Poll: Why Does Bannerlord Still Feel Like it Lacks Personality and Soul?

Why Does Bannerlord Still Feel Like it Lacks Personality and Soul?

  • Bannerlord's 'lore' is just uninspiring and bland

    Votes: 12 7.5%
  • There simply isn't enough lore and story connected to the different factions and characters

    Votes: 26 16.3%
  • It's down to the main quest - which is just plain bad

    Votes: 13 8.1%
  • It's because of a lack of depth in game mechanics - and lack of 'functionality' in general

    Votes: 104 65.0%
  • Progression style - you feel uninspired to put in the work to gain rewards - castles and towns etc

    Votes: 43 26.9%
  • The game needs greatly enhanced diplomacy to give you a feeling of real power

    Votes: 68 42.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 14 8.8%

  • Total voters
    160

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>Multiple votes are allowed
>check 4 of 6
>you can only vote for 2 things

Oh okay then well, I don't care about "lore" but everything else needs to be improved!
 

five bucks

Squire
To be fair, Bannerlord does have some elements of "soul" and personality here and there. A lot of them are concentrated in the early game though, or only visible if you ignore the main gameplay loop to really search for them. The mid-late game is just a split between "constant large scale battle merry-go-round" and "Menulord".

The feeling of a more alive, reactive world which the player can make a personal impact on (in ways that aren't just map painting or crashing the economy) and which communicates the player's actions back to them, full of unique-feeling characters with personalities you can get attached to, and your relationships with those characters affecting the way you play, can be achieved in multiple ways.

Some of the stuff Taleworlds has already said they're working on will help. Turning your companions into nobles could be a nice roleplaying feature that lets you feel like you're rewarding them for loyal service. The party templates thing they announced (with nobles having different recruiting preferences based on their culture and personality traits) will also add a bit of character to each individual noble. Animated cutscenes for events could make the world feel a bit more alive. Claimant quests, if they're anything like Warband's claimant quests, should have somewhat interesting backstories that add to the personality of the faction leaders. Voice acting will add personality to the faction leaders, if they have unique VAs for their greeting lines... although if they just have generic voices, I feel like it will actually make things feel more soulless. Finally, making armor more effective should increase the impact the player, nobles, and their companions, can have on the battlefield. Nobles will actually feel like a bit more of a "boss fight", instead of just another enemy, when you can't just oneshot them; fighting-oriented companions will be more interesting if you can equip them in expensive armor and watch them kill their way across the battlefield for you, rather than just dying in the first few minutes.

As for stuff they haven't announced:

Feasts in Warband made nobles seem more human because you got to see them doing an activity other than fighting. While it's true Warband feasts were visually just people standing in a room, and the only feastly feeling came from the food table and dialogue ("let us raise a toast to our host on this momentous occasion" etc), in Bannerlord the feasts could very easily be made to look more lively and immersive by re-using the tavern animations and the musicians.

Warband's Companions were the biggest source of actual personality in the game. They had unique appearances, specialties, and equipment, and dialogue that covered their life philosophy, backstory, life goals, opinion of groups in the game world, etc and was occasionally funny. During travel, they would tell you stories, bicker with each other (and ask you to decide who was right), or complain if you did certain things their personality made them dislike.
Bannerlord's Wanderers are thinly disguised randomly generated robots who serve only to lead parties or fill party roles, who only speak two lines of backstory to you and then shut up for the rest of their lives (except for mentioning a victory during greeting, or uncommonly objecting to your actions).
TW is opposed to bringing back unique companions, but at least flesh out the random ones. Make more personality traits have objections, make certain personality traits in the party come into conflict with each other with accompanying dialogue, and make companions tell you snippets of lore while travelling. These last two should be pop-ups on the corner of the screen which the player can ignore if they want; ignoring conflicts should result in a small morale hit, and ignoring backstory should have no penalty. This would go a way to making companions feel like true characters with personality again.

Courtship has also lost personality since Warband, as every potential love interest can be "wooed" within an extremely short time and married almost instantly, like buying a car. I'm not saying we need poems, but at least bring back the ability to visit a lady over time to build relations and improve the chances of a successful marriage from Warband, to make it feel more like a relationship.

Lots of other things added character to Warband, like lords challenging you to a duel when you angered them, lords hating you leading to them hiring hitmen to attack you, conversation with the Nervous Man before carrying out his sentence, trading insults with Belligerent Drunks, etc.

They also need to make the Personality Traits system more impactful/functional for both the player and the AI. Some traits just straight up don't do much. Overall, they need to have more impact on the dialogue each lord uses, the tactics they choose (bravery/cowardice), and their political choices (e.g. Greedy clan leaders should vote against castle-building policies, Cowardly nobles should vote for them, Foolhardy nobles should always vote for war, Calculating nobles should only vote for wars the faction has a very good chance of winning). Traits should also have more impact on which nobles like you and which ones don't.

Relations could also stand a little more work. A common complaint I see is that people don't like that even if you have excellent relations with an enemy commander's clan and they even say they don't want to fight, if you can't convince them to defect on the spot, then they will always still fight you instead of letting you go. Perhaps with a combination of any 2 of the following - relations above +50, Charm stat above 100, player has Merciful trait- you should have the option of not fighting at all, or at least getting set free if you lose.

Town scenes already have quite a bit of soul and personality in them, and lots of nice little details, but basically no reason to explore around in them because you feel like you're not progressing in the game by doing so. So if TW gave us an optional gameplay reason to explore towns, that would also improve things. Of course, that would be low priority.

The ending (?) of the main quest is another big area for improvement, which could do with more character and dialogue involved. Somehow, work in a way for the main faction leaders (or their replacements if they died) to make an appearance at the end, perhaps before a climactic giant battle or after a surrender (like victory lines in the Civilization series), and spout some dramatic lines along the "ending an empire" or "preserving the empire" theme of Bannerlord. Something that makes the ending feel more satisfying.
 
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Horked

Regular
WBNWVC
All in the title. Would value your thoughts. Probably. lol.
personality and soul usually comes from charming details, not necessarily well made, but charming. things like character voices, cute semi-ugly animations or simply well made sound-schemes can give a game personality and soul. the atmosphere also has a big impact, fog, lights etc.

all of these things appear naturally when a thing is made and created with passion and enthusiasm.

bannerlord need more humor, most modern games need more humor. humor is half the personality

 
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Honved

Knight
bannerlord need more humor, most modern games need more humor. humor is half the personality
Bannerlord does have humor, and you just have to laugh and shrug it off when the game does something comically stupid. I suppose that's not the kind of humor you were talking about, or what it needs, unfortunately.

I listed the lack of mechanics and the lack of diplomacy as the two biggest reasons for lacking "personality" and "soul". Aside from fighting constant wars, there's not much else to do. The pointlessness of victory in those battles makes even that aspect annoying instead of satisfying, because defeat has very little effect on the AI, only on the player. The ability to influence other characters besides doing quests for them is sadly lacking as well. They don't feel like "people", just generic robots with human masks. Rather than creating a "living world" with an economy and NPCs with their own goals and methods, it's just random chaos and violence for its own sake, with factions declaring and ending wars for no reason except that the Random Number Generator said so.

The bottom line is that there is no reason to care about anyone or anything in Bannerlord. It's very clearly "just a game", not a "world".
 

Horked

Regular
WBNWVC
The bottom line is that there is no reason to care about anyone or anything in Bannerlord. It's very clearly "just a game", not a "world".

I feel you should play some M&B: Warband

Warband have a ton of personality and soul. Bannerlord isnt done yet, still a ton of stuff to do, I dont know, but I hope that Bannerlord at least have SOME of the old Warband devs working on the sequel, otherwise it will be difficult to achieve the charme that made Warband legendary
 
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vito397

Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
As I've previously said, the main problem are the menus. Everything has a shortcut. It's like designing Euro Truck Simulator but cutting out the truck part and you just point and click where you want to go - who wants to deal with roads and steering wheels?

So, to sum:

1. a lack of interaction with NPCs. I need to clarify, there does NOT need to be some manually written text for individual lords. Im talking about trait based system. If a person is devious, he will give a devious opinion of politics. So not "Lord Derthert's stance on politics", but a devious stance on politics. Warband had several such templates which are not used here. I cannot ask an NPC for an opinion on specific issues, wars and fiefdoms. I could in Warband. As others have said, you cannot duel lords, you cannot extort them. Who remembers going into a tavern to find a bard, then learning a song from him, then going on a secret meeting with a lady to recite it to her? And then fighting a competing suitor? I remember. No such things in BL. Companions are also not used in any way that a character might be used. Various templates do not have problems with other templates, they just occassionally lose relations with you if you sack a settlement or do not pay them. The templates are not dynamic towards the player, other NPCS and the world. Why do NPC lords do not hire companions?

2. no physical exertion of power. You have no court, you have no ministers, you have no chamberlains, constables, castellans, spymasters, as did the Diplomacy mod for Warband have. I expected it to be the core of Bannerlord. Now I simply click on a menu and done, no need to ever enter a keep. I cannot give money to the Beggar or the Dancer NPCs, which I must admit are nice leftovers from a previous version of Bannerlord which had a much stronger core. The game is FAR too mechanical to be enjoyable in an RPG sense. I repeat that it does not need to be and RPG, but it has to have several elements of physical control over things as opposed to a menu based grand strategy.
 

Horked

Regular
WBNWVC
Bannerlord does have humor, and you just have to laugh and shrug it off when the game does something comically stupid. I suppose that's not the kind of humor you were talking about, or what it needs, unfortunately.
Im not just talking about the stuff you laugh out loud at, the hilarious stuff, but tiny tongue in cheek details
 

Horked

Regular
WBNWVC
It's like designing Euro Truck Simulator but cutting out the truck part and you just point and click where you want to go - who wants to deal with roads and steering wheels?
Hmm, actually not thought about it this way, I tend to agree (with Warband in mind). But we must not forget that the game isnt done yet, there is still time :smile: The personality wont show in an unfinished product. Time will tell I suppose
 

Honved

Knight
I feel you should play some M&B: Warband

Warband have a ton of personality and soul. Bannerlord isnt done yet, still a ton of stuff to do,
THAT is why I still play WB (mostly with mods, but not always) instead of BL. WB was a bit sparse in that regard, so I wouldn't call it a "ton" of personality and soul, but it did have some, and a few of the better mods had a ton more. Bannerlord doesn't.
 

Horked

Regular
WBNWVC
THAT is why I still play WB (mostly with mods, but not always) instead of BL. WB was a bit sparse in that regard, so I wouldn't call it a "ton" of personality and soul, but it did have some, and a few of the better mods had a ton more. Bannerlord doesn't.
A lot of the WB charm also come from the relatively primitive GFX, mechanics, animations etc, the games personality have only grown bigger through the years :smile:
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Reiksmarshal

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
It is missing the little things for example:

-thug attacks when entering cities
-hunting (boars which are in game)
-barber to edit companions
-naval travel and combat
-Nord faction
-unique campaign map features like a unique empire capital city like Constantinople that is the Rome of the period
-map ruins, caves, and other unique areas to explore
-overhaul bandits to be more unique
 

xdj1nn

Knight
WBWF&S
biased poll... I'd say "all of the above" except for "There simply isn't enough lore and story connected to the different factions and characters" because that is ultimately unimportant. Can be retroactively fixed, fixed by headcanon, or simply ignored because most people wouldn't even look into it.
 

Wulfric

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I'll never understand why they didn't take a page from one of the GOT mods on Warband and add discoverable and visitable historic landmarks to the map, it would've been perfect for lore and something other to do on the map. Waste of the scene tools as well.
In the hope of it being somewhat of a consolation for you, ACoK 2 appears to be in development.
 

xdj1nn

Knight
WBWF&S
In the hope of it being somewhat of a consolation for you, ACoK 2 appears to be in development.
Danen's idea isn't bad but I dislike it on a fundamental level. Best thing would be if exploration areas had meaning to it, rewards, challenges, puzzles. ACoK and other GOT mods basically cash in on book references to show something, and they "TRY" to add something meaningful to them, but ultimately they were tools to "show off" that the mod was about GoT in a way. Brytenwalda had mini-quests to exploration areas, inherited by VC DLC (same team made it), but those were also underwhelming and felt off.
They could do something along those lines but with a more professional implementation and ties to the base game, problem is that would take legwork, which means more to their plate that they've so far failed to chew. Idk... Great idea, but....
 

Ser Jon

Squire
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I'll never understand why they didn't take a page from one of the GOT mods on Warband and add discoverable and visitable historic landmarks to the map, it would've been perfect for lore and something other to do on the map. Waste of the scene tools as well.
Because TW is allergic to good things.
 
A few reasons, which will depend on who you're asking. In my case, companions.

The simple fact that they are created from some templates makes them uninteresting and expendable. Can they create decent ones? Absolutely. By that, I don't mean amazing background stories, even though that also plays a part. I mean interesting mechanics for them.

FIrst off, implement what they used to be able to do back in WB - liking/disliking other companions; protesting against some player actions (plunder a village, retreating battles, etc) and basic dialogue options. This is paramount.

Secondly - they should be sought after by the NPC lords and work for them, giving the same advantages the player has.


Make them unique - The companions should have hindrances like:

-Complain if they have/don't have a horse due to his background
-Complain about a particular type of food you provide for the troops, like an Aserai having to survive on wine
-Only use a certain weapon category or armor, because they feel confident with it, or have some sentimental value
-Moan that they are fighting along too many troops from a certain culture

They could end up leaving, or ask for a raise if you just ignore their pleas.

I also think the companions shouldn't only take money in consideration in order to join you. They could refuse, depending on your culture, your ability in a certain skill/attributes, your relation with someone or whether you have completed a certain quest or not.

There are so many possibilities...and the background story would be easy to create with all those possibilities.

i am really hoping modding can save this aspect of the game and include the things mentioned above.
 
This poll needs a "confirmation bias" option.
Well I don't really need further confirmation that the game is rather bland and lacks a certain 'heart'. I mean it's blindingly obvious to anyone who plays it .... or compares it to Viking Conquest.

The only questions are : why does this continue to be the case after all this development time?... and how could this realistically be fixed and changed? (By TW ..... or more likely by modders)
 
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Ser Jon

Squire
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
If customers keep allowing them to get away with so little after so long, there's nothing we can do and there's nothing TW will do. Being grateful for Oliver Twist helpings after a year+ development gets no one anywhere that's good. They can fix it by starting to listen to the community, communicating how they are doing these changes + when we can expect it and remember why M&B is so successful—and that's because of Warband and its players.
 
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