POLL: Are you happy with the current state of mass combat in BL?

Are you happy with the current state of mass combat in BL?

  • Yes

    Votes: 19 9.8%
  • No

    Votes: 147 76.2%
  • I like turtles

    Votes: 27 14.0%

  • Total voters
    193

Currently viewing this thread:

Here:

To be fair, it's just *one* dev speaking completely unofficially without explicit permission from TW.

But the fact that Duh was speaking mostly in theoretical terms about features that were either promised in the TW dev blog or that fans have been expecting from Day One tells us that they don't actually have plans to implement any of it.
I like how when someone mentions for the ability to tell faction members where to attack the "dev" says its too complicated...Like WTF it was already in warband lol
 
Here:

To be fair, it's just *one* dev speaking completely unofficially without explicit permission from TW.

But the fact that Duh was speaking mostly in theoretical terms about features that were either promised in the TW dev blog or that fans have been expecting from Day One tells us that they don't actually have plans to implement any of it.
I also forgot that 2017 video of the game already having banners....wtf is going on?
 

Stromming

Sergeant at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
Honestly one of the most infuriating f***ing things in this forum was when a dev was saying that he was open to the idea of spears being more useful "even against infantry".

Like... are you kidding me? That is the MAJORITY of what spears were used for over a thousand years! Spearman with no shield should absolutely wreck a lightly-armored swordsman with no shield - there is no "balance" that justifies making pointy stick only useful vs cavalry.

Seems like Bannerlord devs didn't look at this before making this game.

 

ShakenSpeare

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
The mass combat is more designed around looking cool than it is for any long-term sustainability and play. For a game that is apparently an action game over anything else now, they sure did a poor job with their action.
 

bonerstorm

Veteran
10 People from multiplayer board complained and they got nerfed killed.
Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't understand the point at all.

Is this a "balance" thing? Were people complaining that it's unbalanced for spears to be good against cavalry and decent against infantry? Did they not like it when a spearboi yeeted their zweihander in the face?

Just for giggles, I looked up Mordhau to see how that community is faring. Apparently not much better, despite having a much more robust combat system. The devs nerfed shields after people complained that they were unbalanced.

Like... yeah? Your point? Life isn't balanced.

The fact that shields substantially improve survivability is kind of why most soldiers used them until plate armor became a widespread thing. And while I totally believe that some of the polearm cheese in MB is ridiculous (casually swinging menavlion in massive murderous zero-inertia horizontal arcs like it's made of tissue paper), there's a reason why polearms like poleaxes and halberds and glaives and becs-de-corbin were so popular among medieval men-at-arms: because they were UNBALANCED IRL.
 

Reapy

Sergeant Knight at Arms
I think something that stands out and bothers me is how in bannerlord the units just compress into a tight ball where in warband they stayed a bit spread out. I think it may be the forcefield around units is just too tiny, but probably something else as well. Just watching how bannerlord units ball up and kill each other extremely fast is just not fun, it's kept me from trying the game out. Basically I'll fire up a quick battle with two sides and watch them collide, if I can't make that feel fun there's not a lot of point in playing the game.

While we're nitpicking again I'll also say again I hate the troop leveling system, which goes with the other points on better default allocations. From a UI standpoint it's just ugly and a big PITA after each battle to slow level troops in a direction. If you are new and don't know where or why you are taking the troops somewhere it's even worse. What's 1 archer do for you? How many do I need for them to do something? Will they ever do something? How many hours of looters need to die before I know what kind and how many of each troop I need to upgrade?

I'm sure it would break the game, so I'm dreaming, but I'd love to just recruit in bunches of 5, 10, or more, and level them all at the same time instead of individually. Use some recruit/merge mechanics like other strategy games do replenish. I don't really get the value in individual stock units and why its done the way it is done besides that's how we've always done it. Have the companions as hero units with their own ai, have the stock units with a group ai, and I think we'd all be happier for it.
 

Vekar

Recruit
It would be nice to actually see different troop types actually behave differently:
1. A rank of spears stopping cavalry dead in its tracks.
2. Swordsmen just getting run over by said cavalry.
3. Spearmen forming a wall and just "stabby stabby" the other side away.
4. Swordsmen being used as a wedge to try and force a gap in said spear wall
5. Two Hander infantry just going in and walloping a hole in the wall if they can survive long enough to get in close or just breaking up formations in general during a wild charge.
6. As others have said: making formations matter.
7. Cavalry that tries to flank and separate commands for "swordsman" and "spearmen" to cut that attempt off at the pass.
8. Archers actually gaining high ground and softening up the opposition.
9. AI commanders that DO NOT just YEET their forces into each other but advance in formation while trying to counter each other even on a 20 year old programming basis.
10. AI that does not just randomly commit the entire army and then just forget what it is doing but keeps command and control. Granted, I think those "grande armie" steppe battles between Aserai and Khuzait are awesome as things break down into one hell of a WILD, map sprawling melee but come on... Not 100% of the time.

The above has already been coded by much, much older games that go back more than 20 years so its not like this is brain surgery anymore to just give the "rock beats scissors" logic to the AI.
 

kreamy

Sergeant
So the devs have let us all know that they don't plan on implementing any of the missing SP features from Warband.

BL is effectively a battle sim with superficial RPG elements and an economic engine but - let's be honest - it isn't even a good battle sim.

Apparently MP is fun and, generally, the tournament fights are ok... but the mass combat is dumb and boring. Victory or defeat are almost always a foregone conclusion in every fight... and it often has to be, considering the prohibitive cost and grind associated with getting top-tier troops. Without mods, the best way to level your troops is by grinding looters... which the devs force you to play out every time because autobattle kills your top-tier units and only gives 1/10x XP for your trouble.

Case in point: the AI is incapable of using any historical battle formations. At all. Shieldwalls - the bread and butter of frontline infantry for over a thousand years - don't work. Pike squares - the shieldwall's eventual replacement - don't work. Ranged volleys - bow, crossbow or thrown - don't exist. Cavalry line or wedge charges don't work... cavalry just charge one at a time Leroy-Jenkins-style into masses of spearmen which somehow do not manage to do any damage to them. Deploying the commander's reserve isn't a thing... reinforcements just teleport into the middle of the map like it's Star Trek.

Nothing in this medieval battle sim actually simulates anything resembling a medieval battle.

And that's on top of the fact that spears and sieges are flat-out busted. Oh yeah, and the only time that spears "work" is when you horizontally swing a massive two-handed glaive and behead people like you're mowing the grass... which doesn't exactly strike me as realistic, especially from horseback.

Moronic combat AI doesn't charge or fight in formation and - when you force it to - the results are often worse than no formation at all because of collision issues. The only practical impact players can have on extremely-large battles is babysitting the archers so they don't position themselves in a gulch or directly behind the front line - where they can't shoot at the enemy - while they wait to get slaughtered by enemy cavalry.


So here's where the complaining ends and the solutions (hopefully) start:

With the limitations of the engine in mind, what do you all think can be done to make mass combat great again?

Here are a few of my thoughts:
  • Treat formations as a unified AI with a unified morale mechanic that bleeds into individual AI as losses mount and the formation is breached
  • Treat entire armies a unified construct, so you can actually give commands like "guard the flanks" to a formation without splitting the unit and personally F1-ing them at each end of the battle lines... or just trusting the formation AI to do it for you (also "skirmish from behind", "stay in reserve", "flank on the left", "advance", "halt")
  • Group units by function, not class: Line Infantry, Skirmishers, Archers, Light Cavalry, Shock Infantry, Pike Infantry, Shock Cavalry, Reserve, Bodyguard
  • Order them by default according to their function: #1 to shieldwall, #2-4 skirmishes then flanks then charges routing troops, #5 flanks in loose formation, #6 guards flanks in square formation, #7-9 reserves
  • Program line infantry to line up in parallel shield walls and then actually skirmish by throwing spears/axes before charging in formation with shields raised (bonus points if they yell real loud)
  • Also, program line infantry to sort itself with the heaviest armor on the frontline
  • Program ranged troops to fire at extreme range in volleys against oncoming troops AND target horses at close range - NOT riders (who they should run away from if they can't mob them at least 4-to-1)
  • F*** it: turn on friendly fire for AI ranged and program it not to fire into a dense melee so they're not all acting like Legolas at Helm's Deep
  • Program shock infantry and heavy cavalry to attack shieldwalls in wedge formation and give troops in that formation a conditional buff
  • Hell... ALL formations should give unique conditional buffs to every unit inside them
  • Use the shield bash mechanic to simulate the press of bodies as formations meet and have them break defensive blocks with success determined by 1H skill
  • Have lighter-armed units who are mobbing a lone heavily-armed unit use bashes to stun-lock them (which was basically how they did it IRL)
  • THIS IS GONNA BE CONTROVERSIAL: add in a failure-to-parry mechanic that scales in success with the relevant combat skill
  • THIS TOO: Proc stuns when you shield-block or parry from the correct direction (shield health is almost never relevant in mass combat)
  • Make parry efficiency at least partially dependent on the force used - so partially-successful parries proportionately reduce damage while opening up the enemy for a counter-attack
  • Remove the attack delay for spears and give every single one of them that's over 1.5m in length the ability to brace
  • Make spears extremely difficult to parry and generally bad at parrying
  • Make spears break like shields - especially lances after a couched charge
  • Boost damage to axes and maces over swords, but at the cost of worse parry performance
Besides the mass combat, I'd also really like general QOL improvements like the ability to train literally anything for yourself or your troops/companions outside of combat - so you're not learning to use a sword by personally murdering more people than Ghengis Khan over the course of more battles than Alexander the Great. It'd be nice to level Leadership, too, without sitting in an army non-stop for literal in-game years.

And I'm not talking about some bulls*** "3xp/day" crap. Recruits cost 2000xp to train and there's no reason why it should take more than 2 weeks to teach a half-naked peasant how to use a shield and spear and put on some damn clothes. And DEFINITELY no reason why they should only be able to train by personally murdering other peasants on the tactical map.
I didn't read your post when you got to the suggestions (i am sure they are good, but I dont want to feel bad that - 100% guaranteed - TW wont implement them, let alone look at them).

(Sorry)
 
This thread right here is why this game will fail long term, the ideas presented are not subjective. WB mods are a much better option folks. This game is really bad.
 
Spears were originally a lot better than they are now. People complained and they got nerfed.
10 People from multiplayer board complained and they got nerfed killed.
It's so lame because they were only OP for a player who would hide horses in captain mode and go punk units solo and use thier guys like 1ups if the died, which obviously it's not the spear that's the problem there..
For everything else it was fine, it wasn't even easy to land hit with a spear and if you go good at it, you should just be good at it!

And of course nothing for MP should carry over into SP unless it's really investigated and deemed needed. We didn't need spears weaker and we would have liked to have tankier Cav (early mp beta nerf)

Were people complaining that it's unbalanced for spears to be good against cavalry and decent against infantry?
IIRC it's cav players stabbing them in the face too much, but it could have been other stuff too.
 
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momo1

Sergeant
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
All I need is the ability to issue target orders to my troops.

Archers... shoot those cavalry.
Infantry... attack those archers

Until we can issue purposeful orders, all the other concerns are window dressing.
It hasn't been updated to be compatible with 1.5.10
 
Combat needs a lot of revision as do damage and armor formulas.

Tiers of troops needs to be more significant: High tier troops need to be more powerful and worthwhile compared to lower tiers. Likewise some low tier units (archers, tribal warriors)needs to be a bit suckier... they just too constantly good for low tier cheap units.

Cavalry needs to hit it's targets. Higher tier cavalry needs more survivability, it's just not okay to lose warhorse units to lower tier units.

Infantry needs "something" to give them value and place on the battle field. It could be enhanced survivability (ko'd instead of killed) or other gamey things like buffs or defenses towards archers or cav. Could also be some other type of value like more cargo+ or more +map speed in some terrains, other stuff to encourage thier use. As it is, packing in more low tier archers is just always better and it's not something that can be fixed by making archers suck more or any other thing but making infantry better in significant and useful ways.

As for other stuff, they've already poo-poo'd more complicated formation functions and I don't think they want hard counters/ R P S style stuff.

If we get pre-battle placement and formations it'll be a big improvement and AFAIK we are getting it still.

I initially voted yes by instinct because I'm easily satisfied but I took a moment to think and read about it. I changed my vote to no. Pretty much this post.

It's not even acceptable for low tier units to have an edge over higher tier troops, eg blunt weapons. It's also not acceptable for how armor works right now. If they can get formations to actually be functional, that would be a great start.

Regarding the people that mention RTS Camera, as much as I love mods, relying on modders to fix the core game.. it's kinda not helping.
 

Vekar

Recruit
I initially voted yes by instinct because I'm easily satisfied but I took a moment to think and read about it. I changed my vote to no. Pretty much this post.

It's not even acceptable for low tier units to have an edge over higher tier troops, eg blunt weapons. It's also not acceptable for how armor works right now. If they can get formations to actually be functional, that would be a great start.

Regarding the people that mention RTS Camera, as much as I love mods, relying on modders to fix the core game.. it's kinda not helping.
Actually when the modders are working harder to fix the game during EARLY ACCESS than those being PAID to fix the game, its a sign of absolute failure.
 
Actually when the modders are working harder to fix the game during EARLY ACCESS than those being PAID to fix the game, its a sign of absolute failure.

Yeah, I know. I'm also a modder to a degree. It's just tiring. I hope it's worth it in the end. I also hope that one open letter about modding development turns out well.
 
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