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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18 Ιανουαρίου

Dev Blog 18/01/18



Greetings warriors of Calradia!

Mount & Blade is RPG, strategy, epic battles... and it's also a unique world which acts as the perfect framework for your own adventures and heroic deeds. Calradia, the continent where Mount & Blade takes place, is a low-fantasy setting deeply rooted in history: its past and factions are inspired by real kingdoms and conflicts of old, but it also adds its own doses of imagination. It's a delicate balance: you have to combine creativity and imagination with thorough research and interpretation of historical sources. The result, however, is worth all the efforts: Calradia may be a fictional place, but it feels as alive and real as our world. It takes a lot of talent and hard work to create such a place, and today we want to introduce you to a member of our team who plays an essential role in its creation: our writer and designer Steve Negus.


NAME
Steve Negus

FROM
Riverside, California.

JOINED TALEWORLDS
2007

EDUCATION
Political science. My main professional experience has been as a journalist, working in Egypt, Iraq and other Arab countries.

OFFICIAL JOB DESCRIPTION
Writer/designer

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED?
In Iraq in 2006, where you couldn't go out except with a lot of precautions, I had a fair amount of time on my hands after work. I did a mod about the wars for Sicily in the 11th century. I'd wanted to experiment with dynamic low-intensity warfare, like raids and patrols. Armagan called me out of the blue and asked me to work for Taleworlds. Game design has been a passion of mine, ever since I was a little kid playing hex-and-dice wargames. If a genie had given me a wish in 1978 about what I wished the future could provide, I probably would have wished for something like Mount and Blade. I also loved being a journalist, but eventually that became more difficult with a family and with my wife pursuing a career in academia. So working on Bannerlord is really kind of a dream come true.

There is a fair amount of overlap between journalism and game design. Many of the conflicts I've covered resemble medieval wars, in that there's no chain of command that everyone follows. Barons and insurgent chiefs have a thousand believable excuses for not showing up at a muster point for a big offensive if they don't want to. If they do show, it's probably because they want to further their reputation, and improve their position vis-a-vis each other, as much as they want to defeat the enemy. Mao's dictum that politics comes out of the barrel of a gun is well-known but, out of its context, doesn't say much. Politics is very often the art of cajoling, pressuring or inspiring people to point their gun in the direction that you want. In a feudal or tribal society this is doubly so.


WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BANNERLORD?
I like the low fantasy medieval setting. I love reading history, but I don't have that much of an interest in simulating a specific historical event. It's fun to read history looking for personalities or organizations that can be fit into the M&B world in some way.

I like the mix of RPG and strategy. RPGs really drag you in. You can wade into the landscape, the towns, the villages and of course the battles. But most RPGs are variations on a simple theme. Evil person does an evil thing and is punished for it. The hero may have some painful choices along the way about what collateral damage he or she does, but in the end fiction and fantasy often seem like a morality fable. Even in Game of Thrones, where goodness is punished and evil rewarded, there's still an author making a choice.

It's one of the deepest human contradictions, that we want to live in a world where a happy ending is guaranteed, but we also want our free will to matter. I think morality matters - it's a kind of force multiplier, to use the military expression, in politics and war. If a leader can pull off being good, which isn't easy, it helps but does not guarantee anything. You can try to be one of those leaders remembered as both virtuous and wise, like Pericles or Marcus Aurelius, and still have your efforts brought to naught by fortune.

In Bannerlord, there are about five types of morality that you can try to hue to - reciprocal loyalty to friends and kin, sticking to your word, courage and willingness to sacrifice for a cause, compassion toward those who suffer, and long-term utilitarian calculation - and they'll sometimes be in conflict. I think games can offer some unique perspectives on history, not simulating events or predicting new events but simply highlighting variables, and I hope this is what we can do.


WHAT DO YOU NORMALLY DO DURING YOUR DAY?
I'm working from California, not Turkey, so my day is less structured than much of the rest of the team. I consult with Armagan twice a week and then write dialogs, code or development documents as the need arises.

WHAT'S THE MOST DIFFICULT THING THAT YOU SOLVED SO FAR?
The game is not out and I don't know if we've solved this problem, but one of the big challenges is to have events that are generated by dynamic sandbox events, and are good strategies for the NPCs to adopt, but that also make sense to the player. An example of what we want to avoid, from Warband: we introduced feasts, which were a way that factions could spend resources to repair relations between lords that were damaged by the ebb and flow of war. The problem, though, was that the strategically ideal time to hold a feast was when you were in the middle of a war, which didn't seem right from a narrative perspective. So there are a lot of moving parts in the game, and we're trying to get them to work together in a way that makes sense from both a strategy and an RPG perspective.

WHAT DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK ON?
I'm currently working on dialogs for quests. These can get quite complicated, because we want to have lots of small quests that offer meaningful branching choices but may also be given out by characters with different personalities. We're also trying to work out a main storyline quest that absorbs the player but complements the sandbox struggle for power rather than seeming like two parallel games.

WHAT FACTION DO YOU LIKE THE MOST IN BANNERLORD?
Aesthetically I love the Aserai, the cities and the deserts - that's partially why I chose to live in the Middle East - but I'm actually most excited about the Empire. It's based on the Byzantines but for its politics we've drawn a lot from the classical political legacy. The Greeks and Romans didn't really have ideologies, but they recognized certain styles or postures that leaders could strike. Populists/democrats had a passion for justice but could easily fall into mob groupthink. Oligarchs brought experience and stability but tended to confuse their class interests with those of the state. Monarchs brought a certain unity of purpose to a city-state but tended to be arbitrary and tyrannical. These weren't fixed, and leaders could switch or mix stances as the need arose.

Today most people believe in elections and the universal franchise and are thus what the ancients would probably consider very radical democrats, but there's a lot of debate about the kind of leaders we want, and I think we'll see the same assumptions and stances, the same trade-off of justice, stability and unity that the ancients dealt with. Bannerlord is absolutely NOT going to be an analogy for the present, the characters are all inspired by historical leaders rather than modern ones, but I think you may find the echoes to be interesting.


DO COMPANIONS/HEROES HAVE AN EVEN MORE IN-DEPTH PERSONAL BACKGROUND THAN IN WARBAND?
In Warband, we concentrated a lot of the elements of a traditional role-playing game into the companion system - they told you the lore, their preferences forced you to make choices, etc. In Bannerlord, we've spread the role-playing elements around more evenly. There are a lot more potential companions in Bannerlord, and they have backstories, but we want the companion system to feel more open-ended. We want for it to be possible for companions to die (and give the player, say, a motivation to avenge them) or, alternately, for a player to appoint lots of companions to lordships. To that end, we've taken out some of the pre-scripted companion interactions in favor of a more dynamic system. Also, more lords have backstories and those backstories matter more in how the game unfolds.



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11 Ιανουαρίου

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!

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762 σχόλια Περισσότερα

Σχετικά με αυτό το παιχνίδι

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.

SIEGE GAMEPLAY
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.

DIPLOMACY
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.

SANDBOX ECONOMY
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.

CRAFTING
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.

MODDING
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.

ENGINE
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.

Απαιτήσεις συστήματος

    ΕΛΑΧΙΣΤΕΣ:
    • Επεξεργαστής: Intel i3-2100 / AMD FX-6300
    • Μνήμη: 4 GB RAM
    • Γραφικά: Intel HD 4600 / Nvidia GT730 / AMD R7 240
    • Αποθήκευση: 40 GB διαθέσιμος χώρος
    • Επιπλέον σημειώσεις: These estimates may change during final release
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