• If you are reporting a bug, please head over to our Technical Support section for Bannerlord.
  • Please note that the developer team will be on leave until 26th of July. All technical support tickets will be handled when we're back in action. Thank you for understanding.

King Harlaus > Bannerlord: what is this game missing?

Currently viewing this thread:

Limbojack

Veteran
I apologize in advance because this is a bit of a rant.

For the first time in three and a half months, I decided to give Bannerlord another go. Snacks and soft drinks had been acquired, girlfriend was out of the house, and you'd think everything was in order for a great evening with a game that should have been out of its beta by now. Imagine my disappointment when I, after 45 minutes, felt forced to stop playing because I was seriously risking death by boredom. I'm not exactly sure what this game is missing, but it's like none of the soul of Warband made it over: the game feels like a choir, the characters have zero personality, the flavor is non-existent, and the game does nothing very well (it looks amazing though, but that's not enough in 2021). Just for comparison, I fired up Warband without any mods, and to my great surprise, I actually enjoyed it more than Bannerlord. King Harlaus > Bannerlord.

I honestly feel like Bannerlord is a 13-year-old's attempt at recreating the wonder that was Warband. Warband certainly had its problems, but at least it did some things really well. Bannerlord, on the other hand, does nothing well.

So the great question is: what is missing? Any ideas?
 

Rbtparker13

Regular
none of the soul of Warband made it over
I actually like this phrase. Warband wasn't a perfect game, in fact without mods it's downright bad. Yet the feel of it seems so, so, I just can't find the right words for it.

While bannerlord isn't a bad game, it feels lifeless. I don't care about the lords or clans, I don't care about any single town or castle. And my family, my flesh and blood, is only a limited resources I can use. The only thing I do care about is what game I'm going to play next. I think that's what Bannerlord is missing. Something to care about. Even being a king feels like a lifeless chore.

I know this type of post/thread have been done without number but I do want this game to be good. But I don't even know what can be added or changed to even make this a good game.

Edit: I think what warband had was that everything felt like it mattered. Each town and castle played a role. Each lord had a personality that will affect how they see you. Your actions mattered. In bannerlord, everything is scaled up to 100 so that all the choices are so small and insignificant. A town is just another piece of territory to distribute and manage. A lord is just a mouth piece to a clan that is a conglomerate of a bunch of different type of lords. And you are just another clan that wants to gain power.
 

relam10

Knight
Everything is missing.

Added mechanics are broken. AI is a mess. Narrative really sucks, it simply doesnt exists. RPG is missing...

They only improved graphics and took almost nothing from mods. And even that graphics improvement, is not enought for a 2021 game.

Animations are a mess, faces are horrible, and when they face a wall developing interesting features, they drop it.

Dunno, warband is my favourite game (thanks mods ofc), but bannerlord is not even close. Lets pray modders, as always.

Its simply sad to see perfect ideas daily to fix the game being ignored or rejected by the ones who make decisions. Far from being a developers problem.

Wrong decision making, and wrong organization are destroying this gem.
 
Last edited:

murtega

Knight
IMO, the problem with BL is that the game progresses too fast compared to Warband, so nothing feels hardly earned. Battles grant way too much renown that even if you outmatch looters 1 to 10, it still gives you like 1. After reaching the first clan tier, you simply roll your way up to become the king. Wars don't end, you keep getting more and more renown and influence. There's no village distribution so you are granted a castle/town immediately. Militia garrisons it so you don't bother with training men to defend the place. All NPC interactions are menu-based so no more searching people in settlements. You can immediately start building armies of your own, no lord would mind following a peasant to battle because he has influence. Your kingdom is likely to expand around where your first holding is so you keep getting granted more and more fiefs. And eventually... likely all the nobles of your kingdom, that served the realm for generations will vote you as king because reasons... By this point you're in a never ending battle simulation anyway that you hardly have time to do anything else.
 

Bjorn The Hound

Grandmaster Knight
WBVCNWWF&SM&B
In the year of 2010, Warband had illusion to make you believe that you are a vassal or a king. Feasts, the claimant questline, plotting with some lord to start a war by raiding villiages, rebelling to your ruler if the ruler does not grant the fief you capture, lords commenting your kingdom with respect to your current Right to Rule points (I mean even gaining Right to Rule was so immersive when other faction makes peace with you which is obviously legitimize your kingdom) so on and so forth.

Let's be honest, we are playing Bannerlord Singleplayer to fool our minds that we are a vassal, a king, a merchant, a bandit in this medieval inspired fantasy. I don't strongly want better UI, graphic, economy, larger battles etc. I want better illusion Warband provided 11 years ago to fool myself.
I will just quote myself.
 

Eneas21

Recruit
I agree strongly with Bjorn, but I think it also has to do with a lack of narrative/lore/personality or maybe rpg elements if you will. What I mean by this is that you can see a lot of Warband memes about Jeremus, and things like that, somehow we all played different campaigns but we played on the same memorable experience, all Swadian players remember Harlaus feasts being pretty much a joke and Dhirim being lost constantly to other kingdoms, or Count Haringoth being a traitorous bastard. Now it all feels procedurally generated or empty, companions are random which makes you forget about them and not being able to relate to other players experiences.

We are lacking mechanics that actually make you feel like you are someone specific in this world and that the world reacts to it, being honorable being mentioned by other characters, right to rule, raiding villages to provoke war because another lord asked you, memorable companions with specific traits... thats what is really lacking and makes the game feel empty, you can even put more mechanics, fix sieges, smithing or whatever but it will still feel empty if you dont feel a connection to the world, you actually have to make it happen on your mind to be entertained like for example i pretended to be a young Tywin Lannister rising to power in Vlandia and tried to roleplay him, create the Westerlands as an independent realm, etc, but there are not many mechanics to actually interact so I was just another lord with a Lannister flag.

And by mechanics I mean that this is kinda fixed by having a developer sit down and write lore, this lord is an *******, this lord is a badass, if you are honourable this guy will say this, the other guy will say that, etc, no more placeholder stuff or repetitive bull****. And companions being generated differently each game feels bad, there could be a few like that, but not all of them or you make them less memorable.

And they should really get to make titles a thing, being a knight/duke/count/baron, etc, and interactions according to your title with scheming and plotting between them. With requirements to getting a title like having a city or X renown or clan tier, a charisma check (they really need to redo the mechanic so its not just save scumming) or maybe it should be a quest to do a big favour to the king, maybe having accomplished a few quests for the king, theres a ton of possibilities to how to implement cool mechanics regarding titles and social standing, yet they went with a stupid clan tier ****.

The game will feel empty until they adress this thing, because I assure you 100% that they could update tomorrow and fix sieges and smithing and the game will still feel ****.
 

vonbalt

Knight at Arms
WBNWVCM&B
Bjorn the Hound is pretty spot on.
yup, couldn't have said it better myself, bannerlord focus so much on simulation simulation simulation when what it really needs is immersion.

Why simulate everything if the player is barely involved in any of that? i want to feel involved, to feel immersed in that medievalish war-torn world.
 

hirovard

Master Knight
WBNWM&B
i think part of it was the companions.

In warband companions had roles, they could influence your rtr, they had a background, as in they would comment on area's that mean something to them, like near a town or villange. they had differing personalities, so some companions would get on and others would fight. you could promote them to lords, or use them in your towns/castles.

the ones in bannerlord are basically "insert random name and moniker" "random irrelevent backstory with no impact to the actual game" "no actual personality"
 

Calabanar

Sergeant
I mean, what they have achieved with Bannerlord on a technical level is impressive.

Really, to take Bannerlord to the next level they only need to work on the "illusion" aspect like Bjorn The Hound sagely mentionned.

Hopefully they realize this, because it would "Change Everything" as some youtubers might say...
 

Magello

Sergeant
I think you guys are all spot on about the differences. For me a big thing is just how easy everything really is. Being a vassal, getting a town, tier 5 and 6 soldiers are just way easy and don't feel earned.

I still remember the first time I took and was a able to hold a castle in vanilla warband by myself. It felt like such a crowning achievement that I worked hard for and was earned. I have never found a moment like that in over 500 hours of bannerlord.
 

vota dc

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWB
Lorewise there Is no much difference between harlaus and bannerlord Kings, they have some lore text. Some lords are special unlike Warband since you have lore for a couple of lords that aren't King for each faction.

The problem Is gamewise It doesn't change anything while Harlaus has something unique even of was Just a bug!

They could feature some unique AI for starting lords that fits with the lore. For example It Is written in the lore that one of the Vlandian lord isn't the ruler of his clan but his wife his. He his a general and in battle against empire+aserai+khuzait he didn't lead knights but crossbowmen. It would be nice if ingame he would train troops as crossbowmen and train very little vanguards.
 

CaptainLee

Sergeant Knight
For myself it's one key issue- Despite the illusion of freedom the game currently directs you down the path of joining a kingdom and getting involved in the dynastic struggles. Where are my other options? There's no neutral locations aside from the training field. What about becoming a defender of the Calradian faith by completing missions and attaining clerical ranks at monasteries? Maybe a merchants guild to climb the ladder of commerce. If you find the whole factional struggle tedious you are pretty much out of luck.

Also the lack of risk/reward. As in there's usually little risk for plenty of reward. Take off the training wheels daddy, I'm a big boy now.
 

Brocephus

Veteran
I think you guys are all spot on about the differences. For me a big thing is just how easy everything really is. Being a vassal, getting a town, tier 5 and 6 soldiers are just way easy and don't feel earned.

I still remember the first time I took and was a able to hold a castle in vanilla warband by myself. It felt like such a crowning achievement that I worked hard for and was earned. I have never found a moment like that in over 500 hours of bannerlord.
That could be because your troops won't climb the ladders.
 
I agree strongly with Bjorn, but I think it also has to do with a lack of narrative/lore/personality or maybe rpg elements if you will. What I mean by this is that you can see a lot of Warband memes about Jeremus, and things like that, somehow we all played different campaigns but we played on the same memorable experience, all Swadian players remember Harlaus feasts being pretty much a joke and Dhirim being lost constantly to other kingdoms, or Count Haringoth being a traitorous bastard.

People "remember" those things because they were forced reddit memes from the unfunniest people on the internet. Jeremus was the only companion worth a damn so people turned him into a demigod in their minds. All kings held feasts too often but harlaus is the funny haha butter king so people made jokes about him over all the others, even though nothing in the code suggests he throws more feasts.

Most of people's collective memories from warband are enhanced by the memes people have built around it over the years, none of which are really based on the game itself, but rather redditor speculation from people who were mostly just guessing. Warband was just as boring and soulless as bannerlord, but since it was a janky game made by a tiny team and most people bought it on sale and went straight to mods, the playerbase collectively ignored how bad it was.

I challenge you to play an entire campaign of unmodded warband. If you don't blow your brains out by the end, you'll realise how poor the immersion is, and how little personality the NPCs and quests have.
 

Apocal

Master Knight
I think you guys are all spot on about the differences. For me a big thing is just how easy everything really is. Being a vassal, getting a town, tier 5 and 6 soldiers are just way easy and don't feel earned.
...you could train Swadian Knights in a week spent doing nothing in Warband.
 
I think there is a sort of romanticized nostalgia about Warband, outside of Feasts and some static Lords with personalities that *slightly* meant something it was not that immersive. It was in many ways much more annoying - you couldn't kill lords, there was a finite amount of companions and you always had to have the *right* mix or they would leave you party. There was a lot of grinding, moreso than Bannerlord, especially since they fixed the leveling (aka they removed that stupid diminishing learning limit).

I do feel there are some missed opportunities, there is no where near the amount of freedom as was advertised, but there hardly is even for similar games - Dragon Age and Elder Scrolls come to mind as games that gave you constrained freedom with slightly better roleplay elements (at least in DA:O, sort of). What I think that boils down to for some is the fact you cannot do a bandit playthrough or a Freelancer - which seem easy to add given there are mods for that, so it's well within the engine / codebase parameters.
 
Top Bottom