The good, yet terribly made game. Mount & Blade: Bannerlord

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julijs

Regular
WBNWVC
Since March 2020, there is one thing that seems to be pointedly correct and that is that this community has been split between two ideal's and audiences; the long-lasting long-lasted veterans of warband and previous titles and the new generation of mount & blade. Something I can whole-heartedly say, and hope I speak for most of us here, it's that the former got the very short end of the stick from what we wanted, expected and was presented to us, whereas the latter seems to be reasonably content and some actively defending the game.

This thread is mostly going to be going off my perspective of this game as a long-time warband fan and most of these are going to be similar if not identical to other threads here. For those that enjoy the game and for those that are definitely newcomer's to this genre, I hope you don't take this as an offense to you, if anything I'm glad you enjoy it and are very optimistic about it's direction and development, you probably feel what most of us felt when we played warband for the first time.


Mount & Blade: Bannerlord in the end feels like a very linear sandbox in terms of creativity and what is possible by the player and I'm dumbfounded by the information overload there is in the encyclopaedia for features when you compare to how shallow they really are when it comes to the player interaction and outcome.
I feel like Taleworld's has largely overlooked and underestimated what gave Warband that inch of satisfaction and functionality, so much so that they have been not represented in this title, yes the mechanics aren't as complex as they are in the latter, but they gave more freedom of play and importance to the player as he/she had full control of it. Thing's such as feasts, books, poem's, tournament's (warbands), lover's quest's and lord's duels etc., all while small, intertwined with each other so harmoniously in the gameplay loop of the game, not only that, it would partially solve something this game is in dire need, and that's RPG mechanics.

My biggest gripe with the game is the robotic gameplay loop that is Bannerlord compared to Warband., I remember when I first heard of the clan and influence system, it sounded great on paper and can probably still be okay, but for what it is right now it is in complete opposition of expansive roleplay idea as everything is limited to in what we wanted more of, and that is meaningful player to character relation's. This is because there are only two important values that trump anything else, influence and clan rank, you could murder a good portion of someone's family and they will hate you as in their (clan) relationship to you, but that doesn't matter because you can still do whatever you want as long as you have influence. this. totally. breaks. immersion.
In Warband you'd spend your early to late game improving relations with certain lords and deteriorating with others as a direct result of the player's actions, this was important as gathering those lord's would be essential to your future. It didn't even have to be directly by the player, because as stated above:
feasts, books, poem's, tournament's (warbands), lover's quest's and lord's duels etc.,
all passively affected anonymous lord's relationships to you, little thing's just like turning up to feasts, winning in tournament's, courting a women of a family that accepts you, or doesn't accept you, fighting those lord's in return for that woman/man, spiting other lord's that were also infatuated with the lady you was courting, would win or lose your standing with them.

This brings me to my last small point, and that is pursing woman you want to marry.. This has to be the most bland, anti-fun, save-scum mechanic I have ever witnessed, you saying couple of things right or wrong at that very instance can make or break your chances in seconds, there is absolutely no element of courtship to this game and that is a massive step-back from warband where you have to put your blood, sweat and tears gradually wooing that lady over, having to fight through various ladies brother's and father's that didn't want to see you assimilated into the family, learning poem's (which had to be relatable to how the woman's personality was like) and fetching her all sorts of wine and material's as gift's and then to top it off, always arriving to visit her when she request's until your nerves almost give up. It was definitely a chore in warband. but you liked every bit of it because of it's immersion and RPG mechanics, the. woman. didn't. feel. like. a. robot. as it does in Bannerlord. you was actually satisfied as an end result, and greatly rewarded in term's of gameplay progression.

What we have now isn't a mixture of all these great thing's from other genres, but just a highly decorated open world, battle simulator strategy game and moving away from what mount & blade is/was.

I know that most of what I've said, and or haven't said isn't in "our vision of the game", but a lot of us who were dear fan's of the game's from the beginning would really, and I mean really appreciate it if you looked over these thing's again in consideration, as it is what made mount & blade, mount & blade for most of us.

As for the title, the game is good in it's own individual sense if you don't look at warband, and you can see that on the steam review's with the new player-base. but for those that are prior's.. it's just not good, and the direction it's taking (we can't be really sure because it's a mess of developer replies and lack of clear communication from the top) is bad in my opinion, and probably for most other's. and not including everything else that going on in EA Hell.

if you read this then... hey.
 

Cowbbebop

Sergeant
it would partially solve something this game is in dire need, and that's RPG mechanics.
I couldn't agree more on this sentence. RPG mechanics is terribly missing and more than this, the non adressing fixing stuff like price, aging going too slow (etc) add incoherence to the game. The all thing feel like a terrible waste.
Anyway the lore was never the strong point in MB, more like an excuse to play amazing sandbox mechanic. The true gem is Viking conquest (and all the other great mod) with mechanic at the best of what the engine could do and a very interesting lore, perfectly translate by the balance and atmosphere. Well VC was made by a modding team if I remember correctly...That explain a lot of thing.
Talewords do not know how to tell a story, this is not what they do.. we are asking too much. They need to fix the game and let the modder give us the beautiful gem to come.
 
Dark souls 2 was disappointing and annoying, but 3 and bloodborne are really good, so I mean whatever, they either keep working on it an it gets better or not, but still maybe their next game is a master peace.
 

Leader144

Sergeant
Dark souls 2 was disappointing and annoying, but 3 and bloodborne are really good, so I mean whatever, they either keep working on it an it gets better or not, but still maybe their next game is a master peace.

Well sry to say but with what Taleworlds was showing this year I hardly think they will deliver next time a masterpiece. They hardly bring this development under control and manage to communicate with the community.

Smithing? Siege Ladders? Inner Keep Battles? Scenes for Villages? ... Hell they needed 1 Year for the Skills and Perks and I am not sure if they are completely finished.

Maybe it would be best to finish everything which is open on their agenda and for the last move they communicate with the modding community and build the best possible Programm for those guys. Surely they will have much fun in bringing their love and creativity in this Game when not every little hotfix nukes their Progress.
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight
it would partially solve something this game is in dire need, and that's RPG mechanics.
I couldn't agree more on this sentence. RPG mechanics is terribly missing and more than this, the non adressing fixing stuff like price, aging going too slow (etc) add incoherence to the game. The all thing feel like a terrible

Totally agree with this. Overpriced equipment cost, and pretty slow she pacing compared to war pacing, are two of the biggest issues we have currently. Aside from ruining RP, it also ruins the whole death&aging mechanic because 99% of my campaigns get finished before being able to play as my son. One of the biggest and more appealing new features in Bannerlord, totally wasted due to balancing issues.
 

Adrivan

Sergeant at Arms
You guys are kinda ignoring this whole "working from home cause its a pandemic" thing. I'm also working in software and our company has had a dramatic drop in productivity during these times. Hell, even Minecraft, who is owned by Microsoft, a massive corporation, had to split an update that was planned for summer 2021, now they will release only a small part in summer and the rest in winter. And they have almost unlimited budget at their disposal....
 

SOku

Veteran
Damn I feel like I'm playing a totally different game from yours, my heirs are well grown now and basically capable of raising big parties on their own ( to the point that I have Sisters Swords in my clan litterally ) and I'm more afraid of seeing my original character dying of old age before I could get a chance to settle a peaceful kingdom.

If anything I would tweak the ageing a little bit, but from my experience I didn't have any issue at all, maybe because I put so much little care about my babies before they could become teens and get basically overhelmed about their skills notifications.
( To the point that I forgot this particular feature was a thing )

You guys are kinda ignoring this whole "working from home cause its a pandemic" thing. I'm also working in software and our company has had a dramatic drop in productivity during these times. Hell, even Minecraft, who is owned by Microsoft, a massive corporation, had to split an update that was planned for summer 2021, now they will release only a small part in summer and the rest in winter. And they have almost unlimited budget at their disposal....

I'm in the field aswell but sometimes it is too easily drawn this excuse to hide deeper problems inside a given studio.
I mean yeah there is covid we all acknowledge that, and times are difficult for anyone here but that doesn't excuse anything.

Especially on IT, when we all know that you can sort of stay productive with a decent internet connection and a PC from home.

Note that I'm not particularly toxic against TW for that matter. Just trying to nuance your message a little bit.

Indies studios, I mean studios like Medieval Dynasty, Survival the Aftermath and many others were able to produce decent updates AND roadmap at the same time in the middle of the pandemic.

Crisis handling is the key here.

Let's not talk about budget here, that's not even remotely relevant, some studios handle this whole mess better than others, some studios have more budget allocation than others, Mojang owned by Microsoft is just saying Mixer was also owned by Microsoft, the variable one should look for is how well those projets are funded separately, big corporations/motherships or not at the top of the food chain.

I don't think budget plays a big part on this especially when the situation vastly differs from a country to another. ( Turkey isnt Poland, which isn't the US or Canada which isn't NZ, well you got my point.)
 
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Adrivan

Sergeant at Arms
I'm in the field aswell but sometimes it is too easily drawn this excuse to hide deeper problems inside a given studio.
I mean yeah there is covid we all acknowledge that, and times are difficult for anyone here but that doesn't excuse anything.

I'm sorry but what would constitute a viable excuse in your view? Because to me, if anything can be used as an excuse, it's a global pandemic. Of course some studios adapt better than others, but even if just a couple of people lose motivation or get sick during this time - it can seriously impact your output. I'm not saying it's impossible to work well under these conditions, but it is a valid excuse.
 

SOku

Veteran
I suspect some companies not only video games studios are keen to draw the " covid excuse " to smokescreen their internal problems and get away with it without any repercussions.
Mind you I don't deny what you say, that's good points I'm trying to nuance it by my point of view.
I don't believe our world is black and white to begin with.
 

Grank

Sergeant Knight
WBNWVC
I've been playing this series since the "original" Mount&Blade around ten years ago. While it's true that many things in Bannerlord are very flat and shallow, like the clan relations, I still think it's a better game than Warband. Aside from the obvious graphics upgrade, Bannerlord actually improved on a lot of things like siege equipment and army system. Sure it's very lame with the influence and all, but it's much better than having lords simply follow you and chicken out when an enemy party scares them. Town notables, horse and saddles, etc are also good improvement than what we had in Warband. The engine also runs much more efficiently for large battles.

Of course, most of Bannerlord features are still very barebone right now, but I'm just glad with the engine. It opens up so much potential for improvement. Even if TW doesn't work on the improvement themselves, we can have mods for them. M&B's modding community is really amazing, and you can have faith in them. There will be mods that fix armor values. Price values. Ladder AI. Separate clan relation into individual relations. Horse breeding. Freelancer. Improved trade. Dickplomacy. Everything. You can just feel that they will be made. Hell man. Something as amazing as Bannerlord Online already released. Imagine how much more active the modding community will be once the game gets out of Early Access.
 
Bannerlord is the only M&B I've ever played so I'm a "new player". I seem to have as many complaints as any old players on here. None of my issues with it come from me missing things from the older games and mods, my issues with it come from playing this game and following the development over the past year.
 

vonbalt

Knight at Arms
WBNWVCM&B
You guys are kinda ignoring this whole "working from home cause its a pandemic" thing. I'm also working in software and our company has had a dramatic drop in productivity during these times. Hell, even Minecraft, who is owned by Microsoft, a massive corporation, had to split an update that was planned for summer 2021, now they will release only a small part in summer and the rest in winter. And they have almost unlimited budget at their disposal....
If that was the only problem it would be totally fine by me, it would take longer but TW would eventually deliver.

My problem with them is that they don't seem to think those things matter, we have been discussing these with the devs that bother to answer since the begining of early access and the general feeling is these things don't matter, that the game doesnt need to have "all the features" of warband and that they are fine having a shallow game that looks more like a combat-simulation engine since everything else is so barebones.

At the very minimum i had hopes they would take everything warband had and improve them a little or maybe even overhaul those systems to make them better, i natural evolution like warband was from M&B classic.

Instead they axed everything they couldn't fit into boring buttons, where is the rpg side of things? the small things that add as a hole and make the world believable and immersive?

Warband vanilla features were simple and many times barebones but they atleast were there, there is no excuse for things like axing the courting system to place a (barely working even) speech check.
 
Bannerlord is the only M&B I've ever played so I'm a "new player". I seem to have as many complaints as any old players on here. None of my issues with it come from me missing things from the older games and mods, my issues with it come from playing this game and following the development over the past year.
As an "old player" I am disappointed that so many things that were in the older games are apparently missing. But for me the biggest issues are the horrible QoL problems this game has, and the broken mechanics that make playing the game a chore to play. If the base game was good then I wouldn't care because stuff could be modded in, but the game still has so many issues after 1 year in ea and 8 in development I hold little hope for the longevity of this game.
 
As an "old player" I am disappointed that so many things that were in the older games are apparently missing. But for me the biggest issues are the horrible QoL problems this game has, and the broken mechanics that make playing the game a chore to play. If the base game was good then I wouldn't care because stuff could be modded in, but the game still has so many issues after 1 year in ea and 8 in development I hold little hope for the longevity of this game.
Yep, especially since so many of the QoL issues seem to be actual design choices or not considered to be problems.
 
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Call me a bit of a romantic, but in Mount and Blade: Warband and Viking Conquest, you felt like your wife or husband were a friend and a lover. It's very annoying when you look at your relationship with your wife or husband and it's 0.

I see BL as good, but not memorable. The original game, though crude, was very memorable. It had memorable moments in it! They were small things, but they immediately added up.

However, I am not pessimistic about BL either. At the end of the day, it was really the mods that made the originals for me. I played the original game a few times, but then I was immediately grabbing for the mods. But a good core game, with a lot of personality, could serve very well in creating inspiration for modders.

For me, what tainted my taste in this game was the shear amount of gaslighting and downright playing the "it's good, you just have to be convinced it's good" attitude the devs have. That's fine for the first game. That's fine for the second game. But by time you're hitting into the third game, you probably should know what features, whether they be core features or small touches, that made it loved. Those features can be amazingly silly like "I'll drink from your skull" to something more complex like a robust courtship for a potential spouse. And you, as a developer may have even hated them! But they are defining characteristics that people fondly think of when they think of the game.
 
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However, I am not pessimistic about BL either. At the end of the day, it was really the mods that made the originals for me. I played the original game a few times, but then I was immediately grabbing for the mods. But a good core game, with a lot of personality, could serve very well in creating inspiration for modders.
I agree, I think this is the big problem many are having when comparing the two... It's very unfair to compare the unfinished bannerlord base-game to years-worth of warband mods. I really don't find warband native all that special... Especially the annoying companion conflicts, I found them really unneeded and unrealistic that between all of the soldiers of your party, those guys only found reason to complain about a few other specific companions. I removed that mechanic asap. I didn't even like the Floris mod, which supposedly is there to enhance the vanilla experience. Bannerlord native is way better for me already. Even though I do wish the developers keep working on Bannerlord, I still want to express that it's better than its predecessor single-player-wise, at least. In warband, the most enjoyable and honestly one of the few very good singleplayer experiences for me was the Prophesy of Pendor mod. The gameplay felt fluid and smooth like butter, there were great, big battles against challenging foes, interesting setting and units, and also unlimited progression through the use of Qualis Gems that let you upgrade your stats a lot, making the impossible possible. Greatest fantasy setting of all. Viking conquest was my second favorite, and it also had very good gameplay. I mostly enjoyed the story and characters and interactions, but that too was a DLC made after warband release (I'm a bit of a romantic as well, and I share the sentiment. I wish for better interactions with your spouse etc in Bannerlord as well, but still, that was not native warband at all).

Other than that, I do agree that a better base-game will raise the quality of the upcoming total overhaul mods as well. This is because it would give a better foundation for modders, and also it would raise the challenge for the development, because why play an overhaul that is not at least better than the original? With that I 100% agree, and that is why I am still playing an unmodded bannerlord after 1.1k hours, playing every patch (if it adds something new/is worth playing), and giving feedback as development goes. This game can be so fun, and the mods will make it amazing, so I want devs to keep going because I don't ever pay 40+ euros for a game... this was the first time, really, and I bought it on release because I knew that it has great potential. So I hope to keep seeing good updates for days to come. And at one point, sure, they can and should even make DLC. But that should be further into the future. Definitely not before native is improved in as many areas as possible, and that also includes the multiplayer which really needs a lot of love imo.
 

Ser Jon

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Call me a bit of a romantic, but in Mount and Blade: Warband and Viking Conquest, you felt like your wife or husband were a friend and a lover. It's very annoying when you look at your relationship with your wife or husband and it's 0.

I see BL as good, but not memorable. The original game, though crude, was very memorable. It had memorable moments in it! They were small things, but they immediately added up.

However, I am not pessimistic about BL either. At the end of the day, it was really the mods that made the originals for me. I played the original game a few times, but then I was immediately grabbing for the mods. But a good core game, with a lot of personality, could serve very well in creating inspiration for modders.

For me, what tainted my taste in this game was the shear amount of gaslighting and downright playing the "it's good, you just have to be convinced it's good" attitude the devs have. That's fine for the first game. That's fine for the second game. But by time you're hitting into the third game, you probably should know what features, whether they be core features or small touches, that made it loved. Those features can be amazingly silly like "I'll drink from your skull" to something more complex like a robust courtship for a potential spouse. And you, as a developer may have even hated them! But they are defining characteristics that people fondly think of when they think of the game.

You make a lot of good points, especially about Warband/Viking Conquest's wife/husband thing.
 

RJ_Sera

Veteran
I fear they release the "full game" and say: It's done. If u want something better, go to nexus or workshop
 

AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I fear they release the "full game" and say: It's done. If u want something better, go to nexus or workshop
Well they just pushed release back to December this year... with the caveat they will push it further as required. I don't think TW have any intention of leaving EA for a long time.

Make of that what you will.
 
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