SP Native [WB] Blood and Steel 2.0

xenoargh

Grandmaster Knight
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Blood and Steel 2.0 is going to be a thing. 

For those of you who've forgotten or just never played it, Blood and Steel was one of the first released Warband mods, years ago.  It's been downloaded a lot over the ages and I still break it out to screw around with once in a while, because it's still Fun.

Why, after all this time? 

Because I wanted something easy to mess with while I was really busy messing with other things that aren't game-related :lol:

Features, thus far:

1.  I have reduced Mount and Blade: Warband's memory footprint by about 3/4.  Like, wow, the mod is running in 500MB or less now, with the giant amount of content the mod added... still intact (bigger, actually).

2.  I have successfully gutted just about everything, code-wise, that didn't get gutted the first time I wrote Blood and Steel.  This means that writing the features I wanted at the time is now less like Coder Whack-A-Mole.

3.  The mod's going DirectX 9, officially (since that's now a switch we can throw when the engine starts), with a much cleaner shader system (and hopefully not buggy on initial release; testing on ATi).

4.  I've been cleaning up a lot of dodgy code (well, other than the giant swathes that have just been cut out with a giant scythe of Efficiency).

5.  Giant battles are running smoothly on a single core; the giant battles Blood and Steel was really known for running (well, not lag-fests) are bigger and better than ever on a decent machine.  We're talking something around 600-800 Agents running around 40 FPS.  Oh, yes, the spawning system is back in action; you can really fight 10K guys in a sitting without your game crashing, now.



Plan:

1.  Flesh out the strategic side of Warband and fix all of the major suck.  I.E., no more mess of menus, dialogues, etc., to manage your empires; play the game at the strategic level nice and fast and tight, the same as the tactical level.

2.  Finalize the storyline elements that were gradually becoming present in the last builds.

3.  Make battles fundamentally more interesting (again); introduce new ways to achieve objectives and variety of fights.

4.  S'more content, yup yup.  More troops to bash with, weapons and armor to drool over, etc., etc.

5.  Steam support and release.



If, by chance, anybody's out there that remembers the mod still and is interested in alpha-testing it, I'll probably have early builds up in a month; a lot of the really major stuff is done, now I'm fleshing out features.
 

Hazzardevil

Master Knight
NW
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I missed the mod and have fond memories of it, but going back to it every now and then is a challenge. Will weapons still have really fast speed, or will it be at a more human pace?
 

xenoargh

Grandmaster Knight
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Base Hand-to-hand speeds will still be at what I'd consider realistic speeds for combat, yes. 

But... I think it's now possible to include a game option that will slow down combat speeds for those of us who are twitch-challenged, though; I'll definitely consider that if it's something people want.

Pity that Warband's blocking system remains kind of meh; it's the largest reason why the speed is a bit hard to deal with.  You know what, though?  I might even be able to fix that; it's probably possible to nullify / reduce damage if the character's in a blocking stance when they take a hit, now.

I'm also implementing balance changes here and there to make all-archer armies less attractive and make certain classes of troops that weren't terribly useful (see: halberdiers, etc.) have a good spot, balance-wise.  This isn't just a technical exercise in memory optimization, etc.; I am trying to clean up a bunch of little messes I left behind the last time I released anything and make it even more fun.

 

fladin

Baron
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
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A good coincidence is that I played  it a little bit the last week (always a great source of inspiration for my own mod, especially since it's open source :wink: )

What is that mod about?
there are already a version 1.6 in the  official forum thread : https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/board,185.0.html
 

Seek n Destroy

Marquis
WBWF&S
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Oh my, better not be playing with my feelings here  :ohdear:
I never got my hands on the 1.6 beta but I played pretty much on all versions and each update was rich in new features and content, glad to see you're planning to update the mod.
 

xenoargh

Grandmaster Knight
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Promise I'm not; I've already completed the Great Code Deletion and optimized a bunch of content and... other things :twisted:
 

xenoargh

Grandmaster Knight
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Oh, hi, Somebody!  Long time no read :smile:  Yeah, I'm back while I get this done.  I suspect that what's left of the modding community might find this interesting; I've largely gutted the entire core of the game this time, heh.
 

xenoargh

Grandmaster Knight
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Just ran a battle with 1000 Agents with the new spawn system.

Good news!  It ran without crashing!  Yes, seriously.

Bad news!  My framerate dropped to 10FPS on a midrange PC. 

Oh, wait, that's still playable.

Note:  I don't think this works out if anything like 1000 horsemen are on the battlefield; they suck up CPU like there's no tomorrow, because badly-optimized AI.  I think that's probably not playable.  But that's OK; my code already counts them as 2 guys (probably needs to be 3) when deciding how many are allowed to spawn.

I haven't balanced this well yet.  Right now, it's still totally possible for the player to vastly outnumber the AI, even in a big fight, if they get ahead enough.  I think I can address that, though.  Might make giant armies of Death Knights a bit rough, lol.
 

Cokjan

Sergeant at Arms
WBNW
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xenoargh said:
Just ran a battle with 1000 Agents with the new spawn system.

Good news!  It ran without crashing!  Yes, seriously.

Bad news!  My framerate dropped to 10FPS on a midrange PC. 
That is great news mate, even 500 people on the battle is more than enough! :grin:
Is it stuttering? And how crappy it is when the two sides clash? I still remember the performance impact when the army clash.
God the game became horrendous that moment! :lol:
 

xenoargh

Grandmaster Knight
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Is it stuttering? And how crappy it is when the two sides clash? I still remember the performance impact when the army clash.
It got pretty rough, but there weren't any distinct halts; framerate bottomed out around 10 FPS.  It was still playable, but probably a little too choppy for most people. 

On a current-gen rig, though, I suspect the mod can run 1000-Agent sims at a more-reasonable framerate.  I just don't have the world's most powerful CPU / GPU in this box.
 

RalliX

Count
M&BWBWF&SVC
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xenoargh said:
Is it stuttering? And how crappy it is when the two sides clash? I still remember the performance impact when the army clash.
It got pretty rough, but there weren't any distinct halts; framerate bottomed out around 10 FPS.  It was still playable, but probably a little too choppy for most people. 

On a current-gen rig, though, I suspect the mod can run 1000-Agent sims at a more-reasonable framerate.  I just don't have the world's most powerful CPU / GPU in this box.
Can you give specs on your machine's CPU and GPU?
 

xenoargh

Grandmaster Knight
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Yeah, this is a quad-core Cybertron Borg Q-860X; it has 16GB of RAM and a SSD in addition to a conventional hard-drive, but it's basically stock (didn't have time to build a system last year).  So we're talking AMD chipset at 3.8GHz and a pretty milquetoast GPU- an AMD R7 360. 

This is a nice rig, for what I paid for it, but it wasn't exactly "elite" when I bought it last year.
 

xenoargh

Grandmaster Knight
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Well... I think I'm going to end up with a brand-new map. 

I just figured out a really radical way to generate a new one and I'm really excited; we'll finally be able to have a strategic map that is a little more sensible. 

Still working out a couple of details in regards to ocean travel, because I'm not quite sure which way I want to go in terms of support for that, but I think it's going to be the prettiest strategic map we've ever seen in Warband, if the rest of my theory holds up.