this. Or you could make all of them female. Or none of them, it would be up to the player to decide.


Poll
The slider's default position would be at the point most engaging for the majority of players. I have included a poll above, to attempt to gauge what sort of level this slider should be placed at by default. I hope this will be helpful to the developers.



I've done my best to cover the subject at length, and hope it was enjoyable for you to read. I hope we can have a productive discussion unlike other threads, and not act like children who throw about insults and accusations, being bigoted towards other points of view. We should all strive to be open-minded, and consider what others are saying even if we do not agree with them.

 
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kurczak

Section Moderator
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Just to clarify, that quote of mine is from a thread that was originally posted in the Tech Support section, hence my saying that it's a feature, not a bug. The thread was then moved to the Feedback & Suggestion section, where my comment may not make as much sense.
 

Lord Earl

Karen
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Sorry, didn't realize that aspect of your post. I also came to the conclusion that the post was poorly written to the extent where it could be mistaken for spam (I don't think it was intended as such).


Back on topic, I will add that such a slider could remove the exaggerated bulge from female armor. There wasn't enough space in the poll to cover that topic, which deserves its own thread. I get where the Devs were coming from... they don't want to have to design a female model if you can't tell it's female at all, the moment it puts armor on (which all models in the game tend to do), so they exaggerate the shape. This is normal in games and media, it's the equivalent of putting a red bow in the character's hair from pixel art games so you can tell that the character is female at all.

Of course, unless a character has massive "tracts of land", you wouldn't notice, realistically. Warband's models were more in that direction, but the present female model is not quite so "prodigious" as that. So, regardless of the female WLs discussion, various people will want to turn that aspect off for the sake of realism, so it may be worth making it an option.
 
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White Ahroun

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This is gonna be some **** when this catches fire. As the resident Political Neutral, I'll kick off discussion. Here's hoping the rest of you can keep it decent.

Women fought. It happened. Even in 1000. Was it common? Nah. Did it happen? Hell yes. My take is, if it's believable, do it. The number of women warriors isn't important to me. What I care about is whether or not it's possible. It's possible for a woman to fight on a medieval battlefield, and win. It's possible for a woman to kill a man with a sword.

The amount of women that fight, and what they look like, that's up to the devs. Once the basic question of "Do I believe this?" is answered, scale it however you want, makes no difference to me.

By the way, nice format. Poll layout should give some good at-a-glance data to the devs in case they wanna tweak this.
 

Lord Earl

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Thanks. I put a lot of thought into the poll. I figure it should be a useful, quick and dirty statistic about what people care about. Whether people are very concerned about being able to play a deeper version of a female character's rise against prejudice, whether some would be interested in playing with all female characters, etc.

Last time, things were quite civil... so I hope my carefully constructed post and poll encourages people to repeat that.


In general, I'd say quantity is important, as that is a part of the writing and worldbuilding. I will find it annoying if my character is prejudiced against, despite there being a female warlord ruling that area, fighting against numerous female warlords in the next faction over, and would prefer to turn off the prejudice so that the world makes some sense.

But I understand some people will not care about these details, and I don't really see any need for them to care (it's a game, after all). I figured a slider was the best answer, to such a convoluted topic. And I think it'd ALSO serve to stop all the fights that rear up due to this topic.
 

LeChat

Sergeant Knight at Arms
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Nice poll, except it a pity you mention the sliders in the title and comments and do not add it in the poll.
Why is there not options like :
- Slider for the proportion of female <-> male WL
- Slider for the proportion of female <-> male soldiers
It could solve everything, allowing players to choose what they prefer. From "I want no females" to "I want only females".

Edit : And prejudice to woman player could be a checkbox.
All that is optionnal or with sliders can fit to everyone.
 

Lord Earl

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Thanks. The reason I didn't add it to the poll is I ran out of options. So far, everyone I've spoken to is in favor of a slider and options, so I figured the bigger question is what a good default setting would be, since the majority of players are not likely to play with sliders and advanced options, and you want to give them the best experience, as a game dev.

I figure you could condense it down to one slider, but you could also have two sliders and one toggle, or such. Then you could be extra creative, and make Calradia a land where all the nobles are women, and all the soldiers men, or whatever else. That can change up your playthroughs of the game.
 

Staal

Recruit
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For all the claims regarding "misogyny" I haven't seen much of that. I have seen far more insults towards people that want the ratio reduced. The intolerance of the self-proclaimed tolerant is always amusing.

Most people (that care about this in the first place) just don't want anachronistic (especially modern political power games - which is really what this is about) in their medieval-based games. It jars with the authenticity of the experience. I agree with the OP that at this point it is a cheap, uninspired palette swap and is a lost opportunity for additional RPG background/features.

There are three groups of people here:

1. Those that care about the authenticity of the game who see the benefit of having a nuanced world.
2. Those that don't care one way or the other.
3. Those with a political axe to grind. This represents some sort of victory for them, but all they have done is made everyone's experience of gaming art poorer.

Group 3 is a tiny minority (but vocal) and in their favour is that Taleworlds won't change this because they know the mod community WILL fix this and everyone in Group 1 will get that mod. Group 2 are playing the game while we are typing. 🙈

The poll is the only really important part here. Everything that can be said has been said. Slider works great, but where is the benefit to Taleworlds to spend development time on it?
 

IceNoVa

The Kaiser
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I brought up my concerns to a couple of moderators, and it became clear there should be no issue with me reposting the thread.
Yes, this seems well sorted. Added it to the wachlist to keep track of participation. Might be a candidate for the suggestion megathread.
 

Karl_Magnus

Sergeant
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I do agree with a more Warband-like approach. The difference of stance from society depending on gender was an interesting way of making a change of gameplay, giving more replayability for the players who wants to try both. And it's an interesting suggestion to make it also a cultural aspect. There can be female warriors and leaders, just not as many as men were, and differently proportioned in the various kingdoms.

While not being a priority, it should be considered and introduced eventually. It's not sexism, it's a matter of replayability, immersion and historical realism (if that's still a thing TW claims to be remotely looking for).

And yeah, why not make it an option to choose proportions in gender with a slider at the start of the game if possible, this way some kinds of people can't be outraged.

But I'm basically only restating the original post of this thread. This has my support.


I'd be in favor of making men also more warrior oriented and women more support oriented, but that part would probably provoke some. So I guess this one would be more so up to TW and how pressured they feel about ''making something fit to our 21st century society''.
 
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Aruda

Knight at Arms
VC
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Bannerlord should follow Warband's footsteps on this matter. We had a female claimant to Swadian throne, a powerful all-female mercenary troop tree and few but interesting female companions. We also need prejudice against females otherwise whats the point of having a female or a male character if they dont have any gameplay differences? The challenge of being a female in a medieval society in an RPG game (like Warband) offers(-ed) huge gameplay opportunities and TW missed that one with Bannerlord. With a female character you could experience a different aspect of the game in Warband and after getting bored of playing male characters, it offered lots of fun. I'm all for a more realistic approach to the matter.
I get it, (maybe)TW is afraid of the possible negative outcome of their decisions regarding the matter, Kingdom Come Deliverance faced the same issue but of course that game was a historically accurate one compared to M&B series so it had a stronger standing point. But I could see some similarities between those 2 games as in earlier M&B and M&B Warband's description we could easily see the term "historically realistic" regarding the setting, the lack of magic and the overall faction designs .This is an RPG game and roleplaying a female character in a medieval society should offer different challenges and gameplay-wise it offers more replayability. Armagan designed the original M&B game the way he thought is good, and we all loved it so why change it now and take a bland approach to the matter?
 
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BlackRainZ

Sergeant at Arms
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It isn't the presence of female warlords or soldiers in the game that bothers me, it is the frequency. Also, I find it ridiculous that there are probably more female gang bosses than male gang bosses. In my opinion there should be less women warlords, female soldiers should be super rare, and there should maybe be 1 or 2 female gang bosses at most. It is just too immersion breaking as it is right now. It is not believable to have so many female warriors. Just because it is possible for there to be a few, doesn't mean we should have a game full of them. Also, the female warlords should not be fighting in my opinion and female warriors should more look the part. Right now, they all look tiny and weak, they need to be more muscular and look fierce.
 

Nikomakkos

Knight at Arms
WBVC
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For all the claims regarding "misogyny" I haven't seen much of that. I have seen far more insults towards people that want the ratio reduced. The intolerance of the self-proclaimed tolerant is always amusing.

Most people (that care about this in the first place) just don't want anachronistic (especially modern political power games - which is really what this is about) in their medieval-based games. It jars with the authenticity of the experience. I agree with the OP that at this point it is a cheap, uninspired palette swap and is a lost opportunity for additional RPG background/features.

There are three groups of people here:

1. Those that care about the authenticity of the game who see the benefit of having a nuanced world.
2. Those that don't care one way or the other.
3. Those with a political axe to grind. This represents some sort of victory for them, but all they have done is made everyone's experience of gaming art poorer.

Group 3 is a tiny minority (but vocal) and in their favour is that Taleworlds won't change this because they know the mod community WILL fix this and everyone in Group 1 will get that mod. Group 2 are playing the game while we are typing. 🙈

The poll is the only really important part here. Everything that can be said has been said. Slider works great, but where is the benefit to Taleworlds to spend development time on it?
Funniest to me is that anyone would proclaim it sexist to want the game to in some ways favor male warlords over female ones as surely it must be feminist to recognize historical asymmetries between the sexes rather than not.
 

Wehveechen

Regular
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Frankly, I didn't actually care either way before release. No female Lords like in warband? Is okay, makes sense. Relatively balanced split like in bannerlord? Cool, hi fellow women.
Now, after reading in forums and Reddit, I'd (probably) happily pick a "only female soldiers and warlords" out of pure spite. For a while, before going for balance again.
The vitriol I have seen was frankly beyond the scope of what I expected.
 

Staal

Recruit
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@Nikomakkos That common sense will be the death of you sir.

@Wehveechen Only it wasn't split like in Warband. And the issue is whether the game loses out from an RPG perspective, which it does. In the end you are only spiting yourself. The ID-monster will not stop there. Ask the Soviets.
 

Varrak

Baron
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I was actually surprised that there weren't any female khuzait troops spawning in battlefield. Hopefully, some factions will have regular female troops in battlefield, not as a seperate troop tree but as a randomized troops spawning in.
 

Wehveechen

Regular
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@Nikomakkos That common sense will be the death of you sir.

@Wehveechen Only it wasn't split like in Warband. And the issue is whether the game loses out from an RPG perspective, which it does. In the end you are only spiting yourself. The ID-monster will not stop there. Ask the Soviets.
Idk about you but I don't lose immersion when I see women on the battlefield. I lose immersion when my horse floats up the mountain without slowing down but each to their own I guess.

Ultimately, sliders are probably the only way to compromise camps.
 

Deer

Sergeant at Arms
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If we are having this discussion again (I'd rather not, it turns toxic so quickly), concider the Scytians as rolemodels for female warriors. Horse archery makes the physical difference between men a women irrelevant and archeology indicates that there were in fact female scytian warriors. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wa...-show-warrior-women-were-real/?outputType=amp

Also bear in mind that a lot of our western european historical goggles are affected by the Greek and Romans who were very patriarchal societies. This trickled into Christianity and the post Roman societies that became medieval Europe and so on. If there was an anti-female-warrior agenda, as the article argues could be possible, example with Greek stories of Amazons cutting off their breasts, it can easily have had an effect on the history writing through out the European history. As a contrast, Japan has a tradition of female samurai. Maybe not so much on the field, but they were supposed to be able to fight for them selves. So the argument that it's a modern idea for women to fight, isn't completely true, although Roman and Christian traditions dictate so.

Tldr. At least the Khergit could apply female troops as there is historical indicators of this occurring in the steppentribes.
Companions are also defendable as they fall in the category of outstanding individuals.

That aside I like the female warriors and warlords. I think they are awesome. And until there is official ingame lore saying otherwise, it's hard to claim that THIS empire didn't have female rulers and generals.