Multiplayer Is Hurt Immensely By a Lack of Medium Infantry. (With Charts)

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There was a major oversight when the class system was being devised and troops were being distributed to the different factions. Except for Battania, every faction is completely missing Medium Infantry. Medium Infantry are very important because they represent a well rounded, but not overkill in any category, unit that can deal with multiple situations without being completely useless in others.

What is a Medium Infantry?
In order to fit into this category you need 4 things.
  • About 25 armor.
  • Enough speed to catch kiting players on foot. Anything above 79 athletics works.
  • A shield large enough to cover their feet from arrows.
  • A spear.
The only unit in the game which fits this description is the Battanian Wildling, and as it so happens the Wildling is flexible and fun to play. It may not have the staying power or the damage output of the Oathsworn, but it perfectly fits into its role as a cheaper alternative that can defend itself from multiple threats.

Why We Need Them
Infantry in Bannerlord simply have no middle ground. Infantry classes are built to be very "min-maxed" into their roles. You have the Beserkers. They can dish out an absurd amount of damage with longer reach weapons and higher speeds, but generally have less than 10 armor and no shields, and therefore have the staying power of a baby in a barfight. You have the Heavy infantry. They are very tanky with the most diverse selection of weapons, who trade tankiness and their support weapons for (soon even more so) movement like molasses. And you have the peasants, who are dirt cheap but lack the perk options to effectively counter multiple types of opponent in the same life. Players are forced to commit all in to a playstyle before they have seen the enemy composition. Its clear that this is by design, going by quotes such as this.
Yes Heavy infantry can not catch them right away, but they don't get kited as well as long as they chase. There are 3 other infantry classes that can catch and kill archers. Heavy Inf can not be the answer to everything.
I agree with the last sentence of this quote. The giant tank with 45 armor and a 90 damage axe should not be running around as fast as the skirmishers. The unit has a clearly defined role as a point defender and it excels at that role. It is very good at what it does and should not be stealing other classes jobs. The problem is that the classes which the heavy infantry is supposedly stealing the jobs of...dont actually exist. Infantry players who know what they are doing are forced to play Heavy Infantry because the other infantry classes are terrible at being infantry. They are either horribly squishy against archers (the TwoHanders) or horribly squshy against, well, everything. (the Peasants.) Until you give all the factions another unit that can have both a decent spear and a decent shield at the same time, every infantry main is going to continue using Heavy Infantry no matter how hard they get nerfed just because it is viewed as the only reasonable unit.

The Armor Chasm
Why does armor need to be either SUPER HEAVY or super light? Every infantry in the game is either a toothpick or a sequoia. I made a chart to demonstrate what I am talking about. The Horizontal Axis is the price while vertical axis is the armor value.

Notice how nearly every infantry class has a default armor value of either below 15 or above 35. Out of 19 units, there are 3 exceptions. Apart from the Wildling, which I have talked about, there is also the Tribal Warrior and the Khuzait Spearman. Neither of these units fill the role of Medium infantry for a few reasons. For starters, they are both absurdly slow. The Khuzait Spearman has 76 speed. That is the slowest infantry unit in the game. Every Infantry unit is either faster or tied. Even the 46 armor Oathsworn has 79. The Wildling who shares both its armor value (22) and price (120) has 80. Archers have 75. The Khuzait spearman is closer in speed to archers than it is to infantry. This makes it a terrible class that people largely hate playing. The Tribal Warrior hardly fares better with 78. That is still slower than what it should be and definitely too slow for an infantry that only has 19 armor. You can get a perk that buffs the armor to 28, but in doing so you remove the ability to take a shield with any decent protection.

There is not a single unit with a default armor between 25 and 35. That is a pretty big problem for balance. An entire subclass that exists in Warband multiplayer and Bannerlord singleplayer is not present in the current perk system. There is not a single infantry class in the game who has the tools to survive a 2v1 against a cav and an archer. The current classes and perks which infantry have create situations where you are either playing Heavy Infantry and adequately equipped to deal with both, but too slow to catch the archer, or you are playing one of the light classes that are fast enough to catch the archer, but are also super squishy and not equipped to fight off the cav or block the archers arrows.

Infantry Players Are Underperforming Compared To Archers and Cavalry
Here are more charts. This data is taken from NABB. Thank you Hancock for the spreadsheet. These charts represent the K-D ratio and class of every player on the top 4 teams according to my power rankings. If you feel that these charts are an unfair representation of the tournament somehow, please join your local Ebdanian Charts Unfair Foundation (ECUF.) If your city does not have one, start one. The vertical Axis is the K-D and the horizontal axis is the class they play.

1= Infantry, 2= Archer, 3= Cavalry.​
These charts tell us a few things.
  1. There are simply less infantry mains than there were in Warband. Throughout the entirety of my time in the competitive scene, Infantry made up at minimum 50% of a teams composition on closed and mixed maps. (Every map in Bannerlord is closed or closed-mixed) In Bannerlord that number is down to 33% on most teams. What should be the backbone of every squad is severely depleted. You can argue about whether this is because the class isnt as good or isnt as fun, or both.
  2. Infantry are doing significantly worse than the other classes. The only infantry main who has been able to put up REMOTELY similar numbers to the rest of his team is MihaWk with Unknown. Every other infantry player is getting less kills and dying more often than the rest of his team. In a game where the classes are balanced we would not see numbers this disproportionately skewed. It is not that the infantry players are just worse at the game, its just the class does not have the tools to deal with the other 2 classes with the subclasses and perks currently allocated to them.

TDM And Siege Need a Cheap Class That Isnt Awful or Spam.
TDM is really suffering right now. I realize that most of the people who tune into my balance posts are from the skirmish community, but TDM balance should not be completely ignored. As you know, TDM is also based on the gold system. The better you do, the more gold you get. The issue this causes is that every player starts with a very low amount of gold, and needs to do well to unlock the better classes. If you are an average player you are going to be stuck around the 120-130 gold range for quite awhile. This is a massive problem because every cheap class in the game is either a light archer, a peasant or a twohander. When 70% of the players on the server are either
  1. Light Archer
  2. Twohander
  3. Literally just a guy with his pitchfork
You will start to notice all the fights are going one of 2 ways.
  1. The Archers are demolishing the Twohanders
  2. The Twohanders are getting in melee range and demolishing the archers.
Adding a new, reasonably cheap infantry class to the mix that actually has a shield would be amazing for TDM balance. It would allow fights to last longer than 3 seconds and give players who don't want to play archer an infantry class they can actually melee with that wont be shot quite so frequently.

The Class I'm Asking For Basically Exists In Cavalry Form.
About 25 Armor
Big Spear
Big Shield

Long OneHanded Weapon
Costs 130 Gold

Sounds like a pretty reasonable Medium Infantry right? Well it is! Except those are the stats for pretty much every Light Cavalry subclass in the game. My question is why do the Cavalry mains get a more balanced infantry class than the infantry mains? Replace the horse with 80 movement speed and the horse related perks with more weapon options and you have an excellent infantry for every faction, with basically no work involved. Im not saying outright replace the Light Cav, because that would be dumb, but I don't see a reason why you couldn't borrow its model and weapons and create an entirely new class based off it. Like I said, all you have to do is replace the horse with 80 footspeed and give it a slightly larger shield for some faction variants. If the armor and weapons are balanced on horseback they will also be balanced on foot.

In Conclusion
I know that Taleworlds wants infantry to be balanced. They are not meant to be performing as terribly as they currently are. My main point is that the current infantry classes will never do as well as the Cavalry and Archers. You can make the TwoHanders the most powerful godkillers on the planet that are beyond OP for their intended purpose, and they will still perform poorly because their intended purpose is simply too narrow and clearly defined compared to Archers and Cav. Until you have a solid "good but not great" infantry that can perform well in multiple scenarios, the class will always be weaker than the Archer and Cav who have the capacity to fill multiple roles without the glaring weaknesses of all the different inf classes.
Very well argumented points and i could do nothing but agree.
What i would like add is, even though i don't believe in the uniformity of classes' utility for all the factions (in which case we would lose the feel that each faction has specific to it), at least the medium infantry is something i think each faction should have, both those that have access to heavy infantry too, and those that don't, and then the other classes should be used to balance the infantry discrepancy out (example one has good heavy cavalry, the other good archers).
I must put the fact out that this is very tricky to do, because of the risk of some factions becoming a rock solid all-rounders with no competition (namely the Empire and Vlandia).
Certainly an interesting read, by the way. I would like to retrieve this commentary from Orion (100% agreeable) and have you all read it again:

In the same spirit as this suggestion by Ebdanian, I would like to reiterate his idea and offer an argument against the current class structure. A TL;DR is provided at the bottom.

Classes are here to stay, and as much as I may personally dislike that decision it seems there's nothing to be done about that. What we can do, hopefully, is influence the development of the class system in such a way that dedicated players new and old can appreciate its depth while the newest players can still find it accessible. We've talked about hybridizing the Bannerlord class system with Warband before, and this has been suggested in depth by others previously, but this is my take on a potential middle-ground. There are some critical concepts covered in this lengthy post, which are as follows: archetypes, being separated into core and auxiliary/hybrid categories; class equipment and capabilities, which together determine a class' role; role diversity, or how one class can flex to fill two distinct roles by virtue of perks; economic efficiency, a key factor in balancing stratified classes; and redundancy, which is how economic efficiency and role diversity effectively make some classes wasteful.

Perks as we know them are relatively minor influences on our decision to play any particular class. Typically, the majority of what you get from a class is independent of its perks, which makes all of the classes feel very archetypal and also inflexible. There are many cases where a particular role is desired but the faction you are playing for does not have it or its current configuration is effectively countered by your opponent's faction capabilities. For an example, imagine Ulfhednar infantry versus Khuzait cavalry. There are times when Ulfhednar can be useful against Khuzait, but the majority of the time they will be expensive pincushions instead because their archetype locks them into a play style which does not fare well against Khuzait. There is no other class for Sturgia which accommodates the play style that Ulfhednar offers, so by the very nature of the game there will be times when that play style is simply not viable because of a random faction match-up. I see this as a loss for the game, because there are simple ways to increase the viability of a class such as the Ulfhednar without muddying the waters so much that it becomes indistinct from the other classes.

Sticking with the Ulfhednar as an example--and by extension, Sturgia as a whole--I think we should analyze what role each class is supposed to fill in their current configurations, and make a distinction between "core" and "auxiliary" classes, as well as redundant classes (those which match a core or auxiliary archetype role but are objectively worse than another class). For the Sturgians, the current class lineup looks like this:

  • Infantry
    • Warrior
      Light Infantry, Redundant
    • Huskarl
      Heavy Infantry, Core
    • Ulfhednar
      Shock Infantry, Auxiliary
  • Ranged
    • Brigand
      Light Skirmisher, Auxiliary
    • Hunter
      Light Archer, Core
  • Cavalry
    • Raider
      Light Cavalry, Redundant
    • Druzhinnik
      Heavy Cavalry, Auxiliary, Core

What I consider to be a core class is one which is useful in all or most circumstances, regardless of the opposing faction (but not necessarily composition). These classes typically fit non-hybrid archetypes, which are unsurprisingly the same archetypes we had as classes in Warband. If we were to create a three-way spectrum (see the spoiler below) with each of these pure archetypes at the extremes, then we could see where each pure archetype intersects with one other and recognize those as hybrid archetypes. A smaller triangle drawn between these three points, which I call the auxiliary triangle, creates a subset of the overall spectrum, and in the center of this subset we have the lack of an archetype. That is to say, it has classes that are sufficiently generalized that they are useless or make other similarly-priced classes redundant. Classes which overlap in the same region of the diagram and are not similarly-priced are also a redundancy risk, which I will address later.


Before we place any classes on this spectrum, however, we have to take into account what level of flexibility they have and decide if that flexibility represents a shift towards another archetype or further cements their current archetype. To not put the cart before the horse, we should start with defining the class archetypes themselves to get an idea of their role, and by extension the equipment necessary for filling that role. We will assume that armor and health--being inherent to all classes to varying degrees--does not strongly influence archetype (only effectiveness).

For simplicity's sake, let's start with cavalry. The defining feature of the cavalry archetype is the mount, and for a pure cavalry archetype this definition can be further narrowed with the inclusion of a lance or other long polearm. These two core features of the archetype tell us its capabilities which are high mobility and high alpha (single attack damage potential). We can take this one step further and deduce that the role of a pure cavalry archetype fits that of heavy/shock cavalry. Next we will consider the ranged archetype, which is defined very simply as one which has a reloadable ranged weapon and no mount. Capability-wise, we can infer from this feature that ranged archetypes have the greatest influence on tactical positioning and the ability to consistently deal damage at a distance. The role, then, is that of area denial (particularly against foot troops), pressure, and support of the final archetype: infantry. Core equipment for infantry are a shield and melee weapons in general, but specifically the variety available to them and the adaptability that this offers (e.g. spears, two-handers, throwing weapons). Their capabilities, inferred from equipment, are area denial against cavalry, pressure against ranged units, and sustain/survivability. Infantry's role, then, is that of vanguard for contesting objectives and defense. Infantry take ground and hold it, cavalry capitalize on enemies in the open or not paying attention, and ranged troops pressure enemies into making mistakes or taking sub-optimal routes.

Next, we need to define what exactly an auxiliary archetype is (a.k.a. dual or hybrid archetype). I would say that this is a class which mixes some of the equipment of one parent class with some capability of their other parent class, by means of specialized equipment of their own, with the goal creating a mixed role. For instance, the Ulfhednar has infantry equipment (no horse, two-handed weapon, option for utility via throwing weapons) with cavalry's capability (relatively high mobility and high alpha) which together make it an infantry class with above-average mobility and damage potential, making a distinct role for itself: quickly dispatching enemies engaged in melee against friendlies.

If I were to plot all of the Sturgian troops as they are now on the above chart, this is approximately where I would place them:


My rationale here follows the definitions I laid out above. Equipment affects a class' position on the diagram, position is indicative of capability, and capability determines role. The Ulfhednar, for instance, lacks core infantry equipment (shield, spear) required to push it closer to the infantry vertex and the finnicky nature of axes reduces its dependability is a high alpha class. However, it has excellent mobility and access to fairly powerful throwing weapons, which pushes it towards the Skirmisher point. The Druzhinnik and Raider are a bit more complicated, and ultimately come down to the ranged weapons available to both. Because the Druzhinnik has a bow (a dedicated, reloadable ranged weapon) it moved closer to the Horse Archer point. It is not closer to the cavalry archetype vertex because it must spend a perk to get a lance, and taking a bow precludes it from having a lance. The Raider has throwing weapons and can never get a lance, so it is pushed away from the ranged vertex and closer to the infantry vertex without getting too close to the cavalry vertex. Brigand is closer to the infantry vertex than the ranged vertex because it has access to a spear. I feel the rest are fairly self-explanatory, with none of those classes having equipment that significantly deviates them from their archetypes.

Before moving on to what I think can be inferred from this diagram, I would like to return to the matter of armor and health. These are common among all classes and are a significant factor in determining the cost of spawning a class. Differences in weapon stats have a relatively small impact on class efficacy when compared to armor, and I believe that differentiating classes primarily by armor/survivability is not ideal. In my opinion, in a skill-based game, it will ultimately lead to the most well-armored classes being used disproportionately more than the others because skilled players will have their skill advantage complemented most by classes with high survivability, and will thereby minimize their need to respawn; ergo, it becomes the most economically efficient choice (spawn once, die little vs. spawn a lot, die a lot, etc.). That said, I acknowledge that cost differences are by design and will seek to devise a solution to diversify classes by more than just cost and survivability.

What I believe can be inferred from the class placement on my diagram is that Sturgians, overall, have a strong infantry focus, with a secondary focus on non-specialist cavalry and minimal focus on ranged units. This fits thematically, which is a positive and certainly intended. In relation to each other, however, some classes leave something to be desired. Druzhinnik, for instance, is more capable of ranged skirmishing than the Raider by virtue of having a bow, yet it is also more capable as an archetypal cavalry class because of its access to a lance. This makes the Raider redundant in all ways except cost (pushing it towards the middle, as it is less capable than Druzhinnik), and muddies the role of Druzhinnik by making it an auxiliary and core class for Sturgia. Another problem is the Huskarl, which makes redundant the Warrior class in all ways except cost and does so with minimal shift towards another archetype (by virtue of throwing axes). I would not say this is a problem with the Huskarl but rather with the Warrior. There is a lack of equipment diversity for the warrior to differentiate it from the Huskarl in any meaningful way except survivability, and for its price the option for a shock infantry weapon is pointless when the Ulfhednar can also have one as baseline equipment for only 20 more gold.

Another concept I'd like to describe is something I've mentioned a few times now, and that is class redundancy. In my eyes, there are two ways to make a class redundant and those are to have two classes with strikingly similar roles and capabilities with only a cost/efficacy bonus separating them (redundancy through efficacy, or weak/strong redundancy), or to have a class with so many shared capabilities that it either under-performs in all of them or is effective enough to be an obvious "best choice" (redundancy through versatility, or Swiss Army Knife redundancy). As I explained in the previous paragraph, the Sturgians have one of each: the Huskarl and Warrior create a redundancy-through-efficacy problem, while the Raider and Druzhinnik create a redundancy-through-versatility problem. One potential indicator of a class being a redundancy risk is to overlay a circle on the previous diagram, and take note of any classes that fall within the circle:


Referring to the image in the spoiler above, we see that Raider and Ulfhednar lie within this circle and we have an argument already for why the Raider is redundant. The Raider has throwing weapons instead of a bow which pushes it closer to skirmisher/infantry than horse archer, and a spear instead of a lance pushes it toward infantry, away from cavalry. The fact that it has a horse keeps it in the cavalry quarter, but it is a cavalry class with a significantly lower alpha potential than the Druzhinnik because it cannot get a lance. What role, then, is the Raider supposed to fill? I would argue that it is indistinct, with two strikes against it: low survivability as a budget cavalry class, and no equipment that enables it to have a role sufficiently distinct from other classes in the faction. It is a worse Druzhinnik, but I would not say this is because they occupy an identical role. I believe the intention for these two classes is supposed to be different, but access to a bow for the Druzhinnik makes it versatile enough to occupy the niche that would otherwise be occupied by the Raider. The problem, then, is shared by the Raider and Druzhinnik. Because the Druzhinnik is a Swiss Army Knife class, it is too versatile and has made the Raider redundant. The Ulfhednar is an example of a class which falls in the circle but is sufficiently distant from the other classes on the diagram that it has a distinct role. Therefore, all that is required for it to leave the circle is a minor equipment change. Giving it a spiked axe that can be used to rear cavalry, for example, would push it towards infantry (as this is effectively a spear) and out of the circle. It could also be pushed out with the inclusion of a shield, but more on that later.

The Huskarl and Warrior are in very close proximity to each other on the previous diagram, and because they fill very similar roles they create a redundancy-through-efficacy problem. There is no situation where the Warrior is more useful than the Huskarl, and once the game matures I expect there to be virtually zero scenarios in which a Warrior is deliberately spawned except as a joke. If we take a moment now to consider the previous redundancy problem (Raider and Druzhinnik) and identify what made it problematic (too much versatility for the Druzhinnik makes it overlap the Raider's role) then we see a potential solution immediately: reduce versatility of the Druzhinnik. For the Warrior and Huskarl, the problem (and thus solution) is the opposite. Because their roles are the same, there should be a difference in versatility to address the redundancy. To avoid making a strong class even stronger it logically follows that the Huskarl should be left alone while the Warrior's kit should be diversified to make it more flexible, thereby making it more competitive.

Now that we have this in-depth understanding of where the Sturgian classes stand in relation to each other, we can use it to illustrate a fundamental problem with making some classes weak by design and how this can be addressed without sacrificing (many) of our available classes. This problem, simply, is that expensive classes have not only better equipment but also more varied equipment typically, while cheaper classes have weaker equipment and inferior options for versatility. The final concepts I would like to introduce are those of role diversity and economic efficiency. We can see the concept of role diversity exists for the Druzhinnik, as it has the choice between focusing on a primary archetype (lance or barding perk) or an auxiliary archetype (bow perk). This gives the Druzhinnik sufficient flexibility to play two different roles, ergo it has role diversity. Because it has role diversity and greater capability in either of its roles than the Raider at only a moderate cost difference, it is clear that the Druzhinnik is also more economically efficient than the Raider. This may seem like I'm talking in circles, but it is important to attach meaning to these terms and establish a consistent understanding of them before moving on to my suggestion for altering class design philosophy.

That being said, let's finally identify what I think are problems with the current class & perk design philosophy (as I understand it) and how it can be adjusted to make each class more distinct, viable, and fun to play.

Currently, low-tier classes are the weakest and also least versatile, tending to possess singular roles without the means to effectively fill them and with no options to meaningfully diversify. Mid-tier classes are typically focused on a single archetype, be it core or auxiliary, but are at risk of being made redundant by top-tier classes with significant role diversity and high efficacy. Overall, this makes low- and mid-tier classes economically inefficient when compared to top-tier classes because role flexibility tends to increase with cost, at minimal or even no loss of efficacy. Therefore, I argue that the current design philosophy disproportionately distributes versatility and efficacy both towards the top tier, at the detriment of the low- and mid-tier classes, to such a degree that only the top-tier classes are economically efficient and ultimately the only choices worth considering. I opened this argument with the example of the Ulfhednar, which is a class that is very specialized but with relatively low efficacy because it lacks access to equipment available to an adjacent archetype (infantry or cavalry). Being an auxiliary archetype itself, the Ulfhednar offers a unique play style among Sturgia's class lineup but this play style is not viable when facing ranged weapons or lance cavalry, and because it is unique to the Ulfhednar there is no way to choose a role-diverse class to enable a similar play style. Therefore, against factions which favor ranged weapons and lance cavalry--such as the Khuzait--there is no place for the Ulfhednar, whereas in the previous title there was always a case to be made for each of the three archetypal classes in all scenarios. I believe that this was the case in Warband because each archetype had role diversity, either by design (throwing weapons available to infantry and cavalry) or meta (shield drops for archers), and all classes could exist at multiple levels of efficacy depending on available gold. Because we have changed the dynamic of gold and split the three primary archetypes among seven classes with predetermined levels of intended efficacy, we must redistribute role diversity accordingly to ensure that all of these seven classes are worthwhile and accept the possibility that a few may need to be culled for the sake of the rest.

Thus, my suggestion is twofold: firstly, classes must be redesigned in such a way as to create an inversely proportional relationship between role diversity and role efficacy, and secondly a class' role must be at least partially divorced from its efficacy to enable viability of play styles in more diverse contexts though at the expense of economic efficiency. In other words, a class with role diversity should not be the strongest option for more than one of those roles (see the Druzhinnik and the Raider example above), and as a class becomes more expensive it should be pushed further towards one of the points on the class triangle (core and auxiliary archetypes). Expensive classes should be specialists, while cheaper classes should be generalists. Classes which are currently niche (such as the Ulfhednar) should have options for becoming more generalist, but there should be an additional cost to do so to ensure that class power stratification remains. My idea for implementing this is to add two more perk slots, redefine how perks effect a class, and thereby create a new economic & tactical element in the game without making it overly complex.

To begin to explain this concept, we'll start with the redefinition of perks and make the distinction between perk equipment and guaranteed equipment. Guaranteed equipment is a type of equipment that cannot be replaced with a perk but can be upgraded with a perk. For instance, a Huskarl will always have a one-handed weapon, a spear, and a shield. As in their current iteration, they may be able to choose a different one-handed weapon or an additional throwing weapon, but they will always have these three types of equipment in some form (i.e. throwing spears can be used as spears and might replace one, but throwing axes can't and so will never replace a spear). A total of three perk slots would need to exist, each slot would represent a category of perks, and each category would have 3 unique perks. Finally, each perk would be assigned a tier, being low, mid, and high. Tiers would have associated costs, but it would be possible for a player to choose high-tier perks in all three categories. To control this, exceeding an abstracted power threshold would increase the cost of spawning the class. For the sake of simplicity and ease-of-access, we can abstract this threshold using the tier system in an intuitive way: one high-tier perk is equivalent to two mid-tier perks, and low-tier perks are free. To further abstract this, we could imagine point values for each perk tier, where low-tier perks are worth 0 points, mid-tier are worth 1 point, and high-tier are worth 2 points. Any combination of perks with a total value of 2 or fewer points would have no additional cost to spawn. Any combination of perks that exceeds 2 points would have an additional cost applied, proportionate to how much it exceeds the threshold. The three categories for all classes would be Offensive, Defensive, and Utility. The Offensive category would include upgrades appropriate for that class' archetype, e.g. a Huskarl would have their default axe as low, a short sword or more effective axe as mid-tier, and a mace as high-tier. These, I believe, are self-explanatory. Defensive perks would primarily include armor and shield upgrades, and may offer minor role diversity for certain classes. For the Huskarl, we would see their current armor and shield as low-tier, a shield upgrade as mid-tier, and the upgraded shield plus a moderate armor upgrade as high tier. Utility perks would be the primary source of role diversity or specialist gear for the class' primary archetype. The Huskarl, being a high cost core archetype, would have little role diversity offered from their utility slot. Before we continue with the Huskarl example, I must clarify that the Huskarl's current default spear is something I would like to use as an upgrade, and a shorter spear should be used for guaranteed equipment. Moving on, a Huskarl's utility options would be a their current long spear as low-tier, a stack of throwing axes as mid-tier to accompany their shorter guaranteed spear, and a stack of throwing spears to replace their guaranteed spear as high-tier. Observe that none of these perk options by themselves or in combination with the others changes the class' intended role as heavy infantry. The first two categories scale efficacy in that respect, while the utility category has a free option to further strengthen this role. The utility perks that potentially add cost to this core archetype class are those which push it away from its archetype.

To illustrate how I wish to push role diversity into the lower class tiers, let's step through the Warrior as an example. Guaranteed equipment is simply a one-handed weapon and throwing stones for the Warrior. Offensive perks would be their current axe as low-tier, a hand-and-half axe as mid-tier, and a decent club or mace as high-tier. Their defensive perk selection would have a minor armor upgrade as low-tier, a shield as mid-tier, and both together as high-tier. The utility slot would offer darts to upgrade their stones at low-tier, the two-handed maul as mid-tier, and a stack of light throwing axes to replace the stones as high-tier. We can see from this array of equipment that the Warrior now has two options for shock infantry archetype weapons (hand-and-half axe or maul) as well as guaranteed skirmish archetype equipment (throwing weapons) and two choices of upgrades. However, because they would lack the higher mobility of a shock infantry class and the ammunition count & quality of a dedicated skirmisher class they still land firmly in the infantry archetype. They do, however, now have the flexibility to potentially fill both of those capabilities in a limited capacity or focus on one in earnest, and shift their role from left to right (and vice versa) on the class triangle. Notably, they could take their default axe, a shield, and a maul at no additional cost to become a class capable of harassing & chasing ranged units with stones from behind a shield, and of pulling out their maul to support heavier infantry in a team fight. They could also forego the armor-battering maul in favor of the hand-and-half axe and the darts to get a minor trade-off of team fighting potential in favor of stronger ranged harassment. While on the subject of the Warrior, let's also look at how cost would scale with taking multiple valuable perks. Currently, the Warrior costs 100 gold to spawn. A simple and intuitive method for scaling cost is to make each point over 2 add 10 additional gold to the spawn cost. In this way, a class could cost up to 40 additional gold to spawn. A Warrior would never cost as much as a Huskarl, even with a club, shield, upgraded armor, and light throwing axes, which all together would make it a viable light infantry unit capable of damaging heavy infantry with the club and harassing at a distance with decent throwing weapons.

Coincidentally, this also fits thematically as lower-end troops and levies would often have a hodgepodge of equipment, ranging across farm implements and tools to scavenged weapons & armor from the last battle they were in. Seeing low-end troops with widely varied equipment options makes sense historically and also serves to make them more viable options for players that want flexibility rather than a singular focus. On the opposite end of the spectrum, classes such as the Vlandian Knight could be increased in cost beyond 200 gold, which would prohibit a player from respawning in the first round of Skirmish entirely (though the potential remains on subsequent rounds). This presents an interesting tactical and economic choice, where a player can choose to go all-in on their first spawn for an absolutely top-tier unit at the cost of your subsequent spawn, or at least the quality of it. For instance, you would never be able to take an all-high-tier heavy cavalry unit twice in the same round as they would all cost more than 200 gold to spawn, and on rounds after the first you would be reducing the available gold to upgrade your next spawn by taking an all-high-tier heavy cavalry unit. With the exception of the Mameluke, you would not even be able to respawn as heavy cavalry in any configuration after going all-in on your first spawn. The same logic applies to all other classes, which enables high risk/high reward play styles while also bringing up the efficacy and versatility of the lower-end troops.


Expensive classes should not also be the most versatile classes (i.e. able to take powerful cross-class equipment, such as heavy cavalry getting bows) without some mitigating factor. With this in mind, cheaper classes could become more viable options by getting increased versatility through equipment while expensive classes should be much more focused on their archetype and have limited options for diversifying. By expanding perk slots to three, splitting perks into 3 categories (Offensive, Defensive, Utility), and adding the possibility for increasing spawn cost by taking strong combinations of perks we could allow players to adjust their play style to the situation at hand rather than pick a class that railroads them into an entirely different play style (or suffer being non-viable) as well as increase the value of cheap classes while further focusing the expensive ones. The most expensive classes could be focused to the point that they only allow a single spawn in the first round of Skirmish, and at least prevent spawning that class twice in subsequent rounds (with the exception of the Mameluke, which would have to take a more-or-less stock configuration to do so). The Offensive and Defensive perks for expensive classes would be sidegrades or modest upgrades to their primary weapon (axe for sword, sword for mace, etc.) and upgrades to their protection (armor/shield). For cheap classes, they would offer upgrades or new dynamics to their primary weapon (club to short sword, or one-handed axe to hand-and-half axe) as well as armor upgrades and access to shields. The point of these two perk slots is to increase efficacy for all classes, and offer moderate versatility for cheap classes. The third slot, utility, is used to offer role diversity. It would include things like throwing weapons or two-handers for infantry, spears or other polearms for ranged classes, and faster mounts or throwing weapons for cavalry. All perk categories have 3 options, and the options are tiered as low, mid, or high. To abstract this concept, low tier perks are worth 0 points, mid tier are worth 1 point, and high tier are worth 2 points. Any combination of perks with a point total of 2 or fewer adds no cost to spawning the class. Each point after 2 adds 10 more gold to the spawn cost (max 40 extra gold).
Really nice thread, medium infantry has been on everyone's radars since alpha started and I'm glad it's explained in detail here. A great example is Sturgia, you've either got cloth armour or full chainmail, where's the leather?
Completely agree. I dont even consider playing peasents because they are so bad and useless. Vlandian peasents have next to no use and would be better discarded
Another thing which I didn’t even mention is the existence of a new infantry class allows the developers to have some fun diversifying the current classes into the roles they want them to have.

When a “base” infantry class exists, the developers can stop shoehorning the Heavy Infantry into multiple roles and allow it to become a better defensive unit, with more 1v1 power but even less mobility. When it’s no longer the only viable infantry option, you can really get creative with its perks instead of trying to appease every style of player because everyone who knows what they’re doing is playing the same class.

An infantry gradient with the Heavy as the Point Holding defensive class, the Medium infantry as a tweener than can sort of do everything but isn’t as specialized, and a Beserk Twohander class that can do a ton of damage but struggles defensively, would be a lot of fun. Taleworlds just needs to pull the trigger and add the new class.
TDM And Siege Need a Cheap Class That Isnt Awful or Spam.

I do not agree with some of the reasoning/conclusions in this part. I myself been playing TDM regularly since Beta. I think people do not play archers or 2 handers just because they can't afford others. That is only the case if they want to play cavalry. In which case it s better to spam cheapest until you get the gold for cavalry.2 handers and archers are simply more fun to play for a casual player in TDM. And playing with a shield+1 handed isn't as good. 1v1s are quite rare. 1vX feels terrible with a shield+1 handed combo. At least for a casual, not too experienced player. You will lose your shield while trying to get close. If you don't lose it in your first fight, you are gonna lose it in the next one. And I don't understand how but you still get hit while blocking with a shield unless it s the correct direction so one of the advantages is gone.
Archers on the other hand is fun because you always have people to shoot at. People camp on balconies and play like that whole game. They don't even need to keep moving.
I found myself picking cheaper classes like skirmishers even though I had hundreds of gold because they are more fun.

I think you need to look at TDM from a different angle because it is actually quite different. You can spawn as many times as you want with no downside. Ground is full of weapons & shields to use. It is too chaotic. You simply can't defend from every angle so you are gonna get shot at or get lanced, accept it and enjoy.
It encourages quite different play style.

These are my opinions anyways. It would probably be better to wait combat changes to think about ways to improve TDM, it will affect a lot.

(But we don't need to wait that to agree that spawns are the worst)
I found myself picking cheaper classes like skirmishers even though I had hundreds of gold because they are more fun.
The 3 skirmisher classes (Skirmisher, Brigand, Wildling) are the closest thing the game has right now to the medium infantry we are hoping for. Just replace 2-3 javs with +8 armor and a more consistent shield and thats the class in a nutshell. They are more fun in TDM than Heavy Inf and Peasant because they dont force you to be either very slow or very weak.
You simply can't defend from every angle so you are gonna get shot at or get lanced, accept it and enjoy.
It encourages quite different play style.
I think a class whos entire selling point is flexibility in chaotic situations would help in this regard. The main drawback of other infantry classes is that they are either too slow to deal with the multiple threats or too poorly equipped to stop the threats from abusing them. Playing as a medium infantry allows you to take on the lances and the arrows without sacrificing either your speed or your survivability.

Im excited for the TDM changes.
The 3 skirmisher classes (Skirmisher, Brigand, Wildling) are the closest thing the game has right now to the medium infantry we are hoping for. Just replace 2-3 javs with +8 armor and a more consistent shield and thats the class in a nutshell. They are more fun in TDM than Heavy Inf and Peasant because they dont force you to be either very slow or very weak.

I think a class whos entire selling point is flexibility in chaotic situations would help in this regard. The main drawback of other infantry classes is that they are either too slow to deal with the multiple threats or too poorly equipped to stop the threats from abusing them. Playing as a medium infantry allows you to take on the lances and the arrows without sacrificing either your speed or your survivability.

Im excited for the TDM changes.

Really happy to see this thread and the response from Azakhi. Agreed I think more classes in general wouldn't hurt - and a 'default' class per faction could be interesting. Would give every other class a measure to value against. Overall I never play the battanian Wilding as I perfer the Oathsworn for Skirmish play or Savage/Fian for TDM. However the class does add a lot of value and would be interesting to see on the other factions.

However it sounds like so much is going to change soon that largely the arguements we are having right now are a little meaningless. I can't wait to see what this new MP patch will entail - I'm hoping this will be a turning point for the community.
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Overall I never play the battanian Wilding as I perfer the Oathsworn for Skirmish play or Beserker/Fian for TDM. However the class does add a lot of value and would be interesting to see on the other factions.

Honestly just copy paste a faction specific Wildling to every faction and infantry is instantly more up to par across the board. What makes the Wildling so nice is that its an exact copy of the Oathsworn just with -armor and +speed. The perks line up almost exactly. All infantry players want is a unit less min-maxed than the heavy inf with the same gear selection.

Oathsworn Perks
Left side perksRight side perks
Longer SwordFast Javelins
Better ShieldSpear
AxeHeavy Javelins

Wildling Perks
Longer SwordExtra Javelins
Better ShieldSpear
AxeHeavy Javelins

It works just fine for Battania. You can do the exact same thing for every other faction with a heavy inf. A lighter inf with ~25 armor and 81 speed that has the same weapon perks as its Heavy Inf counterpart would do wonders.
Would you say that the khergit spearman is what we are looking for as a medium infantry class?

With more speed and some flexibility with its weapons yes, +4 movement and giving them a sword by default so they can move fast with a decent shield, one handed and throwing spears would make them a versatile, cheap pick for infantry players.
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