Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord has had some new details shown off at the PC Gamer Weekender event, and developer TaleWorlds has posted a Developer Blog to expand on them. A nearly 40 minute video from the event has accompanied the blog.
The first thing shown in the demo and discussed in the blog is the wider variety of facial features available to the player. The original Mount & Blade had the ability to customize your character, but the graphics were much simpler and more limited as compared to what's shown off here.
The game will be once again taking place in the fictional land of Calradia. The map looks much the same at first glance, although the developers have stated that it has been expanded East to some degree. Much more detail has went into the world design for the individual factions as compared to the predecessor title; taverns, for instance, each have different appearances depending on which kingdom you are in.
Castles are no longer map entities unto themselves; rather, they're now attached to villages. Villagers will still have to move between smaller villages and larger cities to keep the local economy going. A specific strategy outlined by the developers would be to attack the villagers in order to starve an enemy Lord's economy.
Another feature of the previous games that was widely expanded on was that of criminal activity. Players could act as sort of bandits in the first Mount & Blade game, but they were unable to really treat it as a serious enterprise compared to acting as an independent King or aligning with one of the existing factions. Banditry and gangs have been outlined as a sort of sub-mechanic of the overall strategy that could even be used by ruling Lords and Kings to some degree if they chose to do so.
Weapon crafting was another feature that was shown in some detail. An axe was used as the standout example. The demo showed over a dozen different axe heads available to choose from, and the shape & size of the weapon had impact on its statistics.
One of the most notable changes was the expansion of troop welfare mechanics. Previously, the player had to pay and supply their troops or else they would desert. Enemy Lords now have to grapple with this mechanic as well. If your enemy's troops are underfed or underpaid they will desert their Lord just as easily as they would have deserted you in the predecessor title.
Quite a few other details were covered in the video including a more well-developed reputation system. Improvements to the enemy's A.I. in both diplomatic situations as well as combat were also detailed. A concrete release date has not yet been set for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.
What do you think of how Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is shaping up as a title? Do you think it will be able to live up to its predecessor Mount & Blade: Warband? Let us know in the comments below!