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

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Riffraff99

Veteran
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.
Yes, the Warband fans want a better Warband many new players doesnt even know Warband and want a cool medieval pvp MP, its like a 3 front war youll never win (SP community, MP community, modding community wich need tools).

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:

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.
Again yes, the relation between you and a king for example you have choosen to serve was much bigger even you have explored the area for the thousandth time and you are hunted by significantly larger armies while driving cows into the right direction.
It sucks that many things wich made Warband SP great are completely missing, but hey we can play now Tablut with risking a game crash.
 

Bob Gnarly

Sergeant at Arms
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.
I think too many have their rose tinted glasses on when it comes to Warband.

The reason it stuck out for me is because it was the first of its kind, there was no other game like it and there still isn't today. But there's no way I could play Warband without mods and it will be the same for Bannerlord.
 
Yes, the Warband fans want a better Warband many new players doesnt even know Warband and want a cool medieval pvp MP, its like a 3 front war youll never win (SP community, MP community, modding community wich need tools).


Again yes, the relation between you and a king for example you have choosen to serve was much bigger even you have explored the area for the thousandth time and you are hunted by significantly larger armies while driving cows into the right direction.
It sucks that many things wich made Warband SP great are completely missing, but hey we can play now Tablut with risking a game crash.

YES TO ALL OF THIS ^

I'm a SP player at heart and the fact that the skills system (like the actual skills - not the perks) isn't even fully implemented... and the personality system is a half-finished mess... and pretty much all other RPG elements are unimplemented/nonexistent...

Well I'm in a permanent loop of checking the update list every month or so and then - when I do give BL another chance - counting the hours until my inevitable ragequit.

And a huge part of my frustration is looking at the "improvements" to SP. Why on earth did they think nerfing caravans/workshops/autobattle/arena was a GOOD thing to do - let alone more important than making it possible to early-game level Leadership + Medicine + Engineering + Roguery + Charm + Tactics? The only noncombat skills that level at a remotely reasonable rate are Scouting and Stewardship, simply because they're the only ones that get used enough to grant sustained XP.

Every time I check in, I find a couple nice things but - on balance - the game is actively worse than it was before. And modder attrition means that mods I relied on to make the game playable are steadily going defunct.

The last point is why - even tho I'm hardcore in the SP camp - I'd happily sacrifice my own happiness and patiently wait for SP updates until after modder QOL is addressed.
 

vonbalt

Knight at Arms
WBNWVCM&B
I think too many have their rose tinted glasses on when it comes to Warband.

The reason it stuck out for me is because it was the first of its kind, there was no other game like it and there still isn't today. But there's no way I could play Warband without mods and it will be the same for Bannerlord.
nah, vanilla warband was simple and it was truly the mods that made it great but the foundation was there and it was solid and graphics aside i can still have ****loads of fun with it today.

Bannerlord isn't a bad game, it's just too incomplete and imbalanced for now when compared to warband, mods should be made to improve some areas adding depth and new cool features and scenarios to play and not to fix fundamental issues with the game.

We still have broken sieges since the beginning of EA, broken smithing, almost non-existent immersion features, barely functioning armors and weapons that deal damage like lightsabers.

I know they said they are working on those or have "noted and forwarded to the devs" but it's being more than a year of EA now and the progress slowed to a crawl.

Maybe one of their new features is taking too much of their attention or they are fighting a nasty bug roadblocking the rest of the work but we simply don't know because there is barely any communication beyond a PR statement every few months.
 
nah, vanilla warband was simple and it was truly the mods that made it great but the foundation was there and it was solid and graphics aside i can still have ****loads of fun with it today.

Bannerlord isn't a bad game, it's just too incomplete and imbalanced for now when compared to warband, mods should be made to improve some areas adding depth and new cool features and scenarios to play and not to fix fundamental issues with the game.

We still have broken sieges since the beginning of EA, broken smithing, almost non-existent immersion features, barely functioning armors and weapons that deal damage like lightsabers.

I know they said they are working on those or have "noted and forwarded to the devs" but it's being more than a year of EA now and the progress slowed to a crawl.

Maybe one of their new features is taking too much of their attention or they are fighting a nasty bug roadblocking the rest of the work but we simply don't know because there is barely any communication beyond a PR statement every few months.
You have summarized the current status really well, half cooked product, very slow advance and poor communication. I would add controversial design decisions, like delegate to the AI many management stuff related with the clan/kingdom.
 

vonbalt

Knight at Arms
WBNWVCM&B
You have summarized the current status really well, half cooked product, very slow advance and poor communication. I would add controversial design decisions, like delegate to the AI many management stuff related with the clan/kingdom.
Absolutely agreed, i find it truly infuriating that features we had in warband like giving detailed orders/suggestions to your fellow lords are considered too complicated and micromanaging now for bannerlord.

luckily we have mods for this but once again, it was part of the base in vanilla warband and we shouldn't have to rely on mods for such an essential feature, TW said they'll add an instance button but that's leaving too much for the AI to decide and the AI can never be as cleaver as the player, instead of pressing a "defensive instance" for my parties i would rather give them direct orders "do this and that, avoid these situations but on these you can act, retreat to X or besiege Y, if you have nothing else to do keep close to me in case i need you" and things like that.
 

Riffraff99

Veteran
Absolutely agreed, i find it truly infuriating that features we had in warband like giving detailed orders/suggestions to your fellow lords are considered too complicated and micromanaging now for bannerlord.

luckily we have mods for this but once again, it was part of the base in vanilla warband and we shouldn't have to rely on mods for such an essential feature, TW said they'll add an instance button but that's leaving too much for the AI to decide and the AI can never be as cleaver as the player, instead of pressing a "defensive instance" for my parties i would rather give them direct orders "do this and that, avoid these situations but on these you can act, retreat to X or besiege Y, if you have nothing else to do keep close to me in case i need you" and things like that.
Yup, it also sucks that it remains on AI decision wich weapon they operate, i would like to order my inf to fight with speers but its the decision of the AI when they fight with speers, i had moments where my inf fought with speers against sword inf or they had speers but fought with swords against cavalry, obviusly this results in unnecessary losses.
 

vonbalt

Knight at Arms
WBNWVCM&B
Yup, it also sucks that it remains on AI decision wich weapon they operate, i would like to order my inf to fight with speers but its the decision of the AI when they fight with speers, i had moments where my inf fought with speers against sword inf or they had speers but fought with swords against cavalry, obviusly this results in unnecessary losses.
true, i've tested this in many custom battles, 1x1 it seems that troops react the best but still there are many times when the enemy AI took so long to recognize i was on foot or on horse now that i killed it before it could think of switching weapons, when it's anything bigger than a duel they get confused easily and many times don't react to changing situations, sometimes i feel like TW balanced the AI most for duels and small scale battles (maybe thinking about captain mode?) and once they "lock" their attention on an enemy they'll only react to another when already taking 1,2,3 hits instead of using team work and recognizing treats like "i'm fighting this dude but his partner is trying to flank me so i'll try to parry both as fast as i can and hope my partner here manages a blow to take pressure off me".
 

guisadop

Recruit
WB
There is DEFINITELY something missing in Bannerlord that was there in Warband. I can't quite define what it is.
The combat is also less responsive than Warband (except for archery, it feels really good in Bannerlord)

I really like Bannerlord, I truly do, but it does not give quite the same feeling as Warband did. And I never played Warband with mods, so I'm comparing vanilla versions here.
 
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vota dc

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWB
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.
Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne are different genre from Dark Souls.
Dark Souls 1 is clunky and encourage a master of blocking and parry that is impossible to stagger thanks to armor. Also a lot of backtracking.
Dark Souls 2 is quite similar, just a little less clunky and they eliminated backtracking. Fans hated it because bonfires teleport means no more shortcuts and secret passage that are awesome to see but mechanic wise are the same things.
Dark Souls 3 have bonfires at 2 metres from bosses, enemies very rarely stagger, player and enemies are Usain Bolt, player always stagger so Dark Souls 3 is a game about running and rolling.

Dark Souls 3 threw many lore stuff from 1 but mechanic wise is the worst Soul game except for boss fights that are quite good and did the things better than the terrible boss fights in Dark Souls 1.
 

Rungsted93

Sergeant at Arms
WBWF&SVC
I keep seeing the argument that vanilla Warband was also quite "empty" like Bannerlord, which I don't think is true but that's not what I want to discuss in this post. Bannerlord is the sequel they didn't need to create the whole formula, it was in development for 10 years, it was made by a team 10 times the size that of Warband, they had all the succesful mods to take features from. And yet some people accept it as a valid reason that Bannerlord should be shallow because Warband was?
 

Morelen

Regular
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:

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.
+1 Taleworlds are a lucky bunch to have such a loyal and dedicated fanbase. If only they'd listen to most of what we ask from the game, if they would see warband as the skeleton of what Bannerlords should be, then they would have a true masterpiece of a game. I really don't understand why they steer away from some of the most valid aspects that made warband such a memorable game. Mods can't do it all.
 

Morelen

Regular
I keep seeing the argument that vanilla Warband was also quite "empty" like Bannerlord, which I don't think is true but that's not what I want to discuss in this post. Bannerlord is the sequel they didn't need to create the whole formula, it was in development for 10 years, it was made by a team 10 times the size that of Warband, they had all the succesful mods to take features from. And yet some people accept it as a valid reason that Bannerlord should be shallow because Warband was?
Exactly ! Warband's mods gave them so much potential to build upon for a really great sequel. One would hope that they would take some of these ideas into account and flesh them out in the sequel....but no. It's like Warband never existed . I find it really frustrating seeing a game like Bannerlord in 2021 when the same studio gave us Warband more than a decade ago. When it came out, many of us were saying ''meh, it's just bannerlords with better visuals''. A year later, the sad ugly truth is it's not even close to Warband's depth. WTF happened ? Simply mindblowing !
 

Rungsted93

Sergeant at Arms
WBWF&SVC
Exactly ! Warband's mods gave them so much potential to build upon for a really great sequel. One would hope that they would take some of these ideas into account and flesh them out in the sequel....but no. It's like Warband never existed . I find it really frustrating seeing a game like Bannerlord in 2021 when the same studio gave us Warband more than a decade ago. When it came out, many of us were saying ''meh, it's just bannerlords with better visuals''. A year later, the sad ugly truth is it's not even close to Warband's depth. WTF happened ? Simply mindblowing !

Yeah I don't get it either... Something like keep battles which Armagan probably did by himself 10 years ago now suddenly takes months to do. And honestly Bannerlord feels more like a spiritual successor made by an Indie team of 10 pretty good developers than the actual sequel which has been 10 years in development with 100+ people.
Now I'm not questioning the individual developers skills nor dedication, but someone is doing a terrible job at managing the project.
 

vonbalt

Knight at Arms
WBNWVCM&B
someone is doing a terrible job at managing the project.
bingo, the devs seem talented and passionated more than enough, we even know some wanted to do more but had their hands tied by the upper management.

Don't know if they got stuck in dev hell and had to cut corners or the game would never see the light of day but something happened that made them restart the project or parts of it again and again and the "final product" we got manages to be even shallower than warband.

I could excuse that from warband being a 10+y old game made by a very small team but they had everything in a silver plate for bannerlord, the formula, years of experience and community engagement to know exactly what ticked or not with their playerbase, it was just a matter of taking what was good and making it deeper and more interesting...
 

Rungsted93

Sergeant at Arms
WBWF&SVC
bingo, the devs seem talented and passionated more than enough, we even know some wanted to do more but had their hands tied by the upper management.

Don't know if they got stuck in dev hell and had to cut corners or the game would never see the light of day but something happened that made them restart the project or parts of it again and again and the "final product" we got manages to be even shallower than warband.

I could excuse that from warband being a 10+y old game made by a very small team but they had everything in a silver plate for bannerlord, the formula, years of experience and community engagement to know exactly what ticked or not with their playerbase, it was just a matter of taking what was good and making it deeper and more interesting...
I couldn't agree more with you! Sometimes you wonder how stuff like this is even possible.. I'd honestly love for TW to get some serious competition.
 

Morelen

Regular
I couldn't agree more with you! Sometimes you wonder how stuff like this is even possible.. I'd honestly love for TW to get some serious competition.
I would feel sad for them if it were not for the fact that they blatantly lied to us, it's loyal fanbase. Saying the game just needed some polishing and finishing touches a year ago. What an incredibly dishonest thing to say ! That is being disrespectfull toward the very people that made HIS dream possible. Asking a full price for the ''groundwork'' of a game that may very well never really achieve the end of EA...I don't know what words to put on that one. And then, after more the a year of letting the paying fans do the playtesting for free, everything seems to suggest that they will shamelessly let the modders fix the mess and finish the game....again for free !

I honestly would love to still look at this studio with high regards but facts are facts and will remains facts even if the game ever do releases. Taleworlds is not THE Taleworlds that made Warband. Sorry... I had a bad day and my pink glasses fell off. Welcome to the Machine.
 

vota dc

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWB
No they're not. Action RPG. The End. Sorry you didn't like das3 or whatever you're trying to convey about it. No poise yeah, oh well
Diablo Is an action rpg too. For Das3 they had already Bloodborne engine (a game that was never meant to be a soul game and for this reason they removed the soul from the title) and they used It again but for a dark soul game so first two titles were about slow combat while Bloodborne and das3 about fast, das3 just didn't fit and they should just deleted heavy armors or use a similar system of das1. It was really weird like having Fallout 4 with same characters and skills of Skyrim. They did something similar with super Mario Bros: compare 1 and 3 with the 2....all are platforms but 2 Is an alien.
Das1 was the worst saved only because was the first game. Das1 fans cry because in their opinion only first game had "interconnected master crafted levels" blablabla and they blame Das3 to have "terrible level design, expecially Farron Keep"....while defending abominations like blight town and capra demon encounter.
 
Diablo Is an action rpg too. For Das3 they had already Bloodborne engine (a game that was never meant to be a soul game and for this reason they removed the soul from the title) and they used It again but for a dark soul game so first two titles were about slow combat while Bloodborne and das3 about fast, das3 just didn't fit and they should just deleted heavy armors or use a similar system of das1. It was really weird like having Fallout 4 with same characters and skills of Skyrim. They did something similar with super Mario Bros: compare 1 and 3 with the 2....all are platforms but 2 Is an alien.
Das1 was the worst saved only because was the first game. Das1 fans cry because in their opinion only first game had "interconnected master crafted levels" blablabla and they blame Das3 to have "terrible level design, expecially Farron Keep"....while defending abominations like blight town and capra demon encounter.
SMB2 is a re-skin of a game called doki doki panic. The Japanese SMB2 (lost levels in usa) re-uses the smb1 stuff with just greater difficulty and a few new mechanics.
Anyways, back to topic, my point is even if Bannerlord ends up disappointing or rejected as a true successor to warband (aka "don't play that one only warband with mods is good") the next game TW makes could be amazing and there's no reason to think 1 "not so good" game means they can't make something better next.
 
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