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What happened to "building a criminal empire"?

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five bucks

Squire
Publicly showcased Bannerlord gameplay demo from 2016:
NPC: You can make good money out of forgotten alleys like ours.
"If you have a companion that has a trait of being criminal, you can own a criminal enterprise here (alley), and take money for ourselves. As we are part of this faction and know the lord who owns this city, that would cause a strain on our relationship."

Devblog which followed the demo:
When we wander into the backstreets, we are confronted by a group of thugs and the dialogue is automatically initiated by the gang leader. The main advantage of engaging in crime is to make money quickly. It is cheaper and provides a faster return than a legitimate business. However, engaging in criminal activity while rising up the ranks of a faction increasingly puts the player in a difficult position.

Steam Store page description, visible to everyone buying Bannerlord since March 2020:
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is the eagerly awaited sequel to the acclaimed medieval combat simulator and role-playing game Mount & Blade: Warband. Set 200 years before, it expands both the detailed fighting system and the world of Calradia. Bombard mountain fastnesses with siege engines, establish secret criminal empires in the back alleys of cities, or charge into the thick of chaotic battles in your quest for power.



For 5 years, Taleworlds has told the 5,000,000+ people who bought the game that Bannerlord would let you own back alleys to create "criminal empires".

But players still can't own alleys. There is nothing in TW's future plans statement about criminal enterprises. Apparently they have not even decided internally whether it will make it into the game.

Are Taleworlds actually going to deliver on this feature they are still advertising?

It doesn't have to be super complicated. Something like this: once you defeat a gang in an alleyway, you have the option to start your own criminal enterprise there (with a name like "counterfeiting ring", "black market," "thieves' hideout" etc) which is just like a normal workshop, except it is more profitable, does not have economy inputs/outputs, and has the downside of raising your criminal rating. That would deliver on what they said, in a way that re-uses existing mechanics and doesn't complicate the economic simulation.

This is just an example, though. Anything close to Taleworlds' previous statements will be enough to make them not be liars.
 
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Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
There was another exchange about it too but I couldn't find it.
This one?

The crime system largely works as described (crime rating tracking and penalties per faction), there are quests that use criminal activities like smuggling and alleys continue to be discussed. I am not sure what you are referencing by undermining local nobility but if it concerns same-faction combat encounters, then I don't think that that will be coming.
 

danEN

Banned
WBM&BWF&SNWVC
what are you suggesting? features they advertised should be in the game, outrageous claim mr bucks
 

Bloc

Archduke
WB
We all know what will happen. They will create something extremely basic or they will just brush up what they have now, just enough to say "we have it what are you talking about?" and then be done with it.


For those who don't agree with me about this, let's make a fact-check with that video to see what we have now after 5-6 years:
- Character editor - ⚠️ In the game although changed and different from that version
- Swords horses and fighting with bandits - ✅ In the game
- Building a crime empire - ❌Not in the game
- Workshops owned by lords or merchants outside of that town ( I'm assuming it's referring to notables in current version now ) - ❌Not in the game
- Being able to tell smith to craft things for you for a price - ❌Not in the game
- Influence based system to tell people what to do - ✅ In the game
- Interesting and detailed political mechanics which decides who will be ransomed to who - ⚠️Some form of ransoming added but clearly not very "interesting political mechanics" related at all
- Lords who lost battles are forced to tax their people in order to afford to have an army - ❌Not in the game
- Feeling more pressure from faction after losing battles. And using "interesting politics" to influence others to nominate you as Marshall - ❌Not in the game
- Being able to raid villages of a particular lord which will show this impact on his army - ❌Not in the game. Because lords are able to recruit from almost anywhere in the world without any downside to them. Even if you completely **** up every single village for Vlandians, they can still recruit from Battanian villages and towns if they are not at war with them.

What is really sad about this fact-check is that almost all of these are extremely easy to implement and can very much be a really nice touch to a game that can also balance a lot of existing problematic things such as "snowballing".
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
We all know what will happen. They will create something extremely basic or they will just brush up what they have now, just enough to say "we have it what are you talking about?" and then be done with it.
Judging by what was shown years ago, it was only ever going to be basic, like owning a workshop except for crime + losing a companion to do it.
 

Julio-Claudian

Knight at Arms
- Being able to raid villages of a particular lord which will show this impact on his army - ❌Not in the game. Because lords are able to recruit from almost anywhere in the world without any downside to them. Even if you completely **** up every single village for Vlandians, they can still recruit from Battanian villages and towns if they are not at war with them.

What is really sad about this fact-check is that almost all of these are extremely easy to implement and can very much be a really nice touch to a game that can also balance a lot of existing problematic things such as "snowballing".
^And that has actually been done intentionally in order to stop snowballing. It's like the direction they've taken to fix problems like snowballing now means implementing certain features would clash with the "vision" they have for the game. Rather than developing an actual diplomatic system to counter snowballing they made it so that every kingdom constantly declares war on the strongest one, everyone can recruit from everywhere so that nobody gets too weak after losing battles or having their villages destroyed, and wars usually just mean the same couple of settlements flipping back and forth between two factions.
 

Bloc

Archduke
WB
Judging by what was shown years ago, it was only ever going to be basic, like owning a workshop except for crime + losing a companion to do it.
No? They are saying stopping gangs is helping the economy and stabilizing the city. Or having them are destabilizing the city. They are also saying that having criminal activity undermines the authority who owns the town ( which indicates it can affect their influence and disables their political power within the faction if they don't handle this well) and IF they find it out, it will impact your relationship. And how they will find it out? Based on their perks? Based on the amount you earn? Based on your companion's skills? Not mentioned but clearly what they had in mind was more than just a workshop mechanic.
^And that has actually been done intentionally in order to stop snowballing.
Is there a thread where they say this? Because if I'm mistaken, since the beginning of EA, AI was always able to recruit randomly from other towns and villages without worrying about the owner. ( at least they were able to recruit within the same faction) I might be mistaken tho, don't remember much, it was one year ago after all. Nevertheless, it's certainly a weird choice to stop snowballing.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
^And that has actually been done intentionally in order to stop snowballing. It's like the direction they've taken to fix problems like snowballing now means implementing certain features would clash with the "vision" they have for the game. Rather than developing an actual diplomatic system to counter snowballing they made it so that every kingdom constantly declares war on the strongest one, everyone can recruit from everywhere so that nobody gets too weak after losing battles or having their villages destroyed, and wars usually just mean the same couple of settlements flipping back and forth between two factions.
The recruiting from neutral settlements was there on release. Wars being fights over the same couple of settlements was a direct result of players being asking for the AI to focus fighting on the borders instead of diving on the weakest settlements.
No? They are saying stopping gangs is helping the economy and stabilizing the city. Or having them are destabilizing the city. They are also saying that having criminal activity undermines the authority who owns the town ( which indicates it can affect their influence and disables their political power within the faction if they don't handle this well) and IF they find it out, it will impact your relationship. And how they will find it out? Based on their perks? Based on the amount you earn? Based on your companion's skills? Not mentioned but clearly what they had in mind was more than just a workshop mechanic.
But was any of that shown? That's what I meant; it was just pie-in-the-sky and/or just marketing. What was actually shown was basically a workshop -- if even that.

That said, beating up the gangs gives (or gave?) a mild Security boost which in turn leads (or led?) to more tax income and higher Loyalty (even more tax income). In other words, they put a lot of stuff where crime in your town costs you tax income in the game already, but stuffed someplace 99.99% of players would never think to look. I've played the game for well over 2K hours at this point and I never noticed it until Bannerman Man pointed it out.
H1rtW.png

I don't know why; mechanics like that are pointless unless you display them in a blatant manner.
 

Bloc

Archduke
WB
But was any of that shown?
Not sure what is your intention. Were you expecting them to hover over on screens and track these numbers in a short time of demo? They didn't show it in detail so you are also not able to speculate that it was "just a workshop". But I do consider it as more than just workshops when an official Taleworlds representative, who happens to be Community Manager at that time, says all these details. If you are saying that he lied just to do a PR stunt, that's another debate and should be discussed carefully.
That said, beating up the gangs gives (or gave?) a mild Security boost which in turn leads (or led?) to more tax income and higher Loyalty (even more tax income)
Where do we see this? Because it doesn't seem to be inside the Security Calculation
C#:
public override ExplainedNumber CalculateSecurityChange(
      Town town,
      bool includeDescriptions = false)
    {
      ExplainedNumber explainedNumber = new ExplainedNumber(0.0f, includeDescriptions, (TextObject) null);
      this.CalculateInfestedHideoutEffectsOnSecurity(town, ref explainedNumber);
      this.CalculateRaidedVillageEffectsOnSecurity(town, ref explainedNumber);
      this.CalculateUnderSiegeEffectsOnSecurity(town, ref explainedNumber);
      this.CalculateProsperityEffectOnSecurity(town, ref explainedNumber);
      this.CalculateGarrisonEffectsOnSecurity(town, ref explainedNumber);
      this.CalculatePolicyEffectsOnSecurity(town, ref explainedNumber);
      this.CalculateGovernorEffectsOnSecurity(town, ref explainedNumber);
      this.CalculateProjectEffectsOnSecurity(town, ref explainedNumber);
      this.CalculateIssueEffectsOnSecurity(town, ref explainedNumber);
      this.CalculatePerkEffectsOnSecurity(town, ref explainedNumber);
      this.CalculateSecurityDrift(town, ref explainedNumber);
      return explainedNumber;
    }
DefaultSettlementProsperityModel also doesn't have anything related to "gangs". CommonAreaCampaignBehavior ( which handles the gang fights ) also doesn't have anything that effects the security.
Winning is also not changing anything directly apart from changing some relationship with the people in town
C#:
private void settlement_alley_after_battle_won_on_consequence(MenuCallbackArgs args)
    {
      if (this._currentCommonOwner.IsAlive)
        ChangeRelationAction.ApplyRelationChangeBetweenHeroes(Hero.MainHero, this._currentCommonOwner, -4, true);
      foreach (CommonArea commonArea in Settlement.CurrentSettlement.CommonAreas)
      {
        if (commonArea.Owner != null && commonArea.Owner != this._currentCommonOwner)
          ChangeRelationAction.ApplyRelationChangeBetweenHeroes(Hero.MainHero, commonArea.Owner, 4, true);
      }
      if (Settlement.CurrentSettlement.OwnerClan.Leader != null && Settlement.CurrentSettlement.OwnerClan.Leader != Hero.MainHero)
      {
        ChangeRelationAction.ApplyPlayerRelation(Settlement.CurrentSettlement.OwnerClan.Leader, 2, true, true);
      }
      else
      {
        foreach (Hero notable in Settlement.CurrentSettlement.Notables)
        {
          if (notable != this._currentCommonOwner)
            ChangeRelationAction.ApplyPlayerRelation(notable, 2, true, true);
        }
      }
      if (this._currentCommonOwner.IsAlive)
        this._waitedCommonArea.RestoreAlleyOwnerStateAfterBattle(this._currentCommonOwner);
      this._currentCommonOwner = (Hero) null;
      if (this._waitedCommonArea.CommonAreaPartyComponent != null)
        this._waitedCommonArea.ClearArea(false);
      this._waitedCommonArea = (CommonArea) null;
      if (Hero.MainHero.CurrentSettlement.IsTown)
        GameMenu.SwitchToMenu("town");
      else
        GameMenu.SwitchToMenu("village");
    }

There is no need to stretch this. What they said and announced and even still written on their Steam page is not in the game. They have to implement this or man-up and tell people that they won't. Acting like they never heard this feature before and ignoring questions won't bring any good to them. And I'm talking about an official statement about dropped/discontinued features - not talking about Duh's personal responses, he is a developer and can't possibly know features outside of his team unless someone shares with him.
 

Julio-Claudian

Knight at Arms
Is there a thread where they say this? Because if I'm mistaken, since the beginning of EA, AI was always able to recruit randomly from other towns and villages without worrying about the owner. ( at least they were able to recruit within the same faction) I might be mistaken tho, don't remember much, it was one year ago after all. Nevertheless, it's certainly a weird choice to stop snowballing.
Ask him where he got this info.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Not sure what is your intention. Were you expecting them to hover over on screens and track these numbers in a short time of demo?
As it is, he said in that video we'd be able to get money and make the guy owning the settlement upset, nothing else. If it were a larger feature, I'd expect one of the devblogs to have gone deeper into details about it -- like with crime and punishment devblog, they did go through all the relevant aspects of the existing system.

edit: I'm not saying he was lying but he was just doing that marketing thing where they oversell things. I don't think that's lying but other people have a different opinion. 🤷‍♂️
Where do we see this? Because it doesn't seem to be inside the Security Calculation
Yeah, it was probably removed but I'm almost certain that you could boost town Security by beating up the alley gang on release. But the last time I did it was really early. Also totally pointless because Security ticked up to 100 on its own back then, so I was just wasting time doing that and stopped.
 

Rungsted93

Sergeant at Arms
WBWF&SVC
Weirdest part is this was in 2016, they had 5 years to fix/rework/finish this feature but yet they're still not even sure what they'll do with it... How is that even possible?
 

XDaron

Sergeant Knight
if they implement it I bet it would work exactly like a workshop, only it would drains goods instead of fabricating them
cool idea for a modder to implement
 

vonbalt

Sergeant Knight
WBNWVCM&B
Weirdest part is this was in 2016, they had 5 years to fix/rework/finish this feature but yet they're still not even sure what they'll do with it... How is that even possible?
Remember that the game was supposed to be out by the end of 2016 (in some shape or form) but got delayed to 2020? they fell into a bad case of development hell and had to restart many things on the project or atleast axe things left and right for it to see the light of day, it took 4 years then for the EA release and alot was changed, including their "vision" for the game it seems.
 

five bucks

Squire
if they implement it I bet it would work exactly like a workshop, only it would drains goods instead of fabricating them
cool idea for a modder to implement
Are we really at the point where an easy implementation of an advertised feature is something left up to unpaid modders? Instead of the company which got paid hundreds of millions of dollars while saying it would do it?

I'll be refunding if TW does that, and encouraging others to do the same. I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but straight up lying about feature inclusion is where it becomes reasonable to get a refund and not support a game company.
We all know what will happen. They will create something extremely basic.
TW doing a basic implementation of player-owned criminal businesses in alleys is reasonable, so long as they actually do it and we're not outright being lied to.

Personally, I cut them slack on a lot of other features you mentioned because they usually did something similar and those were in older semi-obscure posts, but this is something they literally had up on the store page when selling to people (and STILL DO), so that's where I draw the line.

And if they genuinely are planning some variant of it and keeping us in the dark, that's not great either. It's not hard to say "yes the feature will be delivered in some form, just not sure what yet".

@Dejan can you please shed any light on this for us?
 
I'd be interested in a Criminal gang career ..but it's doesn't need to be in the released game, an add-on is ok.

I wouldn't pay over $5 for it though. :grin:
 
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