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

Users who are viewing this thread

Wish I could select all of the options. I sympathize with all of them 100%. This game feels so lifeless and uninteresting, with no stakes, nothing to hold your interest or keep you at the edge of your seat, seemingly no decisive impact with anything, and nothing to make you care about any NPC or any faction whatsoever. I don't want to spend hundreds of hours fighting the same battles over and over again in this world, especially when I have to have dozens upon dozens of battles to make any dent in the war effort.
I think the game is primarily a tactical battle simulator.
It's a "tactical battle simulator" with no tactics, no variety in battles, and poor simulation and realism. If that's all Bannerlord is supposed to be then it's kinda garbo at its bread and butter.
Others seem to want Bannerlord to be this giant immersive RPG. But it isn't that, and never will be. This is the key conceptual difference that seems to lead to most of the complaining here.
The game was definitely advertised to spiritually be a giant, immersive RPG. If it isn't supposed to be that, then that was just lying, which gives the whole "grift" thing even more credence.
If you think the first 6 hours are boring you don't want to try the end game, the start of a new campaign is normally the only semi fun part because you have something other to do than constant battles
The first six hours of the game are fun the first time, but on replays, it honestly feels terrible to me. Not that the mid-game or late-game are all that great either.
 

CrazyElf

Sergeant
It's a large assortment of reasons, but majorly, it's due to the lack of depth to game mechanics. It does a lot better than Warband, such as larger scale battle capacities, graphics etc, but it doesn't shine in the same way because things like economy, crafting, quests, companions, npcs, marriage, diplomacy. It could be argued that it lacks right now due to them trying to get the base game operable without constant performance problems or bugs, but it's been a year so I don't know how far one could carry that argument.

Yes I am inclined to agree.


The problem seems to be worse in the late game.


There needs to be a lot more emphasis on clan and for faction leaders, empire management. There have been a few interesting ideas like rebellions, but there needs to be a lot more late game content.


Random events might be helpful. Another is the intrigue of a game like CK3. More in depth diplomacy, efforts to bulld up cities, a council perhaps, etc, are all ideas that are worth exploring.
 

JabdiMelborn

ciauz^^
Section Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Other:

...Because we coming from 10 years of Warband mods implementations and we expected that all this stuff were put in Bannerlord, but probably all this wasn't on TW plans...or on consoles porting plans...M2C
 

stevepine

Knight
Other:

...Because we coming from 10 years of Warband mods implementations and we expected that all this stuff were put in Bannerlord, but probably all this wasn't on TW plans...or on consoles porting plans...M2C
After SO long in development... it is completely normal and reasonable to expect Bannerlord to be deeper than Warband plus some of the most popular warband mods.
 
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To be fully honest the strength of Taleworlds has never been the great storyline or questline or such. The game is a sandbox with limited functions. Where their strength is at is modability.. we all know that the best part of warband wasnt Native, it was all teh big overhaul mods that filled up the gaps and gave you a different game each time. Prophesy of Pendor, Lotr mod, ASOIAF so on and so forth..

So I wouldnt rly expect much from the basic native, maybe ust ease future modders by unlocking some hard coded things and adding more functions such as diplomacy and better AI with traits that actually affect lords and kings and their diplomacy ingame.
 

WhiteEyedSh4rk

Sergeant Knight
WBWF&SVC
To be fully honest the strength of Taleworlds has never been the great storyline or questline or such. The game is a sandbox with limited functions. Where their strength is at is modability.. we all know that the best part of warband wasnt Native, it was all teh big overhaul mods that filled up the gaps and gave you a different game each time. Prophesy of Pendor, Lotr mod, ASOIAF so on and so forth..

So I wouldnt rly expect much from the basic native, maybe ust ease future modders by unlocking some hard coded things and adding more functions such as diplomacy and better AI with traits that actually affect lords and kings and their diplomacy ingame.
Warband native was pretty good for its time in my opinion. I enjoyed hundreds of hours without any mod and I know I'm not the only one. I actually dont think its that hard to give Bannerlord more debth and personality, I noticed that in games which have debth and personality, the devs put a lot of attention to little details. For example in gothic 3, you could sit down on chairs, smoke, drink, eat or in skyrim you can just walk to a hacking block and hack some wood, find some leftovers from bandits at camps, bake bread, read books etc. Things like that just make a world so much more believable, even though they dont really add anything to the gameplay. I made a suggestion already, dealing with villages and how you can make them feel more alive and real: https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?threads/bringing-villages-to-live.425996/
 

Ser Jon

Squire
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I agree. I don't think it's hard at all. Certainly Warband did not tell the most elegant stories, but a lot of their quests and NPCs felt like like they actually had personality and depth. I just don't think TW has it as a focus and will not have it as a focus, if ever, for a very long time.
 
Maybe we should compare Bannerlord with Viking Conquest ?

(1) Bannerlord has far better graphics and animations.
(2) VC has far better everything else other than (1)

End.

Joking , given time Bannerlord will "play" like VC or WB..

.
 

five bucks

Squire
@WhiteEyedSh4rk +1, I got hundreds of hours out of vanilla Warband as well.
To be fully honest the strength of Taleworlds has never been the great storyline or questline or such. The game is a sandbox with limited functions. Where their strength is at is modability.. we all know that the best part of warband wasnt Native, it was all teh big overhaul mods that filled up the gaps and gave you a different game each time.

So I wouldnt rly expect much from the basic native
I'm not expecting heaps from native Bannerlord either, but I am at least expecting it to have the features it's currently missing which Warband had (or at least similar features that fill the same role), plus the criminal enterprise system they advertised. If they do that, it will be a good sequel and I'll be happy.

Mods should be for expanding the base game. Not for fixing broken things with it. Not for doing TW's job and making it into a good sequel.

The more mods we rely on to make the game good, the more potential issues there are with compatibility, or modders not keeping their mods updated. Native Bannerlord should be (basically) a straight upgrade from Warband without any mods needed.
 

Akka

Sergeant
There simply isn't a lot that connects the game to the lore. The game is just too "gamey", too much emphasis on systems and not enough on fluff.
 

Danny5

Sergeant at Arms
@WhiteEyedSh4rk +1, I got hundreds of hours out of vanilla Warband as well.

I'm not expecting heaps from native Bannerlord either, but I am at least expecting it to have the features it's currently missing which Warband had (or at least similar features that fill the same role), plus the criminal enterprise system they advertised. If they do that, it will be a good sequel and I'll be happy.

Mods should be for expanding the base game. Not for fixing broken things with it. Not for doing TW's job and making it into a good sequel.

The more mods we rely on to make the game good, the more potential issues there are with compatibility, or modders not keeping their mods updated. Native Bannerlord should be (basically) a straight upgrade from Warband without any mods needed.
If that's the case, then TW's should pay the modders!
 
Warband feels lifeless as well, but in Bannerlord this problem is amplified. And personally I think it has nothing to do with the aesthetics or story.

1. In warband and especially in bannerlord, the mechanics are often completely disconnected. The only thing linking everything is money. Life and death are meaningless, land is meaningless, battles are meaningless. Everything regenerates and returns to equilibrium, except money which is the sole indicator and vector of power. There is no reason to care about anything. It's a nihilistic, cold, money-centred world that more closely resembles 1990s Russia than anything else.

^I cannot stress this enough. This is the core problem with these two games.

2. In the interest of balance, all the factions are the same, most bandits are the same, most of the map is the same. There is nothing exciting or unexpected about any battle. The jawal ride camels, throw javelins, and look like my uncle. But functionally they are identical to other cavalry, and you deal with them the same way.
The entire map is valleys and choke points, every faction has the same number of settlements, every settlement is more or less identical. There is no city you think "wow, that's an important city" beyond what characters tell you. It's all just uniform sludge.

3. There is a shocking amount of down-time. Check any bannerlord stream, and at any given moment it is most likely theyre running around the map doing repetitive tasks. This gives you lots of time to contemplate why you're playing this awful game.

I don't think any amount of good writing will fix the feeling of emptiness you get from playing bannerlord. The problem is the fragmented, aimless gameplay. Warband got away with it because the problems weren't as exaggerated, and as a low budget game it gives your imagination more space to fill in the gaps. But bannerlord is this great big ejaculation of money and scale. Its problems have nowhere to hide.
 

danEN

Banned
WBM&BWF&SNWVC
There simply isn't a lot that connects the game to the lore. The game is just too "gamey", too much emphasis on systems and not enough on fluff.
Lore doesn't fit in their model of making the game accessible for casual gamers and kids

Do we think little timmy who just stopped playing fornite so he can try his shiny new £40 big battles game gives a **** about lore, nope he gets his 10 minutes entertainment, tw's get their money from console gamers and we get ****ed

(until modders who develop for passion and are not greedy for money save us)
 

five bucks

Squire
1. In warband and especially in bannerlord, the mechanics are often completely disconnected. The only thing linking everything is money. Life and death are meaningless, land is meaningless, battles are meaningless. Everything regenerates and returns to equilibrium, except money which is the sole indicator and vector of power. There is no reason to care about anything. It's a nihilistic, cold, money-centred world that more closely resembles 1990s Russia than anything else.

^I cannot stress this enough. This is the core problem with these two games.
I'm thinking about how this can be solved without introducing multiple new game mechanics (as TW is unlikely to do that), and just making small tweaks.
Making relationships more valuable would help, for example enemy lords letting you go after a defeat if you have good relations, or being willing to not battle.

Personality traits (essentially, your reputation) being more influential in relation gain, and the resultant recruitment/defection/enemy lord not attacking you benefits it could bring, would also help. So that a lot of choices in the game boil down to having a good reputation, or making more money, with advantages for both. Traits should also influence how lords vote.

Interested in hearing your thoughts on how it could be improved.
2. In the interest of balance, all the factions are the same, most bandits are the same, most of the map is the same. There is nothing exciting or unexpected about any battle.
A troop tree rework is definitely justified at this stage to exaggerate the differences between factions, and give them more distinct strengths and weaknesses. When six out of eight factions have very similar army compositions- a mixture of ranged cav, ranged inf, melee cav, shock inf, and shield inf- naturally the player rarely has to actually change the tactics they use, and so, naturally, the gameplay of most battles feels the same. Sit archers on hill behind token trash tarpit infantry, speed up battle, it's over in minutes, you can do this to nearly every faction.

Improving the protection of armour and performance of spear/lance using units will also make the game more tactically interesting.
3. There is a shocking amount of down-time. Check any bannerlord stream, and at any given moment it is most likely theyre running around the map doing repetitive tasks. This gives you lots of time to contemplate why you're playing this awful game.
Yes, some unfun chores could definitely be reduced. For example, hunting down lords in person to recruit to your kingdom as a king needs to be replaced by either a messenger system, or them coming to see you.
I don't think any amount of good writing will fix the feeling of emptiness you get from playing bannerlord.
Depending on what you mean by writing, I agree. Adding in more lore at random won't fix anything, but adding in dialogue where a noble communicates the game's underlying systems to the player in a thematic way, or just generally recognises the player's accomplishments by saying "well done conquering the entirety of the Aserai in the last week" or, in the case of an enemy lord whose liege you have killed, "now you have killed our Emperor, the world is a step closer to barbarism"- stuff like that- will help.
 
Warband feels lifeless as well, but in Bannerlord this problem is amplified. And personally I think it has nothing to do with the aesthetics or story.

1. In warband and especially in bannerlord, the mechanics are often completely disconnected. The only thing linking everything is money. Life and death are meaningless, land is meaningless, battles are meaningless. Everything regenerates and returns to equilibrium, except money which is the sole indicator and vector of power. There is no reason to care about anything. It's a nihilistic, cold, money-centred world that more closely resembles 1990s Russia than anything else.

^I cannot stress this enough. This is the core problem with these two games.

2. In the interest of balance, all the factions are the same, most bandits are the same, most of the map is the same. There is nothing exciting or unexpected about any battle. The jawal ride camels, throw javelins, and look like my uncle. But functionally they are identical to other cavalry, and you deal with them the same way.
The entire map is valleys and choke points, every faction has the same number of settlements, every settlement is more or less identical. There is no city you think "wow, that's an important city" beyond what characters tell you. It's all just uniform sludge.

3. There is a shocking amount of down-time. Check any bannerlord stream, and at any given moment it is most likely theyre running around the map doing repetitive tasks. This gives you lots of time to contemplate why you're playing this awful game.

I don't think any amount of good writing will fix the feeling of emptiness you get from playing bannerlord. The problem is the fragmented, aimless gameplay. Warband got away with it because the problems weren't as exaggerated, and as a low budget game it gives your imagination more space to fill in the gaps. But bannerlord is this great big ejaculation of money and scale. Its problems have nowhere to hide.
Pretty much agree with all of this. This was a problem with Warband too but it's so much more pronounced in Bannerlord. I do think the story and aesthetics have something to do with it, but the fundamental problem is how it's all designed in a flat and boring way. At least Warband had some character, despite its often dry design.
 
I'm thinking about how this can be solved without introducing multiple new game mechanics (as TW is unlikely to do that), and just making small tweaks.

I actually think that removing systems would do the job better than tweaking or adding new stuff.
The reason so many overhaul mods are worse than the base game is that they have no restraint. They add a billion things without linking any of it, so that trying a new mod becomes a whistlestop tour of enabling cheats, trying out all the gimmicks in succession, and then never playing it again. Ironically this is how it feels with bannerlord, and it's what the patches feel like.

Warband survived the fate of bannerlord because it was simple. Contrary to what a lot of people here often say, you don't achieve complex gameplay with complex rules and mechanics. The more rules there are, the harder it is to predict anything and the less control the player has. The games with really high skill ceilings are the ones where rules can and must interact to achieve results. Even the universe itself is designed this way, you have a handful of fundamental particles and a total of 4 interactions, and after a few billion years you get complex life and interracial porn.

What I'm suggesting for recruitment would actually be a simplification of the main recruiting mechanic. You would have a very clear indicator of how many troops someone has, or can possibly recruit. Options for troop types would be limited. Hell, you could even remove troop upgrades entirely, meaning what you get in a lance doesn't change. From here you would remove upkeep costs, remove all the crap with garrisons and militias, remove most on-map interactions since recruitment happens on one site, and as a result significantly shorten the amount of time you spend on the map.

From here we could even go further. Why not use the in-game scenes for more interactions, since you're unlikely to have a good reason to leave your settlement outside of actually going on campaign? Why not put bandits in scenes rather than scattered around the map? Why not make most quests take place within a single scene?
 

Honved

Knight
Expanding on five bucks' ideas, it's annoying when an opposing lord with high relations constantly raids your village, so after defeating him 7-8 times, relations are seriously damaged. An opponent with high relations should only raid your settlements if his own faction demands it while on campaign, not go out of his way to wreck your relationship, otherwise what's the point of having high relations?

Half of the problem with Bannerlord is that things which SHOULD matter simply don't: military victories, relations with other lords, rank and prestige, damage to the enemy's economy, and so on. Even money ceases to matter after some point, and then you start asking yourself: "Why am I even playing.".

Bannerlord feels like it lacks personality and soul, mainly because it DOES lack them.
 

RoboSenshi

Grandmaster Knight
WBNWVC
Features and game mechanics that should have come as standard were never even planned to be in the base game. You really can't play this game without a mega **** ton of mods. And even then, it's playable but still feels empty. Not to mention the one mechanic that should be the most important for the devs, "War" sucks, has always sucked and by all indications, will continue to suck till a modder fixes it. I don't mean battles and sieges btw. Those still suck ass. I mean the way war between factions are set up and conducted.
 
It just needs more depth and features. The diplomacy needs depth, the characters need depth. The cultures need depth (where the feast fetish?). The tactics need depth. The AI needs improvements. The sieges need fixing and expanding.
It also doesn't help they streamlined small things that make a difference not necessarily for the better like the shops being all removed in favor of one store and open 24/7. Also you can't duel lords is another example. Warband just had more to it. It had many small details that made it feel more alive and role playing friendly. Why can't I set up a camp, read books, learn poems to woe nobles from bards? That's another few small things that are missing. Also no feasts or weddings. Its mostly just text and menu navigation and instant results. Its too streamlined and lackluster. Hopefully it's temporary and NOT final. Otherwise modders will have to add everything.
 
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