Statement regarding Plans for Singleplayer and Engine III

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Lesbosisles

Knight
I suggest at least to have an option for it (player death in battle), otherwise, I don't see the heir system being used too often (if at all). By default it can be off and that's fine
I will immediately switch it ON. Maybe this will prevent me from being a medieval Rambo who gets knocked out after I rush into a bunch of enemy archers.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Not initially. We will evaluate that as well going forward.
As semi-related feedback, you guys already have an execution system for the player character but have it set with tight conditions and rarity that most people don't even know it exists.

It is something like a 2% if you're at -30 or lower relations with your capturer, something that simply won't be tripped in the course of a normal playthrough. Please loosen it up a bit, something like below -10 ("enemy" threshold) and 25%, so there is a tangible sense of risk being defeated in battle, rather than just annoyance.
 

danEN

Knight at Arms
WBM&BWF&SNWVC
Not initially. We will evaluate that as well going forward.
I get management want this game to be accessible for kids but why is there no challenge anywhere in the game, the only issues you face are money which is quickly overcome and troop counts. It's probably why the game is so boring to anyone with an IQ higher than 5, there's nothing to think about, you just brainlessly play

why does the game have to be so casual, we want challenge
 
I get management want this game to be accessible for kids but why is there no challenge anywhere in the game, the only issues you face are money which is quickly overcome and troop counts. It's probably why the game is so boring to anyone with an IQ higher than 5, there's nothing to think about, you just brainlessly play

why does the game have to be so casual, we want challenge
+1
 
I will immediately switch it ON. Maybe this will prevent me from being a medieval Rambo who gets knocked out after I rush into a bunch of enemy archers.

Yeah, I’d likewise have it on in all my play throughs. Having to be more careful and planning my succession are both really interesting.
 

dannazgu

Sergeant
Not initially. We will evaluate that as well going forward.
Thank your for your response...
I hope this get implemented since it would give much more flavor in gameplay and Roleplay for some players, (me especially of course, since i enjoy making up stories) and many other features too by the end of development
 

dannazgu

Sergeant
I will immediately switch it ON. Maybe this will prevent me from being a medieval Rambo who gets knocked out after I rush into a bunch of enemy archers.
Me too, I'd like some challenge at least in battles, since the idea first seem to the play be a commander instead a soldier at first.

And succession is important with this kind of thing, otherwise would take too long for anything to happen.

Now, would be great too have some risks in the succession with the player (controlled) avatar death, like some support for his child or other members of the clan for a kind of succession war. Like a system for support nor only votes
 

guiskj

Squire
I am also very interested in our Player character being in more danger of dying. Both as a way to create tension during gameplay, but also as a way to make the dynastic feature be worth something at all.

However, I do understand that it is a tough balance because in-world cohesion can clash with gameplay balance.

In my mind, in-world, the lower clan tier you are, the more likely that you'd be executed post-capture. Since you neither have the social status nor the money to make ransom something valuable for the capturer. But when the player is at the lower clan tier is when they are most likely to have a game over because all they have is their character and, if not playing sandbox, their brother.

At the other end, as the player's clan tier rises, in-world, it would make more sense that the player is almost never executed, as social status and money would dictate that ransom is the right course of action. This could remove a key sense of danger for the player and again make the dynastic feature irrelevant once more.

A constant chance of simply dying in battle has none of these issues, but it is itself a harsh balance. If it is just a random percentage, it will feel random and unfair. Not great gameplay. But if you give the player some agency in how to control the likelihood of dying, such as the armor you wear, or going into battle already wounded increasing the chances, and so on, you then have the tough balancing act of creating enough agency to make it fun but not enough to where the gaming community creates strategies that always mitigates the risk, circumventing the whole issue and bringing you back to where you started when the player could never die. Except the devs spent a whole bunch of time on feature that doesn't really impact gameplay.

Not an easy solve at all.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
I get management want this game to be accessible for kids but why is there no challenge anywhere in the game, the only issues you face are money which is quickly overcome and troop counts. It's probably why the game is so boring to anyone with an IQ higher than 5, there's nothing to think about, you just brainlessly play

why does the game have to be so casual, we want challenge
All the things that make Bannerlord even slightly challenging are also things complain about making it suck.
In my mind, in-world, the lower clan tier you are, the more likely that you'd be executed post-capture. Since you neither have the social status nor the money to make ransom something valuable for the capturer. But when the player is at the lower clan tier is when they are most likely to have a game over because all they have is their character and, if not playing sandbox, their brother.
You can take over as any adult in your clan, including companions.
 

guiskj

Squire
You can take over as any adult in your clan, including companions.
I did not know that. I have never had my main character die...

This makes one of my concerns a little less pressing, though it shifts some of the balance concern to making the Companions actually useful characters. But one can easily argue that this needs to happen anyway.
 

five bucks

Sergeant at Arms
All the things that make Bannerlord even slightly challenging are also things complain about making it suck.
Anything which involves running all over the map looking for someone, or relying on luck, or relying on grind, or using trial and error to find the exploit that allows you to break the economy/AI isn't the sort of challenge people are after.

Genuine challenge is opponents who are smart, a credible threat, and have very similar capabilities and resources to the player, and can be overcome through correct use of intuitive game mechanics which take skill to execute correctly.

To be fair I realize this is rare in singleplayer games in general, but Bannerlord can do a lot better than it's doing now at providing real skill-based satisfying challenge, instead of "challenge" which is tedious chores or luck-based frustration.
 
Genuine challenge is opponents who are smart, a credible threat, and have very similar capabilities and resources to the player, and can be overcome through correct use of intuitive game mechanics which take skill to execute correctly.
...providing real skill-based satisfying challenge, instead of "challenge" which is tedious chores or luck-based frustration.
It doesn't even matter if the enemies have fair resources and stats, as long as they present varied challenges for different player skill levels.
But the rest is spot on and it should be part of the design philosophy of any game designer - particularly the one who is supposed to be experienced and is supposed to know what his players want. The RNG stuff in Bannerlord forcing players to savescum is clearly newbie design that shouldn't have been in the game from the start.
 
Anything which involves running all over the map looking for someone, or relying on luck, or relying on grind, or using trial and error to find the exploit that allows you to break the economy/AI isn't the sort of challenge people are after.

Genuine challenge is opponents who are smart, a credible threat, and have very similar capabilities and resources to the player, and can be overcome through correct use of intuitive game mechanics which take skill to execute correctly.

To be fair I realize this is rare in singleplayer games in general, but Bannerlord can do a lot better than it's doing now at providing real skill-based satisfying challenge, instead of "challenge" which is tedious chores or luck-based frustration.
👏 Well said.
 

Ulfhedinn

Sergeant
Anything which involves running all over the map looking for someone, or relying on luck, or relying on grind, or using trial and error to find the exploit that allows you to break the economy/AI isn't the sort of challenge people are after.

Genuine challenge is opponents who are smart, a credible threat, and have very similar capabilities and resources to the player, and can be overcome through correct use of intuitive game mechanics which take skill to execute correctly.

To be fair I realize this is rare in singleplayer games in general, but Bannerlord can do a lot better than it's doing now at providing real skill-based satisfying challenge, instead of "challenge" which is tedious chores or luck-based frustration.
+1
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Anything which involves running all over the map looking for someone, or relying on luck, or relying on grind, or using trial and error to find the exploit that allows you to break the economy/AI isn't the sort of challenge people are after.
Stuff like looters having rocks that do damage through armor keeps coming up, even though it is pretty low damage overall and almost 100% avoidable. It is a low-bar challenge to deal with but it damages the sense of progression because people don't want a challenge; they want the power fantasy of effortlessly killing through masses of inferior troops without risk.

Warband did it that way and people enjoyed it. Warband also allowed players to draw effectively infinite reserves of manpower and turn them into top-tier killers in a week by mid-game. The economy of Warband was basically "here's your free money." And that's fine.

But it isn't challenging and dudes pretending it was are lying to themselves and very likely to be up here saying "this sucks, I feel like the game is forcing me to play a certain way" a few weeks later.
Genuine challenge is opponents who are smart, a credible threat, and have very similar capabilities and resources to the player, and can be overcome through correct use of intuitive game mechanics which take skill to execute correctly.

To be fair I realize this is rare in singleplayer games in general, but Bannerlord can do a lot better than it's doing now at providing real skill-based satisfying challenge, instead of "challenge" which is tedious chores or luck-based frustration.
To be clear, I don't think Mount and Blade is a game that is (broadly speaking) improved by adding challenge, regardless of the nature of it.

Like, for example, back when snowballing was the big thing, I tweaked a few numbers and formulas involving war decs against the largest/most powerful faction and it worked pretty well to curb that. In fact, it worked way too ****ing well: as a player kingdom, the AI would recognize your faction's strength pretty well ("player-like AI" as mexxico put it elsewhere) and absolutely dogpile the **** out of you, exactly as you would to the top faction. Waiting for you to be involved in multiple wars, war-deccing you, then targeting settlements less on distance and more based on perceived weakness. Well, exactly what I do to weaken large factions; I can't remember if @Ananda_The_Destroyer does/did similar and I've never seen @Flesson19 stream something like that.

I never posted about it because actually playing through that was almost the least fun I've had in a Mount and Blade title -- and I once spent 4.5 hours dropping overhands continuously during a siege defense at 12-18 FPS (😭🔫), so that's saying a lot. Having the AI beat the **** out of you isn't really fun in M&B because the AI doesn't care if it loses its party five times in a row, has to chase a half dozen companions all over the map or gets its "home" fief taken away then given to another clan when they recapture it. It is certainly a challenge that you can overcome if you play smart, but "play smart" also becomes synonymous with limiting player options. And the outcome of losing all the progress you made was -- to me, at least -- not a fun feeling. My first thought was, "****, gotta grind all those sieges again."
The RNG stuff in Bannerlord forcing players to savescum is clearly newbie design that shouldn't have been in the game from the start.
The persuasion check is really easy in the late game and not really that difficult earlier if you boost relations past 20 + have one or two positive traits + have Charm above 100.
 
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froggyluv

Grandmaster Knight
NW
Stuff like looters having rocks that do damage through armor keeps coming up, even though it is pretty low damage overall and almost 100% avoidable. It is a low-bar challenge to deal with but it damages the sense of progression because people don't want a challenge; they want the power fantasy of effortlessly killing through masses of inferior troops without risk.

Warband did it that way and people enjoyed it.

My kids tolerate toast for breakfast and dont complain -dont mean they wouldnt prefer Pancakes everyday. People tolerate it - doesnt mean they enjoy the grind or wouldnt prefer a new advanced Looter AI which did varied things like throwing rocks down from boulders or trees or used new team tactics or anything new really. People will tolerate what they are used to - how many First Person Shooters have a very simple AI in which enemies use the same old sub-routines like charge the player -since the days of Doom. People tolerated that enemy AI as what they are used to. Then came the Half-Life Marines and later FEAR soldiers who did all kinds of interesting tactics - fair to say that to this day that AI is heralded as triumphant and innovative and you'll never hear a person say "That was too hard -i prefer the the DOOM AI that just charge you and you shoot them because its easier and I feel godly".

Anything which involves running all over the map looking for someone, or relying on luck, or relying on grind, or using trial and error to find the exploit that allows you to break the economy/AI isn't the sort of challenge people are after.

Genuine challenge is opponents who are smart, a credible threat, and have very similar capabilities and resources to the player, and can be overcome through correct use of intuitive game mechanics which take skill to execute correctly.

To be fair I realize this is rare in singleplayer games in general, but Bannerlord can do a lot better than it's doing now at providing real skill-based satisfying challenge, instead of "challenge" which is tedious chores or luck-based frustration.

Absolutely spot on.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
My kids tolerate toast for breakfast and dont complain -dont mean they wouldnt prefer Pancakes everyday. People tolerate it - doesnt mean they enjoy the grind or wouldnt prefer a new advanced Looter AI which did varied things like throwing rocks down from boulders or trees or used new team tactics or anything new really.
Bull****, people ***** about 9 points of damage against an HP pool of 100+ on this forum. If looters could actually body rock their full-blown parties, people would ****ing howl.

edit: It would add to the relentless grind of an already grindy game to have looters regularly killing people's troops in training.
 
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five bucks

Sergeant at Arms
Stuff like looters having rocks that do damage through armor keeps coming up, even though it is pretty low damage overall and almost 100% avoidable. It is a low-bar challenge to deal with but it damages the sense of progression because people don't want a challenge; they want the power fantasy of effortlessly killing through masses of inferior troops without risk.
We complain about armor being weak in general (not just vs. the masterwork looter stones) because it makes battles too short, is bad for balance between types of troop, is blatantly unrealistic and makes no sense considering how much high tier armor costs. Looters are the most obvious example, is all.
In addition, it makes higher-tier troops less challenging opponents. It flattens the difficulty curve of the game.

Just because people don't want to be challenged by T0 enemies once they're wearing endgame gear doesn't mean they don't want to be challenged at all; they want to move onto bigger challenges. Looters should only be a challenge in the very early game. They're meant to be the weakest possible thing besides farmers.

What I want to be challenged by in the late game, while wearing my high tier armor and using my strong weapon, is an enemy noble troop or lord who has effective armor (that I can't oneshot while riding by with my glaive), a highly damaging weapon as well (instead of a stab polearm they're too stupid to use correctly), and combat skills vaguely comparable to mine (right now even T5 troops only use something like 35% of the weapon stats iirc). Yes there is an element of power fantasy when you chop your way through T1 troops to get to them, but power fantasy and genuine challenge can exist in the same game.
Warband also allowed players to draw effectively infinite reserves of manpower and turn them into top-tier killers in a week by mid-game. The economy of Warband was basically "here's your free money." And that's fine. But it isn't challenging and dudes pretending it was are lying to themselves
Was Warband actually mentioned in the particular discussion you're quoting?
There's a middle ground between "get Swadian Knights in a week" and "take a year to get T5 troops unless you cheese a Stewardship perk".
To be clear, I don't think Mount and Blade is a game that is (broadly speaking) improved by adding challenge, regardless of the nature of it.
I think most people are going to disagree with this. The core of games is challenge. A game with no challenge at all where you just grind your way to an eventual fully painted map is boring. A game with a reasonable amount of challenge where you can pat yourself on the back for playing well and improving at the intuitive mechanics is fun and "rewarding".
Back when snowballing was the big thing, I tweaked a few numbers and formulas involving war decs against the largest/most powerful faction and it worked pretty well to curb that. In fact, it worked way too ****ing well: as a player kingdom, the AI would recognize your faction's strength pretty well ("player-like AI" as mexxico put it elsewhere) and absolutely dogpile the **** out of you, exactly as you would to the top faction. Waiting for you to be involved in multiple wars, war-deccing you, then targeting settlements less on distance and more based on perceived weakness.

Actually playing through that was almost the least fun I've had in a Mount and Blade title. Having the AI beat the **** out of you isn't really fun in M&B because the AI doesn't care if it loses its party five times in a row, has to chase a half dozen companions all over the map or gets its "home" fief taken away then given to another clan when they recapture it. And the outcome of losing all the progress you made was -- to me, at least -- not a fun feeling. My first thought was, "****, gotta grind all those sieges again."
Here's the problem in that line of thinking. My argument is that Bannerlord is full of luck or grind, that people would like replaced with genuine challenge.

Your counterargument is that Bannerlord in its current state, with genuine challenge added to the current mix of luck and grind, wasn't fun for you.

Of course not, but I said "similar resources to the player" and "intuitive game mechanics".

Bannerlord AI gets various cheats. They don't have to personally track down mercenaries and vassals, instead contacting them over their Linkedin cellphones. They get a core of free troops back if their army is wiped out. IIRC, they don't have to provide warhorses for troop upgrades still, and wouldn't have pre 1.5.8. Etc. So if you give them comparative intelligence to the player without fixing the problems the player has to go through and they don't, of course they're going to feel massively unfair to deal with.

When it comes to intuitive game mechanics, the player still lacks the ability to do things that make sense to deal with the problems the AI can throw at them, like send their parties to guard/attack a particular location which they know would help, or directly invest into rebuilding their villages after enemy raids, or send patrols out of their castles to hunt down bandits, or covertly recruit lords to their faction before openly declaring independence. Options for skillful gameplay. Having fiefs taken and given to other clans is another thing which falls under the umbrella of random luck-based bull**** that people complain about and would like to be replaced with actual challenge.
 
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froggyluv

Grandmaster Knight
NW
Bull****, people ***** about 9 points of damage against an HP pool of 100+ on this forum. If looters could actually body rock their full-blown parties, people would ****ing howl.

edit: It would add to the relentless grind of an already grindy game to have looters regularly killing people's troops in training.
“People” complain about all sides of an issue. Lowest common denominator don’t equal good development planning. Your to binary to debate. Lol check your histrionics
 
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Bull****, people ***** about 9 points of damage against an HP pool of 100+ on this forum. If looters could actually body rock their full-blown parties, people would ****ing howl.

edit: It would add to the relentless grind of an already grindy game to have looters regularly killing people's troops in training.
Because sometimes there's a pack of 20+ looters and 1/2 of them bombard you with stones at max distance and it can kill your horse while you're trying to slowly shoot them to death with the starter bow.
If they had like 4 rocks instead of 14, it'd be fine. If they didn't throw from such long distance it'd be fine. If it were 10 or less looters it'd be fine.
Once you have even a few troops it's fine because you can just damage spike them!
But this an acute complaint about a common situation when you start the game that annoys many players and it's in TW's interest to consider it before full release. Why are looters the best throwers in the game? Why are there so many looters in the first days of the game? Why do they need so many stones and not say 4 or 5? In a normal fight the only get to use 1 or 2, only when they catch the player alone in a much larger group to they get to use all that ammo.

SO it's wrong to say "people ***** about 9 points of damage against an HP pool of 100+ on this forum" because that is too broad of a complaint and seems unreasonable out of the context of the primary acute complaint that is very reasonable and concerning.

I'm sure if you try you can dig up me saying how I killed a garrison alone and the peasants with rocks were to hardest part because of the chip damage building up over time, but even that is just to illustrate the disparity between just having any ranged weapons versus normal infantry being fodder and also the absurdity of the blunt damage formula and the armor formulas. It's never as simple as "It's too much damage".

Well, exactly what I do to weaken large factions; I can't remember if @Ananda_The_Destroyer does
When snow balling was an issue I start defeating thier (the khuzaits) parties almost immediately to slow them from getting bigger. Later I always target the strongest faction to maintain more of a balance and prevent strong overly rich enemies in the future. I use the lone clan status for the early and mid game so I never have more then one main faction enemy at once. When I switch to kingdom I'm set up to rapidly recruit clans and land them so there's very little time frame for enemies to try to over power me. However the lack of options and vassal control makes switching to kingdom a dubious decision anyways other then just "because". You could probably just let one faction get big and strong and just join them with all your fiefs and it'd be effectively the same as making you own super faction. I haven't done it but I'd guess.

I haven't had any endgames in 1.6, until significant additions/changes are made to the mid/late game I'd rather play 10X 300 day games then 1 long one.
 
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