Release Plans

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Greetings warriors of Calradia!

August and September have been exciting months - Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord finally got its release date (October 25th), pre-orders opened for consoles and many of you came to say Hi at Gamescom and Pax.

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Gamescom2022

And while it is a major milestone for the game to come to consoles, our announcement made it clear that this won’t be the end of the journey. This is what we want to talk to you about today.

Road to Release​

As the release date approaches, we are preparing a number of additional updates that many of you have been eagerly anticipating.

For one, we really cannot leave our lords and ladies without a banner any longer. You may have already seen how they look in the recent demo footage, but, just in case, we have attached a screenshot below.

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Banner formations

The banners in the game will be equippable items that players and AI heroes can use to benefit the formations they lead in battle. Alongside them we will also be introducing new crafting pieces with cloth attachments. These won’t just allow players to create weapons with an extra bit of flair - they will add to the overall visual experience as troops are reequipped to carry them as well.

And while these changes will spice up our existing scenes, we have also been hard at work on new ones. Soon each of our 53 towns will be unique and the pool for castles, battle terrains and smaller locations like hideouts will also continue to be expanded. Of course, the world map will see further improvements as well.

To add onto this, we are finalizing a fundamental overhaul of the agent AI movement system, which helps NPCs deal with difficult terrain (like in sieges) and notably improves issues with congestion. It does so through a range of physics adjustments, better situational understanding and manners (waiting on the allies ahead) and by shifting away from a binary, cardinal input and towards a partial, 360 degree one - think keyboard vs controller. Naturally, you, the player, will still be able to play with either.

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Siege tower assault

Now, looks and movement are important - but so is audio. Accordingly, we are quite happy to say that AI characters will soon receive the first iteration of voice overs for storyline dialogues and greetings. Conversations in general will also benefit from a range of new and updated facial expressions.

Voice over, Imperial mentor Arzagos

Beyond these, the recently shared custom servers, battle mode and multiplayer modding will continue to receive support. Much like them, the steam workshop is also being tested with a number of our community members. Thanks to that, it should become available to you in the near future.

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Multiplayer battle event on a custom server

Finally, many of you have asked about achievements - they as well as steam trading cards, backgrounds and emoticons are scheduled to arrive with the game’s release.

Post-Release​

By this time all of the above should be in your hands and we look forward to your thoughts on these additions. Naturally, we are also quite excited to learn how you like the game on consoles.

Our intention at this point is to continue making improvements based on your feedback. Having said that, there are already plans for a number of specific features and tweaks that we can discuss with you now.

To begin with, we return to a classic - early in development we explored a prototype of the player not just clearing but taking over common areas from criminals. This will be coming to the game. It will work similarly to other enterprises (like workshops and caravans) that provide players with a passive income but will also have its own twist. As they are not exactly legal ventures, you will need to deal with our crime system. Yet it’s not all bad - operating from the shadows will allow you to keep going in hostile environments and, coupled with further encyclopedia “fog of war” updates, allow you to retain access to information you would otherwise not have.

In addition to this, you will see the introduction of more specialized combat options. For one, players are going to be able to sally out and launch a surprise attack on besiegers in order to destroy their siege engines. This will take place in the existing siege locations but follow a separate set of rules.

The regular siege assault, in turn, won’t be ignored either. We are working on a range of balance changes to tip the scales more in favor of siege towers and rams. For example, pushing ladders off the walls will be possible even when there are enemies climbing them - in Singleplayer and Multiplayer.

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Falling off the siege ladder

Naturally, there will also be various tweaks to other systems - whether that is the ability to target enemy formations, which has been requested by our captain mode community in particular, or the ability to place companions in specific formations in the “Order of Battle”.

And should your character grow too old and tired to continue the fight, a new location will allow them to hand over the reins to the next generation - or put an end to the clan. Whether a game over occurs due to a conscious choice like this, old age or ill tidings, it deserves a bit of ceremony. To a good degree, the ingame cutscenes and cinematics provide that. Yet wouldn’t it be nice to look back at what you achieved over the years? This is where game over statistics will come in - tracking your every step (or at least some of them) and providing a tally when your game ends or you finish the storyline.

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Game over statistics

In a similar vein, content creators are going to be able to make records of their adventures using our replay editor. While our focus has been with the game, the editor still saw progress and will likely be shared as part of the modding tools in the coming months.

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Replay editor

Overall, there are many more ideas that we are keen to explore as part of our regular developments. Some of these are smaller topics like balance tweaks to our auto-battle-resolution, companion variety, raiding, settlement projects or multiplayer classes and modes. Others concern improvements to control schemes and haptic feedback, modding tools, multiplayer taunts and maps, diplomacy decision making, the clan-kingdom lifecycle, the mission atmosphere and weather system, as well as a variety of quality of life changes such as party member sorting. And yet others will be more involved such as the claimant quest and the multiplayer spectator mode.

To address the elephant in the room, and some of the questions that came with it, we are certainly also open to DLCs as they are a great way to provide you with additional content that does not fit into the base game’s scope. Having said that, it will be some time before we release any DLC, it will be a gradual shift in development and it will not be mutually exclusive as the base game will also continue to receive updates.

As a testament to that - there is no particular DLC that we want to announce right now. However, we are observing and discussing many of the topics that you are passionate about.

In this regard, we also want to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone that has supported us throughout the early access period. The game has come a long way and it wouldn’t have been possible without you and your passion for Mount&Blade.

We look forward to taking the next steps of this journey with you - as well as anyone that may join us on the way.


You can pre-order the game on consoles here:
PlayStation EU | PlayStation US | Xbox
 

Bluko88

Sergeant
The banners in the game will be equippable items that players and AI heroes can use to benefit the formations they lead in battle. Alongside them we will also be introducing new crafting pieces with cloth attachments. These won’t just allow players to create weapons with an extra bit of flair - they will add to the overall visual experience as troops are reequipped to carry them as well.
Eh okay? Not sure why anyone would want to "craft" a banner. Personally prefer greater customization in the banner editor screen in-game. That's something folks have waned since start of EA.

Rather see the ability to craft armor, but I digress.

And while these changes will spice up our existing scenes, we have also been hard at work on new ones. Soon each of our 53 towns will be unique and the pool for castles, battle terrains and smaller locations like hideouts will also continue to be expanded. Of course, the world map will see further improvements as well.
I applaud your efforts, though I am slightly concerned about all the unique towns. A lot of sieges have issues with troops getting stuck in places they shouldn't be. I feel that siege maps in particular need a lot of attention since there's much more at work. Sometimes less is more.

But yes by all means go nuts adding more battle terrain and hideouts (hideouts get really repetitive really fast). More villages wouldn't be bad either, but I understand they are lesser priority since generally isn't much to do in them.

To add onto this, we are finalizing a fundamental overhaul of the agent AI movement system, which helps NPCs deal with difficult terrain (like in sieges) and notably improves issues with congestion. It does so through a range of physics adjustments, better situational understanding and manners (waiting on the allies ahead) and by shifting away from a binary, cardinal input and towards a partial, 360 degree one - think keyboard vs controller. Naturally, you, the player, will still be able to play with either.
Well anything that addresses "soldier beehiving" is good, but this is going to be a "seeing is believing" for me.

In general I think the A.I. needs to do more to maintain "personal space". Troops not being able to swing their weapons because they are too close to friendlies is a real problem in Bannerlord. The game experience would be greatly improved if the A.I. made an effort to leave itself adequate room to use their weapons.

Post-Release​

To begin with, we return to a classic - early in development we explored a prototype of the player not just clearing but taking over common areas from criminals. This will be coming to the game. It will work similarly to other enterprises (like workshops and caravans) that provide players with a passive income but will also have its own twist. As they are not exactly legal ventures, you will need to deal with our crime system. Yet it’s not all bad - operating from the shadows will allow you to keep going in hostile environments and, coupled with further encyclopedia “fog of war” updates, allow you to retain access to information you would otherwise not have.

In addition to this, you will see the introduction of more specialized combat options. For one, players are going to be able to sally out and launch a surprise attack on besiegers in order to destroy their siege engines. This will take place in the existing siege locations but follow a separate set of rules.

The regular siege assault, in turn, won’t be ignored either. We are working on a range of balance changes to tip the scales more in favor of siege towers and rams. For example, pushing ladders off the walls will be possible even when there are enemies climbing them - in Singleplayer and Multiplayer.
So really we can expect to see this stuff in probably like August 2023, great...

That said it's good to know you are at least still trying to add some element of the "criminal empire" you touted so much during pre-production. Again don't know if there will really be that much interest in the base game by the time you get around to releasing such features. I really hope you can guys can pick up the pace, otherwise console players are going to feel left in the dark, cause I'm sure modding is going to take off here.

Naturally, there will also be various tweaks to other systems - whether that is the ability to target enemy formations, which has been requested by our captain mode community in particular, or the ability to place companions in specific formations in the “Order of Battle”.
I think just about all sane individuals want this. At least there will be some hope for console players, playing this game without the RTS Camera mod is quite rough.

Overall, there are many more ideas that we are keen to explore as part of our regular developments. Some of these are smaller topics like balance tweaks to our auto-battle-resolution, companion variety, raiding, settlement projects or multiplayer classes and modes. Others concern improvements to control schemes and haptic feedback, modding tools, multiplayer taunts and maps, diplomacy decision making, the clan-kingdom lifecycle, the mission atmosphere and weather system, as well as a variety of quality of life changes such as party member sorting. And yet others will be more involved such as the claimant quest and the multiplayer spectator mode.
Glad that we might finally see weather, it's quite unusual a game released in this day and age doesn't have some form of weather. I mean even in Warband it at least rains sometimes. Some form of actual Diplomacy is a must. All the random war declarations destroy a lot of the game world's credibility, also from a purely game perspective, difficult for players to make sense of as well.


Haven't seen much mention of improving NPC interaction. I don't expect any kind of deep or riveting dialogue, but is it asking too much that NPCs respond appropriately to events? Companions and Lords/Ladies only react to a select few things (if they even react at all). It really detracts from the game when it is so painfully obvious the NPCs are just literal bots that serve no purpose other than as Captains/Party Leaders. Definitely wouldn't tout Bannerlord as an RPG as is.
 

Lesbosisles

Knight at Arms
@Dejan @Duh_TaleWorlds, noticed that a few important points were unmentioned, so a few questions regarding the release version:

1)What about the Kingdom destruction mechanics? Right now, the members of a Kingdom with no lands still running around, with small parties, burning villages and irritating everyone. Will something be done about it in the upcoming release version?

2) It is good that you have added a few good possibilities for defenders, like sallying out and the ability to drop down the ladders. But, as I understand, the AI still cannot retreat deeper into the city and will try to retake the walls over and over again even when it's hopeless to do so?

3) Any upcoming changes in the voting and diplomacy system in the release version?
 

Duh_TaleWorlds

Developer
Eh okay? Not sure why anyone would want to "craft" a banner
Weapons with cloth pieces, not banners :wink:

1)What about the Kingdom destruction mechanics? Right now, the members of a Kingdom with no lands still running around, with small parties, burning villages and irritating everyone. Will something be done about it in the upcoming release version?
>improvements to... clan-kingdom-lifecycle
but this will take some time

2) It is good that you have added a few good possibilities for defenders, like sallying out and the ability to drop down the ladders. But, as I understand, the AI still cannot retreat deeper into the city and will try to retake the walls over and over again even when it's hopeless to do so?
We don't have plans to introduce a "street fight" phase to the sieges, no. Defenders do have fallback points that don't have to be on the walls, but those are scene dependent.

3) Any upcoming changes in the voting and diplomacy system in the release version?
>improvements to... diplomacy decision making
This is slated for post-release.
 

loulou76100

Sergeant
so yeah, mods are still going to get broken by frequent updates even months after the "release", a release in name only, basically.
 

Duh_TaleWorlds

Developer
so yeah, mods are still going to get broken by frequent updates even months after the "release", a release in name only, basically.
You can opt into a specific version (using steam beta branches) if you don't want to download a new update and just continue with your current setup.
 

Ehud

Recruit
I am very happy with this announcement. Really looking forward to the post-release updates, criminal empire and diplomacy stuff are the most needed imo.

As somebody else said, also troops and lords should make use of the new added equipment, to give them more personality and cooler looks. The cherry on the cake would be to improve the relation system with NPCs with some kind of nemesis system, but that's just me dreaming, maybe someday..

Thanks TW!!
 
@Duh_TaleWorlds @Dejan Will the banner creation (meaning the clan symbol, not physical flag itself) see any overhauls? It desperately needs more colour options , sigils/symbols and styling/background options such as chequered background, vertically split in the middle, cross background, etc.

Just to be extra clear, I mean these for "background options":

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@Dejan @Duh_TaleWorlds Sorry for tagging you again, but here's a big question: Is there a possibility of buffing armor protection against missiles or nerfing the damage of projectiles against armor for the release release or soon after the release?

This has been and still is an issue for the players and the community at large, even after the armor formula changes. The recent armor changes definitely helped survival but it inadvertently buffed ranged fire more by making it even better than melee attacks against armor. One especially big problem with the current protection of armor is that head and neck shots deal an absurd amount of damage even when kitted out with the best or close to the best armor sets. Even the athletics and bow perks that increase armor rating by 10% and which decrease projectile damage received by 10% respectively don't do enough for the character's survival. I'm not even going to talk about normal troops' battlefield sustain rates against even mid tier archers.

TL,DR: Please buff armor protection against ranged projectiles (except throwing knives and throwing axes).
 

Duh_TaleWorlds

Developer
@Dejan @Duh_TaleWorlds Sorry for tagging you again, but here's a big question: Is there a possibility of buffing armor protection against missiles or nerfing the damage of projectiles against armor for the release release or soon after the release?
I wouldn't expect such a change in the very near future.
 

Goyyyio

Sergeant
Yes very good. Are NPCs improved interactions, interesting companions management and dialogs, interesting clan member managements and dialogs coming as a DLC? Since that's what the community has been speaking about since EA release yet you guys barely touch the subject. Just saying, people are not saying "this game doesn't have a soul" just for the sake of it. Hope you guys come around this idea after release.
 
@Duh_TaleWorlds thank you for informing me. I know that devs avoid giving a time frame due to the fear of overpromising and under delivering, so I understand your reason for being vague about you not expecting it being changed in the "very near" future. We would however greatly appreciate it if you could please try to bring this subject up and discuss internally about improving armor protection against ranged damage in the not-that-near-but-still-nearish future.

It's really one of the biggest problems currently plaguing the game along with the lack of dialogues and interactions with Npcs, especially companions and family members, not having a (landline) messenger for hiring minor clans, lacking diplomacy and neverending war due to short-lasting peace and factions not being destroyed after losing all fiefs. The latter issues will most likely be much more time consuming with their additions, fixes and/or overhauls, so I'm only touching the subject of armor protection now, which seems much less time consuming to fix (since armor protection against melee is fine right now imo).
 

FireBlazinCandy

@Duh_TaleWorlds thank you for informing me. I know that devs avoid giving a time frame due to the fear of overpromising and under delivering, so I understand your reason for being vague about you not expecting it being changed in the "very near" future. We would however greatly appreciate it if you could please try to bring this subject up and discuss internally about improving armor protection against ranged damage in the not-that-near-but-still-nearish future.

It's really one of the biggest problems currently plaguing the game along with the lack of dialogues and interactions with Npcs, especially companions and family members, not having a (landline) messenger for hiring minor clans, lacking diplomacy and neverending war due to short-lasting peace and factions not being destroyed after losing all fiefs. The latter issues will most likely be much more time consuming with their additions, fixes and/or overhauls, so I'm only touching the subject of armor protection now, which seems much less time consuming to fix (since armor protection against melee is fine right now imo).

"We cannot give a specific or otherwise timeframe, but we will inform you when we believe it is ready." - Duh

You should know the reponse you're going to get by now.
 
I don't really care about a completely accurate response to be honest, as long as the devs know the players' outstanding complaints about armor protection and tell us that they have an intention of fixing it sometime soon, I'm fine about it. It's not like people crying and yelling on the forums makes their development process much faster anyways. If anything, it probably turns the devs away from checking the forums and communicating in order to escape the battery of verbal abuses.
 

Duh_TaleWorlds

Developer
We would however greatly appreciate it if you could please try to bring this subject up and discuss internally about improving armor protection against ranged damage in the not-that-near-but-still-nearish future.
I do, others do too. Afaik one challenge with this is that piercing damage is shared with spears as well.
 
I know, that's why I primarily suggest nerfing the damage of bows, crossbows, high tier javelins (harpoon and jereed for example) and maybe bolts & arrows rather than pierce damage as a whole. It's definitely easier to suggest something than actually changing it so I understand that it's not such a clear cut process.
 

Theodren

Recruit
Why is development being spent on a spectator mode when the servers can't go two games without crashing? @Dejan @Callum @Duh_TaleWorlds @anyoneplease
because the spectator mode will be one of the key element of the game for a lot of content creators, and a lot of us are really waiting for this. I am not a content creator but still very hyped for this feature because i would love to edit my adventures in a video.
I think Taleworlds is working on it "instead of fixing crashes" because a lot of players asked them to show their progress on this feature
 
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