How to Make Sieges More Fun and Interactive (Long Post)

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I love this game, but it could be so much better. One of the weakest points (which ironically is advertised as the coolest part of the game) are the sieges. Why? Here's a list, prepare for a long post, my solutions will be at the bottom:

- Ladders are very strong, they can be used quite well to overpower the defenders.
- Siege weaponry usually always misses or friendly fires, while defenders hits all their targets most of the time.
- AI does weird things with formations and siege towers/ram/weapons (See my post specifically about this here).
- AI pathfinding can be very buggy with certain weaponry (I've noticed it most on Trebuchets.) and they sometimes can't climb up the towers unless you give them a new order.
- AI archers (and sometimes infantry without shields), sometimes stand completely out in the open and get decimated. The ones that do utilize cover use it very poorly.
- Lack of focus fire.
- As far as I've seen and am aware, walls can't be destroyed while in battle, only outside of it, if this is the not the case, I think the walls should be more easily destructible if you're running like 4 Trebuchets. I did that and they only target infantry (and missed 99% of the time). If not, please allow it to be a thing. Risk vs reward with keeping troops out on the battlefield in order to destroy the walls.
- Siege weaponry outside of the battle get destroyed very quickly unless you put them in reserve, and they target walls when they should be targeted opposing weaponry before the walls. What's more frustrating is that if you don't preemptively queue up the same siege weapon before the first one is put in reserve, when you go to build another one it places the reserve instead (This is one of my biggest complaints with the game as a whole).

- AI don't utilize defenses well. This takes on many forms. Sometimes all the archers don't go on the walls like they're supposed too. No back up infantry for siege weaponry in case someone is killed (there should be 1-2 for each weapon imo). No using rocks or shooting down at the infantry below when they're at the inner gate after the ram breaks through, etc etc.
- AI pathfinding, just like attackers, is garbage. Numerous times they've gotten stuck on stairs leading up to the walls, or block off entrances into towers, etc etc. The AI really needs to be improved.
- Retreating into the keep is ridiculous. There should already be troops in the keep for that phase of the siege, everyone outside should fight until their last breath.
- AI spawning. This is a problem with the game itself, where troops will just spawn right out in the open and immediately die. Yes, this saves time getting to the wall, but once that's breached and occupied, spawning is a death sentence.
- Lack of focus fire.
- Lack of additional defenses (spikes on walls [not super realistic, I'm thinking of Shadow of War], hot oil pots on the walls and inner gate, rocks on the walls to throw down at attackers, etc etc.

- No third stage before the keep for battling in the streets (wtf Taleworlds).
- No additional ways to sabotage attackers/defenders before the battle.
- Lag and poor optimization, even with a really really good computer like mine, it still can't run 1000 units without dropping to 30 frames. 800 units I get 60+ in battle but 50+ in Sieges. This is more of a general issue than a siege issue, but it's obviously worse in sieges.
- Bad pathfinding and AI actions (needed to reiterate for the 3rd time).
- Lack of focus fire.

So, how do we fix ALL these issues in the game? I've come up with a solution for most, or have seen other good posts to fix them that I will link here. Obviously I can't just suggest how to fix pathfinding AI, unless I want something changed, so that's on Taleworlds. The first post I want to link to is the inspiration for this post as well as some ideas/issues I stole from, please take a look for more context here.

Attacker Fixes:
- Allow ladders to be pushed off and eventually destroyed if done too many times, could also allow throwables/arrows deal damage to it. Along with this, make it so that if someone on a ladder is hit/struck with something, there's a % chance they fall off. Ladders should be the weakest option and need to be balanced accordingly. The fact that they were buffed to make it so that the AI doesn't drop it when damaged doesn't help this, although I don't really mind that change all that much.
- Siege weaponry should allow to be focus fired (more on that later), as well as once the AI starts getting kills with it, they shouldn't move their target position unless they start missing or if the projectile would hit friendly troops. AI seriously never gets kills with any of them on attack, the best I've seen is a handful of kills with the Ballista.
- See post about formations and siege weaponry here. TLDR: Allow troops to be commanded to use certain siege weaponry, or have them use the closest one that they spawn to.
- Have archers and infantry not escorting siege weaponry utilize cover effectively. Hug the walls or fortifications, back up to shoot, and go back to reload. Use the slits in the fortifications (I honestly can't believe most if not all never do this, what's the point????). If hugging a wall to a house go out the sides to shoot, go back to reload, repeat. Switch with friendly troops to shoot, etc etc.
- Allow walls to be breached with trebuchet shots (and maybe catapults, although this would be worse) while in battle. If they can, make it easier. There's a huge risk involved with this as if the Castle/Town have Ballistas and Catapults they can deal some serious damage before the walls are full breached. Just make sure they can't stand too far back and such to prevent this from being cheesed.
- First, fix that whole queue and reserve thing I mentioned, you should be able to pick between building a new one or placing a reserve. On top of this, when building you should be given the option to send it straight to reserve (to avoid being damaged), or have it deploy on the field. Reserve siege weaponry should also be available in the siege battle, I found that out the hard way and was super pissed off. Secondly, allow the siege weaponry to be focus fired to focus on defenses before walls (or make this default, but having an option is always better). It's really annoying to have the weaponry be destroyed and barely doing anything because they focused the wall and not the defenses.

Defender Fixes:
- Do what I said above. Let archers shoot down the whole when they're breaching the inner gate as well as throw rocks, make sure they're all able to get on the walls, and have 1-2 infantry stationed as backups in case someone is killed on a weaponry piece.
- Remove retreating to the keep, they all stay and fight.
- Spawning is a big one. My personal suggestion is have buildings with big archways leading inside that spawn troops in there. This makes it so that the spawning is out of sight (unless you're there watching which is unlikely without dying) and makes the spawn safe. The downside (or upside depending on your point of view, is these buildings with be back on the streets a bit back from the wall.
- Additional defenses are a must. They could tie this with the wall/siege weaponry upgrade in the Manage Castle, or make it its own upgrade. Add spiked walls to make climbing with ladders impossible, and hot pots of oil on the inner gate and even walls. Add rocks to the walls so AI can drop/throw them on troops below. I want this to be similar to what you can do in Chivalry 2.

Neutral Fixes:
- Focus fire, focus fire, focus fire! This is without a doubt my most requested feature, and from what I've seen on Discord and on this Forum, I'm not alone. The fact that it's not in the game already is a crime, and if it never gets added I'm actually going to mald. How I want it implemented is exactly what is described in this post here. To add onto it, I want this to be an area effect for siege weaponry. Just point and command them to fire at a certain area, and the AI will do the rest. Obviously you might not want all the weapons to do this, so either give each one its own formation, or find a way to cycle through them with the same formation. Focus fire should be in the game already, I really hope the next update brings this feature.
- Add a third stage in between the main siege and the streets. This can be done with with a loading screen or a fluid objective based system similar to Chivalry 2 and other similar games. Since the streets are readily accessible during sieges, perhaps make it so that they're barricaded off and once the first part of the town is taken, then you move through the barricades to take the streets, either via loading screen or fluidly. I can't believe this was removed.
- Add ways to sabotage the castle! This can be done in numerous ways, and can be a good use of Roguery for your main character, companions in your party, or even an Agent/Operator system similar to Total War can be implemented (this is a whole other feature that can't be discussed here, but you get the basic idea if you're familiar with those games.) Poison food/water, neutralize a key figure, sabotage siege weaponry or the gate, allow to bring more soldiers into the street/keep (besides perks already implemented), etc etc, so many possibilities with this.
- Improve upon general AI and pathfinding (needed to reiterate).

With that, that's everything I would love to see implemented into the game regarding Sieges. Sieges have the potential to be the most amazing and fun part of Bannerlord (which they should be as they're advertised as such, especially with the very first gaming trailer we got), and I really think many of these changes can do that for you. It's a lot of work, but I believe the devs are capable. If you read through all of this, thanks! Please be sure to share it with people so it can gain some traction, from what I've read the devs almost exclusively only listen to ideas on this forum and the steam community hub, so making this popular will help get it seen by the devs. Thanks!
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Do you think Taleworlds read this or even listen or have the time to do this? Our community has been requesting these stuff for years. That's why we got bannerlord replacing Warband. The stuff you're asking is too hard for Taleworlds. Taleworlds don't have enough people to program the stuff you're asking. The modding community has alot more man and skills but they're just many bands w/o leaders and mods have to be rewritten for each major update that Taleworlds did. I hope that Armagan the Taleworlds' main programmer have the health to finish the game.
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