POLL: The Empire.... DO we NEED three of them?

Does the Empire need a rework/rethink?

  • No. the Empire is fine as it is.

  • Adding different troop trees to the Empire is enough.

  • An Ancient Greek style/inspired faction would be perfect!

  • Get rid of one of the Empire factions in favour for something else

  • Get rid of two of the empire factions in favour for something else

  • Get rid of Empire completely?.... lol?


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I dont think that would work with a sandbox game. You would have to create scripted events for the break aways otherwise the whole civil war narrative wouldnt work with random events. I imagine there would be many independent states in some people's games and for some there would be none, let alone the randomness of the time that would happen, for some it could happen right away depending on the situation and for some it could happen 10 years later. So its better with starting 3 - already - independent states that are in civil war for the gameplay reasons.

This is the whole point of a sandbox game. Currently (to my knowledge) there's nothing stopping the imperial factions from being at peace the entire campaign. If the AI is just scripted to do the same thing every single game then a lot of the replay value is gone, and there is no point even having the more dynamic systems like I suggested.

I mean, the Calradians have always been based on Romans. They were the Roman Empire analogue way back in Warband. That's why people were interested in seeing the Empire in the predecessor game. The reason they pull from real cultures is so they can get the associations and fighting styles of real cultures without necessarily being bogged down in real history.

But by making those associations in the first place you are getting bogged down in real history. Taleworlds can't copy practically everything from a real historical state but then pretend that it's just some totally separate fantasy universe when it suits them. When a story copies so much from the real world it becomes inextricably linked.

Here is a good example of why this kind of lazy worldbuilding doesn't work:
When the new Call of Duty came out there was a """"""fictional""""""" conflict in the story in a """""""""""""""""fictional"""""""""""""""""" west asian -stan country (((SPOILER ALERT: IT'S SYRIA))). It involved the USA helping rebels against a Russian-backed insurgency. (((HMMMMMMM))) But half way into the story, they talk about an incident called the Highway of Death, where the Russian air force strafes civilians in their vehicles trying to escape. (((BIG THIMK)))
It's just a silly in-game remix of a silly historical event, you might say. But it then becomes impossible to play the game without thinking about the real events that it straight up copies.

Also nothing in Warband suggests that the Calradian Empire is a Roman Empire analogue. It's just an empire that collapsed, and that's basically all we know. (Much of the ingame dialogue actually can't decide whether Calradia was a province in the former empire or if it was the whole thing, but that's another story).
Warband does ride the line of copying history quite a bit, but the reason I don't think it's nearly as bad in that game is because there are factions like the Rhodoks and Sarranids who are unique enough to avoid feeling like facsimiles, and the Khergits and Nords are more like light fantasy stereotypes than historical ones (think Skyrim Nords rather than Vikings).

My point is that Bannerlord is in a bad position where it feels weird if it deviates from history too much, which is hamstringing the ability of the world to feel believable. At the moment I have an easier time imagining living in the Warhammer universe than Calradia, because Calradia just feels more like it's a fake setting created to resemble history rather than a setting on its own.
 

Aruda

Knight at Arms
VC
This is the whole point of a sandbox game. Currently (to my knowledge) there's nothing stopping the imperial factions from being at peace the entire campaign. If the AI is just scripted to do the same thing every single game then a lot of the replay value is gone, and there is no point even having the more dynamic systems like I suggested.
There is a setting though. You can not overlook that. Then there is nothing stopping all of the factions to be at peace all the game right? But that would break the game. Samething for the empire, there is a narrative and a setting of them being at civil war at the beginning of the game. There is nothing stopping them to sue for peace for the rest of the game and in my save they were at peace for years all dealing with other factions.
 
Well then the problem is with the setting, not the mechanics. Mount and Blade's worldbuilding has always been in service of its mechanics and they have retconned stuff multiple times to make it fit the game. If there is a bit in the preamble which insists that the imperial factions are in a civil war, but then nothing in the game prevents them from being peaceful the whole time, then that needs to be rewritten.
 

Nordmann

Sergeant Knight
WBM&BWF&SNWVC
Well then the problem is with the setting, not the mechanics. Mount and Blade's worldbuilding has always been in service of its mechanics and they have retconned stuff multiple times to make it fit the game. If there is a bit in the preamble which insists that the imperial factions are in a civil war, but then nothing in the game prevents them from being peaceful the whole time, then that needs to be rewritten.

The problem there though, is that whilst the Imperial factions fight amongst themselves, another outside faction is going to capitalise on their weakened state and sweep them off the map.

You definitely don't want that happening at the beginning of the campaign, which is likely why they start out at peace. In my experience they don't stay at peace indefinitely.
 

mangalore

Regular
...
But by making those associations in the first place you are getting bogged down in real history. Taleworlds can't copy practically everything from a real historical state but then pretend that it's just some totally separate fantasy universe when it suits them. When a story copies so much from the real world it becomes inextricably linked.

Here is a good example of why this kind of lazy worldbuilding doesn't work:
...

Sorry, that example is against your argument. Call of Duty is fictionally, but its fiction is based on Earth with all direct references to reality with the assumption of all world history matching up until some fixed diversion point.

M&B Caladria is heavily inspired by many cultures but has always been wildly mixed. While associations with Romans and Byzantines are there the world map alone tells you it is a fantasy world. Additionally while the cultures are heavily inspired by reality they are not carbon copies of the real world and usually almagans of different themes.

The Khergits are like the Mongols, but e.g. the Rhodok can be any of various medieval factions, some have likened them to Lithuania, others to Scotland, most likely Italy, point is they levy the theme of a pike heavy, crossbow heavy army structure and whatever reality provided examples for that fit.

Same for Swadians are an almagan of the high medieval idea of armies, the Vaegirs of Eastern European / Rus armies, the Nord of Viking / Scandinavian, the Sarranid of Persian or Arab or Berbers (which are three entirely different inspirations!)

Again, an inspiration is different from using the real world as baseline. Most fantasy novels are inspired by real world example (Tolkien, GRR Martin, Wheel of Time, ...) but if we take SoIaF as example, its setting is medieval, the events inspired by the War of the Roses, but nothing in there has anything resembling that history. The war of the Roses played out entirely differently, the cultures are inspired but entirely different.

We can also take the Elder Scrolls, heavily inspired by Roman Empire ideas, highly divergent in implementation. The Empire in the Elder Scrolls works nothing like the Roman Empire and except some armor pieces has nothing in common but a basic theme.
 

spyritwind

Recruit
I would LOVE a Greek style faction in place of one of the Empire factions. There is no need for so many Empire factions; they are taking up space for another option/flavor. Also it would fine to alter the Empire faction troop options a little perhaps.
 
I agree with TC. I couldn't help shaking the feeling of monotony grinding through three entirely identical factions during my last Khuzait playthrough. They really need to do something to differentiate the three Imperial factions even if its small troop tree tweaks for flavor because its incredibly boring having more than half the map occupied by the same three identical factions (with the only thing differentiating them being the figureheads that lead them)
 

Nevore

Recruit
So youre ok with each empire faction having the exact same troop trees with no differences in structure and troops types? why not have different special troops across each of the special troops. so their base troops have the same tree. but the special troops that go to tier6 have some variations?
They were a single nation only 10 years ago or something in the game lore. There maybe should be a little variety. Say auxilliary hillmen in the north, horse archers in the east, whatever in the west.

But it's supposed to be analogous to the Roman Empire in the middle of one of their many civil wars. Maybe : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_wars_of_the_Tetrarchy


So most of the troops would be legionaries, with a few local auxilliaries for flavour.
 
Yes, auxilliaries for flavor is all we're really asking for. There really should be some sort of distinction and flavor differences between the three otherwise completely identical factions we currently have.
 
The problem there though, is that whilst the Imperial factions fight amongst themselves, another outside faction is going to capitalise on their weakened state and sweep them off the map.

In that case you just rebalance the map, or better still, redesign the mechanics to prevent the wars of annihilation that plague the game right now.

Sorry, that example is against your argument. Call of Duty is fictionally, but its fiction is based on Earth with all direct references to reality with the assumption of all world history matching up until some fixed diversion point.

M&B Caladria is heavily inspired by many cultures but has always been wildly mixed. While associations with Romans and Byzantines are there the world map alone tells you it is a fantasy world. Additionally while the cultures are heavily inspired by reality they are not carbon copies of the real world and usually almagans of different themes.

The Khergits are like the Mongols, but e.g. the Rhodok can be any of various medieval factions, some have likened them to Lithuania, others to Scotland, most likely Italy, point is they levy the theme of a pike heavy, crossbow heavy army structure and whatever reality provided examples for that fit.

I'm not sure why you shifted to talking about warband here because I already stated that I think it has more uniqueness than bannerlord.

While associations with Romans and Byzantines are there the world map alone tells you it is a fantasy world.

Funny you should say this: just a few months before the game released, they retconned the map to make it look more like Europe. There is this random sea (clearly the Mediterranean) in aserai territory which didn't exist in warband, or any of the pre-release screenshots.

Again, my point is that there are so many similarities that it ruins the feeling that this is a unique world which could exist on its own. Its not exactly the same kind of feeling that the call of duty example evoked, but it's a similar thing. It feels like a direct parody trying to take itself seriously, or a copyright-dodging tencent knock-off of history.
 
Also nothing in Warband suggests that the Calradian Empire is a Roman Empire analogue. It's just an empire that collapsed, and that's basically all we know. (Much of the ingame dialogue actually can't decide whether Calradia was a province in the former empire or if it was the whole thing, but that's another story).


That's not true -- they clearly mean it to be a Roman Empire analog, even down to Firentis mentioning that Suno grows wines and olives brought to the land by the Calradian emperors as part of Suno's thing of preserving Imperial ways. The part of it being the basis of legitimacy and that each king pretends to be following old Calradic Imperial rites when proclaiming themselves also match the obsession that medieval Europe had with the Romans.

Warband does ride the line of copying history quite a bit, but the reason I don't think it's nearly as bad in that game is because there are factions like the Rhodoks and Sarranids who are unique enough to avoid feeling like facsimiles, and the Khergits and Nords are more like light fantasy stereotypes than historical ones (think Skyrim Nords rather than Vikings).

... but the Elder Scrolls does the same thing, it's just a fantasy world rather than a grounded historical one. It freely pulls from history and mixes and matches all the same.

My point is that Bannerlord is in a bad position where it feels weird if it deviates from history too much, which is hamstringing the ability of the world to feel believable. At the moment I have an easier time imagining living in the Warhammer universe than Calradia, because Calradia just feels more like it's a fake setting created to resemble history rather than a setting on its own.

Nonsense, Bannerlord is free to diverge from real history whenever it wants to. I've already mentioned how the Empire in Bannerlord is a mix of periods of Greco-Roman history that are hundreds to a thousand years apart. It's a pastiche the same way that anything out of Elder Scrolls or Warband is.

The problem there though, is that whilst the Imperial factions fight amongst themselves, another outside faction is going to capitalise on their weakened state and sweep them off the map.

You definitely don't want that happening at the beginning of the campaign, which is likely why they start out at peace. In my experience they don't stay at peace indefinitely.

Eh, I actually do feel that if the lore says there's a civil war, the gameplay should have a civil war. I've modded my game to start the 3 empires at war with each other, and I find it much more satisfying that way. And of course it means other factions capitalize on the weakness/distraction -- and they SHOULD. That's why civil wars are dangerous.

The Calradic Empire is a decaying superstate that is in a civil war and people are taking advantage of it. It's a good thing if gameplay reflects that. After all, that's probably what ends up happening between Bannerlord and Warband to finish off the Empire for good.

Besides, the empire fragments can definitely hold their own. I only rarely see one of the empires really collapse due to AI pressure even due to civil war. And if they do, well, sucks to be them -- sometimes empires fall. :smile:
 
Empire is fine as it is, only thing i would really like is if they each got a special unit that only they had access to. Palace Guard for the emperors wife for instance, foreign legion for the general and something like noble sons for the senate.
I'd like it so that Rhagea and those within her clan and related to her by marriage gets something like The Scholae Palatinae a further upgrade from elite cataphracts. (Wlite Cataphracts that should be called Clibinarri). Maybe give them the Cataphract Mace and Lance. Give Garios and those who say marry his children the ability to raise Legionaries to Praetorian Guardsmen. With the Senate I don't really know. Admittedly it be funny if you did this as it maximize the anachronism. But maybe make it so that all cities have a "Sturgian section" Where they can occasionally recruit a Sturgian Warrior to be raised up into something like the Varagnian Guard. Or to be equally anachronistic. maybe make it so that instead of the Palatinate Guard they have a further option with a Bowman that can also act as a medium infantry, with a shield and call it Peltast in reference to the assault missile troops employed by the Komnenion Dynasty. (Also very anachronistic).

I would also not mind if that uninhabited section West of Aserai say got inhabited. A long with the section south of Khuzait. Maybe have that region inhabited by some Persia like power
 
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