Scaling bandit party size with player level is bad design + solution

Do you want bandits to spawn dynamically based on settlement prosperity?

  • Yes.

    Votes: 27 79.4%
  • No.

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • There are better ways to solve the issue.

    Votes: 6 17.6%

  • Total voters

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Scaling up bandit parties with the player's level is ok, early on. It only becomes a problem when bandit parties become massive, on the order of bandit armies. Taleworlds needs to institute a cap on bandit party size. I think a max size of 30 seems reasonable.
This x1000

Looters and Bandits should never be able to form large warband sized Parties. It's totally ridiculous to see what's essentially a small Army of 90 or 150 Looters at times. Where did all the hobos come from? And who's leading them? Spartacus?

I think Looters should technically be Clan Tier 0, only able to field 20 Troops or so. And Bandits being a little more organized should be capped at Clan Tier 1, only able to field 40 Troops or so.

It's one thing if many small bands are roaming an area. You can attribute that to "high crime rate". But when you've got actual warbands of Looters/Brigands that couldn't logically even supply themselves with Food - it makes no sense that they could exist. Also be nice to see Bandits/Looters raid Villages too.

Personally I think Bandits should only spawn from Hideouts (not sure if this is the case already). So if you're vigilant you can at least keep your lands relatively safe. Might not be a bad idea to make Manhunters a thing again.

Also I feel like Looters should only spawn from Raided Villages. That would make raiding potentially more devastating - as not only are you hampering production/recruitment, but you're also making the territory more hazardous in general. It's just odd all these hobos keep appearing out of thin air. Shouldn't there be some actual causal effects that spawn them?

Only problem I see with this is Looters are essential to early grind. Though I think Bannerlord relies too much on grinding mechanics. Should be other ways to train up low-tier troops without slaughtering 1000s of hobos.

Bonus - spawns seem a little ridiculous still:

I've seen truly ridiculous amounts of Steppe Bandits out in Western Khuzait lands, unfortunately no screen cap.


I'd prefer if bandits are based on battles and raids. There would be a base number at game start and depending on how many raids on villages or battles in the area, more bandit bands would be created. There should also be a limit on number of bands, once the number of bandit bands are met new ones are created with much larger numbers. Types could depend on the location of battles, raids and open -looters, forest, mountain, coast -sea raiders, etc. Having deserters would also be nice.

If there's a lot of war, bandits would be all over the place. Where as peaceful areas would have fewer bandits.


So, here's the problem. I'm 400+ days into my campaign and banditry is absolutely wrecking Calradia. The more the game progresses, the harder it is for villagers, caravans and lords to live. Why? Apparently, there is a mechanic that scales bandit parties according to the player level. Essentially, this means that the entire world has to suffer more simply because some random player guy is leveling up. I can elaborate on a few issues that this mechanic brings up and why it's bad design:

1. Bandits are cheating units, while the rest of the parties have to work their way to power in more natural manners. Let's take lord parties as an example: notables produce units, and it takes time to train them, all that WHILE the numbers of notables/settlement depends on prosperity; thus, the number of units produced per settlement is reasonably dynamic. In order for lord parties to grow, they have to recruit directly from these settlements, and then take time to train their units in battles. Now, if you ask, how bandit parties evolve? They just puke units out of nowhere, and the more you level up, the harder it is for the AI lords to deal with it. Lord parties will always tend to be very weak mid to late game because they expend their precious troops (which have been produced dynamically) on cheated bandit parties.
2. The mechanic was (supposedly) designed to pose a challenge to you, but it does not achieve its goal. By mid-game you'll be running around with 100+ elite troops around the map, and nothing the bandits can cheat at you will be a challenge.
3. If you intend to police the world in order to make the roads safer for caravans, you're hopeless. That's because:
a. It gets boring and repetitive really fast;
b. Your actions don't matter at all. You can destroy as many parties as you want, but they will cheat more, stronger and bigger parties as you level up. At some point, you just give up and ignore bandits altogether.
4. Only the player can destroy hideouts, and that's horrible. I genuinely tried to reduce the bandit spawns by destroying as many hideouts I can, but I quickly understood that it's like playing whack-a-mole. More and more hideouts will pop around the world, and you alone cannot do anything to stop it from happening. Like in the previous case, it also gets repetitive and boring. The world map will eventually be filled with hideouts and the AI won't do anything about them.
5. Villager parties are hopeless. In the early stages of the game, you're used to seeing 30-40 big villager parties. In mid-game, these parties are down to ~15 in size, and it will only get worse. While villagers take time to recover and grow their parties, bandits don't care, because they're cheated.
6. Owning caravans gets too unfeasible. Early game, they're able to defend themselves reasonably well, but from mid-game, it starts to feel like the wheel of luck, because banditry is out of control.

All these point to bad or lazy design, but I thought about some changes that could be made to the system. The goal is to spawn bandits dynamically and make them play by the same rules, just as the other AI. In short: no cheating units.
- The player level will not matter anymore in bandit spawn behavior;
- Bandits will spawn dynamically, based on settlement prosperity. The idea is simple. Low settlement prosperity = higher chance to spawn a bandit party from that settlement. The lower the prosperity, the more and bigger parties are spawned. Higher prosperity settlements would still spawn bandits but at lower rates and smaller in size. This means that wars, and not cheating, will influence the security of a kingdom. If kingdom X has not been able to defend its settlements from kingdom Y village raids, then kingdom X will end up with more bandits on the roads. This is simple, dynamic and makes all the sense.
- Bandits will have to level up their troops in battle.
- AI lords will also clean up hideouts.

- Add the option to enlist settlement patrols for the AI, and the player;
- Bring back the manhunters, and allow them to raid hideouts. The manhunters would also spawn from settlements with low prosperity, but at lower rates than bandits.

@mexxico Sorry for the ping, but I feel that this cannot be left as it is. Please bring up the issue if you have the possibility.
Good point!
Does Taleworlds ever reply to these kond of posts?


Sergeant at Arms
Can we just have a total of max looter party 100 from 5 - 20 looters(hostile to villagers), for beginning early game and for when you escape from being a prisoner to rebuild your army (farm). 20 max party from 20 - 40 looters, for when your army gets to big but still to farm (hostile to caravan and other lords). 10 max party of 60 - 80 looters for challenge to lord patrolling the lands (not hostile to caravan). 15 max party for special bandits such as sea raiders, forest bandits, steep bandits, tundra, etc. 8 - 20 bandits (their already well equipped).
And it will be like that for the rest of your game. By the time your super high level and have a huge army all the looters and bandit would just run away from you like flies.


i just don understand how when i try to chase a caravan it has 6.3 speed and i can't possible catch up unless i lock it in a corner. but some random forest bandits can just rape my caravans. how big a group does it have to be to take down 35 elite guards led by some guy with 75 tactic? how did they catch with that big of a group of only infantry?


Even if I do agree with op, I won't also deny that it is so amusing to see Steppe bandits become a bigger problem for Khuzaits than Southern & Northern Empire and Sturgians combined. TW, please don't fix this.


I don't see why anyone would be interested in seeing the developers spend a great deal of time and effort to add bloated and negligible mechanics to the game. There are much better things they can be working on than coding a sociology thesis into the bandit mechanics. The current system could just be tweaked a little: Bandits spawn a little less, peasants spawn a little more, caravans are a little tougher, dopey AI lords avoid bandit parties if they are weak, and/or etc. I personally would love some crazy complex bandit/justice content, but modders can (and likely will) do all of that stuff ten times over. I would rather the developers strive to make the base game mechanics and features lean and efficient. I'm not saying this is a bad idea, but maybe that effort would be best spent elsewhere.


Sergeant at Arms

I think bandit inflation is fine - it is a game mechanic that seeks to keep the game challenging as the player develops and grows.

The issue for me is that trade parties don't have the ability to grow with inflation. This means that after the player reaches a certain level, caravans become a pointless money sink that don't recover their investment - and same goes for AI caravans - they become so prone to loss that it impacts on the economy. In the real world, if it becomes more dangerous to trade, you make the trade more secure.

I made a couple of suggestions here that we need to address the issue of trade caravans not keeping up with bandit inflation.


Grandmaster Knight
Even if I do agree with op, I won't also deny that it is so amusing to see Steppe bandits become a bigger problem for Khuzaits than Southern & Northern Empire and Sturgians combined. TW, please don't fix this.
Bruh, I was coming outta Odokh after sending my brother off with a starter party and he was already captured.

Can't have **** on the steppes.
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