My review(ish) of releaseversion bannerlord

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Jarag

Veteran
WB
I have played the series from early access of original mount&blade. Between that and warband I have over 2000 hours of game time. I have played Bannerlord since release for about 700 hours.

The main feeling I have with Bannerlord is that is it everything I wanted from it. The big battles are awesome, the world map feels much bigger and better, the dynamic trade and economy also feel really good.
My biggest problems with the game are that the progression is really wonky and and everything feels really gamey.
Progression: The start of new campaing is extremely annoying. It is very easy to go bankrupt since you dont have money to buy horses and it is very hard to catch looters since they move about the same speed. After getting enough money to buy some horses and have about 10 soldiers the game starts feeling really easy. I can catch and crush most bandits and selling the loot brings a lot of money. It is really easy to have 50 mostly elite troops after getting to clan tier 2, join a kingdom as mercenary then kill some caravans and the money problems go away for the rest of playtrough. When getting to tier 3 it is really easy to have almost full party of best troops and then killing enemy lord parties is really easy. After getting enough renown/fiefs it is really easy to get a massive army and just siege every town/castle and destroy factions in a couple of wars.
The relations with other lords is really strange since it is usually extremely easy to have everybody just love you. There seem to be way more ways to make other lord like you than dislike you. With lategame influence gains it is easy to just vote for people who dont like you to have 100 relations with every clan. I think the relations should be balanced so that getting positive relation with 1 clan would almost always give the same negative relation with the clan they dont like. That way there would be some kind of system of choosing sides within faction.

My suggestions to make this feel better:
- Somehow limit how easy it is to get the best troops of any faction. This can be by increasing xp requirements (only for player). I think there could be a hard or soft limit of how many best troops you can have. This can be done by making other faction troops more expensive to upgrade or more expensive to upkeep or have some kind of morale problem. I think the horse system is really good at limiting the amount of cavalry you can have in early game. Maybe there could be similiar system for other troops, you would have to first by fian champion gear set for 2000 before you can upgrade troop to that rank. If the troop then dies you have a change to get that set back. If you.
- Medicine is really overpowered for the player. If you manage to find a hero with 125 medicine, it is really easy to almost never lose troops. I think there should be some kind of limitations for this. First of all it is really stupid that you allways know right away if somebody is dead or not. Secondly there should be a choice after the battle to move slower and try to save wounded soldiers or move fast and risk losing them. Thirdly I think there should be resource called "medicine" which is used every time a soldier is healed.
- Companions are just bad. I never read their dialog and they are just carriers of their skills. In warband companions had some personality in them since they hated/liked other companions and gave some lore for the places they were from. I think with the current system it would be better to just be able to hire a "healer" or "engineer" with higher cost but no other personality than this current system
- I think the economy could be scaled better if having more money would result in your troops demanding more money for their work.
 

five bucks

Knight at Arms
My input is that too many features do not work and need to be fixed.


Medicine isn't overpowered. It's really a bit of a dump stat because by the time you get good levels in it, troops are already disposable anyway.

I don't like the negative relation thing, unless it only applied to lords with certain personality traits.

Agree with most of the rest of your review.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
- Somehow limit how easy it is to get the best troops of any faction. This can be by increasing xp requirements (only for player). I think there could be a hard or soft limit of how many best troops you can have. This can be done by making other faction troops more expensive to upgrade or more expensive to upkeep or have some kind of morale problem. I think the horse system is really good at limiting the amount of cavalry you can have in early game. Maybe there could be similiar system for other troops, you would have to first by fian champion gear set for 2000 before you can upgrade troop to that rank. If the troop then dies you have a change to get that set back. If you.
One of the most common complaints was it being too difficult to get noble troops, so I don't see TW going back on it.
 

JunKeteer

Veteran
One of the most common complaints was it being too difficult to get noble troops, so I don't see TW going back on it.
This was one of those complaints/issues I didn't understand, but, they could've went a different route to still have them feel 'rare'; ie limit it to castle recruit (or town) only; not villages. Or, like they did with the bandit troops/perks with those restrictions. Whether you need a certain influence threshold to recruit nobles (or spend with that 'currency'), or apply some perk to get the upper most tier of the noble troop upgrades or some added/discount cost wage perk, etc...
Right now, they don't feel 'noble/unique/rare' enough, might as well be exactly the same as the rest of the faction troop tree; and less that 'challenge' in trying to get a full stack of noble troops which is very easy to do still and quickly.
 

Blood Gryphon

Grandmaster Knight
WBVC
This was one of those complaints/issues I didn't understand, but, they could've went a different route to still have them feel 'rare'; ie limit it to castle recruit (or town) only; not villages. Or, like they did with the bandit troops/perks with those restrictions. Whether you need a certain influence threshold to recruit nobles (or spend with that 'currency'), or apply some perk to get the upper most tier of the noble troop upgrades or some added/discount cost wage perk, etc...
Right now, they don't feel 'noble/unique/rare' enough, might as well be exactly the same as the rest of the faction troop tree; and less that 'challenge' in trying to get a full stack of noble troops which is very easy to do still and quickly.
The only way to get them before was transforming bandits, which lets be honest was ****ing stupid and made no sense that a noble troop line came only from bandits.

Also the current version gives more importance to owning castles as its only castle villages that provide noble troops.

I've done the analysis a few times and there is not a ton of noble troops in AI parties as they are not selective about recruiting troops, you see an AI party with 25 - 33% noble troops.

Using the player as a comparison is silly as the player will behave differently from the AI and can ignore recruiting normal troops and only recruit noble troops. Even when the only way to get noble troops was to recruit bandits, players still only focused on that. So making them more rare wont stop people from making fian only parties but will just lock out AI parties from ever having them.

Personally I want to fight against some noble troops, which the current system allows and the previous system didnt allow. If you dont want to have all noble troops then dont focus on just recruiting them, recruit from towns and town villages where they arent available.
 
Personally I want to fight against some noble troops, which the current system allows and the previous system didnt allow. If you dont want to have all noble troops then dont focus on just recruiting them, recruit from towns and town villages where they arent available.
This.

I get folks wanting to gate themselves at some notional difficulty but having widespread nerfs hit every other player is silly and narcissistic and just ****ing stupid at worst.

I do wish the Noble troops had even more oomph though - I would like to run into an absolute crack unit of AI randomly to make things competitive.
 

Jarag

Veteran
WB
One of the most common complaints was it being too difficult to get noble troops, so I don't see TW going back on it.
yeah I kinda forgot that they even exist. I was talking about normal max tier troops which are way too easy to get. They are good enough to kill enemy lord parties with similar numbers with almost no casualties. I guess this is partially because ai parties are usually very bad quality
 

JunKeteer

Veteran
This.

I get folks wanting to gate themselves at some notional difficulty but having widespread nerfs hit every other player is silly and narcissistic and just ****ing stupid at worst.

I do wish the Noble troops had even more oomph though - I would like to run into an absolute crack unit of AI randomly to make things competitive.
I'm not necessarily advocating nerfs, but what makes them 'noble'? They're just another troop; same accessibility to recruit as any other unit, cost wage scaling about the same, etc...they're just another ~30% of a party composition in most battles anyways, you lose that oomph factor because they become so regular and common.
Sure, they can make them stronger - but they are each quite OP as is already.
 

Aurex

Veteran
WB
I have played the series from early access of original mount&blade. Between that and warband I have over 2000 hours of game time. I have played Bannerlord since release for about 700 hours.

The main feeling I have with Bannerlord is that is it everything I wanted from it.
At this point I'm starting to see that there are two main "camps" of people who have been following the development of this game.
Those who wanted a shallow medieval battle generator and those who wanted a deeper 4x/RPG/Strategy and Action title. I would have settled for something in the middle, but we got a barely functional, shallow medieval (kinda) battle generator that is somehow less engaging as what's intended to be than Warband.
 
I'm not necessarily advocating nerfs, but what makes them 'noble'? They're just another troop; same accessibility to recruit as any other unit, cost wage scaling about the same, etc...they're just another ~30% of a party composition in most battles anyways, you lose that oomph factor because they become so regular and common.
Sure, they can make them stronger - but they are each quite OP as is already.
Besides making them a bit tougher I do think they still need another pass on all the troop trees - but for some it makes sense - like without Noble troops in Battania you have zero archers, without them in the Empire you have zero cav.

While console players cannot do it, I've slowly been redoing all of the lines in XML and rely on TW not making it impossible for myself or the AI to get them lol.
 

JunKeteer

Veteran
Besides making them a bit tougher I do think they still need another pass on all the troop trees - but for some it makes sense - like without Noble troops in Battania you have zero archers, without them in the Empire you have zero cav.

While console players cannot do it, I've slowly been redoing all of the lines in XML and rely on TW not making it impossible for myself or the AI to get them lol.
TBH, they probably had some plan way back to make noble troops more unique/interesting/etc based on how they originally set that troop apart from the rest during start of EA...but gave up developing it further so it's essentially just another troop that happens to still have a 'noble' tag to it.
 

Brano

Sergeant at Arms
My go on nobles would be:
1. Available only to owner of the castle fief(s). Player and AI.
2. Let's pretend those nobles are in fact younger sons of village notables (minor nobility)
3. Each village would have different number of notables depending on population/hearths. Lets say small village 2, medium 4, large 6
4. In most favourable situation owner of a castle fief with 3 large villages could amass 6*3=18 noble warriors.
5. They would have a special status, similar to companions > they would not die so often in battle/rarely > player or AI doesnt have to "hire" them so often. They will be players/AI lord real retinue. If player is captured so are they and are ransomed together + some of them could be appointed as "close" companions in a way like Distinguished Service mod does it. No more running around taverns trying to find normal companion and usually ending up with dead end Joe Doe.
6. The rest of warband will be filled with common soldiers and their final tier should be 4. Nobles should go to tier 7.
 

geala

Squire
The whole "noble troops" is nonsense. Noble troops were people with a fief or superfluous children of noble families, usually acting as retainers. It is garbage to be able to make the whole army out of them. I like the recruiting system so little that I use ATC + a troop mod to have a totally different mechanic, better low tier troops and few availability of noble troops per faction.

However if you aim for late game, "my" system is a bad system. Because of the scarcity of op top tier troops and the increased ability of low tier troops (which the AI lords often mostly have), it is not easy to beat the AI 2:500 losses Fian-KG-style. Which means it becomes more difficult for the player and the endless grind gets even more annoying. I assume op player armies were a consideration of TW.
 

JunKeteer

Veteran
They're just a regular troop at this point, also easier to get then triarii or those other 'mercenary' troops (though those ones are not the strongest understandably); those feel more 'unique' when you manage to get a full stack of. Noble troops should've been something similar like RoR in TW, very strong, but limited; and however that is tailored/balanced considering the BL 'system' with culture/kingdoms/# of roaming AI parties.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
They're just a regular troop at this point, also easier to get then triarii or those other 'mercenary' troops (though those ones are not the strongest understandably); those feel more 'unique' when you manage to get a full stack of. Noble troops should've been something similar like RoR in TW, very strong, but limited; and however that is tailored/balanced considering the BL 'system' with culture/kingdoms/# of roaming AI parties.
I don't disagree at all, but that opinion on the matter got blitzed by 1,001 people complaining they couldn't find enough Fians in a reasonable timeframe. All sorts of people complained about it too, not just on here -- Steam forumers, Redditors, Twitch streamers, YouTube LPers -- basically everyone hated it when nobles were hard to get. And it tied into other complaints, like leveling Leadership to get the Discipline perk at Leadership 150 so you could turn bandits into nobles. Almost nobody would've given a rat's ass about Leadership's issues with leveling if it weren't for the perk.

So TW just nuked the rarity and made it easy.
 

danEN

On probation
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
the world map feels much bigger and better
what makes you feel this? i've played like 200 hours and i cant get past how 8 factions (3 of which are the exact same thing) are mushed into this tiny space

it completely lacks the feel of distant empires and threats
 
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