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May 12th, 2011, 18:02
I played a fair amount of 1p Warband. (I generally prefer single player to multi.) There are some great things about Warband; it has that great combat experience, especially the way that momentum factors into your attacks. And the open, dynamically changing world/political landscape is very cool. But the game also feels very thin and empty in spots. Feels like it's just a couple paces away from being a truly masterful 1p game.

Unfortunately, it seems like this indie dev has bogged down. Warband was only an incremental change from the original, and it sounds like Fire & Sword is only an incremental change from Warband. It seems like all these products are very much on a continuum, and they could have simply been titled Mount & Blade 0.8, 1.1, 1.5, etc.

I think this is a danger of having just a couple people working on the game: not just lack of resources, but lack of perspective. Instead of making substantial changes they keep rehashing what's there, tweaking things first in one direction and then the other, never really moving far from the original design.

I wonder what would happen if they brought in just another couple people. Not just for programming & art help, but for fresh perspective. Maybe the villages would get filled in just a touch more; the character progression would become just a trifle more satisfying; and some optional challenges / game modes could be added to make 1p slightly more structured (for those who wanted it).

As it stands, it is fun, and I think a lot of the multiplayer crowd is enjoying it, but I don't think the devs are planning to improve it in the areas I'd like.
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