Progression: the Drug of Any Game - and something Bannerlord Needs a LOT more of...

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Man, I agree with so many of the points you've made, and I've said many of them myself but,
Then again, the whole game is just unambitious to the point of being a pile of wasted potential, and what's there doesn't even work that well.

Meh.
Seriously? This game is unambitious of all things? Of course, it's only one of the hundreds, if not thousands of games on the market where you can command 1000 troops simultaneously on the battlefield and on siege maps that you also take part in, with all towns and a good chunk of castles having unique scenes, all the overworld map locations (probably around 50-60% now) having unique battlefield maps that corresponds to your location and position on the overworld, as well as being a medieval sim sandbox game with its own economy and lifecycle, taking place on a map roughly the size of Europe and north Africa combined, where you can build your character and have a family. Such a common thing to find in games right now.

I criticize TW on so many things but them being unambitious is not one of them. The truth is, while the leadership is probably suboptimal and the game is likely mismanaged, in the end, it is expensive, time consuming and overall hard to make a game. Calling this game "bad" I understand, but calling it "unambitious" is probably the most braindead take I've seen in this forum, and believe me, that is an achievement.
 

Sheepify

Regular
Seriously? This game is unambitious of all things?
Being unique does not mean ambitious.

Armagan managed to make this work all alone, on a shoestring budget, two decades ago. I definitely expected far more from Placeholderlord, and it doesn't even play well with what's there.

Throwing a bunch of placeholder-level "elements" into the mix, with no organized design attempt, is hardly what I'd considering "ambitious." Yes, the engine is nice, the battles are pretty, but considering the resources at their disposal the end result is hardly what I'd call "ambitious."

But that's, just, like my opinion, man.
 

Sweynforkbeard

Sergeant at Arms
Removing village as an independent fief (seriously, who TF thought this was a good idea when EVERY Warband overhaul mod added to the management of it) removed the whole "now you have a place you need to take care of" potential early-mid-game progression. Meanwhile, we couldn't even get a "build your castle from ground up" (that was possible even in modded Warband) because reasons.
Ohh yeah, I do miss the villages...Ohh wait, rule nr. 1 in warband; dont own villages...
Clans could've worked as expansion of gameplay, but Taleworlds did nothing with them.
Maybe they could have, but it work as means to overcome what would have been a massive clutter of people given the comparative size of Bannerlord (which is probably all they were ever intended to do).
Crusader Kings showed very well how it worked (Gavelkind, nevah furgit). Doesn't need to be that level of details, but some kind of relationship system between nobles (and possible notables) was absolutely warranted.
Not personally into generation stuff myself; less grind, not more.
FFS, even village notables should have some quests to remove an aspiring competitor (or the other way around), and related to competition with other villages for better terms/warehousing rights/sales contacts in the city. At the very least.
There are still plenty more quests for us to ignore in Bannerlord than there were in Warband.
 
Inappropriate language. There are better ways to express your disagreement. Diversify your vocabulary.
Being unique does not mean ambitious.

Armagan managed to make this work all alone, on a shoestring budget, two decades ago. I definitely expected far more from Placeholderlord, and it doesn't even play well with what's there.

Throwing a bunch of placeholder-level "elements" into the mix, with no organized design attempt, is hardly what I'd considering "ambitious." Yes, the engine is nice, the battles are pretty, but considering the resources at their disposal the end result is hardly what I'd call "ambitious."

But that's, just, like my opinion, man.
And your opinion is moronic, man. Being unique may not necessarily be ambitious, but Bannerlord is both unique and ambitious, not only due to its sheer scale, but also its scope. There's no similar game on the market that is trying to be a medieval simulation with an in-depth combat system that is also a RPG where you create, build and play as your own character, a kingdom and city management game (though I agree the game is lackluster in this aspect) and a story generator with a living and breathing world with its own economy and world that exists and continues to exist regardless of the player. This game is extremely ambitious despite being the successor of Warband, an already revolutionary game. In the end, what you call "placeholderlord", such as the crime system is due to the game being too ambitious for its own good. I agree that many features, like the banner creation are very half baked.

There is no game on the market that can do all the things Bannerlord does, and this is not due Bannerlord being a unique idea. Medieval games with combat are a dime a dozen in steam. There's a reason that Paradox, Creative Assembly or any company that is longstanding in the medieval genre hasn't copied Warband or Bannerlord's combat or released a direct competitor, because it is ****ing hard to develop games, and extremely hard to make games that has the scope and ambition of Bannerlord. Claiming otherwise just makes you sound like an idiot. Claiming that Bannerlord has no interactive sytems that influence the world and economy is being a liar and an idiot.
 

Sheepify

Regular
This game is extremely ambitious despite being the successor of Warband, an already revolutionary game.
Explain to me how you can claim, with a straight face, that a side-grade of something made 20 years ago (at least the game engine, mostly) by one man, now made by 100+ studio, is "ambitious."

OG M&B was highly ambitious. Bannerlord is the result of two decades of experience and immense amount of community feedback (that was mostly ignored), and it still struggles to offer engaging gameplay loop.
There is no game on the market that can do all the things Bannerlord does, and this is not due Bannerlord being a unique idea.
Kenshi came close, sequel in the works.

And of course you won't get direct 1-to-1 copycat. At this point the expectations established by OG+Warband do require more work than 20 or 10 years ago (with the facelift Warband was). Not to mention other people will be more interested in areas that M&B never did well (like Manor Lords - there's an ambitious title).

And, by the by, Patrician III managed to implement at the very least similar level of economic simulation (frankly, I'd argue far superior, but opinions and all) in early 2000s. Most games with management/simulation tilt will have some kind of "economy" implemented. Though it's pretty difficult to judge how well it works for Bannerlord without reading the actual code, since the player information feedback in the game is about as good as Taleworlds' communication with customers /s

The reason mods manage to do so much in relatively short time is precisely because so many low-hanging-fruit improvements are being ignored. That's not "ambitious" to me at all.
 

xdj1nn

Knight at Arms
WBWF&S
I'll get back into the discussion later, but the attribute requirements for items was a bit silly (it is for most games) - there's an ahole trick that mimics it and could be done without changing much or even anything from what the game currently has, which would be creating values for required skills, than slap in numbers to point out how much you need for the item to "function properly" at zero. The effects are there, they just aren't walled behind attributes. This way you can still wear anything, but you'll KNOW IT'S BAD because you don't have enough skill to pull it off properly.
To me the problem lies with some items having walled requirements (like horses bows and crossbows) and some items having the "hidden hinderance" instead (like 2h weapons / axes / maces) - the only item category that has almost absolutely nothing of the sorts are thrown weapons in general. You'll have more or less the same precision with lvl 0 and at lvl 300, and the speed of use only really makes a difference with the perks, without it's barely noticeable.
 

froggyluv

Grandmaster Knight
NW
Sheepify and TotalGarbage you're both correct yet arguing over a misinterpretation (i think). On one hand Ive always White Knighted the series to 'Outsider" critics reminding them that no other game does what THIS SERIES does -that being a cross genre swordfighting strategy game that allows up to 1000's of AI fighting in real time with real time calculations being done on every swing block, horse ,arrow, bolt etc etc... the initial Engine of this game was revolutionary IMO.

That said -this was indeed done 20 years now and id say its safe to say for the diehard fan that the current product lacks ambition as many had projected its trajectory should have evolved. There was certainly some ambition in making this game -IIRC the battle and graphics and some new animations look really great as do some town scenes. But that hardly matches are expectations on what we've seen accomplished mod wise (in game attributes) many years ago. So in this sense -it lacks ambition or Vision

Funny side note but the Arma series -also known as a genre definer basically had the same exact trajectory now with Reforger, also a Console crossover with many of the same complaints. And it also came out in 2001 -man im old..
 
Sheepify and TotalGarbage you're both correct yet arguing over a misinterpretation (i think). On one hand Ive always White Knighted the series to 'Outsider" critics reminding them that no other game does what THIS SERIES does -that being a cross genre swordfighting strategy game that allows up to 1000's of AI fighting in real time with real time calculations being done on every swing block, horse ,arrow, bolt etc etc... the initial Engine of this game was revolutionary IMO.

That said -this was indeed done 20 years now and id say its safe to say for the diehard fan that the current product lacks ambition as many had projected its trajectory should have evolved. There was certainly some ambition in making this game -IIRC the battle and graphics and some new animations look really great as do some town scenes. But that hardly matches are expectations on what we've seen accomplished mod wise (in game attributes) many years ago. So in this sense -it lacks ambition or Vision

Funny side note but the Arma series -also known as a genre definer basically had the same exact trajectory now with Reforger, also a Console crossover with many of the same complaints. And it also came out in 2001 -man im old..
I'm not really trying to "whiteknight" the game tho, the game has many issues that I've also voiced. I think it's ambitious due to simulating a medieval world and economy while simultaneously creating some of the better looking city/town scenes as well as having 1000 men battles that has loads up a map which corresponds to your position and location on the overworld. Do I think that the game is good, yeah. But I still think that it has glaring issues with it.

A good example would be perhaps Star Citizen. I haven't played the game myself, but from what I've found out, it's apparently utter **** due to being very unstable with the game crashing often and quests not being completeable half the time due to bugs, with a predatory spaceship selling scheme, a never-ending featurecreep that makes the game a borderline scam (maybe it is a scam?) and such legendarily terrible management that TW seem like gods in comparison. But it's probably one of the most ambitious games ever.
 

Sweynforkbeard

Sergeant at Arms
Explain to me how you can claim, with a straight face, that a side-grade of something made 20 years ago (at least the game engine, mostly) by one man, now made by 100+ studio, is "ambitious."
Bannerlord is not a side-grade and it is certainly not an unparalled masterpiece. Its overall an incremental upgrade, how much or little is mostly down to what it was that you really enjoyed about Warband.
OG M&B was highly ambitious. Bannerlord is the result of two decades of experience and immense amount of community feedback (that was mostly ignored), and it still struggles to offer engaging gameplay loop.
Mods have the massive advantage that the player get too choose their own particular flavor (of cheese usually). And you can find quite a few of the little things, that were typical for mods, that has made its way into Bannerlord.

Not having to enter towns as an example... then ofcourse you will have people here complaining that there nolonger is a reason to enter towns.
Kenshi came close, sequel in the works.
No it does not. Kenshi is not Bannerlord, it is M&B/warband. A unique, but highly flawed product.
The reason mods manage to do so much in relatively short time is precisely because so many low-hanging-fruit improvements are being ignored. That's not "ambitious" to me at all.
No, same as above.
 
What if the reason that there are so many mods is maybe because the devs made a highly moddable game? Hell, some of the devs themselves were Warband modders, such as Duh who created or helped creating Floris mod to my knowledge. It's not as if modders use a magic wand to create and implement mods to any game at their whim.

I don't see cyberpunk 2077 mods fixing the non-existent 1st and 3rd story arcs, empty city with nothing to do other than killing enemies, meaningless lifepath choices, etc.

Calling Bannerlord a sidegrade is just plain wrong, try doing a siege in Warband and comparing it to Bannerlord, or even a normal field battle would suffice. The frankly bad to mediocre AI in Bannerlord would look like geniuses in comparison. Try playing as a trader in Warband as compared to Bannerlord. There is almost no challenge in Warband once you get 30+ Swadian Knights or Sarranid Mamelukes or Huskarls, a very easy task, and they have no counter other than maybe 3 specifically difficult siege layouts and possibly incredibly unlucky battlefield generation. That is not to say that Bannerlord is a major upgrade in every way imaginable, the companion system & the dialogues, the overall immersion and the politics within the kingdom in Warband is superior to Bannerlord.

Kenshi is not that similar to Warband or Bannerlord other than being a sandbox where you can build your character and get some troops? There is no personal combat in Kenshi and no proper unit tactics, reactive global economy based on supply and demand (at least I don't think so?), different factions don't really interact with each other except for filling the void when a city leader/faction leader is captured or killed. Instead, there is city building, research and more lore to the world, there're character bounties, etc.. Don't get me wrong, I love Kenshi, it's got such a unique charm and it's also very ambitious but its comparing apples and oranges imo.

I don't get why making a successor to a game that's been created 20 (it's actually 14) years ago, but better and on a much larger scale with many new features is not considered ambitious. Is GTA 5 not ambitious to create a living city with many things to do, different environments and activities and many missions? Vice City also did this to some extent 11 years before the release of GTA 5, yet Vice City and GTA 5 can't really be compared on the scope of their simulations. You being disappointed doesn't make the game unambitious or the devs lazy.
 
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ElCrisp

Sergeant at Arms
The problem is that a lot of it comes from "design" (and I use this term extremely loosely :razz:) decisions.

Removing attributes relationship to equipment removed horizontal progression. You'll no longer get this feeling of "finally" when, after grinding two more levels, you can finally put that 16th point of Strength in to use that masterwork greatsword you bought in-game months ago.

Removing village as an independent fief (seriously, who TF thought this was a good idea when EVERY Warband overhaul mod added to the management of it) removed the whole "now you have a place you need to take care of" potential early-mid-game progression. Meanwhile, we couldn't even get a "build your castle from ground up" (that was possible even in modded Warband) because reasons.

Weapon and combat balance makes it possible to win tournaments with level 1 no-equipment-no-skill character. So you don't even get the kicks from finally being able to swing fast enough to duel Lord This of That. Honestly, the whole character development subsystem is just... bland, with no sense of accomplishment to it. Oh, goodie, another 2% bonus perk.

Clans could've worked as expansion of gameplay, but Taleworlds did nothing with them. Instead of having some kind of back-stabbing and inter- as well as intra-clan intrigues and open warfare, they are just organizational labels with little value to them. I mean, period history pretty much is a cycle of "mom wanted ME to have that cutlery set, not you, you harlot!" conflicts on a larger scale. It's also what drives a lot of "historical" or pure fantasy shows. This is where you could get drama without involving an entire faction into a war against another, and incidentally allow player at lower progression level to get immersed in the "emergent storytelling" part of the game. So we wouldn't have to look up Encyclopedia simply to identify some RandomLord462, but remember them as "oh, yeah, this guy who fought for three years over that village," or "Lady Poison who got me to remove Derphart's firstborn so her hubbie can inherit."

Incidentally, relying on inter- and intra-clan conflict to provide a stepping stone between looter-chasing and full-on factional warfare would not just add another layer of game progression, you could use that mechanic to control faction snowballing potential as well. Having uppity lords go at it behind the rulers' back would be enough to provide the necessary drama (and smaller-scale conflicts to let the player advance) without having to worry about half the map being repainted in months.

Crusader Kings showed very well how it worked (Gavelkind, nevah furgit). Doesn't need to be that level of details, but some kind of relationship system between nobles (and possible notables) was absolutely warranted.

FFS, even village notables should have some quests to remove an aspiring competitor (or the other way around), and related to competition with other villages for better terms/warehousing rights/sales contacts in the city. At the very least.

Entertainment without conflict is bland, and you can't just go "randomly-spawned-'bandits' and faction wars take care of it, we're done," especially considering the settings.

Then again, the whole game is just unambitious to the point of being a pile of wasted potential, and what's there doesn't even work that well.

Meh.
I'm going to have to agree massively with a lot of what you said here. There is so little game design in bannerlord it is painful.
Soccer and boardgames have game design bannerlord has none of it. This game is in many ways a tech demo + a wishlist.
The many simulated features of this game's supposed wide scope are in reallity disconected or entirely out of balance with one another, not because they are hard to balance (which may also be in fact true) but because as far as I can tell, and understood from various peoples deep dives into the code, there is no attempt to connect these things. They are just free floating signifier that dont connect to anything, but especially not a larger unified game design which considers pacing and progression.

The throbing thumb of this being the dynasty and clan system. They asked themselves only is they could, not why they should. "it would be cool if we had children we could play as!" Can we interact with these children in any meaningful way? Do these children face any different challenges to their parents? Do they affect the gameloop in any meaningful way? Are they just exactly the same as the wanderers you meet in taverns who also have no stories or personalities? Am I even your real father!?

On the point of progression, especially villages as you mentioned. I remember in warband, one of the harder things was replenishing your troops after a serious defeat, if however you rose relations with a village you would get more recruits and even ones of a higher tier. This helped the progression of my warband, me and this village were symbiotic This connectected me with that village, I didnt want it to get raided. I did the same with the villages I was given as fiefs.
Which also made me want to defend the castle that kept my village in our kingdoms territory.

Players used to go from being slow and useless with their weapons, to crack soldiers, and it wasnt just weapon profficiencies, it was skill points like Power Strike and Iron flesh. These skill points along with armour was a big reason troops and the player got stronger than their lower level counterparts - a big reason why looters still possed such a large threat to high tier troops in Bannerlord, is becuase equipemnt asside their damgage and hit point are far closer than warband.
I would level my companions so that they could pass that next threshhold with the training skill, enabling them to train my regular soldier to the next teir passively. Allowing me to recover my forces quickly and turn the tide in my campaign. They were also valuble soldier when given good equipment and their skill progressed, they were my most valuable soldiers and I valued them. Maybe in part I dont feel this in bannerlord becuase of is its increased scale, more soldiers means less impact of individuals but the gap between lords and looters seem less than in warband.

I also remeber not being able to run my whole party economy on battle loot alone if I wanted to maintain a party large enough to contest with senior lords and kings. I needed a fief, I needed workshops. Looting villages was also a huge component of the budget but maybe that was because there was more often peace in warband?
 

JunKeteer

Veteran
They were too ambitious at the start of development, then came to the reality that they couldn't meet it. Tying everything to that 'balance'/economic-world system put themselves into this corner where practically all ensuing features are half-baked and can't be developed without completely messing all the other tied elements (one step forward - two steps back).

Of course, the battles themselves are great (some tweaking still) but besides that? It's a lot more taxing on the players to try to mentally immerse/handicap themselves in the world itself as it's so lifeless; they might as well just develop custom battles and flesh that out.
No lords/ladies/companions are memorable, towns/castles change hands daily (they are all Dhirim), you don't have a 'reputation'/relation really, clan tier is pretty much a battle-pass, influence just another currency, policies aren't 'impactful', perks/banners are just +1% this or that (though I'm sorta fine/tolerant with that 'realistically'). Sure, no game can do everything 100% well, but because nothing is fully fleshed out, you get a relatively 'bland' game that's maybe 50% in all aspects.

Kenshi, for example, definitely has a lot of flaws - but it has that 'character' much like Warband did. Buggy af, but there are these 'moments' I'm sure plenty of people here that probably played can attest to that pull you into those playthroughs. When you load your game the next day/time, you know what your own objective is or maybe something happened in that session that completely overtakes it; I struggle to get that in Bannerlord.

I load up the playthrough and can barely recall what/why it was I was doing previously; it's all the 'same'. Which faction am I in this time? Which X-faction are we at war with today vs yesterday? Why am I going to this town/region again? Why was I building X in my castle for; oh yeah...because of that loyalty thing. What was the name of that companion and what do they specialize in again? What was their build; oh this is my 'scout' guy, this is my 'medic' guy? What was the name of that lord/lady I'm trying to get married? What were my kids' names this time and what was I doing with their 'growth' again?
I'm sure a lot of that is due to my own poor memory but I also don't experience that with plenty of other games where there are memorable objectives (whether it was game implemented or created through my own play).
 
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They were too ambitious at the start of development, then came to the reality that they couldn't meet it. Tying everything to that 'balance'/economic-world system put themselves into this corner where practically all ensuing features are half-baked and can't be developed without completely messing all the other tied elements (one step forward - two steps back).

Of course, the battles themselves are great (some tweaking still) but besides that? It's a lot more taxing on the players to try to mentally immerse/handicap themselves in the world itself as it's so lifeless; they might as well just develop custom battles and flesh that out.
No lords/ladies/companions are memorable, towns/castles change hands daily (they are all Dhirim), you don't have a 'reputation'/relation really, clan tier is pretty much a battle-pass, influence just another currency, policies aren't 'impactful', perks/banners are just +1% this or that (though I'm sorta fine/tolerant with that 'realistically'). Sure, no game can do everything 100% well, but because nothing is fully fleshed out, you get a relatively 'bland' game that's maybe 50% in all aspects.
I largely agree with this take. The game got too big for its own good and they couldn't meet it. Now, you can argue that they should've had better QA testing for fixing the many performance issues and bugs before releasing the game to early access, and I would also agree. Due to the sheer number of issues with the EA release, we had a period of 6 months - 1 year where the game barely had any new additions (we only got barbers and elite caravans and maybe some other minor additions).

I think they will be further expanding and enhancing the lacking avenues such as immersion and crime (I mean, they announced that they will, we don't know how impressive it will be though), although I think this process will probably be rather slow and may still be unsatisfactory in the end. I think they can and probably will flesh out companions, (likely only some?) lords and dialogues, will add a feature here and there to improve the overall immersion, some new quests, and MAYBE a landline messenger system along with better kingdom destruction and AI voting algorithms (and potentially some small tweaks to diplomacy disregarding claimants?). The game as it is currently, is disappointing in some areas, I fully agree with this.
 
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JunKeteer

Veteran
I think they will be further expanding and enhancing the lacking avenues such as immersion and crime (I mean, they announced that they will, we don't know how impressive it will be though), although I think this process will probably be rather slow and may still be unsatisfactory in the end. I think they can and probably will flesh out companions, (likely only some?) lords and dialogues, will add a feature here and there to improve the overall immersion, some new quests, and MAYBE a landline messenger system along with better kingdom destruction and AI voting algorithms (and potentially some small tweaks to diplomacy disregarding claimants?). The game as it is currently, is disappointing in some areas, I fully agree with this.
Based on precedence and the ~3 years of EA so far, I have no faith anything of this sort would actually be implemented as they mentioned - they called the caravans system a feature and we know how much of a 'feature' that really is.
They'll get their cash injection from the upcoming release with console/public fad, string along some promise of a possible DLCs and other things (they only mentioned considering/'keen') but game will just fade into the background within a few months as many games with this type of development cycle tend to - with mods being the only thing that help maintain whatever niche players continue playing on.
Which is whatever...just another studio to add to the exponentially growing list of others where I just don't care/hype anymore for upcoming games of theirs anymore until well after release if it manages to maintain interest for that long (1+ year).
 

Sweynforkbeard

Sergeant at Arms
On the point of progression, especially villages as you mentioned. I remember in warband, one of the harder things was replenishing your troops after a serious defeat, if however you rose relations with a village you would get more recruits and even ones of a higher tier. This helped the progression of my warband, me and this village were symbiotic This connectected me with that village, I didnt want it to get raided. I did the same with the villages I was given as fiefs.
Which also made me want to defend the castle that kept my village in our kingdoms territory.
Sure it helped to have a positive relationship with villages in Warband, same as in Bannerlord. But it wasnt that big a factor particularly since there was a global cooldown on quests. The number of recruits you could raise just increased with your level.
Players used to go from being slow and useless with their weapons, to crack soldiers, and it wasnt just weapon profficiencies, it was skill points like Power Strike and Iron flesh. These skill points along with armour was a big reason troops and the player got stronger than their lower level counterparts - a big reason why looters still possed such a large threat to high tier troops in Bannerlord, is becuase equipemnt asside their damgage and hit point are far closer than warband.
I would level my companions so that they could pass that next threshhold with the training skill, enabling them to train my regular soldier to the next teir passively. Allowing me to recover my forces quickly and turn the tide in my campaign. They were also valuble soldier when given good equipment and their skill progressed, they were my most valuable soldiers and I valued them. Maybe in part I dont feel this in bannerlord becuase of is its increased scale, more soldiers means less impact of individuals but the gap between lords and looters seem less than in warband.
I will not argue about companions in general, wholly with you on this. Personally, I just dont like the whole "ship you companion of to be governor or something something and forget they exist". In this respect I 100% prefer Warband.
I also remeber not being able to run my whole party economy on battle loot alone if I wanted to maintain a party large enough to contest with senior lords and kings. I needed a fief, I needed workshops. Looting villages was also a huge component of the budget but maybe that was because there was more often peace in warband?
Looting was exceedingly profitable in Warband. You have probably just gotten more experienced since then. (maybe also keep in mind you only need money for gear and wages in Warband)
 
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Based on precedence and the ~3 years of EA so far, I have no faith anything of this sort would actually be implemented as they mentioned - they called the caravans system a feature and we know how much of a 'feature' that really is.
They'll get their cash injection from the upcoming release with console/public fad, string along some promise of a possible DLCs and other things (they only mentioned considering/'keen') but game will just fade into the background within a few months as many games with this type of development cycle tend to - with mods being the only thing that help maintain whatever niche players continue playing on.
That's also a likely possibility, I certainly don't fault you for thinking like that. I think that the game will be a bit more fleshed out in the future with maybe some peripheral issues like lack of dialogues and companion reactions fixed, and with maybe better armor protection against missiles and better spears, but it won't be a drastically different game. Just a more fleshed out combat & trading simulator with some more life in it.
 

JunKeteer

Veteran
That's also a likely possibility, I certainly don't fault you for thinking like that. I think that the game will be a bit more fleshed out in the future with maybe some peripheral issues like lack of dialogues and companion reactions fixed, and with maybe better armor protection against missiles and better spears, but it won't be a drastically different game. Just a more fleshed out combat & trading simulator with some more life in it.
Yes, but join the line, this was requested since probably the first day of EA 2.5 years ago - and after a VERY seemingly concerted amount of complaints earlier this year did we finally get some traction on some balancing aspects with armor/weapons after near 6months of no patches. And this is all within the 'carrot on a stick' incentive to make the game 'good enough' for the upcoming official release; but what motivation do they have for after that; given what we see so far? I don't think their attitude will change to a positive mindset to churn out fixes/patches after that, if anything is would probably diminish after official release.
 

Nogand

Recruit
most of the gov perks are far apart, some being exceptionally deep on the skill tree they are in - it's simply poorly designed. To top it off, not having at least 3/4 of the gov perks for the build objective you want to achieve makes them useless.
Gov builds can be about maximizing income, reducing garrison costs, increasing prosperity, increasing village hearts, builder/engineer, defender/engineer and new conquest stabilizer (security + loyalty). - None of which are achievable without ludicrous amounts of time spent on leveling the companion. If you place them half-baked, they'll achieve whooping "1%" bonuses that make absolutely zero difference, which winds up turning the whole thing into a game of "spare companion - place as governor" / "match the culture of the fief with the culture of the governor"... Not good.

And in the end the difference they make is only really worth it by mid-late game, meaning most of the time you won't need them unless you are RPing or fixated at achieving specific numbers.

Regardless, everything you can "complete" in the game takes longer than conquering the entire map - that's just bad design. If they make conquest take longer than the game will become boring - the only solution is fixing the entire thing to work better and add late game challenges.
Is this a bit like Stellaris where the AI is so bad, although it has improved in recent patches, and the game is prone to snowballing that unless you give it crazy cheats by raising the difficulty level the only challenge after the mid game is building a strong enough military to defeat the endgame crisis?
 
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xdj1nn

Knight at Arms
WBWF&S
Is this a bit like Stellaris where the AI is so bad, although it has improved in recent patches, and the game is prone to snowballing that unless you give it crazy cheats by raising the difficulty level the only challenge after the mid game is building a strong enough military to defeat the endgame crisis?
have no idea never played Stellaris and probably never will...
The AI is artificially hard in BL - as in it'll have cheese mechanics to make it virtually difficult, and the pt where it relies the most is actually on "zerg rush" the player - if the AI starts failing on their zerg rush, than you vassals will try to force you to wage war with another kingdom at the same time - if that fails than the non player kingdom AI itself will take it upon themselves to declare war upon the player faction - this will snowball until there's a full All vs Player scenario, while you can only realistically prevent a single faction from being at war when that happens without being punished by the arbitrary "tribute" system they've placed...

This tribute's based upon something we see in other better RTS games where the loser of a war has to pay for reparations - the disgusting part of BL is that it doesn't take into account anything, you will be charged even if you weren't the one who declared war if both factions never even do anything to one another. If it was like CK for instance, which takes a correct approach to this, the faction who declares war has to pursue their objective, if they fail to do so they will be punished, in BL the only one punished is the player unless you successfully destroy the AI in a short span of time - if you don't issue for peace once that happens the game will arbitrarily give the enemy the "winning" through tribute again overtime, even if the AI fails to do anything - I've had situations where I held 50 prisoners from the enemy faction, had 20 successful raids, captured half of their settlements, yet the game was charging me 10k in tributes to propose peace... It's the ultimate retarded experience...
 
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