Some general feedback about the game as a whole

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Calabanar

Sergeant at Arms
This game is a very bad copy of "Civilization", like many others. TW has created a massive combat system that works quite well. But they never knew how to make a game...

For me there are two options:

- either they make a 100% management game, but I think it will remain a sub-game, a pale copy of great games, and therefore necessarily soporific, this is the way you are proposing,

- or they keep the current framework to make a very large RPG, a real narrative game with the originality of massive fights to pass the stages of the story. Game over, or continuation of the episode. Everything is there to do it. But you have to go all the way artistically.

It would be original, but it requires them to expand their artistic team. This is my proposal.

I don't like management games, for me they are not games, but simulations of our own alienation at work (lol).
They have everything to make a great RPG. They are going to make us an "under-civilization", like Total War, Europa... ****...
I 100% disagree.

M&B is a blend of multiple genres, including RPG. It shouldn't try to be fit in one genre in particular.
 

geala

Sergeant at Arms
OP, I mostly agree with you, that's the reason I usually try to avoid late game play. And more or less the same problems I had in Warband which might have been better a bit in some political relation stuff (on the other hand had the Marshall system which annoyed me to no end) but on the whole was hollow later on too. I think that this is deeply ingrained in the fundamental M + B system. On the other hand, most games become stale after a certain stage, so it's not an exceptional fate.
 

Nawari

Regular
diplomacy is minimalist,
the marriage system does not add anything to the game-play,
the political system has no notable consequence, we end up forgetting it,
the system of interactions between clans is very minimalist,
the system of interactions between nobles is non-existent.

In this game, there are only battles that have been thought out and achieved. Everything else is just an illusion.

You can deny. These are facts. All of these systems are badly made. Many of the AI's decisions remain obscure making objective gamers look suspicious at every progression in the game.

This game is very inconsistent in terms of "management".
The economic system is very minimalist and brings little to the gameplay.

The cities are dead, nothing happens there.
Taverns are useless.
NPCs in towns are useless.

The main campaign is totally meaningless.

I am a former Warban player, what we could forgive in the first opus, all the same imperfections that we find in Bannerlord, are today unforgivable.
 

Nawari

Regular
I am going to give a more detailed, argued and above all "documented" opinion, facts, facts, facts.

It's not about saying "is the game good" "yes" "no".
It's about saying, "What is this game?" "How can we play it?" "What do we do during the game?" "What are the different ways to play?" And, finally, a subjective opinion on "Why do we find the game both interesting and boring?" "Why do we call this game a 'skeleton game'? "What do we think is missing to make a good Bannerlord game?"

Already, to start, there are four generic ways to play:

- a "campaign" mode,
- a "sandbox" mode,
- a "battle" mode,
- a multiplayer mode.

The battle mode:

We will only talk here about the "campaign" and "sandbox" mode. The battle games did not catch our attention even if "we" (me and many friends) spent hours there, it is not in our opinion the heart of the game. If the battles are truly a success , we did not find a great "strategic" interest in it. The battle modalities are quite limited, it is difficult to develop clever strategies, on the other hand we can have fun doing fun experiments by mixing the troops, doing grandiose fights with a thousand troops... It's fun , but that's not what caught our attention the most. We fought more battles playing the "campaign" or playing in "sandbox", than on the specialized mode.

The battles themselves:

This is undoubtedly the greatest achievement of this game even if many criticisms are made by players who like to "calculate everything". Galloping in the middle of the fray while cutting, stabbing, piercing the opposing troops, it must be admitted that it is quite exciting. At the beginning... Because we expected more than that like many other players.
Why ?

Character creation and the big map:

Already, when we read the "advertisement" made on Steam, we could believe that we will discover a detailed Universe, RPG, an epic Universe with a real "lore", maybe even a story, memorable quests, or simply an atmosphere a "soul", a spirit, a dark world where war reigns permanently, moving, dark or funny NPCs (npc), secret points, points of interest, mysteries...
There is none of that. We are former Mount and Blade Warband players, we were impatiently waiting for this new opus. We thought Taleworld would take a leap forward, give us a livelier world than Warband was... Warband, we were sorry, because it was a small studio production, and the game mechanics didn It wasn't perfect, but there was, with the battles, something new, an interesting new game proposal even if incomplete and sometimes a little "wobbly".
We thought then that Bannerlord would progress towards a more dreamlike, more epic world, to compensate for what was the weakness of Warband, a great feeling of loneliness, if I may say so. The game was cold, very cold, only the mods had managed to break through the ice, and even then, not always.


What is Bannerlord's progress?

Bannerlord offers us a game very close to "Warband", with the same problem of lack of life, spirit, "soul", environment... Neither lore, nor point of interest, nor RPG proposal, in revenge, better graphics, "better-tuned" battles, some interesting gameplay intros with weddings.

You can lead, it is true, a dynasty over several generations.

Campaign mode

When you play the campaign mode, you are effectively led to create your own dynasty. The problem is that after a few hours of play, you realize that you will repeat the same actions a lot:

- do very uninteresting mini-quests, we expected more from this second opus,
- browse a large map for hours without having randomized events, as a result, it's quickly boring, not to say "irritating", "irritating", to become totally schizophrenic so much at the same time the game is sometimes pleasant ( when playing a crucial battle for example for the expansion of our Kingdom), as it can too often be "painful" because "not fun at all to walk around on a large map where there are no d interests, nor of unforeseeable events,

The diplomacy part:
it is currently in a "larval" state, the options are:
- you can convert an opposing lord to your cause and ask him to join your kingdom,
- you can offer influence points to improve your relations with a clan of your faction,
- you can donate money to improve your relations with a clan,
- you can improve your relations with a clan through marriage but it won't have a lot of consequences on the course of the game,
- you can improve your relations with a clan by helping them during a battle or a siege,
- you can improve your relations with a clan by voting for it in political decisions.

But this "economy" of influence is very quickly mastered. It is such a visible mechanism that it quickly loses interest. Something is missing in this game for this economy of influence to cause specific events. You can, thanks to your "reputation", another important DATA, become the King of your faction. This fame, you build it thanks to all the actions you carry out, winning fights, successful small quests, destroyed bandit bases, etc.

All this mechanics, we already knew it with Warband.


With hindsight, the movement system on the map, even though we are only masters of a single troop or army (the other troops are autonomous), is useless or of little use.
We are in a bad version of the game "Civilization", or we are in a bad version of a medieval fantasy RPG.
It lacks all the options of a management game:
- the management of the cities is very basic and does not present any interest, you put a governor, money, the city develops, and that's it... nothing happens, neither randomized events, nor anything. .. Life in the cities is almost non-existent. There are many NPCs, but they hardly speak, repeat all the same words everywhere. There is no work on the dialogues. Nothing. There are no notable NPCs and no amusing dialogues. Cities are dead. No creative effort has been made, and like in the first game, the cities are meaningless.

- the management of your kingdom seems to be more complex, but it is only an illusion. When your "dynasty" has developed (let's imagine that you are in the third generation, children and grandchildren), you will certainly have some difficulty knowing what to do with all these cherubim.
They grow up. You marry them. You have a big family. To do what ? Nothing in particular. For now, with version 1.8.0, this dynasty is only used to have "companions" whose characteristics you choose yourself from birth. So what ? Will you tell me... And that's a good question... So what? Ben... nothing... It has no playful interest. It makes no sense, neither "spiritual", nor "fun", nor "nothing". We end up with a big family but we don't know what to do with it.

The interactions :
As we said, NPCs are "living dead", they have nothing to say, they bring no story, no exciting quests (just repetitive "mini-quests").
The interactions with the other clans are summarized in the dialogues with 5 or 6 propositions, always the same, and without any "narrative" interest or Role Play. These dialogues are only useful for the overly visible and overly simplistic "mechanics" of the game.
The interactions between characters are therefore absolutely tasteless and repetitive. No character has been planned to surprise us. No randomized event to surprise the player with an NPC that could bring us a touch of humor, poetry, mystery, or other... nothing.
The whole "RPG" dimension has been completely abandoned, like for Warband, which gives the impression of sucking a bone. We have a game skeleton and all the wrapping is missing.
We had already felt that with "Warband", but at the time, this game brought us something new: grandiose battles in a totally original medieval world even if already poor in Role Play information. It was forgivable, it was a first version.
This game called itself a "sandbox game". But the options for "building your Kingdom" were quite short: management of oversimplified cities (a kind of pale and very bad copy of "Civilization" in terms of "politics", economy, diplomacy, and management of the cited). We thought then that with Bannerlord, Taleworld would free itself from the bad choices made in Warband (either to make a totally management game, or to make a totally "RPG" game), but they came back with a "bastard" game, neither management, neither "sandbox", nor "RPG", just a pretext to fight battles with 1000 troops.
In short, they made no choice and came back with a relatively unfinished game.

They have made some improvements since the release of the first Early Access version of Bannerlord:
- on scientific calculations on the strength of the troops, without any great playful interests but it interests a small niche of players,
- on the aesthetics of armor,
- on the rebellions in the cities,
- on marriages and the birth of children,
- on the battle maps (the large map is squared with different battle "minimaps"),
- many bugs have been fixed,
- some balances have been made concerning diplomacy but the game mechanics are still as limited,
- the mini-quests are still repetitive and uninteresting.

In short, there were no major changes in the mechanics of the game.

The "RPG" dimension of the game is totally neglected in favor of a small niche of players who are only interested in battles.
The global "strategic" dimension on the map is totally an illusion, and all the mechanics of the game would only be of interest if, implicitly, we were following a "story", a scenario, in an elaborate world with a lore rich and many surprises. But all that does not exist, there remains only a cold mechanics without "souls".

The "campaign" does not bring any "RPG" dimension.

The "sandbox" part offers too few ways to build your Kingdom, manage your city... You control almost nothing.

The battle part: TW could have sold the game without a map, without a Sandbox part and without a campaign, it would have been more honest, because ultimately it's the only successful dimension in this game.

Multiplayer mode: if you like playing with a slew of skills, if you like "FPS", if you like playing with many possibilities, go your way. No, the multiplayer is a bit "outdated"...

This game is very cold. It's a game without souls, without stories, therefore all the repetitive actions quickly become heavy.

TW forgot that what made it possible to accept repetitive actions, the artistic and narrative coating.

So there is a somewhat paradoxical, somewhat schizophrenic feeling, both an attachment to a game full of promise, and anger at false promises and false announcements.
In resume, a very bad simulation game. This game has disappointed thousands of players.
 
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Calabanar

Sergeant at Arms
Warband was nothing without mods... I don't pay a game to have bad mods to play.
Disagree there again, although it might just be a consequence of playing it since my early teens.

Completely agree with your detailed criticism for the most part.
 

Nawari

Regular
In resume, a very bad simulation game
Disagree there again, although it might just be a consequence of playing it since my early teens.

Completely agree with your detailed criticism for the most part.
In summary, the background of my thought is that they could have released a "battle game" without maps, campaign and sandbox, it would have been more honest. TW would have sold it for less but got less reviews. They could have focused on what they do best: battles and sieges. And on the other hand, they could have let a good team continue to work on other games with maps or / and RPGs, calmly while bringing in a little money. In short, release a series of "good little games" rather than a prank. In short, working with their means... To please them and us...
 
In resume, a very bad simulation game

In summary, the background of my thought is that they could have released a "battle game" without maps, campaign and sandbox, it would have been more honest. TW would have sold it for less but got less reviews. They could have focused on what they do best: battles and sieges. And on the other hand, they could have let a good team continue to work on other games with maps or / and RPGs, calmly while bringing in a little money. In short, release a series of "good little games" rather than a prank. In short, working with their means... To please them and us...
I totally agree . unless they work on events development and and relations actually being important and bring some plotting spies/assassins you catch my drift CK lite. The game a the moment is just a battle simulator and the rest is very weak gameplay wise. I love bannerlord but more the idea of what it could be. Almost every bannerlord youtuber talks about this unit a this stat but it should be better because this unit as this stat 😴. The ones who get the views are the ones who make up a story and roleplay the character but thats not in the game they make up for what the game is lacking a developing story that's different every time you play that can be achieved by random events world/prisoner/lord/king and being able to spy and plot and hire assassins . An rpg's these days that have been drummed down to stat management and that's just lazy.
 

Calabanar

Sergeant at Arms
In resume, a very bad simulation game

In summary, the background of my thought is that they could have released a "battle game" without maps, campaign and sandbox, it would have been more honest. TW would have sold it for less but got less reviews. They could have focused on what they do best: battles and sieges. And on the other hand, they could have let a good team continue to work on other games with maps or / and RPGs, calmly while bringing in a little money. In short, release a series of "good little games" rather than a prank. In short, working with their means... To please them and us...
Ah, I understand what you meant now.

And agree on the principle, although I'm still glad there's the potential and tools for modders... it's just a shame the most important expectations are on them and not the devs.

Frankly, I wish TW had been more experimental with the EA...
 

Nawari

Regular
Ah, I understand what you meant now.

And agree on the principle, although I'm still glad there's the potential and tools for modders... it's just a shame the most important expectations are on them and not the devs.

Frankly, I wish TW had been more experimental with the EA...
EAs are often scams.
 
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