Lets talk Smithing balance and my Smithy Workshop

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Jamesman142

Recruit
Hello, I've enjoyed Bannerlord for a little while now. I have my first clan halfway through tier 3, Niasen and I both have 100 strong parties of mid-tier units, I have a full slate of heroes with decent equipment (mail, or high-grade leather), and I have almost no allegiences (barring a slight bit of favoritism to Battania). I also have 500,000 gold easy and hundreds of every type of forged metal. And its only been about a couple of years since the start of the game.

I can currently convert 5 Steel and 1 Hardwood into ~45,000 gold. That's about 2/3 the standing gold of any city in the game. This is not optimal (I didn't take the Appraiser perk, at the time I was doing more wholesaling to make money).

I have always found it a bit silly how cheap units and unit upgrades are compared to equipment, especially considering for a few hundred gold I can have 5-6 heavy infantry in high level mail, but my companions are wearing scraps and tattered leather. But I'd like to stay focused for a moment, accumulation of capital in Mount & Blade is ostensibly supposed to be give and take. You spend money to make money. This is reflected in many missions that have you spending money specifically to earn more money later. Well, I built Smithing in my origin, bought the occasional low cost hardwood and raw iron ore in my travels, smelted every cracked spear and dull blade, and right around the time I unlocked the Steel perk, I realized I had unlocked "somehow" a steel forged spatha blade (Tier III, 3 steel) and a thin steel crossgaurd (Tier IV, 1 steel). Put together at approx. 75 smithing, they did not make a better 1-handed weapon than the hatchet I had been carrying around since the beginning of the game, and sold at approx. 800-1200. Good, but not great.

Then I made a 2-hander, for no increased requirements, and it sold for 12000-15000. I was shocked. I suddenly doubled and then tripled my capital, then I cleaned out 3 cities of gold in a row, stocked up on carriage and bought every piece of hardwood and iron ore in Battania. Suddenly I was making more money than nobles, not from the Smithy I bought, that currently makes 0-10 gold a day and costs 8 gold a day. But because I can churn out 3-4 swords a day, and when I unlocked the jeweled handle (Tier III, 1 steel) and a wooden rounded pommel (Tier I, 1 hardwood), along with a slight upgrade in my Tier III blade choice, my swords tripled in price (btw, wooden rounded pommel is by far the most profitable pommel I have beating out a jeweled golden tier IV made of fine steel, ????).

I checked again, a one handed sword using the same blueprint sells for ~25% of the 2-hander. I literally cannot run out of money, have bought what I believe is end-game level gear, and have money reserves to spare. I have the steppe bow and the noble bow (200,000 gold, wtf) and high level armor across the board (I have spares for ****'s sake). Though it is frustrating that despite legendary smithing skills, (300+, Tier V pieces) I still can't make a Themeskene sword better than a stores fine steel sword.

The limiting factor by far for my clan's growth is renown, 1-6 renown per tourney/job is mind-numbing when I have enough money to buy castles outright. I could pay the wages of the entire Battanian army, including noble dues and taxes, just by making swords all day. (though I now have all the stamina and energy perks 300+ smithing, 75+ athletics, so it's more like half a day)

My point here is that this seems absurd. I lean into smithing for thematic personal reasons (ie. I ****ing really like it) but this seems like a no brainer, why isn't every playthrough this. Whole-salling makes you a few thousand a week, workshops seem just as broken and worthless as they did in Warband, I doubt fief taxes total more that 10,000 a day, if you're lucky. And the massive price disparity of paying 200 troops 800-1200 a day to sit around while I make swords to sell for 3000% their wages, per day?

Seems silly, If I'm honest.

(PS. I also just saw the recommended above that people know about this, obviously, so I suppose this discussion will focus more on why my Smithy workshop is broken and I don't know why)
 

Grank

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WBNWVC
The cost of things in general is indeed messed up, especially when it comes to equipment. However, smithing right now is less bonkers than it used to be. You used to be able to make a 10k two handed sword from the get go and other ridiculous things. They've been fixing the crafted equipment price, but some particular combinations still slipped past their attention and still sell for an unrealistic amount of money. I suggest you to report the specifics here.

As for the rest of the economy, it's so messed up that I don't even know where to begin. The numbers just don't make any sense.
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Master Knight
My point here is that this seems absurd. I lean into smithing for thematic personal reasons (ie. I ****ing really like it) but this seems like a no brainer, why isn't every playthrough this. Whole-salling makes you a few thousand a week, workshops seem just as broken and worthless as they did in Warband, I doubt fief taxes total more that 10,000 a day, if you're lucky. And the massive price disparity of paying 200 troops 800-1200 a day to sit around while I make swords to sell for 3000% their wages, per day?
What you're missing is that you can just get all that money for defeating other lords. There's never a moment where you need to do anything else. There's also no advantage whatsoever to unspent money. SO while you may think "oh I can beep boop buttons and make 50K sword instead of defeat some parties", you just wasted time (waiting for stamina) instead of progressing the game while also making money. Smithing is just ****ing off. If you want to do it, go ahead, but it's not going to progress the game at all. I mean sure, a player may be horrible at other aspects of the game and actually need to stop and wait, and make and sell weapons for some reason (like those goofs who make peace with other factions on purpose and PAY THEM? wtf?) and that is one argument for keeping the broken sales prices. Giving the player a backdoor (other then cheats) to dig them out of a hole, idduno.

I don't smith and I rapidly find myself in the situation where there's not enough good gear to ever buy or enough vassals to recruit to ever put a dent in my money. I have storages up the the ceiling of all the loot I can't even be bothered to sell. Winning battles give you tunz of money and this game is entirely unending, relentless, dogged battles forever and ever.
 

Grank

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WBNWVC
What you're missing is that you can just get all that money for defeating other lords.
And it took him a couple of years to reach this point. With the same amount of time you could have been able to sustain several clan parties, get your own castle and get married, so I wouldn't say blacksmithing is OP like it used to be. You're sacrificing time and a little bit of resources to get money that's... reasonable I guess?

The thing is, the smithing economy is still pretty bollocks. It's much higher than tax revenues and workshop. I don't run caravans anymore so I can't really comment on that, but I'm guessing smithing is still higher. You said the broken sales prices help players who are bleeding money because of peace. That's true and useful, but this makes me confused.

How is smithing meant to be played in the game?

Is it supposed to be a focus for those who want to role play as a blacksmith? Just like caravans and trading for merchant role play? If so, does it really need to give you an income enough to support an entire army by itself? Currently smithing is way more profitable than caravans.
Is it meant to be a side task to do while you're doing nothing during peace? Then the income needs to be high, but do people who fight battles really need smithing to give a lot of income? They should already have a lot of money from looting right?
Is it meant to be a way to make good customized weapon for your late game min-maxing? Then the current system kinda fails because your craftable weapons suck, and the income you get from it is too high.

You see, with the current nonsense pricing system the game kinda needs to pick one "intended playstyle" for smithing over the other.
 

Jamesman142

Recruit
Grank said:
And it took him a couple of years to reach this point. With the same amount of time you could have been able to sustain several clan parties, get your own castle and get married, so I wouldn't say blacksmithing is OP like it used to be.
I went back through my saves (no I don't ironman). I'm currently day 435 with 800,000 gold and the hundreds of smith-able metals.
As early as day 80, clan tier 1, I had the ability to make the 12,000 swords. At that point, via standard loop (wholesale by night, quest grind/bandit hunt by day), I had accumulated 20,000 gold. This is right before bandit guy shows back up so you can rescue your brothers and sister. I should also mention I still haven't finished accumulating 10 stories about the piece of jewlery you get at the beginning. Lack of interest, I guess.

I grinded (ground?) for 200 days to fast track my accumulation of smithables, winning every tourney (reloading saves ftw, seriously why is it compeletly random in every way, with an "all or nothing" mindset. Let us pick competition categories or something, at least our loadout. I should never get bumrushed by four guys while holding a bow because my random team folded like wet cardboard). I sent Niasen out with his own clan party because of his high stats in everything (this also seems wierd, you're the "better brother", he follows your lead in everything but he has 150+ stats in everything. Why not let us customize him just like we do our main guy?), and then ignored making more parties because I like keeping my companions with me.

I also hated the "gameplay" of running up to some guy you've never met and declaring undying fealty. (or running up to some guy you met 15-30 days ago and ran two errands for. "Fetch me some horses boy, excellent, now take this letter to a town on the other side of the kingdom. No, I don't care that you lead a capable warparty of many men, I have important letters to send" (this is hyberbole, I don't know if there is a letter mission). So, like I said, I have no loyalties or allegiances. I haven't been "given" any fiefs. I'm unaware of any other way to get a fief or castle, though I really wish Mount & Blade had some way to build one. You know, with that engineering skill that sits there, mostly unused.

I "purchased" a marriage to the High King of Battania's clan around day 300 with 4 crafted swords worth 35,000+ and 100 horses that I wasn't using anymore (seriously, the 100 horses didn't even matter compared to the 4 swords in barter weight). I undid it and walked away because of the break in immersion. Plus I liked the idea of marrying one of these active female clan heads, though I didn't pursue it in any way.

The smithy workshop I bought doesn't function, at all. It has 0-10 gold income and just sits there, doing nothing. I can't even find a way to interact with it through the town menu. The only option in the clan menu was "change workshop from smithy into something else, like a carpenter" which I don't want to do. I assume I'm missing something and would appreciate an explanation, though it still wouldn't make up for the hilariousness of it costing about the same as one of the swords. I don't know about you, but I don't think a workshop that can make a theoretical boatload of swords should cost the same as (1) sword.

Ananda_The_Destroyer said:
What you're missing is that you can just get all that money for defeating other lords.

Without fealty to one kingdom or another, I have had no opportunity to defeat a lord, or fight any battle that isn't one of the 4 bandit types.


Ananda_The_Destroyer said:
Winning battles give you tunz of money and this game is entirely unending, relentless, dogged battles forever and ever.

Without fealty to one kingdom or another, the only battles I fight are ones I seek out. Out of boredom. They consist of me holding my team in check so the bandits don't run away faster than we can kill them. Unless a random ai joins in, then I need to bumrush the enemy just like them to have any chance at "loot". (I am really tired of defeating 23 bandits wielding swords and axes and I get one bent falchion and a chipped axe. This is dumb in literally every game ever. Killing bandits and winning battles in feudal times means I get all their ****ing stuff. Balance your game around that or its not immersive.)

The limiting factor to my accumulation of wealth via smithing is how little gold the towns and cities have, traveling from one town to the next in a never-ending loop chasing anyone who still has gold. I don't do it, my gold accumulation is not optimal. I could have way more if I just focused lightning wealth accumulation.
 

Ted Striker

Veteran
Unpopular opinion: Smithing should never have been added to the game.

They obviously can't balance it even if it's not quite as broken as it used to be. Acquiring good weapons and armor should be from either lucky loot or buying from a shop, like in Warband with the Lordly armors you can find. Income should be from owning workshops, caravans, taxes from fiefs etc., not from smithing weapons and selling for ungodly amounts of money.

It just doesn't work.
 

Flesson19

Not a Cookie
Knight
smithing is simple to balance, I suggested making the trade penalty really big so you dont have a ton. You can still make money just not a lot. That would make the artisan perk a must if you want to sell them. I forget what Bannerlord perks says the penalty is but if you increase it, problem solved
As for workshops, they are terrible and ever since 1.5.6 I have collecting data each patch and send it to TW in the hopes they would balance them and they have done nothing to fix them. That is what 4 or 5 months ago. So for workshops I have no hope for them as they seem not too care as if they aren't important. for the most part I use workshops to get help me artisan community perk although wool weavery and silversmiths are amazing right now. But there are so many that just terrible.
 

MostBlunted

Sergeant Knight
I have collecting data each patch and send it to TW in the hopes they would balance them and they have done nothing to fix them.
TW receiving your feedback:

simpsons-invisible-typewriter.gif

I´m not sure if the list of unfixed/unbalanced things is shorter than the list of fixed/balanced things.
 

SaltyNacho

Recruit
My point here is that this seems absurd. I lean into smithing for thematic personal reasons (ie. I ****ing really like it) but this seems like a no brainer, why isn't every playthrough this. Whole-salling makes you a few thousand a week, workshops seem just as broken and worthless as they did in Warband, I doubt fief taxes total more that 10,000 a day, if you're lucky. And the massive price disparity of paying 200 troops 800-1200 a day to sit around while I make swords to sell for 3000% their wages, per day?

The smithing mechanic is a cool addition to the Mount and Blade series, but like you said it gets incredibly unbalanced very quickly. You should check out The Spiffing Brit's youtube video about it from about a year ago! A bit out of date, but still entertaining and the problem still persists.

And it certainly doesn't make sense that smithy's we own hardly make any money while we can walk into any smithy at any time and make a handful of weapons worth an entire fiefdom. The selling prices of the gear we make, or top tier gear in general needs to come down.

And if we get to a point where we can forge such legendary artefacts worth 15k each or more, shouldn't we be earning renown for that?

So here's a few ideas:
-Maybe only be able to use smithy's we own
-Or maybe we pay a small fee to rent the smithy if we don't own it
-the items we craft should only be worth about the same as the items available to buy, seems like we can make really expensive gear far too early in the game
-higher tier gear should take much longer to make, possibly several days. We're a skilled blacksmith, not a factory
-start earning renown with mid tier gear, and more renown with higher tier gear
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Master Knight
Without fealty to one kingdom or another, I have had no opportunity to defeat a lord
That's a lie, you can fight anyone you want. "I'm here to deliver my demands". I feel it's the optimal play, decide what land you wan to start your future kingdom in and start early hunting all their parties as you build up to rank 4.

I sent Niasen out with his own clan party because of his high stats in everything (this also seems wierd, you're the "better brother", he follows your lead in everything but he has 150+ stats in everything. Why not let us customize him just like we do our main guy?
You should be able to choose his perks unless you chose auto perk allotment for clan members, if not let us know it could be a bug.

. I'm currently day 435 with 800,000 gold
That's so slow though and you haven't even started the game yet. You can finish the map in not much longer then that (alone) OR have healthy NEW faction on the rise, equal to 2 or more normal factions in power! Having some money (enough to recruit 2 clans, maybe) is not really much of a gain for that long of campaign time.
And of course if you just wanted money before you started warfare actives look at how fast this guy get the big money!
I'm not saying in anyway that this isn't broken or that you should do that, but by comparison spending hundreds of days building a moderate fortune isn't really that bad.

Is it supposed to be a focus for those who want to role play as a blacksmith? Just like caravans and trading for merchant role play?
Pretty shallow role play IMO, both need a lot of love if anything like that is intended. Maybe have a second system of progression for non-warfare players because if they're expected to also fight battles and be a normal lord... well that completely obliterates any value or point in smithing or running caravans or trading or ANYTHING. If you need a anti-lord party you better use it and when you use it you get so much more funds then any side-work can ever give, no reason to ever stop.

Is it meant to be a side task to do while you're doing nothing during peace? Then the income needs to be high, but do people who fight battles really need smithing to give a lot of income? They should already have a lot of money from looting right?
Yeah it makes no sense. Although if there was passive stamina regen (not waiting) it could be at least conceivable as an extra thing to do in between battles. But having to actually waste campaign time do a little smithing..... nope, not even once.

Is it meant to be a way to make good customized weapon for your late game min-maxing? Then the current system kinda fails because your craftable weapons suck, and the income you get from it is too high.
Unpopular opinion: Smithing should never have been added to the game.

They obviously can't balance it even if it's not quite as broken as it used to be. Acquiring good weapons and armor should be from either lucky loot or buying from a shop, like in Warband with the Lordly armors you can find. Income should be from owning workshops, caravans, taxes from fiefs etc., not from smithing weapons and selling for ungodly amounts of money.

It just doesn't work.
IMO it's should be streamlined and not a character skill, just let it be an extra activity to break down weapons and make new ones, combining parts that may sometimes be useful weapons. They could even have rare parts be special rewards or loot. The smithing could even be a special type of skill you built up (maybe even over separate games to make it suck less), but I don't like it as a character skill. Of course I don't like most things about the character development system. It shouldn't be for making piles of money and the idea of wasting so much trying to make a good weapon when you can already easily get better ones is dum.

Nobody has ever, not even once, actually demonstrated how a weapon they created is actually worth the campaign time in anyway. I don't even think anyone who likes smithing comprehends what I'm asking. Even if, antidotally you can say "I made a poo poo pee pee stick with +20 speed and damage and longness then a normal long glaive", if you can't demonstrate that you achieved more in your actual game with it then I did with a long glaive then it doesn't mean anything. You have a number in your game with some higher numbers? So what? You still didn't take the map and I did, so what you did was inferior and pointless in every way!
 

Grank

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WBNWVC
I think the biggest causes to this pricing issue is how wage is paid daily instead of weekly like Warband and the use of high-end equipment as the game's intended main money sinks. To support the high wage of high-end army, the income you can get from selling weapon loots need to be high. This is obviously wrong because your main source of income should be your fiefs, and then business (caravans and workshops), just like in reality. The guy with the biggest land tend to have more income/food/population, which lead to army size.

If the game needs money sink, it should be food instead of equipment. Food is filthy cheap in the game. It's such that you can mathematically feed an entire village for a year with a single two handed sword. Then make it more expensive to upgrade an army, not to maintain them. Think about it. You spend like 200 gold to upgrade a unit from wearing leather to shiny steel armor which would cost you 50k. It's nonsense. Besides being financially realistic, this change also helps control player's army progression. If they want a better army, they need to get more money. However, once they gain that strong army, it wouldn't burden them too much because their wage is not as high and it's not paid every single God damn day.
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Master Knight
If the game needs money sink, it should be food instead of equipment. Food is filthy cheap in the game.
I think recruiting clans is an intended money sink, but there's something wrong (or misunderstood?) in 1.6.4/5 where they just don't want to join after a certain point. I suspect maybe they calculate based on number of vassals your faction has or something, because past a certain point, even high relation, poor, no-fief clans seem to refuse the player, even at the point they will defect naturally from original faction ( another lame AI cheat). This of course raises another issue of if they will never join (you have too many vassals and always will from then on) are we supposed to just kill them? Earlier in the game (and in past versions) clan recruitment was a good sink in normal gameplay.

I would like to create more food supplies for fiefs and I think that would be a good sink. I don't like the prosperity system and would much rather spend my money to build food supplies to sustain a big garrison worry-free. It's really really lame to be rewarded (for keeping a town in good shape) by having to evacuate all your good troops permanently, because for the rest of the game the food consumption will always be unstable because of prosperity. Sometimes plenty of caravans come, sometimes they don't. What can the player do about it? Nothing at all. Is that good gameplay? No, it's awful.

ANother good sink would be to increase the cost of raising a new clan, 20k is chump change, I think at least 100k would be reasonable, but they could go even higher and it would still be the best use of money in the game. Maybe have a choice where you can pay more money and less influence (maybe as a perk ability?). Another good sink would be some kind of festival that gives you influence and relations, maybe even sponsoring a special tournament with special prizes!
 

Flesson19

Not a Cookie
Knight
I think recruiting clans is an intended money sink, but there's something wrong (or misunderstood?) in 1.6.4/5 where they just don't want to join after a certain point. I suspect maybe they calculate based on number of vassals your faction has or something, because past a certain point, even high relation, poor, no-fief clans seem to refuse the player, even at the point they will defect naturally from original faction ( another lame AI cheat). This of course raises another issue of if they will never join (you have too many vassals and always will from then on) are we supposed to just kill them? Earlier in the game (and in past versions) clan recruitment was a good sink in normal gameplay.

I would like to create more food supplies for fiefs and I think that would be a good sink. I don't like the prosperity system and would much rather spend my money to build food supplies to sustain a big garrison worry-free. It's really really lame to be rewarded (for keeping a town in good shape) by having to evacuate all your good troops permanently, because for the rest of the game the food consumption will always be unstable because of prosperity. Sometimes plenty of caravans come, sometimes they don't. What can the player do about it? Nothing at all. Is that good gameplay? No, it's awful.

ANother good sink would be to increase the cost of raising a new clan, 20k is chump change, I think at least 100k would be reasonable, but they could go even higher and it would still be the best use of money in the game. Maybe have a choice where you can pay more money and less influence (maybe as a perk ability?). Another good sink would be some kind of festival that gives you influence and relations, maybe even sponsoring a special tournament with special prizes!
I agree on the clans and a progressive increase each time after would be cool
 

Grank

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WBNWVC
Maybe have a second system of progression for non-warfare players because if they're expected to also fight battles and be a normal lord... well that completely obliterates any value or point in smithing or running caravans or trading or ANYTHING.
But being a lord doesn't mean you have to fight constantly. You can be an economic lord just maintaining your piece of land and sending tax to your liege. In this type of role play you can shoe-horn in smithing, caravans and trading. The base components for this is already there. They just need more push, like improving the crafting order, making lords pay tribute to their liege (can be a good money sink and relation booster), and bringing back marshal's summons so player lords still have to do their martial obligation.

Although if there was passive stamina regen (not waiting) it could be at least conceivable as an extra thing to do in between battles.
Yeah seriously. What the hell is even the excuse? We're tired so we need to rest in town and not march around? But we always march for like 5 days non stop and fight 5 battles in a single day. That's not a problem. The smithy needs to rest? Then let them rest while we go around beating looters or move to another city which smithy is fresh.

IMO it's should be streamlined and not a character skill, just let it be an extra activity to break down weapons and make new ones, combining parts that may sometimes be useful weapons.
I'm completely fine with it being a character skill. My hobby IRL is crafting stuff the traditional way (no power tools), and it indeed is a "skill". The latter part of your sentence I agree with, however.

One of the most glaring issues of Bannerlord economy is how the market is willing to bankrupt itself buying absolute junk weapons and shields from you. If we can pay a smelter to process those junks into usable raw materials like iron ingots, which then we can sell, it will fix that bloated looting income and make smithing actually useful. Smelting doesn't require high smithing skill so you don't need specialized characters for it. Towns should only want to buy weapons that are remotely decent. If there's a repair system, smithing can make use of that too. We just need to fine-tune it so that smelting doesn't become tedious. Making a smelter NPC which we can pay is one solution.

Nobody has ever, not even once, actually demonstrated how a weapon they created is actually worth the campaign time in anyway.
It's just to look cool. I spent an unhealthy amount of time trying to unlock that one glaive head so I could look like Khuzait Guan Yu, but that day never came. Then new versions rolled in and long glaive appears in shops super often, so that problem is solved.

I think recruiting clans is an intended money sink

I would like to create more food supplies for fiefs and I think that would be a good sink

ANother good sink would be to increase the cost of raising a new clan, 20k is chump change [...] Another good sink would be some kind of festival that gives you influence and relations, maybe even sponsoring a special tournament with special prizes!
You see? There's a LOT of better money sinks that are more realistic, not game-breaking, and doesn't cripple you financially just for existing. You can choose to recruit or raise new clans, donate food to your fiefs, or hold festivals, but you don't have to if you're not financially ready for it yet.

Right now you have to pay stupid amount of money every single day just because your elite army exists and it didn't cost you much to make that army to begin with. Even after you realize this vicious trap, it doesn't feel good to intentionally hold off upgrading your units because you're afraid of their wage. If the "daily operational money sink" is food instead of wage like I suggested, you can at least keep your men in your fiefs in the time of peace. You just need to gather a lot of food to mobilize them for a campaign, just like in real life.
 
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