Miserable mid-game, new(ish) player perspective

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xnao`

Recruit
Recruit better lords and they wont redefect as fast. I highly recomend Mesui. She does not suggest dumb policies and comes with a large clan, I have recruited her both times I formed a kingdom.
 

Bob Gnarly

Sergeant at Arms
I read somebody say they cleared the map by recruiting everyone and I need to go find it and ask them for more info. As I've read most people have trouble getting a good outcome from recruiting vassals.
Recruiting lords into your kingdom is pretty much essential.

I try to recruit tier 5 clans into my kingdom as they usually have a few lords in their clan. You get their fiefs when they defect too.
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Master Knight

IngoB

Recruit
My advice is, until they add more stuff and fixes, just do your best and enjoy building up, being a vassal or trying to be a kingdom.... then when you can't hack it anymore go mad king and start murdering everyone in the world who stands up to you.
I have tried the "kill them all" approach, recently. But I think everybody gets mad at you this way, which is a bit weird? At least the game kept pinging away after each mass beheading with relationship drops including names that did not seem to belong to the immediate clan / kingdom I was giving the chop. I admit that I didn't really check though, as my plan was to kill everybody anyway. (Simple improvement suggestion: I do not need to be alerted with banners and sounds if I am dropping relations with someone already at -100...).

Anyway, the murdering did seem to slow down attacks somewhat, but not quick enough to make it viable for me in the short to medium term. Also, after some initial glee this gets old quick. There are a lot of heads to chop off, and the AI just happily sends one member of a clan after the other. There is no sense of self-preservation there. The slow down is purely from having less nobles / armies to send, not from them getting "scared" by a murderer who has slain dozens and dozens of nobles already.

I tried the opposite tactic next: release everybody you capture, getting relationship boosts. That also wasn't good enough, i.e., the AI kept attacking too much for me even if everybody kept telling me how sad they were to fight a friend. However, purely by game feel (no hard numbers, single runs so no stats) I would say that reduced attacks more than the head chopping. Maybe the AI does avoid attacking "high relations" targets somewhat? Anyway, it seemed to me like the "Mr Nice Guy" strat may have more legs (and certainly more heads...).
 

IngoB

Recruit
I try to recruit tier 5 clans into my kingdom as they usually have a few lords in their clan. You get their fiefs when they defect too.
That's definitely not true as a general rule. I have had plenty of defectors leaving with their fiefs, indeed with the fiefs I conquered for them. But I agree that recruiting higher tier clans tends to be advantageous as they have more lords that can help out.

Do AI clans actually ever grow, e.g., if they level up? Magically find a cousin behind the couch, or something?
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Master Knight
I have tried the "kill them all" approach, recently. But I think everybody gets mad at you this way, which is a bit weird? At least the game kept pinging away after each mass beheading with relationship drops including names that did not seem to belong to the immediate clan / kingdom I was giving the chop. I admit that I didn't really check though, as my plan was to kill everybody anyway. (Simple improvement suggestion: I do not need to be alerted with banners and sounds if I am dropping relations with someone already at -100...).

Anyway, the murdering did seem to slow down attacks somewhat, but not quick enough to make it viable for me in the short to medium term. Also, after some initial glee this gets old quick. There are a lot of heads to chop off, and the AI just happily sends one member of a clan after the other. There is no sense of self-preservation there. The slow down is purely from having less nobles / armies to send, not from them getting "scared" by a murderer who has slain dozens and dozens of nobles already.

I tried the opposite tactic next: release everybody you capture, getting relationship boosts. That also wasn't good enough, i.e., the AI kept attacking too much for me even if everybody kept telling me how sad they were to fight a friend. However, purely by game feel (no hard numbers, single runs so no stats) I would say that reduced attacks more than the head chopping. Maybe the AI does avoid attacking "high relations" targets somewhat? Anyway, it seemed to me like the "Mr Nice Guy" strat may have more legs (and certainly more heads...).
Absolutely everybody in the world starts to hate you when you execute. Even notables of villages if you kill their faction people, don't know the exact rules but it very easily got to be -100 everywhere for me.... but it turns out forced recruitment is better then normal. The head chopping is an all in style, sure you could execute a few for fun but the real killing spree is to wipe out the entire map. You're right though, they don't react or behave differently weather they like you or not, I hope that get's changed at some point. Anyways what I'm saying is because the vassal system is (or was, could be better in 1.4.1?) broken, you could just finish the game by executing everyone when you're done trying to manage vassals.
 

Teknoviking

Recruit
Convincing people to join your kingdom, and keeping them, is way too difficult. You have to hunt them down first, then you have to convince them in a mini-game that gets boring quickly and is begging to be save-scummed. And if you don't convince them, they will reject further advances for a long time (for ever?). They often ask for unpayably high bribes. And if you do get them, and build them up by giving them fiefs, they often just pack up and leave, usually to rejoin their old kingdom - with the holdings you conquered for them.
Suggestion: I don't know how to fix the current system, I just find it tedious and broken. However, I suggest that if one conquers the last holding of a clan, then that clan becomes amenable to recruitment with a reasonably high probability (50%?). And clans that have switched sides should find it very difficult to rejoin their betrayed old side at least. Maybe there also should be a chance (20%?) to lose a holding to "rebellion" upon switching, with a lost holding added like newly conquered to the old side. That way a frequent switcher attritions down.

YASSSSS! This IMHO is the stupidest part of the game. I've tried the "cheapbarter" mod to try to made it a little easier but it doesn't seem to work. How is one supposed to conquer when it's pretty much impossible to gather loyal folks to your cause. Makes the main quest (and seemingly the whole storyline) a little redundant.
 

IngoB

Recruit
Anyways what I'm saying is because the vassal system is (or was, could be better in 1.4.1?) broken, you could just finish the game by executing everyone when you're done trying to manage vassals.
I applaud your murderous perseverence, but I don't think this is for me...

Curiously, I probably couldn't have completed my chop run with a world conquest anyhow. I had one lady stuck in a lord's hall (not dungeon) as prisoner. I think this happened because I dismissed her as prisoner from the party screen while in one of my castles. Surely it's a bug. Anyway, she showed with manacles on her icon, and she refused to talk when approached in the lord's hall in person ("I'm not allowed to talk to you.." or something like that). I never figured out how to move her again, she was basically there but not accessible. So I assume if I had kept on killing she would have ended up with several fiefs - as my prisoner but de facto untouchable..
 

Bob Gnarly

Sergeant at Arms
Do AI clans actually ever grow, e.g., if they level up? Magically find a cousin behind the couch, or something?
Yes, I've noticed some clans grew in my campaign. One clan for example only had himself and another male lord, deeper into my campaign I noticed his clan had grown to 8 or so members.
 

jaystrider

Recruit
I agree with the OP. I was loving the game. Running around telling all my buddies, "you gotta play Mount & Blade Bannerlord." Staying up later than I should just to do that one last thing before quitting (yes, ok... it was 10 things...oh my God, is that the time?) ...Until this past week. Yes, there are some minor issues elsewhere that you can easily find mods for, but the random and frequent war declarations and the fickle vacillating vassals are more game breaking than anything else I've encountered.

Came to the forum for the first time today to see if anyone else had this issue and to seek possible solutions. I was surprised this wasn't a hotter topic of discussion to be honest. Registered for the forum just now for the sole purpose of giving my +1 to the OP.
 

Bramborough

Veteran
gaining indepence as a separate kingdom

Found your problem.

In current EA state, proceeding to independent kingdom is asking for tears. The kingdom management, diplomacy, and a host of other mechanics for that stage of the game just aren't there yet. Not merely "only partially implemented" or "poorly balanced"; not there at all. They told us as much pre-release in devblogs. Of the 8 bulletized points you listed, I think this explains at least 4 or 5 of them.

I am NOT suggesting that you somehow made a mistake or played poorly by creating a kingdom. Instead, I criticize TW for allowing kingdom creation in the first place. They knowingly (and, to be fair, openly) left a void in the game...and in EA, I don't necessarily have a problem with that in itself. But then they gave us a door (via the main quest) through which the player can step into that void anyway. That's the decision I find completely inexplicable. (and now in 1.4.1 they've given us a "sandbox" route to do the same thing even faster...like that's gonna help...).
 

CarbonadiuM

Recruit
Agree with most points form OP. Id like to add that it is impossible at the moment to have your own kingdom conquer the map because of the fast defections. Mid game you should be able to take on any lord easily and even small armies, however this doesn't matter because you end up playing a game of grab ass as your villages keep getting raided. So in short you need the lords to give you presence on the map. Even if you have your companions patrol the bad auto calc will get them dwindled down even if you give them top tier troops, so this isn't an option. This applies to realistic and easy mode the same, it doesn't matter if you can kill a 300 army with no casualties, your garrisons and militia will dwindle with your villages getting razed 24/7. For the time being it seems you need to play under a major kingdom if you want to unify the continent.
 

Bigamo

Banned
<responding to blackbellamy two posts above>

I'm not sure that one can chracterise fairly the election system simply as "my lord gave me". But setting that aside: I like realism in games, but not to the point where it affects game enjoyment negatively. I'm playing a computer game after all, I'm not trying to do historical reenactment...

Furthermore, if you think the current system represents the lord trying to keep his vassals in line "realistically", fair enough. Then I would also like "realistic" options to deal with this, like being able to conspire against the lord with other clans in the kingdom or external powers, bribe, marry or murder my way onto the throne, etc. Realism in games always falls short, where it ends is a game design choice.
Actually I believe we all do want those things.
 
Found your problem.

In current EA state, proceeding to independent kingdom is asking for tears. The kingdom management, diplomacy, and a host of other mechanics for that stage of the game just aren't there yet. Not merely "only partially implemented" or "poorly balanced"; not there at all. They told us as much pre-release in devblogs. Of the 8 bulletized points you listed, I think this explains at least 4 or 5 of them.

I am NOT suggesting that you somehow made a mistake or played poorly by creating a kingdom. Instead, I criticize TW for allowing kingdom creation in the first place. They knowingly (and, to be fair, openly) left a void in the game...and in EA, I don't necessarily have a problem with that in itself. But then they gave us a door (via the main quest) through which the player can step into that void anyway. That's the decision I find completely inexplicable. (and now in 1.4.1 they've given us a "sandbox" route to do the same thing even faster...like that's gonna help...).

This.

I agree, that in its current state, the game is a skeleton.. a shell. I don't mind, persay, I knew I was getting into an EA project, and not a completed work, but this is 100% agreed that they should not open the door if the path is not finished. You get stuck halfway down and left with a sour taste for the process since it was given to begin with.

I truly believe TW is trying their best to appease the desire for new content while also addressing the crashes and bugs, but it seems to be stretching them thin, and considering their devs teams, they would likely be better to make it known that they're throwing 100% of their effort into full game stabilization before approaching balancing and content generation.

This would mean focusing on the crushing of bugs and errors in code that cause crashes and other game breaking issues, then tackling the existing content to full before implementing new/currently unavailable features. This is NOT a process the end gamer would want to endure, unfortunately, so it lends to some difficulty on the development side to keep a paced schedule.
 
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