Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
|Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord|
|Series||Mount & Blade|
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is an upcoming action role-playing video game developed by TaleWorlds Entertainment. It is a prequel to Mount & Blade: Warband, a stand-alone expansion pack for the 2008 game Mount & Blade. Bannerlord takes place 210 years before its predecessor, with a setting inspired by the Migration Period. The game was announced in 2012. A Steam page for the game was created in late 2016; the following year, TaleWorlds began releasing weekly developer diaries detailing elements of the game. As of 2019, Bannerlord is still in development and does not have a confirmed release date.
Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord is an action role-playing game with strategy elements. The fundamental gameplay premise is the same as previous entries in the series: the player builds up a party of soldiers and performs quests on an overhead campaign map, with battles being played out on battlefields that allow the player to personally engage in combat alongside their troops. Bannerlord, however, includes significant improvements to numerous elements of gameplay.
Sieges in Bannerlord are intended to be more strategic than they were in Warband. The player may construct a variety of different siege engines and strategically position them before the battle begins in order to target certain sections of the enemy fortifications. On the overhead campaign map, the player can choose to bombard the walls, possibly creating breaches that can be used once the battle begins. To discourage prolonged bombardments on the battle map, only the merlons, gatehouses, and siege engines themselves will be destructible during the actual battle. The design of the defending castles and cities is intended to be biased in favor of the defenders; for example, murder holes are often located at key chokepoints, allowing the defenders to slaughter large numbers of the attackers before they can even breach the gates.
Bannerlord will also feature numerous improvements to the relationships between characters. The player will be able to use a more advanced dialogue system to try to persuade non-player characters to do things that they want. While conversing with a character, the player will need to fill up a progress bar by successfully pushing their arguments; if the bar is filled, the character will give in to the player. If the character does not give in to charm alone, the player can employ the game’s bartering system to try to bribe the character; this system is also used for regular transactions between the player and merchants. If the player repeatedly fails to persuade the character, a deal may become impossible and the relationship between them may be negatively affected. The persuasion system can also be used to court and marry characters. While Warband allowed characters to marry, the player may also have children with their spouse in Bannerlord, which was not a feature available in Warband. If the player character dies, one of their children can inherit their soldiers and fiefs and become the new player character.
Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord takes place on the fictional continent of Calradia 210 years before Mount & Blade: Warband, during the decline of the Calradic Empire and the formation of the predecessors of the factions that appear in Warband. The downfall of the Calradic Empire is analogous to the fall of the Roman Empire during the Migration Period and the formation of the Middle Eastern, North African, and European realms of the Early Middle Ages. The armour, clothes, weapons, and architecture of each faction will be inspired by their real-world counterparts from 600 to 1100 A.D.
Bannerlord will include at least eight major factions, each composed of competing minor factions with their own goals. The Calradic Empire, based on Greece, Rome, and Byzantium, once owned a massive amount of Calradia, but has since been weakened by invasions from other peoples and the onset of a three-way civil war. The Northern Calradic faction believes that the senate should choose the emperor, the Southern Calradic faction believes that the daughter of the most recent emperor should become the empress, and the Western Calradic faction believes that the military should choose the emperor. The Calradic factions all use a balance of heavy cavalry (including cataphracts), spearmen, and archers. The Vlandians are a feudal people that specialize in heavy cavalry; they are based on the Normans. The Sturgians, located in the northern forests, specialize in infantry and are primarily inspired by the Rus'. The Aserai of the southern desert are adept at both cavalry and infantry tactics and are based on the Pre-Islamic Arabs. The Khuzaits, a nomadic, Mongol-like people who inhabit the eastern steppe, specialize in mounted archery. The Battanians inhabit the central woodlands of Calradia and are based on the Celts; they specialize in ambushes and guerilla warfare.
The game's graphics have been significantly improved from its predecessor, Mount & Blade: Warband, having better shading and higher detail models. The character animations are created utilizing motion capture technology and the facial animations will also be updated to improve upon the portrayal of emotions.
In June 2017, 13 minutes of gameplay were shown at E3 2017 in Los Angeles. That same year, TaleWorlds began releasing developer diaries on a weekly basis. These diaries give information about different aspects of the game. Previously, diaries had only been released a few times a year.
In a developer diary in 2019, TaleWorlds confirmed that they intend to have a closed beta for Bannerlord at some point in the future. However, no information about when the beta might take place was given.
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