Multiplayer Feedback from the Competitive Community.

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OurGloriousLeader

Grandmaster Knight
Since we've now ended beta and entered Early Access, I thought this would be a good time to collate feedback from various parts of the competitive community, some of whom have been more active in their feedback and some who have not. This is not meant to be feedback on competitive viability of Bannerlord, just feedback on the general mechanics and state of multiplayer, from people that played competitively in Warband. It's a lot, so skip to the end if you want a summary.

Charlini, leader of FT, a distinguished Warband team with tournaments under its belt, has this thread, for the sake of brevity I would summarise it as:

-Damage and hits in melee are too inconsistent, some attacks bounce when they should hit (a lot of 1h weapons) whilst some things damage when they should bounce (a lot of spear hits)
-Lack of feedback and sound from feints
-Movement issues
-Weapons can be swapped too quickly

But the full thread is worth a read. I'm sure you'll be hearing more from him also...

Thorr, one of the top players in the Warband scene and long term member of Unity, which recently won the last WNL, provided feedback by PM, which I'll summarise:

- movements in general are too floaty and slow
- classes and perks are unbalanced (who would play a peasant with bad weapons and armor?)
- spears and javelins in melee are too strong
- throwing weapons do too much damage
- shooters are too accurate
- blocking will be good once you can block 2 opponents (this is what we mean by clutch blocking - OGL)
- jumping need a nerf (while fighting you can leap like a kangaroo to escape)
- infantry spears need to be shorter (I feel like some spears are longer than some lances of the cavs)
- bumpstabs need to be more easy to do

Kawaii and Habi, who also played for Unity last tournament but have played for other clans previously and been in the scene a long time, provided this feedback, again summarised:

Infantry

-no killpressure; removing feints is fine but they need something to be able to force a kill, shields are too strong
-theres no movement speed penalty for s keying i think. moving left/right and backwards should make u slower, right now u can just survive 2v1 forever (I think there is penalty for directly moving backwards but no penalty for strafing or diagonal - OGL)
-instant-hits with spears still a thing; you can also still hit straight back after getting hit (less than previous patch but still there)

Archer

-could use more damage overall, xbow headshot should be able to 1hit right now I think it does always 95ish damage
-Sturgia archer needs more damage, 30-35 is fine i guess so it's 3/4 bodyshots to kill. 20-25 is a joke
-don't like how there's barely an arrow drop
-for competitive I think more archers could use a shield perk

Cavalry

-handling cav still awful feels like iceskating
-3 second bumpdown on enemies seems very strong
-most of the time when i hit an archer with fullspeed (no couch) the archer tanks, think could use a bit higher damage or speed rating
-shields should cover more (legs in particular are very easily hit on cav riders - OGL)
-couch needs to time out, right now u can couch forever even uphill lol
-bumpcouching is too easy needs to be looked into

Firunien, a long term German player who has played in a lot of competitive teams, said:

-generally combat is fine mostly, i personally dislike directional shieldblocking and the need for stances to chamber, i really dislike the casual armour customization plus body armor as one value just takes away some core features
-kicks are not rewarding
-timeframe of stun should be wider

Anchor, member of both AE and recently again Unity, says:

-Shield bash seemingly serves no purpose, ruins the flow of combat
-1H cav is useless, presumably the reason they added 2 attack directions for lances/spears on horseback

For AE, Deacon has made this thread - however in general our feedback after beta and playing some in EA, was very similar to Thorr's feedback.

From North America, Lagstro, member of wK and one of the best archers in NA, said a lot which I've done my best to summarise:

-The small unnecessary amounts of delay on attacks just makes the game feel unresponsive most of the time.
Many mechanics, like kicking, chambering, shield bashing, etc. are either impractical or useless for the most part.
-The arcs of swings are too big, which leads to hitting people behind you that you don't even intend to hit, the arcs of swings should be shorter and more precise
-The amount of time that people that get bumped lay on the ground defenseless is ridiculous, even more so when you compare it to how extremely short the amount of time a player that just got dismounted lays on the ground.
-Cav needs to be punished more for running into objects. Double tapping W gets them out of situations that they don't deserve to get out of.
-The 3rd person crosshair placement is really counter intuitive, and should be made similar to how warband's worked.
-The only way to really play the game safely is to follow the hit-block-hit-block-hit-block flow which becomes boring and dull really fast. Warband had something within it's stun mechanics that allowed for players to safely go for double, sometimes even triple swings sometimes. (Lagstro had suggestions here but it's quite long so probably another thread or he can reply with it. He also basically suggests clutch blocking should be possible)

Cobra, a more recent player and so can give a good perspective without being tied to some of the older Warband players expectations, says (again a lot, I summarised):

-Blocking responsiveness is vital
-When using a one-handed weapon, I’ve found that when chaining from a left swing to an upswing, you can’t tell the difference.
-The movement is too skatey, in regards to both the infantry movement and the cavalry movement.
-Chambers aren’t really a viable mechanic in Bannerlord
-Currently there isn’t any downside to using a spear.
-Re-implement shield stunning.
-I still fundamentally disagree with the unwillingness to implement an equipment system and battle system...The equipment system in regards to the competitive side of things is also a system that could be more easily balanced

All of these players come from different teams, backgrounds, started playing at different times, so I hope if you're reading this you don't get the sense of a circlejerk or similar - most of these players disagree on a lot of things, and all of them disagree with me, but we see some consistent issues brought up (some of which I cut out from the above as it was doubling up a lot):

-spears
-shields and footshots
-melee not enough damage
-throwing weapons
-shields too much health
-blocking
-movement

Which are simply fundamental. I think we also see some of this frustration bleeding into the single player - spears and armour in the tournaments are pretty clearly broken there too.

Anyway, not everyone that I asked gave feedback and I didn't ask everyone, so feel free to add more below. Perspectives from all welcome (except DoF).

 
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Caps

Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
archers still do a ****load of dmg, its still 1/3-1/2 on super heavy armor (heaviest armor ingame)
 

Charlini

Master Knight
Agree over everything over all. Great compilation sum-up thread.

Some aspects where we speak about accuracy relate with the same misunderstanding i had not long ago, its mainly the factors that affect accuracy those that need work in ranged units, but do not reduce accuracy itself otherwise we'll have a new RNG issue.

Damage formula, area of damage formula and armor absorbtion need more attention overall.
 

Ciiges

Grandmaster Knight
WB
I agree with everything said above. However I would also add that archers NEED to be NERFED. They are insanely accurate, and lose no accuracy when turning. The time it takes to get to ultimate accuracy is too short, and it stays in its ultimate accuracy range for too long. I've seen players like Surkan, Kawaii, myself, who all have little to no archery knowledge nor playime, consistenly pop off 20 kill games.
I understand archer players will critique me on this, as archer was a bit of a support rather than frag class in warband, so they might be happy getting big numbers on the board, but it's just insanely overpowered currently.
 

OurGloriousLeader

Grandmaster Knight
Archers probably do need a nerf but I'd like to see the fundamentals tightened first (movement, melee etc) as then it's easier to see what the problems are. Archers will be a lot less threatening when it takes less than 6 melee hits to kill them, just one example.
 

Caps

Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
Archers probably do need a nerf but I'd like to see the fundamentals tightened first (movement, melee etc) as then it's easier to see what the problems are. Archers will be a lot less threatening when it takes less than 6 melee hits to kill them, just one example.
some of them still got full infantry equipment
 

Caps

Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
little outdated I think but overall main points still remain
would for sure add a hard nerf of 2h weapons for cav now (glaive, mendavlion) they're just stupid

they can easily get shot down though,

would rather see heavy cav nerf and a light cav buff (some of them have ****ty ass gear)
buff to spears, nerf lance (couching adds nothing to skill ceiling imo) and like mentioned above better cav bumps/dismounting
 
There's a lot of stuff that we have been repeating for months, so no need to mention that I agree with most of it. I disagree that archers need more damage overall though, there are few exceptions that could use higher damage (as the Sturgian Hunter which was mentioned), in most cases it's largely adequate however, if anything headshot bonus could use an increase, and crossbows are definitely too strong.

I'd like to add that there's a huge disparity in damage between low and high speed bonus. You could deal solid damage to a horse charging you at full speed, however if cav is simply standing near you — maybe while you're already engaged with one infantry — it will be extremely hard to find enough time to hit the horse, not only because of the infantry keeping you busy, but because cav will stab extremely quickly (aggravated by lack of stun), admitting that you even managed to hit the horse though, and that you didn't do it early in the swing because of the huge arcs, you'd still deal something like 20-30 damage in most cases which is nothing compared to the overall health pool of the horse, particularly if armoured.

If possible, reducing the horses' overall hp, while also reducing the damage from speed bonus so that horses don't become paper thin, should allow for reasonable damage both at high and low speed. I intended to make a thread about it however I'm waiting for an answer from NIN3 to understand whether it is technically feasible or not, and what side effects it could have.

I also think that glances need to once again be animation based (i.e. they will always happen when too early in the animation), rather than relying on a damage threshold. Simply with speed bonus, or by using a particularly strong weapon, or hitting someone with low armour, you can immediately get past that damage threshold and avoid glancing, giving your opponent no time to react. With that change though, since arcs of swings are so wide, you'd end up glancing very often unintentionally, the swing animations will definitely need to be tweaked to be focused more towards the front.

Damage formula is off at the moment, mostly to compensate for those damage based glances, dealing low damage hits way too often and making damage inconsistent overall. With some parameter tweaks it could be adjusted to be very consistent, however because of damage absorption being so high you'd still be dealing 20-ish damage hits with a good sword against heavy infantry. While it is true that it is some of the heaviest armour in the game, it's also immediately available to everyone and for two lives nonetheless. I don't think time to kill should be so high.

In general, I think draw speed and maximum accuracy window should be made smaller (particularly for horse archers, but that's another hot topic), especially so for the strongest bows. Archers kiting are still a big issue, the change made to weight of ranged weapons wasn't enough, ranged classes can still kite infantry almost indefinitely, and in some cases even outrun them. Weight of shields in general needs to be reduced, imo, while raising the weight of ranged weapons (particularly the strongest).

Shield force fields are still problematic. I dedicated a thread to it in b0.3.6 which is sadly now buried, however it is still totally relevant as almost no changes have been made since that thread. Some of the smaller shields are wholly unreliable and can be shot around of even by the most incompetent archers with ease. Importantly, side force fields are absent for any type of shield, which once again means that at even small angles it's easy to shoot around them.

I think cavalry should definitely be a lot more maneuverable. At the moment trying to turn some of these horses feels like trying to turn a Panzer IV at full speed. The current maneuverability incentivizes a playstyle that consists of repeatedly moving in and out of the fight, since it's so difficult to keep up with targets nearby with such a low turning speed, which isn't necessarily wrong per se, however I'd like cavalry to have more utility at close range rather than being confined to a monotonous charging tactic. This would also make it easier to use one-handed weapons on horseback (which at the moment is extremely difficult), however it would have to go hand in hand with changing the mouse movements required to to swing — at the moment you have to turn your view almost completely down and to the side of the horse to swing at someone beside you without going over their heads — and perhaps animation changes to improve the reach of swings rather than making silly looking massively long swords. At the same time cavalry shouldn't just shove allies aside when going near or through them, but be slowed down instead. This happens with enemies too, riding near them causes them to gently slide away which makes it extremely hard to bump and at times land hits, this needs to be corrected. They should also not be able to double tap W after being reared, and be stunned for riding into obstacles. The rearing angle would need an increase from its current value. On that note I'll also mention that I dislike how they made most cavalry one-handed weapons extremely slow. It doesn't make sense.

Chambers currently require your weapons to actually touch in order to happen. Letting aside the fact that timings to pull them off are so inconsistent, also thanks to stances, nobody can ever achieve such physical precision and as it stands chambers mostly ever happen randomly. This needs to change. With the correct timing, you should be able to pull off stances consistently, and reliably.

Chained attacks serve no purpose right now, totally useless if not for feinting. It's actually faster to perform two consecutive normal attacks rather than chaining into the next attack. There are multiple ways that this mechanic could be handled. Either it could remain as it is now, but faster to at least be on par with two ordinary attacks or slightly quicker than that, or we could brainstorm ideas to turn it into a mechanic that would have more meaningful effects (such as noticeably faster attacks, or effects to stun timings etc.) which however would also need to be more skill-based and require precise timing. Either way, something needs to be done about them.

Similarly, TW need to make up their minds about stances. They should either be only animation flavour without any advantage whatsoever, or they need to be turned into a mechanic which can actually be controlled by the player, and that offers meaningful enough advantages to warrant paying attention to it. Currently all stances do is add inconsistency, nobody ever pays attention to them as they're tied to movement and force you to disregard footwork while trying to take care of multiple other factors.

Feints are still in a bad spot. Been repeating this for ages, but the way animations smoothly transition between each other is a severe handicap for feints that both should both offer good control and visual clarity. At the moment canceling an attack and switching to another will make your weapon continue in the same trajectory, or hanging around there, for a short period of time. This will both make feints go through blocks or characters (another issue pointed out ages ago but still persisting), and make it seem like you canceled your attack later than you really did, which is one of the reasons that drove us to ask for a smaller window to cancel. In my opinion that window should be increased again, however that would need to be done together with making animation transitions slightly snappier and less smooth. This should both make it clearer when an attack is feinted, while offering more control over feints.

Attacker recovery in particular needs to be increased to give the defender a shorter window to react, making it easier to punish poor timing and countering this phenomenon of every fight turning into a boring hit-block sequence due to lack of openings.
 
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greets

Recruit
little outdated I think but overall main points still remain
would for sure add a hard nerf of 2h weapons for cav now (glaive, mendavlion) they're just stupid
2h cav and lance cav are the only viable ways to play
would rather they bring up 1h cav before handing out nerfs
really turning on friendly fire would fix so many of the balance issues (especially wrt to archers)
 

부부를 넘어서 가자

Grandmaster Knight
WBWF&S
2h cav and lance cav are the only viable ways to play
would rather they bring up 1h cav before handing out nerfs
really turning on friendly fire would fix so many of the balance issues (especially wrt to archers)
I'd give every cav a lance for sure in exchange (atleast a short one) but running around as a cav with 2h oneshotting every unit in the game is not only 'viable'.
 

greets

Recruit
I'd give every cav a lance for sure in exchange (atleast a short one) but running around as a cav with 2h oneshotting every unit in the game is not only 'viable'.
don't get me wrong mendavlion/glaive cav is extremely strong and needs a nerf, it just shouldn't be the first thing that's done to cav
 

Flash118

Recruit
which mode did all these player played? i mean its obv that nativ veteran criticzie a lot what is not like nativ warband oO
i mean if you see bannerlord as warband 2.0 then i agree about everything but as idependent game there is a differecne about the criticsm. i would more
criticize the balance and what you can optimizing then the changes to warband nativ.
 

Jess_the_Hobozerk

Grandmaster Knight
M&BWBWF&SNW
+1 OP, that's the same consensus I'm getting from all of my friends I was in clans with back in warband. I have 15-20 people on my steam list and not one of them is playing multiplayer, let alone thinking to be competitive again because of the compilation of all of these bad decisions from TW.
 

Ciiges

Grandmaster Knight
WB
which mode did all these player played? i mean its obv that nativ veteran criticzie a lot what is not like nativ warband oO
i mean if you see bannerlord as warband 2.0 then i agree about everything but as idependent game there is a differecne about the criticsm. i would more
criticize the balance and what you can optimizing then the changes to warband nativ.
It's literally like you just didn't read? We are looking at Bannerlord with fresh eyes, giving the game a chance how it is. HOWEVER, fool, the game is unplayable and needs to be tweeked in MANY ways (combatwise especially). Hence why we (these oh so BIASED competitive players) are trying to provide proper feedback with a lot of arguements, so that the game will be balanced out and made playable for players like you, who clearly don't know what they are talking about. No problem.
 

Flash118

Recruit
It's literally like you just didn't read? We are looking at Bannerlord with fresh eyes, giving the game a chance how it is. HOWEVER, fool, the game is unplayable and needs to be tweeked in MANY ways (combatwise especially). Hence why we (these oh so BIASED competitive players) are trying to provide proper feedback with a lot of arguements, so that the game will be balanced out and made playable for players like you, who clearly don't know what they are talking about. No problem.
sure, why so toxic when iam just asking which mode they are playing? i have much fun in bannerlord and i hated nativ in warband lul so sorry that not everyone want just a secound warband oO
 

Jess_the_Hobozerk

Grandmaster Knight
M&BWBWF&SNW
sure, why so toxic when iam just asking which mode they are playing? i have much fun in bannerlord and i hated nativ in warband lul so sorry that not everyone want just a secound warband oO
The reason you hated native warband probably aren't because of the reasons you think. Us veterans were doing the same thing back in Warband beta and throughout its life to plead to the developers to fix key issues; those pleas fell on deaf ears and were never fixed. Over time, native largely died because of not listening to us.
 

xombie5

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWB
Agree with pretty much everything. Also wanna throw my two cents on archery though.

I agree it's somewhat too strong under current conditions, Especially as a direct killer, and I'm very happy for it to go back to more of a melee support role. But we need to get friendly fire turned on in servers for that, and also people need to get stunned a little when they get shot. It was such a big deal in warband to land an arrow into a melee because the guy you hit stopped moving for a moment and gave your boys a chance to get a hit in in the melee. Currently, as far as I can tell - it can still cancel peoples attacks but I don't notice it slowing anyone down when they're shot.

Also in regards to how fast they can draw an arrow - yes it's fast, but that's the decision TW made when they had the draw and knocking off the arrow be part of the arrow cool down, rather than its start up activation. It's only fair that they are then fast to draw and aim (though accuracy should get lowered a little at least).

And God yes I miss being able to chamber.
And not spending three disorienting seconds on the floor when you're knocked over or jump from a tall place.

And regardless of where they are in balance, I'm finding spears generally unenjoyable to use anyway due to them only stabbing. They Made a pretty decent fallback weapon when you had space in the open and had to fight infantry and horses running about.... Hard (and not nearly as fun) to do that when you can't swing the damn thing.

Being able to do stuff while crouched would be nice, too.
 
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