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Ongay1

Recruit
Me personally , i tweak them , the hired blade is a perfect example , i changed the helmet for a full helm with arming coif so they look like early versions of the hired blades from warband , that and the wrapped scarf and haurberk. with a few tweaks here and there they look more immersive and perform much better.
 

five bucks

Knight
Hardly ever get used by YOU.

I use them. Upon need of course. To fill up the ranks after high attrition quickly. To bolster settlement defenses quickly if there's an army incoming. Even as temporary bodyguards when I'm traveling from point A to point B in the early game, and for some inexplicable reason there's gazillion small groups of bandits patrolling the way, and I have to either go a long long way around. Just because you don't see any creative use doesn't mean others feel the same.
Sorry, let me rephrase - hardly ever get used by anyone with even the most basic understanding of the game/willingness to not waste their time playing badly.

Buying Hired Blades or Watchmen is literally throwing away money. For a massive cost markup and extremely low effectiveness you wouldn't use them to "fill up the ranks" in ordinary gameplay if you value your money, you would just hire normal troops from that town and wait slightly longer to stop in at the next village. Even using them in the early game is a bad idea because your money is so limited and they perform poorly against looters.

A bigger party isn't always better early game anyway because they draw more food and slow you down more so you're more likely to be caught by bandits that they can't fight against well.

The only time you would bother getting them is, as you said, quickly bolstering settlement defenses for a better autocalc in a siege, if the settlement has no normal troops left to recruit and you don't think you'll survive the siege without those few extra overpriced crap troops. That's a very rare situation.
Not to mention, not every element in the game is always used on an equal footing.
Game balance as a concept literally exists so that content doesn't get underused.
Besides, "weak"? By whose standards?
Everyone's who has ever had them fight against other troops and watched them perform miserably?


They are without a doubt THE WORST BY FAR tier 5 infantry. Have you ever actually paid attention to them in combat?
Are you planning to hire a chockload of them to fight against t5/t6 regular troops? Of course they feel "weak" if you do such a thing.
Why "of course?" Give me an actual reason why they should obviously be weaker to the point that you would only ever use them in one rare situation.
Your real-life reason has already been proven incorrect, so please give us an actual reason for keeping an element of gameplay content underpowered and useless to the player in the majority of situations.
Not to mention, people keep on treating mercs as max t5 troops because that's what they're listed as, but in reality mercs don't have a t1 at all. Watchmen are listed as t2, but effectively and practically they're the t1 in functionality. People should be comparing the troops down 1 tier from their actual listing due to this fact. (like, what's the point of saying mercs are t2 troops and comparing them to other t2 troops when their beginning point is different in the first place?) -- suddenly not feeling so "weak" now, huh.
By that argument elite T6 troops should be as strong as T5 ones because they start at T2???

The entire point of tiers is to show comparative strength level of troops. With very few exceptions, almost all of which are merc troops, everything else in the game at Tier 5 is roughly the same level of strength.
 

Blood Gryphon

Master Knight
WBVC
would be nice to have minor clan troops
@Dejan yo could you suggest this? we need a way to recruit minor clan troops without fighting them and I think this would be the perfect solution. Have minor clan troops show up in culturally appropriate towns taverns. Should be relatively effortless to add them to the list of possible recruitable troops.
 

kweassa

Sergeant at Arms
Sorry, let me rephrase - hardly ever get used by anyone with even the most basic understanding of the game/willingness to not waste their time playing badly.

Buying Hired Blades or Watchmen is literally throwing away money. For a massive cost markup and extremely low effectiveness you wouldn't use them to "fill up the ranks" in ordinary gameplay if you value your money, you would just hire normal troops from that town and wait slightly longer to stop in at the next village. Even using them in the early game is a bad idea because your money is so limited and they perform poorly against looters.

A bigger party isn't always better early game anyway because they draw more food and slow you down more so you're more likely to be caught by bandits that they can't fight against well.

The only time you would bother getting them is, as you said, quickly bolstering settlement defenses for a better autocalc in a siege, if the settlement has no normal troops left to recruit and you don't think you'll survive the siege without those few extra overpriced crap troops. That's a very rare situation.
[/QUOTE]
Again, you're simply not getting what "when the need arises" means.


Game balance as a concept literally exists so that content doesn't get underused.
No it does not. In every game some things remain central, and others remain peripheral. There is no such thing as every element in the game being "equally used." Mercenaries are there as an option for those who may need it, and "balance" isn't there to ensure everything has an equal need.

By your own (flawed) logic every troop upgrade in the game is already inherently a problem because nobody wants to stay with just t1 troops, and always upgrades to higher tiers. So, should the game enforce a strange rule to make people have to stay with t1 or t2 troops always? Of course not -- People stay at t1 or t2 troops upon NEED. Maybe they don't have the horses yet to upgrade them to t2 or t3. Maybe they can't handle the maintenance costs, so some troops will have to be left at lower tiers.

Same with mercs. They may not be as good as regulars, but if you need them, they're there as an option to be considered. It doesn't matter the situation is "rare" or not. It maybe a sub-standard option, but that's better than having no option. That's what options are, and you're complaining every option in the game needs to be at exact same efficacy as others -- that's wrong.


Everyone's who has ever had them fight against other troops and watched them perform miserably?
They are without a doubt THE WORST BY FAR tier 5 infantry. Have you ever actually paid attention to them in combat?
Is there some rule you have to fight t5 troops against t5 troops in the game? Is that what "usually happens" in the game?
Who cares if they're not as good as other t5 troops, when nobody is obligated to fight t5s with t5s?


Why "of course?" Give me an actual reason why they should obviously be weaker to the point that you would only ever use them in one rare situation.
Your real-life reason has already been proven incorrect, so please give us an actual reason for keeping an element of gameplay content underpowered and useless to the player in the majority of situations.
These are mercs without land, without a stable source of maintenance costs, drifting around without a kingdom backing up their training or discipline. These aren't even in a mercenary band like the merc factions. They're the lowest order of soldiers-of-fortune. In modern day sense, these are the guys hanging around in inns or bars in Somalia, not even the part of "regular" warlord forces, with about as much as discipline or training or funding as the pirates of Philippine straits. If this game was a movie, these "mercs" aren't the Deadpools or the Expendables -- these are the soldiers the bad guys hire for quick money. These aren't the mercs in the sense of PMCs. These are the mercs in the sense of the "militia" level insurgents the PMCs fight. The level IS hires to use as fodder.

If these were the more experienced, professional types, they'd ALREADY BE IN A MERC BAND -- which, obviously, they're not. Very apparently as we see in the game, these aren't the types you go to hire in major wars like, for example, the Grand Company in history. These are just better, more experienced thugs for hire.

Heck, when not in a part of a kingdom as a vassal, YOUR PARTY and the soldiers recruited, are the "better grade of professional mercenaries," not them.

"Proven incorrect" my arse, dude. Why are you hiring these to fight other t5s in the game?


By that argument elite T6 troops should be as strong as T5 ones because they start at T2???

The entire point of tiers is to show comparative strength level of troops. With very few exceptions, almost all of which are merc troops, everything else in the game at Tier 5 is roughly the same level of strength.
The tiers in this game, an arbitrary number slapped on to a stage of progression which has no direct comparative relationship to the tiers of other troops. It matters more to the REGULAR TROOPS since they make up the military strengths of the kingdoms, but for irregulars, doesn't have any meaning.

Or, do you complain the t1 looters aren't as strong as forest bandit t1s? Do you usually complain steppe bandit t1s are so much faster than other bandits? I really don't think so. Never seen you complain about the tier balance of bandits before.
 
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Ananda_The_Destroyer

Master Knight
Sorry, let me rephrase - hardly ever get used by anyone with even the most basic understanding of the game/willingness to not waste their time playing badly.
Yeah, I seen a good player buy some mercs but it was in a extremely non-conventional way, he bought them right at the start of the game after doing something shifty for a fast chunk of money and wanted them SOLEY so he could walk past looters on the way to do another shifty thing for fast funds to speed run the game. This guy, I don't think I even seen him actually fight a battle, he auto calcs for everything so all troops are just number to crunch into other numbers .This is of course not how people play the game normally and is absolutely not what TW thinks player do. They certainty don't expect you to be able to buy a set of merc on day 1. at all.

The only time I buy them is right after a siege, I recruit everything but the mercs and throw' them and whatever other riff raff troops I freed from prisoners in the garrison, step outside and pull out a wanderer and "okay stinky the butcher you're a lord now, your clan is the stinky butcher boys, gotta go onto the next one bye!". SO in this way I guess for me they're just numbers to make a number go up too.

Same with mercs. They may not be as good as regulars, but if you need them, they're there as an option to be considered.
This is crap though, they should be the best units and cost more, that would make them have a purpose. Saying "Oh it's some other crappy troops you can buy" when there's 90% all crappy types of troops in the game is just lazy bad design. Oh boy more stuff to ignore, oh boy yay. I would rather have variety of fun troops to fine by chance in taverns, such as the minor clan troops and then have a few rare but expensive REAL pro mercenary troop types.

Did you know that in addition to being all around good unit the Hired Blades of warband counted as mounted units and so helped you keep max speed?
 

five bucks

Knight
"Game balance literally exists so that gameplay content doesn't get underused" No it does not.

Alright genius, tell us why game balance exists in singleplayer games if not that.

In every game some things remain central, and others remain peripheral. There is no such thing as every element in the game being "equally used."
Overly reductive, fallacious argument (nirvana fallacy). Just because a lot of games fail to be balanced or don't bother trying, doesn't mean it isn't a good thing to attempt to balance a game.
Mercenaries are there as an option for those who may need it
Already explained why you almost never do. Only 1% of the time you drop into a town would it be worth hiring overpriced, underpowered mercs.
By your own (flawed) logic every troop upgrade in the game is already inherently a problem because nobody wants to stay with just t1 troops, and always upgrades to higher tiers
No, because my logic is that mercs are bad because they never get used by smart players outside of a very rare circumstance. Whereas T1 troops absolutely do get used all the time by all players. Therefore, that argument doesn't work at all.
People stay at t1 or t2 troops upon NEED. Same with mercs.
A smart player frequently needs T1/T2 troops.
A smart player very rarely needs merc troops, in fact most of the time it would actively be a BAD thing to get them due to their lower performance and higher cost.
It doesn't matter the situation is "rare" or not. It maybe a sub-standard option, but that's better than having no option.
Let me show you two games as an example.

In game A, Option 1 is the best choice 99% of the time, and Option 2 is the best choice 1% of the time.

In game B, Option 1 is the best choice 75% of the time, and Option 2 is the best choice 25% of the time.

With all else equal, Game B is the objectively superior game because it has more variety. The player experiences more different gameplay content and makes more different choices. It reduces repetitiveness and overall makes for a more fun game.

This is why gameplay balance exists.
you're complaining every option in the game needs to be at exact same efficacy as others
Stop trying to put words in my mouth. I am saying that different troop options of the same tier should be at least comparable in efficacy as others, instead of the existing situation where they are almost never useful.

Right now generic mercs are a good option to a smart player 1% of the time, I would be happy even if it was just 25% of the time that I came across taverns I would say, "yes actually I do think these mercenaries are worth hiring".

Is there some rule you have to fight t5 troops against t5 troops in the game? Is that what "usually happens" in the game?
Who cares if they're not as good as other t5 troops, when nobody is obligated to fight t5s with t5s?

Please don't play dumb. You asked why generic mercs are considered weak. I showed you why they are weak. If they perform badly against all other T5 troops, then they will obviously perform worse against all other troops in the game than other T5 troops would, too. Hence, they are weak.

These are mercs without land, without a stable source of maintenance costs, drifting around without a kingdom backing up their training or discipline. If these were the more experienced, professional types, they'd ALREADY BE IN A MERC BAND -- which, obviously, they're not. Very apparently as we see in the game, these aren't the types you go to hire in major wars like, for example, the Grand Company in history. These are just better, more experienced thugs for hire.

Many of the historical mercenary companies I cited were drifters too, and you don't need a kingdom backing up your training by any means to be an experienced and skilled combat veteran.

It is entirely possible that the mercenaries available for hire in taverns are veterans who have left an army as it's not stated one way or the other, so there's no need for you to construct an elaborate headcanon you pulled out of your ass to justify their current underpowered state. They can just be buffed and the game will be more fun and varied as a result.

In fact, the opposite has proof, their tier is indication that they are meant to be experienced and as strong as other troops. That's what tier is meant to mean.
The tiers in this game, an arbitrary number slapped on to a stage of progression which has no direct comparative relationship to the tiers of other troops
Actually in the extremely vast number of cases it does. You are cherry picking the very small number of exceptions to pretend it's arbitrary when it isn't in the vast majority of cases.
Or, do you complain the t1 looters aren't as strong as forest bandit t1s?
If anything, I would like to have a "tier 0" for looters and farmers.
Do you usually complain steppe bandit t1s are so much faster than other bandits?
You are confusing overall balance with a single stat, and no I don't, because I don't do bandit playstyles (because they are underpowered!) and so rarely use such troops and don't know their comparative viability, though I would like that to be fixed too, ideally. We are complaining about merc troops being very overpriced and underpowered because it is meant to be an option for the player and this is a thread about that.
 

Ongay1

Recruit
I haven't checked but i know merc units have "weaker" equipment , but how about skills? Are they evenly matched in skills? Maybe the merc units should have 10-20% higher skill level compared to a troop unit of the same tier?
 

five bucks

Knight
Did you know that in addition to being all around good unit the Hired Blades of warband counted as mounted units and so helped you keep max speed?
Kweasa probably didn't play Warband. The rest of us who did loved hiring mercenaries in the taverns. Instead of having to invent elaborate headcanons why the mercenaries were useless garbage, instead... They were just worth using frequently and could hold their own in combat!

Now I ask, what is so wrong with that?
 

Milandro

Recruit
I’m playing a RP mercenary play through currently and quite enjoying them.

They are too expensive without the reduced upkeep perks and not as good as faction troops, but easy to recruit and replenish anywhere

I would like to see them buffed a little in the equipment department (gloves)

I personally think they should be pricy for what they do, but they could use some tweaking for sure.

I am only using mercs but recruited some Bucellarii. My heroes (and the hired blades) also use the bronze shoulders, and so the bronze company of mercs was born.
 

Ask

Sergeant
JFC, I expected them to struggle against actual T5 units but they couldn't even beat Vlandian pikemen? Literally just dudes with nothing but a one handed sword?

And they cost an obscene amount to hire/upgrade/pay? In what world is this remotely balanced 😂 I knew they were bad but this is just stupid
 

Ask

Sergeant
Okay so to complement that video, I downloaded Enhanced Battle Test mod from nexus, only using that mod. I tested hired blades against all T4 infantries, however I only ran the fights once, and a rematch on the ones that came very close (less than 15-20 soldiers alive by the end, which happened to me only against the Battanian veteran skirmishers), keeping only the more decisive wins.


They only won against Sturgian spearmen and Battanian veteran skirmishers. Funny bit is that they also got a pretty bad loss against Aserai's T3 mameluke axeman.

I ran a few tests on T3 infantry and they seem to beat most without problems, but they get wrecked hard by most T4s.

So they are T5 infantry that can consistently beat T3 infantry and have the cost of T8 infantry. I'm surprised how close I was when I called them T3.5 infantry, they beat almost all T3s and almost none of the T4s.

Anyways so how is this balanced again? lol

EDIT:

Bonus, Sea Raider Warriors (T3) still drink from their skull

VzUL8cH.png
 
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five bucks

Knight
Okay so to complement that video, I downloaded Enhanced Battle Test mod from nexus, only using that mod. I tested hired blades against all T4 infantries, however I only ran the fights once, and a rematch on the ones that came very close (less than 15-20 soldiers alive by the end, which happened to me only against the Battanian veteran skirmishers), keeping only the more decisive wins.


They only won against Sturgian spearmen and Battanian veteran skirmishers. Funny bit is that they also got a pretty bad loss against Aserai's T3 mameluke axeman.

I ran a few tests on T3 infantry and they seem to beat most without problems, but they get wrecked hard by most T4s.

So they are T5 infantry that can consistently beat T3 infantry and have the cost of T8 infantry. I'm surprised how close I was when I called them T3.5 infantry, they beat almost all T3s and almost none of the T4s.

Anyways so how is this balanced again? lol

EDIT:

Bonus, Sea Raider Warriors (T3) still drink from their skull

VzUL8cH.png
Yeah, they're just a joke. I have no idea how anyone could defend their current state as a good thing.

Thanks for indirectly encouraging me to download that mod btw
 

Dejan

Community Manager
WBNWVCM&B
@Dejan yo could you suggest this? we need a way to recruit minor clan troops without fighting them and I think this would be the perfect solution. Have minor clan troops show up in culturally appropriate towns taverns. Should be relatively effortless to add them to the list of possible recruitable troops.
Sure, will bring it up.

Thank you all for your feedback on tavern mercs, will relay it to the relevant designers.
 
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