Lets make Bannerlord work

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JaroX

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Note: I have read the guidline after writing down this text, sorry for the text not being structured as asked in guidelines, but I believe this text is better together like this than as divided to many separate threads.

Hello all, who love the Mount & Blade II Bannerlord PC game and want to make it work.

Brief introduction: I am over 40 years old, have university degree in economics and management, run my own business. Why am I telling this? Because from my 25 years of experience of playign PC games I know, there are various players with various desires and various suggestions and the PC game developers usually make the mistake of treating the requests of all the players equal, consequently getting into big troubles by diverting the game from its original direction into a total mess, where the 5-10 year olds have moved to other games long ago and the loyal hardcore gamers are slowly but surely turning their backs away from the game with tears in their eyes as well. The developing team at that point is wondering what went wrong, because the start was great and the potencial even greater, but with bad reviews, very few new customers and nobody to pay for the extentions to the core game, the threat of getting fired and closed down is from day to day more and more imminent. No sane person (with exception of an enemy spy trying to sabotage the project) would want that and I hope this post will be a wake-up call to all concerned, in case they havent yet realized how important it is to solve the issues metioned in this post too, and do it fast (not in two months time).

A week ago I decided I cant take the crap the game is throwing at me anymore (havent been playing it since, was just testing some situations so I could formulate my message on these forums as precisely as possible) and decided to try to inform Taleworld on their official forums about the issues I have with Bannerlord, hoping I can contribute to the solutions (do it right and do it fast), because the other option would be to abandon Bannerlord, uninstall it and spend my time otherwise. I still have hope, but for a week I have read many reviews on Steam and lots of threads on these forums and realized, the problem is much bigger than what I was experiencing in my singleplayer campaign. In general - the more experienced players and modders are unhappy with the priorities of the developers, they feel their requests have been ignored for long, they demand the developers focus on the core of the game before introducing new elements, solving the basic problems with the game behaving irracionally, improve the communication and cooperation with the modding community. I do not use any mods nor cheats (and dont want to, because a 45 Euro game should work fine without additional mods), but agree in general with what the modding community says.

So these are a few general suggestions:
1) Taleworlds obviosly lack in management, they cant prioritize solutions to in-game problems well. Probably they started as a smaller company and became a lot bigger in terms of workload and empoyees. Help in management is needed, hopefully someone with degree in management with education/hobby in history and PC games, but not a programmer nor historian who has no knowledge in management.

2) Focus on basic things, as they appear on the PC screen when the player starts the game. Everything should be clear, running smoothly (if the PC hardware cant handle certain graphical options without causing the game to be unplayable, dont allow the player to choose those options, give players option to turn off "cool" new graphical features when they are introduced for first time). With one previous patch my game became unplayable at sieges (FPS drops), afterwards I read an article from a member of developing team that they made the smoke look much better and sexy. Yeah, its "very important" to have a much better smoke during sieges, when it causes your game almost to freeze, not to mention the soldiers AI is not able to use ladders to get onto the walls for more than a year now... Dont introduce new things when the most important elements in the game have been broken for more than a year.

3) It is not important, that the developing team is satisfied with how the game is working, if the players clearly see the game is not working, it is illogical, and the players cant read/see/learn the rules/formulas/mechanics the game is following. Here I wrote about a particular issue I had in Bannerlord:
The reply from Taleworlds was fast, they were willing to help and explain, but there is no logic behind the explanation. It doesnt matter, if the developer thinks the game is working as intended, if for all/most of the players/CUSTOMERS it is illogical/wrong/not working. I know that many times people get "sucked into" a certain activity so much, they cant racionally think and cant see what all others are seeing. This might be the case - I am sure there is a reason/explanation for everything the Bannerlord game is doing right now, but most CUSTOMERS are not satisfied with it and they see the game is broken. In companies you need not only specialists able to do a small number of tasks on very high level of quality, but also people for management with a bird´s-eye-view, people who see connectivity, people who can foresee, people who have in mind the most important thing - how the CUSTOMERS will see this and if the CUSTOMERS will be satisfied. I am not trying to speak ill about one particular person, nor the developing team in general, just from my perspective, education, and experience I am trying to help the best I can. I will not write about how to code or programm, because I dont know how to improve that area of work in Taleworlds. Still, I am very confident I am helping with these suggestions, please dont feel offended, try to think about them and hopefully make changes in mind-sets of the current employees or bring in new ones. Dont let the Bannerlord game and the Taleworlds company fall because of stubbornness.

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Particular suggestions regarding worst issues in the game:
1) After taking a new fief, the formula/rule to decide the 3 vote nominees should include capturer bonus, ruler bonus, no-fief bonus, proximity to nearest clan´s fief. Nothing more. Value of fief, value of all clans fiefs, clan strenght and other nonsense should not be included. The formula should be visible, so all players know exactly what and why.

2) Votes should be based on influence, not on POINTS assigned to influence. 3*20i = 100i = 33% of votes is nonsense. Announce the winner of the vote based on total influce used to the particular votes. Please let players use more than 100i in the vote. I also think, if the ruler (Raganvad in Sturgia) votes with 100i for the fief he wants for himself but he doesnt get that fief, the 100i are not deducted from his total number of influence after the vote, which is wrong (doest matter if working as intended, if its like that it is wrong and should be corrected).

3) After the battle, I should be allowed to offer defeated enemy lords a chance to join my faction. If he joins, he must not leave for at least 100 days or even more. After that he could leave if he has no fief and has low reputation with other clans/ruler within faction. The rules on price of lords joining your faction should be clear and visible to players (same with merriage).

4) End the war terms are nonsense at this moment. When Sturgia captures from Battania 1 town, 2 castles, 1 king, 2 nobles, Sturgia should not be "losing" the war just because Battania killed more civilians in villages (and has no more towns/castles, king is locked up, 2 lords locked up and no Sturgians imprisoned, minor factions are leaving because no coins) and the cost to end the war for Sturgia should not be 600 coins/day but maximum 0.

5) During sieges, soldiers are standing at ladders but not using them to get to walls. Usually they use only 1 ladder out of 4. Why? I have enough high lvl soldiers in army, morale is over 75, even if it is working as intended, it is wrong because the players see it is as not working and they dont know why (or they know correctly, that this AI/in-game mechanic is broken).

6) Please keep death of nobles in battles in the game (I read some players are begging to get it out of the game), as long as I know it is the only way to kill off pestering clans without executing them and receiving relationship penalties. So keep some random value of nobles to die in battle, but higher value for army that lost the battle and lower value for the winning army. Are cruel nobles allowed to be executed without penalty? If so it should be visible inside the game.

7) Please make it possible to reset skills and perks every 10 levels of avatar development (I dont know for sure if it is in the game already or not, but I did not find such info on Internet). Some abilities are not implemented. After they are implemented or after the player finds out more about the implemented abilies and regrets not to have chosen them, the player should be able to reset skills and learn them. Or let players go to TRAINING GROUNDS and reset skills there anytime.

8 Speed of parties in the game is very important, I usually can´t catch up enemy parties. I hope all the perks are working as intended and once I start experimenting with party (only cavalry, no pack animals, no prisoners) I will be fast enough to catch anyone (playing on easy difficulty this time, but I want to start new campaign after I finish this one, if I dont uninstall...).

9) If faction lost a war and has no more fiefs, it should get 100 days or more (counter should appear) to conquer a fief. If not successfull, it should cease to exist, the clans should go talk to other faction leaders/kings and ask to be taken in (for free or for small fee, since they have no fiefs and are starving).

10) Stop teleportation of nobles acros the whole map. I try to talk to noble and one day she is in town on one side of the map, next day after I start my journey to her, she teleports to opposite side of the map. There are many more issues and I havent tried multiplayer yet, I didnt touch the mods yet, ... Lots of work guys, start working :smile:

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I know there are players more experienced in Mount and Blade than me, maybe there are better managers in Taleworlds than me, but the point is, the customers consider the Bannerlord product to be broken, the core mechanics are not working as the gaming community expects them to work and if Taleworlds don´t switch their focus to core elements of the game, this game will be dead soon. Lets hope for the better Taleworlds and better Bannerlord, this game´s gamer community is much better than most.
 
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Sorry if I'll ignore the 90% of your post but the point 2 caught my attention particularly, because recently I'm also experiencing this FPS drop (sometime), but it doesn't happen only in the sieges and I don't understand why. Did you report it?
 
1. When the owners are also managers, you can't change the management. Mismanagement will continue until the owners sell or the company goes under.
2. Taleworlds is not in any danger of closing shop for the foreseeable time. The EA money would last for a long time (to paraphrase their PR guy). They have no incentive to be "saved" from poor development.
3. The only way to make Bannerlord work is to wait for the modders to do it with some assistance from Taleworlds. This will take time.
 

JaroX

Recruit
Sorry if I'll ignore the 90% of your post but the point 2 caught my attention particularly, because recently I'm also experiencing this FPS drop (sometime), but it doesn't happen only in the sieges and I don't understand why. Did you report it?
No. I dont play everyday, only when I have free time. Since then I changed my graphics card and patches came out. Right now, I dont have that problem, but the point is not to focus resources on improving stuff that is working and nobody has issues with, when there are lots of fundamental issues to deal with.
 

JaroX

Recruit
1. When the owners are also managers, you can't change the management. Mismanagement will continue until the owners sell or the company goes under.
2. Taleworlds is not in any danger of closing shop for the foreseeable time. The EA money would last for a long time (to paraphrase their PR guy). They have no incentive to be "saved" from poor development.
3. The only way to make Bannerlord work is to wait for the modders to do it with some assistance from Taleworlds. This will take time.
I didnt check, so I dont know who is the management and who are the owners. In any case, they can hire one or two guys to help them with "out of the box thinking" and solve some problems for them. Bannerlord is my first game from the series, so I dont know "how it goes" with this developer and its products, but the potencial is huge and after 1 year on the market the trivial issues are still there. I checked some alternatives, but they are very far away from Bannerlord. Maybe I should try out Warband, but I assume it is not only graphically behind.
 
You probably can't play Warband, it's too much of a graphical downgrade.

You are also right about the expansion of Taleworlds being a problem from them. Warband was made by a small team, and key people in Taleworlds couldn't change their approach to management for the much enlarged Bannerlord team. It happens to many companies as you know too. The solution is to hire a management pro to whip the developent into shape, but then you have to give him power to do that and not overrule him. They had a managing director that was not an owner and was supposed to do this, but since the key owner (Armagan) had a major role in development, I would guess he interfered too much in the management. For whatever reason the MD quit or was fired two years ago. Their problems continue and can't be solved by us here.
 

JaroX

Recruit
You probably can't play Warband, it's too much of a graphical downgrade.

You are also right about the expansion of Taleworlds being a problem from them. Warband was made by a small team, and key people in Taleworlds couldn't change their approach to management for the much enlarged Bannerlord team. It happens to many companies as you know too. The solution is to hire a management pro to whip the developent into shape, but then you have to give him power to do that and not overrule him. They had a managing director that was not an owner and was supposed to do this, but since the key owner (Armagan) had a major role in development, I would guess he interfered too much in the management. For whatever reason the MD quit or was fired two years ago. Their problems continue and can't be solved by us here.
Oh... thats a pity. So they actually made a step to right direction, but something went wrong so they made two steps back. Thank you very much for the info, seems you are very well informed and have been following the company and products for longer period of time. Anyway, I believe that even after people make decisions, they still can be in doubt to a certain degree, can make a new, different decisions later. As long as I am concerned, doesnt matter who are the owners, management, develeping team, as long as the game is good. Not asking for money or work, not trying to be too clever here, just would like Bannerlord basic issues to be corrected asap. I dont think its that hard to correct the 10 points I mentionned, if the developers realize those 10 points are a problem. If they dont see them as a problem, then there is a much bigger problem within Taleworlds that cant be solved in few days time.
 
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