Improving bandit gameplay experience

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Dabos37

Sergeant Knight
After playing tons of campaigns in the same way, I decided to start a new one, but tried a different approach. I wanted to play like a bandit, recruiting mostly bandit units and getting money from villagers, raiding, and caravans. It has been really sad to see that playing as bandit is not viable at all. The reasons:

- After some point, it is really hard to replace dead bandit soldiers. Keep in mind that bandits are not elite units and getting a considerable amount of losses after every battle is pretty common. The problem is that it is really hard to “bribe” bandits to join my party, even when I have got all perks related to bandits surrendering easier.
- Raiding villages is a high risk/pretty low reward strategy. You can barely get 1K denars as much after investing days on raising a village. Plus the negative relation penalty. It is pretty rewarding to raid rich villages in Warband, but in Bannerlord it is just a waste of time.
- Aside from increasing success chance for sneaking in towns, which is something that I rarely use (is there any incentive for doing this???), there is not anything which makes feel the bandit gameplay appealing or unique.

Suggestions:

Aside from adding new content like the possibility for establish our own base, own gang groups in towns, etc, I think you could make some small balancing changes which could improve a lot the bandit playthrough’s experience:

- The Scarface perk sounds great when you read it, but it is actually not great at all. It is still pretty hard to bribe bandits and recruit them, even if the power bar is something like 90-10 in our favor. Would be great is this perk would actually worth and would make recruiting bandits much easier. It is ok if you have to make the perk harder to get to compensate this buff (requiring 200 roguery skill points or so).
- Drastically increase the rewarding for raiding villages. We can get around around 10K for winning a battle (selling prisoners, loot, plundered gold, etc), while it just take a pretty small time to accomplish it without any downside. Then if we compare battles to raiding villages, the current difference is huge... Please give the player a reason for raiding villages.
- Please balance the ways we have for leveling up Roguery. Currently, everything is too slow except breaking out prisoners which is maybe too good.
- Add an option for steal cattle like in Warband. It maybe looks like something irrelevant but it would be an easy way to add more options for bandit players.

Of course, being able to establish a base and our own gangs in towns would be amazing but probably much hard to do that my small suggestions. Thanks.
 
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- Drastically increase the rewarding for raiding villages. We can get around around 10K for winning a battle (selling prisoners, loot, plundered gold, etc), while it just take a pretty small time to accomplish it without any downside. Then if we compare battles to raiding villages, the current difference is huge... Please give the player a reason for raiding villages.
Ah, yes. I remember how anti-climactic it was to do this for the first time.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
Good proposals that we could complement with this and this one. Unfortunately, the game "pushes" you to a kind of evolution... I mean the goal in the game is to conquer calradia and therefore it is plausible that Taleworlds has not thought to offer alternatives for players who want to experience other types of " the way of the warrior " by means of criminal career, merchant career, pure mercenary career... etc...
 
Good proposals that we could complement with this and this one. Unfortunately, the game "pushes" you to a kind of evolution... I mean the goal in the game is to conquer calradia and therefore it is plausible that Taleworlds has not thought to offer alternatives for players who want to experience other types of " the way of the warrior " by means of criminal career, merchant career, pure mercenary career... etc...
The obvious design solution is to make/keep bandit gameplay just a part of the early-mid game, similar to the trader path. Then you are supposed to make amends and go through the vassalship/king route, as the only playstyle fully supported by gameplay elements. The game should give you hints about this, but not force you, just nudge you gently - this is to avoid unrealistic expectations from this playstyle, possibly given by marketing people.
Otherwise as a game designer you need to make a whole alternative gameplay with enough varied stuff to do as a bandit, including beating the game. This is possible, but the scope and effort is equivalent to a DLC if you want to do it properly. Is it worth it? How many people will play it? Numbers are needed here and I don't think they are high enough.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
The obvious design solution is to make/keep bandit gameplay just a part of the early-mid game, similar to the trader path. Then you are supposed to make amends and go through the vassalship/king route, as the only playstyle fully supported by gameplay elements. The game should give you hints about this, but not force you, just nudge you gently - this is to avoid unrealistic expectations from this playstyle, possibly given by marketing people.
Otherwise as a game designer you need to make a whole alternative gameplay with enough varied stuff to do as a bandit, including beating the game. This is possible, but the scope and effort is equivalent to a DLC if you want to do it properly. Is it worth it? How many people will play it? Numbers are needed here and I don't think they are high enough.
For sure, imho the problem lies in the poor proposal that the game currently offers to the player, far away from experiences like those offered by Brytenwalda f.e. There is a lack of mechanics to enable dynamics that make this kind of playthroughs a fun experience.

Is this and this it still current? :iamamoron: 🎻
 
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Dabos37

Sergeant Knight
Good proposals that we could complement with this and this one. Unfortunately, the game "pushes" you to a kind of evolution... I mean the goal in the game is to conquer calradia and therefore it is plausible that Taleworlds has not thought to offer alternatives for players who want to experience other types of " the way of the warrior " by means of criminal career, merchant career, pure mercenary career... etc...
The obvious design solution is to make/keep bandit gameplay just a part of the early-mid game, similar to the trader path. Then you are supposed to make amends and go through the vassalship/king route, as the only playstyle fully supported by gameplay elements. The game should give you hints about this, but not force you, just nudge you gently - this is to avoid unrealistic expectations from this playstyle, possibly given by marketing people.
Otherwise as a game designer you need to make a whole alternative gameplay with enough varied stuff to do as a bandit, including beating the game. This is possible, but the scope and effort is equivalent to a DLC if you want to do it properly. Is it worth it? How many people will play it? Numbers are needed here and I don't think they are high enough.

Yes, this is absolutely true. Bandit alternative is definitely designed to just be part of Early/Mid game. This is pretty much evident when you can turn bandits into noble units (which I personally dislake but some people love this for reason).

Anyway, even if bandit gameplay is designed just for early/mid game, I still find it unsatisfactory and not viable. Merchant gameplay is much more viable in my view, and we have some pretty damn effective perks like generating 1 renown every day per workshop which amazing. Plus making money as merchant feels good and you can get a lot of money if you know what you are doing.

Roguery feels really useless in my view, it does not make much easier to recruit bandits without fight, because they just refuse to surrender even when I heavily outnumbered and they have zero chances. Aside from recruiting bandits prisoners a bit faster, and some other couple of decent perks, this path is worthless.

I would love to be able to recruit bandits much faster, even if I have to pay them some money. It is pretty frustrating when you realized that even with tons of points and time invested in roguery, recruiting regular units is simply infinitely more viable and effective.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
I always wondered why gang leaders don't offer bandit recruits in towns.
Why gang leaders don't offer bandit recruits in towns?, Why can bandits evolve into nobles?
Too many mysteries in this game...
tenor.gif
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight
Recruiting bandits from gang leaders would be great. Seriously, everything which means playing something different than the usual gameplay (becoming king and conquering the world) would be pretty welcome. This game needs badly more alternatives for the players.

And yes, turning bandits into nobles should be removed IMO. Now it is not hard to get noble units at all.
 

Bloc

Archduke
WB
Why can bandits evolve into nobles?
I think the reason for this was related to their strange troop-tree system. Probably at the later stages of development they realized that there is no way to recruit noble troops and said "Oh ****, we added a bunch of cool troops for each faction but the player is unable to recruit them. What we gonna do?" and someone probably said "Hmm.. Let's use bandits as a base and if the player has a perk, let's allow the player to promote them to nobles?" and TW game designers were like
tenor.gif


So rather than a deeply analyzed decision, I think it was more like an ad-hoc decision to somewhat increase the player options. Which is fine - I mean it's fine to have such ideas and implementations and if they take too much attention from players, they can always change it to something else based on suggestions when they have time. At least we have some form of noble troops in our parties with this.


As someone very recently updated the mod by adding more banditry options, I can say that bandit playthrough is not very easy to balance out and make it fun at the same time. It is still possible of course but, for example, promised crime organization within cities feature would also contribute to this playstyle a lot. But the fate of that feature is unknown as far as I know. And there are most certainly a lot of things that TW can do.
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight
I think the reason for this was related to their strange troop-tree system. Probably at the later stages of development they realized that there is no way to recruit noble troops and said "Oh ****, we added a bunch of cool troops for each faction but the player is unable to recruit them. What we gonna do?" and someone probably said "Hmm.. Let's use bandits as a base and if the player has a perk, let's allow the player to promote them to nobles?" and TW game designers were like
tenor.gif


So rather than a deeply analyzed decision, I think it was more like an ad-hoc decision to somewhat increase the player options. Which is fine - I mean it's fine to have such ideas and implementations and if they take too much attention from players, they can always change it to something else based on suggestions when they have time. At least we have some form of noble troops in our parties with this.


As someone very recently updated the mod by adding more banditry options, I can say that bandit playthrough is not very easy to balance out and make it fun at the same time. It is still possible of course but, for example, promised crime organization within cities feature would also contribute to this playstyle a lot. But the fate of that feature is unknown as far as I know. And there are most certainly a lot of things that TW can do.

OMG I did not know your mod. It looks amazing and it is exactly what I have been looking for. Going to give it a try, thanks 🙂.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
I think the reason for this was related to their strange troop-tree system. Probably at the later stages of development they realized that there is no way to recruit noble troops and said "Oh ****, we added a bunch of cool troops for each faction but the player is unable to recruit them. What we gonna do?" and someone probably said "Hmm.. Let's use bandits as a base and if the player has a perk, let's allow the player to promote them to nobles?" and TW game designers were like
tenor.gif


So rather than a deeply analyzed decision, I think it was more like an ad-hoc decision to somewhat increase the player options. Which is fine - I mean it's fine to have such ideas and implementations and if they take too much attention from players, they can always change it to something else based on suggestions when they have time. At least we have some form of noble troops in our parties with this.


As someone very recently updated the mod by adding more banditry options, I can say that bandit playthrough is not very easy to balance out and make it fun at the same time. It is still possible of course but, for example, promised crime organization within cities feature would also contribute to this playstyle a lot. But the fate of that feature is unknown as far as I know. And there are most certainly a lot of things that TW can do.
Absolutely 😌🎻


Looking back now that we can compare, imho it was a bad decision to abandon the troop tree structure of 2018 where noble and regular troops were part of a practical and logical organisational system. Now we have the recruitment conflicts of noble branches, which in my opinion should only be recruitable in castles; if there are no castles you're screwed, fight-look for one.

Being able to evolve bandits to nobles just annoys me (we've discussed it several times) and I don't see how that can be a positive thing in the average player's gameplay experience.

In a happy Arcadia, your mod would be part of Bannerlord. We'll see how the official Taleworlds proposal plays out...
 

Bloc

Archduke
WB
Looking back now that we can compare, imho it was a bad decision to abandon the troop tree structure of 2018 where noble and regular troops were part of a practical and logical organisational system. Now we have the recruitment conflicts of noble branches, which in my opinion should only be recruitable in castles; if there are no castles you're screwed, fight-look for one.
Yes agreed. I guess it's not part of this discussion but I also suggested something similar - which also makes castles somewhat more valuable than now. Because currently they literally have no use for anyone apart from being a unit stash. I also suggested that you should be able to add your untrained recruits in castles so that they can level up in time with your companion's guidance and/or with paying some training fee - so that lords and player can always invest in such things, without worrying about reforming and retraining an entire army after each defeat.

In a happy Arcadia, your mod would be part of Bannerlord. We'll see how the official Taleworlds proposal plays out...
A man can only dream... But TW isn't the most feature-lover bunch nowadays, so I wouldn't keep my hopes high

@Dabos37 cheers. It now feels like I advertised my own mod lol But I would love to see such things in Vanilla game without needing to have a mod.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
Yes agreed. I guess it's not part of this discussion but I also suggested something similar - which also makes castles somewhat more valuable than now. Because currently they literally have no use for anyone apart from being a unit stash. I also suggested that you should be able to add your untrained recruits in castles so that they can level up in time with your companion's guidance and/or with paying some training fee - so that lords and player can always invest in such things, without worrying about reforming and retraining an entire army after each defeat.


A man can only dream... But TW isn't the most feature-lover bunch nowadays, so I wouldn't keep my hopes high

[...]
There are threads everywhere full of feedback about this... Castles value , Castles need a notable (sergeant) , Improve the recruitment system separating troop lines by fief type , Turning bandits into noble troops is silly to me , and a long etc. that has been devoured by the sands of time.

But I guess they clash head on with the idea of what is Bannerlord for Taleworlds?
 
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