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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March 21

Dev Blog 21/03/19

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

As an enterprising adventurer in Bannerlord, sometimes it feels like your party never goes fast enough. Those pesky steppe bandits that are pursuing you keep closing up; Queen Rhagaea was expecting that quest to be finished yesterday, and all that butter you are carrying to the market isn’t getting any fresher! You need to go faster… but have no worry, dear reader, for this week’s blog is about party speed. Just read on and you will master the art of outrunning your opponents in Bannerlord in no time.

Now, previous Mount & Blade games already had rather detailed systems for determining party speed that took into account things like party size, mounted units, carried goods, prisoners, character skills, morale, terrain and day/night cycle. This allowed for some unusual gameplay options like dropping your loot or releasing your prisoners to escape pursuit. Of course, for Bannerlord we cannot have players feeling any less stressed about their speed, so we came up with a system that takes into account all these factors and even adds some new stuff to worry about...

One thing is that, while adding more detail, we also wanted to make the mechanics a bit more transparent. The game, after all, can bring your party to a crawl but it should at least have the decency to explain to you why everyone and their cow can move faster than you on the map. Our previous titles were a bit lacking in the transparency department since they didn’t share much beyond the end result...

Mount & Blade: Warband

For Bannerlord, we decided to include player’s party speed on the info bar, so that you could check it at your leisure. Also when you mouse over this bit, the game helpfully shows a tooltip, explaining the break-up of the factors that contribute to the final value.

The tooltip may look like a small addition, but it showcases one of our most favorite new features: In Bannerlord, we use a system we call “explained numbers” that are useful for not only doing arithmetic as usual, but can also explain how a particular result was obtained. This system is used for calculating almost all in-game stats, and makes it trivial to put detailed tooltips all over the place as well as removing the potential for error in showing the break up of a particular stat.

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

Now let’s move on to the details of speed calculation. For calculating party speed, Bannerlord continues with Warband’s tradition which can be summed up as: “Four legs good, two legs bad.” Your cavalry, mounted on fine steeds will pull you forward, while your infantry will sluggishly slow you down. Fortunately, you can mitigate this to some degree by carrying additional horses in your inventory: When any number of spare mounts are available, the game will consider that number of your footmen as mounted infantry. Mounted infantry is considered halfway between cavalry and infantry regarding speed, as they travel on horseback but are not quite as proficient riders as dedicated cavalry.

While the makeup of your party is important, its size is also a concern. Typically, the more soldiers you have in your party, the slower it is.  This nicely balances the game since it allows weaker parties to outrun stronger foes, and is also quite realistic as anyone who has taken part is a class trip can attest to: More people means more traffic jams and getting in each other’s way, more stragglers, more pee breaks and more opportunities for getting lost while everyone has a different opinion on which way to go...

Another factor to watch for is cargo. This has a marginal effect on your speed as long as it’s below your party’s carrying capacity. However any amount above carrying capacity is very detrimental and will quickly bring your party to a crawl. Fortunately, you can increase your carrying capacity by having pack animals (mules, sumpter horses and pack camels) or by just having more men. Finally, in accordance with “Four legs good, two legs bad” philosophy, cows and other kinds of livestock aren’t counted as cargo as they helpfully carry themselves.

Now it may seem like the answer to all your problems is having more spare horses in your inventory, and this would be true to a degree, however there’s a catch: We also have an extra “Herd” effect for party speed, and having an excessive number of horses and other animals in your party will have a detrimental effect, as the game assumes that your troops will be having a hard time trying to herd all those animals.

Bannerlord Horse and Mule

So far so good, but what happens when you are in an army? This is easy enough as the army speed is calculated in exactly the same way as party speed, with the entire army being regarded as one big party. This means that parties in the army not only combine their strength but also behave as if they pool their resources such as spare horses, inventory capacity etc. together.

So, that explains Bannerlord’s party speed mechanics in a nutshell. There are still a few aspects we left out such as the effect of terrain and seasons and leader and companion skills, but we’ll hopefully touch upon those in other contexts.

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March 14

Dev Blog 14/03/19

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

As you know, riding and mounted combat is one of the focal points of our games and we strive to make that aspect as fun and visually appealing as possible. With Bannerlord we have added the ability for players to equip their beloved horses with different kinds of saddles and equine armour. However there was a key piece of equipment that didn’t look as well as it could: reins were left to hang over the horse’s neck in a static, lifeless manner, instead of being held in your character’s calloused hands as they should. This, of course, would not do. We had to take the development process by the reins and fix this glaring inaccuracy! (Excuse the terrible pun.)

Well, attaching the reins to the rider's hand sounded simple enough. We already have a cloth physics system implemented in Bannerlord that we use for everything from horse manes to, well, clothes. So we figured we could apply this system to reins as well. Unfortunately, there was just one teensy problem. Unlike ordinary use cases for cloth physics, where the cloth can usually flap and waggle freely on one end while being firmly attached to a pole or something on the other, reins need to be attached on both ends (one end to the bridle and the other to the rider’s hand, for those of you who may not be up-to-date on how reins work...). Moreover, in our case, those two ends tend to operate more or less independently. Your ever-hungry loyal steed drops its head and starts grazing any time you stop by a nice patch of grass, and your character’s hands move all over the place while you turn around on your horse or give orders to your troops, etc... This meant that the reins would stretch abruptly and look completely unconvincing.

Now, in Taleworlds, whenever we run into a problem, we do one of two things: We either lock ourselves into the meeting room with a jug of coffee and brainstorm until we find a solution, or we skip that step and go and use inverse kinematics. In this case, we employed the second approach. Using inverse kinematics we made sure that the rider’s hand would stay more or less in a position close to the horse’s neck. Combined with some small fixes to animations, this worked great and we were able to get the look and feel we were aiming for.

Of course, you may be worried about how all this will affect gameplay, but please, have no worries. We were pretty insistent before setting out to make this change that it shouldn’t impact gameplay in any way, and so, when the rider takes any sort of action, such as attacking or defending, the character drops the reins to perform the action without any sort of interruption. Once the attack or defend animation is complete, the character picks up the reins again. Of course, you can still steer the horse as normal during the time you dropped the reins. And before you ask, yes that is completely historically accurate. Medieval warriors dropped their reins and steered their horses by shifting their weight on the saddle and projecting thought waves all the time!

The system is still a little bit rough around the edges and we plan to refine and polish it over the upcoming weeks. But overall, we think it’s a great feature that adds to the overall aesthetics of the game.

That’s all for this week. If you have any comments or suggestions or just want to point out to the fact that there is no release date yet and that we made up that bit about thought waves, go ahead and join in the discussion below. We look forward to reading your feedback!

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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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