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Steam review could not handle this wall of text so I will try to post it here also the suggestions are at the end. Enjoy.

So this game is more of a Grindbox right now than Sandbox, You can do a lot of things that are fun but you will need hundreds of hours to start doing realy fun things that you can unlock by some perks.
If you enjoyed Warband with all it's flaws you will also enjoy Bannerlord, because it's basicaly the same game with new mechanics and broken leveling system.
I am posting a review just to point flaws that in my opinion should really be adressed in EA period. Reveiw itself will be updated alongside game being updated and as I approach new systems that are in the game.

My story so far:
For over 20 hours of gameplay I was hoping to make a trading empire in the end I leveled up only in skills I was not intereseted in, ended on level 10 and with not a single skill reaching 100 mark. While one other faction already consumed over half of the map. My reaction is WTF? I had 6 caravans, 4 workshops, over 200k in gold and if not my initiative to start trading myself I would have stayed on trading level 35. I really would like to test that "trading settlements" perk but watching how slowly other skills are progressing even with high multipliers I doubt that I will be able to unlock it like ever... Even though I had a lot of money I had nothing to do with it. I had great equipment, powerfull party, all workshops and caravans were operating. Oh wait. There was one thing I could still spend my money on! Since I reached 3rt tier of my clan one faction instantly declared war to me even if I did not have any settlements or my own kingdom. Cool right?. I could spend 30k on ending the war but beside that I can't think about anything worth spending money on.
I even tried gifting 100k gold to a lord. I did not get a single reputation point for that.

Leveling overall:
+ Finally a system that does not requie you to compete with your own army for kills to get exp. since you level up by leveling your skills. Yeaaah!
+ Every skill now has a cap that is calculated based on focus points invested in a certain skill and it's base attribute. Every focus point increases cap by 30 and you are only able to put 5 of those for a total 150 cap in that single skill. Now every attribut point above 1 adds 10 points to a cap to all skills that are connected to that attribute.
+ To gain focus points and attribute points you will need to level up your character: 1 focus point is gained every level and 1 attribute point is gained every 3 levels(if I made mistake here I am sorry)
+ Every skill has it's own set of perks that are unlocked every 25 points(single perk or combination of 2 to choose from)
+ Every skill gets an XP multiplier! It's based on a gap between your current skill level and max cap. So the lower is your skill and the more you can advance it the multiplier is higher! Awesome! You can go even to multipliers like x8 or x10 for a single skill!

So far so good but let's do a quick calculation: if you have a skill with no focus points and it's base attribute is at value 2 and you would like to achieve 300 in that skill it would require you to get around 39-45 levels to unlock 13-15 attribute points and you would still be left with hours of grind to even advance to that 300+ cap. Why I say grind? Please continue reading.

Every level requires you to level up more skills than the last one, also every skill level requires MORE EXPERIENCE than the last one. So leveling your character will be more of a chore with every level you gain and you will feel it badly depending on all factors: your multipliers will wear off with skills being developed, skills will require a lot more exp to get to the next level and the levels themselves will require a lot more skills than the last. In the end everything will just feel like it's crawling and one enormous grind. And I can't imagine just siting for over 20 hours with a game and not being able to progress in any skill over 100(bugged or not) with multipliers of x8 or x10 assigned to them... When every Companion, Lord or even your advanced soldiers have more skills in anything than your hero in his main skills...

Social tree:
- Charm: I found this skill is getting like some experience for doing some fedex quests with the same dialogue lines and... That's it. You will have to fully gind your way throug it since after a 4-5 quests I had my skill increase from 25 to 28 while having a multiplier of 5. I can't even think how it will look like on higher levels. To visualize it I spent about 30minutes to level up this skill on very low level by 3 points wiht high multiplier. How much will it take to level it from 299 to 300? I rather spent that time watching the paint dry.
- Leadership: Even when keeping morale above 90 and having a party of 60+ fully trained warriors I can't recall that skill even getting experience. I got 1 level(from 25 to 26 having 150+ cap and high multiplier) in it and I don't even know for what. So no exp in here for you if you are not leading "Armies" I suppose.
- Trading: I was wondering how is it possible that even though I sold over 100k worth of goods and battle loot I did not earn a single point in that skill... Well the game has it magic couter that keeps track of goods you buy and at what price, then what goods are sold and the difference between two(profit) is converted to exp. BRILLIANT! So I started true trading, moving from city to city, village to village, I got hundreds of stacks of good and was even able to level my Trading a bit, but then it stopped working... Reading comments I found that this magic counter of goods gets a reset every time you load you game. So all my stacks of goods now are worth 0exp since I reloaded the game at some point. I thought that meaby caravans or workshops will bring me some exp? Well they only bring some passive income and no exp so leveling using trading right now is a dead end. Devs should consider either improving that mechanic to work properly or just give player experience for all the goods that are sold above average price. Including caravans and workshops to exp earn wolud be nice addition and is even in a skill description >managing caravans< wink wink?
This sums up whole Social skill tree. Grind or bugs and almost no experience earned.

Intelligence tree:
-Steward: most probably instead of developing your city you will just get a bunch of food with you and the skill will improve all by itself. This skill would have been leadership instead since I got it for just simply managing my army. Beside that I could not find a use for it yet.
+Medicine: works just as intended you go to battles you get skills for healing you hero and troops, even if it is slow as hell, It... Works...
-Engeneering: there is no option to level it beside siedges or I did not find any other way. It would be nice to meaby fortify camps for a night to get some exp in it? Building something for quest givers or just simply building traps/machines for bandit hideouts and wear them off before approaching(those hideouts are a nightmare...)? I tried using my 35 skill on a siege. Before I was able to build a camp enemy already has built 6 contraptions. So every single siege machine I finished building was instantly destroyed taking a few lives of my fully upgraded soldiers. Now you see why we should have more options of developing it outside the sieges?
And that it is for Intelligence. So if you plan leveling using this tree you can count on Steward and Healing but even that with multipliers is slow... Slow... Slow and getting slower by every level.

And one skill I am going to cover is:
-Smithing: Idea of smithing itself is really fun. Choosing parts for weapon of your choice, Tweaking some values and then you see... Your skill is 10 and difficulty is 40. So you check the available parts again and see that it's the base for all the weapons: 40 difficulty for the simplest sword. Ok. So you start refining materials and scrapping unwanted weapons and this is the point when you realize how broken this system is. No matter how much materials you have or how much multiplier in that skill you have you are only able to refine up to 6-8 items a day before you will have to rest for a day to restore your stamina... This means that after fighting for over 15 hours of your time and collecting loot from your enemies you will have to spend at least few more real time hours smelting/refining and then waiting in town for you stamina to regenerate, so you can smelt another 6 items to get exp amout worth of nothing. Again... Again... And again... Does this sound like a fun mechanic to you? I dropped it after 10 ingame days because I was tired of switching screens between smelting and waiting. Not seeing my stamina anywhere beside smithing UI while resting, getting exp worth of nothing and still having over 500 items to smelt(and additional 500 charcoal to refine before that) I just sold that junk to the traders and forgot that a skill named Blacksmithing ever existed.

And here my overall thoughts on perks:
Fun perks are mostly blocked in the end of the skill tracks(buying out settlements, having more companions, crafting legendary weapons) and would work better when combined with other trees(steward and ledership, trading and steward) but leveling a single skill is a chore after first few levels and I am afraid to even think how is endgame going to look like. Especialy if you decide to combine skills from 2 attribute ranges(eg. trading and steward) that is over 50-60 levels to get skill caps to around 300.

Now is a question: Why should I even invest in perks that relates to workshops?
They bring less money than caravans and have worse cap than them(clan tier 3 you can have 6 caravans and 4 workshops) and here is the trick... What if you would unlock perks related only to caravans and one perk that gives you companion for every settlement that you own... Now you have your own faction and get all settlements to yourself. Do you see a connection yet? Dozens of caravans vs 6 workshops(i think workshops are tied to your clan tier)? But of course this is only hypotesis and I am not going to spend another 5 years of my life grinding experience to unlock that combination. Would I like to test it? Yes dammit! Having game with so many systems I have an urge to test my ideas and have fun with the game and not spend another hundred hours grinding single skills.

Here is my feedback and ideas to the devs how they can approach some systems to make them more fun:
> Remove the staminna for smithing. Collecting resources, grinding experience to level it up, randomized parts unlocks are punishment enough. Not to mention that it requires you to spend focus points and attributes to even start with it in the first place.
> If you really want your players to have fun with all the system you give us please give option to reset our perks, focus points and attributes to base values. And it could be a fun system in itself. If you reset you wolud have all your attibutes back to base value of 2, and restore all focus points but don't lose any point in skills... Why? Because they can be blocked by a cap. So even if you had 300 sword fighting and do a reset having no focus points in it and no attributes points assigned to it: would mean that you have 15 points in that skill. That would also reset perks blocking players from unlocking them until the cap is raised again.
> Or at least give us option to switch between perks on the same track somehow. The game even in it's current state has a lot of mechanics so new players will be lost and develop whatever perk they have and with the time passing by they will find themselves in a spot where their character progression is lackig and after invested hours they can't do anythig to fix it even a bit.
> Leveling skills need an overhaul. Skills based on their usage should have different exp levels or get more experience for certain actions. Multiplier could be based on max cap (and not the difference between actual skill level and cap), so some grinding is mitigated with that. Then you would be able only to tweak required exp values for next levels to make it more plaesant and smooth experience overall.
> Split trading goods and food in the inventory so they would have their own categories, and give players option to select what their army can eat and what is for trading.
> Option to automaticaly sell slaves on entering cities or option to sell them should be pinned to main city screen. I just can't recall how many times I needed to backtrack to the city just because I forgot to sell them...
> Option to either recruit or enslave slaves from defeated parties. That could also award exp in roguery.
> Do something with bandit hideouts. It's impossible to beat a hidieout with 40 bandits while being able to take only 7-8 soldiers with you(and not even the best ones...)
> Meaby add trainers as money sinks? They would allow players to spend money to allow players speed up development of their characters?
> Give attribute point every 2 levles so players can really spread wings with character development and tinker a bit with that perks system, find synergies between skills and perks etc.


+1 for allowing us to select which items an army can use for food. It's irritating to have my army drain my beer kegs while I am moving around the map looking for buyers. Thieves should lose their fingers.


+1 for allowing us to select which items an army can use for food. It's irritating to have my army drain my beer kegs while I am moving around the map looking for buyers. Thieves should lose their fingers.
That's a great suggestion!! :smile:
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