It's hard to believe Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord released in March of last year.
It feels like those nine months have just flown by, and yet, at the same time, I feel like I've been playing Bannerlord for much longer. Perhaps it's because I was playing Mount and Blade: Warband for years before. I digress.
Work on Bannerlord is ticking along nicely, bringing with it a host of fixes, updates, and enhancements for the open-world medieval simulation that is Mount and Blade. Towards the end of December, TaleWorlds Entertainment dropped a development update on their blog, letting players know they can expect some meaty updates coming soon, and there's plenty to look forward to.
The headlining feature included with Development Update #6 is rebellions, introduced with a recent beta patch. Take an enemy's city, fail to secure the loyalty of the townsfolk, or leave them to fend for themselves, and you may just find they do exactly that; with the new feature, towns and cities will strike out on their own and rebel against you (or their respective faction) if efforts aren't made to keep them happy.
Furthermore, these rebellions mark the introduction of a new clan. Fail to stamp them out, and in time, they'll be recognized as a legitimate faction.
Along with rebellions comes a slew of other interesting new features that should help shape the medieval experience even further:
- Prison break! You can now break into enemy prisons and bust out friends, family, and even neutral parties. Getting in is just half the battle; you'll then need to fight your way to freedom, a dicey affair if you have permadeath enabled!
- Give up your kingdom(s). Picked up a town or city you'd actually rather not manage or be beholden to? No problem. Just give it away! Yep, you'll have the ability to grant fiefs to vassals as a faction leader, or give them up if you're a vassal yourself. Handy for those times when you want to ignore the paperwork, and just get into the action.
- Improve relations by leaving party members behind. Isn't it annoying when you want to make someone like you, but you're half a world away fighting and Zoom hasn't been invented yet? Well, you'll soon be able to leave a companion or clan member in a friendly or neutral settlement, and they'll begin to fill the role of an emissary, improving relations and earning XP. Nice!
- Battle your way through keeps. It's all well and good fighting through fields and towns, but what we really want to do is stamp out the enemy in their own homes, watch with glee as they realize their demise. Ahem, sorry about that, got carried away. Yes, keep battles are coming to Bannerlord, and will see factions decide whether they'll pull back to the castle or not for a last stand. It'll be a difficult, close-quarters experience, so make sure you bring an axe or one-handed sword with you to get the job done; no swinging zweihanders in here!
Other improvements are also coming, such as AI characters now able to marry and a large increase in AI clan members in general, which should make for more varied and increased populations across the game world.
Snowballing in mid to late game should happen less, as wealth through factions is distributed more evenly via shared treasuries (no running off with all the loot, ya hear?). You'll also be able to disable the birth and death systems, if you want to enjoy the experience without the risk of losing your beloved character.
Finally, settlement event notifications will soon be a thing, letting players know if the town they're nearby has issues or tournaments ongoing, without needing to trek into the town to find this out.
Are you playing Bannerlord? Which faction do you typically side with? Looking forward to any mods in the works? Let us know all in the comments below!