Immersion and related Feedback

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I love the Mount and Blade franchise. When I was really young, I remember playing the demo for M&B Classic for days on end and saving money for buying one. Those were the days of the grind.

That said, I have spent significant time with Bannerlord and Warband and would like to give some feedback. I have played games like Battle Brothers and War Tales and would like to draw some similarities. "Battle Brothers" has a very unforgiving battle mechanic which makes the game borderline punishing. However, when I play that game, I am immersed in the world and really feel that I am in the world. I don't feel the same with Bannerlord. I would suggest the following:

1. This game requires some more random events - like small quarrels, meeting people, or random encounters. These will force me to roleplay and feel connected to the world at large.

2. The pace at which my troops become really powerful is very fast. I remember having very powerful troops in Warband and the thrill of upgrading. That is sort of absent here. However, I play on lower difficulties which may be the cause of such fast progression. Other players' comments on this can be helpful.

3. The companions, family members, and nobles don't feel memorable at all. I can recall Lezalit, Bunduk, Jeremus, and others like they were best friends. I can not say the same about "XYZ the Spicevendor" or "ABC the Falcon". The new generic NPCs feel empty! No conflicts between my companions and no real-world interactions with them just make them one of the soldiers that can level up as I do. Very bare-bones, I'd say.

4. Adding a bit of a system like that in Battle Brothers (BB) which can leave a scar, injury or other traits based on battles, sieges or other encounters can help make events more memorable. For example, I remember how Nils the Axe, a brother from my campaign in BB lost an eye to a bunch of brigands. He died in the next battle though, and I felt like I had to mourn his loss. BB has a lot of generic NPCs, but I feel connected to them instantly! I am sure a system like this would be difficult to implement but would really help me immerse myself better in the world.

5. There is no sense of exploration, awe, or wonder waiting for me. Cities are beautiful but there is no real incentive for me to explore them. Maybe implementing fog of war can help. Otherwise, I can not visit a city at all for years!

I am loving the combat and the physics of it all. But the gameplay for me is kinda like this:
Step - 1: Enter a town. Check if there is a tournament. If yes, participate, bet and win.
Step - 2: In the town, go to the market. Invest in goods that are cheap.
Step - 3: Check for quests. If quests exist and are not escort missions, take them.
Step - 4: Move out of the town. If the quest exists, and the target/destination is close, finish it. Else, move to the next town.
Step - 5: On the way, if you find looters or bandits which are decently sized, kill them all and take loot and prisoners.
Step - 6: Stop at a village and see if they have special units. If yes and if you can afford the upkeep, recruit. Else, move on.
Step - 7: Go to the next town and sell goods at low if possible. Repeat Step - 1.

This is all fun, but it gets really boring real quick. This is true, however, for the early game only. I haven't really reached the end game and conquered anything because I get bored of the grind. This is because - I don't feel immersed in the world! I bet many fellow gamers can relate to this. I don't mean to sound crass but I believe the feedback on M&B is largely around siege battles and lack of modding flexibility. These QOL changes will make the world a little bit more interesting. Looking forward to a healthy conversation.
 

Lesbosisles

Knight
There are lots of Immersion breaking stuff in the game.

1. Factions do not feel unique other than troops and visual stuff. No unique quests, unique dialogues, internally, factions are all the same.

2. Cities are dead. As the OP mentioned, there are no random events like drunkards in the taverns or random bandit attacks in the alleys. Nobody gives a thing about you being in the city.

3. No matter if you have friends in a faction or not. They all will declare war on you just for lulz, if you encounter a friend in an enemy faction, he will attack you nonetheless, he will never release you after battle (as they do with other lords, by the way).

4. If a lord has few troops and you have 300 high-tier soldiers - they won't surrender.They will fight. Stupid.

5. No matter if you are a lord, a king or a merc - traders will tell you that they hired a bunch of poachers... Yeah, dude, good to know, to the gallows with you for that, you're telling it to the King.

There is also small stuff too, these are the ones that came up to my mind immediately. Wonder if the devs are going to fix it somehow.
 

Poddicus

Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
This is all fun, but it gets really boring real quick. This is true, however, for the early game only. I haven't really reached the end game and conquered anything because I get bored of the grind. This is because - I don't feel immersed in the world!
The endgame is even worse
Its literally just : Battle.Siege.Recruit.Battle.Siege.Recruit.Battle.Siege.Recruit.
And nothing else.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
That said, I have spent significant time with Bannerlord and Warband and would like to give some feedback. I have played games like Battle Brothers and War Tales and would like to draw some similarities. "Battle Brothers" has a very unforgiving battle mechanic which makes the game borderline punishing. However, when I play that game, I am immersed in the world and really feel that I am in the world. I don't feel the same with Bannerlord. I would suggest the following:
Always upvote Battle Brothers.
 
1. This game requires some more random events - like small quarrels, meeting people, or random encounters. These will force me to roleplay and feel connected to the world at large.
+1 I liked all the random events/meetings on the road in Perisno.
3. The companions, family members, and nobles don't feel memorable at all. I can recall Lezalit, Bunduk, Jeremus, and others like they were best friends. I can not say the same about "XYZ the Spicevendor" or "ABC the Falcon". The new generic NPCs feel empty! No conflicts between my companions and no real-world interactions with them just make them one of the soldiers that can level up as I do. Very bare-bones, I'd say.

4. Adding a bit of a system like that in Battle Brothers (BB) which can leave a scar, injury or other traits based on battles, sieges or other encounters can help make events more memorable. For example, I remember how Nils the Axe, a brother from my campaign in BB lost an eye to a bunch of brigands. He died in the next battle though, and I felt like I had to mourn his loss. BB has a lot of generic NPCs, but I feel connected to them instantly! I am sure a system like this would be difficult to implement but would really help me immerse myself better in the world.
Absolutely, names are unimaginative and dialogue is stilted. It needs some humour or consequences. For example a random street encounter:

Beggar: Please spare a coin for my starving children.

Response 1: Crawl back in your gutter and die there, wretch.
Response 2: Keep your hands and plague to yourself.
Response 3: Here take these coins.

Consequense of option 3:

Beggar: Thank you, my Lord, may the angels watch over you.

0-10% You catch a minor ailment (minor wound pop-up a day later).
11-79% Nothing further occurs.
80-100% minor gain in charm skill points

5. There is no sense of exploration, awe, or wonder waiting for me. Cities are beautiful but there is no real incentive for me to explore them.
Agree 100%. It always annoys me that even if I choose to ignore the town menus and seek out notables in person they can't offer quests etc. via dialogue and I'm forced back to menus. Very immersion breaking.
 
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+1 I liked all the random events/meetings on the road in Perisno.

Absolutely, names are unimaginative and dialogue is stilted. It needs some humour or consequences. For example a random street encounter:

Beggar: Please spare a coin for my starving children.

Response 1: Crawl back in your gutter and die there, wretch.
Response 2: Keep your hands and plague to yourself.
Response 3: Here take these coins.

Consequense of option 3:

Beggar: Thank you, my Lord, may the angels watch over you.

0-10% You catch a minor ailment (minor wound pop-up a day later).
11-79% Nothing further occurs.
80-100% minor gain in charm skill points


Agree 100%. It always annoys me that even if I choose to ignore the town menus and seek out notables in person they can't offer quests etc. via dialogue and I'm forced back to menus. Very immersion breaking.

Skyrim did this wonderfully. They made the world feel alive in a never seen before way. NPC's would have dialogue with eachother and you based on region, ethnicity and most importantly, recent world events. Which made your actions feel very impactful in a way that it influenced the world around you.

Dialogues integrating town status such as poverty, loyalty or prosperity would be even better. @NPC99 For example: giving aforementioned beggar money could trigger a temporary loyalty bonus based on chance. Or, depending on the culture, could have the opposite effect as it would be seen as flaunting riches resulting in a loyalty penalty.

TW is planning to implement vocalized dialogues but although their "Future Plans" post is rich with new systems and features there is no mention of fleshing out NPC's further in ways mentioned in this thread.
 
Skyrim did this wonderfully. They made the world feel alive in a never seen before way. NPC's would have dialogue with eachother and you based on region, ethnicity and most importantly, recent world events. Which made your actions feel very impactful in a way that it influenced the world around you.

Dialogues integrating town status such as poverty, loyalty or prosperity would be even better. @NPC99 For example: giving aforementioned beggar money could trigger a temporary loyalty bonus based on chance. Or, depending on the culture, could have the opposite effect as it would be seen as flaunting riches resulting in a loyalty penalty.

TW is planning to implement vocalized dialogues but although their "Future Plans" post is rich with new systems and features there is no mention of fleshing out NPC's further in ways mentioned in this thread.
Revamping NPC Dialogue and making fleshed-out NPCs at this stage of the game seems like a humongous task to me. Borderline impossible. Warband had, to a very small extent, NPCs that would react to certain developments in Calradia. Like how they would talk about things being good in the village if prosperity were high and so on. Skyrim is a handcrafted experience, unlike Calradia. The latter is more like a simulation of Medieval Europe compared to a fantastical landscape. But I can definitely agree on how NPCs' reaction to region, economy, ethnicity, etc can make it fun! Hell if small stuff like this was present, I'd be incentivized to visit a village or town and just talk to folk. An "Interesting NPCs" Mod for Bannerlord is what we need. :razz:

I don't think bringing voiced dialogue should be a priority at all. It would be hella awkward to have a partially voiced game in this age. Instead working on breathing more life and dynamic events in the world are the only ways to make it more engaging.
 
It needs some humour or consequences
Ah, well put. I agree. I often feel that the persuasion skill is being limited to a great extent. A good RPG would always allow me to talk instead of blatant murder. Let me talk to the looter and persuade him into letting me go? Or let me talk to the keep guard and persuade him? The only use of this skill is in convincing lords to join your faction - which is great, but the first time I encounter a persuasion screen of that scale, I would be very new to it and the stakes would be too damn high!
 
No matter if you have friends in a faction or not. They all will declare war on you just for lulz, if you encounter a friend in an enemy faction, he will attack you nonetheless, he will never release you after battle (as they do with other lords, by the way).
Aye! Relationship metrics only cause anxiety to me xD

4. If a lord has few troops and you have 300 high-tier soldiers - they won't surrender.They will fight. Stupid.

5. No matter if you are a lord, a king or a merc - traders will tell you that they hired a bunch of poachers... Yeah, dude, good to know, to the gallows with you for that, you're telling it to the King.
THIS! I believe the changes we are mentioning aren't too complex at this stage. Just tweaks to dialogue, or die roll changes need to be made - these suggestions prove to be very subtle yet breathe a lot of life in-game, imho.
 
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