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What do u think is missing for this game to have a soul?

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MostBlunted

Sergeant Knight
This feeling is missing in Bannerlord, because wars are a constant, you have no "connection" to the lords of the realm, peacetime doesn't allow you to do anything you wouldn't have the time to do otherwise.

Also there is nothing you can do in peace times.
 
soul: emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, especially as revealed in a work of art or an artistic performance.

That's the perfect word choice of what it's missing.

  • Player time to die is too short. You get hit once or twice and you're dead, at least until you have top end gear. That doesn't leave much room to actually fight. Maybe on easy difficulty this is improved. I found myself avoiding fighting in combat sometimes, knowing that if I fall to 0% that I wouldn't be able to lead troops in the next engagement that I knew was coming right after the one I'm fighting now. I know that's somewhat "realistic" and all, but that doesn't mean it makes for good play when you are emotionally numb waiting for the battle to end.
  • Doing the same set of tasks over and over and over and over. Recruit, battle (siege), loot, sell and supply, repeat. That cycle is 90% of the game. This saps intellectual energy from what you are doing and is emotionally boring. There is so much mindless killing required to tier up and train troops that I think I'm playing Call of Duty sometimes.
  • Conversation isn't meaningful at all. You just reload your save until you pass a bad system or live without what you want or face a harsh consequence. It's not good for the soul.
  • The quest system isn't. From broken quests to boring quests, I can't name a single one that is actually good. For all the crap they took for the Folly quest at least that added some color to the game and taught you to track down lords you want to find the first time you did it. I played WoW for a long time and I'm not really a fan of doing quests anymore, maybe you can relate. That said, good quests do add to the soul of a game like this. They shouldn't be there just to be there, though, it should be a quest, not a job. It should add to the story being told. Having to get the banner to form your own kingdom is a good thing, it adds to the story. Clicking a button to form an empire is soulless by comparison.
  • Workshops are fire and forget. No real interaction. Change production? You clicks a button and pays your moneys.
  • Companions are just caravan and party leaders most of the time. Having them in the party is far more engaging. Customizing what they have and how they fight adds to the intellectual investment. Sending them off to do other things does not, really. It would be fine once in a while but it is sort of sad that opportunity gets wasted most of the time in the name of passive income. At least as party leaders they are in your army a lot, and very useful to you in the middle to late game. But when you nerf the economy down, and workshops down, now you need them all making denars instead of being interesting. They are just templates with a broken attribute system that differs from the player.
  • No interaction with your troops. Default groups, default weapons, default armor, I hit an upgrade button a thousand times, that's it.
  • Culture is pretty meaningless beyond your initial bonus and skill choices. You start in the same place no matter what, you aren't encouraged to be invested in your culture at all.
  • The AI isn't playing the same game. Recruits at it's own difficulty, has knowledge without scouting, doesn't have to track down lords to talk to, gets map speed without buying horses, respawns with 10% of its troop limit while you get 0%, escapes from capture faster than you do, just grabs a party from a fief when it needs one, and so on.
  • Diplomacy, mercenaries, clans, and war have more flip flops than a beach at spring break.
  • Not enough parties late game. You somehow can't have an army in your clan more than you and 3 leaders. This must be so that you can't actually build an army big enough to compete on your own. That might sound realistic but again, it's not fun.
  • Progression stagnates mid game. You feel like you're progressing so slowly if at all.
But what does it actually need? My opinion is that overall it felt more like work than fun to play. There isn't enough variety of activity, and the activity that you can do has limits imposed that are meant to improve the game but actually take some of the fun out of the game. It needs to be engaging and fun, and everyone has some different idea of what that would be. These ideas are just some of mine, but there are a lot of great ideas on this forum.
 

Pythagoras

Regular
soul: emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, especially as revealed in a work of art or an artistic performance.

That's the perfect word choice of what it's missing.

  • Player time to die is too short. You get hit once or twice and you're dead, at least until you have top end gear. That doesn't leave much room to actually fight. Maybe on easy difficulty this is improved. I found myself avoiding fighting in combat sometimes, knowing that if I fall to 0% that I wouldn't be able to lead troops in the next engagement that I knew was coming right after the one I'm fighting now. I know that's somewhat "realistic" and all, but that doesn't mean it makes for good play when you are emotionally numb waiting for the battle to end.
  • [...]

I strongly agree on everything except of that. It is not the purpose of a commander to take part in a fight the whole time, he rather serves as a deciding factor at the end of a battle by attacking the flanks, archers or fleeing troops. He leads. But if we don't get involved in fighting personally there is not much to do of what you would actually do as commander. This is due to the strongly limited tactical abilities and the deleted battle map.
If you would be able to actually command your troops in a proper way with skirmish tactics, pointing out which enemy to attack, arrow volleys, weapon choice, flanking maneuvers (even if it would just be without a proper battle map) you wouldn't have the feeling that you have to engage personally, because there would be so much to do and to try by fulfilling your actual role in a battle - hence that would drastically increase immersion and thus be a part of the soul of Bannerlord.
 

Novubey

Veteran
I think more interaction with random npcs (villagers, beggars etc.) would make a huge difference already.
I also think this is actually the main reason. There is no interesting NPCs in the game. They are totally dumb and doesn't react to anything. It would be great if NPCs react to your status, achievement, dress , action. And there is nothing happening in the town. All people are moving like some mindless zombie.
 

rektasaurus

Squire
The entire premise of the game is the Imperial civil war. The first quest is a good introduction and starting point but the whole story ends there. There is a lack of depth interacting with the NPC world. The bugs and design flaws definitely take away from the immersion but it’s kind of like what was there to be immersed in anyways besides the battle scene? I’ve had a few play throughs where one faction gets knocked out within the first 2 years. And then that’s it it’s no more and it can never come back and I’ve barely gotten my first castle. It doesn’t seem plausible that the situation which led to the succession crises would allow for that to happen so quickly. All of a sudden Sturgian nobles would join the Battanian cause no more than 2 years after the betrayal? The motivation to destroy or reunite the empire is literally just the real life love of the game or rp reasons provided by the player and isn’t propelled by the story or gameplay at all and so it feels fruitless to begin with.

There’s no meaningful relations mechanic which really contributes to this and I think would solve it to an extent. There have been many posts about how relations with nobles is broken and there doesn’t need to be extensive dialogue or lore (but please fix the typos come on) but if there’s a specific clan I would like to increase my relations with I shouldn’t have to play a game within a game, wait for rng to grant me a quest, or be at war with them so I can ransom them after capturing. I mean right away we’re supposed to be a lord but there’s no way to target a clan or noble to increase relations and perhaps pull away from their liege. There’s no impact to laying siege or being besieged except resolving who owns the fief and experiencing a siege battle. There’s no feel of scouting, hunting a party, or skirmishing. There’s no impact, emotional or gameplay wise, of set piece battles which are typically enormously decisive affairs unless one side pulls off an orderly retreat. There is no feel that Calradia is in a period of bitter fighting and brutal bloodshed. All of these issues lead to the one dimensional gameplay we get of grinding an army simply for the sake of fighting huge battles.

Actually the caravan trader path looked promising but it is extremely difficult to get rolling without killing looters and many aspects still feel arbitrary instead of liberating. The smithy doesn’t add anything really except solving the cash flow problem and adding one more meaningless click-fest task in order to afford fielding an army in order to fight big, buggy battles.
 

Arivaragus

Recruit
The interactions with the sandbox are so far very shallow, there is no mechanic that offers a context to interact with NPC lords outside of warfare, nor is there a mechanic to differentiate between the various factions, nor are the actually existing mechanics interconnected in any meaningful way. Having a complex economy and a system of inlfuence and policies lacks variety if it's the same for everyone. The Factions leaders have some sort of ideology, but there is no system of politics in the game that reflects that. No factions that support different policies, no nuance of ranks among the vassal clans, and no way for the player to influence things, beyond simple conquest. Sure conquest is fun, leading armies on campaign is fun, but it lacks ramification. Even the most basic form of politics system would go a long way to give the player a more engaged experience, especially when you think about continuing a single playthrough for multiple generations
 

rektasaurus

Squire
The interactions with the sandbox are so far very shallow, there is no mechanic that offers a context to interact with NPC lords outside of warfare, nor is there a mechanic to differentiate between the various factions, nor are the actually existing mechanics interconnected in any meaningful way. Having a complex economy and a system of inlfuence and policies lacks variety if it's the same for everyone. The Factions leaders have some sort of ideology, but there is no system of politics in the game that reflects that. No factions that support different policies, no nuance of ranks among the vassal clans, and no way for the player to influence things, beyond simple conquest. Sure conquest is fun, leading armies on campaign is fun, but it lacks ramification. Even the most basic form of politics system would go a long way to give the player a more engaged experience, especially when you think about continuing a single playthrough for multiple generations

Yes. Although I wouldn’t condone a flavor of policies unique to each faction. Something along those lines sounds good. Also the ability to easily see everyone’s standings to everyone else. Not sure if that exists or not.

Also way to build a “relationship” with an ally NPC and then have them follow you or you them. Or the ability to give or receive tasks like raid villages or caravans or transport goods. Vassal ranking would be cool. The minor clans are an excellent idea and I’d love to have more options with them. Seriously we should just be able to set follow with any of them and gain relations until it unlocks tasks. And join battle while following else lose relations. Or something like this.
 
I strongly agree on everything except of that. It is not the purpose of a commander to take part in a fight the whole time, he rather serves as a deciding factor at the end of a battle by attacking the flanks, archers or fleeing troops. He leads. But if we don't get involved in fighting personally there is not much to do of what you would actually do as commander. This is due to the strongly limited tactical abilities and the deleted battle map.
If you would be able to actually command your troops in a proper way with skirmish tactics, pointing out which enemy to attack, arrow volleys, weapon choice, flanking maneuvers (even if it would just be without a proper battle map) you wouldn't have the feeling that you have to engage personally, because there would be so much to do and to try by fulfilling your actual role in a battle - hence that would drastically increase immersion and thus be a part of the soul of Bannerlord.

You raise a valid point and to an extent I agree with this. I think in practice that this should be more of a playstyle choice than a requirement in the interest of being flexible on the issue of player engagement.
 

rektasaurus

Squire
I strongly agree on everything except of that. It is not the purpose of a commander to take part in a fight the whole time, he rather serves as a deciding factor at the end of a battle by attacking the flanks, archers or fleeing troops. He leads. But if we don't get involved in fighting personally there is not much to do of what you would actually do as commander. This is due to the strongly limited tactical abilities and the deleted battle map.
If you would be able to actually command your troops in a proper way with skirmish tactics, pointing out which enemy to attack, arrow volleys, weapon choice, flanking maneuvers (even if it would just be without a proper battle map) you wouldn't have the feeling that you have to engage personally, because there would be so much to do and to try by fulfilling your actual role in a battle - hence that would drastically increase immersion and thus be a part of the soul of Bannerlord.

I think this already exists but without the battle map. Archers skirmish automatically (at near max range for some reason). If I focus on commanding only then I can easily do all sorts of flanking manuevers. Admittedly the controls are very crude and the f keys take getting used to. My favorite right now is having my infantry run left to right in front of my archers. The enemy aggros the infantry and runs after them while getting cut down by my arrows. The problem is the ai simply charges forward or sits on a hill. Still though it could have really polished and excellent combat but I don’t know if that answers OP’s issue of the game lacking a “soul”.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Player time to die is too short. You get hit once or twice and you're dead, at least until you have top end gear. That doesn't leave much room to actually fight. Maybe on easy difficulty this is improved. I found myself avoiding fighting in combat sometimes, knowing that if I fall to 0% that I wouldn't be able to lead troops in the next engagement that I knew was coming right after the one I'm fighting now. I know that's somewhat "realistic" and all, but that doesn't mean it makes for good play when you are emotionally numb waiting for the battle to end.

This isn't a problem with BL though. The game already has difficulty settings that you can change at any point during a campaign. If you're not having fun playing at full damage, just take it from full player damage to two-thirds or one-third.
 
I didn't try reducing the difficulty on it, but at the realistic setting it is an issue, imo. I guess you're trying to say that's working as intended? That's another way to see it.
 

Pythagoras

Regular
I think this already exists but without the battle map. Archers skirmish automatically (at near max range for some reason). If I focus on commanding only then I can easily do all sorts of flanking manuevers. Admittedly the controls are very crude and the f keys take getting used to. My favorite right now is having my infantry run left to right in front of my archers. The enemy aggros the infantry and runs after them while getting cut down by my arrows. The problem is the ai simply charges forward or sits on a hill. Still though it could have really polished and excellent combat but I don’t know if that answers OP’s issue of the game lacking a “soul”.

Yes, automatically. But you can't order them to skirmish manually, so they just stay a few meters in front of the infantry and you can't decide where they shall run and attack. And you can't order your actual skirmishers to skirmish - which on itself is ridiculous.
The fact that you can do what you describe is just another sign of the lack of AI and tactical capabilities. No army would do that, but instead attack your archers.

It would indirectly include more "soul", because it immerses you in your role as commander, which is the core of M&B. If you now add actual banners (as promised), war crys, volleys and ambushes you would have the feeling that you actually are in an intense battle with your hardly trained men against the enemy instead of a standard protocol where you always do the same.
 

Arivaragus

Recruit
Yes. Although I wouldn’t condone a flavor of policies unique to each faction. Something along those lines sounds good. Also the ability to easily see everyone’s standings to everyone else. Not sure if that exists or not.

Also way to build a “relationship” with an ally NPC and then have them follow you or you them. Or the ability to give or receive tasks like raid villages or caravans or transport goods. Vassal ranking would be cool. The minor clans are an excellent idea and I’d love to have more options with them. Seriously we should just be able to set follow with any of them and gain relations until it unlocks tasks. And join battle while following else lose relations. Or something like this.

I think a political faction system would serve the purpose of advancing NPC interaction to that goal. Personal relationships are no goal onto themselves, it shouldn't just be "Did this guy do me a bunch of favors?" but "Does this guy serve my goals? Do we share the same goals?". Policies need a framework of politics. Say Vassals are divided into factions, within factions they're ranked by clan-tier, influence, strength of army etc., different factions espouse different sets of policies and the player can join factions built relations and advance within them. So you'd receive quests in the context of your faction, and depending on your standing within you could task minor lords an so on. Eventually you could give tasks to factions, and depending on your authority, your standing with the faction and individual personal relation, the lords of said factions may fulfill them.
 

rektasaurus

Squire
Yes, automatically. But you can't order them to skirmish manually, so they just stay a few meters in front of the infantry and you can't decide where they shall run and attack. And you can't order your actual skirmishers to skirmish - which on itself is ridiculous.
The fact that you can do what you describe is just another sign of the lack of AI and tactical capabilities. No army would do that, but instead attack your archers.

It would indirectly include more "soul", because it immerses you in your role as commander, which is the core of M&B. If you now add actual banners (as promised), war crys, volleys and ambushes you would have the feeling that you actually are in an intense battle with your hardly trained men against the enemy instead of a standard protocol where you always do the same.

Yep and sometimes they skirmish from behind a hill. You know I use archers and recruits and I can do all of that. The way the ai fight is convincing and interesting 1v1. If there is another ai hitting the ai I’m fighting in the back they turn around instead of focusing me down which is op but good. They change distance and attack angle. They try to feint. It’s pretty good. Even the rocks getting lobbed at me by looters are well done. If their line is bigger they wrap around the sides I mean the battle ai is super good. Really what would be op is binding two infantry units to 1 and 2 and engaging with 1 while trying to flank with 2 supported by the other groups. They really should change the grouping and I think they might be working on dynamically naming the groups which would be sooo sweet. If only we had more granular control over the groups after entering the scene that would pretty much complete it.

I’d question their design choices with some of the maps and hideouts, the fighting needs some tweaks, and the order to position preview doesn’t work well at all for me in 1.4.2.

I don’t know how I feel about warcries. Like I’m already paying and feeding these jerks I have buff them by clicking a button in the scene too?

The scene is definitely important but like I said that is why we do things on the campaign map. To have more and better troops. I think the soul being alluded to by the OP is probably falls a little closer to rp opportunities and definitely more focused with the campaign map.
 
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rektasaurus

Squire
I think a political faction system would serve the purpose of advancing NPC interaction to that goal. Personal relationships are no goal onto themselves, it shouldn't just be "Did this guy do me a bunch of favors?" but "Does this guy serve my goals? Do we share the same goals?". Policies need a framework of politics. Say Vassals are divided into factions, within factions they're ranked by clan-tier, influence, strength of army etc., different factions espouse different sets of policies and the player can join factions built relations and advance within them. So you'd receive quests in the context of your faction, and depending on your standing within you could task minor lords an so on. Eventually you could give tasks to factions, and depending on your authority, your standing with the faction and individual personal relation, the lords of said factions may fulfill them.

Yeah makes sense. Right now it’s like, Sturgia has good anti cav and I’m going to fight Vlandia, so unit comp, or who is at war with who. You can call vassals from your faction and your companions leading parties to your army and you spend influence to do so.

Maybe there’s a missing middle step that we’re talking about. Like a polished dialogue with more NPC behavior.
 

Bigamo

Banned
The game have no religion, there is no practical culture differences between the cultures other than their cloths.
 

CptData

Recruit
I think more interaction with random npcs (villagers, beggars etc.) would make a huge difference already.

It would help.
I'd love to see more interaction with nobles and notable persons as well. Overall more diplomacy, more content dealing with your clan, clan development etc... overall, more non-combat related stuff that makes Bannerlord more a "medival simulation" than just a first person Total War.

I'd love to see that.
 

WhiteEyedSh4rk

Sergeant Knight
WBWF&SVC
I also think this is actually the main reason. There is no interesting NPCs in the game. They are totally dumb and doesn't react to anything. It would be great if NPCs react to your status, achievement, dress , action. And there is nothing happening in the town. All people are moving like some mindless zombie.

It would help.
I'd love to see more interaction with nobles and notable persons as well. Overall more diplomacy, more content dealing with your clan, clan development etc... overall, more non-combat related stuff that makes Bannerlord more a "medival simulation" than just a first person Total War.

I'd love to see that.

I had some Ideas how to make the game more interesting and bring some live and immersion into interactions with other npcs. Especially about villages and villagers, so I made a thread about it. Check it out and tell me what you think about my ideas. Thread
 
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