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Default Mount&Blade - Warband Preview @ GameBanshee

March 8th, 2010, 21:23
Brother None has penned a preview of Mount & Blade: Warband over at GameBanshee. I haven't been paying too much attention to this but I hadn't realised the RPG elements are scaled back for MP:
One unsurprising thing should be obvious from the above description: Warband's multiplayer opts to focus purely on one side of the Mount & Blade experience, that of medieval warfare simulator. Sure, stats are still there for different troops, and you can customize to some extent, but as characters are dumped for every new session, it doesn't allow you to tie a single character to your account, nor does it allow for experience to be gained and progress to be made. There is no imbalance between characters which is a good thing for the multiplayer experience, but also means the outcome of fights is purely dependent on the player's (twitch) skill.
More information.
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March 8th, 2010, 21:23
Regarding Brother None's preview: thank you, it was excellent.

I actually agree with most everything about how Taleworlds implemented MP (aside from the fact that I've been vehemently anti-MP - wanting them to instead focus on improving SP play). They definitely abandoned RPG in favor of action for MP, but I think it was the right choice. The problem is the learning curve is steep. I played the MP beta for a couple days and it has to be one of the most frustrating experiences in all my years of gaming.

I like that you die easily (realistic) and I like that you are somewhat limited in how much more powerful you can be over another player. In fact, even the amount of character improvement you can make via equipment across the round makes a huge impact since the most skilled players end up with the best equipment and become really difficult to kill (because of their already formidable skill added to being able to take 2-3x as much damage - my estimation since it would take usually 2-3 solid 2h weapon hits to kill them instead of 1).

Additionally, the players are, in general, really nice. My very first time playing, someone spectated me and explained to me that I needed to learn to manual block, and he was right. Other times, people spent a significant amount of time helping me even though they couldn't play while they were talking and indeed would get killed while doing so. So the community is superb.

And none of that changed how much frustration this usually patient gamer was experiencing. I don't mind dying a lot. I don't mind paying my dues. But when you are dying most often on first contact or being lanced in the back or arched through the head, I wasn't actually able to improve.

Part of the problem was likely of my own causing. I was choosing a more difficult path on principle. I didn't want to be cavalry or archer because they are generally regarded as annoying (I couldn't agree more) and somewhat low-skill positions. And for whatever masochistic reasons I stuck with 2h weapons almost entirely. So perhaps I've been unfair to the game and to myself.

Ping also seems to have an even more profound effect in M&B than in other MP action games. That said, I found the netcode to be pretty good for an indie game.

Perhaps on release they will have more newbie servers so people of the same skill level can actually learn and not just die. My skills did improve over time, but it required me to stick with it through a ton of frustration. I can't say I was ever actually having much fun. 1v1 duels were a blast and that's about it. And 80% of the time someone will come up and stab you in the back when you are dueling (understandable on non-dueling servers, but no less disappointing). I just wish some of the dueling servers had a decent ping for me, unfortunately, none did.

Anyways, I hope after this they return to focusing on improving the SP side of the game. I really loved the original M&B.
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March 8th, 2010, 22:01
Good post, Guhndahb.

Originally Posted by Guhndahb View Post
They definitely abandoned RPG in favor of action for MP, but I think it was the right choice.
Agreed. It may not appeal to me, personally, but it was definitely the way to go.

Originally Posted by Guhndahb View Post
The problem is the learning curve is steep. I played the MP beta for a couple days and it has to be one of the most frustrating experiences in all my years of gaming.
And agreed. I played enough to get better, but sadly "better" just means learning to do stupid nonsensical actions like jump-hitting cavalry or blindly strafing and circle-hitting in HtH combat. In fact, in some ways the experience became less frustrating but also less entertaining as I got better at it. Rince-and-repeating these twitch actions isn't my idea of fun. But again, I can see why others enjoy it.

Originally Posted by Guhndahb View Post
Additionally, the players are, in general, really nice.
Nice and fun. The worst I've had were people obsessed with their kill-counts who would swear and blame broken mechanics or incompetent teammates whenever killed. Some clan called "22nd" is apparently full of them. But if that's the worst of it, that's awesome. Some funny crazy types too, it's cool when someone who is really good opts to run around as a half-naked barbarian to give other people a better shot at him (as a user called WEe does).
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March 8th, 2010, 22:17
The simulation is the single true selling point of M&B. I've never seen its like and unless there something lucky happens, I don't think I will again. I keep hoping the creators will license out the technology to do melee combat like this and improve other middling fantasy/historical fare.

I should add that I have a roommate who is a graduate medievalist student. I showed him the battle mechanics and his face promptly turned white as he realized his ability to complete his thesis would shortly drop by double-digit percentage points.
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March 8th, 2010, 22:27
Originally Posted by Bedwyr View Post
I keep hoping the creators will license out the technology to do melee combat like this and improve other middling fantasy/historical fare.
They do license it out. CD Projekt got the license to make Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword, based on a 19th-century Polish historical novel. It's being developed by Snowberry Connection, Sich Studio and TaleWorlds Entertainment. As far as I know it's not been affected by CD Projekt's troubles, at least I hope so.
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March 9th, 2010, 09:18
19th century Polish ? that means flying hussars with fake wings , NOOOO


Their MP will work on LAN , no ?
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March 10th, 2010, 07:49
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
CD Projekt got the license to make Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword As far as I know it's not been affected by CD Projekt's troubles
With Fire & Sword was actually released last year in Poland, Russia and a few other European countries. The English version is due some time this year.
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March 10th, 2010, 08:49
Well the improvements to the campaign sound good too, especially more options for realm management and sieges, two areas that I found lacking in the original (never tried mods though). So interest level just went up.
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