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!
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Can you expand on what you mean exactly?
oops.

Mixing formations between troop types. Instead of having all the infantry in group 1, all the archers in group 2, etc. I put half infantry and half archers in each. It would help because on a lot of maps (speaking of present maps, of course) there isn't enough useful space for 200 archers in one group (or 150 cav or 500 infantry, etc.) and mixed formations would fit better.
 

Cellberus

Recruit
Love it.
Still there are 4 Things i want to see in the game xD
1. Better Face Randomization for Childs:
Sons look like the father and daughters like the mother. Only Hair and Color could be changed. But if you got 1 Child all other childs have the same look. So pls add a randomizer who took some face details from father and mother and this for every child, not only for the first child. The Mod "Heritage" did it very well.

2. Order System:
Since Armor Crafting will never come i think(too sad), let us order Armor in Towns. lets say in Battania you can order Tier 6 Highborn Armor and after some months/years you get a notification that the Armor is ready to buy. idk if only i have bad luck but on most Playthroughs i never saw a Helmet or Armor i wanted.

3. Create a Party with Members they not are in your Troop:
We know the AI is not very smart, so it not rare that some Partys get caught by Looters or enemy lords. After that when they are free, they spawn in Random Towns sometimes in towns they are far away. So why we cant create a Party with theses Members when they are far away from you? i mean in War you never have the time to pick them up and ran all the way back, because if you do that(especially when you have your own Kingdom on the beginning) enemy fraction will conquer your castles/towns back, faster than you can be back to War.

4. Calradia Multiplayer
I think we all want a Calradia Multiplayer, to play with other People or Friends. and even its limited on some people, it will be more fun than the current multiplayer.
 

MRay

Developer
Mixing formations between troop types. Instead of having all the infantry in group 1, all the archers in group 2, etc. I put half infantry and half archers in each. It would help because on a lot of maps (speaking of present maps, of course) there isn't enough useful space for 200 archers in one group (or 150 cav or 500 infantry, etc.) and mixed formations would fit better.
Yes. You can do exactly that.

The formation types are Infantry, Archer, Cavalry, Horse Archer AND Infantry + Archer, Cavalry + Horse Archer. So essentially there will be two sliders in a formation card. e.g You can have %90 of your Infantry in formation 1 and %10 of infantry + %100 of archers in formation 5.
 

TFK_Ted

Squire
giphy.gif


Basically the same packs of red and blue socks... I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Honestly, this whole nEw FeAtUrE pAcK plus Callum's statement...

...is the icing on the cake to me :facepalm:.

Disappointment is a word that falls short of what it means to me when it comes to evaluating this development process.

Well said. Here in the MP modding community, all we have kept asking for was and is battle mode and custom servers. And what did we get? Ranked matchmaking - which will be dead due to lack of players -, skins, and other stuff I can't remember anyone ever asking for. It's just frustrating. But whatever, time to wait some more years I guess.

 
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Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Yes. You can do exactly that.

The formations types are Infantry, Archer, Cavalry, Horse Archer AND Infantry + Archer, Cavalry + Horse Archer types. So essentially there will be two sliders in a formation card. e.g You can have %90 of your Infantry in formation 1 and %10 of infantry + %100 of archers in formation 5.
Awesome, I really appreciate that.
 
Basically the same packs of red and blue socks... I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Honestly, this whole nEw FeAtUrE pAcK plus Callum's statement...
It's more like a pack of socks but in a different color and a cool pattern design. What they told us in this statement is mainly things we already knew with a brief summary of each feature. Honestly this is exactly what I expected.

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.
...is the icing on the cake to me :facepalm:.

Disappointment is a word that falls short of what it means to me when it comes to evaluating this development process.
I feel like they shouldn't have set any date besides 2022. I think the game could be ready by Q2, but it will be dependent on factors like the course of the pandemic, which is uncertain, and there are so many things to implement, fix and polish that even if everything goes as planned it will be a close call. I just hope they keep the same rate of development even months after the game fully releases, because I doubt the game will be good enough to be called "complete" when it releases.

Since we will not get gamescom or even an online event
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.
I would like to suggest making a Q&A thread (or similar) so that the community could have some answers.
(I think this would not constrain development resources and it would make us happy.)
 

Greedalicious

Grandmaster Knight
WB

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.
giphy.gif
 

CptGoofy

Recruit
So are will still ignoring the fact that roguery is still useless and that the whole gang leader feature was so heavily talked about and now we don't hear about it at all?!?
 

Julio-Claudian

Knight at Arms
Yes. You can do exactly that.

The formation types are Infantry, Archer, Cavalry, Horse Archer AND Infantry + Archer, Cavalry + Horse Archer. So essentially there will be two sliders in a formation card. e.g You can have %90 of your Infantry in formation 1 and %10 of infantry + %100 of archers in formation 5.
Nice.
 
Depends how you look at it. AI vs AI is a simulation so these formations don't come into play. For cases when the player is not the encounter leader, the encounter leader AI will assign AI captains to some of the formations. These captains have more "power" than the player so they have the first choice. After they're done, the player can choose one of the remaining formations to control. After a selection from the player, encounter leader AI will fill the rest of the empty formations with other AI captains.
Thank you for the answer. I intended to learn about player vs AI encounters. For example, you start a battle against multiple enemy lords. Will each lord command his own army on the battlefield? If you fight only against one enemy lord, will he split his infantry blob in multiple formations?
What I'm trying to figure out by asking these questions is whether we will see more advanced AI tactics involving multiple formations and coordination in the field.
 

GMBarak

Regular
After spending about 1000 hours on this game, a few comments if I may,

First of all, thank you, this game is just amazing it's the game I always hoped other games, like the crusader kings series and other would be like, but they never were. what you did with game is truly amazing and these updates are truly great. Coming from the voice of a 13 years software engineer and a 30 years gamer.

1. About the Order of Battle feature - each party leader having his/her behavior, why not just more control over party members, like for example:

1. chase/don't chase anyone - just join the army immediately once given the command.
2. reinforce (or not) our clan fiefs (contribute troops to garrison)
3. reinforce (or not) allied fiefs (contribute troops to garrison)
4. avoid combat/preserve troops
5. stay close/far from me/our fiefs.
6. attack bandits - yes/no
7. siege enemy fiefs - yes/no
8. focus on solving issues yes/no
9. recruit or not
10. recruit prisoners or not
11. upgrade and hire poisoners (yes/not)
12. sell prisoners at town/castle (yes/not)
13. how much food to have (100/200/300...)
14. reinforce our fiefs only with low rank troops.
15. if allowed to take troops from our fiefs and at what level
16. focus on speed - be quick so can outrun enemies (yes/no)
17. join other clans army (yes/no)

Also can you please consider these suggestions:

2. Move at least part of the marriage persuasion to a quest - make marriage a little bit easier by rescuing a damsel in distress.
3. Allow to save and replay battles - that is watch how the battle went again as observer.
4. Allow battles with more than 1000 units, (with current party and armies sizes 2000 should be enough)
5. Add another extremely hard difficulty level where you are very weak in a dangerous world and everyone is trying to kill you, that you are always on your toes, trying to stay alive.

6. In my opinion Crusader Kings is a much easier game to make than Bannerlord, and you already made the hard parts - first person part and battle and such, why not just complete the crusader kings part to Bannerlord and sell a much better first person version of Crusader kings game to fans?

7. Another thing - did you see how much hype the Bannerlord online got?
why not support it? make a number of servers where you will have a campaign map with a fixed number of player parties each human can be a clan or a party in the game. it looks like this is what people want.

Thank you for your time and have a nice day
 

Greedalicious

Grandmaster Knight
WB
Don't you know capturing flag is OP???
images

All jokes aside, this is baffling I have no idea why this would be a priority. The flags exist to force a fight, they exist to make sure a game can end if someone is afk, or just running around with a horse, being an idiot. This is honestly the one thing that made Skirmish better than battle, and thats gonna change? This change is 10000% not needed, instead of trying to fix what isnt broken, and what literally nobody in the world thinks is broken, look at adding new content, or hey, spectator mode which was almost done last year.
Sure the statement is incredibly vague, but nobody sees the flag system as an issue.

I know it goes against the core beliefs of the company, but if people dont understand how the flags work, maybe teach them. 🤷‍♂️
 
Just want to preface this by saying im very happy with how singleplayer is going and the amount of change it has gone through from the EA launch to now is staggering. But....

Private servers + Battle mode and youve just gotten your multiplayer community back. I'm telling you from first hand experience from the Australian community from warband/napoleonic wars, the vast majority of players will not touch multiplayer until we can run our own events on our own servers for battle and siege which again along with the vast mods out there (and many thanks for all our modders) is what kept warband alive and TBH how bannerlord multiplayer is now is still keeping warband alive. The longer you leave out giving private servers the less likely people are going to come back to bannerlord. We do not want dev focus or attention on multiplayer ranked or skins, we want servers.
 

OurGloriousLeader

Grandmaster Knight
images

All jokes aside, this is baffling I have no idea why this would be a priority. The flags exist to force a fight, they exist to make sure a game can end if someone is afk, or just running around with a horse, being an idiot. This is honestly the one thing that made Skirmish better than battle, and thats gonna change? This change is 10000% not needed, instead of trying to fix what isnt broken, and what literally nobody in the world thinks is broken, look at adding new content, or hey, spectator mode which was almost done last year.
Sure the statement is incredibly vague, but nobody sees the flag system as an issue.

I know it goes against the core beliefs of the company, but if people dont understand how the flags work, maybe teach them. 🤷‍♂️
My immediate thought was that this is actually an improvement for Siege, where you can have some quite silly situations of 6 men on flag but a cav pushes through all of them, right to the pole, and begins capturing it. The change sounds like it would make it more about fighting and clearing the flag, not fighting to get 1 nanometer closer to flag than the other guy.

But it may have some weird knock on effects to Skirmish which should be considered.
 
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