The approach to MP has failed, and what could be done to revive it

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AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
One advantage TW do have (agree with it or not) is the EA tag. When a game releases from EA it effectively gets a second release day on steam; gets the big front page header and everyone will start talking about it again.

It's a golden (and possibly final) opportunity for TW to get the ball rolling for Bannerlord MP.

Bannerlord SP seems to have a relatively strong and stable playerbase. Sure it can/should be improved - but it's not showing any signs of decline.
 

Wulfric

Master Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
It's amusing how the OP couldn't identify any of the actual problems MP has. Before anyone asks, all of them have been thoroughly discussed over the years, in threads that have long been buried in this forum section or in the archives somewhere.
 

Roy1012

Banned
It's amusing how the OP couldn't identify any of the actual problems MP has. Before anyone asks, all of them have been thoroughly discussed over the years, in threads that have long been buried in this forum section or in the archives somewhere.
Did you read it? He listed 6 of them, the main six lmao (obvs there are more than 6)
 

Orion

Still Not Worthy
Global Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNW
There will never be a competitive scene with Bannerlord. It’s too far gone. A game that came out 3 years ago can’t have a competitive scene when it never did in the first place. Maybe a revival of a cult following that once was (I have no doubt NW competitive could return if it was attempted), but for a game that nobody or plays, it will be an uphill battle to get any traction going.
This is probably true. It's no coincidence that the largest, longest-running, and most legitimate tournament series for BL has been run by veterans of Warband tournaments, and tournaments which haven't been run by such people have fallen apart, were one-offs, or are finally getting through their growing pains only to find that there aren't enough people or teams to fill a bracket. This is not entirely the fault of these hosts, and Warband had similar situations. However, the environment provided by TW was different at the time.

Warband's competitive scene had ups and downs with patches during its nascency, but the time table for updates & receptiveness to feedback meant that no problem remained an obstacle for terribly long. The playerbase steadily grew during early access, and continued to do so until a while after release just as you'd expect from a healthy game.

Bannerlord has not fared so well, and the initial surge of players is all but gone. The new players who want to learn how to host events & run tournaments haven't had the benefit of a stable or growing population to participate or provide feedback. The glacial pace of updates has made all mechanical & balance issues long-standing ones, and delayed the release of features critical for competitive play (duel mode, premade team vs team lobbies, custom servers & game modes). Those that do host get discouraged after lackluster engagement, or are wrapped up in damaging drama that only perpetuates because there are no alternatives.

There is little incentive for hosts of events of any kind to continue putting effort into this title, and the likelihood of new blood picking up the reins is low because there is nearly no new blood. Even if they did, their potential scale is severely limited, and it follows that the subset of participants who would provide the feedback that drives innovation in tournaments is also reduced.

To say the approach to MP "hasn't worked" is like saying a race horse that trips out of the gate & breaks its neck "did not finish." Technically correct, but it doesn't paint quite the same picture.
 

Wulfric

Master Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Did you read it? He listed 6 of them, the main six lmao (obvs there are more than 6)
All of them are consequences of the actual problems, not problems themselves with the exception of the game being "too expensive" which is a ridiculous proposition.

For instance, "lack of players" is a consequence of poorly made design decisions, the solution for which is not to decrease the price to draw in more people but to fix the underlying issues which will naturally attract more players.
 
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five bucks

Knight
All of them are consequences of the actual problems, not problems themselves with the exception of the game being "too expensive" which is a ridiculous proposition.

For instance, "lack of players" is a consequence of poorly made design decisions, the solution for which is not to decrease the price to draw in more people but to fix the underlying issues which will naturally attract more players.
I don't necessarily disagree with the rest of your post, but saying the game is too expensive isn't ridiculous at all. There are a lot of F2P PC multiplayer games out there nowadays - Team Fortress 2, CS:GO, LoL, DotA 2, PUBG, Lost Ark, Apex, MIR4, PoE, Warframe, Destiny 2, War Thunder, the list goes on and on and on - that are all very successful and the most played games on Steam, while ones that cost $50 USD are far less common, and have much smaller playercounts. For a hell of a lot of PC gamers who just get pocket money, $50 USD is a big barrier to entry.

Therefore I think it is quite reasonable to say that the game's MP portion could stand to be cheaper to draw in more players. In addition to fixing the underlying gameplay issues.

Since there's nothing else to be said, perhaps you could give us another explanation of the underlying problems with MP and how to fix them.
 
They can perhaps sell MP cheaper as separate game and fund the MP development through that income. Right now MP is dead mostly because of stability issues such as crashes, performance problems etc.
If those issues are properly solved, it will be very easy to make content since TW has great map tools and modding support.
So far whenever they give us a new map every 6 months, that map crashes crazy and has performance issues. They actually have many maps ready even in game files for MP from the start, but they are too unstable to release I bet.

Right now they don't care about MP, because %95 of playerbase is in SP and they just focus on where the money is. But by ignoring MP far too long, MP player base has grown so small and even many veterans quit the game, it might be too late to revive.
 

Younes

Grandmaster Knight
WBWF&SNWVC
They can perhaps sell MP cheaper as separate game and fund the MP development through that income. Right now MP is dead mostly because of stability issues such as crashes, performance problems etc.
If those issues are properly solved, it will be very easy to make content since TW has great map tools and modding support.
So far whenever they give us a new map every 6 months, that map crashes crazy and has performance issues. They actually have many maps ready even in game files for MP from the start, but they are too unstable to release I bet.

Right now they don't care about MP, because %95 of playerbase is in SP and they just focus on where the money is. But by ignoring MP far too long, MP player base has grown so small and even many veterans quit the game, it might be too late to revive.
How exactly do you believe they would sell the MP? Anyone who wants to buy the MP would have to basically buy royalty rights to taleworlds engine which is from some rumors high. You'd have to use all existing 3D assets from the SP and any changes done on the SP could snowball on the MP if there is no communication unless they somehow refecator the engine to not include anything from the SP side.

Saying "sell the MP" is an easy feat, the technical aspect looks like a nightmare if you didn't design your game to be as two different games.
 
How exactly do you believe they would sell the MP? Anyone who wants to buy the MP would have to basically buy royalty rights to taleworlds engine which is from some rumors high. You'd have to use all existing 3D assets from the SP and any changes done on the SP could snowball on the MP if there is no communication unless they somehow refecator the engine to not include anything from the SP side.

Saying "sell the MP" is an easy feat, the technical aspect looks like a nightmare if you didn't design your game to be as two different games.
Yes true, considering the game itself is a mode called "native", It would be a lot of work to seperate parts that multiplayer would need, but not impossible.
They designed the game as modular as possible in their own words, thus they should be able to categorize which parts MP would need. I know they won't do it, but I have a dream..
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Grandmaster Knight
This is probably true. It's no coincidence that the largest, longest-running, and most legitimate tournament series for BL has been run by veterans of Warband tournaments, and tournaments which haven't been run by such people have fallen apart, were one-offs, or are finally getting through their growing pains only to find that there aren't enough people or teams to fill a bracket. This is not entirely the fault of these hosts, and Warband had similar situations. However, the environment provided by TW was different at the time.

Warband's competitive scene had ups and downs with patches during its nascency, but the time table for updates & receptiveness to feedback meant that no problem remained an obstacle for terribly long. The playerbase steadily grew during early access, and continued to do so until a while after release just as you'd expect from a healthy game.

Bannerlord has not fared so well, and the initial surge of players is all but gone. The new players who want to learn how to host events & run tournaments haven't had the benefit of a stable or growing population to participate or provide feedback. The glacial pace of updates has made all mechanical & balance issues long-standing ones, and delayed the release of features critical for competitive play (duel mode, premade team vs team lobbies, custom servers & game modes). Those that do host get discouraged after lackluster engagement, or are wrapped up in damaging drama that only perpetuates because there are no alternatives.

There is little incentive for hosts of events of any kind to continue putting effort into this title, and the likelihood of new blood picking up the reins is low because there is nearly no new blood. Even if they did, their potential scale is severely limited, and it follows that the subset of participants who would provide the feedback that drives innovation in tournaments is also reduced.

To say the approach to MP "hasn't worked" is like saying a race horse that trips out of the gate & breaks its neck "did not finish." Technically correct, but it doesn't paint quite the same picture.
100%. The racehorse methaphor is the tipping point...



Pretty much all that matters imo. The other stuff is important but without these, its pointless. IDK how they can't understand that.
And in fact, everyone (casual veterans as well as top level competitive veterans) were warning them about it since the alpha-beta 2019 period.

It's true that they were open to modifying certain things (after gruelling periods of toil and struggle by Community)... but in the long run, trivialities that didn't change the course of development, which then needed drastic changes and somersaults.
 

Roy1012

Banned
All of them are consequences of the actual problems, not problems themselves with the exception of the game being "too expensive" which is a ridiculous proposition.

For instance, "lack of players" is a consequence of poorly made design decisions, the solution for which is not to decrease the price to draw in more people but to fix the underlying issues which will naturally attract more players.
It doesn't matter if you have the best game that was ever created. If it's priced incorrectly, nobody will buy it and they won't be able to see its great.
 

Younes

Grandmaster Knight
WBWF&SNWVC
It doesn't matter if you have the best game that was ever created. If it's priced incorrectly, nobody will buy it and they won't be able to see its great.
It is very much design issues when you consider the SP is worth the price tag, but the MP is not. Considering other games, bannerlord is well worth the money for the SP at least.
 

AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
It is very much design issues when you consider the SP is worth the price tag, but the MP is not. Considering other games, bannerlord is well worth the money for the SP at least.
M&B MP has always suffered from being attached to the SP experience. People who buy bannerlord are doing so for the SP; if they then happen to try MP they may become invested; but no new players are going to buy a £50 SP focussed game just for the MP.
 

Younes

Grandmaster Knight
WBWF&SNWVC
ehhhh, if you love deep but janky simulations that annoy you and waste your time, and you don't need fun or challenge, then maybe
It doesn't matter what you think, the fact is that people bought the game in mass when it came out for the SP even in its poor state.

M&B MP has always suffered from being attached to the SP experience. People who buy bannerlord are doing so for the SP; if they then happen to try MP they may become invested; but no new players are going to buy a £50 SP focussed game just for the MP.
For sure, it's why MP should be a thing where they actually make sense in their direction because it's important for it to survive, instead of whatever they just did with the MP with it going into an apparent random direction.

But in the end it's clear, TW wants to release the full game both SP and MP at the same time. Despite the fact they gave MP the manpower of a 5-man dev studio to develop, while the SP got the other 95 devs. The priorities for TW were clear, we just didn't listen to the signs.
 

five bucks

Knight
It doesn't matter what you think, the fact is that people bought the game in mass when it came out for the SP even in its poor state.
I was replying to the implication that the game is in a good state (when you said "worth the price tag") which is arguable, not arguing that it was popular or anything, I don't disagree with that.
 

LioneI

Regular
WBVC
I just want to say that I agree with the OP, something has to be done because the MP ship is sinking. Battle pass or payed DLCs, I don't care, make M&B great again
 

AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I just want to say that I agree with the OP, something has to be done because the MP ship is sinking. Battle pass or payed DLCs, I don't care, make M&B great again
To be fair....

The MP numbers have actually picked up considerably in the last few weeks (at least in EU). The Siege server is typically packed (until it crashes). Battle & Duel servers typically have a good group of players; and I can get a Skirmish or captains game whenever I want.

Probably not the numbers we / TW would want or hope for - but I don't know what's happened recently to bump the numbers.

I will say something that really doesn't help MP is having SP & Mp effectively on two different builds. Everyone is going to want to play SP on the beta patch to eek out what extra content they can - ergo the amount of people with a Bannerlord on the live build is significantly reduced as you basically have to pick either MP or SP and only play that.
 
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Brandis.

Subforum Moderator
It's amusing how the OP couldn't identify any of the actual problems MP has. Before anyone asks, all of them have been thoroughly discussed over the years, in threads that have long been buried in this forum section or in the archives somewhere.
The problems -- which you can find an innumerable amount of threads and comments on, many of which are mine -- are evidence of systemic failure. Explaining to TW the specifics of why their game mechanics aren't appealing or fun has clearly not worked.

Something fundamental needs to change in TW's approach to MP.

There will never be a competitive scene with Bannerlord. It’s too far gone. A game that came out 3 years ago can’t have a competitive scene when it never did in the first place. Maybe a revival of a cult following that once was (I have no doubt NW competitive could return if it was attempted), but for a game that nobody or plays, it will be an uphill battle to get any traction going.
You're probably right. However, games have made slow recoveries after awful launches. I stopped playing BL for around a year and was surprised to see there were still players in Captain/TDM. Outside of pickups, however, skirmish was very dead, at least in NA.

Competitive scenes either have to grow organically or have an obscene amount of dev money pumped into it. So the idea that a game needs to start out competitively to have a competitive scene isn't correct. Although I doubt Bannerlord comp will ever have much appeal.

M&B MP has always suffered from being attached to the SP experience. People who buy bannerlord are doing so for the SP; if they then happen to try MP they may become invested; but no new players are going to buy a £50 SP focussed game just for the MP.
Agreed, this sums up a core part of my argument. We're still waiting for 1.7.2, which the (at the time) lead MP dev said was completed almost a month ago. (speculation disclaimer)
 
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Younes

Grandmaster Knight
WBWF&SNWVC
I was replying to the implication that the game is in a good state (when you said "worth the price tag") which is arguable, not arguing that it was popular or anything, I don't disagree with that.
The game can be in a bad state and still be worth the price tag. It's apparent when you consider the noticeable anger for lack of things, but still positive review of the SP overall. Saying the game is not worth the price tag is straight out stupid when talking about the SP.
 
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