This game is broken at a fundamental level

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The Lord Retinue module in Realistic Battle Mod is probably the closet we have to an idea solution.
Lord retinue is actually buffing the cheat armies AI gets when they respawn, what you probably mean is volunteer uptier, that one makes all recruits tier 2 by defauld and increases number of noble troops to 20%.
 
The only solution would be to allow defeated enemies to recruit higher tier units so that a higher percentage of their troops have higher tier units.

The Lord Retinue module in Realistic Battle Mod is probably the closet we have to an idea solution.
Actually there are other solutions involving improving AI. If a kingdom's stance is defensive, parties should not go to enemy territory alone and lose, they should patrol around their cities and defend villages, they should prefer to get back to cities and castles even when they have a slight advantage, they should prefer siege defence over field battle.

Other solutions might be "cheat like buffs" like increasing milita production during defensive stance, increasing tax income when nobles stay inside settlements, increasing xp gain of troops when inside a settlement etc.
 

CrazyElf

Veteran
Lord retinue is actually buffing the cheat armies AI gets when they respawn, what you probably mean is volunteer uptier, that one makes all recruits tier 2 by defauld and increases number of noble troops to 20%.


The respawn part is where I see the issue. The AI got captured and their army is very weak. They needed some sort of buff to help them recover. Otherwise they are hyper-vulnerable.

Although volunteer uptier is also very useful. I should mention that yes, being able to recruit tier 2 and up is important too.
 
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StewVader

Sergeant
StewVader's OP claimed it was not just a major factor but THE major factor. It also happens that he was totally wrong about the way it worked, to the point where his suggestion for the way it should work is the way it already does (and people still hate).

If you misdiagnose the illness, the medicine won't cure you.

You can always pull from neutral villages and towns. No recruiting bonus, you'll get two slots per notable (assuming no trait mismatches), roughly three notables per village and five per town, which means passing from Odokh to Baltakhand (four towns and 8-13 villages) can put you over 100 party size in under four days' travel, for one example off the top of my head.

But like I said, most people don't play in that manner that because:
1) party size and troop quality is another form of progression in M&B
2) too many players feel compelled to use the safest (and grindiest) method of raising troops -- killing looters -- and the game does nothing to discourage them.
3) it feels bad to lose troops that you've spent hours grinding up, especially to an AI which cares nothing about its men.

The crazy part is, I'm actually on your side and I've said that battles should become rarer and more decisive, recruiting troops less of a chore, etc.

Your summary is incorrect. I was not totally wrong. The AI gets 20% of its core army back when it respawns and then can recruit much faster than the player because of established garrisons and has no need for relations with the notables. It also spawns with horses, and food so no need to go gather that either.

So I was partially wrong about the magnitude of the cheating. The CHEATS still cause the AI to spawn and reattack constantly with almost no real cost for losing significant battles over and over. So, no your summary is not accurate.

My suggestion is the AI have less cheats, which is not the current way it works - so you're wrong again?

Its funny that you think any of what I have said has been contradicted. I was simply off about the magnitude for the respawn army - that's it. They AI army still comes nearly full force 2-3 times before you complete a siege - which is really stupid.

And yet, the game couldn't handle any real cost to the AI because the player could then conquer the whole map in a matter of hours.

This is why the game is FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED. There is no fix for these problems. AI need massive cheats or the game is over shortly.

And the game doesn't feel like a sandbox at all since every playthrough is nearly identical.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
The AI gets 20% of its core army back when it respawns and then can recruit much faster than the player because of established garrisons and has no need for relations with the notables. It also spawns with horses, and food so no need to go gather that either.
They get way less than twenty percent back. They still need relations with notables, although they get +1 slot and apparently their raids do less damage to relations.They don't spawn with horses, unless you mean free cav upgrades, in which case, yeah, that's the one cheat they get. They buy food though (and lots of people complain about that because the AI doesn't ever buy enough) which is the cause of them bouncing around town to town sometimes, instead of doing something useful.

And players can take troops from their own garrisons as well, so it isn't the AI cheating or even doing anything unreasonable. I damned sure take troops out of my garrison after I welp because I'm not trying to spend thirty minutes wandering around gathering recruits and fighting looters/bandits/militia.
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StewVader

Sergeant
They get way less than twenty percent back. They still need relations with notables, although they get +1 slot and apparently their raids do less damage to relations.They don't spawn with horses, unless you mean free cav upgrades, in which case, yeah, that's the one cheat they get. They buy food though (and lots of people complain about that because the AI doesn't ever buy enough, ) which is the cause of them bouncing around town to town sometimes, instead of doing something useful.

And players can take troops from their own garrisons as well, so it isn't the AI cheating or even doing anything unreasonable. I damned sure take troops out of my garrison after I welp because I'm not trying to spend thirty minutes wandering around gathering recruits and fighting looters/bandits/militia.

Its not way less that 20% its between 15-20% I think depending on the NPC. I've seen the rulers comeback with 40 guys who usually have 200 in their army. Unless that's just for rulers. And almost every lord comes back with 20-25 who normally have armies of 125-130. Its def. right there around 20%. The AI doesn't build relations doing quest, they obviously must start with high relations with notables or accrue is very quickly from security - so they essentially don't need relation, as I said.

I said the AI has a massive advantage because their garrisons are already fully stocked and constantly accruing from the start of the game. Whereas significant loses for the player, who depending on where they are in the game and luck, doesn't have a robust garrison to recruit from after significant loses.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
The AI doesn't build relations doing quest, they obviously must start with high relations with notables or accrue is very quickly from security - so they essentially don't need relation, as I said.
0 relations gives you +1 slot, same faction gives you +1 slot. Owned fief gives another +1 (or did) have to check when I get home.

But like I said, two of those cheats (spawn troops and free +1 slot) are really easy to disable and test. Just try it and see what happens for yourself. Spoiler: they'll still show up repeatedly with new armies.

Because they have a lot more parties than the ones in their armies. And those parties are lead by more nobles than just those on the map. And those nobles have a lot more troops than the ones in field.

Seriously. The kingdom strength number shows how many they have and 15,000 is completely normal, meaning you could kill ten armies in a row and they'd still have enough for an eleventh. And a twelfth. And a thirteenth. And even if you kill 15,000 they will still have more because notables constantly produce more troops, who get recruited and now notables no longer have to level-up the recruits*, they just randomly produce high-tier ones, so now the AI armies have fewer recruits. And players asked for fewer recruits/more nobles in enemy armies, it wasn't just TW going off on their own.

Does it make the game grindy? Yeah, it does. You have to basically kill 150-200 per day just to overcome a mid game kingdom's natural spawn rate through its notables. That's a small army every three or four days, or a big one every eight or nine. To actually drain their manpower you need the AI to help. But none of that is changed if you take away free spawn troops and it barely changes in the case of removing their +1 recruiting slot, because they still have the natural +3 from same faction and owned fief and indifferent relations bonuses.

Its not way less that 20% its between 15-20% I think depending on the NPC. I've seen the rulers comeback with 40 guys who usually have 200 in their army. Unless that's just for rulers.
If they own even one settlement there is no way to see what they spawn with. Their party will spawn inside after the noble comes off cooldown and the troops are drawn from the garrison without any indication on the map like with recruiting from notables.

Rulers weren't an exception the last time I looked, but Mexico mentioned he wanted their parties to be scarier in the map.



*Before I'm misunderstood: the troops in parties, garrisons, etc. still need to be leveled up. That part hasn't changed. What has changed is that available men to be recruited (i.e. still in slot) were previously leveled-up over time, with some influence from the notable's power. Basically, every notable would produce a full rack of the lowest-tier troops, going right from left. After their rack filled, the right-most troop would gain a tier, then the one next to him, then the next, and the next after until the notable's entire rack was up-tiered and the process repeated itself. But in a live game, there would always be nobles coming around taking the first two slots, leading them to be almost always recruits, while the right-most slots (hardest to get) were generally tier 4 and the middle were -- well, somewhere between those two.
 
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I think they get relative fixed number of troops. It used to be something like 30 for normal nobles (but some devs said it was nerfed to like 10 or something recently?) and maybe more for rulers. Ratio of troops is defined in xml file (see lord retinue uptier optional mod for RBM or partyTemplates.xml in Sandbox for reference).
 

Adrivan

Sergeant at Arms
I think the problem is that the game is just a combat simulator really. There are other mechanics but they are shallow in their engagement and over engineered in the background. If they had a true diplomatic and economic system they could use other tools and avenues instead of combat. Give us the tools to conduct matters of state to combat the enemy and give them the tools against us. Fighting gives you everything you need to win; money, prestige, and power all come from fighting is amounts that you have to limit yourself as a player to avoid snowballing the enemy.

Wasn't that always the case though, even with warband? Besides some feasts and meaningless dialogues, vanilla warband was also just a battle simulator. Still, people enjoyed that.
 

xdj1nn

Knight
WBWF&S
this always bothered me though my take is different. They could make so the AI has massive advantage towards AI bandits (simulation of tactical prowess and professional-soldiering vs peon with pitchforks.) The way the programming goes it's totally possible to create conditions for the army type you are up against. Idk why they didn't.

Considering there's this inbuilt buff or handicap on Lord vs Looter battle calcs, half the problem would be gone. On top of that we could have significant attribute variables in place... So the AI mimics the player (problematic to simulate in battle-AI, but although hard is also doable). So a Lord with high physical prowess and combat experience, could single-handedly always put down a minimum X of enemies up to Y (Min+RNG) amount of troops, giving preference to killing mostly low-level units. A Lord with really high tactics would be able to destroy low-level tacticians with his troops (significant boost to troop effectiveness, meaning high defense and high offense). A master Physician would make almost all of his troops survive after the battle, and reduce the silly knockouts to almost zero (so a lord with 50 troops against AI looters with 200 troops would be able to tank the 200 troops for multiple engagements, giving chance of defeating them by resilience, or enough time for allies to gang-up and help).

The thing is, TW wasn't creative at all with their own systems, so everything is RNG with little to no variables, which makes lords exceptionally vulnerable against almost anything. I've said this once and I'll say again, I am more than capable of developing a consistent system that would be far more balanced and would allow the AI to play by the player's rules, trouble is I'm not really sure if it's at all possible if they so far have not implemented high-complexity variables to the auto-calc. My conclusion is that until they do so, AI must cheat otherwise the challenge is gone and unwanted AI annoying behavior would run rampant.

PS: Fortified AI should receive ridiculous defensive buffs. In this I'd go for realistic measures, so 50 men in a top tier castle could fend-off hundreds if not thousands of enemy forces, this way forcing AI to siege by hunger = more realistic outcomes, and a way to fix conquering pace + war length.
No more siege -> insta battle -> garrison completely wiped with no chance of defense which would also prevent AI snowballing.
As for siege scenes they could go either for easier all around so the player has a say (but it would feel cheesy), or make it so defenders have massive advantage and tactics + numbers being needed to succeed. Also, after siege should be made a calculation that gets you stuck in the map for a few days at least without any possible action to simulate time spent on the assault. Considering this, game would feel more intuitively correct, more realistic so to speak, and it'd make for decent challenge to reward curves.
 
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Honved

Knight
The thing is, TW wasn't creative at all with their own systems, so everything is RNG with little to no variables, which makes lords exceptionally vulnerable against almost anything. I've said this once and I'll say again, I am more than capable of developing a consistent system that would be far more balanced and would allow the AI to play by the player's rules, trouble is I'm not really sure if it's at all possible if they so far have not implemented high-complexity variables to the auto-calc. My conclusion is that until they do so, AI must cheat otherwise the challenge is gone and unwanted AI annoying behavior would run rampant.
Agreed, a simplistic algorithm isn't able to recreate realistic results, because those realistic results happen due to a variety of factors which are not taken into consideration in the game. Sometimes it takes a complex calculation to imitate a "simple" and obvious effect in real life, in order to make it APPEAR simple, otherwise the result can be silly and unreasonable.

High defensive bonuses for fortifications should make assaults extremely costly in terms of manpower. After one such assault, the attackers should need to return home to replace losses and resupply before starting another siege, often deferred until the start of the next year's campaigning season. Instead, we have short sieges and rapid takeovers of castle after castle in sequence, which very rarely happened historically. Sieges usually took weeks, months, or even years, with a few noteworthy exceptions that are mentioned in chronicles of the time primarily because they were so unusual.
 

xdj1nn

Knight
WBWF&S
Agreed, a simplistic algorithm isn't able to recreate realistic results, because those realistic results happen due to a variety of factors which are not taken into consideration in the game. Sometimes it takes a complex calculation to imitate a "simple" and obvious effect in real life, in order to make it APPEAR simple, otherwise the result can be silly and unreasonable.

High defensive bonuses for fortifications should make assaults extremely costly in terms of manpower. After one such assault, the attackers should need to return home to replace losses and resupply before starting another siege, often deferred until the start of the next year's campaigning season. Instead, we have short sieges and rapid takeovers of castle after castle in sequence, which very rarely happened historically. Sieges usually took weeks, months, or even years, with a few noteworthy exceptions that are mentioned in chronicles of the time primarily because they were so unusual.
it's a shame I've abandoned game development field and never applied nor have a chance of getting a Game Designer chair in TW, otherwise I'd done exactly what I've said in my post (of course there are many details missing, but it'd be somewhat like that). Oh well, can't expect to jump into Gaming industry with director position jobs, so here we are: I conjecture and give ideas, and hope they take those and use them, even though if they do I won't get any credits for it lol
 

eddiemccandless

Knight at Arms
WBNWVC
it's a shame I've abandoned game development field and never applied nor have a chance of getting a Game Designer chair in TW, otherwise I'd done exactly what I've said in my post (of course there are many details missing, but it'd be somewhat like that). Oh well, can't expect to jump into Gaming industry with director position jobs, so here we are: I conjecture and give ideas, and hope they take those and use them, even though if they do I won't get any credits for it lol
I am pretty sure that even then Armagan would have started directly into your soul and said "Over my dead body".
 

Magello

Sergeant
Wasn't that always the case though, even with warband? Besides some feasts and meaningless dialogues, vanilla warband was also just a battle simulator. Still, people enjoyed that.
That is the problem, they have settled into, "It has more than vanilla Warband"
Bannerlord should have grown and expanded on what was Warband in meaningful ways. I mean come on, they had modders market testing ideas for them for years and they have just abandoned all of it. I have to give them credit though, I can't think of many game companies as talented as TW looked be so adamantly stubborn to their vision as TW.
 

Ser Jon

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Wasn't that always the case though, even with warband? Besides some feasts and meaningless dialogues, vanilla warband was also just a battle simulator. Still, people enjoyed that.

It was majorly a battle simulator, if that's the best term for it, but it was more than that. It had enjoyable characters/npcs,quest lines etc. A life to it, if you would. The best we could achieve with Bannerlord should not be "well, it has a little more than Warband", especially not when a lot of these new features are trash/don't work or exist in Warband via (far better) mods.
 
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