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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July 19

Dev Blog 19/07/18



Greetings warriors of Calradia!

Mount & Blade gameplay is centered around battles and it is of critical importance for the player to understand how things are progressing. Whether you are engaging a few bandits in a skirmish or taking part in an epic battle, you want to know how various troops perform and which enemies present the most danger. To address this and to give the player a detailed account of the battle, we have added a battle report overlay. In this week’s blog, we take a look at this feature and try to explain how it works.

Veterans of the series will be aware that in our previous title, Mount & Blade: Warband, the only information that players receive during a battle is through the combat log, with additional information presented to the player after the battle in the form of a summary screen (the so-called butcher’s bill!). For the most part, this works just fine: players are presented with the information they need to make informed decisions. However, it is done in a way that isn’t really as engaging or streamlined as it could be, and frankly, at times it can be a little overbearing.


Warband’s Battle Summary Screen

The new battle report overlay is the main source for all of this information. It comes up at any time during the battle with the tab key so that you can review the progress and the casualties both sides have sustained. Once the battle has ended and one side has lost, the same overlay stays on screen and functions as an after-battle report and you can review the gory details at your leisure!

The screen shows a detailed breakdown of every party which is involved in the battle, including an overview of the troop composition of each party; available promotions; kills, deaths and injuries sustained in the battle; and a routed troop count. In addition to this, there is also a handy button to fast forward through the rest of the battle if you happen to be taken out by a stray arrow.


Bannerlord’s Battle Report Overlay

The battle report screen also comes up when the player decides to resolve a battle on the campaign map instead of playing it out. This could bring simulated battles a bit of excitement as the simulation is carried out incrementally and casualties start to pile up. The player can, of course, skip the simulation to end the battle instantly.


Bannerlord’s Auto-Resolve Battle Report

Players will need information to be able to make good decisions and enjoy the game to the fullest. Bannerlord’s battle report overlay will hopefully help players in this respect.


In next week’s blog, we will be talking to 3D Artist, Tuncay Horasan. 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!

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July 12

Dev Blog 12/07/18



Greetings warriors of Calradia!

Before we dive into this week’s blog post, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our new Steam Creator page. The Steam Creator page acts as a hub for all things TaleWorlds on Steam. Make sure to follow the page to ensure that you don’t miss out on any news or announcements regarding our company and our games!

https://store.steampowered.com/developer/taleworlds


Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is a bit different from other sandbox games. There are some in which the story isn’t linear, so you can more or less play it in any order while you explore the world. In others, there is no such thing as a broad story that encompasses the whole game, or if there is, it is less important than the world itself and its inhabitants: you are free to roam to discover them. What we intended to do with the original Mount & Blade, and what we are working hard to do even bigger and better in Bannerlord, is to create a game where you get to create your own story from scratch, where you make your own decisions and live through the consequences. In this week’s entry of our dev blog, we talk with one of the people responsible for creating this magic: Campaign AI Programmer, Ozan Gümüş. If we think of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord as a “box of tools” you can use to create and live your own story, he’s one of the people who help to create and shape those tools.


NAME
Ozan Gümüş

FROM
İzmir

JOINED TALEWORLDS
2009

EDUCATION
Computer Engineering, Bilkent Üniversitesi

OFFICIAL JOB DESCRIPTION
Campaign AI Programmer


WHAT DO YOU NORMALLY DO DURING YOUR DAY?
I can answer this question in two ways: what I do now, and what I did in the past. In the past, I was generally trying to build our living sandbox world, which is almost a simulation of the real world. There are wars, enemy and ally kingdoms, lords with different characteristics and other aspects which mirror the real-world Middle Ages... From time to time, new armies will gather and try to attack the weak points of their rivals, capture rival fiefs or raid enemy villages. At the same time, caravans are carrying goods from where they are cheap to where they are expensive, making profits for the owner of the caravan (who can be a well-known merchant in a town, or even the player themselves). Each village produces new raw materials each day and villagers carry these resources to connected towns. Each day, the residents of towns are consuming these resources and paying taxes. The collected taxes are then given to the clan which owns the fief. While villagers are carrying their goods to town, they are vulnerable to attack from bandit groups and they can be killed and their items stolen. Each night, new bandit groups are spawned around hideouts. This means that even bandits can damage the economy of a clan if they populate a hideout which is close to a village.

All of these elements come together to create the sandbox world and present players with activities and objectives to pass the time. Each game element is connected to other somehow and we try to make the world as realistic as possible to make players feel like a real lord in Calradia.

More recently, with the majority of the coding for the simulation already complete, most of my time is spent fixing bugs that are reported by our QA team.


WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BANNERLORD?
In Bannerlord, the power of a kingdom doesn’t come from just its total manpower count, but also from the economic power of each clan within the faction. Through taking different actions, players and kingdoms can win wars just by restricting the income of their rivals. In Warband, this side of the game was quite weak when compared to Bannerlord because NPC lords never suffered from a shortage of funds. However, achieving this was quite difficult because we needed to create an economically balanced game world (the total amount of money in circulation shouldn’t increase too much over time).

In addition to this, fiefs can be developed through projects. We have lots of different projects which affect different things positively, and managing these issues helps to make the player feel like the lord of this fief.


WHAT'S THE MOST DIFFICULT THING THAT YOU SOLVED SO FAR, DURING THE PRODUCTION OF BANNERLORD?
The first rule for creating a realistic world for our game was to make NPC lord and kingdom armies make rational decisions. We had to ask ourselves questions such as: after one army has gathered and laid siege to a town, what should the besieged town’s faction do in response? The answer may seem quite easy, especially if their army is patrolling in the area, however, what happens if the army is involved in an offensive siege of its own? Should they abandon their siege to head home and defend their own lands?

When making these kinds of decisions a lot of factors come into play. Distance, army power, garrison size, nearby parties, other armies, the strategical importance of fiefs... Ideally, the most logical decision should be found by the AI and their army should do this. If parties give irrational decisions in critical moments like this then players will notice this and start to interrogate our game world. Also, if players find situations in which the AI cannot react to or solve cleverly then they could misuse it. For example, if raiding a village alerted all AI lords and most of them travelled to the village, then other parts of their kingdom would be exposed to attacks. Players would notice this and the end result would be that they would be forced into using this strategy every time, which would negatively affect their gameplay experience. Solving these kinds of issues and not leaving things open to abuse by the player is a difficult problem for us, but it is something we work hard to achieve.


WHAT DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK ON?
Currently, I am working on income and expense issues. In Bannerlord, clan wealth is mostly controlled by the clan leader, and all taxes are sent directly to them. However, the clan leader is also responsible for nearly all of the expense issues too (except for some minor personal expenses like recruiting troops and purchasing food). Each clan member is expected to deal with these minor expenses themselves, however, clan leaders can choose to gift money to their clan members. There are actually a lot of additional mechanics surrounding clans but it would be too much to explain right now!

My main area of responsibility is the simulation of the game world. The game is quite huge in scale and the simulation is open to many different kinds of bugs, many of which will only occur is certain combinations happen, so half of my time is dedicated to fixing these bugs. I actually prefer bug-fixing periods over implementing new things!


WHAT FACTION DO YOU LIKE THE MOST IN BANNERLORD?
I think Battania is so characteristic when compared to the other factions. Their architecture and equipment draw me closer to them. Also, their culture is more closely connected to wildlife, which I also like.

MORALE IN BATTLES: WILL THERE BE A CHANCE FOR A BATTLE THAT DOES NOT END IN A TOTAL BLOODBATH ON EITHER SIDE?
Party morale is a critical variable. It decreases massively if the leader does not pay wages regularly or if the soldiers cannot find food to eat. Leaders have two main responsibilities: wages and food. Other than this, travelling long distances without entering a town makes soldiers tired and decreases their morale. Some strategies, like leaving soldiers behind to run away from strong parties also make men unhappy. When you enter a battle with troops who have low morale, after taking some casualties your men can lose their courage and start to flee. This means that a battle can be lost even if most of your troops are still alive. These deserting troops go on to form a new deserted party on the campaign map which the party leader can no longer control. Thankfully, there are lots of different ways to keep party morale high!



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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.

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.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • 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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