The State of Captain Mode

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Brandis.

Subforum Moderator
EDIT/Summary: I think I used too many unclear terms, but this covers most of the issues in captain mode at the moment and addresses my interpretation of why the mode feels "too simple" and "too similar" round to round.

I have played Captain since it was released in alpha. There's been wildly different game-states -- cav dominance, archer dominance, shock dominance, light infantry dominance -- and I've played in them all. This post is a summary of the current state of Captain, which will hopefully be useful as we move into separated perks between Captain and other modes and for overall theory about the mode.

Before getting into the details, I'll summarize why Captain has potential:
  • Unique compared to any "mainstream" game. There is an appeal in controlling an army, while being on the ground yourself, and working with allies against a team of equally intelligent opponents.
  • Best engine of any "in-genre" game. Tiger Knight, Conqueror's Blade, and Blood & Steel all have inferior engines.
  • Despite the current state, Captain players keep coming back. People see the potential.
I don't know where else to put this, so here's some proof that I can understand complex games to a high level, and that I'm not speaking out of my a** when I get into some higher level stuff.
  • Reached top 500 in Teamfight Tactics, a round-based strategy game with over 10 million daily players.
  • Analyzed VODs for an Overwatch League team as a data analyst.
Here's the main issues in Captain:


Crashes
This is being worked on, but listed due to significance.

(Reminder that if you don't get a crash report to send automatically, you have to navigate to C:\ProgramData\Mount and Blade II Bannerlord\logs\rgl_log_xxxxx.txt and send it to @MArdA TaleWorlds. Also, you can't reboot the game before saving this file or the log will be overwritten.)


Class and Perk Balance
No class or perk should be OP to any sort of player group, from a match of random first-time players to competitive 6v6 where half the lobby has every class and best perks memorized. Conversely, no class or perk should be underpowered in all player groups, ensuring that every class and perk is viable and useful for at least one audience. (This is assuming a certain amount of viable options per audience.)

Determining what classes and perks are OP or UP is very easy at the moment in captain, since there's nothing dynamic going on in terms of pick-rate or win-rate. You can look at each faction and quickly determine which classes are OP and UP, and if you're familiar with the meta, you can quickly rattle off which perks are good and which are terrible. Obviously, some massive changes are coming when the captain/skirmish split occurs, so I'll just list the major offenders here.

Overpowered:
  • Khuzait Lancer
  • Khuzait Spear Infantry
  • Sturgia Warrior
Underpowered:
  • Aserai Skirmisher
  • Aserai Beduin
  • Empire Archer Militia
  • Empire Recruit
  • Khuzait Mounted Archer
  • Khuzait Nomad
  • Sturgia Brigand
  • Sturgia Raider
  • Vlandia Vanguard

Captain (Rambo) vs Troop Balance
At the moment, rambo is a hot issue. Some players claim it's a good demonstration of mechanics, while others claim it ruins the game.

The latter group is categorically right. Rambo ruins the game. You can't have a "Captain" mode be based on parking your bots on the other side of the map and slowly picking off enemy troops, pushing the game to the time limit every round. That's not what the mode's supposed to be about and it's not fun for anyone except the cav player.

And you might as well just remove archers. If you gave archers god-tier aimbot the enemy cav commander would still just ride up, shield up, and distract the archer unit with absolutely zero counterplay while their cav unit assists combat elsewhere. Skirmishers have been terrible for a long time, but I expect the same would happen for them.

However, archers don't have godlike aim, and spear and pike infantry will slowly get picked off by rambo as well. It's a race against time at the moment where only the cav players get to play, and everyone else just watches with some minor movement here or there.

This can be fixed with three changes:

1) When the commander is a certain distance away, their bots automatically follow. This puts their bots closer to danger and allows more counter play.
2) Greater troop counts. Troop count is determined by a multiplier, which is currently 20. A new base of 25 or 30 would be interesting to try. A solo captain now has to kill 20%+ more troops, making rambo less viable.
3) Improved Cavalry AI. Part of the reason why rambo is used is because your cav will probably just die without accomplishing anything. Improved cav AI would allow your cav to get more kills and damage.

Some ramboing can still occur with these changes, but in a less oppressive way.


Faction Balance
The main issue at the moment is how data is determined. For example, just balancing factions to 50% off random battles is useless when Empire has a 1% pick-rate and a 25% win-rate in Captain's League. This is method hurts players as they get better at the mode or start playing with friends.

Conversely, let's say we're in a situation where something isn't that great in Captain's League, but is very oppressive in random matches. Let's say that Berzerker is very strong in random battles, but Captain's League knows how to play against Berzerker and pepper them with archers or javs, so Sturgia doesn't even take them that often.

The solution is as I mentioned above: if something is OP for either audience (casuals/random and competitive/captain's league) it should be nerfed. And if something is UP for all audiences it should be buffed. However, due to only 6 factions being in the game, there should be an additional check to ensure a healthy game-state, such as all factions must be within 49% and 54% win-rate for both audiences. If they aren't, then a rework must occur.

In this case, Empire should be buffed so that they aren't UP for Captain's League, while Berzerkers are nerfed or redesigned so that they aren't a problem in random battles.

Lack of Strategic Depth
I had this at the start, but I figured it would scare people away, so I stuck it down here.

Let's consider what factors lead to decision making, and how players can express strategic skill. Due to the importance of strategy over mechanics in Captain, this is crucial to replayability.

At the start of each round in a matchup (or the Pick Stage), each team determines what classes and perks they will select for this round.

For the 3-5 rounds of a map-half, this is always the same. A team always has the same faction, always has the same opposing faction, and will always be able to choose any combination of classes or perks within that faction. This is a team's "position."

That position does not change for the 3-5 rounds of the map-half, and the inverse is extremely similar after the faction swap, meaning 6-10 rounds of a very similar position. The skill expression in picking the correct troops is a blind guess, based on what you expect your opponents to run based on the factions, map, and what they ran the previous round. So, this expression is blind and not-dynamic for many rounds in a row, only changed to a significant degree when a new map and factions are used.

The response to this is to make strategic decisions in the Pick Stage guided and dynamic. I get to that in the section below.

In the Combat Stage of a round, skill expression contains positioning, timing, mechanics, and adapting to the specific class matchup when it is revealed. I would consider this about equal to the Pick Stage, because games can easily be won or lost from actions in either. The improvements to skill expression in this category are a bit easier:

More maps for more positioning and timing complexity. More motivation for teams to use different parts of the map. And the removal of enemy classes being revealed at the start of the round. There should be a 20s-1m delay where scouting is useful and hiding is viable. This would probably work best at 25s-30s if I had to guess.

Now, back to the Pick Stage:


Adding Depth Through Position Variance
The goal is to have each round offer a complex situation to a team, that the team breaks down and reacts to in a unique way. Again, this adds replayability to a mode that relies on strategy over mechanics.

During the Pick Stage, changing the "position" of each team should increase the amount of decision making. Theorycrafting some methods on how to make more dynamic position results in: weaker, stronger, more resources, less resources, and more weighted towards one playstyle or another.
  • Weaker/Stronger = The army you play next round is expected to be weaker/stronger than average.
  • Resources = You can spend resources (such as gold) to become stronger this round, but have weaker upgrades in the future due to not saving up.
  • Playstyle = It is easier for you to run an army strong at one playstyle, such as infantry or archers, compared to another.
For an example of this, let's say each player has an individual pool of money earned from passive income. (I don't think this is EXACTLY how captain should be, this is just an example on how to create a situation of dynamic positions.) At the start, players purchase desired classes/perks. Some classes and/or some perks need to be behind a paywall that the player can't yet afford to create progression. However, some of the purchases are more expensive than others, even within a faction. So you'd have something like this:

Pick Stage, Round 1
  • Team 1 Army Strength: 600g; econ 0g. (Everyone bought a 100g class.)
  • Team 2 Army Strength: 540g; econ 60g. (Everyone bought 100g class except two, who bought 70g classes)
(100g would be a bad place to start based on skirmish troop costs, but it's easy to use for this example.)

This means that their positions are different from the start. Team 1 now has a hypothetically stronger army, but no leftover gold. Team 2 has a slightly weaker army, but some leftover gold.

The next round, each team gains 50g passively, and now each player on Team 1 has 50g; and most players have 50g on Team 2, except two players who have 80g.
  • Team 1 Army Strength: 600g; econ 500g.
  • Team 2 Army Strength: 540g; econ 560g.
Now, Team 2 is in a position to use their econ advantage. Both teams are aware of each other's positions. They can make guided strategic decisions based on how much gold they can see each team has as well as what classes they saw the previous round. This will be different every game, with the factions, map, and round will all change the decision making that goes into what classes and perks are selected.

On playstyle, let's say that you can sell a troop back into the shop for 90% of the original price. So you could sell a 100g unit for 90g back, and with your passive income of 50g, now have 140g to spend. However, you could stay on the troop and buy upgrades for it. Such as with a Tribal Warrior, you could choose to stay on the troop and buy a higher troop count, better armor, a better weapon, a spear, ect. This means that switching classes would result in lost potential value, but allow you to counter-pick the enemy better. It also means that your opponent is likely to bring a similar comp, giving you more information and guided decision making.


Maps
Maps are really simple: we just need more. Opening up mapping to the community would immediately solve this problem, but quality control would be necessary.
 
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Spottswoode

Regular
Great post mate!

I'm going to go and make the obvious link between rambo cav and lack of strategic depth. While rambo is in, strategy is out when in comes to utilizing archers. Without the rambo effect, a cav unit hassling archers still has the ability to shut down the squad of archers, take many kills but all the while risks losing horses. This shifts cav into a support position where they belong, making charges which require timing, positioning and awareness. With greater ai capability they will be able to make these charges much more deadly. 10 horses charging straight through a pack of unsuspecting and unprotected archers should kill many men. But presumably with spearmen defending those archers it should also make that a very dangerous manoeuver for the cav to pull off without taking some losses. Cav charging the back of a fighting line of infantry should yield significant kills for the cav based on their numbers, if the cav are not able to escape that infantry brawl fairly quickly they should be in trouble themselves. The mechanics working correctly will significantly increase the team based tactical nature of the game. Sacrifice an infantry unit to protect archers will become a viable strategy with it's obvious pros and cons, keeping anti cav unit positioned defensively during a massive infantry mele fight will become a viable strategy with it's obvious pros and cons.

Like your said Ramboing will still be able to occur, but with far greater risk, and that's how it needs to be.

You described the effect of rambo cav on the game perfectly Brandis, it as a strategy is still only in it's infancy but there are already enough players out there doing it proficiently enough to completely remove a large number of strategic options from the mode in a large percentage of matches played. Leaving us in the current state of the game where most players probably openly or secretly hope each random or non random game won't be just another solo cav player party, leaving the opposition the basic mind numbing choices of turtling up in the environment, blindly charging the enemy as the cav picks you apart or just pressing f1f3 and letting the game mostly run it's self. This needs to be stopped somehow. If this play style is left to fester it will very quickly (I fear in the near future) become so normalised that the bulk of the captain mode specific player base will walk alway. I think most of us enjoy the inter class heavily co operative strategy of the game mode more than we do the solo kills side of the game mode.

It's not that rambo cav is not beatable, it very much is and to varing degrees of difficulty depending on the map. It's that it is hijacking the game mode and reducing it to a shell of it's potential.

Edit: the reason I think increasing unit count may not be a solution is it still gives a clear pathway for a single cav unit among his other 5 infantry units to cause far to much unbalancing in the final infantry fight. It also leaves other non infantry strategies just as wide open to be shut out of the game by a single solo cav player taking advantage of AI exploits with very little danger for the cav player. Increasing unit numbers to help bolster some of your other solutions effectiveness will definitely be effective. But I don't see it as the primary driving force of reducing the solo cav game
 
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Spottswoode

Regular
I think after competing in cap league they are going to understand the issue a little more... And realize that it is greater than a troop size adjustment in either direction
 

vfkaseke

Regular
WB
This is a great post, and there's one thing I'd like to especially comment on from all the points you've made. Increasing troop sizes is absolutely a solution to ramboing, and I wish it would be something that was implemented fast. Ah the moment you can whittle down the enemy, and take even 3 cavs and some shock against 6 infantry units, and still win the battle on the last flag through nothing else but attrition from ramboing. This should not be an available strategy in my opinion, and makes the game that much worse. I'd imagine with enough skilled cab players in a team even a 6-cav strategy would be viable at this stage.

Another thing I'd like to point to from the post as a simple fix for the problem, and something that I've been advocating for a long time is the radius mechanic. Going further into it, like I've said before, I think around 1/3 of the smaller map sizes (like deriad) should already be enough to bring the units of a rambo player much closer to danger already, while still allowing for the playstyle in a more minor way. If this mechanic would be implemented, I would hope that the "information" button (alt I think on most people's set ups) should SHOW this radius to make it more tangible.

Excellent post Brandis!
 

Spottswoode

Regular
Maybe I'm thinking about it wrong... But unit bloat isn't going to help with the fact that archers can hardly breathe in a rambo cav dominant game. I don't see it as a solution, I see it as a way to simply annoy the cav players but it doesn't stop the overall damage it does to the game
 

Ling*

Knight
You make some solid points about Rambo Cav in this post and also about how bad ranged units like archers are, I really think improving Cav Ai, and increasing troop counts would do wonders for making both unit classes better as a group. Specifically on the topic of archers: I also think that increasing Archer Movement Speed so that it is greater than most infantry classes (other than Skirmishers and maybe some lightly armored Shock unit classes as well) would be a very welcome change that would allow for more maneuverability for archers to "kite" over heavier classes without making them impossible to run down by lighter classes and cav.

I've been on both sides of the argument regarding your proposal to introduce a "leash" or "distance limit" on a captains unit formations. At first when you proposed the idea I was vehemently against it as it would severely limit the overall freedom of movement that players have on the battlefield and I think any limits on player actions can negatively impact someone's overall gameplay experience. At one point I changed my stance on the subject and actually advocated for it's introduction as an attempt to stop the devolution of captain mode turning into skirmish mode with extra lives.

It's hard to say where I stand on this particular suggestion of "leashing" today, but I would like to offer another potential alternative solution that could incentivize a captain unit staying with his/her troops rather than risking dying during a rambo assault.

Bear with me as I explore this idea as it might seem a little out of place at first, but you may come to embrace it after giving it some consideration as to how it could impact gameplay.

Captain Perks (Area of Effect, temporary bonus "abilities")
During the class selection phase each captain can choose a single perk or "ability" that grants a different temporary stat bonus to ai troops within a limited area of effect that is within the immediate area of the player captain unit. These unique abilities would ONLY be given to the captain unit that the player initially spawns into the game as, once that unit has died the captain no longer has access to the ability. Multiple instances of the same effect would not stack.

Examples of what bonuses could look like:

Resistance:
When activated, friendly units surrounding the player captain gain 25% armor rating for 5-10 seconds. (25 second cooldown)

Bloodlust: When activated, friendly units surrounding the player captain gain 10% increased damage and 5% increased attack speed for 5-10 seconds. (25 second cooldown)

Field Medic: When activated, friendly units surrounding the player captain regenerate 1 hitpoint per second for 10-20 seconds. (1 minute cooldown)

Stampede: When activated, friendly units surrounding the player captain gain 20% movement speed for 5-10 seconds. (30 second cooldown)

Each of these abilities could be bound to a single hotkey in the F file, or if there are none left available, a simple combination such as F8-F8 could also be used.

These abilities could also just be passive bonuses in an area effect, the player unit would simply act as a beacon for these bonuses and any nearby ai units would receive the benefits.

Reminder that you would only have access to these abilities on your captain units first life and your captain must be within a close proximity to friendly ai troops in order for them to receive the bonus. Therefor if you die as a rambo before maximizing the usage of these ability bonuses, you would be missing out on a huge advantage for your team thus incentivizing players to stick near their units and not risk dying alone.
 
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AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Great post. Going to add a few things IMPO. First of all for reference; these are the captains related items in the MP - working on thread;

nINTaGR.png


All of this is good (but it is a small list). I sincerely hope that last point refers to 'ramboing'. Rambo players (I dislike the name as it makes it sound desirable or brave - when in reality it is a very cowardly tactic designed to avoid confrontation) absolutely ruin the game. For both teams. If you have a player like this on your own team - expect to lose the game as 1/6th of your army goes MIA before the game even begins. And even if you do win it will feel hollow.

Playing against it though is even worse. As an archer or infantry line expect to spend half the game beating the same player up over and over again as he desperately tries to avoid you and attack your bots. Your game is effectively over - even winning you will not have had any fun all game.

And... that's not even the worst part. Win or lose, enemy or ally, expect to add 5 minutes onto every round time as the player wastes as much time as possible.

Honestly it is just the worst aspect of the entire mode and everytime it is done it instantly makes me regret queuing for captains mode (a mode I very much enjoy otherwise).

To me I have a few possibilities of how to fix this;

  1. Leashing - easy and clean solution. If you run too far away your soldiers are given a follow command. Simple & effective.
  2. Max respawn lives - another simple solution but might alter the game too much. The point of this fix is to remove Ramboing not to change captains mode. However it would 100% fix the issue.
  3. Increase respawn time based on distance to closest bot. So if you are standing next to an allied bot - normal time applies. The further you are away though the longer time you have to wait to respawn. This I really like as it encourages cohesion and has a certain immersive quality. This won't 100% fix rambo players though - but it will significantly reduce a players ability to do it.
  4. No damage outside of a certain range of bots. I don't like this personally. I think this isn't clear for new players and during the late game when things get messy it is not unreasonable for players to sometimes have bots scattered across the map. I feel this change would ultimately prove more frustrating then it is worth.
 
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Firunien

Grandmaster Knight
@Brandis.
Very informative post about the state of captains mode. Just wanted to let you know TW would never ever add tactical depth, they are aiming for casual players, everything in this game is dumbed down for the sake of accessibility.
 

AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
@Brandis.
Very informative post about the state of captains mode. Just wanted to let you know TW would never ever add tactical depth, they are aiming for casual players, everything in this game is dumbed down for the sake of accessibility.
Useful and informative feedback Firunien... Thanks for dropping by!
 
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Loyal2Odin

Sergeant
@Brandis.
Great post mate! I don't play the game anymore, and I never really played captain anyways, but this Rambo thing sounds like a good reason to ragequit! Let's hope TaleWorlds finds their brains from the trashcan (since they obviously threw their brains in the bin a long time ago) and make this a more enjoyable gamemode.

I am really excited to see how they are going to adress this because the class system causes significant imbalances. You buff one class for Skirmish, and it becomes too OP for bots so needs to be adressed again. Not going to lie, I have mentioned this over 50 times in the last year but the class system is really no good for the game. It makes everything super difficult and we can pretty much spend the next 2 years giving feedback because it won't ever really be balanced. UNLESS classes are made different for different gamemodes, which would in turn be confusing leading to other issues. Best thing is to balance the game around equipment rather than classes. If TaleWorlds are smart they look into this, but considering it has been said probably over a few hundred times by many people in the community, I find it highly unlikely they fix this the right way.

Just one more thing. The lack of strategic depth is also a direct result of how the class system is implemented. The player has limited choice dependent on the circumstances and is typically forced to play something he wouldn't choose if he was more free to choose equipment based on STRATEGICAL PREFERENCE.
 

Super Jew

Veteran
WBNWVC
No class or perk should be OP to any sort of player group, from a match of random first-time players to competitive 6v6 where half the lobby has every class and best perks memorized. Conversely, no class or perk should be underpowered in all player groups, ensuring that every class and perk is viable and useful for at least one audience. (This is assuming a certain amount of viable options per audience.)
I agree that all perks and classes should be preferable in certain scenarios. This will never be the case with perk because when you have options like the glaive for Khans Guard nobody would ever look at the other two options. Taleworlds please split up the balancing so that this can become closer to a reality.
At the moment, rambo is a hot issue. Some players claim it's a good demonstration of mechanics, while others claim it ruins the game.

The latter group is categorically right. Rambo ruins the game. You can't have a "Captain" mode be based on parking your bots on the other side of the map and slowly picking off enemy troops, pushing the game to the time limit every round. That's not what the mode's supposed to be about and it's not fun for anyone except the cav player.

And you might as well just remove archers. If you gave archers god-tier aimbot the enemy cav commander would still just ride up, shield up, and distract the archer unit with absolutely zero counterplay while their cav unit assists combat elsewhere. Skirmishers have been terrible for a long time, but I expect the same would happen for them.

However, archers don't have godlike aim, and spear and pike infantry will slowly get picked off by rambo as well. It's a race against time at the moment where only the cav players get to play, and everyone else just watches with some minor movement here or there.

This can be fixed with three changes:

1) When the commander is a certain distance away, their bots automatically follow. This puts their bots closer to danger and allows more counter play.
2) Greater troop counts. Troop count is determined by a multiplier, which is currently 20. A new base of 25 or 30 would be interesting to try. A solo captain now has to kill 20%+ more troops, making rambo less viable.
3) Improved Cavalry AI. Part of the reason why rambo is used is because your cav will probably just die without accomplishing anything. Improved cav AI would allow your cav to get more kills and damage.

Some ramboing can still occur with these changes, but in a less oppressive way.
I am a supporter of ramboing though I believe that there should be counters to the tactic. The only part I agree with Brandis is improving the cavalry AI will make less people being forced to rambo. Nerfs to cavalry rambos that Brandis didn't mention:
  • Get rid of bastard axes. Having a axe that can one shot all light armor units and two shot heavy armored units at a incredible swing speed is extremely overpowered. The reason why I am not talking about all two handers on horses is because with the glaive or menavilion you are giving have a good polearm to thrust against enemy cavalry players making a tradeoff.
  • Nerf couched lances. Being able to one shot any unit or horse is extremely OP. A good strategy right now is to dismount all of your enemies cavalry by one-shot couching them. The AI also don't do a good job of landing couched lances so you would really only be nerfing the player.
Pick Stage, Round 1
  • Team 1 Army Strength: 600g; econ 0g. (Everyone bought a 100g class.)
  • Team 2 Army Strength: 540g; econ 60g. (Everyone bought 100g class except two, who bought 70g classes)
(100g would be a bad place to start based on skirmish troop costs, but it's easy to use for this example.)

This means that their positions are different from the start. Team 1 now has a hypothetically stronger army, but no leftover gold. Team 2 has a slightly weaker army, but some leftover gold.

The next round, each team gains 50g passively, and now each player on Team 1 has 50g; and most players have 50g on Team 2, except two players who have 80g.
  • Team 1 Army Strength: 600g; econ 500g.
  • Team 2 Army Strength: 540g; econ 560g.
Now, Team 2 is in a position to use their econ advantage. Both teams are aware of each other's positions. They can make guided strategic decisions based on how much gold they can see each team has as well as what classes they saw the previous round. This will be different every game, with the factions, map, and round will all change the decision making that goes into what classes and perks are selected.

On playstyle, let's say that you can sell a troop back into the shop for 90% of the original price. So you could sell a 100g unit for 90g back, and with your passive income of 50g, now have 140g to spend. However, you could stay on the troop and buy upgrades for it. Such as with a Tribal Warrior, you could choose to stay on the troop and buy a higher troop count, better armor, a better weapon, a spear, ect. This means that switching classes would result in lost potential value, but allow you to counter-pick the enemy better. It also means that your opponent is likely to bring a similar comp, giving you more information and guided decision making.
The money system would be terrible idea for captain. So instead of trying to predict what the other teams composition is now you also have to try and figure out if they want to spend more money this round? What's great about captain is that it is simplistic in that if you have played some single player you can be a contributing member to your team, unlike skirmish where it takes time to build up skill and knowledge to be contributing at all.
Specifically on the topic of archers: I also think that increasing Archer Movement Speed so that it is greater than most infantry classes (other than Skirmishers and maybe some lightly armored Shock unit classes as well) would be a very welcome change that would allow for more maneuverability for archers to "kite" over heavier classes without making them impossible to run down by lighter classes and cav.
If you increase archer movement speed to the point that it is faster than heavy infantry you will turn pub games into running simulator if your team doesn't have cavalry who knows what they are doing. Heavy infantry already has a tough time catching archers with the slow shield wall. Maybe if you want to argue that light archers could slightly outrun heavy infantry I would be interested. At the moment the only light infantry that would be good enough to possibly beat archers in melee are clan warriors, rabble, wildlings, warriors and tribal warriors.
Captain Perks (Area of Effect, temporary bonus "abilities")
During the class selection phase each captain can choose a single perk or "ability" that grants a different temporary stat bonus to ai troops within a limited area of effect that is within the immediate area of the player captain unit. These unique abilities would ONLY be given to the captain unit that the player initially spawns into the game as, once that unit has died the captain no longer has access to the ability. Multiple instances of the same effect would not stack.

Examples of what bonuses could look like:

Resistance:
When activated, friendly units surrounding the player captain gain 25% armor rating for 5-10 seconds. (25 second cooldown)

Bloodlust: When activated, friendly units surrounding the player captain gain 10% increased damage and 5% increased attack speed for 5-10 seconds. (25 second cooldown)

Field Medic: When activated, friendly units surrounding the player captain regenerate 1 hitpoint per second for 10-20 seconds. (1 minute cooldown)

Stampede: When activated, friendly units surrounding the player captain gain 20% movement speed for 5-10 seconds. (30 second cooldown)

Each of these abilities could be bound to a single hotkey in the F file, or if there are none left available, a simple combination such as F8-F8 could also be used.

These abilities could also just be passive bonuses in an area effect, the player unit would simply act as a beacon for these bonuses and any nearby ai units would receive the benefits.

Reminder that you would only have access to these abilities on your captain units first life and your captain must be within a close proximity to friendly ai troops in order for them to receive the bonus. Therefor if you die as a rambo before maximizing the usage of these ability bonuses, you would be missing out on a huge advantage for your team thus incentivizing players to stick near their units and not risk dying alone.
Taleworlds please give me Ling's Community Notable badge because he does not deserve it for suggesting perks.
 

Ling*

Knight
@Super Jew Im sorry but class selection should 100% be relevant in all levels of captain mode and if you fail to bring the necessary counters to archers such as light infantry and cav the pubs have no one but themselves to blame. You cannot expect heavy infantry to be effective against all unit types. They already have a shield wall they dont need to be able to outrun archers too. Were trying to evolve past the infantry melee ball, but you seem to be fine with how useless archers are for some baffling reason, and its not productive or healthy for the mode. I suggest you play less skirmish its corrupting your judgement. Pubs can play morale flags if they dont want to chase units, thats the entire reason flags exist at all so one team cant just avoid confrontation. Seriously if players arent smart enough to do this they dont deserve to win simple as that.

I don't hear you complaining about not being able to chase down cavalry units on foot, why does that not ruin the game for you and yet your heavy infantry who have better weapons, shields, more numbers, and more armor not being able to outrun archers who have limited ammo capacity is somehow going to turn pubs into a walking simulator? Get real. If you think archers perform too well in melee then simply nerf their melee stats, this isnt a legitamate reason to keep them slow and unusable as ranged units.

You don't want to chase archers?:
Stand on a flag, put your shield wall up, and quit crying. Or better yet, have some archers on your team and shoot back.

Regarding my perk suggestion: If you think a system that encourages and incentivizes captains to stay with their units by giving them a reason to do so is worse than a system that prevents or restricts players by forcing them to stay with their units like leashing does, then there's no saving you.
 
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AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I am a supporter of ramboing though I believe that there should be counters to the tactic. The only part I agree with Brandis is improving the cavalry AI will make less people being forced to rambo. Nerfs to cavalry rambos that Brandis didn't mention:
Not to be hostile (as you are right to have your own opinion) but why do you support 'Ramboing'? I feel it heavily distorts the game mode Captains is meant to be - a mode where you command and control a small army of bots to leverage victory. It isn't meant to be skirmish with extra lives and even one player doing this forces everyone else to adapt. Now one team has to play with effectively 5/6th as many troops and the other has to deal with the player.

It isn't enjoyable for anyone else in the game other then the person doing it. That alone should prove why it needs to be fixed.
 
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AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
@Brandis.
Great post mate! I don't play the game anymore, and I never really played captain anyways, but this Rambo thing sounds like a good reason to ragequit! Let's hope TaleWorlds finds their brains from the trashcan (since they obviously threw their brains in the bin a long time ago) and make this a more enjoyable gamemode.

I am really excited to see how they are going to adress this because the class system causes significant imbalances. You buff one class for Skirmish, and it becomes too OP for bots so needs to be adressed again. Not going to lie, I have mentioned this over 50 times in the last year but the class system is really no good for the game. It makes everything super difficult and we can pretty much spend the next 2 years giving feedback because it won't ever really be balanced. UNLESS classes are made different for different gamemodes, which would in turn be confusing leading to other issues. Best thing is to balance the game around equipment rather than classes. If TaleWorlds are smart they look into this, but considering it has been said probably over a few hundred times by many people in the community, I find it highly unlikely they fix this the right way.

Just one more thing. The lack of strategic depth is also a direct result of how the class system is implemented. The player has limited choice dependent on the circumstances and is typically forced to play something he wouldn't choose if he was more free to choose equipment based on STRATEGICAL PREFERENCE.
The class discussion is irrelevant to this topic. Even if Bannerlord had Warband equipment - Captains mode would still work the same way it does now; the same way it worked in NW and even in the rarely played version in Warband (Yes there was a limited form of captains mode in Warband). Please keep that discussion to it's own threads.

Also Taleworlds have already taken steps to make classes different across different game modes (e.g.g the shock trooper shields) and will do more of this in the future.
 

Sperber

Regular
Good post Brandis.!
The minimum distance between the player and AI units is the best solution for me! This is surely easy to realize for the devs and just has to be DONE! At least for TESTING!
In a normal captain game you can handle one or max two Rambo players well ...
In the league games it looks very different.
Almost all players attack here as Rambo!

There is then no way to keep the losses at 1v1.
Here you have 3 or more losses before you catch the Rambo.

The Captain League games now have the following tactics!
Park AI units, 1 or 2 players protect the AI, the rest go out and kill as many AIs as possible.
Then it is waited and further decimated until shortly before the end of morality and rush the rest.

Please DEVS, find a SOLUTION!
 

AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Good post Brandis.!
The minimum distance between the player and AI units is the best solution for me! This is surely easy to realize for the devs and just has to be DONE! At least for TESTING!
In a normal captain game you can handle one or max two Rambo players well ...
In the league games it looks very different.
Almost all players attack here as Rambo!

There is then no way to keep the losses at 1v1.
Here you have 3 or more losses before you catch the Rambo.

The Captain League games now have the following tactics!
Park AI units, 1 or 2 players protect the AI, the rest go out and kill as many AIs as possible.
Then it is waited and further decimated until shortly before the end of morality and rush the rest.

Please DEVS, find a SOLUTION!
I'm somewhat surprised the leagues dont have rules against this? They did in NW.
 
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