Future Plans

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Greeting warriors of Calradia!

With the recent release of e1.6.0 and well over a hundred game updates under our belt since the start of early access, we figured it’s about time that we discussed some of the progress made since our previous blog post back in April before turning our attention to some of the future plans for the game. Oh, and fair warning, this is a bit of a big one so you might want to grab yourself a drink and make yourself comfortable before reading on!


Sieges keep on improving!

Over the past few months, dozens of new scenes, items, animations, icons, artwork, and sounds have been added to the game, greatly expanding the options and experiences available to you while journeying through Calradia. Additionally, several new features and systems were introduced, presenting you with fresh challenges while giving you greater control over key aspects of the game.

Some of the additions could be considered to be a bit more substantial, such as; Crafting Orders, which provides more purpose and meaning to the extensive weapon crafting system by allowing you to explore a new career path within the sandbox; Keep Battles, which expand sieges with the addition of climactic battles in the heart of besieged castles; Party and Kingdom War Stances, which allow you to assign orders to subordinate parties to dictate their approach towards hostilities; and Duel, a new multiplayer game mode that pits you against other players in single combat.

Meanwhile, other impactful, but perhaps a bit more subtle, additions were made, including; unique rewards when joining a kingdom for the first time; ransom offers for prisoners; revised cultural bonuses; more difficulty options, including an Ironman mode which restricts your playthrough to a single save file; new quests; the ability to abdicate a throne; various quality of life and UI updates, such as the overhaul of the Kingdom Wars tab and the introduction of an event log; Encyclopedia and Party screen tweaks; AI combat improvements; settlement production icons; and the ability to pick and choose specific troops in custom battles.


Explore a new career path with Crafting Orders!

Of course, none of this will be news to you if you have been following the development of the game from the patch notes or Development Update videos, so let’s move on to discuss some of our plans moving forward!

gamescom​

Usually, around this time of the year, we’d be sharing our plans for gamescom with you. However, with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic making meeting you in person in Cologne this year all but impossible, we have decided to forgo participating in gamescom related activities this time around, including the online event. Instead, we feel that our time would be best spent keeping our heads down and focussing entirely on the development of the game, without any additional distractions.

Returning to the Studio​

With most of our employees now having received their second vaccine shot, we have started to make plans for a phased return to the studio. Naturally, the health and well-being of our team are of utmost importance to our decision making and we will be taking many safety measures. This, combined with the many new faces that have joined the team since we started working remotely makes planning the seating arrangements a little trickier, but we want to assure you that, just as at the start of the pandemic, we are well prepared for this transition and work will continue on the game unabated.


Face off against other players in single combat in multiplayer Duel mode

Singleplayer​

Switching the topic back to the game, in the short to medium term we intend to focus on the following priorities for singleplayer. However, please be aware that this is not an exhaustive list and you should expect a few additional surprises in addition to the planned features outlined below!

Battle Terrain System​

The battle terrain system was initially announced in Development Update #7 and it was great to see the positive feedback that it received! The feature will provide a more strategic and unique experience for each and every battle by associating specific scenes with campaign map regions rather than terrain types, while also taking into account party positioning and orientation within the region to influence the initial battle setup.

Since the announcement, we have continued to work on the system and have notably increased the pool of field battle scenes to better support it. However, due to the sheer scale of this feature and the amount of work required, you can expect to see updates to this through the addition of new scenes long after it is made available to you.


Choose your battle(field)s wisely with the Battle Terrain System

Granting of Peerage to Companions​

While adventuring through Calradia, it is almost guaranteed that you will pick up a companion or two to accompany you on your journey. These characters can fight alongside you in battle, or assist you with crafting, questing, or governing your fiefs. They may also be assigned to lead caravans or clan parties to earn you additional coin or influence. As your campaign progresses and the bonds between you and your followers develop, we feel that it’s only appropriate that you should be able to reward them for their loyalty and service by elevating them to the ranks of the nobility, if you so choose of course!

Order of Battle​

While the Mount & Blade series has always emphasised fighting alongside and commanding your troops from within the thick of the battle, nothing speaks against establishing some order before you clash with your enemies!

This feature will allow you to assign troops and heroes to formations, as well as, give them orders and position them during the deployment phase for both battles and sieges.


Prepare for battle with the Order of Battle deployment phase

Banner Bearers​

Alongside Order of Battle, we are working on the Banner Bearer feature, which will allow heroes to bring their banners to battle and have them carried by soldiers within their formation. Not only will this make battles more colourful and visually diverse, but there will also be gameplay effects for the soldiers marching under each banner.

Party Templates​

Another means to increase the variety of encounters and make AI party leaders feel more distinct are party templates. Currently, party leaders pursue largely the same “effective” template through their recruitment and upgrading of troops. We will explore and implement a greater number of templates that may be assigned to AI party leaders based on their cultural and character traits.

Cut Scenes​

The sandbox simulation includes many significant life events, ranging from the death of a comrade to witnessing the birth of your child. Whether these are ill or good tidings, they are currently communicated quite abstractly. As such, we intend to give them more life and improve overall immersion by introducing several cut scene notifications, similar to the existing execution animation.


Commemorate significant life events with cut scenes

Looking a bit further ahead, we will continue to make progress in many other key areas of the sandbox, with some of our longer-term priorities being:

Sally Out Mission​

Sieges in Bannerlord are quite dynamic events that can play out in a number of different ways, with one outcome being defenders sallying out to break the siege. Currently, the game will initiate a standard field battle for these encounters, which can be a little immersion breaking and isn’t truly befitting of the event. In the future, we want the sally out action to have its own dedicated mission that plays out on the relevant siege scene, making these unique events a bit more special. Forth Eorlingas!

Scenes​

As always, and as our recent patch notes can attest to, work continues on adding a variety of new scenes to the game. In addition to Towns, our current focus is on creating scenes for the Battle Terrain System. Naturally, you should also expect to see improvements and updates to existing scenes, as well as, the addition of some new, more specific scenes.


Unique Town scenes for you to explore and conquer!

Claimant Quests​

The setting of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is one of turmoil, with the Emperor murdered and the Calradic Empire heading towards civil war. It should come as no surprise that such times of change provide opportunities to actors that would otherwise have stayed in the shadows. They may just need the right hero to help them press their claim...

Vocalisation​

Yup, you heard that right! A portion of the dialogues in Bannerlord will be voiced in English. This will focus on areas that you are likely to experience often or in a meaningful way, such as greetings and conversations from the main storyline.

Other​

Of course, we will also be working on maintaining, balancing and improving all of the existing singleplayer features and content. This is including further AI fixes and improvements, for sieges in particular, as well as, a continued effort to improve performance across the board. This extends to the polishing of any newly introduced content, such as War & Peace reasons, and balancing existing mechanics like Birth & Death rates, skill experience gains, and armour effectiveness. It also covers the addition of smaller mechanics, like an AI death chance in simulation battles, an option to respec perks, and the ability to retire the active main character.

Furthermore, we will continue to expand content such as issue quests, music and sounds, animations, models (including crafting pieces), artwork, and so forth.

Sturgia Tavern, by Ensemble Galatia

Multiplayer​

Moving on to the multiplayer side of the game, these are our current priorities for the short to medium term. However, just as with the singleplayer plans outlined above, this is not an all-encompassing list!

Ranked Matchmaking​

The matchmaking system will allow you to play the game in a more competitive setting and be assigned ranks based on your performances in both Skirmish and Captain game modes. This system will be much stricter than the current match finding system when it comes to pairing evenly matched opponents against one another, allowing you to test your skills against other players on a more even footing.

Progression System and Skins​

The progression system will reward you simply for playing the game! You will be able to use your hard-earned points to unlock skins for your troops and sigils for your profile. Eventually, this will be expanded with further customisation systems that will reward you for your multiplayer engagements and escapades!


Show off more than just your combat prowess with multiplayer skins!

Voice Chat​

A rudimentary version of voice chat was already introduced to Skirmish mode quite recently, however, we would be the first ones to admit that it is a little lacking. We intend to improve this over time by giving you more options and control over the voice chat system, allowing you to communicate with your teammates more easily and effectively.

Cheer and Shout Systems​

Voice chat isn’t really for everyone, and it certainly doesn’t help when it comes to taunting your opponents! Thankfully, this is something that we have already taken into consideration with the Cheer and Shout systems. Cheers will allow you to express yourself to your opponents and teammates through a number of different animations and sounds. Meanwhile, Shouts will open up another method of communication with your teammates through a variety of combined audio and text commands, allowing you to suggest where to attack and defend more quickly and efficiently, and all without waking up everyone in the house!


Cheers and Shouts provide new ways for you to communicate in multiplayer

MVP System​

Of course, it is all well and good discussing the ways that we intend to improve teamwork and communication in multiplayer, but that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be a bit of healthy competition within the team either right?! With the introduction of the Most Valuable Player (MVP) system, the best performing player in each round will receive an MVP award which will be displayed for all to see and admire, giving you that extra little incentive to push yourself to try and outperform your teammates.

End of Match Screen​

Similarly, a new end of match screen is in the works which will give a more detailed summary of each game, including awards for players that achieve impressive feats during a match or otherwise excel in different areas of combat and the game mode.

Flag Capture Improvements​

The flag capture system will be reworked to take away some of the emphasis from the flags. This will be achieved by having nearby enemies slow down the rate at which flags can be captured, with the aim of promoting a more free and open fight around the flag without needing to constantly hug the flag pole. This change also aims to ensure that rounds will no longer end while a fight is taking place under a flag, switching the focus in those moments from the flag to the combat.

Other​

Alongside the more major updates outlined above, work will continue on improving all other aspects of multiplayer, including; an overhaul of the score calculation system to better account for damage dealt and objectives achieved; a rework of the entire scoreboard; the addition of multiple projectile mangonels to Siege, as well as, ballista aiming and performance improvements; a new single life game mode; general gameplay improvements to each game mode; new badges to track your accomplishments; updates and changes to perks; and a host of new maps.

Additionally, we will continue to work with our community combat testing group to further balance and refine the finer details of the combat and character class systems. More details on this will be shared in the next Development Update video, so make sure to give our YouTube channel a follow to ensure you don’t miss out on that!

Finally, later down the line (and possibly after the full release of the game), we intend to share custom server files to allow you to host your own multiplayer game servers.


Multiplayer perks have been overhauled and expanded giving you more tactical choices

Both​

Of course, not all of the game’s features and systems are restricted to just singleplayer or multiplayer, and so, here’s just some of our plans for specific updates that will affect the entire game:

Battle Ambient Sound System​

The Battle Ambient Sound System will group and merge distant battle sounds to single sound events, reducing sound-related calculations by up to 70%. This means that even low-end machines will be able to hear the distant roars and clashes of crowded battlefields without giving up on performance. The system will also allow us to sculpt more refined distant sounds in the future, so hurray for high-end too!

To further improve sounds, we are also working on transitioning to Quad Ambiences. Quad Ambiences will provide a depth of directionality to our ambient beds without adversely impacting performance, meaning that you should be able to tell which way you are facing even with your eyes closed. And as a pleasant side effect, it also means that ambients will sound much better on 5.1/7.1 surround sound systems too!

Language Support​

We are pleased to announce that localisation of the game is ongoing for English, Turkish, Simplified Chinese, Brazilian-Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Spanish.

Additionally, together with our partners, we have been working on not just direct translations, but also on building a system that can support the game’s dynamic texts that have variable characters, objects, genders and grammatical contexts.

Modding Support​

Modding support continues to be a key priority for us, with many recent changes made in direct response to the feedback from our modding community. We intend to continue fully supporting modding through improvements and additions to our existing modding tools, alongside new, and more detailed documentation and guides over on the Bannerlord Modding Documentation website. We can also confirm that Steam Workshop is planned as a future update meaning that you will be able to access and share mods with ease.


Bring your ideas to life with the Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord - Modding Kit

Whew! So that was quite a lot to get through, but it still leaves a couple of big questions unanswered. Mainly, when will the game be fully released, and on what platforms? Well, we want to be up-front at this point by saying that early access will continue on into next year, with our current estimate for the full release being Q2 2022. We are fairly confident that we will hit that target, however, if we feel the game still isn’t ready at that point, then we will delay the release. As for platforms, we can confirm that the game will be coming to consoles, however, we are unable to share any further details on this just yet.

And finally, we just want to take a moment to thank you for your continued support. Whether it’s through backing the game in early access, sending crash dumps and creating bug reports, sharing feedback over on our forums, or even just taking the time to read this post, we truly, truly appreciate it. Thank you!
 

AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Obviously the main problem is the lack of players. I guess you can just keep putting out improvements and hope that it's in a good state for full launch so retention will be high. The best possible case is that custom servers are released before or at the same time as full launch, so please make that a priority.

> Ranked Matchmaking
Although some players vow to never touch an official server when customs are released, there's definitely room for an accessible official ladder. It's next-to-impossible to grow a scene off pickups alone.

Also, I hope ranks are separate between regions so people don't grief games or be expected to carry an entire team of new players on bad ping. (Well, captain doesn't need to be separate unless solo-cav is still the meta. And if solo-cav is still the meta, then it won't matter because retention will be abysmal.)

> Progression System and Skins
This is fine although none of the skins are especially inspiring. Just as long as we're not turned into anime-magic-girls or rainbow-lions I'm fine.

>MVP System
Greeding kills/lives doesn't promote being a great player, but the person with the highest stats will have done the most the vast majority of the time, so this is okay I guess. Maybe it will incentivize low ranked players.

Edit: as someone above pointed out above (actually I didn't read it, but whatever), in captain if you greed kills by waiting until your allies engage you'll be MVP 100% of the time despite having one of the lowest impacts on actually winning. The person who sees the good engagement and pushes will take the brunt of the damage, but set up their teammates for the W. Their stats will be bad.

>after the full release of the game
We know you like limit-testing how much content drought the MP community can take, but at least do full launch right. The history and resoluteness of the community deserves that much.
+1 to all the above points, Spot on.
 

Alfonso_M

Squire
Im happy to hear you guys are returning to the studio. I hope you could work better together and with the right equipment, forwarding update more frequently and sooner than usual....
 

madnessario

Knight
@MRay

In the order of battle scene the benefits that the captain gives to each specific formation are not visible. Is it possible to show the perk icons on the empty space (above the plus/assign) that apply only to this formation (hovering over them will show the benefits)?
 

Callum

Community Lead
Just as a bit of a general response regarding multiplayer: We will of course continue to listen to and take on board all of your feedback and use this to refine the planned features as they are implemented, but the multiplayer team have a plan on how and when these updates will be rolled out and that is what we are going with.

And just as a personal note to add to that: As much as I would personally like to be playing on modded servers with active admins, I think we need to remember that the game is still in early access and that things like the core combat mechanics and balancing are still being worked on. Custom servers would just add another layer to manage on top of this, and ultimately that would draw time and manpower away from other areas of development.

how are peoples even supposed to find this page at least put a link it in the article or something for this kind of big announcement
Hey, you are right, I should have added a link to the bottom of the post linking to this thread, my bad. I fixed it, thanks.

Great job @Callum you said this before the holidays you would do this and you did, so in your face to those that doubted Callum when he said he would get this done.
Also, you took my trademark>>>> Soon™
Thanks, but these things are always a team effort so you should be thanking people like @Duh_TaleWorlds @Klebari @NIN3 @Dejan @AVRC and many others (whose forum names I don't know off the top of my head) who do what they can to help out in getting these types of posts made. :smile:

So the battle order system is a deployment screen? I'm not following. Will there be any changes so I can direct troops to attack specific troops? That would really be helpful.
The Order of Battle screen comes up at the start of each battle and is just a sort of deployment phase. It isn't used once the battle starts.

Does peerage mean:

  1. Giving companions their own clan
  2. A chance to join your clan
  3. Or the option of both?
My personal hope would be 3.

@Callum - also hope you had a good honeymoon!
If you make them a noble they become the head of their own clan.

And yeah we had a lovely time, thank you!

Very glad to see this finally here. I would like to know more, but this is all great news nonetheless.

I have a question though @Callum - I know the answer is almost definitely "yes" to this, but spear/pike bracing for singleplayer is still in TW's priorities, right? I say this for TW's benefit because you may as well put it in the post to pad it out a bit more.
We are working on a number of other things in addition to the thing outlined in the post. I believe spear bracing for AI is one of them.

Please have a score system that does not reward last hits. Doing 30 dmg each to 5 different targets right now makes you look like a noob. Also I want to see how many horses I shoot.
Scoring will be based on damage, but I think it will also still reward kills too.
 
Excellent read. This gives me a lot of optimism. one question @Callum

Party Templates​

Another means to increase the variety of encounters and make AI party leaders feel more distinct are party templates. Currently, party leaders pursue largely the same “effective” template through their recruitment and upgrading of troops. We will explore and implement a greater number of templates that may be assigned to AI party leaders based on their cultural and character traits
Is it also possible to assign a template based on a kingdom instead of culture? This would open possibilities for different auxiliary units for the empire factions.
 
Is it also possible to assign a template based on a kingdom instead of culture? This would open possibilities for different auxiliary units for the empire factions.
Many things are possible, but the fundamental goal is to improve the variety of encounters that the player has - i.e. it is about game, not the player, assigning templates.
 

gopat

Squire
Some follow up questions on the MP side because they have been announced earlier already an are missing here. What happened to?

Spectator Mode
Battle
New Maps ( especially Skirmish)
I think the "single life game mode" is going to be Bannerlords version of battle, it would be nice to have a bit more info about it though.
 

TheBerserk

Sergeant
Who the **** cares about extra cosmetic skins that will cost money? Don't ****ing buy it, problem solved. It's an established and non-gameplay breaking monetization model. A few 3D modelers working on skins is not going to detract from other developers. And all of this is still an ASSUMPTION.
I think you didn't get it,it's not just the fact of adding skin, it's mostly because it's likely that we got this rotten multiplayer class system because of the studio's willingness to introduce skins later. It was our fear and today they are confirmed
 

Callum

Community Lead
I think you didn't get it,it's not just the fact of adding skin, it's especially since it is likely that we had this rotten multiplayer class system because of the studio's willingness to introduce skins later. It was our fear and today they are confirmed
Skins would work with Warband's item selection system (CSGO?) just as easily as Bannerlord's class system, so why would you think that the decision was influenced by that?
 
The Order of Battle screen comes up at the start of each battle and is just a sort of deployment phase. It isn't used once the battle starts.

OK. For what its worth. There's no way currently to command a formation to attack a specific other formation. You can't point at the archers and order your light cavalry to charge. You can ask them to follow, when they get close enough issue the charge order and hope they charge the right enemy.
 

MRay

Developer
In the order of battle scene the benefits that the captain gives to each specific formation are not visible. Is it possible to show the perk icons on the empty space (above the plus/assign) that apply only to this formation (hovering over them will show the benefits)?
Hero's perks that affect the formation, level, skill values etc. are going to be visible on their own tooltip.
 

Alyss

Grandmaster Knight
Just as a bit of a general response regarding multiplayer: We will of course continue to listen to and take on board all of your feedback and use this to refine the planned features as they are implemented, but the multiplayer team have a plan on how and when these updates will be rolled out and that is what we are going with.

And just as a personal note to add to that: As much as I would personally like to be playing on modded servers with active admins, I think we need to remember that the game is still in early access and that things like the core combat mechanics and balancing are still being worked on. Custom servers would just add another layer to manage on top of this, and ultimately that would draw time and manpower away from other areas of development.
The first paragraph is basically "We see your comments, but we don't give a **** because our team has a plan!"

And if you have a plan, why don't you give it in detail. I'm certain this plan is bad cuz the custom servers are at the end of the list but why would you just say "we have a plan". What are you working on first? Why do you think it's important to work on that first? Why do you think fixing the servers is less important than adding cosmetics? Why have the servers not been fixed yet? There are so many things you could detail and I fail to see an argument in your favor on why you are not revealing such things.

If you are scared someone will steal your plan, I am sorry to disappoint but no one would steal this.
If you are lacking time as a community manager, I am sorry to disappoint but this is your job.
If you believe this is not important, I am sorry to disappoint but this means you truly don't know what you are doing.
Give the community a reason.

For your second paragraph: The thing is, with the manpower you have right now (not talking about numbers, but actual quality, efficiency and effectiveness), you will disappoint in both cases. TW administration and managers should swallow their ego for once and acknowledge that they failed. You should just let the modders fix your mess because the 50 remaining players will move on at one point.

I will repeat it once again: No one will be waiting for your MP plans to come to life (especially if this is the only thing you have to propose), so listen to the community and let them help you.
 
The first paragraph is basically "We see your comments, but we don't give a **** because our team has a plan!"

And if you have a plan, why don't you give it in detail. I'm certain this plan is bad cuz the custom servers are at the end of the list but why would you just say "we have a plan". What are you working on first? Why do you think it's important to work on that first? Why do you think fixing the servers is less important than adding cosmetics? Why have the servers not been fixed yet? There are so many things you could detail and I fail to see an argument in your favor on why you are not revealing such things.

If you are scared someone will steal your plan, I am sorry to disappoint but no one would steal this.
If you are lacking time as a community manager, I am sorry to disappoint but this is your job.
If you believe this is not important, I am sorry to disappoint but this means you truly don't know what you are doing.
Give the community a reason.

For your second paragraph: The thing is, with the manpower you have right now (not talking about numbers, but actual quality, efficiency and effectiveness), you will disappoint in both cases. TW administration and managers should swallow their ego for once and acknowledge that they failed. You should just let the modders fix your mess because the 50 remaining players will move on at one point.

I will repeat it once again: No one will be waiting for your MP plans to come to life (especially if this is the only thing you have to propose), so listen to the community and let them help you.
They are also working on another game lol.
 
Many things are possible, but the fundamental goal is to improve the variety of encounters that the player has - i.e. it is about game, not the player, assigning templates.
thanks for the reply, but my main question was related to modding. is it possible to assign troops to a kingdom instead of a culture?
 

TheBerserk

Sergeant
Skins would work with Warband's item selection system (CSGO?) just as easily as Bannerlord's class system, so why would you think that the decision was influenced by that?

which skin in Warband ? the base game does not have one

and yes i think the decision was influenced by that
in the same way that they do not give the possibility to custom servers

but all this is useless since the multiplayer dies a little more every day
 
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