The Mount & Blade games have a healthy modding community; mods such as Prophecy of Pendor have added a boatload of content to the base games. Modding can be easy or difficult depending on exactly how the game's engine and file system is set up; the focus of this blog post details which tools will be available to modders and what exactly they will be able to do. The dev blog is structured like an FAQ.
Mods will be scripted with C# and modders can make use of Visual Studio 2015 to work on scripting. Modders will have access to a number of tools such as a Scene Editor, Model/Animation Viewer, and Resource Browser. Runtime performance tools will also be available which will allow modders to evaluate the impact of a mod on the performance of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. Documentation and tutorial videos will be provided by the development team as well.
One change compared to Mount & Blade: Warband is how scripts are being handled: modders will no longer be able to tinker with the vanilla game scripts. This isn't out of a desire to prevent players from altering the base game; rather, it's to make things easier for modders. Previously, a new version of the game would mean that the vanilla scripts would update and mods would break. For Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, modders will instead create entirely new files that won't be broken when a patch for the core game comes out.
A number of questions relate to whether or not certain aspects of the game will be hardcoded. The lowest-level troop AI will be hardcoded, but other elements such as formation AI are not. Taleworlds may change course on what is and is not hardcoded throughout the life of the game. Throughout the life of Mount & Blade: Warband Taleworlds had made less of the game hardcoded to open it up to modders.
The dev blog contains dozens of questions addressing modding queries both large and small and I've only covered the broad strokes; if you'd like to read through all of them you should click through to the dev blog and give it a look. Taleworlds hasn't yet decided if the modding tools will be available prior to release, as part of the early access period, or post-release. In any case, it appears that they've set up a robust suite of tools and given modders a lot of room to create some interesting new bits of gameplay for their upcoming game. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is currently in development and does not yet have a firm release date.
What do you think of the modding capabilities of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord? Do you think the developers have done enough to provide modders with the tools they need to make complex mods? Let us know in the comments below!