Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord - All News
Thursday - January 19, 2023
Mount & Blade II - Bannerlord and ChatGPT
This video showcases ChatGPT in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord by simulating NPC interactions dynamically.
The following video will demonstrate the using ChatGPT in Bannerlord with a custom build story engine for NPC dialogue interactions. SECOND VIDEO(more characters, professions etc): https://youtu.be/L_qauw4QM3Q
In the video, we will go to Battanian village, Imlagh and start chatting with random NPC's. NOTHING is scripted in this video. This implementation allows the player to interact with random NPC's in the game directly by typing, in a more natural way. All the stories in here are generated on the fly, with correct information (factions, locations, occupations, near-by events, rulers etc) with a custom story engine and ChatGPT. They provide you information about the world they are living in.
This is a demonstration project for showing the possible future of RPG Games and the way we interact with NPC's. I also added, "word by word" text processor to give amplify the "chat" behavior for NPC's (similar to ChatGPT's built-in system) and gave mouth/face animations for NPC's to make them look more alive. Sorry for the typos in my inputs, I was trying to be coherent and fast while typing :) Overall it took 2-3 days to finish, including custom story engines and such. But it's still not finished. More videos will come soon (With Imperial towns, taverns etc)
Tuesday - November 22, 2022
Mount & Blade II - Review @ TSA
TSA reviewed the sandbox RPG Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord:
Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord Review
The original Mount & Blade holds a special place in my heart. Where The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was the hottest RPG at the time, there I was on a battered old school laptop, playing a janky old build of what would later become one of my all-time favourite PC titles. That was almost 15 years ago and as much as Mount & Blade 2 evolves the original formula, there’s still a scrappiness to this ambitious blending of genres.
My return to Calradia wasn’t entirely jubilant, though Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord is a game I’ll likely stick with, simply due to my love of the original. A wealth of new systems and activities help this sandbox strategy sim feel more alive than ever, though the busywork required to get anywhere can feel like a grind. Overall, existing fans will rejoice while newcomers may look on unimpressed, unsure what all the fuss is about.
- Modding potential
- Story mode is a helpful new addition
- More systems and activities
- Defined factions, each with their own flavour
- Finicky console controls
- Uninspiring visuals
- Combat hasn’t developed much since the original
- Initial grind isn’t particularly exciting
Friday - November 04, 2022
Mount & Blade II - Review
GameLuster reviewed Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord:
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Review - We Recommend
Thursday - October 27, 2022
Mount & Blade II - Review
Dualshockers has reviewed Mount & Blade II:
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Review
An improvement on Warband in every possible way.
Early on in my Bannerlord career, I was captured by bandits (embarrassing, I know). They killed the half-dozen or so starry-eyed young men I had recruited from a nearby village, stole all my money, and even once I had escaped their clutches, I was left utterly helpless. A humbling experience to be sure, the memory of which brought a wry smile to my lips as I sat atop my throne, lord of all that I surveyed, 20 or so hours later.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is the latest open-world strategy RPG by TaleWorlds Entertainment. Previous games in the series, Warband in particular, are rightly regarded as classics, and so Bannerlord has big shoes to fill. I've been playing since the early access release, and have seen Bannerlord evolve into a truly special game in that time.
Grind and jank aside, there is nothing else like a Mount and Blade game, and Bannerlord is undisputably the best one yet. Its uniqueness alone makes it worth playing. To talk about it that way is to do it a disservice though; the true marvel of Bannerlord is that it actually delivers on what is an astonishingly ambitious concept. The two halves of the game complement each other perfectly. It may be on a slow boil, but once it gets up a head of steam, you won't be able to put it down.
Tuesday - October 25, 2022
Mount & Blade II - Released
TaleWorlds Entertainment has released Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord on Steam and GOG, together with Dev Update #11. The game benefits from a -20% release discount until November 8:
Development Update #11: Banners, Cutscenes and AI Updates
Tuesday - August 23, 2022
Mount & Blade II - Release Date Trailer
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will be fully available October 25th, 2022. The game is currently in Early Access on Steam.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will be available on Windows PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles on October 25th, 2022.
Saturday - January 15, 2022
Mount & Blade II - Battle Terrain System, Order of Battle and Siege Updates
Taleworlds Entertainment posted a new development update (video or text).
Development Update #10: Battle Terrain System, Order of Battle and Siege Updates
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
In this video, we take a look at some of the highlights of the recent e1.7.0 update and explain an important change to the save/load system that requires your attention!
As always, a text version can be found below.loading...
- 00:00 Intro
- 00:18 Save System Update
- 00:47 Battle Terrain System
- 01:29 Order of Battle
- 02:05 Battle Morale System
- 02:22 No Quarter
- 02:40 Siege Updates
- 03:18 Custom Battle Army Size
- 03:38 Arrow Time
- 03:56 Hide Battle UI
- 04:07 Perks
- 04:25 Localisations
- 04:44 Miscellaneous
- 05:49 Multiplayer
- 06:21 Thanks for watching!
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
e1.7.0 is now live, bringing many new and exciting updates that we’ll be taking a look at in this video.
But just before we get to that, we want to inform you of a change to the save and load system that will render old save files incompatible with future updates, unless you act now! [...]
Thursday - January 06, 2022
Mount & Blade II - Patch Notes e1.7.0
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlords received a major update. It's a long, long list of changes.
Patch Notes e1.7.0
Please be aware that in order for save files to be compatible with e1.7.1 and any later updates, you should first load your save file in the e1.7.0 version of the game and save it before updating to e1.7.1 or any later versions.
- e1.7.0 is currently the live version of the game and we strongly advise that you take this opportunity to update any save files that you would like to continue playing in the future before updating to e1.7.1.
- If you are playing the game on Steam, you will be able to access e1.7.0 at your own convenience by right clicking the game in your Steam Library > Properties… > Betas > Select e1.7.0 from the drop down list.
- If you play the game through anywhere other than Steam then unfortunately you will be unable to load older saves in future versions and must take action now to preserve your save files.
Tuesday - November 09, 2021
Mount & Blade II - Multiplayer Customisation and Grant Peerage
Taleworlds Entertainment posted a development update for Mount & Blade II.
Development Update #9: Multiplayer Customisation and Grant Peerage
In this Development Update video, we take a look at some of the recent additions to the game that you can jump in and experience straight away!
As always, you can find a text version below.loading...
Thanks @Couchpotato for spotting this in his news thread (somehow, Steam had removed that from my news list...)
Sunday - March 28, 2021
Mount & Blade II - Lord of the Rings Mod
Macbeth of Gondor looks at a new Lord of the Rings mod in development for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord called Kingdoms of Arda and says which creatures you can expect.
Kingdoms of Arda: A Mount & Blade II Bannerlord mod - Today's video is about the creatures of Middle-earth and how they will be featured in Kingdoms of Arda. I will try and cover what will be in the mod and if it's not, I'll try and explain why not. If the creature will be in the first release of Kingdoms of Arda I'll also do what I can. If you are interested in lord of the rings, The Hobbit or Mount & Blade feel free to check out my other videos.In the future I'll make more faction review videos, I'm simply waiting for more content to show in the videos
Tuesday - March 23, 2021
Mount & Blade II - About Mod Support
Taleworlds, the developers of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, were asked by Techraptor about the games mod support.
Although medieval simulator Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord has some impressive mods available, there has been a notable absence of total conversion mods. In a recently-released open letter to developer TaleWorlds Entertainment, a subset of the total conversion modding community criticize how TaleWorlds has been handling their game's mod support.
The letter, written collectively by the teams of a dozen total conversion mods, says that one of the main reasons most mods have been smaller-scale mods instead of total-conversion mods (such as Warband's 'Prophesy of Pendor' or the Game of Thrones-themed 'A World of Ice and Fire') is because of artificial roadblocks in the game's code. One major example they list is the rampant and arbitrary use of the "internal" keyword, which makes it harder for modders to modify or extend many of the game's systems. The writers also say that many of the modding tools modders would need should have been apparent from the most popular mods, like custom campaign maps, playable non-human races, and the ability to rig agents to custom skeletons.
Thursday - February 25, 2021
Mount & Blade II - Multiplayer Duel Mode and Battle Terrain System
Vanedor spotted development ppdate #7 for Mount & Blade II:
Development Update #7: Multiplayer Duel Mode and Battle Terrain Systemloading...
Saturday - December 26, 2020
Mount & Blade II - Rebellions, Missions and More!
A new development update for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord talks about rebellions and missions, which will be coming with the next few updates.
Development Update #6: Rebellions, Missions and More!
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
It's about time for another development update, don't you think? In this video, we take a look at some upcoming changes to the game, including two new mission types.
We hope you enjoy the video and we look forward to reading your comments about the updates! And as always, a text version can be found below for those that prefer to read.loading...
SETTLEMENT EVENT NOTIFICATIONS
Next, we have some new icons on settlement nameplates to indicate if there’s any issues or tournaments happening within a settlement, without needing to enter.
A few important changes have been made to the campaign simulation that we wanted to highlight, some of which are already on beta and others that are coming in the next updates.
First, AI characters are now able to get married. And second, being somewhat connected is the addition of many new AI clan members. These changes aim to ensure that most, if not all, clans have enough clan members to lead parties, as well as, to increase the overall population and longevity of clans through children.
Additionally, more efforts have been made to address snowballing, with upcoming changes that enable factions to make comebacks, even after losing a few settlements. This is achieved through a more even distribution of wealth within each kingdom through a shared treasury, allowing clans to stick in the fight for much longer!
Finally, an inflation-related issue that allowed kingdoms to keep generating wealth has been resolved to make for a more healthy and stable economy.
A new rebellion feature is incoming with the next beta patch that enables unhappy citizens to rise up and seize control of settlements.
The loyalty and security of a settlement is affected by a number of things, such as if there is a culture mismatch between the settlement owner and its inhabitants, whether the town was recently captured, the strength of the garrison, kingdom policies, governor skills, and so on...
As the loyalty of a settlement decreases, more and more citizens will take up arms in the form of militia. Once the militia feels that they are stronger than the garrison, and providing loyalty is low enough, a rebellion will occur.
A new clan will then take control of the settlement and attempt to establish themselves and legitimise their rule. If they manage to hold on to the settlement for a period of time, eventually they will be recognised by other clans and will be able to initiate diplomacy with kingdoms.
And last, but by no means least, we have keep battles!
Keep battles present players with a different challenge from the standard field battles that make up the majority of Bannerlord’s engagements, with the fight taking place at extreme close-quarters in an enclosed space.
When assaulting a castle, you may find that the defenders decide to pull back their remaining forces to the castle keep to make a final stand. And it’s here where you will need to finish off the last of the defenders for the siege to be successful.
And that’s it for Development Update #6. We hope you enjoyed the video and we are looking forward to hearing your feedback about the changes in the comment section below.
Thanks for watching!
Monday - October 05, 2020
Mount & Blade II - Early Access Review
Spartan Gaming checked out Mount & Blade 2: Bannelord:
Mount & Blade 2: Bannelord | Review and Gameplay! | In-depthloading...
Saturday - October 03, 2020
Mount & Blade II - Modding Tools Beta
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord now has modding tools available.
Modding Tools Beta
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
After a short delay, the first batch of modding tools is ready for a beta release! It includes:
Scene Editor Toolset
- Entity Placement Tools
- Terrain Import, Export, and Editing Tools
- Navigation Mesh Tools
- GI Baking Tools
- Level System Editing Tool
- Path Editing Tools
- Resource Browser
- Material Editor
- Mesh Editor
- Texture Editor
- Body Editor
- Cloth Editor
- Atmosphere Editor
- Skeleton Editor
- Particle Editor
- Model & Animation Viewer
Currently, you will need to own the game on Steam in order to access the tools. To download them, you should head to your Library page and select TOOLS from the list filter. You can then search for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord - Modding Kit and proceed to download the tools after accepting the Mod Tools License Agreement. Please note that you will need to have the game installed for the tools to work. Likewise, your game version and tool version need to match in order for the tools to operate.
With tools in hand, you can then head over to http://docs.modding.bannerlord.com/ to access the modding documentation. Please be aware that these are living documents and, as such, they will be adjusted and updated over time. With that in mind, if you experience any issues or have any feedback you would like to share in regards to the documentation, you can head on over to the Official Modding Documentation thread. Similarly, you can go to the Official Tools section of our modding forums to provide suggestions and report any problems you run into while using the modding tools. And if forums aren’t really your thing, you can join the Modding Discord to find like-minded users to discuss the tools with.
For those of you that are new to modding, or for those that simply want to get up to speed with our tools, you can check out this recent Developer Workshop livestream where we gave a detailed overview of the scene editor and its many features. We hope to share more content like this in the near future, so make sure to follow our channels to keep up to date with those announcements.loading...
Finally, we just want to say how thrilled we are to be able to share these tools with you all! There are already so many amazing mods out there and others with huge potential that are still in the works, and we are just happy to be involved and to be able to support these kinds of efforts with the release of this first batch of tools. So, on that note, we want to give a huge shoutout and thanks to our amazing modding community, in particular the testing group that helped us to bring these to release, and say that we are truly excited to see what you manage to accomplish with these tools!
Sunday - August 02, 2020
Mount & Blade II - UI and Multiplayer Update Video
A new development update video for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord which focuses on UI and multiplayer.
Monday - July 13, 2020
Mount & Blade II - Preview
Bluesuit checked out the Early Access version of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord:
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord (2020) - Early Access Reviewloading...
Good Day! Today we're review my favorite game of 2020 so far Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. It's not for everyone, but if you do end up picking up this grand conquest RPG, there's a ton of value and lots of things to do.
Tuesday - May 12, 2020
Mount & Blade II - Single Player Plans
TechRaptor reports on the plans for the single player mode for Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord.
What's Coming to Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord Singleplayer?
The first (and perhaps most important) thing to highlight is the idea of "more." Players are going to be getting more quests, more main storyline content, and more conversations while you're out on the map.
Some work will go into the game's character system. New perks will be added on a per skill basis alongside the balancing of skill progression and effects. You can see the first steps towards the new perks in the latest beta version e.1.4.0.
Perhaps the most interesting new additions, however, are coming to Kingdom & Politics. There will be a sandbox option for players to create their very own kingdom independent on the core storyline, giving you the opportunity to take over Calradia under your own banner. Kingdom decisions for declaring war and making pieces along with some adjustments to Kingdom policies are also on the way.
Saturday - May 09, 2020
Mount & Blade II - Review @ C4G
Click4Gameplay checked out Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord:
Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord - Reviewloading...
Monday - April 13, 2020
Mount & Blade II - Dismemberment Mod
@DSOGaming A dismemberment mod is now available for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.
The mod adds the gore aspect of dismemberment. Both players and NPCs will get a chance to decapitate the head of the enemy, if they do fatal cut damage to an enemy’s head by swinging left or right.
You can download the mod from here, and you can also take a look at the video showcasing the mod below.loading...
Monday - March 30, 2020
Mount & Blade II - Now Available in Early Access
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is now available in Early Access on Steam with a 10% launch discount and an additional 10% off if you own any previous Mount & Blade, until April 13th.
Purchase Bannerlord and receive 10% off*! Additionally, owners of any previous Mount & Blade game on Steam will receive an additional 10% off!
*Discount offers end April 13th at 10AM Pacific
About This GameThe horns sound, the ravens gather. An empire is torn by civil war. Beyond its borders, new kingdoms rise. Gird on your sword, don your armour, summon your followers and ride forth to win glory on the battlefields of Calradia. Establish your hegemony and create a new world out of the ashes of the old.
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.
Strategy / Action RPG
Explore, raid and conquer your way across the vast continent of Calradia, making friends and enemies along the way. Raise your own army and lead it into battle, commanding and fighting alongside your troops in the thick of the action.
Singleplayer Sandbox Campaign
Play the game the way you want to play it! Plot your own path to power in a dynamic sandbox adventure where no two playthroughs are the same.
Extensive Character Creation and Progression Systems
Create and develop your own character to match your playstyle. Progress skills by performing actions as you gain access to a selection of perks that represent your mastery of a talent.
See the availability of goods ebb and flow in a simulated feudal economy, where the price of everything from incense to warhorses fluctuates with supply and demand. Turn anarchy to your advantage by being the first to bring grain to a starving town after a siege or reopening a bandit-plagued caravan route.
Multiplayer Game Modes
Put your tactical prowess and combat skills to the test against players from all over the world in a variety of different multiplayer game modes, ranging from small-scale skirmishes up to huge and epic sieges with hundreds of players.
Skill-Based Directional Combat System
Vanquish your foes using the game’s deep and intuitive combat system that is easy to learn but difficult to master.
Take to the field of battle and experience the brutality of medieval combat in first or third person perspective with hundreds of on-screen units, each with their own detailed AI.
Extensive Modding Capabilities
Customise the game to experience an entirely different adventure of your own creation. The engine and tools used to develop Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord are being made available to the community, so that modders can re-interpret Calradia or create their own worlds!
Saturday - March 28, 2020
Mount & Blade II - Early Access now March 30th
PCGamesN reports that Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord will be in Early Access a day earlier, meaning March 30th.
In the announcement, TaleWorlds reveals Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord – a prequel to the standalone Mount & Blade expansion Warband – will be available to play in Early Access from 03:00 PT / 06:00 ET / 11:00 BST on March 30. The dev team “has been working hard these last weeks to keep the development process on track, even under the present circumstances that forced the team to switch to remote work two weeks ago”, the release explains.
“Thanks to the great effort of the whole team, and hearing the requests of our community to release the game as soon as possible, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will release in Early Access a day before.”
Thursday - February 20, 2020
Mount & Blade II - Early Access March 31st
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will release on Steam Early Access March 31st.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Early Access Announcement
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will be released in Early Access on 31st March 2020. The game will be available for purchase through Steam and TaleWorlds website, for $49.99/€49.99/£39.99.
More information about what to expect from Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord’s Early Access will be shared shortly before the release.
Tuesday - September 03, 2019
Mount & Blade II - Preview @PC Gamer
@PC Gamer A preview of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord which talks about stealing a castle.
These fights can be auto-resolved, but I’m a hands-on boss. It’s dawn, with the sun slowly coming up behind my army and the huge, imposing silhouette of the fortress ahead of us. I’ve got direct control of my character, who can ride around, stabbing and slashing with his sword and spear, but I can also command my units. I keep some of them back, so they don’t get filled with arrows, and push up the siege towers and battering ram.
The gate is quickly smashed, my troops swarm in, and by the time I’ve hopped over the remains of the battering ram, the enemy surrenders the castle. We outnumbered them a little bit. OK, a lot. The castle is now part of the empire and, after a vote, it’s given to me.
Exploring my new home, I get to know some nobles, spend far too long playing an extremely boring minigame and finally sit on my throne. Conversations give me new things to look up in Bannerlord’s encyclopedia, so I can learn about all the movers and shakers and their relationships, letting me prepare for my life as a politically savvy lord.
Wednesday - August 21, 2019
Mount & Blade II - Early Access Announcement Trailer
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will release on Steam Early Access in March 2020.
It's almost harvesting season! Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will be available on Steam Early Access in March 2020.
Thursday - August 08, 2019
Mount & Blade II - Beta Skirmish Gameplay
A beta gameplay video for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.
Skirmish gameplay from the Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord beta.
Monday - July 01, 2019
Mount & Blade II - Information @ PC Gamer
PC Gamer collected some info about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord:
Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord: everything we know
What we know about Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord's release, combat, castles and more.
Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord is a gargantuan chimera. It's a Medieval fantasy sim that bounces between RPG, management and strategy, set within a war-torn sandbox. Starting from nothing, you can eventually establish a dynasty, traipse around the world robbing everyone or become a famous, tournament-winning knight. Despite being a bit janky, the original game was improbably ambitious and ultimately brilliant, making the wait for the sequel seem even longer.
Here's everything we know about Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord, including its sieges, large-scale combat, campaign and multiplayer. As of 2019, it still doesn't have a release date. But with multiplayer beta testing now underway, development seems to be wrapping up.
Friday - April 26, 2019
Mount & Blade II - Economy and Trade
Learn more about the trade system of Mount & Blade II:
Dev Blog 25/04/19
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
Conducting trade runs between towns as a merchant has always been one of the most fun and profitable activities for players in our games. Bannerlord’s trade system improved on this aspect of the game in many ways, by displaying trade rumours on the inventory screen, tracking player profits, awarding trade XP accordingly to characters, etc. which makes playing as a merchant much more fun and rewarding. However, we still had the feeling that something was missing, so we decided to dedicate more care and attention into the economy and trade system.
We like making everything in the game connected to each other, however, trade and item prices felt like it was only there to make the game playable as a merchant (and to be honest, it kind of was). We had implemented a rather thorough production system where everything in the game, from food to weapons to cows and horses, were produced in villages or town workshops. This created an uneven distribution of different trade goods in the world, and consequently, there was sufficient price variation across the map. However, we had a rather simplistic system for the consumption of goods where each town consumed a certain percentage of all available items, regardless of scarcity. This, of course, was quite unrealistic. (When faced with a shortage, people don’t tend to politely reduce their consumption to a lower level, they rush to hunt for and grab the last item on the shelf, prying it from the hands of a nice old lady if needs be!). So, while the system was suitably connected to other mechanics, it was grossly unrealistic. We needed a new system!
For our new system, we started by creating a table outlining how much a typical town would spend on different categories of trade goods and items. For example, a town with a prosperity of 5000 will allocate, say, 500 denars to spend on grain, 400 denars to spend on meat and 200 denars to spend on butter each day. The town then uses the budget allocated to each category to purchase items of that category from the market and consume them. Moreover, every time an item is consumed, it will give a bonus to one of the town stats. Consuming food items, for example, will increase towns food stores, consuming tools will increase productivity, consuming cheaper weapons and armour will increase the number of militia, while more expensive arms will improve the garrison. This mechanism means that low prices are quite beneficial to the town’s development and consequently its lord since towns with cheaper goods can obtain much higher bonuses with their budgets.
This system nicely ties town stats and management to the price of goods, but it is also great for merchant gameplay as it allows us to gauge prices in a realistic way. Instead of the rather simplistic price model we used to have, we now have a rather detailed model that determines prices based on supply and demand for each category in a given town. Higher demand from town consumption, workshops requiring raw materials, etc., will increase demand and push prices up, whereas the availability of higher quantities of items will increase supply and deflate prices. As a trader, you will hopefully feel that prices behave realistically during peacetime, as well as, in response to actions such as wars, village raids and sieges.
During the development of the new trade system, an interesting point came up. As you probably know, in Warband, as in many other trading games, the price point changes every time you purchase an item from or sell an item to the market. This sometimes feels counter-intuitive since as soon as you purchase a desert horse for 100 denars, you see that the price jumps to 106 denars. And once you pay that for the second horse, the price now becomes 113 denars. You were perhaps expecting a discount for buying multiple items in one go, but instead, you got a price hike.
We considered whether we should keep using the same mechanic for Bannerlord, and in the end, we decided that this was actually entirely realistic and therefore opted to keep it. Think of this not as how the price of goods change in a single shop (with a particularly annoying shopkeeper!), but rather as prices of the same type of good in different shops across the town. One horse merchant may have a pack horse for sale for 106 denars, another could offer one for 113 denars, and yet another who perhaps needs cash urgently will let you buy his pack horse for a mere 100. Being a wise shopper, you, of course, choose the cheapest offer. However, if you want to purchase a second horse, you will now need to take the next best offer, and so on.
And that concludes this week’s blog. Thanks for reading and hope to see you next week!
Friday - February 08, 2019
Mount & Blade II - Crime and Punishment
A new devblog for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord addresses crime and punishment.
Dev Blog 07/02/19
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
In Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord’s sandbox campaign, players are free to play the game however they like. And for some people, this might mean turning to a life of crime to facilitate their rise to power. But, just like in real life, there are consequences to your actions and crimes do not go unpunished... unless you position yourself to be above the law, of course.
The Crime Rating system keeps track of players’ misdeeds and determines how the game-world will respond to them. The aim of the system is to keep players in check, (especially for those of you who won’t suffer from the same mental anguish as Raskolnikov!), while offering a deeper experience that allows players to take a different path through the game.
Players are able to perform a variety of different actions that are considered to be illegal in Calradia. These range from petty crimes, such as smuggling in goods, to things that could be considered to be a little more serious, such as raiding a caravan and butchering its escort. Each kingdom keeps track of your crimes individually, so performing hostile actions in one territory won’t necessarily impact your gameplay in another.
The system assigns a numerical value to committed crimes based on the severity of the action that took place. There are three distinct brackets which criminals can fall into in the eyes of the law: mild, moderate, and severe.
Petty criminals can expect to see a minor level of disruption to their operations, but maybe not enough to dissuade them from committing further crimes. Criminals that fall into the moderate bracket will certainly start to feel the pinch, as they are barred from entering settlements in the territories where they are considered to be an outlaw. And, finally, individuals that are considered to be a great threat to the peace and stability of a realm will be in for a nasty shock if they are ever captured.
Criminals are expected to pay, quite literally, for their crimes. Fines are determined by the current Crime Rating of the character. However, although money can get you out of a lot of difficult situations, sometimes this won’t be enough and corporal punishment will be carried out. As for severe criminals that can’t afford to pay for their crimes, they are introduced to the judicial executioner, who helps them to shuffle off this mortal coil.
If you are a vassal of the kingdom where you have committed crimes, you may be able to exert some influence to have the charges dropped, however, your fellow lords might see this as a dishonourable action which can adversely affect your relations with them. If you are the ruler of the faction, then congratulations, you just played yourself! You can ignore the charges for as long as you like. After all, who will enforce them? However, the happiness and prosperity of your kingdom will take a hit. Oh, and your honourable lords will hate you!
For those of you who are still determined to explore the dark side of human nature, then we have some good news! Players will have a number of tricks up their sleeve which will help them negate some of the negative aspects of being an outlaw. They are able to employ bribes to have guards turn a blind eye when they visit a settlement or keep (think of it as putting them on the payroll). They can also adopt a disguise to attempt to sneak into a settlement, however, they shouldn’t expect to be allowed to visit the lord’s hall or enter into any tournaments taking place in the settlement.
In next week’s blog, we will talk with Level Designer, Paul Kaloff. If you have any questions you would like to ask him, please leave a reply in the comments and we will pick one out for him to answer.
Discuss this blog post HERE
Wednesday - January 16, 2019
Mount & Blade II - Conversation Camera
A new dev blog about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlords introduces the conversation camera.
Dev Blog 10/01/19
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
2019 is upon us, and we are back, as promised, with a Bannerlord blog to ring in the New Year. We want to ease back into them with a small update about a change we made quite recently to our conversation camera.
Those of you with a keen eye will have noticed that the conversation screenshot in our previous blog looked a little different to a standard Mount & Blade dialogue screen. And it wasn’t just the UI overhaul and new persuasion system that were on show, although admittedly, they are probably the things that caught your attention!
Immersion is something we have talked about multiple times throughout this blog series, so we won’t go on about it too much in this blog, however, it is safe to say that it was the main factor in our decision to make a change to the dialogue system camera. We want players to have a fluid and immersive experience with Bannerlord, which means that we look at all of our previous work with a critical eye to see where improvements can be made to match the high standards we have set ourselves for Bannerlord.
So what have we done to improve the camera? Well, this time around we have gone for something a little more subtle and understated. The new conversation UI is unobtrusive, and the camera gently shifts to focus on the NPC you are engaging in a dialogue with. The camera retains the viewing perspective you play the game from, so, if you enter a conversation in first-person, then your conversation camera is also in first-person, and likewise, if you initiate a conversation in third-person, your camera will remain in third-person. We use a depth of field effect to draw your attention to the focal point of the conversation (the NPC you are talking to) as an additional way of immersing you in the conversation and to prevent you from being too distracted by what is taking place in the background. These small changes combine together with the new conversational animations (which we discussed in a previous blog) to make a more immersive and fluid conversation system.
Finally, we have added more characters to the conversation screens in instances where it would be appropriate (such as when being accosted by a group of bandits). It always seemed a little unnatural in our previous games to be speaking in a one-on-one conversation with a lord before a battle, or to a bandit leader looking to intimidate you into handing over your hard earned denars. In Bannerlord, you can expect to see leaders flanked by bodyguards, which we think helps to visually represent characters of their stature.
In next week’s blog, we will be talking to Gameplay Programmer, Bahar Åževket. If you have any questions you would like to ask her, please leave a reply in the comments section and we will pick one out for her to answer.
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Friday - December 21, 2018
Mount & Blade II - Persuasion System
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlords has a new update about the persuasion system.
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
In this week’s blog, we want to introduce you to a brand new feature to the Mount & Blade series: the persuasion system.
No medieval drama, from Shakespeare to the Game of Thrones, is complete without a few scenes of high-stakes negotiation. Although most of our development effort goes into battles and combat, we also want to offer players alternative gameplay. Be it a plot to betray a king, a dynastic marriage, or just a way to handle a thorny conflict between your bickering subjects, skilled persuaders can find solutions to solve problems and save a bit of wear-and-tear on their sword-edges.
The persuasion system is based on the premise that, even in a dark and desperate land like Calradia, there are some things that money can’t buy. An honorable emir may feel compelled by his oath of fealty to stick by even the vilest of sultans. A conniving one might turn down the choicest bribe because frankly, he doesn’t think you have what it takes to win a civil war, and silver is no use to him if he’s dead. Persuasion is a means to help players overcome these reservations.
The persuasion system is also one of the main ways that Bannerlord’s personality and reputation system comes into play. If you have a reputation for generosity, people will believe you tell them that, if they do a favor for you, you’ll make it up to them further down the road.
Likewise, if people know you take honor seriously, they’ll be reassured if you tell them that, in your opinion, no one will ever blame them for breaking their oath to the Khan, who never kept his oath to anyone else. The NPC’s personality also plays a major role. A valorous warrior might respond better than a timid one to your courtship pitch, that he should marry you, a shield maiden who’ll fight by his side, rather than some dainty maiden with nothing to recommend her but vast tracts of land.
Personality is only part of the equation. You can also draw on a variety of skills. Charm helps you guess an NPC’s motivations and appeal to them. Charisma helps you inspire them. And, even if you don’t have much of an army at your back. Roguery is a good way to convince them that you’re not someone they ever want to mess with. Finally, the game tracks most major events, and if you can remind the Countess that the king you want her to betray murdered her cousin, or passed her over when last handing out fiefs, that will make your task much easier. We want players to feel the dynamic sandbox history of Calradia, and persuasion is often the time when a lord’s past mistakes, the dirty deeds, the slights to fragile egos, the unpopular policies, all come home to roost.
So how does the system work? All persuasion attempts are initiated through dialogs. You first need to steer the conversation to the relevant subject. You need to hint to the lord that his liege isn’t really worthy of his service, or maybe suggest to a lady that, it being a truth universally acknowledged that any ambitious young lady of title and substance must be in want of an upwardly mobile warlord to marry, you should perhaps discuss whether you are mutually compatible. At this point, the system calculates a “persuasion difficulty”. If this value is too high for any reason, the NPC will turn you down right away. But if not, you can start discussing specifics.
The NPC will then present you a number of issues where you will need to persuade him or her. During persuasion, you will see a progress bar, which shows how far you’ve gone toward convincing the other party. Every time you succeed in convincing the lord over a point, the persuasion bar will fill up a certain amount. If at the end you can fill up the entire bar, the NPC’s objections will be overcome.
His moral and long-term objections, anyway. Money can’t buy everything, but it’s usually at least part of the deal. The persuasion system is often a gateway that leads you into the barter system. Some lords will do anything for honor, or for revenge, but most want some sort of token of your appreciation up front. Each successful persuasion attempt will help to reduce the monetary cost of the action you would like to perform when it comes to the bartering stage, whereas repeated failures might make a deal impossible to reach. And if you push your luck too much, then you run the risk of severely impacting your relations with NPCs in a negative way.
Overall, we feel that the persuasion system adds a massive amount of depth to diplomacy in Bannerlord, giving players different options and ways to approach challenging situations that they are presented with. We think that it will give players greater control in playing the game in the way that they want to, opening up avenues and possibilities that were unavailable in previous games in the series.
And that’s it for 2018 folks! We will be back in the New Year with more blogs (with the next one due on the 10th of January), so make sure you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook to keep up to date with all the latest Bannerlord news as we march ever closer to that elusive release date. We hope that you all have a wonderful time over the festive season!
Discuss this blog post HERE
Saturday - November 24, 2018
Mount & Blade II - Dynasty System
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will have a dynasty system, which means descendants.
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
Great news! The first baby in Calradia has been born! Yay!
The mother, is us, the player, a woman named Boudicca: a caravan raider hailing from the misty foothills of Battania. On our travels (read: raids), we managed to steal the heart of Usair, an Aserai warlord who sports a proud moustache.
The proud parents, Usair and Boudicca
On the 20th of November, 1084 (the year of the Camel), the heavens blessed our union with the honour of parenting the very first child on the shores of Calradia!
Please, allow us to introduce our daughter, Ruwa, who as of now is still a babe, but we spared no expense and commissioned the best portraitist in the court of Unqid, the Sultan of Aserai, who believes she will look something a little like this by the age of 10.
Ruwa (the Children of Men)
Her beautiful face was derived from the features (facekeys) of her father and mother, with a small amount of randomness thrown into the mix. And thus, she has a unique face(key) which will retain traits of her parents into adulthood. And, it is not just the facial traits that she will inherit from her parents, but also our wealth and lands too, which we worked tirelessly to accumulate through entirely legitimate means.
As she grows, we will be able to spend more time with her, interact with her, share our experiences and skills with her, and develop her into a fine young woman.
Clan Boudicca is much more complete now!
On a more serious note, we are extremely excited to be able to share this with you. Children are something we have been working on for some time now and to finally see them implemented and working in-game has been a really rewarding experience. We have plenty to talk about in terms of dynasties and how children will work as a feature in the game, but we will save that for a later date.
Campaign team celebrating the birth of Ruwa. Oh, and that’s a cake, not a pile of pancakes!
In next week’s blog, we will talk with Level Designer / Video Production Artist, Gündüzhan Gündüz. If you have any questions you would like to ask him, please leave a reply in the comments and we will pick one out from him to answer!
Discuss this blog post HERE
Monday - October 22, 2018
Mount & Blade II - Game Design
The latest update for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord talks about the game design.
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are unable to do the Q&A with Assistant Designer, Cihan Şekercioğlu that we announced last week. But, it is Thursday my dudes and the show must go on... Instead, in this week’s blog, we will talk about how we approach game design here at TaleWorlds, giving you a brief insight into the general process of taking an idea and turning it into a game feature.
Game design is possibly one of the most rewarding jobs in the game industry. Seeing an idea come to life and being enjoyed by others is most certainly a fulfilling experience. However, it is also one of the most difficult jobs that the industry has to offer. Something which might seem great on paper may turn out to be rather dull when implemented into a game. And to even get it to this stage, you need to be able to formulate your idea in a way which makes sense to your peers.
At TaleWorlds, we feel that for a game to be fun, it should be built around a solid core mechanic. In the case of Mount & Blade games, this is the combat system. We think that the combat system in our games is fun, intuitive, easy to learn, but difficult to master. And, in the end, if the core mechanic isn’t fun, then whatever is built around it becomes irrelevant.
With Bannerlord, we are building on a solid foundation of what we had achieved in previous Mount & Blade games. But, at all times, we keep it in mind that the combat is the main draw for the game. We always aim to ensure that any new mechanics we add don’t adversely affect this core mechanic. This was something we had to consider when we decided to implement directional blocking for shields. We had to ask ourselves questions such as, “does this actually enhance the combat in any way, or are we interfering with something which already works and is enjoyable?” (Ultimately, we decided that directional shield blocking actually fits in really well with the skill-based design of our combat system.)
We try to be as inclusive as possible when it comes to the design process. Everyone in the studio is a gamer (after all, we all got into this business because we love to play games!) so we try our best to make use of this wide range of opinions and experiences when it comes to designing our own game. But that’s not to say that we don’t have professionals who specialise in this aspect of development, only that we understand the importance of hearing the different opinions and thoughts of everyone in our company. And in many instances, this kind of approach allows us to highlight potential issues early on in a design as people visualise the idea differently in their own head.
With this in mind, we tend to include everyone who would be involved in implementing a feature in the design meetings alongside the game designers. Not only to offer their feedback on the actual design but so a plan can be formulated for the implementation of the design. The professional expertise of the people responsible for implementing each design is required to ensure that any new feature or mechanic is technically viable and can be implemented into the game. And in many cases, these professionals have unique solutions to any problems that arise.
Following design meetings, a document is created which the team can then refer to. This process of holding meetings and revising the design document is repeated until we feel that the design adds an additional layer to the game in a way which is positive and enjoyable for players.
We can’t say for sure if this is the best approach to development, but we certainly feel that it works well for our company, and has led to the introduction of some features that otherwise might never have seen the light of day!
Discuss this blog post HERE
Wednesday - October 10, 2018
Mount & Blade II - Kingdom Management
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord has a new update about Kingdom Management.
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
When you set out on your adventures in Mount & Blade games, you are just a humble traveller with only a sword and a horse to your name. As you progress through the game and establish a foothold in Calradia, you can pledge your sword to a faction and be welcomed into the fold of the nobility. Eventually, you will have the option of branching out and establishing your own kingdom, or, as is the case with Bannerlord, if you have taken a liking to your current one, you can subvert it and seize power for yourself! In this week’s blog, we discuss how players can interact with their fellow nobles after joining or establishing their own kingdom, looking specifically at the kingdom screen, which is an entirely new addition to the Mount & Blade series.
The main focus of Mount & Blade games revolves around the aforementioned journey from rags to riches. Almost every action you take in the game is done in the effort of increasing your wealth, prestige and ultimately, your power. However, in our previous games, there are parts of this journey which were somewhat overlooked during development.
In our previous games, managing and interacting with the lords of your realm is an arduous task that requires some level of patience. The information presented to the player can be hard to locate and the kinds of interactions available are rather limited in scope. This is something we wanted to address for Bannerlord, making the mid-late game a more fluid and enjoyable experience for players.
Our solution was to implement a screen dedicated entirely to this aspect of the game (along with some additional mechanics to expand upon the existing interactions available of course!). The Kingdom screen is split into four separate tabs: Clans, Fiefs, Policies and Armies. These tabs cover practically every piece of information that the player needs to make informed decisions and manage their kingdom effectively. The screen is still a work in progress and new elements are still being added, however, what we are showing you in this week’s blog is something close to what you can expect from the final game.Clans
The Clans tab shows detailed information about every clan that is a member of the faction. This information includes the clan name, banner, influence, members and fiefs. In this screen, you can lend your support for one of the clans to become the leader of the faction or initiate a vote to have a clan expelled from the kingdom.
The Fiefs tab shows the towns, castles and villages which are under the control of the faction. There is also an option in this tab which lets you spend a large sum of influence to try and retract a fief from another lord. However, this is still subject to a vote from the other lords and the person on the receiving end of this action may not be too pleased with your meddling. If the vote is successful, then a second vote will begin to decide who will take control of the fief.
The Policies tab allows players to propose new policies or initiate a vote to repeal existing ones. Policies affect the entire kingdom and range from laws which give greater protections to vassals or transfer more power to the ruler.
Finally, we have the Armies tab. This tab lets you create and manage different armies within your faction. The screen gives you a detailed breakdown of each army, including the lords that comprise the army, the strength and cohesion of the army, and the army’s current objective. Faction leaders are able to assign objectives to the armies through this tab, giving players greater control over the strategic aspects of warfare in the game.
Army Management Screen 2
Overall, we think the Kingdom screen is a welcome new addition and helps to enhance the mid-late game experience for players. Information is presented in a much more streamlined and aesthetically pleasing way and the new additions of clans, policies and armies all come together to give a more accurate representation of an actual medieval kingdom, especially when it comes to internal power struggles.
Discuss this blog post HERE
Monday - September 10, 2018
Mount & Blade II - Early Access & Campaign Gameplay
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will have an early access period according to OnlySP and will feature a dynasty system. Unfortunately the castle building mechanic has been dropped. Additionally Rock Paper Shotgun played through some of the campaign.
The highly anticipated Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will have an Early Access period, though developer TaleWorlds remains cagey on any form of release date for the game.
As part of recent community update, the development team confirmed that an Early Access period is currently being planned, as it “would be beneficial for getting community feedback and balancing game elements.”
Mount And Blade 2: Bannerlord is showing its sandbox story campaign for the first time, and in our Bannerlord campaign gameplay we explore the world map, get taken prisoner, visit a town, kill a chicken and tear up the countryside with ten new recruits. It’s a busy 20 minutes.
Thursday - August 23, 2018
Mount & Blade II - Gamescom Trailer
@PCGamesN Everything there is to know about Mount & Blade II.
Unfortunately we saw no such thing. Our hopes were dashed in 2017, so currently all eyes are on a 2018 Bannerlord release date. The studio told us at Gamescom that they are working on Bannerlord for 80 hours every week, suggesting they’re not being casual about their approach.loading...
Saturday - April 07, 2018
Mount & Blade II - Upgrade Castles
Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord will have upgrades available for castles.
Dev Blog 05/04/18
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
Castles are perhaps one of the most iconic images that come to mind when people think of the medieval era. These large and seemingly impregnable structures dominated the landscape in which they stood and projected an image of power and authority that aimed to impress both a lord’s subjects and peers. In last week’s blog we looked at some of the tools of warfare that were used to overcome the defences of these magnificent medieval behemoths and talked about the different ways that players can approach sieges in Bannerlord. In this week’s blog we would like to discuss the thought process that goes into designing castles for the game, from the historical influences we use through to the gameplay related decisions we make, and show you how this all comes together to make a castle for the game.Historical Influences
In our faction overview blogs, we talked about the cultures and peoples that influenced the design of each of the factions of Calradia, and how this provided us with a solid base to build on and create our own take on this period of history. Using real-world cultures in this way gives us the advantage of having a wealth of historical sources and knowledge to take inspiration from and allows us to cherry-pick the parts which we find interesting and exciting to include in the game. This kind of readily available information is extremely useful when it comes to designing architecture for the game, and in particular, castles. (There really isn’t much room for experimentation or running wild with your imagination when your life is on the line, and poorly designed or unnecessary features could end up costing you a lot more than just the gold in your chest!)
For most of our factions, this process is quite straightforward. After all, there are many medieval castles that are still standing and in use to this day. However, when it comes to a faction like Battania, which draws its inspiration from the native tribes of the British Isles, things start to get a little more complicated.
The British Isles were subject to many waves of invaders and settlers over the years, each bringing their own advancements in architecture and warfare with them. The arrival of these various cultures with their different building methods slowly superseded the traditional earthwork and wooden defensive structures of the Celts and the Picts. This presented us with a choice: do we closely follow the design of the original structures? Or, do we take inspiration from the designs which followed?
In the end, we decided to make use of the beautiful extensive hill forts and massive earthwork ramparts of Iron Age Britain, while trying to stay away from the Norman influence on castle building (which we use for Vlandia). We include features like multiple rows of ditches and earthwork defences, while trying to keep the circular forms of the original earthwork with each upgrade level of the castle.
This thought process carries over to all of our factions. We try to stay true to original designs to make each castle believable enough as to not break the immersion of the player, but still leave enough room for us to inject some of our own ideas and style into each castle!Upgrade System
The castle upgrade system in Bannerlord allows us to have greater variety in our castle designs. Apart from the additional depth to the campaign that this system brings, we try to use it to create different experiences for the player when attacking or defending a castle.
The system is quite simple: castles start at level 1 and can be upgraded twice to reach their maximum level. In the example castle below, with each upgrade the castle gets taller, more dominant towers; better positions to deploy defensive machines; deeper walls at critical points for larger troop formations; greater coverage over its gatehouse; and the opportunity to deploy a layered defence.
Castle Upgrade Gif
While it may be acceptable (or even preferable in some instances) to assault the gatehouse of a level 1 castle with just a battering ram, as the castle is upgraded this kind of simplistic approach becomes less viable, and by level 3 you will need a well-coordinated attack to be able to breach the defences.
However, with that being said, this might not necessarily be the case in every instance. A castle placed on a hilltop or on a plain might grow stronger in more than one way with each upgrade, while one that incorporates some form of natural defence, such as a lake, won’t have the room to expand and will only receive the benefit of taller towers and walls with each upgrade.Gameplay
As far as playing styles go, Mount & Blade games offer players a number of different ways to approach battles. In sieges we can simplify this a little and look at it as two main styles: commanding your army to its maximum potential from the rear; or fighting on the front lines and creating opportunities for your troops to exploit. In Bannerlord we want players to be able to experiment and choose their own way to approach sieges, and this is something we take into consideration when designing castles.
No matter how large or complex our castles are, we always try to give commanding positions for both the attackers and defenders. A small hill near your siege camp, or the tallest tower in your castle might not be the best position to utilise your character’s combat potential, but it would give you a great vantage point to oversee the battle from and make it easier to command your troops. Meanwhile, shortcuts between battlements and multiple chokepoints built into the map give you the opportunity to move to where you are needed to hold back an attack or break through a defence.
Discuss this blog post HERE
Friday - March 09, 2018
Mount & Blade II - Engine Improvements
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord has a new developer blog about engine improvements for the game.
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
In this week’s blog, we would like to talk about the newly introduced engine version 1.4 which consists of many graphical improvements as well as a number of performance updates.
We develop engine features in separate branches with each one labelled as a version. This allows us to test new features extensively and efficiently without decreasing the stability for the gameplay programmers.
We introduced a new global illumination system to the engine which can correctly illuminate both static and dynamic objects. It is based on a pre-baked system called "Precomputed Radiance Transfer". It is independent from the atmosphere, which is a must for a game like Bannerlord where you will enter a scene at different times of the day. The system saves the illumination data to probes inside a regular grid. We developed lots of automatic placement tools so that the work required by artists to bake the scenes is kept to a minimal. Modders will be able to bake GI to their scenes using these tools.
Compute Shader Skinning
By using profilers we have learnt that in large-scale battles the majority of the GPU time is spent on the skinning of agent meshes. Normally, the skinning process is repeated every time a mesh needs to be rendered (shadow pass, gBuffer pass, special passes for custom hair shading etc.). To combat this, skinning calculations of skeletal meshes have been moved from the vertex shader stage to a separate compute shader stage. Despite both stages running on the GPU, executing a separate stage for skinning and storing results in temporary memory enables us to do skinning calculations only once per frame and use special optimisation mechanisms that are exclusive to compute shaders. This results in the rendering time of skinning meshes being reduced by 60% which enables us to achieve 60FPS in huge battle scenes on a wide range of GPUs.Particle Shading Atlas
Particles are now shaded in a separate compute shader stage. Each visible particle is assigned a rectangular region (2x2, 4x4, 8x8, 16x16 or 32x32) in a big global texture atlas according to its screen space size. Shading is done on these tiny quads with a compute shader stage. During the actual rendering, we just sample the lighting result from the atlas texture and skip any complex lighting computation. Separating shading and drawing stages enables us to reduce the fill rate costs of particles since the amount of shaded pixels are extremely reduced. This reduces the high GPU cost of the desert-like scenes. This technique also eliminates the sharp shadows on the particle quads, further increasing the visual quality of the already beautiful particles of Bannerlord!
At this point we feel it is important to stress the fact that while yes, we are still developing the engine and making new additions: this work is running entirely parallel to the development of Bannerlord. Our dedicated engine team are constantly striving to give us a better optimised engine which allows us to have larger battles, higher frame rates, greater visual fidelity and faster loading times. This work doesn’t hold back the development of the game in any way, shape or form and will ultimately improve the overall quality of the final product.loading...
In next week’s blog we will be talking to Gameplay Programmer, Korneel Guns. Korneel’s main focus is on the multiplayer aspect of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. If you have any questions you would like to ask him please leave a reply in the comments and we will pick one out for him to answer!
Discuss this blog post HERE
Friday - March 02, 2018
Mount & Blade II - Camelry
Camels will be in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord according to the latest update.
Dev Blog 01/03/18
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
Hump day is behind us and the weekend is in sight; Thursday is upon us and it is time for another of our weekly updates! Grab a cup of camel-mile tea, sit back and let us introduce you to a new addition to the Mount & Blade series.
Superbly adapted to the desert regions which they populate, dromedary camels have contributed a great deal to both trade and warfare since their domestication thousands of years ago. Their strength, stature and ability to survive for extended periods without food or water make them an invaluable asset for anyone looking to make an arduous journey through a desert.
The Nahasa: the vast desert in southern Calradia, and home to the Aserai, makes for the ideal location for the inclusion of these magnificent beasts. Players can expect to see camels commonly in this region, working as pack animals in trade caravans or as camelry in battles. Although they are slightly slower and less manoeuvrable than horses, camels are able to withstand greater punishment – which is reflected in the game. The rider’s elevated position gives them a height advantage over horse cavalry, but limits their options when dealing with foot soldiers and makes them more exposed to missile units. Camels also receive a small bonus to their speed and manoeuvrability while travelling through the Nahasa, so players may wish to consider enlisting some of these animals into their service during any extended campaigns in the desert.
The process of making the camel required 4 steps: modelling, texturing, rigging and animating. For each step we searched for and analysed reference images and videos of camels, working closely to the sources to get the most realistic result. We created a detailed skeleton which contains a number of systems (like dynamic joints and a jiggle system) which made the rigging process take up most of the time, however we think the end result was worth it. Our animator gathered a lot of reference videos of camel movement and behaviour and wanted to note that he really enjoyed working on this project, because – in his own words: “camels are funny animals”.
Camels are just another example of some of the small additions and improvements we are making to Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. They aren’t ground-breaking or game-changing, but they do add some additional diversity to our troop roster and give players more tactical options for both the campaign and battles.
Discuss this blog post HERE
Sunday - February 11, 2018
Mount & Blade II - The Empire
The current Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord dev blog describes the Empire, three factions and their conflicts:
Dev Blog 08/02/18
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
For the next feature in our blogpost series on Bannerlord's factions, we shall look at the Empire. Because the Empire is in some ways the centre of gravity of the game, we're going to divide this blog into two parts. At the start of the game the Empire is divided into three factions engaged in a civil war. But before we describe the three factions and what they stand for, let us look at how the conflict started....
A thousand years ago, the Calradoi were one of a dozen tribes living in the hill country between the southern sea and the Battanian woods. Over time, they subjugated their neighbours, forcing them into a confederation of city-states. Perhaps they were slightly fiercer than the others, or just lucky, or perhaps it was the one tradition that set them apart - the Calradoi had no kings. Ever since the hero Echerion slew the tyrant Cypegos, the institution of the monarchy was banned, in theory at least. There was an assembly of free citizens that met occasionally, a senate of elders (in practice the largest landowners) that sat permanently, and - when it was absolutely necessary - supreme command could be invested for a short time in the person of an emperor, a title that back then meant little more than the right to lead an army.
From their heartland in the hills the Calradoi began to spread outward. As they did so, their political traditions – never written down – began to change. Soon, the army was in the field more years than not, and gradually the emperors stopped retiring at the end of campaigns. The senators meanwhile moved to the conquered provinces and acquired great estates. The capital moved from place to place, and the assembly of the people was called wherever the emperor desired. In practice, this was usually an army camp where his veterans could be relied upon to shout down any opposition. The question of succession was always a potential crisis. Usually, the emperor nominated an heir, the senate ratified his choice, and the people (meaning the army) acclaimed it. But this did not always happen smoothly, and then the succession was settled on the battlefield of a civil war.
Sunday - January 14, 2018
Mount & Blade II - The Aserei
Learn more about the Aserei inthe newest Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord dev blog:
Dev Blog 11/01/18
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
To the south of the imperial heartland lies the Nahasa, the Bronze Desert, ringed by mountains, hammered by the sun. A traveller coming over the passes from greener lands would first see fields of dunes broken by gravel plains and volcanic outcrops, shimmering under the heat haze. But there is water to be found underground, trapped in depressions or beneath the wadis where the occasional flash flood rumbles by. And in these oases people have settled. They are divided into dozens of clans and sub-clans, each with its elaborate genealogy, but are collectively known as the Banu Asera or the Aserai after the legendary patriarch Asera, whom they all claim as an ancestor.
The Empire even at its heights preferred not to send its legions into the army-devouring wastes. Instead, it projected its power into the Nahasa by cultivating clients and allies among the clans, who competed in an endless dance of power. Those clans that could secure a hold on the oases won an imperial subsidy to protect passing caravans and grew rich. Those who could not were pushed into the desert, left to raise goats and camels and raid caravans until they could plot a comeback. Today, with the waning of the empire offering new opportunities and new risks, the Aserai have agreed to form a confederacy under a sultan chosen from richest of the clans, the Banu Hulyan. But everyone knows that the dance has only temporarily been stopped, and at the right moment it will begin again.
The Aserai are based on the Arab tribes just before the great Islamic conquests of the seventh century, which created a diverse tri-continental caliphate whose scale and institutions don't really fit Bannerlord's political system. In the centuries before, the Arabs formed a series of confederations and kingdoms inside and on the margins of the Arabian and Syrian deserts. Many think of the entire Middle East as arid wastes, even though most of the more famous battles, especially during the Crusades, were fought in coastal Mediterranean regions or the highland steppe of Anatolia. The Arab heartland however really is mostly desert. Our landscapes reflect the harsh beauty of dunes, craggy mountains, and oases, along with the less glamorous stretches of wasteland in between, like scrubland and dry wadis.
Historians have left vivid portraits of the chieftains, kings, and occasional ruling queens of Palmyra, Kinda, Hirah, and other principalities of the deserts. Some were morally complex characters, managing their domains with a mixture of cajoling, threats, bribes, skulduggery, bravery, and shameless nepotism. The Aserai sultan, Unqid, is cut from this mould. Their task was not made easier by warrior-poets like Imru al-Qais, Antara, and Tarafa. These untameable mavericks wrote lyric verse about the transitory nature of human experience, their memories of liaisons with their beloved in a now-deserted campsite slowly erased by wind and flood, then used it to segue into a string of boasts about the battles they won and the steeds they've ridden. We're using Bannerlord's new events system to create a backstory of grudges and feuds that will test an aspiring sultan's ability to placate and lead.
Mideastern armies are popularly associated with horse archers, but in fact those only became prevalent about two centuries after the founding of Islam with the influx of Turks. The Arabs fought with short sword, long spear, and foot bow. Warriors prided themselves on their flexibility, fighting as light mounted lancers or heavy foot, in formed ranks or as individual champions. Javelins, a favourite weapon of the Berbers, made their appearance in Islamic armies fairly early, and we have the Aserai use them as well. All in all it's a mix of good troops, pretty well balanced across cavalry and infantry. The Arabs were famously proud of their horses, and the Aserai breeds - produced by pastures in Aserai lands - will have unique characteristics. Middle Eastern warriors wore a mix of armours, often under richly embroidered textiles. Bannerlord's physics model gives us new options in bringing the pageantry of these armies to life, with banners, horsetails and robes fluttering in the desert breeze.
The Aserai, like all Bannerlord cultures, will have minor factions. The Jawwal are Bedouin nomads, like those who plagued caliphs, sultans and kings throughout Islamic history. And though our reference point is late antiquity and the very early medieval era, we've also introduced some institutions that thrived under the caliphs. The Ghilman, a brotherhood of slave-warriors, represent the forerunners to the Mamluks who fought for and later came to dominate the caliphate. Aserai towns meanwhile will be dominated by the back-alley mafias who feature in tales of urban Middle Eastern life, from The Thousand and One Nights to the novels of Naguib Mahfouz. The desert of the south will be hard to rule and dangerous to traverse, but the other realms ignore it at their peril, lest it suddenly throw forth a host capable of bringing empires to their knees.
In next week’s blog we will be speaking with Writer and Designer, Steve Negus. If you have any questions you would like to ask him, please leave a reply in the comments section and we will pick one out for him to answer!
Friday - December 15, 2017
Mount & Blade II - Sturgia
The latest from Mount & Blade II explores the Sturgia faction.
Dev Blog 14/12/17
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
The Sturgian forests are forbidding and cold, but great wealth lies within. Wild honey can be found, and bog iron, but the real prize has always been fur. For centuries, brave traders ventured there to buy the pelts of fox, rabbit and ermine from the tribes of the woods. As the empire expanded eastward, that trickle of traders became a flood. Great towns sprung up on the rivers. Fortune-seekers came from the coast, from the steppes, and most of all from the Nordlands. Tribal elders made alliances with the newcomers, sealed by wedding vows, and with their share of the trading profits hired mercenaries to subdue other tribes. Sturgia became a collection of principalities, then a kingdom, the great powerhouse of the north.
The Sturgians are based on the federation of city-states known as Kievan Rus, located in today's Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Like many boomtowns, the Rus river cities attracted people from faraway lands. Predominantly Slavic communities were forming into states at a breakneck pace and borrowing institutions, religions, and ways of trade and war from their neighbours. Greek missionaries, Finnic foresters, Turkic and Iranian steppe tribes, and most famously the Varangian Norse all left their mark on the aesthetics of Russian art, arms and armour. We think the motifs and styles of Sturgian equipment – gilded and peaked helmets, furs and gold brocade, runes and gripping beasts and folk embroidery and Arabesques -- will make it some of the most spectacular in the game.
As with other factions, we let history be our inspiration for Sturgia's politics. The chroniclers weren't shy about expressing their opinions about the different princes. Some rulers, like Vladimir the Great or Yaroslav the Wise, have come down to us as far-sighted rulers. Others, like Sviatopolk "the Accursed," accused of murdering his brothers, or Vseslav, the sorcerer-king of Pskov, were depicted as some of the more colourful tyrants in medieval Europe. Raganvad, the current Sturgian prince, is cut out of the latter mould: he knows how to punish but not how to reward, and he'll put to the test the old dictum that it is better to be feared than loved.
Tuesday - December 05, 2017
Mount & Blade II - The Vlandians
@PCGamer Mount & Blade II faction the Vlandians.
In a recent Steam community update, Taleworlds has revealed the lore behind Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord's faction, the Vlandians. The detailed post also includes a behind-the-scene peek at how the team designed the faction's backstory, and their accompanying weapons.
The Vlandians are loosely based on the feudal states of early medieval Europe and in particular the Normans, "the Norse raiders who settled in France then carved out kingdoms for themselves in the UK, Sicily, and the Holy Land".
As for the weapons themselves? "Vlandian arms and armour are based on that of Western Europe from the 9th to the early 12th centuries," writes Callum. "This was a period of relatively fast evolution, and leaves us with some balancing issues. For example, there are textual references to what appear to be two-handed swords in this period, notably as wielded by Swabian mercenaries at the 1053 battle of Civitate, but as far as we know no artistic depictions or specimens.
Wednesday - November 15, 2017
Mount & Blade II - November Dev Blogs
Farflame spotted two Mount & Blade: Bannerlord dev-blogs:
Friday - October 06, 2017
Mount & Blade II - Armies & Influence
The Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord developers are ready to share details of the singleplayer experience in their latest blog, starting with Armies and Influence.
Dev Blog 05/10/17
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
In this week's blog we would like to talk about an aspect of the game which many of you have requested we talk about for quite some time now: singleplayer. We decided that the most interesting way to do this would be to discuss different features and mechanics from the campaign in their own dedicated blogs. We hope that, over time, we can touch on many of the key aspects of the sandbox and give you all a better understanding of what to expect in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.
In a previous blog[www.taleworlds.com] we briefly discussed a mechanic which is new to the Mount & Blade series, influence. Influence acts as a kind of currency in the game and can be earned by serving your kingdom in various ways: destroying bandits or enemy parties, raiding, capturing enemy settlements etc. Influence points can be spent to determine the outcome of some faction decisions and to make requests to allied lords. We have already shown you that influence can be spent to ask an allied lord to follow you, but one thing we are yet to discuss is how players can use our new army gathering system to perform this action on a grander scale.
So how does this work? Well, each allied lord has an influence cost based on the power of their party. Players can spend their influence points to summon allied lords to form their own army. It is the leader of the army which gains all of the influence for the army's victorious deeds, e.g. capturing a city will result in a huge influence boon for the leader, so spending influence to build an army is actually an investment, and sometimes even a gamble. If an army leader can no longer afford to spend influence then the army will start to disband.
Army influence upkeep cost is based on several factors:
- If the army morale is high, then upkeep costs are lower (and vice versa)
- Distance from their hometowns, how long they have been fighting etc.
- Relations between the army commander and lords
As long as the army is successful in their efforts and the lord commander is keeping the other lords happy, then the army can go on marching for a long time. But if things don't go so well, the army will quickly dissolve and lords will decide to abandon the campaign and return to their own lands.
When an army is gathered it becomes almost like a moving settlement, with its own UI overlay on the campaign map. The UI shows:
- Army morale
- Lords and their parties
- Food supplies
- Marching speed (players can see factors affecting the marching speed from a tooltip)
The UI also shows portraits of the lords which are currently a part of the army and their current relations with the player. Deep red means that they despise you, whereas bright green means that they are your favourite drinking buddy! If a lord has answered the summons and is travelling to join your army, or if they are currently away from the army on a mission, their portrait will appear greyed out with an indicator displaying their distance from the army's current position, which is measured in days of travelling time. If you are an army commander you can click on a portrait to talk with a lord and give them a task to perform, such as scout ahead, bring food, bring reinforcements, bring horses, etc. You can dismiss lords to send them back to defend their lands or to trim the army and better manage your influence upkeep costs. If you are a member of an army, the army commander or other lords might have their own missions for you.
Another aspect of the new army system is that armies use pooled resources to support their campaigns. This means that if one lord brings some food, butter, for instance, then the rest of the army will be fed. Likewise, horses and mules are shared, increasing the movement speed of the entire army.
This new system allows for all lords to call on other allied lords and build their own army. Because of the large influence costs, it is of course easier for a king to do this, however there will certainly be times when some powerful lords will have more influence and money than their liege and will be able to amass their own powerful armies to take on a campaign. It also makes it possible for players to try their hand at army management relatively early in the game, before they have had a chance to climb to the top of a kingdom.
We feel that the new influence and army gathering systems better simulate the historical feudal system. When the player becomes part of a kingdom, they have obligations to their liege. This system allows players to pay for the benefits of being a lord by supporting their liege and fellow lords in military campaigns while building up influence within the realm to serve their own purposes.
In next week's blog we will talk with Graphic Artist, Fatma Nadide Öçba. If you have a question you would like to ask her about her work, please leave a reply in the comment section and we will pick one out for her to answer.
Discuss this blog post HERE
Friday - September 29, 2017
Mount & Blade II - QA Questions
The latest dev blog for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord asks Meriç Neşeli about QA.
OFFICIAL JOB DESCRIPTION
QA Lead and Game Designer
WHAT DO YOU NORMALLY DO DURING YOUR DAY?
"In the morning I organise and allocate the day's assignments for the rest of my team. Our daily tests revolve around testing features for both the game and the game engine. We test the functionality of newly added features and track general development day-by-day to ensure that the game is still stable after changes to the code.
In the afternoon I attend a meeting with members of our various teams. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the development process and establish which features need our immediate attention in testing. Naturally, the QA team gets to spend a lot more time playing Bannerlord than the rest of our colleagues which means that we have a somewhat deeper understanding of the current state of the game than others. We get to see the long term effects of design decisions and offer our feedback. If a feature is still interesting after hundreds of hours of gameplay then that is a good indication that the right decision was made during the design stage."
WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BANNERLORD?
"I like a wide variety of things about the game; battle strategy, the teamwork required in multiplayer, the different factions - each with their own distinctive culture... There is just too much that I enjoy to narrow it down to a single choice."
WHAT'S THE MOST DIFFICULT THING THAT YOU SOLVED SO FAR, DURING THE PRODUCTION OF BANNERLORD?
"Balancing troops. In Bannerlord, each faction has their own unique troops. Although unique troops offer some advantages over regular troops, we still have to strike a balance with how these units compare to similar troops within their own faction, and how they will perform against units from each of the other factions.
Each faction has their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to army compositions. For example, Empire's core units are heavy infantry, which are more durable than other infantry in Calradia. We need to select their perks and equipment in a way which will provide them with this advantage, yet exposes them to risk. In this case, the weakness of heavy infantry is shock infantry, such as the Falxmen of Battania. A good strategy to employ with Empire is to use infantry and ranged units in close proximity so that they can provide support to each other against their counter troop types.
Another balancing issue is the cost of troops, which is set according to the power of the unit. In Captain Mode we had to handle this a little differently because money doesn't feature in this game mode. We decided to alter the troop count instead of the price, with the reasoning that all players have the same amount of funds and therefore the stronger units should have fewer soldiers because their recruitment and upkeep costs would be higher."
WHAT DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK ON?
"Answering these blog questions, (just kidding!) I'm currently working on setting civilian equipment for lords. Lords will wear helmets and heavy armour in battle, but you will see the same lords wearing robes or silk tunics in a lord's hall. The aim of this is to make the world feel more realistic and immersive."
WHAT FACTION DO YOU LIKE THE MOST IN BANNERLORD?
"Battania. Battanians have tattoos and battle paints giving them the look and feel of Celts. They have well skilled, armoured archers and many of their troops use two-handed weapons, (the archers included!) I find the atmosphere in their large and sparsely populated cities to be fascinating, and even though the cities are mostly ruinous, walking around them feels relaxed."
WHAT KIND OF PROCESSES DO YOU GO THROUGH WHILE TESTING SCENES AND CAMPAIGN?
"There are two types of tests which we use. The first one is automated tests which are run by code. Some of them are unit tests, others performance tests, there are visual tests, etc. We have several computers running these tests at all times. The second type of tests are manual tests, which are performed by the QA team. We prepared a document for manual tests which includes testing steps for each scene and feature. We currently have 5 people working in the QA team and we focus our work on our field of experience, for example the editor tester checks engine features daily."
WHAT WAS ONE OF THE STRANGEST OR FUNNIEST BUGS THAT YOU'VE EXPERIENCED DURING QA?
"There was a bug at one stage where everyone in towns, some of them naked, madly started attacking the player! The screenshots came out to be almost like a renaissance painting."
Saturday - September 23, 2017
Mount & Blade II - About Modding
The latest dev blog for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord answers community questions and explains how modding will work for potential modders.
Dev Blog 21/09/17
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
Mods have always been a huge part of the Mount & Blade experience. Over the years, our talented and dedicated modding community has created some amazing mods which have expanded on concepts and features in our game, such as Diplomacy[forums.taleworlds.com] and Pre-Battle Orders and Deployment[forums.taleworlds.com], or completely overhauled the game to create unique and engaging gaming experiences, such as Brytenwalda[forums.taleworlds.com] and Prophecy of Pendor[forums.taleworlds.com]. Some of them have brought RPG elements and character progression into a multiplayer setting, (Persistent World[forums.taleworlds.com], cRPG[c-rpg.net]) while others are just plain silly and fun, (Gangs of Glasgow[forums.taleworlds.com]).
In this week's blog we would like to reach out to our modding community by answering a selection of questions from our official forums[forums.taleworlds.com] which were compiled by a key member of our community, our modding moderator "Duh".
1. What language will be used for modding?
We are using C# as the scripting language. Data files are generally formatted in XML.
2. Which IDE will have support (like Visual Studio Express) from TW?
You can use any version of Visual Studio 2015 (e.g. Community edition)
3. Can you provide us with screenshots and/or a list and description of the various tools that you use and that may be made available to modders?
Also, the runtime performance profile tools that we use will be available for modders. They will be able to check the performance impact of their changes.
Saturday - August 26, 2017
Mount & Blade II - Q&A
Mount & Blade II Q&A with TaleWorlds’ founder and CEO: Armagan Yavuz:
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
Today we start a series of interviews with the different team members of TaleWorlds Entertainment. Every video game is the result of the combined efforts of professionals with very different skills, and that applies to Mount & Blade too. Ours is a varied team, with people from different backgrounds: programmers, artists, musicians and writers (among others) from different parts of the world and varying cultures. Understanding their tasks and their daily struggle is a great way to learn more about games development in general – and Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord in particular! Today we start with TaleWorlds’ founder and CEO: Armagan Yavuz. Every important decision passes through his hands; he is the one that makes sure that everyone and everything stays true to the original vision of the game. But it will be much better if he tells you about it by himself!
OFFICIAL JOB DESCRIPTION
Lead game designer and game director
WHAT DO YOU NORMALLY DO DURING YOUR DAY?
“Most of my day is taken up by meetings. In the time not occupied by meetings, I do my tours around the office, and most team members call me over to their desks to show their work and get feedback, or to ask a question. I also play the game for a couple of hours to see if there are any problems. I no longer code as much as I used to and most of my tasks about coding involve directing other programmers and doing code reviews, however every now and then there is something that picks my interest so much, I give it a shot.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BANNERLORD?
“What I like most is seeing how, as the campaign progresses, you as a player write your own story. I am also looking forward to finishing the game and seeing what kinds of mods will come out.”
WHAT'S THE MOST DIFFICULT THING THAT YOU SOLVED SO FAR, DURING THE PRODUCTION OF BANNERLORD?
“Looking back, the biggest challenge for me was deciding on the general directions to take early in Bannerlord’s development. Should we take the game to have a more fully fledged storyline, or should we aim for huge but less detailed battles? Should we drop the dynamic text and go for full voice over?
Decisions had to be made on the technical side too. We first needed to select which scripting system to use: C# (we picked this at the end), Lua, or something we would roll on our own. And then we had to decide how much of the code we wanted to move from our existing codebase and rewrite in the scripts. (At the end we ended up leaving only the combat engine and lowest level combat AI and write everything else in C#) We then needed to decide how to structure various components, how mods would work, etc.
Some decisions turned out to be exactly right while some caused problems and we had to backtrack and change them, costing a lot of time and effort. For example, we went through three different UI libraries and had to implement some screens several times over.”
WHAT DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK ON?
“Today I worked on the design of how army coherence will be affected as an army stays in the field for a long time, and how a player can keep it together longer by arranging its composition and spending influence.”
WHAT FACTION DO YOU LIKE THE MOST IN BANNERLORD?
“I like to play with Empire, because they are going through a period of crisis, and their situation presents interesting questions and opportunities for the player.”
HAVE YOU TAKEN MAJOR INSPIRATION FROM ANY REAL (OR FICTIONAL) PLACES?
“Back when I had started working on the very first prototypes of Mount & Blade, I had the great fortune of seeing this from our window:
Tuesday - August 22, 2017
Mount & Blade II - Captain Mode
Captain Mode for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlords puts you in charge of a detachment of troops in multiplayer battles of 5 vs 5.
Saturday - August 05, 2017
Mount & Blade II - New weekly Blog
You can get now information about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord every week:
Dev Blog 03/08/17
Greetings warriors of Calradia!
It is an exciting summer for TaleWorlds Entertainment: our community & communications team recently showcased Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord at E3 in Los Angeles, and next month they will visit Gamescom, Europe’s biggest games industry show, to give hands-on demos to quite a number of journalists.
In the meantime, there’s something that we want to talk with you about. We realise that we haven’t communicated with you as frequently and as openly as we should have. We failed at connecting with our community, and sometimes it might appear as if we are not paying you as much attention as you deserve. We are incredibly grateful for having such fantastic support and we were unsuccessful in letting you know just how much we appreciate you being there for us over the years.
We want to improve our relationship and communication with you – starting right now. We know that you can’t wait to get your hands on Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, and we understand that after all these years you have a lot of questions. Moving forward, we think that the best way to engage with you is by being transparent, by opening our doors to introduce you to our daily work, as well as by having clear channels to communicate with you about everything related to TaleWorlds Entertainment and Mount & Blade that we can – or cannot – talk about at this moment in time. We are striving to create the best game that we can deliver, which is a tough task that has taken us many years, and it is your support that motivates us to work harder!
That is why we are starting a new weekly blog! Every Thursday, you will get to know who is behind Mount & Blade, the diverse and talented team of designers, artists, programmers and others that make the game possible; you will glimpse our struggles and hopes, our daily work, and our favourite parts of the game… We hope that you enjoy the read – and also that it makes the waiting easier! This blog will be available in several languages, because we value all of our different communities and their languages, there are no “first class” or “second class” players for us. At the same time, as we will explain later on, we currently cannot confirm that any particular language will be supported by the game at the day of its release. So please keep it in mind that if this blog is available in, say, Catalan, it does not automatically mean that the game will release in full Catalan.
In the coming weeks we will start a series of short interviews with different members of the development team… and who could be better to start with than TaleWorlds’ founder and CEO, Armagan Yavuz! Armagan founded the company back in 2005 and he is still the driving force behind it. If you would like to know something in particular about him or his work, then leave a question in the comment section and we will pick one to add to our Q&A.
We are also working to improve our social media channels so that you know exactly where to reach us – but we will tell you more about that later this summer. In the meantime, if you want to talk with us and keep up to date with everything relating to TaleWorlds Entertainment and the Mount & Blade franchise, you can find us on our existing channels on Twitter and Facebook – as well as on our official forums, where we just opened a new Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord section where you can talk about the upcoming game.
Wednesday - July 26, 2017
Mount & Blade II - Preview @ OnlySP
OnlySP checked out Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord:
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Preview | Beware the Limitations
Alongside Kingdom Come: Deliverance, another game in a medieval setting is making its way to players everywhere. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is an action role-playing game developed and published by TaleWorlds Entertainment, and the prequel to 2010’s Mount & Blade: Warband. However, while Kingdom Come: Deliverance follows the tale of a particular, preset character, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord allows players to create their own character and form individual stories. Gamers may become whoever they wish, including a lord, mercenary, merchant, or anything in-between. OnlySP took the opportunity to preview TaleWorlds Entertainment’s current five-year project, and the experience was nothing, if not unique.
In a demo offering a taste of four different battle options (two of which are the same battle on different difficulties), Mount & Blade II’s current state depicts a game ripe with unprecedented sandbox potential. Brandishing mostly-realistic gameplay (down to some of the most minute details), TaleWorlds has something special on its hands. Playing through the first battle—where gamers take control of a captain responsible for leading a unit of cavalry within a lord’s army—awakens within the user a deep sense of wariness. Limited to a long spear and a shield, players must follow their lord’s orders and lead their cavalry in a charge that accomplishes specific objectives, such as protecting allied infantry from enemy cavalry or breaking the enemy’s lines to soften them up for friendly troops’ charges. However, this battle merely serves as a stage on which Mount & Blade II’s features are unveiled.
So far, 2017 has been filled with blockbuster announcements, such as Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Call of Duty: WWII, Star Wars: Battlefront II, and Far Cry 5. Meanwhile, promising games are overshadowed by the popstars of the video game industry. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is proof that a company does not have to be as popular as the most well-known AAA producers to develop a unique, quality product. Still in development, TaleWorlds Entertainment’s innovative game offers mostly-superior graphics, outstanding audio, and gameplay mechanics that are riveting and challenging. Hopefully, TaleWorlds will improve upon the current design and fix the minor flaws present within the title between now and the game’s unannounced release date. If the polishes are made, Mount & Blade II could sneak up on the industry’s standouts and compete with the best.
Sunday - June 25, 2017
Mount & Blade II - Preview @ E3
COG checked out Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord at the E3:
E3 2017: Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Preview – Mount Up and Take Charge Again
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Preview
Let’s start off with some truth; I was not a fan of the first Mount & Blade game. Admittedly, I never played any of the expansions, sequels or spin-offs, maybe one of them would have been more appealing to me. However I do know there is a huge, rabid following for Mount & Blade – so it wasn’t a fault of the game, it just wasn’t a game for me. So, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I was set up for a meeting with TaleWorlds Entertainment to discuss Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. Needless to say, after that hour long meeting, I was pleasantly surprised and honestly can’t wait to get my hands on the full version.loading...
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is a vast action game filled with epic battles and hand-to-hand combat. There isn’t a story, per se, the story is more about the journey you choose to take. One of my criticisms with the first game was the steep learning curve and lack of direction when you first start playing. The developers realized this and have introduced a set of objectives that you’ll work towards completing when you first start the game. Each objective is designed to introduce players to different game mechanics, which should do a better job of easing new players in (and re-introducing returning players).
Monday - June 12, 2017
Mount & Blade II - Combat Videos
During E3 two new combat videos for Mount & Blade: Bannerlord have been made available. One shows a cavalry sergeant:
And the other a horese archer sergeant:
KEY BATTLE IMPROVEMENTS
Battles are at the very core of the series and play better than ever in the latest installment.
- Advanced Formations - Merge and split forces at your behest, with intuitive but powerful control over the movement, form and behavior of every unit! Order heavy infantry to hold together, shoulder-to-shoulder in a slowly advancing but near impenetrable shield wall; or launch your cavalry in lightning charges using the skein formation.
- Battlefield AI - AI commanders can execute complex tactics, utilizing the advanced formation options to present a formidable challenge. Their behavior is drawn from actual historical tacticians, for example Alexander the great, who used his superior cavalry forces to rout their counterparts in the opposing army, before delivering a crushing blow to the enemy's main force. This not only creates the feeling of an authentic medieval battle but also proves effective in-game, as in reality.
- Sergeant System - Commanders now designate units to other lords in battle, including the player! Execute the orders issued by your commander throughout the fight, and use your own instincts to do your part and help secure victory on the field of battle. Lead the horse archers as they skirmish and harass the enemy to disrupt their lines before your allies finish them off, or take control of the cavalry and charge into the fray to devastate entire units at once!
KEY COMBAT UPDATES
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord also features greatly updated combat, which builds on previous installments in a number of ways while retaining its intuitive, direction-based core that made it so popular among players.
"It is great to be back at E3 with Bannerlord, demonstrating the best Mount & Blade battles ever. Our team worked very hard on developing all aspects of the battles, which are so central to the game. We are thrilled to showcase our work and looking forward to seeing the response."
- Directional Shield Blocking and Shield Bash - These two features revitalize the sword & board gameplay, making it a more engaging experience than ever before! Blocking in the wrong direction will not necessarily get you killed but it will cause your shield to break faster, leaving you defenseless against missiles and vulnerable against multiple foes. Shield bashing, a highly requested feature, temporarily stuns your opponent and knocks them back, lowering their defenses and giving you room to breathe.
- Attack Chaining - Swings that complete their motion can now be chained into follow-up attacks which can catch your opponent off-guard after a miss. Unbalanced weapons such as hammers and axes also use the momentum of the first swing for a faster follow-up!
- Improved Animations and Combat Engine - Huge effort has gone into making Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord's combat as fluid and visually appealing as possible. Damage dealt is now calculated with a great degree of physical depth, factoring in the weight distribution of every individual weapon. This means that whether you are executing a perfectly timed thrust while thundering towards a hapless archer on horseback or shooting an arrow across the battlefield to whittle down your opponent's infantry forces before the melee, the game will understand all of the forces involved and produce consistent, realistic and satisfying results every time.
Armagan Yavuz - CEO / Founder, TaleWorlds
Thursday - June 01, 2017
Mount & Blade II - Preview @ Gamepressure
Gamepressure has collected a few features of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord:
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord to feature battles of up to 1,000 soldiers, dynamic seasons and more
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord developers revealed a couple of tasty bits about their upcoming game in discussion with German website GameStar. They discussed the scale of battles, world sizes, dynamic seasons and more.
Up to 1,000 soldiers will fight at the sime time in single player battles in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, the developers from TaleWorlds told GameStar (via NeoGAF). That refers to the full version, as the current build is able to hold half of that: there are currently battles of 250 warriors on each side in the game. The full-fledged sequel to the popular “knight simulator” sandbox is going to feature world four times bigger than the one in Mount & Blade: Warband. It will not only have regions with different climates – from desert to icy-cold north – but also, with the passage of time, players will notice dynamic seasons displayed on battlefields and cities as well as on the world map.
Sunday - March 26, 2017
Mount & Blade II - Dev Blog
Mount & Blade II developer blog has some interesting information on quests and how the relationship system will work.
One aspect of Bannerlord that featured in the write-up is quests, which is what we're discussing in this blog entry. As a sandbox game, the essential function of quests in Mount & Blade is different to that of a linear or story-based RPG. Our goal is to use quests as a way to encourage the player to interact with the sandbox, and help form the player's relationships in the world.
As in Warband, completing quests for NPCs will increase your relation with that character. This however, takes on a new dimension in Bannerlord, as that relationship can have a more profound impact on your character, and the decisions you make. As an example, when you go to a town to recruit soldiers, instead of simply receiving a number of local recruits, the town's NPCs act as recruiting agents, or middle men, through whom you receive a supply of troops. The higher your relation with a specific NPC, the greater the number of soldiers they will make available to you.
This places inherent value on your relationship with a specific NPC, giving you a reason to complete quests for them, and enhance your capacity to recruit soldiers quickly, from a single location. Consider, also, the way this invests you in an NPC's safety and well-being; when that NPC is at risk, so too is your supply of soldiers. This link, between quests and the sandbox, is what provides interesting gameplay, as your character's connection to the world grows, making allies and enemies. In this sense, the impact of a quest is often more significant than the reward it offers.
A crucial change, in the nature of the quests themselves, is that the majority of quests, in Bannerlord, have multiple potential outcomes. As an example, when a character in a town tasks you with clearing out some thugs, who are occupying a local alley, upon meeting the gang, you are presented with a counter offer: go back to the quest-giver, extort money out of them for questioning the gang's authority and keep the profits for yourself. You can even clear out the thugs, as requested but instead of handing control back to the townsfolk, install your own men in the alley and begin a new criminal operation.
Wednesday - March 08, 2017
Mount & Blade II - New Screenshots
PCGamer has showcased some new exclusive screenshots of Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord.
TaleWorlds' Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord may still be without a concrete launch date, but the next issue of PC Gamer magazine goes in deep with the most ambitious open-world RPG since Skyrim.
Due on sale tomorrow, issue #303 (the US edition's issue #291 is on sale later this month) boasts world-exclusive access to the much anticipated Warband prequel, and today we've got a smattering of impressive, as yet unseen screens which showcase the medieval role-player in action.
Thursday - January 12, 2017
Mount & Blade II - Not anytime soon
@GamePressure The Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord developers took to their forums to discuss the game and the recent progress made. It seems there is a while to wait yet until release.
It's still too early to talk about the release date of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, said the game's community manager Frank Elliot (a.k.a. Captain Lust) on the forums after well over four years since its original announcement in September 2012. While the development progress is rather steady, there is still lot of things the team at TaleWorlds have to do.
One of the things they are currently working on is combat. The focus is to make it "look and feel great in every sense". Elliot also confirmed that the game is still goining to have permadeath and aging features, however, no more details have been given on that.
Thursday - October 20, 2016
Mount & Blade II - Steam Page is Up
The Steam page for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is up. The release date has yet to be announced but there is a fair bit of material to look over.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord on Steam
20 October - Captain Lust [TaleWorlds]
Welcome to the official Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Steam group. We'll be posting news and updates here ourselves, from here on, so stay tuned and invite your friends!
The horns sound, the ravens gather. An empire is torn by civil war. Beyond its borders, new kingdoms rise. Gird on your sword, don your armour, summon your followers and ride forth to win glory on the battlefields of Calradia. Establish your hegemony and create a new world out of the ashes of the old.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is now visible on Steam! What does that mean? Well, you can now follow the game, and get news and announcements delivered directly to PC's most popular gaming platform! You can also add the game to your wishlist, which will make sure you don't miss when the game releases.
We know you're hungry for more Bannerlord news. Right now, we're working hard on the game to put it in your hands as soon as possible, so stay tuned for more updates in the near future!
Sunday - June 26, 2016
Mount & Blade II - More on Sieges
After TaleWorlds showed us the impressive video of Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord's siege mode at E3, they went on to say that M&B II could support even more than 500 units, as well as promising better siege AI than its predecessor.
Now, the expanded team is working on the highly anticipated sequel: Mount & Blade II Bannerlord. The game was featured in E3 2016’s PC Gaming Show, where TaleWorlds demonstrated the new siege system for the first time.
This has been majorly improved since the first game in the series, which will please those fans who gave their feedback on this feature. Gamers will now be able to choose different tactics and control their approach by positioning troops and weapons exactly where they desire; according to the developers, this will allow for a much more involved experience.
The siege demonstrated below had about 500 units in total, but TaleWorlds is confident that bigger sieges will be featured in the game without performance issues. Another significant improvement introduced by Mount & Blade II Bannerlord is the enhanced Artificial Intelligence (AI).
TaleWorlds promised “massive strides” with the AI so that the soldiers can now take smarter actions on the battlefield. For example, if you manage to open a breach in the castle the enemy commander NPC will try to close that breach.
Castle defenses are destructible and the AI will make the defenders retreat should the walls be lost to the attackers. An important note is that sounds aren’t final yet in the video below, so take that into account.
Sunday - June 19, 2016
Mount & Blade II - Interview @ TechRaptor
TechRaptor has interviewed Frank Elliott and Steve Negus about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord:
I attended a presentation with Taleworlds Entertainment all about siege in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. Later I returned and Taleworlds graciously agreed to an interview, so I spoke with Frank Elliott and Steve Negus about more siege details, factions, relationships between lords, and more.
We first talked about much of what you can see in this video here, which is much of what I saw in the presentation I attended. There was discussion of what players new to the series should be excited to see, as well as the general philosophy behind Bannerlord. Basically, Taleworlds knows they have a good set of systems and mechanics in place, now they are just working to improve them. Siege is just one of the areas we can see that general improvement. The interview discusses siege a little, AI improvements, and more.
Tuesday - June 14, 2016
Mount & Blade II - E3 Siege Trailer
TaleWorlds shows off some brand new footage of siege gameplay from Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord.
Edit Myrthos: And here are some new screens as well
And an extended gameplay video:
Friday - March 18, 2016
Mount & Blade II - Gameplay Presentation with Q&A
PC Gamer share a presentation of Mount & Blade 2. The Q&A starts at the 30:50 mark.
Community manager Frank Elliott and animator Sten Oom walked us through everything from the fine details of character creation to the transitions between strategy, RPG and action. There's a generous helping of battle scenes too. Better still, the full Q&A session is attached: hear about improved mod support, AI personalities, and watch them writhe while skirting questions they're not allowed to answer yet.
Monday - March 07, 2016
Mount & Blade II - Gameplay @PC Gamer
PC Gamer shows us some gameplay for Mount & Blade II.
Tuesday - January 12, 2016
Mount & Blade II - Six Reasons to Be Excited
Improved sieges and combat, better bartering and NPC interaction, and vastly improved graphics, just to name a few. Here's why Gaming Respawn is excited about M&B II: Bannerlord.
Sieges in Mount & Blade: Warband weren’t the greatest, let’s be honest. We had a few different options to choose from but the bottomline was that there wasn’t enough variety in sieges, with each siege playing out the same as the one before it. It was more about brute force than anything else. However Bannerlord will revamp sieges completely by making them more strategic, giving players more freedom to choose how they wish to assault a castle or town as well as adding in actual tactics. There will be multiple entry points players can choose, meaning that you will no longer need pure brute force to win as well keeping each siege different.
Improved Combat and Battles
One of the best things about Warband was its huge battles and combat which on the whole, wasn’t too bad for a game of its size. While it wasn’t brilliant, it did the job. However we can’t wait to take part in more realistic battles. The revamped combat will link in nicely with the new sieges, however Taleworlds have promised that combat in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will have “up-close and personal medieval combat on a huge scale” which will also be “bigger, bloodier and more intense than ever before”. Sounds awesome right?
Monday - December 28, 2015
Mount & Blade II - Dev Blog 12
In M&B II's Dev Blog 12, TaleWorlds Entertainment covers the passage of time.
Thank you again, Couch, for tonight's news.
Bannerlord shares the setting of Calradia with Warband but takes place 200 years earlier. The map is also expanded to include regions further to the east and south of that in previous games, resulting in a map which is around three times larger. Land features and even some settlements from the previous games are recognisable. By sharing the same world, the two games become part of the lore of Mount & Blade in a wider sense. While the series' lore was kept to a minimum in Warband, being left to hints in dialogue, Bannerlord features its own storyline that will add some additional depth to the factions.
In addition to acting as the setting, providing the context for Mount & Blade's magnificent battles, the overworld map is also where a large chunk of gameplay lies. With Bannerlord, the approach is to provide more information to the player with the map itself and the HUD presented while travelling. Taking the icons as an example, it is now possible to see what a village produces by looking at its icon. These change dynamically over time to reflect different production facilities constructed in the village, or additions of buildings like castles. On the HUD, more information is presented to the player, including morale, food supplies, gold and more. We are currently restructuring the HUD to provide even more information without making it too overwhelming.
Characters and locations on the map make up what we call “parties”. All parties on the map, whether they are lords, bandits, hideouts or anything, have a function in the game's sandbox simulation of a feudal world. Here is a basic explanation of how the economy works:
-Villages produce goods based on what types of production they have in place (e.g. Sheep farms produce sheep, cheese, wool etc.)
-Peasants take goods produced in their village to sell in the local town by repeatedly travelling directly between the village and the town on the map.
-The raw materials are taken to towns and either consumed or processed into secondary goods (e.g. wool into clothes, sheep into meat) via workshops.
-Goods in towns are bought by caravans to be sold elsewhere for a higher price, caravans will assess the situation and try to maximise profit from their journey over the map.
When all of these steps are completed successfully, the prosperity of the settlements increases. What's interesting, though, is that because everything is connected in this way, disruption can be a very effective approach when dealing with an enemy or rival. A simple example is that raiding enemy villages or preventing peasants from making their journey to the local town impoverishes towns due to their lack of goods to process for trade. More indirect benefits can be received by, for instance, aiding a bandit group near to the fief of a rival noble from the same faction, trying to limit their income and gaining a leg over them in the faction standings. Since everything is simulated in this way, no matter what you do, it has a knock-on effect in the world. Manipulating this to your own ends is key to making progress in the game but AI Lords will also attempt to create problems for opponents, in an effort to better themselves.
The topography of the map is not entirely consistent with Warband, in fact Bannerlord's map is somewhat more mountainous. The effect of this is an increase in the number of choke points. It will be hard to avoid conflict, for instance, when traversing narrow passes through mountain ranges that may be riddled with ambush spots or enemy patrols. Tactically, the map offers many more options for controlling areas that serve as trade routes. Battles are often fought in the game to contest key choke points with the goal of securing passage for trade caravans and other parties. As a player, it is important to consider what kind of warfare you are likely to end up in, before sacrificing relations with a faction. If your speciality is skirmishing on foot over rough terrain, you might for example avoid engaging the Aserai, who will have higher mobility in the open desert.
The map is changed, not just by the activity of the player and NPCs but also by the passage of time. Changing seasons affect the weather and transform the landscape sending snow creeping south during winter. Significant gameplay effects, of the changing conditions, are felt in the effectiveness of different troop types. Cavalry and ranged units in particular will have a harder time in rain or snow. One major change from Warband is how time progresses; the yearly cycle has been shortened to twelve weeks, which adds more importance to the changing seasons and ageing of characters.
Friday - November 06, 2015
Mount & Blade II - Interview @ GamereactorTV
GamereactorTV has interviewed Armagan Yavus about the improvements in Bannerlord compared to Warbands and the development progress:
We caught up with TaleWorld Entertainment's Armagan Yavus and found out how development is coming along on Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.
Saturday - October 03, 2015
Mount & Blade II - Interview @ Games Totalwars
Eye spotted this interview with with Armaganom Yavuz about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.
We present our new interview with Yavuz Armaganom about his new creation - Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord II.
(For translation thanks Sasha Alexander from our group Vkontakte.)
Reporter: Could you tell us more about TaleWorlds? How great team?
Armagan: My wife and I founded the company in 2005, and over the years it grew, we now have more than 50 people. We are very passionate about games, and our core philosophy of creating games that we would like to play themselves.
Reporter: What about game development in Turkey?
Armagan: Development of a video game is a new sector for Turkey and there is still a shortage of experienced game developers. On the other hand, there are a lot of passionate young people who want to make a career in the gaming industry and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a young and talented team.
Reporter: Why Bannerlord? Does the name "Bannerlord" subcontext?
Armagan: We probyvali different names, and we felt that it was the name of Bannerlord unikallnym. An important role will be played by the family and retainers. We'll talk about it soon! And, of course, as the game is now called Bannerlord, we were obliged to sdobavit editor banners.
Reporter: As the game will look like as a whole, it will be more like the first part, or it will be something new?
Armagan: The Bannerlord will be a lot of changes compared with the first part of our game, but the point of the game will be the same. We walked all over the mechanics of the game and the campaign tried to change the design of every detail, so that the campaign will igrkom smoothly plunge into the game world. In addition, there are significant improvements in animation and combat system. Improved graphics This is only onachalo.
Reporter: What is the most significant improvement in Bannerlord from the previous game?
Armagan: Frankly, we expect that the views on this will vary from player to player. We commit the same time every aspect of the game.
In general, one of our most important goals is exploring various aspects of the game.
A new game engine, New Horizon
Reporter: From the developer blog, we learned that you are using the "indoor game engine." On soklko it good for?
Armagan: We are very proud of our new game engine which we developed from the ground up for quite a long time for Bannerlord. It has a very easy to use and powerful editor, as well as the latest technology such as DX11, natural shading, aggressive use of multi-threading, and many others. Unfortunately, far too early to give exact figures, but it will be very well optimized, and we hope it will serve us and our community for many years.
Reporter: Many question arises on account of the size of the battle. I have confidence that my GTX660 can survive with 500 hundred people / horses in battle. Will work smoothly on medium game configurations?
Armagan: Performance is a priority for us, we want to see in our game, playing as many people as possible. We're trying to do that all the graphics settings can be changed, so have the players with less powerful configuration could also naslazhdatsya game. In addition, Bannerlord come a large number of performance improvements in comparison with the Warband, including the active use of multi-threading and re-design of some calculations.
We have not yet decided what will be the minimum requirements, but GTX660 definitely will play in the main settings.
Reporter: The game will be as friendly to the modders as the first part?
Armagan: Actually, we strive to modding was easier in general. This is one reason why the development of the game took longer than we expected, the system that we have come up with not only work well, but should also be easy for modders.
Reporter: The game will be more focused on multiplayer mode or single player? Will the repose of character development in the style of MMO and whether the multiplayer part of the arena or «Online campaigns"?
Armagan: We have a high standard that we strive vyderzhatv single-player and multiplayer games. For us it is not a matter of choosing one over the other. Both modes must conform to our expectations. Unfortunately, we can not disclose additional information on additional networking opportunities at this time, but the style of the game arena, of course, is not going anywhere. There will be no character development MMO style in the classical sense, as it significantly violates justice and sporting interest. However, players will be able to monitor your progress and feel without getting an unfair advantage.
Reporter: Bannerlord will be the same as the open world in the first part? If so, you increase the scale?
Armagan: The Vannerlord certainly have a map of the open world. We still decided to scale proportions, but I can say that the area of the card is approximately four times the Warband.
Reporter: Your team tries to bring more strategy to the game. Will it be done in Bannerlord in Total war?
Armagan: Bannerlord will have a large number of improvements in the management. AI It will also be greatly improved. The main focus of the game is still on a dive in his own character, so the battle will never feel like in a conventional strategy.
Tuesday - August 11, 2015
Mount & Blade II - Gameplay Features Explained
In their blog #11 TaleWorlds explains the gameplay features of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord in great detail:
As many of you may have noticed, we have been rather busy! Last week, we visited Cologne, Germany to attend Gamescom, the largest game conference in Europe. While there, we took appointments to demonstrate some Bannerlord gameplay to the world's media. Along with this, we released a few videos which were used as part of our presentation.
It has been great to see the excited response to the clips and we're very pleased that your feedback has been so positive! Of course, the game is still very much in development and so we had to make decisions about what to put in the videos and how it would be presented.
Here, we have compiled some of the highlights, along with a small smattering of new footage, which we want to present to you the community, along with a little explanation about some of the features. [...]
Wednesday - August 05, 2015
Mount & Blade II - Gamescom 2015 Gameplay Videos
The Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord gameplay videos at Rock, Paper, Shotgun:
Tuesday - July 28, 2015
Mount & Blade II - Debut at Gamescom 2015 @ NicheGamer
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will be revealed at the Gamescom 2015 in Cologne:
TaleWorlds Entertainment will be revealing Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord for the first time at Gamescom 2015 in Cologne. Media will be invited to attend private viewing sessions of live gameplay from the game in its current state. Video and additional information about the game will be released to the general public concurrently, satiating some of the massive player demand for information on the new entry to the franchise.
The series, which has until now accumulated over 6 million unit sales, is a favourite among players, much loved for its refreshing sandbox gameplay that centres around player freedom. This next instalment takes place 200 years before Warband but brings the series forward by greatly expanding gameplay in all areas and offering much improved visuals.
Saturday - April 04, 2015
Mount & Blade II - Developers Blog #10
TaleWorlds Entertainment posted the tenth developer update for their upcoming sequel Mount & Blade II Bannerlord. The update focuses on materialistic approaches.
Hello all Mount & Blade players, curious individuals and accidental Mount & Blade blog readers! We hope you are having a wonderful 2015, so far and that you enjoyed our previous blog by Finn Seliger, covering the music of Bannerlord.
This time, the blog comes right from us and we're going to be touching on an interesting new feature for the single player, something we know a lot of you want to hear about.
One of the areas of our development focus is improving player interaction with NPCs and other factions and making this part of the game feel deeper and more meaningful. In order to facilitate this, early in the development we decided to use a dedicated bartering screen. We have been working on this new feature for some time now and it has matured to a point where it adds a lot to gameplay and has many interesting details we can talk about.
As shown in the screenshot, the bartering screen is fairly self explanatory. The right hand side presents a list of things the player can offer towards the deal, and the left hand side shows what the player can demand from the other party. This is a simple system that makes deals easy to create and view, with potential offerings grouped together for ease of use.
Thursday - January 22, 2015
Mount & Blade II - Developer Update #9
TaleWorlds Entertainment has just posted the ninth developer diary for their upcoming sequel Mount & Blade II Bannerlord. This update focuses on the creation of Bannerlord's soundtrack:
Finn Seliger, Periscope Studio - With the soundtrack of Mount & Blade 2 one of our main goals was to create a characteristic music piece for each faction – a kind of hymn – that should reflect the faction in terms of culture and attitude.
Having six different factions, the first step was to identify those characteristic instruments. Together with Torsten Stoye and his band Frölich Geschray (www.geschray.de) we were having two great sessions trying out different ethnic instruments. The samples that we were recording during the sessions turned out to be pure inspiration for the future compositions and helped a lot in finding the right tone for each faction.
See here for more, including pictures, audio samples, more information, and even a screenshot of a scene in Bannerlord.
Sunday - September 28, 2014
Mount & Blade II - Developer Update #8
TaleWorlds Entertainment next development update for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is a new video that shows off how the game engine works.
For Bannerlord Developer Blog 8, we've decided to put together a little video! Entitled “Engine Power”, we're offering you a glimpse of some of the features of our new engine and why we're making it. We hope you enjoy it!
Saturday - August 30, 2014
Mount & Blade II - Developer Update #7
TaleWorlds Entertainment has finally posted the next development update for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. This time the topic is Imperial Declines.
Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord Blog 7 - Imperial Declines
Hi, all! For our seventh installment of the Bannerlord developer blogpost, we'd like to talk a little about our plans for factions, and how this fits into our evolving thinking about Mount&Blade as a sandbox game.
Warband's factions were based on existing medieval societies. We added a few in-game details about their backgrounds, but we didn't try to create an over-arching story. The factions' semi-historical nature meant players could use their imaginations and historical knowledge to fill in the details of these societies and make their own stories -- as we saw in many great AARs. A player who liked the Vikings, for example, might have chosen to fight for the Nords, maybe even model the character on a fictional or historical Norse warrior. However, many players felt Mount&Blade would be more immersive if the factions had more background and the game had an emotionally grabbing narrative hook, so we're going to try do that while still keeping the sandbox spirit.
Thursday - May 08, 2014
Mount & Blade II - Developer Update #6
TaleWorlds Entertainment has posted the next development update for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. This time we get a look at how they bring the NPCs to life.
Developer Blog 6 - Astounding Squirms
Players of Mount&Blade, idle passers and intrigued discoverers, Happy Friday to all. This little blog is about our progress making the game Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord. It doesn't cover everything we do but it tells you a little bit here and there which some may find of interest. “Never make a 6th album”, say the cynics. “Stop after the successful 5th!” - hogwash, we'll continue this blog until the sun rises in the west and sets in the east... or maybe just while we're working on Bannerlord.
We get messages from a lot of players saying they want to see more immersion and believability in the game. One feature we have planned for Bannerlord is facial animations. For a very long time, faces in games were pretty much completely motionless. There are various studies about the importance of non-verbal communication (facial expressions, body language etc.) in communication as a whole, including the much debated and often quoted “7%, 38%, 55%” figure for words spoken, tone of voice and physical behaviour respectively. We aren't psychologists though and that isn't a debate we need to enter into. The general consensus is that they are pretty important.
Monday - March 31, 2014
Mount & Blade II - Player Survey
TaleWorlds Entertainment has a new post on the Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord website with a new Player Survey to collect more data to help develop the game.
Hello Mount&Blade players of all demographics!
What does demographic mean? Why is that important? I don't know, maybe no one does but here at TaleWorlds we're looking for answers or... at least responses.
Meaningless drivel aside TaleWorlds is looking to collect some data about the players of Mount&Blade, with a good old fashioned survey. We feel like we have a pretty good handle on our players' likes and dislikes already because you like to make them known to us through forums, twitters and facebooks but have decided that getting results for a survey might be a nice way for us to get some of that as cold hard data.
If you have a spare few minutes then it would be great if you could help us out by filling out the forms and checking the boxes at this link: http://www.taleworlds.com/survey
All of the data is completely anonymous and so doesn't require you to enter any personal information whatsoever. Thank you in advance!
Saturday - March 15, 2014
Mount & Blade II - Developer Update #5
TaleWorlds Entertainment has posted the next development update for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. This time we get a look at how motion capture works in the game.
Happy Friday to avid readers and passers by. It has been a little while since our last Bannerlord Blog. In this entry we are once more decreasing the number of unblogged rooms in the office by one. Although some animations are made and polished in various parts of the office, many are captured in our very own motion capture studio near the main door of our offices. The animation hub and thus the associated blog room for this episode.
Sunday - January 26, 2014
Mount & Blade II - Developer Update #4
TaleWorlds Entertainment posted the next development update for Mount & Blade II.
Happy New Year to those operating on the Gregorian Calender and a round, warm hello to all. “Blog!”, they cried and it was written. 2013 has been a year of growth for us at TaleWorlds and with each passing month, work intensifies on Bannerlord. The new year has already started with the achievement of 100,000 likes on our official Facebook page. It feels like a great milestone and we'd like to thank everyone for all the support. Now let us tell you a little bit more about making Bannerlord.
For this week, focus will be drawn on the other half of “Team 1” (see Blog 3 for an explanation), developers of the combat and physics aspects of the engine, as well as web development. The room is calm and quiet, closest to the main door of all the development teams. Mount&Blade is arguably most well known for the originality of its combat system, so in developing the next full installment in the series, it is naturally an area which receives a lot of attention during design discussions and testing. A constant work of refinement. Visits to and from the engine team are a norm and work is done closely with the animators, whose role in the combat system is a vital one.
Sunday - December 22, 2013
Mount & Blade II - Developer Update # 3
TaleWorlds Entertainment has posted the next development update for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.
Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord Developer Blog 3 - Unexpected Parties
To all interested and uninterested parties, let it be known that we at TaleWorlds are making a new game, by the name of Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord. It is the next in the Mount&Blade series and a prequel to Mount&Blade Warband. This is the third entry in our Developer Blog, talking about making the game to whoever wants to listen. Thisweek we're talking about the campaign team, developers of the game's single player mechanics and gameplay. The team formerly known as “Team 3”...
It is tradition in the blog, to discuss the relative location of the teams' rooms in the office. The campaign team is directly opposite the engine team (mentioned in blog 2) and again very central. This is equally as useful as it is for the engine team but not because the campaign team receive a large number of wanderers, it's because they do the wandering. By focusing directly on the gameplay itself, oftentimes additions or changes are needed from the engine team, the artists or whoever to make a planned game mechanic work. It doesn't matter if it's a tap on the shoulder, a lean from the side or an instant message; a campaign team member always wants something from you. A variation of a map icon perhaps, or a piece of your soul.
Sunday - December 15, 2013
Mount & Blade II - Developer Update # 2
TaleWorlds Entertainment has a new development update about painted plants. Yes you read that right the first update was about hair, and now plants.
Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord Developer Blog 2 - Painted Plants
As a preamble to this blog entry, we would like to extend our sincere thanks for the incredible response to the previous blog. We expected excitement and we know (because you rarely take a break from telling us, which is great!) that you want information from Bannerlord but the feedback certainly exceeded our expectations. The blog was our most liked, shared and far reaching post on Facebook, the forums went crazy (more so than usual), on Reddit we had a great interest on /r/mountandblade as well as reaching the front page of /r/Games and on Twitter... well predictably everyone had a lot of fun with caps lock.
Avid blog followers and newcomers to the series, in this, our second blog, we're talking about our team of engine programmers and their role in our development process. It is fitting that the engine team sits in the centre of the office, developing the core of the game. The room is generally busy with the comings and goings of demanding developers, the hardware is powerful and the attitude is relaxed and open. Inside dwell the gremlin exterminating gremlins. The light masters. The engine engineers.
Thursday - November 28, 2013
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord - Developer Post
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord has a new developer update talking about the art department, and how the game handles hair.
One of the current focuses of the artists is on character hair. Hair is a great challenge for all games; simulating realistic movement and texture when you have so many individual strands moving separately is incredibly resource intensive, when done in real time. Some games use certain techniques to improve the simulation, while saving resources but in a game like Mount&Blade, where you may have 100s of characters on screen, the balancing act becomes significantly more difficult. Our current working method is: a textured base (something like a hair coloured swimming cap) with groups of hair strands (rendered onto polygons with alpha channels) moving in various directions to give a natural look. This adds more depth than the method used in warband, which relied on the texture to give depth to the hair. You can see the difference below (Left: Warband, Right: Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord):
It goes without saying but what you're seeing is the game in its current state and the hair will likely see further changes and improvements. That means, if there's something you don't like about it, feel free to let us know via an ALL CAPS tweet with several exclamation marks but there's a good chance we're not completely happy with it either... just yet. The most important thing is that it's something which can be used en masse without heavily impacting on performance, a possiblilty achieved by the strength of our new game engine.
Sunday - September 29, 2013
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord - First Glimpse
TaleWorlds Entertainment offers the first glimpse of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord with some new screenshots, and artwork.
The once-mighty Calradic Empire is in a state of decline. Warlike tribes have seized swaths of its territory. Client kingdoms have declared their independence. The Emperor has died without leaving an heir, leaving three jealous factions to scramble for power. Mercenary companies, bandit lords and nomads hover on the sidelines like vultures waiting for a meal.
A hero who can master the art of single combat, of leading armies in battle, of plotting ambushes and raids, and of exploiting the rivalries of noble houses and tribal clans may be able to unite this Empire -- or, alternately, to deal it the final blow that sends it crashing down. Will Calradia experience one final sunset of imperial glory, or slip into a night of chaos before a new age dawns?
Information aboutMount & Blade II: Bannerlord
SP/MP: Single + MP
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released: 2022-10-25
· Publisher: Taleworlds