Some Suggestions (that I hope isn't too far-reaching) 1.6.0+

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SadBlueberry

Recruit
I haven't played Bannerlord in about a year because I was busy with life and didn't have the time to bug test and offer feedback every step of the way. And I knew Bannerlord was in EA so I wanted to just show my support to TW by buying the game and letting it marinade in my library for a while. I have to say, I am not entirely unpleased by the progress that was made since its release on Steam as an EA.

Enough with the introduction though. There are a few trifles I have the game after trying it out again and I wanted to share another set of suggestions that I have. To clarify, I have not yet tried out every single new updated feature yet so if a suggestion I made has been implemented already, then feel free to shoot it down (but not in an unconstructive manner).

  1. Marriage
    • Ability to marry retainers/companions. Apart from expanding the existing marriage pool to wanderers, it should make some sense historically and in both the context of the Calradian world.
    • The player starts off as a lowborn. Being the offspring of parents who were the retainers of a low-level noble is still the same as being lowborn.
    • I know there are mods for this but this should be in the vanilla regardless. For a scummy mercenary/blacksmith/bandit to marry the daughter of a prominent fief-owning noble is scandalous. It would be like hearing about the princess of England having intimate relations and marrying the raggedy hobo who lives under the London bridge.
  2. Caravans/Trading
    • Organizing caravans should be a bigger feature as it lends to an extremely expansive different way of playing Bannerlord that was originally advertised
      • (advertised: making a living in Calradia doing whatever you want apart from splitting skulls)
    • What features I would like to see in this hypothetical Caravan Designer
      • Escort composition, including maintenance and upfront cost.
      • Trade goods. From the starting city to the last city in the route, what goods to buy/sell at each destination.
      • Choice to stop by villages to auto buy/sell materials from village destinations.
      • Ability to assign companions/retainers to lead a caravan. A companion/retainer's trading skill should also impact how effective the trading route is.
      • notification message once the route is finished to report the profits/losses made during each voyage.
    • Banditry and Extortions
      • It would be nice to caravans being extorted by the AI bandits and not have them battle every single time. That's not what happens historically. To bandits, it would be more profitable to get actual cold hard coins from a caravan that passes by routinely rather than outright killing the goose that lays the golden egg for a one time profit and some goods they would be unable to sell in an open market because they would be stolen goods. More on this below.
  3. Fief Development (and other fief stuff)
    • With the Battle Terrain System coming up, I thought it might be a good opportunity to revisit this feature that was cut (for some Godawful reason)
    • It doesn't have to be very complicated. Just have a bunch of preset placements for village/fief addons that the player can construct and develop to make some visible mark on the landscape apart from just painting the map in terms of territory.
    • Villages don't have to have the ability to turn into fortified castles. But the player should have the option of adding buildings that actually leave a mark on their land. Plus: It gives players a reason to visit their towns every once in a while.
    • They don't have to be overly complex buildings that disrupt siege mechanics. I have some examples of developments that should leave a visible difference in the appearance of a fief.
      • Palisades for a village. It makes little sense that a millionaire mercenary who owns a village that is constantly being raided would not build at least some kind of small fortification.
      • Paved roads. Some thing small but does no interference to existing mechanics at all. Such a feature can do a minor buff like increase productivity rate by x%
      • Upgrading Wooden walls to stone and wood composite walls. And from there to different kinds of wall fortifications and additions like towers and gatehouses.
        • Again, these don't have to customizable. Just preset placements for the case when such constructions are actually built.
      • Market/Bazaar upgrades
        • The towns in the game still look really dead and inorganic. Market places are filled with static dolls and it doesn't give the player a reason to really visit them in person.
        • The way I envision this is with the Market to change in appearance with varying levels of town prosperity. A rich market might be more bustling. More market stalls are manned. More colorful and clean. More guards standing by. A poor or destitute market would be grayer, more empty market stalls, less people milling about and more gangs in alleys and such.
      • Criminal Activities
        • This was made into a pretty big deal of a feature before Bannerlord's EA release as it was supposed to provide the player an alternative way to experience Calradia.
        • Gangs in a city ought to be dynamic but not just involve petty quarrels between gangs.
          • I understand that Calradia is modeled after post-mortem Roman Empire. However, by that time, people like Lepidus and Antony weren't around to completely run amok in a city without intervention.
        • There doesn't seem to be much point in being involved with the gangs at this point. But I have a few ideas to make it more interesting (while obeying the constraints of what I imagine to be feasible development efforts)
          • Controlling a gang in a city gives the player a portion of the profits that are made in a city.
          • A gang in a city can be wiped out or its presence decreased if the lord of the fief decides to crack down on crime.
          • A player who owns a city-holding should be able to see the impact of crime on their income earnings. And deciding to crack down on crime should also be a decision of cost to profit: whether the AI or the player decides that removing the nuisance that feeds off of the passive income is worth the profit that will be gained.
        • For players who want to live off of banditry and try the life of an outlaw, there ought to be the outright option to set up a base of operations that leaves a visible mark on the landscape so that players can live their Calradian fantasy of being a robber baron.
          • With Battle Terrain System coming soon, the way these bandit fortifications should be implemented is in the same way that I suggested dynamic fief development and management: through preset placements
          • It also would make better sense if AI bandits could set up camps and tiny bandit fortresses of their own in preset locations where routing parties of bandits can escape to after being defeated.
          • Historically, this makes sense as well (I'm not referring to Calradian lore). Bandits and rogues who were successful were not stupid to continue camping out in the open to continue their criminal activities. Yes, they were mobile and nomadic for the most part but not always. In special circumstances, some might extort trade routes which means that they set up a camp nearby to do just that.
        • Just another pointer to emphasize the point of using presets, presets, presets. Not everything has to be completely up to the player to design and create. But the gameplay ought to let the player have freedom. Freedom of gameplay does not mean letting the player place castles, forts and villages anywhere they want. Having preset creations for players to add-on and remove is a great way of giving freedom to the player to customize and experience Calradia in all of its potential glory without having to go the extra 1,000 miles to let the player place structures anywhere in the world.
  4. Companions/Retainers; Party/Clan Management stuff
    • I hope it is obvious by now that I have a certain dislike for the term "companion". You pay them money and they follow your orders. That makes them mercenaries but because of their special position, they are closer to retainer than they are to being "companions".
    • They should not be explicitly part of your clan. However, their special position as a retainer of your clan should allow them to be an extension of your clan.
    • I really dislike the term "clan" as well. Calradia is far past the era of chiefdoms and tribal rivalry. The only factions where such nomenclature would possibly be appropriate are the Khuzaits and the Battanids but even the Battanids are quite feudal and I only say that in reverence to their inspiration.
      • I get that this time period in Calradia is based off of the demise of the Roman Empire (or the Eastern Roman Empire?) but that is it; that is as far as the inspiration really goes. I don't dare to speak for all players but I would feel much more comfortable with the use of the word "House" than "Clan".
    • There should be a location for the player's family to reside in with upgrades to the clan that provides passive boosts to the player and its clan members and retainers. This would make it more satisfying to see the progress of a family grow as the lineage continues.
      • Perhaps even go so far as to upgrade (or downgrade) a player's family residence for passive boosts either visually or behind the scenes. Character development is looking pretty solid in Bannerlord. What about family development?
    • As families die off, there should be new ones to take their place.
      • Maybe from an existing pool of notables that reside in the fiefs the deceased family once owned? It would be very awkward if after several generations, the ruling families of Calradia were all related like the Habsburgs. In which case, TW ought to rename the game from Bannerlord to Incest Lord.
    • AI lords and clans should have their own auto-generated retainers that serve basically the same purpose as the players companions
      • As an alternative to making the AI lords recruit wanderers for retainers, just give them retainers automatically.
      • Have AI retainers lead parties around the map for bandit cleansing and patrols rather than making the AI lord and their family members do all the hard work
      • Also lends to another suggestion I made below about Arenas and Tournaments
  5. Customized Kingdom Troops/Troop upgrade and maintenance
    • It would be much more satisfying to outfit the hero's army by customizing their outfits and upgrades through some preset tree. Every faction has pretty much the same upgrade tree albeit different troops.
    • What I think would be doable is if the Player's customized troop tree is based off of their original culture (ie if the player was Vlandian, then their custom troop tree would be based off of the Vlandian Troop Tree progression).
    • The cost of troop upgrades should be the cost of their equipment minus whatever equipment is being swapped out. This is because the player/AI is doing the equipment upgrade for their soldiers rather than the soldiers upgrading their own equipment (which is what would happen historically. If a peasant could afford a mail shirt and a fancy sword, they would most likely upgrade themselves so that they don't die in the next battle wearing a linen tunic and wielding a wooden club)
  6. Gladiatorial Arenas/Tournaments
    • My main gripe about the current arenas is that it is just a jarring aberration in Calradia. People get javelins through their skull but "they are knocked out, not killed". There is blood all over the arena but nobody is dead. You can receive a skull crushing blow in the head by a two handed axe but be okay for another round of beating right after without waiting for a day.
    • There ought to be 5 types of "arenas" available to the player that actually reflect whether an opponent dies or whether they just get knocked out.
      • Archery shooting: shooting at targets. I haven't heard of shooting bolts from a crossbow at a person in the face or the neck and that person was still somehow alive. Or someone getting a javelin through the skull at point blank and somehow be okay. Maybe the Arena manager is misreporting deaths in the arena? That's a crime befitting capital punishment...Its safer to judge an archer's skill by how well they can hit a target made of wood and straw.
      • Current FFA arena but with wooden weapons and actual armor and no ranged weapons with metal tips. Hitting someone in the head with a wooden sword ought to play with the current mechanics of knocking someone out with a blunt weapon.
      • Gladiatorial duel arenas with auto generated named opponents (but not in the heroes directory). Bring your own equipment sort of deal with death being an actual possibility but at a reduced rate compared to the battlefield.
      • Gladiatorial FFA arenas. Choose your own equipment from an existing selection limited by a hard limit of "points" that cannot be changed. Includes armor and death being a real possibility but at a reduced rate.
      • Team Based Gladiatorial Arenas: Choose your own equipment from an existing selection that is limited by selection points and battle an opposing team using equipment
    • Arena events should be a limited number of times a day, preferably only 3 times a day.
      • The type of arena event being held should be different for each time. Example: On a Tuesday, the morning Arena event is Archery Shooting to show off local talented archers. The afternoon event features a gladiatorial duel and the evening event is a friendly FFA melee with wooden weapons.
      • After each arena event, the game ought to "fast forward" to the time of the next arena event to simulate the amount of time the event took to prepare, perform and clean up. While I can imagine the nightmare it would be for simulating the time consumed by field and siege battles, it is much more feasible for arenas since it can be programmed in a similar way that the player learns poems from bards.
    • When players get knocked out, they ought to be forced to rest for a day or two before being able to get ready for another round of arena beatings
    • Damage inflicted in combat arenas ought to effect the player outside of the area: if the player suffers an injury in arena combat, the player should carry that injury outside of the arena as well
    • Tournaments ought to be completely overhauled as well with the results being much more deadly and dangerous, as it actually was in real life.
      • Nobility often substituted themselves with a knight or warrior to represent them in a tournament. Much less effective for wooing a lady but still shows off the glory of your house.
      • Retainers/Companions should not automatically enter a tournament just because you accessed the event. You could, however, substitute yourself with a companion in a tournament and bet on them in the same way that a local noble would substitute themselves with a retainer to avoid getting killed in a tournament.
      • I don't know if this should be "Bring your own equipment" or "Select from a preset selection"
  7. Expansion on Rebellions
    • The addition of rebellions is really great! But I thought it should be expanded further by the auto-generation of new factions that depend on the circumstances of the rebellion
      • If the AI fief owner rebels, then there should be a possibility that the AI will form their own faction with the faction name coming from an existing pool of possible faction names for splinters but retaining the troop tree for the faction that the AI lord belongs to. (if a Sturgian lord rebels, then instead of making him join another empire, maybe the lord wants to form his own faction named Sturgia Plus but retains the troop tree of his holding's culture)
      • If a village rebels but has no holder, then the there should be a new clan auto generated from the most powerful notable in the village if the village decides not to join another kingdom but form their own faction with their troop tree being those of banditry, mercenaries and other minor factions. And should the village be reconquered, then just kill off the clan and place it under normal control. Another notable should have been generated to take the position that was vacated when the previous notable took up the rebellion.
    • This feature/mechanic would just make the world seem more dynamic with varying factions popping in and out of existence like an actual empire would be when it is reeling internally from quarrels between warlords. And this game takes place over several generations so it wouldn't be out of the norm to see Vlandia to be completely conquered by Battania but have it reemerge after a noble starts a rebellion.
That is it for now. I've spent way too much time on my Bannerlord wishlist. I hope the devs and other fans will read a bit and offer some feedback.
 

SadBlueberry

Recruit
I forgot to add another thing.

I heard that many families in Calradia marry each regardless of culture or family situation, which resulted in a huge cultural upset that basically breaks the immersion after only a few generations. Plus, if there is no continual introduction of new characters in the game, eventually everybody is related to each other and then it becomes the Habsburgs simulator.

I think this can be fixed with the introduction of AI retainers and minor nobles that don't show up on the radar. Male vassals of lower rank/power ought to marry either other female nobles of the same rank or lower.
  1. Introduce minor nobles for marriage if there is no suitable character within the same kingdom.
  2. Always have females marrying the same rank or up before resorting to introducing minor nobles. Female nobles should never marry down unless #3 goes last resort.
  3. Always have males trying to marry same rank or lower before resorting to introducing minor nobles or having them marry upwards.
  4. Marriages to foreign nobility should not happen unless there is a treaty between the two families
    • I know this is also not quite correct as historically, nobles did frequently intermarry
    • However, this was only more common in later medieval history when there were laws in place to prevent titles from passing out of a kingdom.
    • Allowing the families of different kingdoms to intermingle too much leads to strange results where everyone eventually becomes related. It is a relief that laws are not a part of Bannerlord (though it should be). And there are a limited number of factions that represent their own individual kingdom with a very limited number of notable nobility when in reality, there are usually a ton of nobles who would be eligible for marriage into the more notable nobility scene.
  5. The point of the above points is to provide continuation of families and to have clear distinctions of royal and noble lineage. In other words, it is to provide the player an experience that makes it seem like it is 'historical' when in fact, the rules of the game are a bit twisted behind the scenes so that the gameplay can reflect this experience. Calradia is a much smaller world than the continent of Europe.
 
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