Knight at Arms
This. I think the game is fairly easy to play and understand (even on harder difficulty settings) up until you make your own faction, at which point it dramatically skyrockets (if you aren't using exploits) and becomes highly unintuitive too.Yeah, the problem is more that players don't understand and grossly underestimate what is required to recruit vassals. Many players assume that having high relations will get the vassals easily and this question is asked/answered very frequently and is why I have a copy paste of my best explanation handy. Also the main campaign quest leads new player to create a faction in a very under developed state and doesn't provide any guidance or information about what starting new faction will actually be like. Players are often shocked that they must fight armies alone and their "friends" won't join them. Many players have no idea that they can create vassals from wanderers too.
However this is where I disagree - I think the current method of recruiting lords and creating a new kingdom is problematic and shouldn't just be explained to the player, but improved as well.Now, it makes sense and can be explained, it just isn't intuitive to new players and probably some primer or NPC to explain these things in game would do a lot of good in the final version.
Ideally, relations would make more impact on convincing a lord to join you. You would be able to convince lords to join you *before* you actually secede; so that you have a power-base as soon as you start a new kingdom and aren't suddenly facing a multi-kingdom gangbang with just your clan. Lords would bring their territory along with them instantly whether you're at war or not.