Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Interview With TaleWorlds CEO Armagan Yavuz
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Interview Continued - Character Development, Crafting and Consoles
Chris: Will you have any extra features in the campaign for Mount & Blade II. Will there be any stories related to the fact you have a family and such as that?
Armagan: We will have a very basic storyline that will get you into the game. Basically, it will be a story to introduce you to the world, let you understand the kingdoms, who is who and help you understand the game mechanics. Then it will take a back seat and allow the players to play the open-ended game freely.
It won't be there to guide them down a linear, scripted story. That's how we like to develop the story in our games. It's there to help you understand and get you into the game. We think it's much more fun in our game to allow the player to have freedom and make their own story.
Chris: To keep with the emergent storytelling that featured in the previous titles. With that, will the game continue with elements of that? So, for example, with your clan can you develop it over time. For example, find a woman, marry her and have children? Also, will you be able to bring in allies to your clan as you were able to in the previous title, promote them and give them areas to control?
Armagan: You can definitely marry in the game and have children. The timeframe will probably to too limited for some things. Eighteen years is a long time in our game, so for example how feasible it will be to be able to play as your children. You will have a family system though.
We will also retain the companion system in the game. You will be able to hire and recruit companions to your party. There are also so many ways we are expanding how useful they are to you. We have designated roles now. For example, you can assign one companion as your quartermaster and another as your scout.
Also, once you have towns and castles you can assign them as your governors to bring bonuses to the towns and castles. They can also defend the areas better. There are so many different ways in which the companions will be used.
Chris: Could you explain if there are any changes to how the characters are developed. Are there are any changes in stats, skills and abilities?
Armagan: The character has undergone quite radical changes. We have redesigned all the skills, we have eighteen different skills now. Each skill also has to be practised individually to improve them. For example, if you want to increase your trade skill, you need to trade a lot and make a profit. Also, if you fight with a one-handed sword, you only increase your one-handed skill.
Chris: So the skills are raised specifically based on your actions?
Armagan: On your actions, yes. Each has its own experience. Players can still drive that process by putting focus points into individual skills. The focus points do not directly increase the skills but change the pace at which skills are learned.
Chris: Similar to an experience booster of sorts? So if you have a focus point in a skill, rather than earning one point you may get ten?
Armagan: Yes, exactly. So it's quite useful. Each skill also then has something like twenty different perks. Each perk can give you a specific bonus in various areas. It is usually the case that as you learn the skill, many perks will open up, you cannot have all the perks together. For example, you may have two perks available at one point and you will have to select between them.
We have made the system to not allow you to become superhumanly powerful. You will have to have a good strategy and make a clever character build.
Chris: Have you made any changes to the weapons and the battle system? From what I played, there certainly feels to have been some alterations in the combat.
Armagan: We already had a good variety of weapons but we have focused on changing the system a little bit. We now have a system that is more physical based and also based on a crafting system. We now have a crafting system where you can put together parts and create your own sword, axe or whatever.
It also does a sort of physical simulation to drive the stats out of the parts that you put together. It allowed us to remove the old kind of items and weapons where we just assigned stats the way we liked. We have turned everything, at least the melee weapons at least, are created this way.
Chris: Is this crafting system also based on the skill system? For example, can you place two very high powered weapons together and still result in a poor weapon or even fail?
Armagan: Exactly, yes, crafting is also a skill. You can also have a companion work on it. As you do the crafting, though, the more skill you have it can give you a bonus to the stats of the weapon that you craft. It can allow you to get stronger and higher damaging weapons.
Chris: Will it also apply to armour?
Armagan: Currently no, we don't have an armour crafting system. Maybe it's something to look at for the future. It is technically much more challenging than the weapon crafting system. You have to make sure the armour doesn't clip and more, which is a bit of a headache.
Chris: Do you know roughly when you may release Mount & Blade II? also, are you looking at early access?
Armagan: Early access is something we are talking about, it's a possibility. We don't exactly have a date, what we want to do is keep things simple and stay focused, make sure we make the game we want to make.
Chris: So it'll be ready when it's ready?
Chris: Will you also be looking at launching consoles as well as the PC? If so, will you release simultaneously or the console version at a later date?
Armagan: Consoles are something we are definitely interested in. We were able to release Warband on PlayStation and Xbox so we very much want to release on consoles as well. As for the release, we honestly don't know at this time.
Chris: Do you have any rough idea when you may be ready? Of course, it's ready when it's ready but could we be looking 2020 or even further?
Armagan: We don't really want to speculate on a release date that we might have to postpone and disappoint the players. Most of the early game is ready now but a lot of late game features like kingdom management, town management and sieges have made good progress but we need to polish them up and make sure they're at a good standard before we can release.
Chris: Excellent. Thank you for your time.
Armagan: Thank you, such a pleasure.