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.
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November 16

Dev Blog 16/11/17

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

In the previous blog in this series, we described how Bannerlord’s new weapon physics model derives swing and thrust speeds of weapons from their physical characteristics. We talked about how weapon crafting plays a role in determining these properties and how this gives players the freedom to create a weapon which will complement their own fighting style. In this week’s blog, we would like to expand on this topic and explain the rest of the weapon physics model, showing how we determine the damage that a weapon inflicts and how that works in the game.

Damage is a difficult concept to get right in a computer game. Making the damage model realistic could be desirable since this can help with immersion and depth, on the other hand, what happens in a real-life physical trauma is incredibly complex and trying to replicate that in a computer model could easily get needlessly complicated with little benefit to gameplay.

While working on the system we made great use of an excellent article written by George Turner. The article was an eye opener about the intricacies and fine points of weapon dynamics. Of course, during implementation we had to make several simplifications and assumptions and if there are any unrealistic elements or errors in the end result, the fault lies with us and not the article.

Energy and Damage
In Bannerlord we tried to come up with a good model that is somewhat based on physics, but is still simple and understandable for players. In our model, damage depends on kinetic energy dissipated during the impact. However, energy is not converted to damage directly as we use several extra steps in our calculations.

Types of Damage
A weapon hit can have three different types of damage: cut, pierce or blunt. These three types have different trade-offs.
  • A cutting weapon is most efficient in converting kinetic energy of the weapon into hit-point damage. However, it is also least effective against armour.
  • Blunt weapons may require more hits for taking down an opponent, however, they make up for this by being least affected by armour.
  • Piercing weapons sit somewhat between cutting and blunt weapons.

Apart from kinetic energy and damage type, weapons also have a damage factor that can increase their effectiveness. Better made, more expensive weapons will inflict more damage.

Speed Bonus
As our calculations are physically based, we no longer need to calculate an extra “speed bonus” like we do in the previous games in the series. We simply get the attacker’s and target’s velocities and feed these into our equations. This results in a realistic and accurate way where the attack damage is affected by speed.

Impact Point
For swings, damage depends on the location of the impact point on the weapon. When showing weapon statistics in the inventory, we simply show damage as if the attack connected at a point a few centimetres below the tip. During combat we take the impact point from the position of the weapon and the target, so it is not necessarily near the tip. So for example, an axe that advertises itself as having 80 damage can deliver much less if it hits the target near the grip.

Weapon Balance and Damage
Weight and balance of the weapon has significant effect on damage. As we discussed in the first part of the blog, weight and weight distribution basically determines how much kinetic energy accumulated in the weapon’s swing.
  • Lighter weapons are faster and more agile.
  • Heavier weapons can take more time to connect, but this gives more time to increase their energy making them more powerful.

Therefore, during the swing, the muscles work to speed up the weapon increasing its kinetic energy. When the impact happens, this energy can go into three places:
  • Some of the energy will stay with the weapon since the weapon will not necessarily come to a complete stop.
  • A significant portion of the energy will go into the impact with the victim. This is the part of the energy which does the useful stuff that a weapon is supposed to do (inflict damage!). As the attacker, you will generally want this to be as high as possible. Hitting the opponent at an optimal point may ensure that more of the energy goes to the impact rather than being retained by the weapon.
  • Lastly, a portion of the energy will go to kicking-back the attacker’s hand(s). Not only does this do nothing to the opponent, but it also affects the attacker adversely. In the game, we model this with an “attacker stun”, which means that weapons with high kick-back will make you unable to attack again for a short while after your current attack connects or is blocked. An interesting note is that a pommel with the right weight will reduce kick-back, much like a making a gun heavier will reduce recoil, ensuring that energy goes to the bullet rather than the shooter’s hand.

Overall, for Bannerlord we strived to create a physics based combat system that will give realistic and immersive results without making use of hidden random variables. This allows players to craft different weapons with individual characteristics and strengths. Hopefully, as players become familiar with the system, they will keep creating new weapons and discovering new techniques and this will serve as a good base to make the game’s combat fun and interesting.

In next week’s blog we will talk with 3D Modeller, Ümit Singil. If you have a question you would like to ask him then please leave a reply in the comment section and we will pick one out for him to answer.

Discuss this blog post HERE


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November 9

Dev Blog 09/11/17

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

A century ago, the eastward expansion of the Empire met the great sea of grass in the centre of the continent. Beyond that, with no farmland where the legions could forage, they could conquer no more. They fortified their most recent acquisitions, the great trading cities on the steppe's edge, confident that the disorganized horse tribes beyond the frontier posed no major threat. Khuzaits, Nachaghan, Arkits, Khergits, Karakhergits - imperial officials barely even bothered to learn the names of the various clans and peoples, except when it was necessary to turn one chief against another with a bribe, or remove a rising khan with a vial of poison.

The steppe tribes were well aware how the Empire toyed with them. But they were jealous of each other, and an imperial title, a princess bride, or a chest of gold could give them a slight edge in the endless struggle for prestige and precedence. They raided, traded, took protection money to "escort" caravans across the steppe, and left the game of conquest to the settled peoples. Two generations ago, however, something happened far away to the east - a change in the winds, perhaps, or some terrible but distant conqueror - and the horse clans were set in motion. New tribes pushed westward, seeking fresh pastures. Unwilling to be crushed in the middle, the clans nearest the empire formed a confederacy under Urkhun the Khuzait. They caught the Empire in a moment of overconfidence. A force of legions was annihilated, the trading cities capitulated, and Urkhun's confederacy was now a khanate.

The horse lords now ruled over towns and farmers and counted tariffs and cropland. Urkhun imposed discipline on the unruly clans, forcing them to ride to war on his command instead of simply when they wished. But with the coming of statehood and its burdens, the spirit of unity was lost. Urkhun died, and though his descendants still rule the Khuzait Khanate, the other clans feel that they should be the ones to raise the nine-horsetail banner that symbolizes the supreme authority.

The Khuzait Khanate draws its inspiration from the steppe peoples of central Asia. Genghis Khan's alliance is probably the best known example, thanks largely to the remarkable document, the Secret History of the Mongols, which chronicled the Khan's rise from lone fugitive to the ruler of one of the greatest empires the world has seen. The Khuzaits are based partially on the Mongols but also on their more modest cousins, the Avars, Göktürks, Kipchaks, and Khazars, who were more regional powers than global ones.

The nomads-turned-kings swiftly took on many of the cultural aspects of the peoples they conquered, so that the various Mongol or Turkic dynasties dressed, feasted, worshipped and administered their lands like the Chinese or Persian rulers who came before them. But it's clear that they still fondly remembered their heritage out on great grasslands. Travellers to the Uyghur capital of Ordu-Baliq wrote that the khan built a great yurt on top of his palace, apparently feeling most at ease in the felt tents of his ancestors even as he also enjoyed the protection of walls. We try to make the Khuzaits' settlements reflect this cultural mixing. And for those holdouts who would never submit to a khagan no matter what security or riches he offers, we have a minor faction, the Karakhergits, who keep the old ways.

The Khuzaits' military strength is their horse archers, who combine firepower with mobility. Computer games traditionally have a hard time striking the right balance for mounted bowmen - sometimes they could stay out of reach until the enemy broke, such as when the Parthians wiped out Crassus's legions at Carrhae, but they could also be brought to battle and broken, such as when Attila the Hun was defeated by Aetius at the Catalaunian Fields. There are many reasons why even the swiftest horse archers couldn't just dance away from close combat forever - the endurance of the horses and the supply of arrows, the need to protect baggage and ensure a water source. Usually the horse armies' greatest victories, like Kalka River or Manzikert, ended with a final climactic melee. With this in mind, Bannerlord is working to make control of the battlefield more important, so that skirmishing is usually a prelude to a clash and horse archer armies are exciting both to command and to fight.

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About This Game

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 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.

Construct, position and fire a range of heavy machinery in sieges that will test your wits and skill like never before. Experience epic, sprawling combat across ramparts and rubble as you desperately hold on to your castle or seek to seize one from the enemy.

Historically authentic defensive structures offer the ultimate medieval warfare experience, as you batter a rival's gate with your ram or burn his siege tower to ashes. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord lets you live every moment of a chaotic battle through the eyes of a single soldier.

Engage in diplomacy, with meaningful consequences that impact the world. Strike historic peace deals that win land for your kingdom or free you to take on a new foe. An all-new barter system gives players flexibility in cementing deals, from marriage offers to treason pacts, offering all the options available to NPCs. Use a new influence system to direct your faction's energies or strangle the aspirations of a rival.

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. Invest in farms and workshops, or 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.

Craft your own weapon, name it and carry it with you to the field of battle! A deep, physics-based system gives each weapon you create a unique set of attributes, strengths and weaknesses. Forge a finely-tuned killing machine to match your own prowess and complement your play-style, or take the sword of your enemy and brandish it as a trophy of war.

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! Players can now combine different mods, making it easier than ever to play the game of your dreams.

An all-new tailor-made game engine, developed in-house to fulfill the unique needs of the series, offers the perfect balance of performance and graphical fidelity, scalable with the power of your hardware.

Experience Mount & Blade with richer, more beautiful graphics than ever, immersing you in the world of Calradia, rendering the game's magnificent battles with equally spectacular detail.

System Requirements

    • Processor: Intel i3-2100 / AMD FX-6300
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4600 / Nvidia GT730 / AMD R7 240
    • Storage: 40 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: These estimates may change during final release
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