TaleWorlds Entertainment has released more details on the upcoming Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord's new multiplayer mode, Skirmish. As detailed in a recent developer's blog, Skirmish is a 6 on 6 PvP mode in which players must strategically spend points on their spawns in order to gain the upper hand.
Players start with a set amount of points that they can spend to select a class for each spawn during a round. Higher tier troops with better equipment cost much more, which limits the number of times they can be selected by a single player each round, whereas low tier troops are much cheaper, giving players the option of an additional one or two spawns for that round. At the end of the round, if you have unspent points, a limited amount of these can be carried over to the next round, which in turn opens up more tactical options for teams.Victory in Skirmish mode is obtained by controlling the three capture spots on the map. Holding these points will cause the enemy team's morale to decrease, and the first team to lose all their morale loses the round. As the round goes on, two of these three capture points will be removed, funneling players into a more climactic final confrontation at the last capture spot.
TaleWorlds' decision to make spawning limited with a point-buying system is fueled by the desire to make an asymmetrical multiplayer mode and a desire to maintain a certain level of realism.
Most multiplayer games strive to have a well-balanced mix of classes and characters where no single class is dominant. We considered going this route early in the design process but decided that this wouldn’t work at all in a game that aims to represent medieval battles where armoured knights mounted on destriers would share the field with peasants with pitchforks. Of course, there were ways to nerf the stronger classes, as we could easily make knights extremely slow and sluggish or give them reduced damage. However such moves would be kind of unrealistic and immersion breaking and so go against the spirit of our game.Mount & Blade fans will hopefully be able to sample the new Skirmish mode in the upcoming beta, though no release date for that—or the full game—have been set yet. Players who want to keep up with the developers' updates however can follow their dev blog, where they give frequent updates on Bannerlord's mechanics, such as children, persuasion, and quests.