How about adding a Hardcore mode for vanilla Bannerlord?

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Bannerlord doesn't pose much of a challenge to veteran players (probably the majority of the most active people in these forums) except unless they choose to do a self imposed challenge run. I'm suggesting to have a "hardcore mode" to spice things up with the game. Now to preface, the game can be made much more challenging already if the overworld AI was more competent and if they actively voted for policies in their material interests. These things should already be in the base game (and to be fair, the overworld AI has become much more competent since EA release), so I'm not gonna suggest something along these lines. I also heavily dislike "cheap" solutions for making the game artificially harder like making the defeated enemy escape chance higher, escaped lord respawn time shorter and giving them lots of upgraded free units when they respawn, etc.. Also the late-game grind should be decreased regardless of the difficulty, the late game is not hard, it's just tedious and boring.

I'm proposing to have a hardcore mode with things such as:

- The game difficulty set to Bannerlord & ironman mode, with all the combat UI such as the targeting reticule, attack/block direction arrows, showing the enemy position with the "alt" key disabled, time slowing down when giving orders disabled, no auto-block and birth & death enabled, etc. (things we can already do in the base game, but even having all these as one option to select would be a good addition by itself)
- Puts the death chance percentage of the player character (not companions, lords or family members) at 100% (or a very high chance like 25%)
- Makes the AI actually attempt to block attacks (like in RBM AI module)
- Has Fog of War on the overworld map and decreased base vision range on the map

I would also welcome other suggestions for a hardcore mode like maybe giving the player character a disadvantage on their weapon damage & speed if their proficiency is below idk, 100 or something.
 
I mean this is 90% how I play the game already.
The first part is already doable in base game although these options being combined in one button selection would be a decent thing to have, the rest would need mods to achieve (does Kaoses Tweaks work again btw?).
 

diehold

Recruit
Couldn't agree more but I'd go a different route.. Bear in mind I know all this will never happen..

1) Bannerlord has an identity crisis and tries to be too many things at once. I like the idea of having siblings and marrying and having kids that come of age and fight with you. Except the game allows itself to be beaten (conquering the map) way to easily. So you can beat the map before your kids or hell even your siblings even come of age. Making that feature pointless for many. Either this is a game that takes awhile to finish (in game years) or it isn't. Getting fiefs needs to be a lot harder but more financially valuable. Make all garrisons stronger and let fiefs pay out more. Plus factions should be harder to conquer.

2) Buff lord/noble attributes and skills or give them the ability to hire companions to fill these needs. If my party fights Garios' party it should have some gravitas and feel like i'm fighting a faction leaders party. It should be mostly all upgraded troops. The AI needs a way to upgrade troops faster but without it being able to automatically upgrade and cheese higher tier units. But at the end of the day the AI needs a way to field pound for pound stronger armies. Because the player always will. Or make it harder for the player to field all upgraded units.

3) Make influence harder to get for the player and the AI.

4) Adjust the rules for retreating. Sometimes retreating is necessary especially during a siege when an enemy unit is unattackably stuck in a wall. But you can't allow the player with a 100 man army to hit and run a 1000 man army to death. It's just absurd. The recent update to retreats needs to be fixed. If I can retreat from a battle with my army intact than so should the AI but now they are trapped till the last man is killed or captured.

5) The player and the AI need to both be grounded to the same rules as much as you can. I'm fine with them having a kingdom bank but factions need to be grounded financially just like the player for realism and maintaining an army. Once both are grounded the economy will need to be tweaked so as to avoid structural imbalances between the player and the AI.

6) AI battles can't be decided on Tactics, medicine etc perks alone. A weighted point system based on the environment, leadership/morale, and troop type/tech etc needs to decide battle outcomes. Having tactics should only provide a very small boost. AI battles need to be more simulator like.

7) A lot of perks may need to be nerfed or rethought out.

:cool: I shouldn't be able to vassal for a faction break that oath and vassal again for that same faction. Unless there is new leadership at the top. Also penalties for rebelling against a faction after leaving need to be more extreme. No negotiation and they automatically bring an army and siege you just like any other rebel faction after leaving.

9) Recruiting noble lords should be more difficult.

10) AI logic and strategy definitely needs a boost. They just serve themselves up to be killed.

These are just some quick thoughts. And some may be wrong or not workable but its some kind of a start.
 
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Bluko88

Sergeant
Bannerlord doesn't pose much of a challenge to veteran players (probably the majority of the most active people in these forums) except unless they choose to do a self imposed challenge run. I'm suggesting to have a "hardcore mode" to spice things up with the game. Now to preface, the game can be made much more challenging already if the overworld AI was more competent and if they actively voted for policies in their material interests. These things should already be in the base game (and to be fair, the overworld AI has become much more competent since EA release), so I'm not gonna suggest something along these lines. I also heavily dislike "cheap" solutions for making the game artificially harder like making the defeated enemy escape chance higher, escaped lord respawn time shorter and giving them lots of upgraded free units when they respawn, etc.. Also the late-game grind should be decreased regardless of the difficulty, the late game is not hard, it's just tedious and boring.

I'm proposing to have a hardcore mode with things such as:

- The game difficulty set to Bannerlord & ironman mode, with all the combat UI such as the targeting reticule, attack/block direction arrows, showing the enemy position with the "alt" key disabled, time slowing down when giving orders disabled, no auto-block and birth & death enabled, etc. (things we can already do in the base game, but even having all these as one option to select would be a good addition by itself)
- Puts the death chance percentage of the player character (not companions, lords or family members) at 100% (or a very high chance like 25%)
- Makes the AI actually attempt to block attacks (like in RBM AI module)
- Has Fog of War on the overworld map and decreased base vision range on the map

I would also welcome other suggestions for a hardcore mode like maybe giving the player character a disadvantage on their weapon damage & speed if their proficiency is below idk, 100 or something.
Eh I think as a sandbox you kind of have to impose difficulty on yourself.

I mean if I never set loose rules for myself I'd probably max out Steward on literally every character.


Generally I don't care for higher difficulties in most games, since it just creates lots of "artificial" difficulty like giving enemies more health or more money, etc. That said pretty sure TW could easily increase damage taken, death rates, etc. for the masochists out there. Though character death chance in battle seems to have been drastically reduced to the point it's non-existent, not sure when that happened.

The real problem is the complete and utter lack of any kind of end game. There's very little difference between being a mere vassal and being a ruler, other than you get to stop your fellow Lords from being completely stupid all the time (i.e. declaring additional wars they can't win)

Couldn't agree more but I'd go a different route.. Bear in mind I know all this will never happen..

1) Bannerlord has an identity crisis and tries to be too many things at once. I like the idea of having siblings and marrying and having kids that come of age and fight with you. Except the game allows itself to be beaten (conquering the map) way to easily. So you can beat the map before your kids or hell even your siblings even come of age. Making that feature pointless for many. Either this is a game that takes awhile to finish (in game years) or it isn't. Getting fiefs needs to be a lot harder but more financially valuable. Make all garrisons stronger and let fiefs pay out more. Plus factions should be harder to conquer.
Yeah the dynasty feature is rather silly, not that it should be impossible to conquer the map in a lifetime. But generational more clan based gameplay should be encouraged. Otherwise it's kind of a waste as is to have age mechanics.

4) Adjust the rules for retreating. Sometimes retreating is necessary especially during a siege when an enemy unit is unattackably stuck in a wall. But you can't allow the player with a 100 man army to hit and run a 1000 man army to death. It's just absurd. The recent update to retreats needs to be fixed. If I can retreat from a battle with my army intact than so should the AI but now they are trapped till the last man is killed or captured.
Yeah the mechanics of retreating need to be re-examined. There needs to be some kind of penalty from just popping out of battles, be it some troops lost or a morale penalty.

Also the A.I. is far too eager to fight to the death. That makes sense in a siege battle, but if a party/army is losing a battle they should try to break off and escape to fight another day. I really do think there should be some kind of speed bonus to retreating parties, basically the opposite of the Disorganized State. Maybe just make it so in the "Retreat State" you can't initiate fights to limit exploitation of the speed boost you get. The A.I. and Lords really do need to have a better sense of self-preservation both on the map and in battle.


Ultimately the best way to make the late game engaging, is add some Kingdom mechanics like Civil Wars. Kingdom starts to get too big, powerful Clans break off and form their own Kingdom. You as the player never really have to strategize too much, except perhaps with forming a Kingdom independently. Either you play as a "nice guy" befriending everyone so you can recruit them later, or you're absolutely merciless and just remove everyone's head. Really the player should seek more of middle ground, where you butter up some Lords/Clans, but then actively try to destroy others.

And that's the thing it shouldn't just be fellow vassals you butter up, or enemies you try to kill. Maybe there's another powerful Clan in your Kingdom that could potentially break off - so you kind of go out of your way to weaken them before that happens. Assassin's and stuff would be nice to have in-game. But this may be straying too far into CK3 territory. Honestly Civil Wars/Kingdom Splits would be enough to spice things up, provided they aren't completely random. Like a small 3 member Tier 2 Clan should not break off to form their own Kingdom, but a 15 member Tier 5 Clan absolutely.


Another good feature would be Renown Loss. If you gain Renown for winning, you should lose Renown for losing too. Maybe make that a thing with Influence as well. Lose lots of battles you, you lose influence too. Be fun to join an ally party, break off, only so they get destroyed and lose Renown/Influence. Dastardly things like that. (Be good if A.I. did this too based on Traits)


Sadly dreaming much too big for TW at this point.
 
Eh I think as a sandbox you kind of have to impose difficulty on yourself.

I mean if I never set loose rules for myself I'd probably max out Steward on literally every character.


Generally I don't care for higher difficulties in most games, since it just creates lots of "artificial" difficulty like giving enemies more health or more money, etc. That said pretty sure TW could easily increase damage taken, death rates, etc. for the masochists out there. Though character death chance in battle seems to have been drastically reduced to the point it's non-existent, not sure when that happened.
I wouldn't want a hard mode where the difficulty comes from something bull**** like the enemy taking less damage and/or doing more and whatnot. I agree that the late game experience should be much smoother and less grindy, but that's a whole other issue with the base game that needs fixing regardless. Just automatically destroying kingdoms after a set time passes if they have lost all their fiefs would be a giant step by itself (also things like kingdoms close to destruction not being able to hire minor factions despite not being able to pay them).

As for the dynasty mechanics, I think it's mostly there (although I wouldn't mind having a bit more things to do during the courting stage like learning poems from musicians in taverns and reciting them to a lady) but the time passes too slowly. I proposed having a slider added that allows the player to speed up the day/night cycle by a multiplier (while also delaying the daily tick by the same amount, like 3x speed makes it so that we pay once every 3 days). The character conquering the equivalent of Europe and North Africa in only a few years should be a speedrun, not the default. It should require several generations for normal playthroughs.
 

JunKeteer

Veteran
Dynasty system only works if they built the rest of the game to account or play with it in a meaningful way, as it is, it's just a random feature to replenish new lords (which is rendered useless anyways if you play without the death mechanic). Even if you add a slider to speed it up, there's only the 8 kingdoms, no opportunity for civil war or fracturing of kingdoms that make creating a large 'clan' worthwhile besides just another lord/AI party on the map and maybe the player as the 9th kingdom.

The map will largely remain the same as they intended with their 'balancing' (without player input), whether it's your kid that you now control or even the grandkid (if you manage to suffer through the lack of endgame to even get to that point). That 'random' chance for one faction to completely overrun half the map or for Vlandian to fracture into Vlandia and 'Swadia' (for example) isn't possible.
You have no other 'real' challenges, as you literally just gain town after town in majority of cases, there's a lack of ebb and flow in the map that makes it interesting to even stay into the endgame - besides just painting the map one faction colour.

I mean, when you're at peacetime as you hit the 'endgame' (ie. have top armor, a town or two, and companions/workshops/caravans capped out; which happens very quickly/easily), there's literally nothing to do. Sure, you can repeat the same tournaments (no difficulty scaling), quests, or 'waste time' going to your town/castle to click a button as 'managing'; but it's not really challenging. Half the quests don't really offer anything or provide any interesting challenges. Tournaments still the same format (why not add a 16v16 or something mode, lords/T6 only, or equipment balance). Looters/bandits remain basic/the same (you can't even fight some since they just give up), none of those random/stronger 'deserter' parties that were sometimes fun in WB, or
 
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