Mount & Blade 2

An Open Letter to TaleWorlds from the Kingdoms of Arda team, and the Total-Conversion Mod Community about our concerns and frustrations with Bannerlord’s development

Hi r/mountandblade!

Here is a link to the full letter.

I'm a programmer on the Kingdoms of Arda team, and I am representing 12+ total-overhaul projects (listed at the end of the letter). Over the last few months, the KoA team has been collaborating with dozens of other total-conversion mods, sharing what we know about Bannerlord mod development with each other. We've determined that there are some serious issues with Bannerlord's code, as well as TaleWorlds' development practices in general. Over the last few months (and even years), we have shared our needs and feedback with Taleworlds regarding what functionality we would need to make our mods, and for the most part that feedback has been completely ignored.

Over about a year and 30 updates made to the game, we've seen little to no work done on support for custom campaign maps, custom skins (so we don't have to implement non-human skin as armor pieces like in Warband), custom skeletons (for monsters like Trolls), and countless other features critical to many mods' development. Nearly none of their code is documented in any form, and the mod tools are incredibly unstable. Instead of addressing these concerns, we've seen TaleWorlds putting lots of effort into somewhat underwhelming features, and even neglecting massive issues in the native game (Siege AI, crafting exploits, etc.).

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We think it is within the interests of both the players and modders that TaleWorlds shifts their focus to polishing and fixing Bannerlord, rather than building new features on an unpolished foundation.

In addition to neglecting our feedback, TaleWorlds has made huge decisions behind closed doors that make it nearly impossible to work on total-overhaul mods (detailed in the letter). This is the main reason why many overhaul mods have little to no progress to show outside of importing 2D and 3D assets. We are almost completely hamstrung when it comes to modifying and extending Bannerlord's code at a high level.

We encourage any criticism, support, or whatever commentary you may have to be shared in this thread, or the complementary thread on the official forums. We hope this letter and the discussion around it will prevent yet another respected game developer/publisher from ignoring and failing their stakeholders.

With love and butter,

The Total-Overhaul Modding Community


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