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Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

ArchAngel

Arcane
Sad Loser
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
16,520
I found a tranny.

JNpkI9U.jpg
Vlandia is a very progressive kingdom in my game. I have 4 freshly 18 lords in my dungeon who believe a silken dress goes well with their full beard. :hahano:

For 2 days at least, as everyone seems to escape the moment I turn my back on them. I guess Calradia never invented locks. Or proper doors. :argh:
Keep them in high security towns. Or keep them in your prisoner list while having perks that reduces their chance to escape.
I usually have 20+ nobles in my prisoner lists travelling around their areas and watching while I siege their towns. It also helps to turn them to join my kingdom. Once they lose their fiefs they often become willing to switch sides and having clan leaders right there as prisoners makes the whole process much easier.
 

Bliblablubb

Arcane
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
2,924
Location
Copium Den
Don't get me started on that stupid design decision turning the late game a horrible chore.
To keep them from escaping and magically repawning with new armies, the  player needs to have high scouting (on top of riding) and drag 100s of lords around. It ruins the whole idea of delegating scouting to a companion. Or you grind a govenor with 50 rogue + engineering and 200 smth riding for a 95% chance. Which in this game probably means they will stay for a week before escaping. :argh:

The WImps and NImps are homeless bums a this point, but they still field 20+ parties roaming my SImpire, randomly declaring war and raiding 15 villages at the same time. While none of my lords react. The SImpire outnumbers everyone 4-5 to 1, but can only create  one army, siege one enemie's castle, then call it a day. While the at least two other enemies walk around like pacman, eating fiefs left and right.

It's almost as if the game is meant to rubberband back and create and eternal stalemate. The battles are fun, well unless you aggro Vlandian sharpshooters, who headshot you from 200 meters away while riding at 100 kpm.
But the campaign map is such a horrible slog making me ragequit.
And my demonspawns don't even have a portrait yet. Sad.
 

Bliblablubb

Arcane
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
2,924
Location
Copium Den
Once they lose their fiefs they often become willing to switch sides
The homeless Impotentos clan wanted 500k to switch sides, making them the most powerful clan in my SImpire (after me). Sugarmommie Rhagaea has only 50k or so and is the richest clan around.
No wai.

The SImpire is in dire need of clans tho, the SImpress already gave 15 keeps to the same clan in desperation. Who never defend anything. Maybe she is just trolling them. :hahano:
 

Bliblablubb

Arcane
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
2,924
Location
Copium Den
So I was at the point thinking: "Fine. I'll just sit out the 2 years for the game to kill you homeless leftover Imps off, men women and dozends of babbies. Watch me not caring!"
Nope, both NImps and WImps snatch an undefended keep after almost 2 years have passed and will continue to stick around.

This game... :argh:
 

ArchAngel

Arcane
Sad Loser
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
16,520
Once they lose their fiefs they often become willing to switch sides
The homeless Impotentos clan wanted 500k to switch sides, making them the most powerful clan in my SImpire (after me). Sugarmommie Rhagaea has only 50k or so and is the richest clan around.
No wai.

The SImpire is in dire need of clans tho, the SImpress already gave 15 keeps to the same clan in desperation. Who never defend anything. Maybe she is just trolling them. :hahano:
Yea, they will ask such amounts to join or more. If you plan to have your own kingdom I would not start without having 2 mil in the bank first.
You have two alternatives. One is to make your companions lords (you do that by talking to one and giving him one of your own fiefs as part of the deal). This is for poor fag Kings as companion clans start with low level and low amount of members and take forever to become powerful. On the other hand they never leave your kingdom and you can safely marry female members of your clan to them to give them more members.
Other option is to start chopping heads and don't stop until members of your clan are only ones left alive. This will cause everyone in the world to hate you and go to war with you but even if you lose all your keeps for a while you will drain their armies to zero as they got nobody to lead them. As a result you will own everyone in the land and have no chance to govern much of it as there is no manage screen when outside of towns.
 

ArchAngel

Arcane
Sad Loser
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
16,520
Biggest issue with the diplomacy part of the game is that there is no path to joining one of the factions and becoming a King of it. If you want to be King you must make your own faction. Hopefully mods fix this part.
 

Bliblablubb

Arcane
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
2,924
Location
Copium Den
Nah, you become king when the current one dies, like by natural causes, on the battlefield (by your own "accidental" arrow) or in an unfortunate prison break accident.
The game has no inheritance system, every faction is an elective monarchy. After the ruler's death the lords elect a new one, which is 99,9% of the time you, because you have most moneyz.

When I was trying out what the fuzz about the smithing money machine is, shortly after joining Vlandia king Derpbert kicked the bucked and everyone elected me.
I guess they thought: "Nobody smelts puglios like him, and that's the most important core ability of our nations rulers since the beginning if time!" :hahano:
 

Bliblablubb

Arcane
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
2,924
Location
Copium Den
What baffles me btw is how wrong the UI values are, as if they changed them but didn't bother to apply the new values to the UI.

The skill page tells you the limit is:
Att * 10 + Foc * 30

And that's fake news. The real formula is:
(Att * 14 - 10) + Foc * 40

Creating one of the biggest dickmoves in history, by getting you stuck at 274 with 6/5, one point short of the last perk. :argh:

The wages for fiefs are also wrong, as they substract your party discounts, even if they do not apply there. I lost a ton of tier 5 units I stored in a keep for later use, setting wages slightly above "current", and the game deleted them all because they were in reality way over budget.

TLDR: Don't touch wages sliders. Ever.
 

ArchAngel

Arcane
Sad Loser
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
16,520
Nah, you become king when the current one dies, like by natural causes, on the battlefield (by your own "accidental" arrow) or in an unfortunate prison break accident.
The game has no inheritance system, every faction is an elective monarchy. After the ruler's death the lords elect a new one, which is 99,9% of the time you, because you have most moneyz.

When I was trying out what the fuzz about the smithing money machine is, shortly after joining Vlandia king Derpbert kicked the bucked and everyone elected me.
I guess they thought: "Nobody smelts puglios like him, and that's the most important core ability of our nations rulers since the beginning if time!" :hahano:
Hmm, that never happened to me. Prison break accident is hard to do as it is not easy to go into hostile towns without being discovered and instantly captured. You need to savescum a bunch and never do that.
Friendly arrow during combat is also not easy as you have to find him first, also even if you do take him down chance to actually die is pretty low.
 

Bliblablubb

Arcane
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
2,924
Location
Copium Den
Nah, you become king when the current one dies, like by natural causes, on the battlefield (by your own "accidental" arrow) or in an unfortunate prison break accident.
The game has no inheritance system, every faction is an elective monarchy. After the ruler's death the lords elect a new one, which is 99,9% of the time you, because you have most moneyz.

When I was trying out what the fuzz about the smithing money machine is, shortly after joining Vlandia king Derpbert kicked the bucked and everyone elected me.
I guess they thought: "Nobody smelts puglios like him, and that's the most important core ability of our nations rulers since the beginning if time!" :hahano:
Hmm, that never happened to me. Prison break accident is hard to do as it is not easy to go into hostile towns without being discovered and instantly captured. You need to savescum a bunch and never do that.
Friendly arrow during combat is also not easy as you have to find him first, also even if you do take him down chance to actually die is pretty low.
Easiest way then is to... *cough* turn lord's death in combat on and "remember" that you have to try your future crown on for size totally have something on your stove while in a large overwhelming battle with your king. Let someone else's arrow find him.

"Sorry boss, something came up, gotta go now, see you later!" At your funeral. :salute:
 

ArchAngel

Arcane
Sad Loser
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
16,520
Nah, you become king when the current one dies, like by natural causes, on the battlefield (by your own "accidental" arrow) or in an unfortunate prison break accident.
The game has no inheritance system, every faction is an elective monarchy. After the ruler's death the lords elect a new one, which is 99,9% of the time you, because you have most moneyz.

When I was trying out what the fuzz about the smithing money machine is, shortly after joining Vlandia king Derpbert kicked the bucked and everyone elected me.
I guess they thought: "Nobody smelts puglios like him, and that's the most important core ability of our nations rulers since the beginning if time!" :hahano:
Hmm, that never happened to me. Prison break accident is hard to do as it is not easy to go into hostile towns without being discovered and instantly captured. You need to savescum a bunch and never do that.
Friendly arrow during combat is also not easy as you have to find him first, also even if you do take him down chance to actually die is pretty low.
Easiest way then is to... *cough* turn lord's death in combat on and "remember" that you have to try your future crown on for size totally have something on your stove while in a large overwhelming battle with your king. Let someone else's arrow find him.

"Sorry boss, something came up, gotta go now, see you later!" At your funeral. :salute:
Ah yes the good old summon low level players into your party with town portal open next to some dangerous enemy trick but M&B version :D
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
1,976
Location
Israel
Nah, you become king when the current one dies, like by natural causes, on the battlefield (by your own "accidental" arrow) or in an unfortunate prison break accident.
The game has no inheritance system, every faction is an elective monarchy. After the ruler's death the lords elect a new one, which is 99,9% of the time you, because you have most moneyz.

When I was trying out what the fuzz about the smithing money machine is, shortly after joining Vlandia king Derpbert kicked the bucked and everyone elected me.
I guess they thought: "Nobody smelts puglios like him, and that's the most important core ability of our nations rulers since the beginning if time!" :hahano:
Hmm, that never happened to me. Prison break accident is hard to do as it is not easy to go into hostile towns without being discovered and instantly captured. You need to savescum a bunch and never do that.
Friendly arrow during combat is also not easy as you have to find him first, also even if you do take him down chance to actually die is pretty low.
Easiest way then is to... *cough* turn lord's death in combat on and "remember" that you have to try your future crown on for size totally have something on your stove while in a large overwhelming battle with your king. Let someone else's arrow find him.

"Sorry boss, something came up, gotta go now, see you later!" At your funeral. :salute:
Ah yes the good old summon low level players into your party with town portal open next to some dangerous enemy trick but M&B version :D
The battle method is more effective for you wife since you don't have to be at war with anyone to get rid of her.
 

Spectacle

Arcane
Patron
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
7,965
Is there any chance that we see prophesy of pendor for MB2
The pendor guys have expressed interest in making a mod for bannerlord, so it might happen.
 

Tacgnol

Shitlord
Patron
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Oct 12, 2010
Messages
1,870,861
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Pronouns: Shitlord/problematic
Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Grab the Codex by the pussy RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I helped put crap in Monomyth
Is there any chance that we see prophesy of pendor for MB2
The pendor guys have expressed interest in making a mod for bannerlord, so it might happen.

I honestly can't wait to see what some of the big TCs do for Bannerlord. They did some impressive stuff with M&B and Warband considering the limitations imposed by the engine.

Bannerlord has far less hard coded limits on changing gameplay elements, so we could theoretically see whole new character development systems for example.
 

Bliblablubb

Arcane
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
2,924
Location
Copium Den
Most important mod: HOT BUTTER
Careful with that tho.
I only had the "babbie through dialog" mod, accidently knocking up the SImpress while trying to become a mercenary, and from there on it became a hillarious pokemon running gag. Now I spent more time clicking through "your child needs guidance" popups than actually fighting.
I guess Codexia, the Codex approved dickgirl, will be remembred as the Genghis, eh, Gengha Khan of Calradia by now. :hahano:
 

Bliblablubb

Arcane
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
2,924
Location
Copium Den
God the endgame is such a slog.
Yesterday I spent 2 hours (to my excuse I was watching football with 1.5 eyes) doing a merry-go-round concourse near Lageta.
A wild 700+ Vlandia stack appears, takes 4 castles and Lageta, ignoring Ortysa, because they are afraid of my 200 man garrison, I slap them around a retake everything. By the time I reached Lageta, a new stack already restarted at the first castle... because nobody ever defends anything!
I gave me 225 scouting to prevent lords from escaping, now I lug around 65 almost 69 (teehee) Vlandian lords and they still keep coming with their magic 300 stacks containing at least 50 tier 5 crossbowmen each time. Especially funny when they come from the arab lands where you can't even recruit Vlandian troops. Can you cheat even more obvious? :argh:
On top of that my SImpire has fallen into complete apathy now. We are at war with everyone, but nobody lifts a finger... and 0% support for peace with anyone. So sad.

Modders have a LOT to fix in this game.
:negative:
 

Infinitron

I post news
Staff Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
92,782
Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
GameBanshee review: https://www.gamebanshee.com/reviews/127025-mount-blade-ii-bannerlord-review/all-pages.html

Introduction

When Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord launched into early access, it crashed Steam's servers on its way to becoming the platform's biggest release of 2020. I guess you could say people really wanted a new Mount & Blade game.

And since we count ourselves among those people, once the servers were up we immediately started working on our early access review of the game. Back then, Bannerlord was already showing some signs of greatness but wasn't quite where it was supposed to be. Which is exactly what you'd expect from an early access release.

And now, two and a half years later, the early access tag is finally removed, and Bannerlord is available on consoles as well as PC. So naturally, it's time for us to revisit Calradia, fight some looters, besiege some castles, and see what the properly released version of Bannerlord has in store for us.

A Quick Recap

If you're entirely unfamiliar with the Mount & Blade series, you should check out the early access review linked above, as it can serve as a decent introduction to TaleWorlds Entertainment's sandbox RPG formula.

But the general gist of it is that you're playing a character in a medieval sandbox world that's perfectly fine with doing its own thing even without any input from you.

The game's kingdoms wage war and make peace. Their lords run around the map recruiting armies, participating in tournaments, and improving their settlements. Peasants and caravans go about their business while brigands try to waylay them.

Being a free agent, you can participate in all of those activities and more. You start the game as just a lone nobody with a few denars to your name but later can become an industry mogul and lead armies of hundreds or even thousands of men into battle. You can support any of the game's kingdoms or even create your own.

At its core, it's a very addicting formula. But seeing how the game is so ambitious and open-ended, there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong. In a perfect world, two years of early access and plenty of people providing live feedback should be a great way to perfect the formula or at least deal with the most glaring of issues. Sadly, ours is not a perfect world, friends.

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter(lord)

I've revisited Bannerlord several times throughout its early access journey, and each time there were some improvements but also some new broken things and very puzzling design decisions. The game's full release is no different.

Take the skill system for example. Compared to the early access version, the perks you get for reaching certain skill thresholds now work. Some of them are even pretty useful and make you want to build towards them, like the ability to gauge prices for trade goods, convert bandits into real troops, or zoom in further when aiming with a crossbow.

Unfortunately, the well of ideas seems to have run dry well before all the perks were designed, so a decent bunch of them merely increases your speed or damage stats by 2-5 percent instead of doing something interesting. And we're talking about a game where on average you'll be doing somewhere in the vicinity of 20-50 damage per hit or when charging a foe on horseback, just kill any target in a single swing, which makes those bonuses barely noticeable. Some of those perks also affect your army, I guess so that they can be useless on a larger scale.

Perks also tend to have a secondary effect that's only applied when you, or NPCs in your party, are acting as governors, captains, or quartermasters. It's a good idea on paper, but it breaks down when you realize that these effects are scattered all over the skill tree, so for example, being good at shooting crossbows also somehow makes a character better at managing a castle.

But the worst part about the game's skill system is that it doesn't really matter. Sure, it's there. It does something. But at the end of the day, even without any of those skills, you'll still do pretty well even on the highest "Realistic" difficulty.


At some point during the game's early access phase, I decided to make a character who was a complete wuss. No more than 2 points in any physical attribute but plenty of social skills. And even so, after getting over the initial difficulty hump, I found myself dominating on the battlefield. And in a long campaign, eventually, you'll find yourself decent, at pretty much everything you do, seeing how the game uses a learn-by-doing system with very lax limitations.

Another major Bannerlord mechanic, the clan system, is now more robust compared to its original iteration. You can now have multiple parties of relatives roaming the map. Your younger siblings slowly grow up and develop into real characters. You can even die of old age and have your children take over, though by the time I completed my release version campaign, my character was 34 and his kids were still toddlers, so I guess it's more of a just-in-case feature.

Your clan members can now also get married to various NPC lords. Which presents a problem. After a few opening quests, you're reunited with your family and are tasked with discovering an ancient banner to then either restore or destroy the remnants of a fallen empire. That's if you're playing the game's campaign mode as opposed to the sandbox mode that has none of that banner stuff and just lets you roam the map without some big quest hanging over your head.

Either way, you have a clan. And immediately after unlocking it in my latest campaign, I got a notification that my brother got married and his new wife was now a part of our clan. Prior to that, she used to be a member of some noble NPC family. This means she enters your clan wearing high-end gear you wouldn't otherwise be able to afford until the late mid-game. You, of course, can take that gear, wear it yourself, and become unstoppable. And the game just throws that stuff at you when you're still mostly dealing with naked guys throwing rocks as the main enemy.

The list of Bannerlord's features that make you scratch your head and raise an eyebrow can go on and on. But in general, the developers may call this a full release, but the whole thing has an air of being unfinished about it.

Let's consider voice acting for example. The release version now has considerably more of it, usually around the story bits and encounter introductions. And what's there sounds great with all the cheesy exaggerated accents. But some characters and encounters are still not voiced at all. So you attack a bunch of looters and they talk at you. But then you attack some forest bandits and you only get silence.

All the social aspects of the game are pretty much exactly where they started. There's no intrigue, diplomacy, or dialogue-based roleplaying. The game doesn't even attempt to justify its wars in any way. Kingdoms just wage war because it's what you do in the game.

At some point in my campaign, the ruler of the kingdom I was supporting died of old age, and I was then elected as the new king. Which is a weird thing to do in a monarchy if you ask me, but at least it gave me a chance to experience what it's like to reign over the biggest kingdom on the map as opposed to some plucky upstart with two castles.

Basically, as a king, you can override any decision of your council if you have accumulated enough "influence," and you can choose between a balanced, defensive, or offensive approach to war. That's it. You can't tell your lords to go here or there, can't tell them to get an army going, can't even tell them to deal with the bandits plaguing their lands.

When a war starts, it just does, without even some pretext at diplomacy, like some other king saying that a town you own used to belong to him and he wants it back, or that running a war is mighty expensive, so why don't you skip the unpleasant part and just pay him.


Your clan members are also guilty of a similar lack of depth. They just exist to lead your secondary parties or govern your settlements. They don't even give you any quests like the regular NPC lords do. When it's early access and you click on a dialogue option asking to discuss something with your wife, brother, or companion and are then presented with a dead end with literally zero options, you don't mind too much. But when the same thing happens in a supposedly finished game, it's downright insulting.

Then you go back to check out some of the developer diaries from before even the early access release and you read about these grand plans of complex systems and the next level of medieval sandbox simulation where you'll need to mind your logistics to not starve or how various cultures will have unique breeds of horses.

And the funny thing is, all of that is true on the most basic of levels. So, in theory, you can starve if you don't buy any food, but the stuff is so plentiful that chances are, at some point you'll be getting way more of it just by fighting other lords and forget that it even exists. And yes, there are plenty of horse variations with some being slightly faster and others slightly tougher. But can you actually notice any difference when playing? If the horses are in the same tier, no you can't. And does it have any effect at all on the actual gameplay? I think at this point you know the answer.

At the same time, there are some undeniable improvements in the full version. Faction balance, for example, is much better now. Without your help, there's a constant back and forth now instead of a couple of kingdoms just conquering everything.

The general balance of things has also been adjusted and so now Battanian archers aren't ridiculously overpowered, for example. On the other hand, ranged weapons actually feel underpowered now, with high-end crossbows taking 2-3 hits to kill even mid-tier enemies and barely tickling the really armored ones.

Still, lords and their armies have been tweaked in some ways and now behave more reasonably. Sieges are significantly smoother. There's more scene variety so you're constantly fighting in new places instead of the same forest over and over again.

But as you may expect, this new stuff comes with new issues. Take the rebellion feature where a city may rise against its lord and create a new minor AI kingdom. It sounds cool on paper, but with the way loyalty works right now, a conquered fief will forever have considerable penalties to it.

As such, settlements you own will perpetually annoy you with their lack of productivity as you'll be spending most of the time idling them with loyalty-boosting festivals. But then the kicker is, the developers never bothered making sure the game's AI lords can do the same, so they just keep losing their recently-conquered towns to rebels and there's nothing you can do about it.

The game's main quest was also expanded with a new activity in the form of conspiracy quests. These mostly just tell you to go across the map anytime you're busy with some military campaign. And even if you ignore most of them and let them fail, they seemingly don't penalize you in any way. But at least you get a neat little cutscene once you finish the main quest now.

When it comes to combat, I did enjoy the way you can now slow down time when you're actively issuing orders on the battlefield. Not merely useful, it somehow just feels satisfying.

You also can now place your troops and adjust their formations before a battle begins. Unfortunately, that whole menu seems like it was designed for a controller specifically, as you can open radial menus and press buttons there, but you can't click on things. And, for some bizarre reason, adjusting the camera height with the mouse wheel on that particular screen and it alone is reversed, so you'll be constantly trying to pull out for a bird's eye view but get buried in the ground instead.


In general, trying to command your troops on the battlefield is extremely frustrating in Bannerlord mainly thanks to F6 existing. You see, F6 lets the AI take over and just do its thing. And when you press that button you see it do such cool things like splitting the cavalry into two groups and protecting your flanks, skirmishing with your ranged units, attacking a particular enemy formation, and so on. And the kicker here is that none of those commands are available to you when you're trying to control your troops manually. You can put your guys into a shield wall or some other formation and tell them to attack or retreat, and that's about it.

Knowing that the AI has all these tools while you don't is extremely frustrating. Doubly so when it keeps misusing them and turning what's supposed to be an easy win into a massacre. Which happens all too often in large battles where reinforcements are involved, as the release version likes to spawn fresh enemy formations right on top of your archers.

And if you think that's bad, how about the fact that the full game currently has reduced functionality when compared to the initial early access release? Back then you could manually assign any unit to any combat group. This was extremely useful at times, like during the quest where you get some low-level peasants to train and you don't want your strong units to run in and get all the kills, or when you want to put your medics and engineers with no ranged skills together with the archers so they just stay out of harm's way.

That feature is no longer in the game. At all. Infantry is infantry and archers are archers now unless the game randomly decides otherwise and sends your companion without a melee weapon equipped into the shield wall. You can't adjust things in any way except by splitting your computer-assigned blobs into smaller computer-assigned blobs when setting up your units before a fight.

Well. This was supposed to be a shorter review to quickly update you on Bannerlord's progress at the end of its early access journey. But I feel like I haven't even started listing all my grievances with the game. There are just so many things here that fall short of even the most reasonable of expectations.

You enter one of the settlements and just walk around it, and it's gorgeous. You want to do things in that space. You want to talk to people, explore and perform various tasks there. But it's all so static. Trying to talk to various citizens mostly ends up in them saying something to the effect of, "go away, I'm busy."

And then we also have a bunch of half-baked systems like minor clans with their unique units and backstories. But they mostly just serve as lords with dubious loyalties. You can't join them, can't add them to your clan, can't reliably recruit their units, can't do any special quests related to their backstories.

In the end, the game just devolves into massive wars that happen for no reason and then end, allowing you to restock your troops before kicking off again. And even restocking troops in the late-game is a hassle because there's no good way to train your recruits. Bandits just don't scale enough to matter past the early game and there are no Warband-style training fields in the world.

This brings us to mods. Mount & Blade is famous for all the wild mods turning it into all sorts of different things, and Bannerlord even has Steam Workshop support, allowing you to skip dealing with any third-party mod sites.

Even so, most of the currently available mods require you to have other mods installed and that's just mighty off-putting to me. But some just work, and among them is a mod that improves the game's garrison system. Once installed, it integrates into the game and looks like it belongs there. It expands what's essentially a very basic system in the vanilla game where you put units into garrisons, and they stay there, defending your towns and castles or acting as a reserve in case you lose a bunch of men in a bad fight.


The mod then completely overhauls this system and allows your garrisons to recruit and train new men in your absence. It lets you tinker with the specifics of this process, and even create a template listing specific units you want to be trained. The garrison then will create a recruiting party that will visit the nearby villages. And once you have some battle-ready troops, your garrisons will be able to create guards that protect your lands from raiders.

This is pretty much what I expected all of the game's systems to look like following the early access phase. Instead, we got some sidegrades at best and even managed to lose some features.

And as for multiplayer, it was showing quite a bit of promise during early access, especially the Captain mode where every player commands a squad of AI soldiers and fights over various objectives.

The release version of the game's multiplayer side greets you with a fancy menu with various cosmetic and progression options, and several ways to play the game.

But after clicking on matchmaking and waiting several minutes, I got into a game with one other guy in what was supposed to be a 6v6 match. I was then informed that skirmish was currently bugged and people mostly played on custom servers these days. Most of those were fairly barren, with only a few having any action going. And since after quitting that first empty skirmish game I got locked out of matchmaking for a bit, I just gave up on the whole thing.

Technical Information

Bannerlord's early access release was met with some grumbling about bugs and crashes. And while I encountered plenty of the former, the latter were extremely rare for me. To the game's credit, the full release had no crashes at all and bugs were far less prevalent.

There were still some, mostly visual glitches like the ground flashing in some desert scenes or certain rocks not having any collision. Then, the later stages of the campaign have you fighting these unique conspiracy units and once you beat them you get the prisoner screen, but you can't take them as prisoners. And during sieges, it feels like enemies can just fall through the textures on occasion, leaving your army standing around while a lone unreachable enemy exists somewhere. I also got several error messages every time I quit the game.

Another rather amusing glitch that reflects the game as a whole is the fact that the workshops you can own in the game have levels, but there's no way to level them up.

Other than that, all the points from the early access review still stand - the game looks and sounds great, especially compared to its predecessors. And it runs pretty well considering how many objects you can have on the screen.

Conclusion

If I were to sum up this whole review in one word, it would be "disappointed." You can play the Hercules gif/video yourself.

At the end of the day, this is still Mount & Blade. It's still very fun to ride around the map, get into fights and gradually paint the map green. But with how ambitious Bannerlord looked at the start and how long it took for it to get here, I expected more.

From the looks of it, the developers intend to keep working on the game now that it's released, and hopefully, this will eventually allow the game to realize its full potential. But at this point, over a decade after the original announcement, I wouldn't hold my breath. Let's just hope we get some fun mods at some point.
 

Zanzoken

Arcane
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Messages
3,067
God the endgame is such a slog.
Yesterday I spent 2 hours (to my excuse I was watching football with 1.5 eyes) doing a merry-go-round concourse near Lageta.
A wild 700+ Vlandia stack appears, takes 4 castles and Lageta, ignoring Ortysa, because they are afraid of my 200 man garrison, I slap them around a retake everything. By the time I reached Lageta, a new stack already restarted at the first castle... because nobody ever defends anything!
I gave me 225 scouting to prevent lords from escaping, now I lug around 65 almost 69 (teehee) Vlandian lords and they still keep coming with their magic 300 stacks containing at least 50 tier 5 crossbowmen each time. Especially funny when they come from the arab lands where you can't even recruit Vlandian troops. Can you cheat even more obvious? :argh:
On top of that my SImpire has fallen into complete apathy now. We are at war with everyone, but nobody lifts a finger... and 0% support for peace with anyone. So sad.

Modders have a LOT to fix in this game.
:negative:

This sounds the exact same as Warband. The devs have zero idea how to design a logically functioning campaign, so they just give the AI infinitely respawning troops. The only way you can win is to take enemy lords prisoner and hold them until you can conquer all their fiefs (by yourself, because all of your allies are useless fucks who contribute nothing).

Imagine working for 10 years on this sequel (a total of 15+ years on the franchise) and learning LITERALLY NOTHING. Fucking dumbfucks.
 

Bliblablubb

Arcane
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
2,924
Location
Copium Den
The only way you can win is to take enemy lords prisoner and hold them until you can conquer all their fiefs (by yourself, because all of your allies are useless fucks who contribute nothing).
Yeah, and knowing the AI there will be a sudden "100% support vote for peace because of considerable tribute" the moment I have collected all lords and could go through their land like a hot knife through butter.

It's like George Orwell designed this game, gotta keep the population in an eternal stalemate. The economy certainly reminds me of IngSoc already, Ortysa went from 6500+ down to barely 4 digts by the time swooped in and bring them freedom and fake democracy. :argh:

I guess... it's time for sugarmomma Rhagaea to have an unfortunate hunting accident, so I can at least override those stupid sabotaging AI decisicions.
:negative:
 

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