Starting game with a kingdom. Balance issue. Saved by the poor A.I.

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Yeah, another game balance thread. This kind of has a specific setting though.
Did you have an early game kingdom? If so, what is your experience about early game balance?

I started the game with realistic damage (to me and my troops) and Bannerlord difficulty.
Yes, that's supposed to make the game hard.

I started the game with one castle. I don't know if you can start game with a castle in vanilla or if this option is because of Cultured Start -mod. Because this is my second game and both have been with Cultured Start. I played Warband a lot, so I have some knowledge what to do.

Yes I have mods, but they are mostly just quality of life improving ones.
I had an edge too, because I used a mod to save my previous game's main character, and loaded him: he was level 26 at the start of this game.

About a year game-time, I had traveled Calradia's continent almost around (started from the Aserai region, didn't go as north as Sturgia), and I get attacked by the kingdom in whose region my castle is located: the Aserai. Their strength is over 7000, my one castle kingdom's strength with four parties (mine and three of my clan members) was around 600.

Luckily I and my clan members' parties were near my castle when they declared war on us. I manage to get us all in the castle, just when the enemy comes with over 1200 men army. And they have a LOT of elite troops. My troops naturally aren't yet nearly as good. I reloaded the save, and tried a battle outside the castle: their strength was about five times (as I recall) greater than my army's strength, no matter what I did, lost every time. Not even close to winning. My troops were too much underdogs.

But I was saved by the poor, or stupid, enemy AI. They attacked my castle with only a gate breaker and ladders. And we won. Why didn't they use attack towers? We would have lost. Why no siege engines? They surely were better in engineering than my engineer.

Alright, sigh. Saved.

Then right after the first army, comes second, a bit smaller, over 1000 men. They do the same mistake: only a gate breaker and ladders.

Saved again. But only because the AI was very, very stupid and I was very, very lucky to be near my home castle. And yeah, now I have upper hand, and took one of their towns (and seems can take more). But only because I was lucky and A.I. was stupid.

Anyhow, I found the start was very unbalanced this way.

Oh, and looters! Battles against them are so boring. I took a mod "No Bandits No Cry" because the vanilla looter mobs were push overs. Now the looter mobs are often around 100 men, and they STILL are push overs, and they always attack. Never have I seen them defend. And they attack almost to last men, suiciding against my archer heavy troops. Stupid. Boring. Only the forest and sea bandits in very large numbers can kill a few of my troops, but they too have zero intelligence in tactics. Zero.
 

Askorti

Master Knight
WB
Having your own kingdom is an end-game endeavor that you are supposed to strive for in a long campaign. Having one from the very beginning, with the help of a mod no less, is obviously not going to be in any way balanced.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Yeah, another game balance thread. This kind of has a specific setting though.
Did you have an early game kingdom? If so, what is your experience about early game balance?
I got thrown in the dumpster because both the Northern and Southern Empires declared war on me, took both of my castles and made my town revolt by keeping the villages permanently raided. The only way to get them to stop was to pay ruinous amounts of tribute that I literally could not afford, so I gave up on that save.

Obviously, YMMV.
Oh, and looters! Battles against them are so boring. I took a mod "No Bandits No Cry" because the vanilla looter mobs were push overs. Now the looter mobs are often around 100 men, and they STILL are push overs, and they always attack. Never have I seen them defend. And they attack almost to last men, suiciding against my archer heavy troops. Stupid. Boring. Only the forest and sea bandits in very large numbers can kill a few of my troops, but they too have zero intelligence in tactics. Zero.
If they don't have a party leader with at least 100 Tactics (IIRC, it has been awhile since I checked) the AI will only ever charge you.
 
Having your own kingdom is an end-game endeavor that you are supposed to strive for in a long campaign. Having one from the very beginning, with the help of a mod no less, is obviously not going to be in any way balanced.
But why not?
It's an easy job to read the human player troops strength, and adjust the opposing kingdoms strengh.
Could even let the player do the adjusting, when he/she selects the game difficulty.

They do support mods, and as mods can give you a kingdom to start with, or troops, it didn't occur to Taleworlds someone enables a start like this? Nor have they seen mods doing it?

Well, luckily I was balanced by the poor enemy AI, and got a good start. Emphasis on luckily.
 

Askorti

Master Knight
WB
But why not?
It's an easy job to read the human player troops strength, and adjust the opposing kingdoms strengh.
Could even let the player do the adjusting, when he/she selects the game difficulty.

They do support mods, and as mods can give you a kingdom to start with, or troops, it didn't occur to Taleworlds someone enables a start like this? Nor have they seen mods doing it?

Well, luckily I was balanced by the poor enemy AI, and got a good start. Emphasis on luckily.
why should TW make changes to accomodate a specific mod? it should be the mod itself that allows you to balance the changes it made to the game. Such an ass-backwards way of thinking.
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Grandmaster Knight
I don't know if you can start game with a castle in vanilla or if this option is because of Cultured Start -mod.
It's from the mod options.
About a year game-time, I had traveled Calradia's continent almost around (started from the Aserai region, didn't go as north as Sturgia), and I get attacked by the kingdom in whose region my castle is located: the Aserai.
Nobody should be able to attack you if you haven't started a faction (by talking to your governor). I don't know if you did this or or the mod did it, but a year would be a unheard of amount of time to not be attacked if you started as a faction leader. This is actually very forgiving and could easily be switched to forced kingdom creation when you own/take a fief as independent if TW wanted to make the game more difficult.
I played Warband a lot, so I have some knowledge what to do.
In warband you will be attacked and treated as ruler/faction as soon as you claim a fief independently.
But I was saved by the poor, or stupid, enemy AI. They attacked my castle with only a gate breaker and ladders. And we won. Why didn't they use attack towers? We would have lost. Why no siege engines? They surely were better in engineering than my engineer.

Alright, sigh. Saved.

Then right after the first army, comes second, a bit smaller, over 1000 men. They do the same mistake: only a gate breaker and ladders.
Yeah they think they should be able to bull their way in with that many, if you were to attack that way with that many you surely would. How did they lose exactly, did you kill so many that they routed?

Anyhow, I found the start was very unbalanced this way.
Yeah it isn't balanced and it's un-clear what TW's intention is for starting a faction. However your mod also created a situation not available normally. Normally you would need to take a fief by force or join a faction at rank 2 + to get a fief, so you would likely be more experienced and know how many troops the AI can field.

As for them being bad in the siege, yeah they're pretty bad. You're still kind of lucky to repel them though, the live siege defense is actually not that favoring to the defenders. But the AI has been made to undervalue the player's forces in a siege so this also effect them attacking with less advantage then normal.

It's an easy job to read the human player troops strength, and adjust the opposing kingdoms strengh.
TW made them NOT value the player's troops at full power for sieges. Before they would just go wherever you weren't and be very annoying.
Could even let the player do the adjusting, when he/she selects the game difficulty.
It could be possible, as warband had a separate difficulty for campaign that resulted in AI having many more high tier troops if cranked up. However, the original idea in Bannerlord was for the AI to behave more in line with the player and so this isn't compatible. But, TW has added more and more bandages to the AI to make it easier on them to keep perpetual armies, so maybe they could add these setting too.

Oh, and looters! Battles against them are so boring
They're not something you would typically fight after a couple hours of the game. You can avoid them altogether if you know what you're doing and build up in a more convenient and profitable way.
 

Emperor1997

Knight
TW made them NOT value the player's troops at full power for sieges. Before they would just go wherever you weren't and be very annoying.
Really?, as soon as I join my fiefs with my 500 top tier troops, the AI goes to another target, I think TaleWorlds should lock AI armies, when they want to besiege something.
 

swally0ne

Veteran
Why didn't they use attack towers?
The length and preparation on a siege depends on the numbers and the power level/odds. if attacking ai outpowers the defence a lot, they tend to not bring in siege engines.
the ai does not calculate a player-ai battle where they have to struggle with all of the issues non-simulated sieges do have (pathfinding, placement, tactics). the ai calculates on a simulated siege.
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Grandmaster Knight
Really?, as soon as I join my fiefs with my 500 top tier troops, the AI goes to another target, I think TaleWorlds should lock AI armies, when they want to besiege something.
Yes, they announced it when they changed it. They can still go to another target though. It probably only sees the players party as weaker and not clan parties/army, not sure though. I agree they should get locked in too but "oh no you're going to do means things to the AI" yes, yes I would! I will anyways!
 
In warband you will be attacked and treated as ruler/faction as soon as you claim a fief independently.
Sure, as you rebel, or conquer someone's castle. BUT you have had time to get yourself a high tier army. If in Bannerlord you START as a kingdom, you have an army of beginners.

In Warband I played the Viking Conquest map, and if I rebelled a kingdom located on Ireland, I usually conquered my first castle from England. And vice versa. Then it lasted a long time before your former lord's armies came after you, and usually not big forces. That was easy. Once I rebelled a kingdom that located on the same island, right next to me, and it was the strongest kingdom at a time. That was hard, they came with big force.


They're not something you would typically fight after a couple hours of the game. You can avoid them altogether if you know what you're doing and build up in a more convenient and profitable way.
Typically in vanilla maybe, as the looter parties are so small. But what would be more fun way to make money than battles? Tournaments maybe?

As I increased bandit parties much bigger, they are a good source of loot and prisoners (money). And the way to train inexperienced troops.

I also have BUTR's Player Switcher mod, that allows me to change to which ever clan's party is attacked. And as bandits are quite a challenge now to caravans, I always play my caravan when bandits attack them.

I think sizeable bandit armies are very useful, but they are very boring and very easy to player's full size party. You can just tell your infantry and archers go attack them, grab a cup of coffee/tea/whatever and it was an easy victory.
 
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why should TW make changes to accomodate a specific mod? it should be the mod itself that allows you to balance the changes it made to the game. Such an ass-backwards way of thinking.
Why? Obviously to offer better gaming experience.

Modders don't know how to do everything. Also they don't necessarily think so far, and may lose interest to their mod pretty soon, and never come back.

As it's not hard to take account player's strength (his army, possible kingdom), the game could offer more balanced start to which ever mod that changes campaign.

I know if I was in charge of the game development, I would give players tools to adjust the campaign.
 
They did. That's why there are mods like Cultured Start to begin with.
Ahaa, so Taleworlds is to blame the unbalanced start as a kingdom then?

And no, maybe they gave MODDERS tools to change campaign start. But that's not a tool for a PLAYER to ADJUST the campaign.
 
Why? Obviously to offer better gaming experience.

Modders don't know how to do everything. Also they don't necessarily think so far, and may lose interest to their mod pretty soon, and never come back.

As it's not hard to take account player's strength (his army, possible kingdom), the game could offer more balanced start to which ever mod that changes campaign.

I know if I was in charge of the game development, I would give players tools to adjust the campaign.

The modder is deciding to alter the game. He should alter it in a way that minor grievances like the one you're posting would be avoided.

And you, as mod-user should expect small inconveniences like these when you're using game-altering mods.

Modders are not the developers of the game, they can and want to only do so much to it. You, as a player should respect that.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Ahaa, so Taleworlds is to blame the unbalanced start as a kingdom then?
Yes. They intentionally made starting as a kingdom too early into losing proposition.
And no, maybe they gave MODDERS tools to change campaign start. But that's not a tool for a PLAYER to ADJUST the campaign.
Yes, it is.

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Yes. They intentionally made starting as a too early into losing proposition.

Yes, it is.
Diplomacy offers some choises, but I can't see there anything that would make starting as a kingdom more of a choise to go with. (Maybe, if that war cooldown stops all wars for a couple of game years, it would enable getting more professional army).
And as it is a mod, only a fraction of people use it.
And I for example could not, although would have liked to, as it caused a conflict or was grayed, I don't recall which was it, but could not use it.

And that's one big problem when you do it with mods: conflicts and instability. And even strange unseen behavior. I had to drop away more than half a dozen mods, because of conflicts, and one because strange behavior which ruined my 1st game (my clan kept leaving my kingdom: yeah, really weird).
I do favor using mods, wouldn't play the game without them, but IMHO mods should be more about content than adding quality of life features that really should be in the base game (like adjusting the campaign).
 
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Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Diplomacy offers some choises, but I can't see there anything that would make starting as a kingdom more of a choise to go with.
And as it is a mod, only a fraction of people use it.
So is Cultured Start, the only way to begin the game with your own kingdom.

At any rate, it allows weak kingdoms to have alliances with other kingdoms to help stay afloat.
And that's one big problem when you do it with mods: conflicts and instability. And even strange unseen behavior. I had to drop away more than half a dozen mods, because of conflicts, and one because strange behavior which ruined my 1st game (my clan kept leaving my kingdom: yeah, really weird).
I do favor using mods, wouldn't play the game without them, but IMHO mods should be more about content than adding quality of life features that really should be in the base game (like adjusting the campaign).
Yeah, well TW already said that they intended an independent kingdom to be a lategame/endgame kinda thing. They aren't going to add in levers for a strictly modded start. They already gave the easy recruiting option, which should be enough to stuff a garrison with hundreds of troops in a short time.
 
The modder is deciding to alter the game. He should alter it in a way that minor grievances like the one you're posting would be avoided.

And you, as mod-user should expect small inconveniences like these when you're using game-altering mods.

Modders are not the developers of the game, they can and want to only do so much to it. You, as a player should respect that.
You call it a "minor grievance" when all the other kingdoms have about 6 to 10 towns, 10 castles, dozen or more clans, and full of elite soldiers, and you have one castle and one clan with newbie soldiers?

Like said in the first comment, my kingdom and armies would have been goners FOR SURE if I had not been in my castle and they had sabotaged their own assault.

It's not a small grievance, it's a freaking huge problem.
 
You call it a "minor grievance" when all the other kingdoms have about 6 to 10 towns, 10 castles, dozen or more clans, and full of elite soldiers, and you have one castle and one clan with newbie soldiers?

Like said in the first comment, my kingdom and armies would have been goners FOR SURE if I had not been in my castle and they had sabotaged their own assault.

It's not a small grievance, it's a freaking huge problem.

So if I were to buy a 2007 Volkswagen Golf and cut the springs in half and take the shocks out from under it. Would I then complain to Volkswagen that the car was scraping over every bump?

There is a reason you don't start with a castle, clan and kingdom. Because you'd get ****ed everywhere you'd go. You have to build up relations, clans, companion parties and slowly get fiefs as a vassel until you're strong enough to leave the nest.

It's a huge problem because you're making it so.
 

Ichon

Sergeant at Arms
Sure, as you rebel, or conquer someone's castle. BUT you have had time to get yourself a high tier army. If in Bannerlord you START as a kingdom, you have an army of beginners.

In Warband I played the Viking Conquest map, and if I rebelled a kingdom located on Ireland, I usually conquered my first castle from England. And vice versa. Then it lasted a long time before your former lord's armies came after you, and usually not big forces. That was easy. Once I rebelled a kingdom that located on the same island, right next to me, and it was the strongest kingdom at a time. That was hard, they came with big force.



Typically in vanilla maybe, as the looter parties are so small. But what would be more fun way to make money than battles? Tournaments maybe?

As I increased bandit parties much bigger, they are a good source of loot and prisoners (money). And the way to train inexperienced troops.

I also have BUTR's Player Switcher mod, that allows me to change to which ever clan's party is attacked. And as bandits are quite a challenge now to caravans, I always play my caravan when bandits attack them.

I think sizeable bandit armies are very useful, but they are very boring and very easy to player's full size party. You can just tell your infantry and archers go attack them, grab a cup of coffee/tea/whatever and it was an easy victory.

Hopefully Rogue and Bandit playstyles will increase- also an option as minor clan to become unofficial caravan protector- sending out fast parties which extort caravans but also must patrol to protect caravan after it pays.

Currently as a Bandit you can take over a single Hideout, ideally eventually you can conquer multiple Hideouts which will function just like castles while having to dominate both gang leaders in a town to take over the black market side of the town which brings in some income but also suffers a lot during wars, sieges, and raids to give the player some reason to take sides among the official kingdoms.

As for OP- not sure why after a year they didn't have a strong army? Year is a long time in game to built up high tier troops. It can take longer to develop good stewardship skill for large party sizes, also for the companions but if you start in that mod with your own kingdom- does it allow you to adjust policies and recruit minor clans?

Without knowing the details it is hard to know the balance but considering in vanilla BL that a weak faction ruling a single fief would probably be wiped out in a couple of weeks by 2-3 neighboring kingdoms I'd guess that mod made quite a few changes to AI behavior to allow a start with castle already owned.
 
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