Problems with Skirmish Mode as of May 2021

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Knight
WBWF&SVC
1. Too Much Disparity Between Infantry Movement Speeds

I'm talking specifically about skirmishers (i.e. Imperial Recruits, Sturgian Brigands, Aserai Skirmishers, etc.) vs. all other infantry classes (especially heavy inf). Skirmishers have a huge advantage over all other infantry, with their extremely high movement speed playing a large factor

This is a major problem. There is too much of a gap between the movement speeds of different infantry classes. This is an issue for two reasons:

One, because of the tactical advantages it gives skirmishers when it comes to combat. Being faster by a wide margin, they're able to control distance in a 1v1 melee fight with ease, effortlessly jumping in and out of their opponent's range when attacking and defending. This makes them safe from kicks, and many times they can even simply dart away from their opponent's swings. They can control the pace of the fight from start to finish, and their slower opponent doesn't have much say.

Secondly, and more importantly, the strategic advantage it gives to the team/faction in a round. If one team has much faster infantry than the other, they can always chose when and where the main fight will take place. If the faster team doesn't want to take the fight in a certain area, they don't have to, they can feasibly kite away from the action and re-position themselves somewhere else. Conversely, this same ability allows them to choose where the action will take place. If they want to force the fight here and now, they can just run down their slower opponents and force them to engage.

Thus, the unbalanced distribution of movement speeds creates overwhelming tactical and strategic advantages for certain factions vs. others. This truth cannot be ignored.

I'm not saying all infantry should have the same exact speed, but with some class gaps being 78 vs. 84 movement speed, the difference is too high. I believe anything more than 2-3 points higher is overdoing it.

Plus, I think the movement speeds are getting a little absurd. Just watch a Sturgian Brigand zip around like a hummingbird doing figure 8's and 360s and you'll see what I mean.


2. One-Hit Death Sticks

This too ties in to skirmisher superiority. They come equipped with pilas, jereeds (9 in some cases), and ash throwing spears. All of these are lethal and most have the potential to kill in one shot. We're not playing Mount&Blade anymore, we're playing dodgeball now.

Honestly, these whale-nukes are nothing but cheese, and I'd like to see them banished to the shadow realm, but at the same time I understand why they're there (at least for now), and that is to counter cav (which we will get to later).


3. Skirmish Economy

Oh look, skirmishers again. Yes, the class with the best movement speed and access to a nuclear arsenal also has the ability to triple spawn right from round 1 (Imperial Recruit) or triple spawn for the rest of the match after round 1 (Aserai Skirmisher, Sturgian Brigand, Battanian Wildling). Too many respawns for such powerful classes. These are supposed to be "trash" units, but instead they stand head and shoulders above all others, and are then rewarded with more lives than their infantry counterparts. On what planet is this balanced?


4. No Answer To the Cav Question

The "Cav Question" is this:

Cav is overpowered > One-hit death sticks allows infantry a counterplay option against cav > One-hit death sticks is a terrible meta > If we remove one-hit death sticks, inf will be massacred by cav > One-hit death sticks stay in game > Unhappy, shaky status quo (for now)

Why is cav overpowered? Simply put, it's because they're too fast, have too good of maneuverability, and too strong acceleration/deceleration. This allows cav to wreak havoc on an enemy team while simultaneously being able to avoid any inf aware and trying to melee them (with spear or 1H).Cav can literally snake through a gauntlet of spearmen looking to hit them and go on to still strike their target -that's just how maneuverable these horses are. Plus, S+S allows cav to stop moments out from a waiting spearman and circumvent him, easily dodging any punishment/damage. W+W allows them to escape a hairy situation consequence free. Cav just has way too much ability to maneuver.

Not to mention glances, armor, horse hp, and bumps which they enjoy over melee inf.

Melee infantry is pitifully hopeless against cav, with no counterplay except lay down and die. This is why pilas, ash throwing spears, and a proclivity towards throwing weapons still exists in the game, because as of right now they're still infantry's only hope when fighting against cav.

In short, the horses are just too fast and too maneuverable for infantry to compete with them in a melee fight -and we still don't have an answer for it.


5. Miscellaneous Problems with Combat Mechanics

These bleed over not only into Skirmish, but all Bannerlord game modes.

The forum is rife with discussions on all of these, and I won't waste time trying to name them all. Things like turncap, hold delay, bad animations, poorly synched client-side visuals, and floaty movement are just a few off the top of my head.


This isn't the death knell of Bannerlord by any means, but if we are to ever see a truly copacetic and enjoyable Skirmish Mode, this just shows we still have a long way to go.
 
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pango

Recruit
No VoIP, too. All of the players are randomly playing, doing something no coordination, no teamplay whatsoever. We need voice chat.
I like to be able to play some serious matches with random strangers, without Discord or any other thing.
 

Mabons

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Funny innit, when the game was first released no one wanted to play skirmishers, and now they are the best class out there for infantry players.
 

Einarcf

Master Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Except for the Aserai jav inf dominance. But that might not have been release, can't remember.
 

Greedalicious

Grandmaster Knight
WB
Cavalry might also have faster animations while on horseback. Havent looked at the frame data for that though so I cant be sure.
Balancing these issues shouldnt take long. Certainly not half a year. Right....?
 

Younes

Master Knight
WBWF&SNWVC
Community: Nooooo javs are too strong, they literally one shot

TW: Let's reduce damage by 5, but in turn give 8 stacks of them


my predictions will be prophetic
 

dirtshrimp

Veteran
WBNWVC
No VoIP, too. All of the players are randomly playing, doing something no coordination, no teamplay whatsoever. We need voice chat.
I like to be able to play some serious matches with random strangers, without Discord or any other thing.
Voip will be cancer. Sound of doom was a warning... do not implement voice chat.
 

pango

Recruit
Voip will be cancer. Sound of doom was a warning... do not implement voice chat.
Why are you so concerned about it? If you don't wanna use it, turn it off and go on with your match. It is a MUST for a game like this. Nobody forces you to use it.
 

dirtshrimp

Veteran
WBNWVC
Why are you so concerned about it? If you don't wanna use it, turn it off and go on with your match. It is a MUST for a game like this. Nobody forces you to use it.
Its not hard to stick together as a team in skirmish. The maps are relatively small and you can see where your teammates are. In a groupfight you are focused on fighting and don't really need to call things out except for cav (which should be easy to hear- voip shouldn't be the solution to cav sniping and would likely make it harder to hear). People yelling in my ear during a fight will just be annoying and distract from the actual gameplay.

If voip is added, it will also infest the other gamemodes like tdm/siege, where it will be even more useless and distracting. Like it or not, it will become part of the game and everywhere you go there will be people blasting their sh*tty meme music, hitler speech, larping as napoleon, etc. Its kind of funny in holdfast but if it comes to mount&blade it will get old very quickly.

The only gamemode I can see it having any actual usefulness in is captain, and even then I would never want to use it due to how toxic captain players are. Warband never needed voice chat. Teamspeak and discord were always good enough for competitive matches and casual events. If bannerlord became some kind of competitive esport like cs:go, maybe there would be some sense in it, but the game is nowhere near that level of competitiveness right now, and given the community response to Taleworld's "esports" design, it never will be. Voice chat will not improve any aspect of the gameplay and will likely make the game broken and unstable for months.
 
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thoughts to the cav problem:

Bad cav play is still barely punished. You can blindly charge into a spear formation and even if you get reared, you just turn and get away with nothing but some damage on your horse. On the other side an Inf player beeing unwary just for a moment is normally instant dead when caught by cav.

Rearing the horse should lead to a remarkable stun of the rider. With 1-2 free hits depending on the weapon speed. Another solution could be insta dismount for the rider (without the horse dying) if he is hit at full speed. We have a similar mechanic in sp but for whatever reason not in mp.

Another good nerf would be to have couching consume your lance. A sucessfull couch should lead to the lance beeing stuck in the enemy corpse so that it has to be pulled out again - like a throwing spear.

Rn Cav players can double kill while couching faster than a soldier on foot can switch his weapon or even reload.
 
Voip will be cancer. Sound of doom was a warning... do not implement voice chat.

^This
Voip will not improve anyone's experience in game, will make the game unplayable for some and is entirely unnecessary )given how many discords there are open to all).
 

OurGloriousLeader

Grandmaster Knight
1) Agree, this issue is partly tied to the insistence of using data analytics for balancing as well and looking at each class as its own distinct thing, so you can get something like "oh, the 2h/cheap class is underpicked, we should buff it" and movement speed is one of 5 numbers you can easily tweak. It's also partly due to the combat movement speed that has never quite been gotten right (the parameters tweaks helped but didn't fully solve).

We should start from a position of all classes having equal movement, tweak the combat movement speed parameters until they feel good, then have very slight overall movement speed differences per class (e.g. cav and archers slightly slower). Some people still think inf need movement speed buffs but some of their movement is absurd right now as you say, and actually hurts melee since it leads to kiting/hit and run, which is frustrating.

People will complain about archers kiting, but we have large disparities now and they can still kite. Kiting is inevitable, the solution is teamwork and objectives, not making cheap inf usain bolt.

2) The one hit nukes are absurd additions, made worse by the 3 lives the classes get and that the spear can be collected from bodies. By the end of rounds there can be 10+ nuke sticks in play if both sides have access.

These should just be straight up removed, if they MUST be retained (and they shouldn't have to be) they need damage nerfed heavily and ideally, made one use so they can't be collected from shields or bodies.

3) Respawns are just fundamentally flawed in a competitive game like this imo, skirmisher meta is simply the latest facet of this. I really hope the comp community, and TW in general, move back towards a single life mode as the 'serious' one. Skirmish should be relegated to a casual, big population server where the respawns provide a way of allowing people to keep playing and have fun. Continuing to balance around the mode itself is a waste of time that should be spent getting the fundamentals correct (combat and mechanics) and more game modes/maps.

Remember, originally this wasn't the "competitive" Skirmish mode and was a casual one used for testing. 🙃

4) Devs need to look at Warband for cav, they were broken in that game and are even stronger here. In short: stop being able to push people around, slow down the stabs/add a stun on blocks, nerf the WW, slow down top speed, reduce manoeuvrability at top speed, make spears rear regardless of whatever the formula is, add a cooldown on couches. This will bring them in line with Warband, where they were STILL OP. You have so much room to fix this class and the nerfs have been completely tepid.

9p88HEI.png


5) Obviously agree.
 

Rangah

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
VoIP is absolutely necessary for this game - at least Skirmish and Captain -, a 6v6 competitive game reliant on teamwork can't really function properly without voice chat. I think it would also be quite fun and would create many memorable moments through public play.
 

Greedalicious

Grandmaster Knight
WB
VoiP shouldnt be a massive tast to impliment surely, I dont see any reason why you cant have it.
I'll never use it, but go for it.
 

Firunien

Grandmaster Knight
@dirtshrimp @Aeronwen
In random queue it helps when you face stacks sitting discord. Makes the game unplayable for no one because it can be turned off. It is absolutely necessary if TW considers Skirmish competitive. They already said its not going to be in siege/tdm. There really is no other reason against it as wanting the MP to fail.
 
1) Agree, this issue is partly tied to the insistence of using data analytics for balancing as well and looking at each class as its own distinct thing, so you can get something like "oh, the 2h/cheap class is underpicked, we should buff it" and movement speed is one of 5 numbers you can easily tweak. It's also partly due to the combat movement speed that has never quite been gotten right (the parameters tweaks helped but didn't fully solve).

We should start from a position of all classes having equal movement, tweak the combat movement speed parameters until they feel good, then have very slight overall movement speed differences per class (e.g. cav and archers slightly slower). Some people still think inf need movement speed buffs but some of their movement is absurd right now as you say, and actually hurts melee since it leads to kiting/hit and run, which is frustrating.

People will complain about archers kiting, but we have large disparities now and they can still kite. Kiting is inevitable, the solution is teamwork and objectives, not making cheap inf usain bolt.

2) The one hit nukes are absurd additions, made worse by the 3 lives the classes get and that the spear can be collected from bodies. By the end of rounds there can be 10+ nuke sticks in play if both sides have access.

These should just be straight up removed, if they MUST be retained (and they shouldn't have to be) they need damage nerfed heavily and ideally, made one use so they can't be collected from shields or bodies.

3) Respawns are just fundamentally flawed in a competitive game like this imo, skirmisher meta is simply the latest facet of this. I really hope the comp community, and TW in general, move back towards a single life mode as the 'serious' one. Skirmish should be relegated to a casual, big population server where the respawns provide a way of allowing people to keep playing and have fun. Continuing to balance around the mode itself is a waste of time that should be spent getting the fundamentals correct (combat and mechanics) and more game modes/maps.

Remember, originally this wasn't the "competitive" Skirmish mode and was a casual one used for testing. 🙃

4) Devs need to look at Warband for cav, they were broken in that game and are even stronger here. In short: stop being able to push people around, slow down the stabs/add a stun on blocks, nerf the WW, slow down top speed, reduce manoeuvrability at top speed, make spears rear regardless of whatever the formula is, add a cooldown on couches. This will bring them in line with Warband, where they were STILL OP. You have so much room to fix this class and the nerfs have been completely tepid.

9p88HEI.png


5) Obviously agree.

Largely accurate and well said.

There are pros and cons to every decision though and whatever the devs do, someone will complain.
re 3, I suppose that the buying more lives for skirmish was a replacement for the gold system in Warband, which is anticompetitive.
If a system of rewarding winning players with an advantage is wanted (and I do not see why it would be in a skill based game) then the Skirmish system has many of the same problems as Warband (the losing team having a harder task as the match goes on and a lack of clarity over the amounts gained) but they are mitigated. In some respects the Skirmish system is better than Warband (the amount you have available in subsequent respawns/rounds is clear and there is almost enough time to make an informed decision).
 

Poddicus

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
VOIP is unnecessary because this isn't CSGO

I don't need the local village idiot who's already going 0-10 whining in my ear with their 3rd worlder accent
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
[...] Continuing to balance around the mode itself is a waste of time that should be spent getting the fundamentals correct (combat and mechanics) and more game modes/maps.

[...]

9p88HEI.png


[...]
Amen to everything in broad strokes, I would especially highlight this ☝️

---
It is heartbreaking that even today there are still encysted problems with the combat system, a core system that is the foundation of this franchise. Sad...
I hope™ there will be a button available to disable VOIP in settings.
 

Mushbeast

Knight
VOIP will improve the game tremendously, some people here don't have a clue what they're saying. It should be able to be disabled, sure, but pretty much every game mode would benefit from it greatly.
 

FearSpear

Sergeant at Arms
5. Miscellaneous Problems with Combat Mechanics
Speaking of miscellaneous issues, the audio of the horse hooves bugs out this patch for some reason and it cuts in and out, seemingly randomly, but it may have to do with horse speed. This makes Cav even stronger since you cannot even hear them coming half the time. Sad!
 
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