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Fleshing out Personality Traits and multiple combat AI levels

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1) More Personality Trait Effects

What if the age and personality traits could play a bigger role in and out of battle? If losing a battle could have different outcomes depending on the winning Lord's personality and relation?

Example: if the Lord leading a party is very young, let's say 18 years old, with traits Impulsive and Fearless, it should be easier to force a disorganized charge or other bad decisions on the battlefield. Additionally, young Impulsive Lords could have a penalty for Autocalculated battles, but a small bonus for party speed. This could open unique and interesting gameplay opportunities. Armies led by Impulsive Lords would be more likely to fail at the campaign.

1. Calculating and Cerebral Lords should assume defensive positions more often, trying to use the most of their party composition advantage and terrain. Also, they have bonus for Autocalc battles (more if they are older).

2. Losing a battle and becoming a prisioner of a Sadistic/Cruel Lord can be dangerous, as there's a chance of having one of your companions or even someone of your family tortured or executed if relations are too low. For me, this creates a BIG potential of story generation inside a campaign. If you were raiding this village and not paying attention to the screen, you will soon regret when you see that a Sadistic Lord got you before you could flee and now you don't know what can happen if you lose that battle.

3. Closefisted Lords could require x% more value in barters and may require more % of the loot from battles. Also, would require more money for ransom. Maybe they can have a bigger gain in relations when the player gift them money (a target for low Charm and high Trade players).

4. Generous and Munificent Lords would require % less value in barters and all the opposite from Closefisted. It would make them good cadidates for the first Lords to be convinced to a new kingdom.

5. Honorable and Honest Lords have a bonus to troop morale and don't take the player as prisioner nor take any loot if relations are positive and player has similar Traits.

6. Devious and Deceitful Lords have a penalty to troop morale, making them a bit more willing to desert. They can take more loot and money from the player when winning a battle.


This would make the world feels more alive, at the same time that endless gameplay opportunities would be created everywhere.

2) More ways to Convince - Personality, Roguery, Leadership, Champion Status and Trade Matters

We need more mid-game systems allowing players to reach big objectives through different paths. Trader, Champion and Bandit playthroughs often end prematurely or shift to a Commander/Smithing route to keep going at the endgame.

There are lots of ideas related to that issue, providing different ways to make money or to consolidate power (possibility to become a crime lord, to be hired as a soldier, to invest in land or seeding fields in villages, Tournament Quests, Feasts,...). When we consider what bannerlord has of "end game", which is basically World Conquest and kingdom management, Charm and Leadership are almost mandatory.

We should be able to convince NPCs by Dialog Checks related to skills other than Charm or relation mechanics, even if just temporarily. We need the ability to Intimidate (related to high Vigor or Tournament Champion Status), to bribe (related to Trade), to Inspire (related to Honor and Leadership) and to Threaten (related to roguery). Of course none of those should be as effective as Charm/relation, but this addition would be enough to make different routes more viable and keep in the table NPCs with negative relations against the player (at least for Intimidate and Threaten). Also, personality traits can play a role making one or the other more or less effective.

Relation penalties if it fails. 65% base chance of Charm equivalent.

Example of rules to use this new dialog:

1. To be able to Intimidate = Minimum 6 Vigor or being Tournament Champion, growing chances with vigor.
2. To be able to Bribe = Minimum 80 Trade, growing chances with skill.
3. To be able to Inspire = Minimum 80 Leadership and Honorable traits required, growing chances with skill.
4. To be able to Threaten = Minimum 80 Roguery, growing chances with skill.

NPC personalities should affect success chances.

Closefisted Lords would be more open to Bribes, Generous Lords would be more resistant.
Honorable Lords can be more affected by Inspire, and so on.

Let's assume an objective: Recruiting nobles to a recent created kingdom. Today there's only one real path to this, which is Charm/Relation Grind + Money (I know we have quests, but those are RNG dependent). But let's imagine a player with very high Roguery skills seeking for Lords to recruit and help defending his fiefs. He spots a lone Lord with no fiefs and Cautious trait, which is more vulnerable to Threaten attempts. This way, a high Roguery player could force Lords to join, becoming a Tyrant.

3. Multiple Levels of Combat AI

For me, sounds terribly cheap that the difference between a peasant and a king in combat is just the speed of swings and some perks. A life of study, practice and training should mean more than that. Today you can easily beat any Lord on characters with 0 Combat Skills. Lords should be recognized in battle not only by the armor, but also by how well they behave. For that, we need multiple levels of combat AI.

Lords should be capable of tauting the player in Tournaments, or staying put challenging the player to come to them (when there are no ranged weapons in this round). Tournaments need to be harder when Lords are present.

Also, companions trained for foot melee combat hardly do well in the battlefield. This makes them a poor investment beyond infantry captain role.

I don't know if this can apply to common soldiers due to resource demands, but chaging companions and lords would be great already.

I was thinking about changes on the AI based on skill intervals, but other variables can be used (like lord personality, troop tier, level, sum of vigor + endurance skills...).

Let's supose we can have 4 levels of AI and 4 intervals on skills, 0-100, 101-200, 201-300 and 301+:

1) Skill 0-100: Attacks are naturally slower due to lower skill, but additionally this AI has low focus, meaning that it has a hard time seeing enemies aproaching from the sides or from behind (and attacks from behind should cause more damage!). This first level of AI commit to mistakes more frequently, like changing weapons when an enemy is already too close or defending to the wrong direction. It also has poor ability to judge which kind of attack is better for each situation (i.e. when there's a crowd of infantry tight together and soldiers keep failing when trying to use side attacks because the weapon always hits near friendly troops). This AI is tipical for untrained and unprofessional troops (low tier bandits, villagers, peasants in general). It's unable to use formations without external command (I don't understand why looters keep forming lines in Vanilla), is more likely to flee and often drops it's weapons when doing it.

And it would scale behavior to the last level, maybe restricted to War Trained Lords.

4) Skill 301+: This is the best AI any unit can have and the player will feel it. Beyond the faster swings, this AI can notice if the player starts to block too soon and can perform a "feint", quickly changing swing direction. It also is capable of using Kick and Shield Bashing between attacks. This AI will be capable of repositioning itself to the direction with lower numbers of enemies, avoiding being surrounded. Rarely it will take wrong decisions, and it knows which kind of attacks are best for each situation (using OverHeads or Stabs when fighting tightly packed like in the example above from stage 1). It will never Taunt when there are ranged weapons in this Tournament round (unless personality trait justifies it).
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