What is the point of having village/town/castle scenes ?

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Darkath

Recruit
It seems like more and more "quality of life" features like the "quick talk" and the improved "town menu" compared to warband are developped to make us avoid wasting time loading these scenes.
Of course on the short term the QoL improvements are nice and maybe even necessary, and the fact we have a proper UI now is more comfortable, but I feel like it's maybe the wrong approach ?
The more i play the more i wonder what's the point of having handcrafted these beautiful maps if we increasingly drive the player away from them and make them feel more and more barren in comparison to the campaign map and UI.
For all the clunky UI warband/VC had, i felt more immersed in the world as i often needed to walk inside the maps, to interact with various characters and places rather than looking at the campaign map and their ugly menus.

For now there are only three things i can think of that force me to load these scenes :
- Playing le board game with a lord
- Rival Bandit Gang Moving in/Finding the daughter/Finding the spy
- Buying a workshop

Some more anecdotical things :
- Talking with the ransom broker/innkeeper (special dialog for ransoming companions or getting gossips doesnt seem to be working atm)
- trade rumors from towns(wo)men

I feel like a better approach would be to increase the things happening in those scenes so that the player feel rewarded from the time spent loading those scenes rather than feel it's a time waster, with more content that you can't do from the campaign map that would basically offset the time spent on the loading screens. All the routine shores should be automatable or done from the campaign map when you are in endgame/kingdom gameplay, but i still think some thing should only be done inside those scene

I didn't really think it through but some idea i can think of :
- Purchasing a farmstead in a village
- Special NPCs to interact with inside a castle (eg: guarrison captain/recruiter, intendent for sending messages to other lords)
- Visual upgrading of village/castle/towns according to buildings constructed/prosperity vs pillaging
- Scene customisation (eg place different items inside the keep so it feels "yours")
- Setting up defences in preparation for future sieges (could be like a siege drill ?), so that your troops are correctly organized
- More village/town quests
- Undercover gameplay (visiting lover/breaking out prisoners/sneaking in out for illegal activities)
- All the criminal gameplay that was talked about in early demos, which i imagine would require interacting with local npcs and fighting in civilian outfits inside the towns.
- Diplomacy gameplay : I'm thinking of Koei strategy games where most diplomacy actions has to happen in person, whether you go there or send someone to do it, with debates and duels often deciding the outcome when skills of both sides are roughly even. A faction ruler could send you on those missions to go to the another castle to negotiate a peace, convince a ruler to switch sides, ask support for a policy etc.

I know most of these idea would be very complex to implement and i struggle to think of simple ones except more quests, but maybe people here have better ideas ?

i really think that's what will make a difference between a more immersive RPG/simulation game like Mount and Blade and UI heavy strategy games like CK2/Total war.
 
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Lord Irontoe

Master Knight
I think they added quick talk as a bandaid solution to solve the problem of long loading times. As beautiful and detailed as the town and village scenes are, they're probably too detailed for their own good. They need to figure out a way to better optimize these scenes so that its less painful to load into them. Adding more things to do in the scenes won't help much if it makes the loading times even longer than they already are.

When I first saw the town and village scenes in the game, I had these grand visions of really involved, almost Skyrim-like exploration inside the scenes, but then I started to realize that it would probably mean waiting five minutes for each scene to load.
 

Darkath

Recruit
Yeah i feel you, even with the game on a SSD the scene loading take something like 30seconds which doesnt seem like much individually but quickly adds up.

The quick talk was necessary for quests and lot of routines things that required you to load the scene only to talk with a specific character, since they already had the talk button in place, it seems like a natural improvement. But now i wonder what the point of having scenes to load at all. If the only things they are used for is 3 quests and a few boardgames, having much simpler scenes with less details would provide the same functionality while being less costly to make and to run.

What i don't know is whether it's the content inside those scenes (dialogue, npcs, quests etc.) that swell up the loading times, or purely the graphical aspects ? If it's the latter i don't think adding more dialogues and interactions would snowball the loading times like you suggest.
 

Baerstein

Regular
Yeah, beautiful to the sec... third time maybe. Why do i go in a town? Because to buy some useless Workshops, that's it. Village? To search for someone's daughter at the opposite end of the map. At that point it gets boring to see and i'm really thankful for the quicktalk option.
 
It seems like more and more "quality of life" features like the "quick talk" and the improved "town menu" compared to warband are developped to make us avoid wasting time loading these scenes.
Of course on the short term the QoL improvements are nice and maybe even necessary, and the fact we have a proper UI now is more comfortable, but I feel like it's maybe the wrong approach ?
The more i play the more i wonder what's the point of having handcrafted these beautiful maps if we increasingly drive the player away from them and make them feel more and more barren in comparison to the campaign map and UI.
For all the clunky UI warband/VC had, i felt more immersed in the world as i often needed to walk inside the maps, to interact with various characters and places rather than looking at the campaign map and their ugly menus.

For now there are only three things i can think of that force me to load these scenes :
- Playing le board game with a lord
- Rival Bandit Gang Moving in/Finding the daughter/Finding the spy
- Buying a workshop

Some more anecdotical things :
- Talking with the ransom broker/innkeeper (special dialog for ransoming companions or getting gossips doesnt seem to be working atm)
- trade rumors from towns(wo)men

I feel like a better approach would be to increase the things happening in those scenes so that the player feel rewarded from the time spent loading those scenes rather than feel it's a time waster, with more content that you can't do from the campaign map that would basically offset the time spent on the loading screens. All the routine shores should be automatable or done from the campaign map when you are in endgame/kingdom gameplay, but i still think some thing should only be done inside those scene

I didn't really think it through but some idea i can think of :
- Purchasing a farmstead in a village
- Special NPCs to interact with inside a castle (eg: guarrison captain/recruiter, intendent for sending messages to other lords)
- Visual upgrading of village/castle/towns according to buildings constructed/prosperity vs pillaging
- Scene customisation (eg place different items inside the keep so it feels "yours")
- Setting up defences in preparation for future sieges (could be like a siege drill ?), so that your troops are correctly organized
- More village/town quests
- Undercover gameplay (visiting lover/breaking out prisoners/sneaking in out for illegal activities)
- All the criminal gameplay that was talked about in early demos, which i imagine would require interacting with local npcs and fighting in civilian outfits inside the towns.
- Diplomacy gameplay : I'm thinking of Koei strategy games where most diplomacy actions has to happen in person, whether you go there or send someone to do it, with debates and duels often deciding the outcome when skills of both sides are roughly even. A faction ruler could send you on those missions to go to the another castle to negotiate a peace, convince a ruler to switch sides, ask support for a policy etc.

I know most of these idea would be very complex to implement and i struggle to think of simple ones except more quests, but maybe people here have better ideas ?

i really think that's what will make a difference between a more immersive RPG/simulation game like Mount and Blade and UI heavy strategy games like CK2/Total war.

Afreed. These are my ideas from another tread:
personally I would like to have an option to lock the quick menu in the early stage. I find that I manage almost everything via the quick menu without opening the scene. This hinders the immersion and doesn't do justice to the development of the scene..
the unlocking of the quick menu could be linked to your clan rank.

I know I can force myself not to use the quick menu, but I lack the discipline for that.

however, the city scenes need to be livelier to make it more interesting. and it should be possible to enter here with your horse so as not to waste too much time.

Examples that can make the scenes more vivid:
- patrols in the streets
- soldiers at the gate and on the walls
- get attacked by street gangs
- NPCs are not only passive, but can also approach you actively (not too often), for example to hire themselves out as mercenaries.
 
most NPC interactions are only initiated by the player.
it would make the world more alive if you are actively approached by NPC's.

For example people or Messengers can aproach you when you walk around a city.
(Some interactions can happen om the World map)
- if you are a mercenary for a kingdom get offers from other kingdoms
- If you are a successful mercenary for a kingdom get an offer to become a clan
- if your clan is successful get offers for marriage. If you own a city and a couple of castles, your character would be an eligible Bachelor.
- After a couple of tournaments wins. Get an invite to a special tournament with other winners
- after a certain amount of trades?, get requests to bring curtain goods to a town for a fixed price. Or food to an army.
-
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
The more i play the more i wonder what's the point of having handcrafted these beautiful maps if we increasingly drive the player away from them and make them feel more and more barren in comparison to the campaign map and UI.

I don't know why they even bothered with them, but that's been a question in my mind since Warband. It was annoying having to run down the guild leader or village elder in 2010. In ten years, they should have figured out that very few people were willingly walking around town scenes since one of the most popular features of Diplomacy mod was "Talk to Guild Leader" in the town menu.
 

Fell

Recruit
M&BWBNWVC
You guys are just upset because they didn't bother with the 'suspicious man' in the villages.

I do think, however, that the attention going to some of the scenes might be better allocated elsewhere for the time being, then come back later to make it prettier.
 

Darkath

Recruit
You guys are just upset because they didn't bother with the 'suspicious man' in the villages.

I do think, however, that the attention going to some of the scenes might be better allocated elsewhere for the time being, then come back later to make it prettier.

Well those environment artists are not going to work on the battle AI or balance issue, they could however work on making more diverse battle scenes and fix the existing ones especially siege ones, rather than making more village scenes for instance.

Which makes me thinks the visual upgrading of castles from a wooden fort to a fully sized fortress was touted as a big feature in bannerlord but while playing i hardly noticed it ? Is it a badly implemented feature, only implemented for some castles or just not ready yet ?
I've hardly seen a single wood fort in my current campaign even though some of my castles have lvl1 walls.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Which makes me thinks the visual upgrading of castles from a wooden fort to a fully sized fortress was touted as a big feature in bannerlord but while playing i hardly noticed it ? Is it a badly implemented feature, only implemented for some castles or just not ready yet ?

It just makes the walls taller and adds more crenelation to them. It isn't something you'll notice unless you have like a dozen sieges against similar culture towns/castles with different wall levels, back-to-back, or are consciously looking for the differences.
 

Dreed89

Sergeant at Arms
To OP: Those are great ideas. The game just needs to be more fleshed out for scenes to have reasons to visit them. The pace of development really needs to speed up.
 
I agree with the OP(special kudos for mentioning the amazing KOEI series!), I really wish the game will eventually reach that depth level. Really great suggestions here.

The issue is, we've got several player types having very different approaches on playing a game. Some examples:

1) Powerplayers, who usually don't care about the aesthetics and just see the scenes and dialogues as a "waste of time" and play it to basically max out stats as fast as possible and "beat" the game. Like people who haven't read half a page of a Skyrim book and listen to non in-game music while playing.

2)Roleplayers will value all the effort put into the scenes and dialogues and enjoy the journey, perhaps more than the goals, embracing all the devised game features.

3)Casual players. Those are something in between 1 and 2.

4)Low spec PC users may be any type from the above, but will welcome the quick menus option in order to save time and have a smooth experience.

Personally, I find having the quick/regular talk buttons a bit annoying, although I know I can just ignore it, I'd rather not have it. But I understand the reason, so I guess it would be good to have as an option. The same goes for selling prisoners, finding companions...trust me, many players just enjoy the time "waste". Going around a city, and buy your stuff from different merchants,etc. If the point of playing games is relaxing, why should I be in a rush to accomplish all the time and meet targets? I have all that at work already.

Skyrim found a good balance...there were shortcuts within a city, but not to every building and person( finding Giraud Gemane in the Bard's College to train speech felt a bit like a mini quest!).

The big question to me is, Bannerlord is supposed to be an action/strategy/rpg game...so what is the most frequent player type we currently have? Thought of making a poll, but I believe it would be considerably biased. I think it could be useful so that devs can direct the development accordingly.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
The issue is, we've got several player types having very different approaches on playing a game. Some examples:

You missing an axis of time already played. Those who are new (or relatively new) compared to players with hundreds or thousands of hours already spent exploring the game. Plenty of the guys who RPed at first eventually got tired of loading into the exact same town scene a million-and-one times just to turn in a herd to Knucklebones Edouard or whatever.
 

Blood Gryphon

Master Knight
WBVC
You missing an axis of time already played. Those who are new (or relatively new) compared to players with hundreds or thousands of hours already spent exploring the game. Plenty of the guys who RPed at first eventually got tired of loading into the exact same town scene a million-and-one times just to turn in a herd to Knucklebones Edouard or whatever.
The quick talk button is the best thing that happened. Finally no load times for some simple dialog
 
You missing an axis of time already played. Those who are new (or relatively new) compared to players with hundreds or thousands of hours already spent exploring the game. Plenty of the guys who RPed at first eventually got tired of loading into the exact same town scene a million-and-one times just to turn in a herd to Knucklebones Edouard or whatever.
Sure, this is also relevant, there are many variables. Though I didn't change this particular behaviour over the last decade.
 

**Iphicrates**

Sergeant
Quick talk button is the best feature in Bannerlord, compared to Warband. Personally, I love role-playing, but the scene has to be immersive in the first place. I enjoyed walking around cities in Skyrim, as there was a lot of stuff happening over there - people were attending their businness, they talked with each other, spreading rumors. From time to time some crazy **** happened, like a thief caught red-handed got wrecked by a guard. Cities felt alive. In comparison, cities in Bannerlord are dull and feel like mockups rather than real settlements. No matter how beautifully made the secenes would be, without real reasons to visiting them (other than aesthetics) , 9,95 out of 10 times a player will choose quickmenu over strolling through the streets. Ideas from the posts are great and could benefit city scenes a lot, making them more immersive and more enjoyable for the player.

I also think the unexpected stuff would be the coolest - random encounters inside city walls, like rescuing lady in danger, or preventing the fight between some random guys who came into argument, chasing thieves, searching for missing children, becoming part of the posse sent to hunt down a dangerous criminal, or even being harassed by a drunk guard. Sometimes player could end up attacked by thugs while visiting wrong part of the town after dark. Some of the stuff could result in improving relations, some encounters could end up with getting a free companion etc.
 

Darkath

Recruit
You missing an axis of time already played. Those who are new (or relatively new) compared to players with hundreds or thousands of hours already spent exploring the game. Plenty of the guys who RPed at first eventually got tired of loading into the exact same town scene a million-and-one times just to turn in a herd to Knucklebones Edouard or whatever.


The quick talk button is the best thing that happened. Finally no load times for some simple dialog

I'm not discussing here whether quick talk should be removed or not, as i said it's necessary because of the tediousness of the quests and most interactions.

But i wish we could look at the problem in another way, which is, how to make loading scenes worthwhile to the player rather than becoming a chore ?
Arguing that some people like it and want to RP while some don't and prefer minmaxing is beside the point, most people will be in between, just thinking it's a chore.
 
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