Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

Callum  [developer] Nov 2, 2017 @ 6:25am
Dev Blog 02/11/17 [EN]
Greetings warriors of Calradia!

Mount & Blade’s deep and intuitive combat system is one of the core features of our games. Our directional attacking and blocking mechanic is intuitive in the sense that it is easy to pick-up, and deep in that it allows players to continuously develop and adapt their own fighting style through the use of feinting, chambering and good footwork (including a well-timed kick!).

In previous Mount & Blade games, there is, however, an element of randomness in combat. Damage is calculated using a number of variables and weapons are hardcoded to deal a randomly selected amount of damage from a predefined range (before other factors are added to the equation, such as the attacker’s weapon proficiency, the speed of the combatants and the armour value of the unlucky soul on the receiving end of an attack). We feel that, for the most part, this system works well, but, there is still that one part of the damage calculation that can’t be controlled or reliably predicted by the player.

In Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, we wanted to improve this aspect of combat to make it both fairer and easier for players to understand, especially in a multiplayer setting. We decided that the best way to go about this would be to make a physics-based system which would take into account the physical properties of a weapon and use a simulation to derive the combat stats, such as weapon speed and damage. We hope that this system will balance weapons in a more natural and realistic way.

Another advantage for the physical stat calculation is that it can be used in our new weapon crafting system. The physics-based system fits naturally with crafting because all we need to do is to acquire the physical properties of crafted weapons and then feed these into the stat calculation system. This will, in turn, provide us with the stats for the weapon.

When crafting a weapon, the player first selects a template. A sword, for instance, is made up of a blade, a guard, a grip and a pommel. Each of these parts may give the weapon certain bonuses or penalties outside of the physics simulation (a particularly large guard may increase the wielder’s hand armour, for example). Each part also has certain physical properties that are used for calculations. Once the player selects each part, we combine the physical properties of the parts to make up the overall properties of the weapon.

These properties are:
  • Length: Determines the reach of a weapon.
  • Mass: This is important for thrust attacks and is used to determine the speed and power of thrusts. Light weapons are faster, but have less energy and cause less damage. Making the weapon heavier will slow it down but also make it more powerful, up to a point. If too heavy and too slow, a weapon will make contact with your opponent before it could reach its full speed, making it feeble and ineffective.
  • Weight Distribution and Inertia: This is important for swings. Unlike thrusts, swing speed is affected not only by weight but also by the distribution of weight around the pivot point of the swing. Increasing the weight may increase the damage (within certain boundaries), but, it will also increase the inertia, meaning that more energy would be required to achieve sufficient speed on impact. Thus, these weapons will typically be slower and increasing the weight will only positively affect damage up to a certain point.

After deriving these physical properties, we then use them to determine the weapon’s swing and thrust speed. Doing this with perfect precision would be rather difficult, since we would have to take into account all the motions a fencer goes through, all the muscles that are involved, their performance limits, etc. We simplify all of this with a basic model where we assume the fencer is made up of three simple motors. One motor representing the legs and hips, one for the chest and shoulder, and one for the arm and wrist. We then run a simulation where the motors work together to speed up the weapon until it hits the target. (Actually, we run two simulations, one for swing and one for thrust.) After these steps, we get the length, mass, swing and thrust speed of the crafted weapon. But, there is still the rather interesting problem of determining its damage...

Mount & Blade

TaleWorlds Entertainment
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Showing 1-15 of 34 comments Nov 2, 2017 @ 6:28am 
Hope this formula can be modded someway. I would love to put hands into the "damage system"
Reb Nov 2, 2017 @ 6:30am 
Release date please.
Joshua Nov 2, 2017 @ 6:30am 
Cool and all but when is this getting released? Next decade?
pepeper Nov 2, 2017 @ 6:31am 
can you implement red snappa?
pepeper Nov 2, 2017 @ 6:32am 
Originally posted by pepeper:
can you implement red snappa?
red snappa
l2plur Nov 2, 2017 @ 6:33am 
Woah. I understand that what you are doing is important., but concentrating on details too much, the game will never see the light of day, true story. give us a demo, a beta a freaking physics sandbox...SOMETHING! Just the know you wanna
H3ricH Nov 2, 2017 @ 6:33am 
Still no release date? This is smelling a bit fishy...and sad. The community is getting smaller every day.
Interesting dev blog.
This allows the player to customize a lot about the world around them.
Could be interesting if the player were allowed to buy a blacksmith and work there for a time.
This also maps into building the world around you. Will this be more in depth compared to Warband? I really feel like that was something that needed - to have more strategical opportunities when building the defences.
578 ⸸ Sektoras Nov 2, 2017 @ 6:41am 
Who cares anymore? The game is vaporware and probably never coming out.
I love your dedication, don't ever stop making games the way you do. I look forward to this system as long as it feels natural in combat, but I know you'll make it good. What would be really awesome is having the weapon crafting in Multiplayer aswell, so you can take your customized blades into battle.
Cirabarnet4 Nov 2, 2017 @ 7:31am 
Cool. Keep up the good work
dosselmeyer Nov 2, 2017 @ 7:46am 
When will you learn that the players would MUCH rather have a complete single player game - then release the multi-player later. You guys are wasting a LOT of time on multiplayer BS that MOST players consider tertiary at best.
Doc Hollandaise (Banned) Nov 2, 2017 @ 8:52am 
Does any of this help to calculate a release date and a project plan?
Cydraech Nov 2, 2017 @ 10:16am 
I find this to be one good upcoming feature. And while a rough estimate of release would be nice (something like Q2 2018), that shouldnt be what is discussed here, just saying.

As for weapon forging:
I absolutely dig the idea of it and like the system you created around the idea a lot, especially Weight distribution is such an important factor when it comes to weapons and I am glad you didn't leave that out! Keep up the good work, concentrate on it and give your best!

A good game will have good sales ;)
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Date Posted: Nov 2, 2017 @ 6:25am
Posts: 34